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Thread: Av's Countdown of the Top 10 Rams who could Make or Break 2014

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    Av's Countdown of the Top 10 Rams who could Make or Break 2014

    Here is my list of the 10 players who, by virtue of their play, have the greatest potential to impact the Rams' season in a positive or negative way.

    10. Tre Mason
    In 2013, the Rams found their workhorse RB to replace Steven Jackson in Zac Stacy. The biggest issue with Stacy was his inability to avoid the bumps and bruises that can wear a RB down. That's where Tre Mason comes in. If he can reduce Stacy's workload, while maintaining the productivity level, then the Rams could become a dominant running team. If not, we'll just have to cross our fingers that Stacy can hold up for 16 games.

    9. T.J. McDonald
    The safety position remains an area of concern. At FS, there are a lot of candidates for the starting roll. At SS, McDonald needs to become a mainstay. He showed some flashes last year, and I suspect that the more aggressive style of Gregg Williams will fit his skill set. If he does not progress, the Rams defense could have a real weakness at the back end.

    8. Brian Quick
    Quick is a true wild card. Many have all but written him off, after two lackluster seasons. If he can't produce, others will step up. However, if he can take that leap, his physical tools are elite, and he could create significant mismatches for opposing DBs.

    7. Rodger Saffold
    There are question marks throughout the OL, but I think most of them will turn out fine. I expect that Jake Long and Scott Wells will get healthy and play well. I expect that Greg Robinson will be a very good OG to start, and will only improve. Saffold, though, is the key. If he could find a way to stay healthy, I think he could be a Pro Bowl level OG. Unfortunately, for Rodger, that could be a big "if."

    6. Tavon Austin
    We've seen what Austin can do in open space. The question is, how often can he showcase those skills? This one could have read Tavon Austin/Brian Schottenheimer, as it will be on the OC to find creative ways to help Austin move from "threat" to "impact player." It should be fun to watch.

    5. Joe Barksdale
    The Rams are putting a lot of faith in Barksdale's ability to lock down the RT spot. Based upon last year, I think he is capable of doing so. If he can't, however, the domino effect on the OL could be severe, as it would force other players to go away from their best positions (or, in Robinson's case, accelerate what should be a gradual transition).

    4. Janoris Jenkins/Lamarcus Joyner
    Okay, so its a bit of a cheat to put two players here, but their issue is the same. Both players can be overmatched from a size standpoint, but could also be among the biggest playmakers on the defense. If the latter is the case, the Rams should get some great field position and easy scores, which could impact their fortunes in a huge way.

    3. Alec Ogletree
    If the Rams are going to go from being a good to very good defense to an elite status, someone is going to have to become a Robert Quinn-like elite defender. I think Aaron Donald has that potential, but it might not happen right away. Ogletree, on the other hand, showed last year that the sky is the limit for him. I can't wait to see what Gregg Williams will do with him.

    2. Kenny Britt
    There was a time when Kenny Britt was on the cusp of becoming a top-tier NFL WR. If he is healthy and focused, could he finally reach that level? If he can, the impact on the offense will be huge. It would free up Tavon Austin, balance out the running game, and potentially allow another receiver (Quick, Givens, Bailey) to thrive as a No. 2 WR. It might be a long shot, but its possible that Britt could be a true FA steal.

    1. Sam Bradford
    Was there any question who would top this list? The first issue is health. Sam must stay healthy. The second issue is "degree of difficulty." Sam needs to face fewer 3rd and long situations. He needs to be able to play with a lead more often. And he needs better play from his receiving corps. If those things occur, I don't think anyone doubts that he can be a good QB. The question is, how high is the ceiling? Hopefully, we'll find out this year.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -07-15-2014 at 01:47 PM.


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    Re: Av's Countdown of the Top 10 Rams who could Make or Break 2014

    Excellent list. I was surprised not to see Greg Robinson simply because of where he was drafted and the importance he represents to the emergence of our offensive line into one of the league's best. His ability to master the LOG spot will be critical in the running game schemes as well. Other than that I agree with all your picks with Sam at the top. Although he's not a player Gregg Williams may warrant "honorable mention" for what he's likely to add to our defense.

    Random thought: in the Tre Mason capsule did you mean Stacy's "inability" rather than ability to avoid hits?

    Go Rams!
    Last edited by mde8352gorams; -07-15-2014 at 01:12 PM.

