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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Post-Draft Look at the Roster

    Here's how I see it right now:

    Quarterback
    This is still Marc Bulger's team. For love or money, or maybe a bit of both? If Mark Sanchez becomes a star, I'm sure we'll never hear the end of it. Still, I have faith in Marc. I still think that, when protected, he can put up great numbers. Behind him, who is the QB of the future? Is it Kyle Boller? He's intriguing, but with a one-year contract, it does not seem that he is much more than a stopgap. Keith Null? Well, stranger things have happened. For 2009, I'm comfortable with what we have. I'm not convinced, though, that the Rams won't be talking about QBs in the 2010 draft.

    Running Back/Fullback
    Steven Jackson must be licking his chops. A coaching staff that really believes in the run... No contract issues... A bunch of new blockers... If he can stay healthy for 16 games, I'd give very good odds on him rushing for at least 1,400 yards. Behind him there's... well... a bunch of guys. Brian Leonard, if used as RB rather than a miscast FB, might still be a good option. The rest of the stable, including rookie Chris Ogbonnaya, don't strike me as more than role players. At FB, Mike Karney is a great addition. He is a true blocking FB.

    Wide Receiver/Tight End
    The Rams are putting a great deal of faith in a young squad lead by Donnie Avery and Keenan Burton. Laurent Robinson, Derek Stanley, and Brooks Foster will also fight for roles. There's a lot of speed in that group, but not much experience. Look for Avery to take a leadership role and have a great year. At TE, the combination of Randy McMichael and Billy Bajema is solid, if unspectacular.

    Offensive Line
    What a difference a year makes. The Rams will have two new Blue Chip starters in Jason Brown at center and Jason Smith at tackle. In addition to being talented, these are two guys with great passion, charisma and intelligence. Hopefully, they will be able to influence and motivate guys like Alex Barron and Richie Incognito, who do have talent, despite their "issues." The final spot will go to Jacob Bell, who will hopefully remind us why he was signed to a FA deal. John Greco also could be a factor, pushing at either guard spot. After years of struggles and futility, this unit could finally become a strength for this team.

    Defensive Line
    This unit goes six players deep. At DE, Leonard Little will hopefully finally find the Fountain of Good Health, while Chris Long continues to progress on the other side. Victor Adeyanju is a utility man and a true Four Pillars guy. At DT, Adam Carriker and Clifton Ryan are joined by Dorrell Scott, who I think could be a significant factor in the rotation. I'd like to see a bit more depth here. Maybe James Hall can give the team a few more good downs, or perhaps the veteran FA market will offer something.
    The key here, though, is how the young guys in this unit respond to the new system. Spagnuolo has done great things with DL with the Giants. Let's hope he can do the same with the Rams.

    Linebackers
    With the addition of James Laurinaitis, this unit finally makes sense. The best WLB on the team, Will Witherspoon, will play WLB. A true MLB, Laurinaitis, will play MLB. At SLB, there's Chris Draft, who has played the position before, and some young guys in Quinton Culberson, Chris Chamberlain and Dave Vobora. The wild card of the group is Pisa Tinoisamoa. He's too talented to stay on the bench, so it will be interesting what role is found for him. I don't buy that he's an every down SLB, but perhaps can man that spot in certain situations.

    Defensive Backs
    The Rams retained O.J. Atogwe and Ron Bartell, who will be the leaders of this unit, along with FA acquisition James Butler. The final starting spot, as well as the nickel role, will be the product of a fierce competition between Tye Hill, Justin King, Jonathan Wade, and rookie Brad Fletcher. Whoever gets the job will have earned it, which is a good thing. I like this unit's potential, not just in 2009, but for years to come.

    Special Teams
    The Rams have great set of legs in Josh Brown and Donnie Jones. Return men will have to emerge. I, for one, am just glad the team has a new ST coordinator who didn't come from a High School staff.


