Realizing they could use a few players in uniform to start this little thing called training camp, the Rams got busy Wednesday and signed three more draft choices, including third-round pick Kevin Robbins, an offensive tackle from Michigan State.
Linebacker Mark Messner, the team's sixth-round choice from Michigan, agreed to terms in time to make afternoon practice. Also signing was safety Thom Kaumeyer, a sixth-round choice from Oregon. Messner joined fourth-round pick, quarterback Jeff Carlson, as the only draft choices to participate in opening-day workouts.
Messner, who's competing for Mark Jerue's roving Eagle linebacker position, said he had no intentions of being a holdout.
"I'm here to play football, not to bicker and moan," he said.
A player of management's dreams, no doubt.
Robbins, 6-feet-4 and 286 pounds, played poor-man's tackle at Michigan State to Tony Mandarich, the aspiring boxer and first-round draft choice of the Green Bay Packers.
Final contract details were being worked out on cornerback Alfred Jackson, the Rams' fifth-round choice from San Diego State. He's expected to be at practice today.
Because of the numbers shortage, the Rams have asked a few players to report early, namely quarterback Mark Herrmann, safeties Anthony Newman and James Washington, linebacker Brett Faryniarz and defensive tackle Mike Piel. Only 33 players attended the first workout.
First-round picks and former Miami Hurricanes Bill Hawkins and Cleveland Gary are apparently still days away from booking passage to Anaheim. "Everyone thinks it may be awhile before the (number) ones come in," Coach John Robinson said. The Rams also have three second-round choices yet to sign; linebackers Frank Stams and Brian Smith and cornerback Darryl Henley. . . . Quarterback Jeff Carlson, who signed Tuesday, will receive a $75,000 signing bonus with base salaries of $85,000, $100,000 and $120,000 the next three years, plus an annual $10,000 reporting bonus. . . . All-Pro guard Tom Newberry, who isn't due to report until July 24, pulled a hamstring muscle during an off-season workout and probably will miss the Tokyo exhibition game against San Francisco Aug. 5. . . . Quarterback Jim Everett, coming off a great season and a cameo bit in the latest Bo Jackson commercial, said he'll report to camp next Wednesday.