National Football League
Ogletree on the job with Rams' rookies
by Staff and Wire Reports
It may have just been his first day at the office, but Alec Ogletree managed to make an impression on the bosses during the first day of the St. Louis Rams’ rookie minicamp on Friday.
Not that they were expecting anything different.
The 2013 first-round draft pick from Newnan out of the University of Georgia picked off two passes after donning his new No. 52 jersey while projected to be a starting outside linebacker with the Rams.
“At the end of the day, it’s still football. You’ve got to come in and practice just like everybody else,” Ogletree told reporters after day one. “It was good, it was fun. It was my first time getting back on the field in two, three months.”
Ogletree had an interception on his first NFL practice snap in one on on drills against tight ends, not that head coach Jeff Fisher was concerned about either of his first-round picks – receiver Tavon Austin, selected with the No. 8 overall pick, and Ogletree, who was selected with pick No. 30.
Fisher also acknowledged that the tryout players may actually receive a bit more of his attention than the rest of the group this weekend.
“You can watch Alec Ogletree in the first one on one where he picks the ball off and say ‘OK, we’re OK there,’” Fisher said. “But I guess probably I am looking more at the tryout guys at this point knowing that these guys are going to be with us the next six weeks.”
While moving to inside linebacker at Georgia for his final two seasons, Ogletree, a former safety in high school, feels he’ll be able to make whatever transition is ahead when he makes his pro debut this fall.
“It doesn’t matter. The way coach does it we have to learn every position. So I’m just trying to get comfortable with each one,” he said.
Friday and Saturday provided a chance for rookies to dive headfirst into the playbook and start working to catch up to the veterans.
“You have to be able to absorb a lot, because it moves fast. The older guys are going to come in and they’re going to be on their game,” Ogletree said. “Us rookies have to get up to date so you have to take in a lot.”
The 2013 schedule for St. Louis includes both a visit home to the Georgia Dome on Sept. 15 at 1 p.m., as well as a visit to play the Houston Texans on Sept. 13. It could be a reunion between former Cougars Ogletree and wide receiver Alan Bonner, who was selected by Houston out of Jacksonville State with its sixth-round pick last month.
The pair were All-State selections on a Newnan High lineup that reached the Class AAAAAA semifinals in 2009.
Both hope to make smooth transitions to the pro game, something the two experienced immediately in college while contributing to former programs as college freshmen.
“Just realizing that it’s a business and everybody’s fast, everybody’s good,” Ogletree said of making the transition. “They wouldn’t be here if they weren’t.”