When safety Matt Giordano paid a free-agent visit to Rams Park in June, he got to meet his new teammates, but it was basically a “hi and bye” kind of deal.
“The last week of OTAs everyone has their mind set on getting out of Dodge,” Giordano told the Post-Dispatch. “It was one of those: ‘Hi, nice to meet you. I’ll see you in August’ type things.”

Well, late July actually.

Giordano signed his one-year deal, which pays him a base salary of $840,000, on the last day of the spring practice period. So other than a few former teammates — defensive end Mason Brodine and offensive tackle Joe Barksdale from Oakland, and linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar from New Orleans — Giordano will have trouble identifying many of his new Rams teammates.

Obviously, that’s about to change. The veterans report for training camp this week, with the first full-squad practice Thursday at Rams Park. Although Giordano’s signing attracted little more than passing notice in June, the Rams like his experience, his fresh legs and his ball skills.

Rookie T.J. McDonald and fourth-year man Darian Stewart are the expected starters at safety, but don’t dismiss Giordano. At age 30, entering his ninth NFL season, Giordano is by far the most experienced player at the Rams’ most unsettled position.

Of the six other safeties on the training camp roster, three are rookies and two are second-year players (Rodney McLeod and Matt Daniels). Neither McLeod nor Daniels had a tackle from scrimmage as rookies last season, and Daniels is coming off knee surgery. That leaves Stewart (40 games, 13 starts, 105 career tackles) and Giordano as the Rams’ only safeties with any measurable experience.

“Hopefully I can provide leadership,” Giordano said. “I plan on being a guy who can show these young guys how too practice, how to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played.”