After discussions with the NFL’s management council and NFL Players Association, the Rams leadership agreed to hold a team meeting regarding the logistics of the team’s move to Los Angeles. The meeting is for players only.
Considering that moving cities is a big undertaking for anyone, not to mention an entire NFL franchise, the league agreed to the need for today’s meeting to be held by team executives. Head coach Jeff Fisher has experienced the relocation of an NFL team in the past, when the Houston Oilers moved to Tennessee. He is very familiar with the whole ordeal:
“I learned that the most important thing is to put yourself in the players’ shoes. That’s what you have to do,” Fisher said. “You also learn that eventually, things are going to settle down. But the most important thing is, players have to understand, we’re going to play games. And we’ve got to take care of the players and look at it from their perspective.”
As far as the actual content of the meeting, Coach Fisher went on to state that players need to familiarize themselves with the logistics of the Los Angeles freeway system, parts of which are more clogged than Gabriel Iglesias’s arteries on any given day. “Let them know traffic patterns and travel and things like that, because 22- and 23-year-old athletes need to get to work on time. … Don’t try to commute from Newport through L.A. to the West San Fernando Valley, for example.” Jeff Fisher is actually from the Valley, so he knows a thing or two.
In addition, Fisher wants to inform the players about the teams sites for training camp, offseason OTA’s, etc.:
“Then just give them report dates, what we’re going to do for them, and go from there,” Fisher continued. “Answer their questions, because once the season ended, they went different directions. And it’s just easier to answer one question once than it is 60 times.”
This spring, for 3 months, the the team will hold organized team activities, also known as OTAs, in Oxnard. The club might hold training camp at the UCI campus before moving somewhere else, possibly in the Thousand Oaks area, this fall.
The club’s GM, Les Snead said at the NFL scouting combine last week that L.A. would be used as a recruiting tool for signing free agents.
“If you’re from L.A., you know the weather is really good and it’s a good place to be if you’re young,” Snead said, “No. 1, it will come down to money — are you in the ballpark. No. 2 is going to come down to your head coach and your coaching staff, and they’re going to vet who they’re going to be working with every day.
“And after that, I think the city comes into it. But yes, I think L.A. is a positive thing for young professional athletes.”
Considering the NFL’s free agency period looms near, starting March 9, and the Rams needs for a WR and possibly CB if Jenoris Jenkins leaves for another team, we may be able to see just how good of a recruiting tool our city can be in the near future.