Holt, teammates will get to know Titans this week

Monday, August 4, 2008

MEQUON, Wis. -- Given a day off and an opportunity to frolic in Lake Michigan, Rams receiver Torry Holt wasn't willing to search for the light at the end of the training camp tunnel.

"There is drudgery all the way through camp," Holt said. "Camp is camp. We will not be over that drudgery until we move on to the regular season."

While the end of camp still seems like a distant whisper, Holt and the Rams have cleared one significant hurdle as they have now put in nine days and 13 practices at Concordia University.

With Saturday's scrimmage in the books, the Rams will now turn their full attention to a team that won't be wearing the same uniform for the first time this preseason.

Coach Scott Linehan rewarded his players with a day off Sunday before the team reconvened for a 6:15 meeting Sunday night.

The Rams return to practice for two sessions Monday before heading to Tennessee to practice with the Titans for three days leading into the first preseason game on Saturday night.

"We've got a really challenging week this week," Linehan said. "We're going to go two good practices on Wednesday, and we're going to go two on Thursday, one of them being all special teams, and then we're going to take a break from working against them on Friday, and then play them Saturday night, then we're coming back here, we're not going home, we're still in camp mode for another week."

The opportunity for a change of scenery and a new opponent comes as a welcome respite for a team that has been beating itself up for the past 10 days.

The Titans should provide plenty of change for the Rams, especially if this week's practices resemble what happened the last time the teams got together in the preseason.

Coming off a win in Super Bowl XXXIV against the Titans, the teams got together at Western Illinois University to scrimmage in 2000.

Those shared practices included plenty of heated exchanges and lots of sniping between Rams coach Mike Martz and Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher. Fisher prodded his players to play with more intensity after a sluggish first practice.

Subsequently, two Rams, including running back Trung Canidate, suffered injuries. Those practices also culminated in a preseason game the Titans referred to as Super Bowl XXXIV 1/2, a 30-3 Tennessee win.

Already without holdout running back Steven Jackson and a variety of other injured players, this week will be critical in getting the Rams through to the start of preseason action.

"I think next week is going to be a very, very critical week for us," Holt said. "Obviously we have to travel but once we get off that plane we have to go into a business mode, an evaluation mode for everybody, from No. 1 all the way down from No. 1 to 80 (on the roster). That is the approach we have to take."

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