    Overall
    The Rams have done a very good job of improving the roster with the resources they possessed going into the season. I think that the offensive line and the defensive backfield could be strength areas. I still have concerns about depth at RB, WR and on DL. In all, though, if the team can stay reasonably healthy, particularly at a few key spots, I think we will see some improvement in the W/L record. I'm not ready to predict a playoff birth at this point but, then again, do the Dolphins (who made a huge turnaround last year) really have superior talent? I don't think they do. So, at least, there's hope.


  2. #2
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    Re: Post-Draft Look at the Roster

    Nice work AV

  3. #3
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    Re: Post-Draft Look at the Roster

    St louis with their first pick select Sam Bradford. I hope hear this next yr. Bulgar can teach him a few things. Since we drafted a OT this yr we don't have to go OT first next yr. And go after a QB or a WR.

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    Re: Post-Draft Look at the Roster

    I am still hoping for the rams to pick up Sam Bradford next year.

    Since we focused on a OT this year, we wont have to focus on it with our first pick, next year.

    SO we can focus on our receivers or quarterbacks, Its REALLY early, but i am hoping for Bradford in 2010

  5. #5
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    Re: Post-Draft Look at the Roster

    There is lots to like about the roster for the '09 season. It was sad to see Holt and Pace depart, but it had to happen.

    J Smith isn't necessarily an immediate upgrade though. Barron is Barron and J Smith is a rookie, so a learning curve needs to be inplace. I can't see why potentially with the addition of Brown and better coaching that the OL isn't a bit improved to start and gets better during the season.

    I really like the WRs. This probably goes against the conventional wisdom. There is Avery, but I see Burton, Robinson and Foster as guys that need a shot, and they're strong and have speed. Blocking WRs during the big runs SJ will be making will be sweet. I think Robinson can surprise and Foster can emerge a some point in the possession role, though he's got enough speed to do more. Stanley has to be a KR/P R or he's meat. Foster will need to make an impact on ST as well.

    I personally think Pisa will be the primary as SLB, with Culberson sharing snaps. Just a hunch. Not sure where Draft fits yet, this is a rebuilding young team, so I can see the younger guys getting the opportunities, unless the Rams get hot out the gate and start a run of wins.

    Love the potential competition at CB. Comon' King. I can see Fletcher at the third CB and backing up FS.

    I can see the RB depth going SJ, Leonard, Ogbonnaya. Ogbo simply due to blocking ability in pass protection <potential>. Minor and Pittman don't impress me much and seem to be a dime a dozen. Leonard has this season to stay healthy and show something. He did have a decent per carry avg last season, but drop a little weight to be a RB and stay healthy.

    And I agree that I think Spag's and company will be working the Dline hard. I see Little as a situational player or in a heavy rotation due to duribility. Carriker is a key player here for me. He needs to emerge. Whether it be from injuries or being to upright, he needs to get it down and emerge.
    Last edited by Richbert88; -04-28-2009 at 10:26 AM.
    Semper Fi!

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    Re: Post-Draft Look at the Roster

    thats a good break down of it

    at least we FINALLY got the LB situation figured out:

    Linebackers
    "With the addition of James Laurinaitis, this unit finally makes sense. The best WLB on the team, Will Witherspoon, will play WLB. A true MLB, Laurinaitis, will play MLB. At SLB, there's Chris Draft, who has played the position before,"

    yea i see a lot of great change we made most if not all the nessary moves to improve our team given the little money, talent, out there.
    we finally dont have a glaring weakness like what we have had in the past, but our D line will need to pick it up this year for sure.

  7. #7
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    Re: Post-Draft Look at the Roster

    Great Thread Av. My position is the same, i called it at .500 this year is a base. I think we can do alot better, but I am going to AIM low. My biggest concern is our DL. The production and us staying healthy. I believe that if we can stay healthy, Adam emerges as a solid starter, we get in the top 15 in terms of QB pressures, and or sacks this year, we can push Arizona off the top, and finish 10-6. We just need our guys to stay healthy.

