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Thread: Bernie: Rams should target a receiver ..

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    Bernie: Rams should target a receiver ..

    Bernie Miklasz Sunday, July 24, 2011 10:00 am


    With labor peace on the immediate horizon and NFL training camps likely to open next week, it's safer to talk about football.

    There are a lot of opinions about what the Rams should do to improve for 2011, but I'm going to keep the analysis simple:

    Sam Bradford.

    HELP HIM.

    There you go. The Rams should do everything they can to help second-year quarterback Sam Bradford and new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Surround Bradford with as many playmakers as possible, and give McDaniels the opportunity to be creative and set up mismatches.

    The Rams have a precious commodity in Bradford, and the No. 1 priority should be to enhance the talent around him to put him in position to maximize his potential. The Rams shouldn't be looking at incremental improvement for Bradford. They should be looking at every opportunity to expedite Bradford's development so he can achieve greatness as quickly as possible.

    Moreover, the NFC West is in a transitional phase. The Rams have a rare opportunity to win ahead of schedule. Three of the four NFC West teams will go into camp without a clear-cut established quarterback. That could change if Philadelphia deals backup Kevin Kolb to Arizona or Seattle, but otherwise the Seahawks and Cardinals are searching. In San Francisco, the ***** seem strongly inclined to give another chance to Alex Smith, with second-round draft pick Colin Kaepernick waiting to take over.

    The Rams have a luxury in Bradford. He is the quarterback, the franchise player, the team leader for the next decade.

    That puts St. Louis ahead of the curve in the NFC West, so the Rams should strike quickly in making the most of the Bradford years. Don't stagger his growth by being complacent, by waiting for next year. Think big.

    No, the Rams shouldn't ignore the defense. We know that. But the Rams' defense is more advanced at this stage than the offense. Head coach Steve Spagnuolo's brilliance in concocting a pass-rush gave the Rams a jump in 2010.

    I don't think people realize just how well the Rams' defense played in 2010. And I don't think people realize how poorly the Rams offense performed, even with Bradford putting together one of the best rookie seasons by a quarterback in NFL history.

    So please allow me to refresh your memory:

    Rams defense Seventh among the league's 32 teams in sacks, second in percentage of third-down stops, tied for fifth in fewest touchdowns allowed from scrimmage. Only Pittsburgh, Green Bay, New Orleans and Baltimore gave up fewer TDs than the 2010 Rams defense. The Rams were 14th in takeaways, gave up only seven rushing touchdowns, and limited opposing QBs to a passer rating of 80.4, which was the ninth-best performance by a pass defense. The Rams ranked 12th in points allowed, 20.5 per game.

    Rams offense Twenty-sixth in yards, 27th in touchdowns from scrimmage, 26th in third-down conversions, 31st in red-zone touchdown scoring percentage, and dead last in the NFL in yards per play. The Rams were 30th in average yards per passing attempt, 29th in average yards per rush, and 26th in points per game (18.1).

    There wasn't a quarterback in the league who did more with less than Bradford. The 2010 Rams did not have a single wideout that could get open deep on a reliable basis to stretch a defense. The underneath zones were packed with defenders, with safeties lurking to jump routes, clamp down on a double-team, or gang up on running back Steven Jackson.

    How in the world did Bradford manage to throw for 3,514 yards and 18 touchdowns?

    The danger for the Rams is to continue to overrate what they have, in house, by pretending that their current receivers are better than they are. Example: with all of the talk about re-signing free-agent Mark Clayton, it may be helpful to point out that he ended up with a reception on only 54 percent of the passes targeted to him in 2010. (Not good.)

    Clayton is a fine receiver, but he is also coming off a serious knee injury. Do the Rams really want to tie up cap dollars in Clayton when they could use the money on a more ambitious mission to pursue an elite receiver?

    Perhaps Donnie Avery, who tweeted that he has been running the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds this offseason, can bounce back after missing all of 2010 with a knee injury. Could he be the deep threat? Maybe. But can you really count on Avery? And after all of his knee surgeries, how can you bank on the talented but fragile Danario Alexander?