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    Re: Av's Countdown of the Top 10 Rams who could Make or Break 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by mde8352gorams View Post
    Excellent list. I was surprised not to see Greg Robinson simply because of where he was drafted and the importance he represents to the emergence of our offensive line into one of the league's best. His ability to master the LOG spot will be critical in the running game schemes as well. Other than that I agree with all your picks with Sam at the top. Although he's not a player Gregg Williams may warrant "honorable mention" for what he's likely to add to our defense.

    Random thought: in the Tre Mason capsule did you mean Stacy's "inability" rather than ability to avoid hits?

    Go Rams!
    Yes, that is what I meant.

    As for Robinson, my thought is that, as an OG in a run-based offense, I have a hard time imagining him failing to, at a minimum, be a very solid starter.

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    Re: Av's Countdown of the Top 10 Rams who could Make or Break 2014

    hey Av,

    I think this is a good list. if you put a similar list for NFL coaches....top 10 coaches that need to deliver results, would Fish be on it? I am just curious as to your thoughts here. Thanks

    Mac

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    Re: Av's Countdown of the Top 10 Rams who could Make or Break 2014

    I don't think that Fisher is on any sort of "hot seat" this year. If the Rams disappoint, and the offense is deemed a significant reason, Schottenheimer could be a target. I doubt that Fisher is going anywhere, though.

    Coaches with a short leash, off the top of my head, could include Joe Phibin (Miami), Rex Ryan (New York), Jason Garrett (Dallas) and Mike Smith (Atlanta).
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -07-15-2014 at 05:00 PM.

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    Re: Av's Countdown of the Top 10 Rams who could Make or Break 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I don't think that Fisher is on any sort of "hot seat" this year. If the Rams disappoint, and the offense is deemed a significant reason, Schottenheimer could be a target. I doubt that Fisher is going anywhere, though.

    Coaches with a short leash, off the top of my head, could include Joe Phibin (Miami), Rex Ryan (New York), Jason Garrett (Dallas) and Mike Smith (Atlanta).
    Well, if we do not show improvement, IMO, Fish would be entering 2015 with a target on him. But, I truly believe we will have a good year. A great year for the long suffering Ram fans.....but a good year in the annals of the NFL "so-called" pundits ....

    As for your list, I think Saffold, Barksdale and Quick are spot on. Sam will have a good injury free year.

    Thanks

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    Re: Av's Countdown of the Top 10 Rams who could Make or Break 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I don't think that Fisher is on any sort of "hot seat" this year. If the Rams disappoint, and the offense is deemed a significant reason, Schottenheimer could be a target. I doubt that Fisher is going anywhere, though.

    Coaches with a short leash, off the top of my head, could include Joe Phibin (Miami), Rex Ryan (New York), Jason Garrett (Dallas) and Mike Smith (Atlanta).
    I would consider adding Marvin Lewis if the Bengals are 1 and done in the playoffs, although he has the excuse that he lost his 2 coordinators this off-season. Another name to consider is Dennis Allen if the Raiders have another bad season.

    I also agree if the Rams falter Schotty will take the fall before Fisher. I'm watching Mike Shanahan who is a good friend of Fisher's from their days together with the *****.

    Go Rams!
    Last edited by mde8352gorams; -07-15-2014 at 06:50 PM.

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    Re: Av's Countdown of the Top 10 Rams who could Make or Break 2014

    Actually, I am impatient to see how the Rams intend to use these players...give good coaching and solid game planning all these players have an opportunity to turn some heads. Its possible Britt might not make the squad though I am more in the camp he does.

    Since the Rams now has two bookend DTs, I think Brockers has to be in the mix. That said I am thinking Chris Long may have his best year yet. If all goes accordingly with pressure coming up the middle, offenses have adjust since the middle is the shortest distance to the QB and makes it difficult to run the ball off tackle--solid LB play against the run leaves the edges vulnerable for back pursuit from the DEs....and since Quinn and Long are already proven assets, expect most QBs to be contained in the tackle box; that's where DC Williams creative blitzes makes a QB's life miserable
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    Re: Av's Countdown of the Top 10 Rams who could Make or Break 2014

    Good list... I'd add.

    Make

    Donald, think he is going to be special and coming in with this group in place he will be able to fly under the radar and make plays. He can take advantage and get off to a fast start.

    Stacy, having ran behind a poor O line in his time in the SEC, now he gets a taste of the good life with Jake Long and Robinson and pulling guard Saffold. Stacy should not get touched until he's three yards down field on some plays. He also should have some walk in TDs in the red zone.

