Running back Steven Jackson sounded as if he was practicing for a career in the diplomatic corps when asked about the addition of Cadillac Williams and Jerious Norwood to the Rams' backfield.
Williams, NFL rookie of the year in 2005, agreed to terms Wednesday. If recovered from a knee injury, Norwood could provide speed and handle kickoffs. Their arrivals seem to give the Rams flexibility in the running game, though neither is a threat to supplant Jackson at the top of the heap.
"I think the addition of both guys, Norwood and Williams, brings us depth and competition, which makes us better," Jackson said.
Compare Jackson's measured response about the running backs to his reaction to the signing of guard Harvey Dahl, known for his nasty streak.
"That's huge. In my opinion, the best pickup," Jackson said. "The right guard is a position you lean heavily on, especially in the running game. He's been good. I've had a chance to see him live and in person when we played Atlanta. He's a guy you hate to go against but when he's on your team, you feel really good about it. He's going to bring that edge to the offensive line that each and every team wants."
Though the addition of Williams and Norwood should allow Jackson, 28, to get off the field for a few more plays each game, Jackson wouldn't go so far as to say that their presence would lengthen his career.
"I think that Dahl addition lengthens my career," he said. "But I'm really excited about the additions at running back. They're going to help us get better."
Gary Gibson, who started all 16 games last season at defensive tackle, has agreed to terms on a one-year deal. Gibson will find a crowd forming at the position, because in the past week the Rams also signed Justin Bannan, who played last year at Denver, and Daniel Muir, a former Colt.
The trio will compete for playing time with Fred Robbins, who started all 16 games last season, Darell Scott and Jermelle Cudjo.
Kicker Todd Carter made his first appearance in camp Thursday. A 2009 graduate of Grand Valley State, Carter appeared in one game last year for the Carolina Panthers and was waived in September.
... AND GOINGS
To stay under the training camp limit of 90 players, the Rams released RB Chauncey Washington, S Travon Bellamy (of Illinois), LB Maurice Simpkins, who was on the practice squad for the final four games of 2010, and offensive tackle Karrii Kuuttila of Lock Haven. ... Free agent WR Laurent Robinson, who spent the past two seasons with the Rams, signed with San Diego.
First-round pick Robert Quinn was removed from the nonfootball injury list and participated in individual drills and walk-throughs Thursday.
"I was fairly impressed with what he picked up mentally," Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "He has a long way to go, but it was a good sign."
Receiver Donny Avery is easing back into practice, skipping some of the sessions. He missed all of last season because of a knee injury.
"He was cruising along pretty good," Spagnuolo said. "We backed off a little bit, just so we don't set him back. I think he's fine right now."
Defensive end Eugene Sims did not practice Thursday because of a concussion but worked out on the sideline with trainer Reggie Scott.
Receiver Dominique Curry left practice with what Spagnuolo suspected was a fractured hand.
Single-game tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. today at ticketmaster.com/rams or by calling 314-726-7849. Tickets will not be sold at the Edward Jones Dome box office. Single-game prices range from $40- $330. ... Among the crowd at Thursday's practice was former Cardinals pitcher Todd Worrell. ... The Rams' practice today at 5 p.m. is free and open to the public.