  8. #8
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Post-Draft Look at the Roster

    Don't forget, last year an 8-8 record would have put us one game behind the division winner.

    I'm not making any bold predictions at this point, but I am far more hopeful than I was last year.

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    Re: Post-Draft Look at the Roster

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Linebackers
    With the addition of James Laurinaitis, this unit finally makes sense. The best WLB on the team, Will Witherspoon, will play WLB. A true MLB, Laurinaitis, will play MLB. At SLB, there's Chris Draft, who has played the position before, and some young guys in Quinton Culberson, Chris Chamberlain and Dave Vobora. The wild card of the group is Pisa Tinoisamoa. He's too talented to stay on the bench, so it will be interesting what role is found for him. I don't buy that he's an every down SLB, but perhaps can man that spot in certain situations.
    I thought I heard that Spags doesn't necessarily see "SAM" and "WILL" linebackers, but rather has left and right side. So couldn't it be Pisa-James-Will as our starting three?

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    Re: Post-Draft Look at the Roster

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Don't forget, last year an 8-8 record would have put us one game behind the division winner.

    I'm not making any bold predictions at this point, but I am far more hopeful than I was last year.
    To point out, if we went 8-8 last year, there is a good chance that a win or two of those would have been against Arizona. If that was the case, we would have been on top of them, and they would have been somewhere around 7-9 or 8-8 at the end of the season, with us taking the tiebreak.

    So, 8-8 in this division takes it to the playoffs for us most likely.

    All they have to do is believe, and then make it happen.

  11. #11
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Post-Draft Look at the Roster

    Quote Originally Posted by iStillBelieve View Post
    I thought I heard that Spags doesn't necessarily see "SAM" and "WILL" linebackers, but rather has left and right side. So couldn't it be Pisa-James-Will as our starting three?
    Possibly. But, ultimately, someone has to line up on the side of the TE (the "strong side"). On passing downs, Pisa could do that, as he's not bad in coverage, and could rush the passer if the TE stays in to block. On running downs, though, he's pretty small to play the strong side.

    We might see Witherspoon and Laurinaitis as 3 down LBs, and Pisa and Draft splitting time at the third spot.

    Not such a bad option, come to think of it.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -04-30-2009 at 11:09 AM.

  12. #12
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    Re: Post-Draft Look at the Roster

    I'm really worried about our DT's. That is one weak unit. Can't fix everything in one year so the Rams did the best they could. Shored up the O line, LB's and secondary. Now, the front line on defense will have to be addressed after this season. I hope Carriker proves me wrong but I doubt it. Ryan is serviceable that's it.

  13. #13
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    Re: Post-Draft Look at the Roster

    I don't dislike our defensive tackles, but I do think they'll need to step it up. If they play well, everything could slide into place for the defense. If they don't, it could be another long year. On a positive note here, the Giant's defensive tackles were considered a major weakness going into the year they made the Super Bowl run. Barry Cofield, Fred Robbins, and Jay Alford are not household names and probably never will be.

    That strongside linebacker position is going to be a bit of a conundrum. It's too bad we weren't able to keep Chillar because he seemed to be reasonably productive there.

    Receiver looks like the team's biggest weakness by a significant margin. Avery is exciting, but it's anyone's guess what the pecking order will be after that.

  14. #14
    Shan the Ram Man's Avatar
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    Re: Post-Draft Look at the Roster

    Hey tx

    I agree with you the D-line is the weak spot on a Rams team. I'm hoping the Rams will find a DE out of the undafted freeagents signed after the draft.

    I guess next year will be NT/DT or DE in the 1st round unless franchise QB.

  15. #15
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    Re: Post-Draft Look at the Roster

    Adam is very undersized for a NT/DT. Staying healthy is key for rams success this season whether it's offense or defense.

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