    I realize the Rams invested their No. 3 and No. 4 draft picks in wideouts Austin Pettis and Greg Salas. They have potential, but can rookies be expected to have an instant impact?

    The Rams used their second-round pick on a fleet tight end, Lance Kendricks. He joins another mobile young tight end, Michael Hoomanawanui, in giving McDaniels a chance to go with a innovative two-TE package that we saw in New England last season. (Patriots rookie tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski combined for 87 catches, 1,109 yards and 16 TDs.) But are the Rams' two youngsters as gifted as the duo in New England?

    The Rams should target a top wide receiver in free agency. The Rams have a lot of wideouts under contract, but let's be honest: they're all No. 3 and No. 4 types. The Rams need a No. 1-caliber wideout to be the glue to this unit and give Bradford a fair chance to make plays downfield.

    And if the Rams are more effective in the passing game, it will provide oxygen for Jackson. At 28, SJ isn't getting any younger or quicker. It's way past time to bring in another viable RB to complement him. Heck, we could make the case for two backs: a power runner, and faster, change-of-pace back.

    I hope the Rams aggressively address their bland offense by stalking playmakers when the free-agent market swings open.

    If you need more convincing, all you have to do is go back to the final game of the 2010 regular season, when the Rams could have won the NFC West with a victory in Seattle. The Seahawks won by 10. The Rams scored six points and were held to 184 yards. The receivers couldn't get open. Jackson was often smothered. Bradford had nowhere to go with the football. It was an abysmal, futile performance.

    Do not forget that game.

    Get Sam some help.

    Ok clan, fire away !!


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    Re: Bernie: Rams should target a receiver ..

    I tend to agree with Bernie. It would make massive sense if we could land a premier wideout. At the same time, I still honestly think there will be a nice improvement from the Rams offense, with the receivers already on the roster. We should be better at receiver, come on.? The Rams offense struggled just as much with Clayton in the line up as the scrubs, so he does have a point. But I truly believe the difference will be Sam Bradford going into his second year with his reins coming off a bit. The offense last year was baby steps, this season we should see the growth hopefully.?
    Im still of the opinion that the offense struggled in a very big part because of the run poor blocking.!
    GO RAMS
    Last edited by GROUND DOG 39; -07-24-2011 at 04:52 PM.

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    Re: Bernie: Rams should target a receiver ..

    Hes right but hes wrong. I'd love to get Sidney Rice for the right price. I dont want to go out into FA spend it all on a #1 WR and leave a bunch of big holes at other places (OG,OLB,DT). I'd love having a #1 WR that could grow with Bradford and give him a true consistent receiver he can target.

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    Re: Bernie: Rams should target a receiver ..

    This is a QB league league. You need either an elite WR or TE to win. Don't give me the Patriots example, there's is very unique and not fair to gauge other teams with. The Rams need a top WR to take this team to another level, or another RB as the Pats had neither a top WR or top RB but had enough pieces at the skill position to make it happen. Jackson needs help, he's getting up there in RB years. Sproles and a very decent WR would be good enough for me.

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    Re: Bernie: Rams should target a receiver ..

    The Rams will target a receiver, by resigning Mark Clayton. That's about all I expect them to do on that front, even though I agree that they would benefit tremendously from a bona fide #1 receiver.

    I suspect they'll bring back their current personnel, see who survives the camp battle, and see if anyone emerges in McDaniels' offense this season. If someone breaks out and becomes a consistent threat in the passing game, problem solved. If it continues to be an issue, maybe they address it later.

    But given how long it's taking for the Rams to address their obvious need for depth in the backfield, maybe they won't.

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    Re: Bernie: Rams should target a receiver ..

    Do we help Sam more by getting a shifty, speedy 3rd down back who can block (pick up blitzers) with good hands, along with an OG, or would we help more by signing a #1 receiver? My personal opinion is that we need to spread the ball around as much as possible for success on offense. When the Rams spent their 2nd , 3rd, and 4th rd picks on receivers, all of whom are professed to have great hands, the die was cast IMO.

