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  1. #1
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    Can Danario be a game-changer for Rams?

    Can Danario be a game-changer for Rams?
    BY ROGER HENSLEY | Posted: Monday, October 18, 2010 12:55 pm

    QUESTION: I would have felt silly asking this question at this time last week, but after watching Danario Alexander’s performance Sunday, here goes: Assuming he stays healthy, can Alexander become the big-play receiving threat that the Rams have lacked this season?

    JIM THOMAS
    Not ready to say that yet. There’s no doubt Danario Alexander has NFL talent. His size brings a dimension the Rams haven’t had for a long time in their receiver corps – really, that they haven’t had during their tenure in St. Louis. But after four knee surgeries, every game Alexander gets in the NFL is a blessing. Teams will start game-planning against him; he probably wasn’t even on the Chargers radar screen entering Sunday’s game. We’ll see what the future brings.

    BILL COATS
    I think that’s possible. Alexander insists that he feels better than he has in a long time – even better than he did last year at Mizzou, when he had such a productive season. He’s a big target with good speed and good hands. That’s a luxury Sam Bradford really hadn’t had before Sunday.

    BRYAN BURWELL
    What we saw on Sunday was a glimpse of Alexander’s big-play potential. But I also will provide a few cautionary warnings. He ate up Chargers’ cornerback Antoine Cason all day in man coverage and did it all on patterns that required no sharp in or out cuts. After watching him last season at Missouri, where early in the season he was limited in what sort of routes he could run, as Alexander got stronger and stronger, his full complement of pass-catching gifts began to show through (see: K-State game). I can certainly expect DX to eventually run a more varied selection of pass routes.

    But what happens now as opposing defenses begin to adjust and scheme to take away those deep routes? How will Alexander adjust? How will the play calling scheme to get him open?

    This was a very exciting debut and it shows now that he is finally healthy and comfortable with the playbook what sort of weapon he can be.

    VAHE GREGORIAN
    The key term is “assuming he stays healthy.” What he did last year at Mizzou was uncanny and would have gotten him a lot of Heisman Trophy support if he had been at a more visible school. There is no doubt in my mind that he has the skills to be a terrific NFL player. If the Rams see it that way, seems to me that they may want to keep him off special teams and not take any extra chances on him getting hurt again.

    JEFF GORDON
    Alexander will make some plays, like Mark Clayton did, as long as he stays healthy. But don’t expect a massive offensive change on Danario’s watch. This is a still a run-based offense that relies heavily on the tight ends. The return of Billy Bajema and Michael Hoomanawanui meant as much to this offense as Alexander’s ability to replace Clayton. Ideally, the Rams will spread the ball around in their ball-control passing game as well as they did Sunday, when nine guys caught passes. Alexander’s size will give the Rams a nice element on short-yardage and red-zone passing plays. But will he stretch defenses and allow the Rams to throw bomb after bomb after bomb? That is not likely in this scheme.

    KEVIN WHEELER (Host of “Sports Open Line” on KMOX)
    If healthy, yes. Alexander has the size, hands and athleticism to be the guy who can stretch the field and keep opposing defenses honest. One of my only complaints about the offense this season has been about their lack of a deep attack and he gives them a way to change that.

    Given that we only have one game to go on there is still plenty of uncertainty surrounding Alexander. What is going to happen now that teams have seen him and can game-plan a little more for him? How many plays can he handle per game at this point? We’ll see about both of those in time, but for now the Rams seem a lot more dangerous on offense with DX out there.


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    Re: Can Danario be a game-changer for Rams?

    I think until he can play a full (maybe this one) season without any knee problems, we're going to keep seeing that "if he's healthy". I'd like one of these writers to do a little digging and see if that knee is more likely to blow out now, or if he's similar Bradford in that his shoulder is not suppose to be any more prone to injury than anyone else's..

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    Re: Can Danario be a game-changer for Rams?

    Is he THAT injury prone? Is he THAT fragile? I like what I saw on Sunday, i hope they give him more opportunities this Sunday

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    Re: Can Danario be a game-changer for Rams?

    even with danario.. do you guys think we wll pick up a big receiver in this years draft ?! I would love to see Danario with another big receiver on the other side... Avery/Clayton/Alexander..maybe Julio Jones?! i just see avery being a injury factor so we must trade him... Plus Danny amendola and gilyard ! i love being a rams fan

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    Re: Can Danario be a game-changer for Rams?

    Quote Originally Posted by xkidflowx View Post
    even with danario.. do you guys think we wll pick up a big receiver in this years draft ?! I would love to see Danario with another big receiver on the other side... Avery/Clayton/Alexander..maybe Julio Jones?! i just see avery being a injury factor so we must trade him... Plus Danny amendola and gilyard ! i love being a rams fan
    I'd love to pick up one of those receivers or Floyd and have him compete with Danario for the #1 receiver spot.

    As for Avery, why trade him? We aren't going to get much, if anything, for him. Why not resign Clayton and have those two compete for the #2 spot. With how injury prone Avery, Clayton and Alexander are it can only help to have a ton of depth.

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    Re: Can Danario be a game-changer for Rams?

    Quote Originally Posted by mcpeepants232003 View Post
    I'd love to pick up one of those receivers or Floyd and have him compete with Danario for the #1 receiver spot.

