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  1. #1
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    Avery's demise makes Bradford's job much tougher

    Avery's demise makes Bradford's job much tougher
    JEFF GORDON | Posted: Friday, August 27, 2010 5:43 pm

    Sam Bradfordís stellar preseason showing at New England showed new majority Rams owner Stan Kroenke that there could be hope for this NFL team after all.

    But Donnie Averyís season-ending injury offered a reality check, reminding Kroenke and everybody else that the Rams are still the Rams. They have a LOT of issues to resolve after winning just six games in the last three seasons.

    The Rams feared the worst when Avery went down Thursday night. The injury looked bad when it happened. Initial examinations suggested the worst.

    Coach Steve Spagnuolo hoped for better news . . . but around Rams Park, such miracles have been scarce in recent seasons. As expected, Averyís ACL tear will sideline him for the season.

    This is a high-impact injury. Avery was the one Rams receiver capable of stretching the field. He was one of the few big-play threats in this offense.

    The Rams have had spirited receiver competition in camp, with little Danny Amendola making great strides, reliable Laurent Robinson coming back from injury and explosive rookie Mardy Gilyard learning the ropes.

    Injury-prone Keenan Burton and big Brandon Gibson also got back onto the mix. Former Mizzou star Danario Alexander came aboard, hoping to prove that he could help sooner than later after undergoing further surgical repairs.

    The Rams coaches also liked a couple of fine special teams candidates at the position, veteran Jordan Kent and rookie Dominque Curry.

    But, really, how many of these wide receivers would even be depth guys for other NFL teams?

    The demise of Avery injury raised three issues for long-suffering Rams fans:

    1. This injury reiterated the teamís inability to upgrade through the draft in recent years. Averyís nagging injuries and slow development caused some to regard him as a bust Ė and now this blow threatens his career.
    2. The Rams football people opted not to upgrade this position with veteran help. Most notably, a brief dalliance with Terrell Owens went nowhere.
    3. Averyís demise damaged an already suspect offense. This team also lacks sure-fire weapons at other positions, such as tight end (where rookie Michael Hoomanawanui starred Thursday), fullback and back-up running back. The Rams arenít surrounding their $78 million rookie quarterback with a whole lot besides Steven Jackson.

    Spagnuolo has had terrible luck on the injury front. For that reason, it has been difficult to assess the rebuilding job he and his staff have done.

    But the Rams have invited disaster by not stocking more proven depth. GM Billy Devaney was hamstrung by the uncertain ownership situation, but itís fair to suggest he could have secured a few more veterans along the way.

    Now that Kroenke is clearly the man at top, will the Rams do something bold? Would this team deal for disgruntled Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson?

    The Seahawks earlier showed some interest in Jackson, who is threatening to sit out the entire season to get a new long-term contract to his liking.

    The Rams franchise has placed an enormous, record-setting bet on Bradford. He simply HAS to develop into a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback, to justify his contract and to elevate this team.

    In turn, this team must put him in a position to succeed ASAP. Right now, with Avery done for the year, itís hard to see how that is possible.

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  2. #2
    Dwight Frye's Avatar
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    Re: Avery's demise makes Bradford's job much tougher

    Speaking of thirty something year old recievers, I'd much rather have Bruce than T.O. .... of that I'm sure.
    If a team won their division seven straight times, that would be a NFL record. Now add on that team did it with seven different QB's in seven straight years,that record is unbeatable. To do that feat, you must of had a great Defense. Jack Youngblood was the captain of that defense.

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    Re: Avery's demise makes Bradford's job much tougher

    Gordon is the most pessimistic, nauseating sports writer in the history of the world. Just the other day he was writing about how it is amazing just how devoid of talent the Rams are. So, they go out and prove him wrong, and what does he write? The piece of garbage posted here.

    Folks need to get a grip on reality. The reality is, very little separates the NFLs weak teams from the strong teams. The Rams proved that last night. So now Gordon is going to devote his daily article to how once again the Rams are up against it and there is no hope for the future.

    Does the Post Dispatch have a single Ram writer that a) knows what they are talking about and b) can at least write something positive once in a while?

    The loss of Avery is a bummer, but they have plenty of guys that can step in and fill the void. They will be fine. And folks, please don't post Gordon's garbage here. This site is better than that.

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