    Break

    JJ, he will need to play like he did in his rookie year, make far more big plays then give up plays. Williams will pull the kid out of the game if he's going to be taking chances and giving up big plays.

    Givens, has four weeks to seal the deal. If he starts slow then Bailey will get a shot to pick up where he left off. He needs to do what Bailey can't and that is use his speed and catch the deep balls.

    Kendricks is in his last year of his four year contract, he's going to have to play lights out no drops if he wants a new deal.
    Last edited by Rambos; -07-16-2014 at 11:23 AM.

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    Re: Av's Countdown of the Top 10 Rams who could Make or Break 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    As for Robinson, my thought is that, as an OG in a run-based offense, I have a hard time imagining him failing to, at a minimum, be a very solid starter.
    I agree with you that in a run based offense he's likely to be a valued contributor. My concern as the title of the thread alludes to "break", if he fails in pass protection or is not as solid as he needs to be that could be a huge problem because he's on Sam's blind side and if teams sense his vulnerability, they'll exploit it to the max. We can fix the problem, but what if it causes us to lose games? That's my only point with Greg Robinson.

    Go Rams!

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    Re: Av's Countdown of the Top 10 Rams who could Make or Break 2014

    Reading through, I'm thinking more and more that a lot of things have to come together for us to field a truly competitive team this year. If we can get consistent play out of even five of these ten players, we could be dangerous from week to week. If they all come good, the sky's the limit.
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    Re: Av's Countdown of the Top 10 Rams who could Make or Break 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Bar-bq View Post
    If we can get consistent play out of even five of these ten players, we could be dangerous from week to week. If they all come good, the sky's the limit.
    Consider it done amigo.

    At least, that's what I'm hoping for. I'm thinking that five of these ten players W I L L produce consistent, above - average play; and perhaps two to three Rams outside of those listed by Av.

    2014 ... STEP UP!




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    Re: Av's Countdown of the Top 10 Rams who could Make or Break 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Here is my list of the 10 players who, by virtue of their play, have the greatest potential to impact the Rams' season in a positive or negative way.
    10. Tre Mason
    Not sure that I agree, Av. While he's primed to challenge for the lead back, he will very likley have the same issues that Richardson and Stacy have had the last two years in wearing down the more we use him. Plus, Stacy at least is now used to what's going to happen out there. Now, if you're to say "RB committee" can make or break 2014, I think it's dead on correct.
    9. T.J. McDonald
    I'd agree with this statement, simply because I don't who who I could list at FS. Also, SS has been a big time performer for Williams' defenses in the past, so this also supports TJ. The damn dirty trojan.
    8. Brian Quick
    Iffy. I'd say that he can make it, but not having him produce much will not really change anything from previous years. Others will just get his playing time.
    7. Rodger Saffold
    Agree fully. One, need him to be healthy and two, need him to be as good as he was last year at RG. He an also really help if he fills in at tackle(or break us because he does).

    6. Tavon Austin
    Unless Austin gets the fumbles or the dropsies, it's less about him and more about the scheme to get him the ball. I'd fill in the blank with Schotty here.

    5. Joe Barksdale
    Backing up a bit, if Barksdale doesn't live up to the pressure, Saffold or Robinson will need to hold the edge, and ether move could cause a bad domino effect.

    4. Janoris Jenkins/Lamarcus Joyner
    I'd cross off Joyner unles he becomes a starter on the outside/safety. If he's only playing slot/sub packages, his impact decreases. That said, Jenkins is now absolutely the best corner we have, and is going to be going up against the likes of Bryant, Fitzgerald, Thomas, Harvin, VJax, DJax, Bowe, and Patterson. If he wins the matchup battle in half of the games, he almost deserves pro bowl consideration.

    3. Alec Ogletree
    Gotta agree. He needs to build upon last year and become faster and proactive instead of reactive. I'd love to see him repeat his pick six of Peyton from last preseason.

    2. Kenny Britt
    As with Quick, there's a lot of ways that he can make the season, but I'm not so sure about breaking it. He's a low risk, high reward signing because we can't expect much out of him based on the last two seasons. Can the receivers as a whole break the season? Absolutely, but I don't know if I can pin it on just one of them.

    1. Sam Bradford
    Was there any question who would top this list? No, there wasn't. And I don't disagree in the least. Offense is our weak spot and as I've said before, we need maybe a touchdown more scoring per game. That's on Sam to deliver.
    I believe!

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