JavaScript must be enabled to use this chat software. Friday Afternoon--Wagoner

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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Friday Afternoon--Wagoner

    Friday, March 31, 2006

    - This time of year can be a frustrating time as it is largely a transitional period. Teams are shifting their focus away from free agency, though there is still some attention to be paid in that regard to the second wave of free agents, and toward the NFL Draft. With April only a day away, we are less than a month away from what could be one of the most interesting drafts in some time. There have already been some shakeups in the order by way of trades and there could be plenty more action between now and the big day.

    - As the second wave of free agency moves on, the Rams still have a couple of needs they would like to address. There is still a standing offer for Minnesota linebacker Raonall Smith. Smith has drawn interest from a nunber of teams and is weighing his options. A little background on Smith, for those who aren't familiar (though admittedly, I know of him and remember seeing him play a little, but not much more). He's 6'2, 241 and has been in the league for four seasons. Most of that time was spent as a backup and special teams contributor. With his size, he is capable of competing at strongside linebacker, but it's unknown what his role would be. He had his best season in 2005, collecting 35 tackles with a sack. Some people around the league believe he has what it takes to be a starter, but worst case scenario he can contribute on special teams. Green Bay is one other team believed to have interest.

    - Don't necessarily expect the Rams to make any more big moves in free agency. Yes, there have been rumblings about interest in defensive tackle Grady Jackson, but his price tag could be awfully high. The thing that has to be weighed now when you look at a free agent is where you value his ability and price tag in relation to what you can get in the draft at the same position. That's why this is the second wave of free agency (though there are some big names still floating around). Obviously, the need is there for another defensive tackle.

    - Speaking of defensive tackles, Jimmy Kennedy has been working diligently in the offseason again and it shows. He is making the transition to a full time job at the nose, a position he played some last year as a swing man. But it's a whole different ball game over there. I believe he is going to be a big key to how this defense performs this year. If he can stay healthy, he has a chance to have the breakout year everyone has waited for. One thing to keep an eye on in his case is how he responds to new defensive line coach Brian Baker and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. Kennedy said all the right things about the previous coaching staff, but willingly admitted that perhaps former line coach Bill Kollar's style didn't necessarily blend well with some of the talent on the team. Combine Baker's tutelage with Kennedy's work ethic (he is ALWAYS in the weight room, whether it's scheduled workouts or not) and he can take off this season.

    - Steven Jackson seems genuinely happy to be getting a chance with a new coaching staff. And who can blame him? It's hard to prepare for a game when you don't know if you're going to be involved in the offense at all. Maybe Jackson isn't ready to be the focal point of the offense, but he certainly is ready for an expanded role. And, at the very least, a consistent role. If he knows he is going to get his fair chance every week then it's much easier to go into a game knowing exactly what needs to be done. In Jackson's case, the biggest concern has to be durability. He says the nagging injuries that plagued him at the end of the year (hip, sternum, etc.) are gone. But Jackson has had a tendency to get those nagging injuries often. He plays through them more often than not, but this could be his big chance. Still, though Jackson expects to be more involved (and I think he will be, too), don't expect the Rams to turn into a power running team just yet. Not with Marc Bulger, Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, Kevin Curtis, et. al still running around.

    - Cornerback Fakhir Brown seems very confident that he will have a shot to and win a starting job. You have to like the confidence, especially in a defensive back where confidence is everything. Brown has good size and has been close to a breakout before, but was slowed by injuries. If he can stay healthy, he has as good a chance as anyone.

    - I saw guard Claude Terrell briefly Wednesday and he looks good. He has dropped some weight and seems to have added some muscle. There is still plenty of time between now and the season for him to get all the way into shape, but it's good to know that he's off to a good start. He is potentially a very important player to this offense this season and in the future.

  2. #2
    RamsFan16 Guest

    Re: Friday Afternoon--Wagoner

    Thanks for the post RamWraith.

  3. #3
    thegeorge613 Guest

    Re: Friday Afternoon--Wagoner

    Nice update, Wraith.

    BTW, any news on Kevin Curtis?

  4. #4
    Bruce=GOAT's Avatar
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    Re: Friday Afternoon--Wagoner

    Great info as always from our "Adam Schefter" aka Ramwraith.


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