Coach Spagnuolo happy with Rams after minicamp -

Coach Spagnuolo happy with Rams after minicamp

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- St. Louis coach Steve Spagnuolo said the Rams have put last year's 1-15 season behind them and are looking forward to brighter days after the team's minicamp ended Saturday.

"We've gotten a lot done," Spagnuolo said after the Rams finished their three-day camp at Rams Park. "I think the team is really where we should be without putting pads on and I don't mean to use that as a crutch. We have so much further to go when we get to be doing the real quote unquote football. I'm anxious to get to that point."

Defensive coordinator Ken Flajole said he is pleased but cautioned it's still early.

"I feel like we're making improvements but again, this is practices in underwear," Flajole said. "The pads haven't come on. We haven't hit anybody yet. That's always the telltale sign.

"But I always watch how our guys operate out there right now. It seems like we're playing faster. We get it. I really feel our guys are starting to get it now and I sense we're playing faster and have a better understanding of what we're trying to do."

Playing under the coaching staff a second year is a big help, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said.

"I'm really pleased with the progress we've made," Shurmur said. "We're preparing a big workload for them in the training camp and I think that's the next focus."

The Rams leave minicamp with just three more organized team activities (OTAs) for veterans next week and three more the following week for rookies only. The players then are done until the rookies report July 28 for training camp and will have three practices before the veterans report July 30. The first team practice is scheduled for July 31.

"This spring, we've tried to give them everything they're going to get in training camp," Shurmur said. "Then really, it's a review. We'll reinstall it and get it going. We'll get after it."

The big project is bringing along No. 1 overall draft pick Sam Bradford and getting him ready for the upcoming season.

"I said it in the beginning. He's very talented. He works hard and Sam gets it. I think he's made tremendous strides here in the spring. I anticipate he'll get better going through training camp."

Offensive guard Mark Setterstrom sustained the only major injury in training camp. He has a torn triceps muscle. A seventh-round draft pick in 2006, Setterstrom has overcome two major knee injuries in his career.

Setterstrom had the same triceps injury near the end of last season.

Spagnuolo said no decision has been made about whether to have surgery or let the muscle try to heal on its own. If surgery is the option, Setterstrom likely would miss the entire 2010 season.

"He's got a decision; we've got a decision," Spagnuolo said. "Mark's not sure what he wants to do. We've got a few days. We don't have to do anything right now. I feel bad for Mark, all the rehabbing he's done for the injuries he's had. He's just a tough guy, a quality guy."

The only other injury was a toe fracture to offensive tackle Jason Smith. Spagnuolo said an MRI exam revealed a stress fracture. Smith is wearing an orthopedic boot but won't need surgery.

Defensive end Chris Long missed the final two days of minicamp because of a death in the family.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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