    My guess and hope is we will sign a guy like Barry Cofield first, and then one of the following: RB/S/LB/OG. I'd love to see Sproles in horns, but it's not likely given his age and price. Fun to speculate, but we'll just have to wait and see. I think everyone agrees Sam could use some help. Cofield might not be good at catching passes, but his acquisition could result in Sam having more time on the field ..

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    Re: Bernie: Rams should target a receiver ..

    I would love to land Sidney Rice, but I don't think it happening. I think we will go with the young kids and resign clayton. I'll wait for Mario Manningham next year and if (when) Kevin Kolb sucks possibly Larry Fitgerald? I'm getting way ahead myself lets get some football first.

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    Re: Bernie: Rams should target a receiver ..

    If the Rams were to sign a guy like Sidney Rice of Vincent Jackson, I would certainly be psyched to see how that would impact Sam. But here's my problem with the article... how do you not even mention Pettis and Salas. Because they're not "No. 1 WRs"? Maybe not, but they are still worth a mention.

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    Re: Bernie: Rams should target a receiver ..

    I would hope they will take a look at some FA receivers. Sam need help bad not sure he has much. I know he has not played in a while but I like Plax, probably can get him for a reasonable price.
    :ramlogo:

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    Re: Bernie: Rams should target a receiver ..

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    If the Rams were to sign a guy like Sidney Rice of Vincent Jackson, I would certainly be psyched to see how that would impact Sam. But here's my problem with the article... how do you not even mention Pettis and Salas. Because they're not "No. 1 WRs"? Maybe not, but they are still worth a mention.
    He did, albeit fleetingly...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Miklasz
    I realize the Rams invested their No. 3 and No. 4 draft picks in wideouts Austin Pettis and Greg Salas. They have potential, but can rookies be expected to have an instant impact?

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    Re: Bernie: Rams should target a receiver ..

    My bad. Still, I think Pettis and Salas are more significant than Bernie seems to think.

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    Re: Bernie: Rams should target a receiver ..

    I think we're better off with Avery, Clayton, Amendola, Alexander, Pettis, Salas, Kendricks, and Hoomanawanui. These guys may not be #1 receivers idealistically but they have very diverse skill sets that are capable of creating mismatches towards opposing defenses. Once McD can maximize these players' potential, our offense will be just as dangerous as an offense with #1 receivers and besides, I'd prefer using our cap money for other positions needed as starter material.

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    Re: Bernie: Rams should target a receiver ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    The Rams will target a receiver, by resigning Mark Clayton. That's about all I expect them to do on that front, even though I agree that they would benefit tremendously from a bona fide #1 receiver.

    I suspect they'll bring back their current personnel, see who survives the camp battle, and see if anyone emerges in McDaniels' offense this season. If someone breaks out and becomes a consistent threat in the passing game, problem solved. If it continues to be an issue, maybe they address it later.

    But given how long it's taking for the Rams to address their obvious need for depth in the backfield, maybe they won't.
    I tend to agree. I just don't see them going out and dropping a lot of cash on the guys who are out there now. Because Vincent Jackson would require working a deal with the Chargers and is a little older, it's probably Rice or bust...by which I really mean Rice or re-signing Clayton.

    Rice, at only 24 years of age, probably has his best football ahead of him and would be a top target for years to come. I'd love to see the Rams add him, but we haven't pulled that kind of a coup in free agency in a long time. It is more likely we'll see the team fill in the gaps with second and third tier FAs.

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    Re: Bernie: Rams should target a receiver ..

    I agree with Nick, the chemistry Sam has with Mark Clayton is as good as a commodity as one of the elite receivers considering their price and the young talent we have invested

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    Re: Bernie: Rams should target a receiver ..

    One reason I could see the Rams pulling the trigger is that you never see see a number 1 receiver at 24 years old up for grabs. He is only a year older than Bradford so the 2 of them could be a dynamic duo for a long time. IMO Rice in this offense could put Randy Moss Patriot numbers. He is the ideal FA, but that would give the Rams 7 wrs under contract, but with expanded rosters would could afford to keep 1 more WR than we usually would if that Wr can play special teams.

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