(FootballStL) -- The Rams completed their very first full squad practice under Jeff Fisher. It almost had to be moved inside because of the rain but the weather held off enough for it to remain outdoors. Here are the news items to take away from day 1:
-- DE Chris Long agreed to terms on a 4-year contract extension that will kick in after this upcoming season. Long had one year remaining on his original deal that he signed as a rookie. That means he'll remain a Ram for at least 5 more seasons. This is a very big thing for the organization because Long has proved to be one of the elite pass rushers in the NFL. With 13 sacks a season ago he was in the top 10 in the league and he's shown an ability to suggest he could have even more than that at some point in time. Getting to the quarterback is probably the most important thing on defense as this is a passing league and nothing stops that faster than knocking a QB down before he can throw it. You can have average cornerbacks and get away with it if you've got elite pass rushers. But even if you have elite cornerbacks and safeties you won't be very good on defense if you've only got medicocre pass rushers. Long makes sure they'll have him in the fold for a while.
-- The Rams also signed FB Ovie Mughelli to a one year deal today. He'll compete with Brit Miller for the starting job as a lead blocker for RB Steven Jackson. Jeff Fisher has been known as a coach who loves to establish the run and control the clock. It's no secret the club really liked Alabama runningback Trent Richardson in the draft and, if things fell differently, could have used its 1st round pick on him. Having understood how much Fisher loves to run, it shouldn't be too much of a surprise they're putting this much emphasis in the running game at this point. Anything to create more room for Jackson. While many out there believe that is a dying thing in the NFL and it's all about passing, passing and more passing...Fisher disagrees with that assessment. He wants as many assets available as possible to give him a chance with the running game.
-- I was impressed with WR Greg Salas today. He was a tremendous talent coming out of college last year but failed to really get anything going under the previous regime led by Steve Spagnuolo. It's still way too early to tell if Salas is going to make strides this year because, well, it is just day one. But what many scouts thought was a steal in the middle rounds of 2011 has clear athleticism. Wide receiver is one of the most interesting and open positions on the roster for the Rams. They really don't have any clear cut favorites. Rookies Brian Quick and Chris Givens are, obviously, inexperienced. Greg Salas and Austin Pettis have just one year of experience. Danny Amendola has a nice rapport with QB Sam Bradford but he missed most of last year with injury and probably profiles best as a slot receiver. Danario Alexander would be a star if he could stay healthy. Steve Smith is the same way, but to a much less extent. It's going to be one heck of a competition on the outside for the next several weeks.
-- The buzz around Rams Park is really exciting. The players and the fans seem to sense that this is a brand new era and a brand new regime. Jeff Fisher has been talking about making sure everyone knows what happened the last few seasons is done and this is completely different. He is trying to create a positive atmosphere where everyone believes not only in themselves, not only in everyone else but also in the mission. That mission is to create a winning culture around Rams Park.