    As for Avery, why trade him? We aren't going to get much, if anything, for him. Why not resign Clayton and have those two compete for the #2 spot. With how injury prone Avery, Clayton and Alexander are it can only help to have a ton of depth.
    yes i understand but... we minus well get a 5th round for him.. Clayton as number 2 recevier, #1 is Alexander... and get a#1 recevier from the draft.. slot recevier is Danny Amendola and Gilyard... if anything release Robinson and Gibson..

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    Re: Can Danario be a game-changer for Rams?

    I would assume DA is fragile until he proves otherwise, to assume anything else is inviting yet another Rams wide out on the IR. When I heard he was playing on special teams, I said to myself "Are they nuts?".

    I think he has great potential, but his playing time should be limited and well directed, and he should not be on special teams. I know its the NFL and all, but we already have a long list of injuries to our wide outs. Is a little caution too much to ask?

    And I would agree with many of the sentiments about trading Avery. I thought he should be traded before his latest injury. I never liked his production or the fact he is so fragile. Avery might turn out to be a decent WR someday, but I can't see the Rams waiting forever for him to begin to consistently produce.
    Last edited by swatter555; -10-19-2010 at 03:28 AM.

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    Re: Can Danario be a game-changer for Rams?

    Swatter i agree with the majority of your post. Mainly the fact that DX should be somewhat protected and should not be on special teams for the reasons you specified. However as others have mentioned, trading Avery will not net us anywhere near what his potential value is, so i say we keep him. Rams could easily build a great offense quickly with the picks they have made recently. Seeing Bradford and DX celebrating in the end zone really emphasizes how quickly the draft and subsequent pick-ups can turn a team around. GO RAMS!

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    Re: Can Danario be a game-changer for Rams?

    I'm still concerned about how well he will hold up to a full season.

    I read on a post game report that Alexander suffered soreness in his knees, and it makes you wonder if he'll ever truly regain a healthy knee. The soreness may be due to just being rusty after not playing for a while, we'll see.

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    Re: Can Danario be a game-changer for Rams?

    I don't know the TYPE of injuries he's had on his knees. Sometimes those injuries aren't structural long term injuries. As an example it's routine for people to call out RBs who have blown out knees and say that he is a ticking time bomb waiting to blow it out again. Reality is that once you've had the surgery, it's less likely you'll blow it out again (Frank Gore had both blown out).

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    Re: Can Danario be a game-changer for Rams?

    Firstly, Danario is great I have been saying that before the draft.

    Secondly, we don't need to draft a WR per-say, we need athletic people on both sides of the ball. We could use a second RB/WR -- a McCluster type. If there is a highly ATHLETIC WR then take him. If there is a highly atheltic Safety, CB, DE, DT take him...

    We need guys that are very fast and strong....Our overall team lacks this.

    This off-season will have a ton a free-agent possibilities as well as an important draft. This is the first time the Front Office will have to make decisions are who to keep and who to add.

    Hopefully, we can continue the winning....cheers

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    Re: Can Danario be a game-changer for Rams?

    I did some research and can't find the initial injury to the knee. The second surgery was for a torn ligament. The third surgery was because the cadaver ligament tore. The fourth surgery was just a clean out of the knee. If he gets healthy, I'm not sure it is a knee problem that we can count on happening again. Those fixes usually work well. The key is getting him to 100%. He'll likely always have swelling but that's something they can work through with weekly treatments.

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    Re: Can Danario be a game-changer for Rams?

    Fact is this, a healthy Alexander provides an awesome outside deep threat. Whether he can run the entire route tree is not an issue at this point. If other teams have to gameplan for his deep route running abilities, that means both a CB and safety will be tied up on one receiver. This will create a field day, particularly for TE's going out over the middle of the field. It is exactly what the chargers have with either V.J. or Malcolm Floyd outside. It allows Gates to leak free over the middle with a matchup on a linebacker one-on-one ....

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    Re: Can Danario be a game-changer for Rams?

    Quote Originally Posted by richtree View Post
    Firstly, Danario is great I have been saying that before the draft.

    Secondly, we don't need to draft a WR per-say, we need athletic people on both sides of the ball. We could use a second RB/WR -- a McCluster type. If there is a highly ATHLETIC WR then take him. If there is a highly atheltic Safety, CB, DE, DT take him...

    We need guys that are very fast and strong....Our overall team lacks this.
    Because the Al Davis strategy has always worked so well.


    Injuries or no, I wouldn't go so far as to call Danario a game changer after just one game. He had a good debut. He made some plays, but it wasn't what I would call a dominating performance. Let him string together two or three strong performances, and then maybe we can start talking about whether he's the real deal.

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    Re: Can Danario be a game-changer for Rams?

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell View Post
    I don't know the TYPE of injuries he's had on his knees. Sometimes those injuries aren't structural long term injuries. As an example it's routine for people to call out RBs who have blown out knees and say that he is a ticking time bomb waiting to blow it out again. Reality is that once you've had the surgery, it's less likely you'll blow it out again (Frank Gore had both blown out).
    He's had multiple ACL surgeries IIRC. Considering the frequency with which he was injured in college, my jury's out on whether he can stay healthy long term until proven otherwise.

    That said, I agree with keeping him far away from special teams until the "can he stay healthy" question is answered.

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