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  1. #1
    RamsInfiniti's Avatar
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    NOOB's Perspective for 2007 - Excitment Abound!

    Hey all. My name is James and I am a NOOB here! Been reading the threads for several months and decided to finally post, knowing that I will become fully addicted. I live in Huntsville, Alabama and have been a Rams fan for 18 years. Looking forward to getting out to St. Louis a few times this year from some games. I've read all kinds of differing opinions on how we'll do in 2007. Looks like the schedule is tough, but I am extremely optimistic going into the season, even before the draft. Here is my take on things, if anyone cares:

    Quarterbacks - You really need to ask yourself ... is there any other quarterback in the league you'd take over Marc Bulger? Manning and Palmer included, I wouldn't switch him out for a thing. Marc is extremely intelligent, has good arm strength, uncanny accuracy, and finally stepped up and voiced his opinion last year, and IMO is now viewed as a team leader. Look how the team responded after him comments. Just about everyone rallied around him. He can make all the throws and proved to be durable last year when not taking so many direct hits via the Air Martz system. No reason he shouldn't get 4000 yds and 30 TD this season. Hopefully the INT rate will stay very low. Frerotte and Fitz are very capable backups and I would feel confident they could keep up afloat is Marc went down.

    Grade: A-

    Running Backs - I just watched the YouTube video that is up of Action Jack and I don't think I need to say anything about him. Take a look at it, he is the total package. You never really notice his strength and incredible burst like you should when watching the games, but watch the video as solely an interested spectator and you'll be in awe. I think this game has the tools to be one of the absolute best ever. It would be nice to have Davis back, but Minor should be able to fit the role. Fisher is an excellent third-down back if he is healthy, very capable receiver out the backfield. Harris provides additional depth. Hedgecock looks to be getting better and better, and hopefully he'll round out into a battering ram.

    Grade: A-

    Wide Receivers - Although they are both getting older, I don't think there is really a better receiving tandem in the game today. Torry and Isaac are consumate pros and they always seem to make plays. Holt should be good as new coming back from surgery and Isaac quietly had one of his better seasons in a long time in '06. Bennett finally brings that big over the middle target that we need and he should be crucial in the endzone. Looker has proved that he can step in when needed. Overall, this looks like the most complete receiving corp we've had in a long time. Expect the production to drop off slightly for each individual due to less touches to go around, but as a whole, this unit should be extremely productive. Interesting to see if Hagans of Thompson can step in as a KR/PR.

    Grade: A-

    Tight Ends - Bringing McMichael in finally gives us a consistent threat off the corner, and similar to Bennett, should provide huge dividends in the end-zone. Depending on who you talk to, he is also a very capable blocker. I doubt he'll catch more than 40 balls considering the excellent wide receivers on this team and the hopeful continued emergence of Klop. If Byrd can stay out of trouble, he looks like he might be able to contribute also. Imagine the damage we can do out of two and three tight-end sets in goalline situations and in the redzone?

    Tight Ends: B

    Offensive Line - Big O should be back, and he is still one of the absolute best OT's in the game. I feel very safe about Marc's health when he is in there. Alex Barron has the potential to be a stud and I truly hope that he can get the false start issues under control. He seems to have little problems pushing around big name DT's and DE's and rarely does he have a breakdown once the play has begun. Incognito is nasty in the middle, and along with Romberg, Setterstrom, and Goldberg, we have incredible young talent all around. McCollum and Stuessie provide excellent veteran depth. As a whole, this line has the potential to be an excellent one for a very long time if the long talent continues to develop.

    Offensive Line: B+

    Defensive Line - Can you believe that Leonard Little still doesn't get any respect? Maybe it is because of some of the trouble he got into early in his career but this guy is a top 2 DE in the league. 13.0 sacks last year and it seems like he forces a fumble almost every game. James Hall comes in and provides an excellent motor on the other side. He has a difficult time staying healthy, but he could prove to be a very solid addition on the other side. Adeyanju showed some good flashed last year, and looks to be a viable option against the run. Brandon Green could provide some relief help, and he has an excellent motor. Glover is aging, but he quietly got a few sacks last year and can still cause some disruption inside. I refuse to give up on Kennedy, as I believe he has so much potential. I just do not understand he a guy can show so much passion and potential one game, and dissapear for the next two. The jury is still out on him, lets give him one more year. Wroten and Sandidge provide depth. The addition of Wistrom, who wants to return, could provide even more depth. I think the ultimate outcome of this unit depends on the draft. The addition of Okoye, Branch, or someone similar could prove to be crucial for turning this line from average to good. We truly lack that huge interior present. Only time will tell ...

    Grade: C+ before draft

    Linebackers - Great depth here. Witherspoon, albeit undersized, proved to be an excellent tracker in the center of the field. He tackles well and is excellent against the run. He moves well laterally but is not strong enough to free himself when he gets pinned by larger linemen. A larger interior line presence should correct this. Pisa has an unbelievable motor and can wreck havoc if he is healthy, Chillar is young and strong and should continue to develop. Many seem down on him but he has only been in the league for a few years. Newly acquired Chris Draft provides depth at all spots, and could prove to be crucial should any of the three go down. Like Witherspoon, Draft is undersized, but he moves well and can get into gaps quickly. Alston could also contribute here in spot situations or at safety.

    Grade: B+

    Secondary - This unit is very questionable to me. The excellent numbers against the pass last year were somewhat deceiving based on our poor run defense. However, looking at opponent's QB ratings, where we were in the top third in the league, which is a much better indication of how the secondary performed than yards allowed. Hill should continue to get better and better and he has all the skills to be a pro-bowler. He looked more and more comfortable as the year went on. Fakhir Brown is very servicable on the other side. His fundamentals seem to breakdown occasionally, but he gets to the ball quickly and is a huge improvement over Fisher. Hopefully, Butler can get back in the rotation and play at the level he has in the past. A few years ago, he had 4 INT and 17 passes defensed IIRC. I was very impressed with OJ last year. He had a few breakdowns in coverage, and blew a few tackles, but he is a heavy hitter and made some huge plays down the stretch. With an improved D-Line and better play from our corners, we may be able to let him roam a little more freely and cause more damage without worrying about getting burned on coverage. Chavous is an excellent locker-room presence and veteran leader and should secure the other spot. Johnson provides great relief and depth. Bartell is the wild-card as he can play just about every secondary position. He grew up towards the end of last year and am I excited about the prospect of him stepping in and making plays.

    Secondary: B-

    Kicking: Wilkins is still money! no worries here. I wouldn't trade him for any kicker in the league. B.J. Sanders was a bust and I don't like this acquisition. We need to pay Turk, and relieve ourselves of this worry. We've

    Grade: A with Turk, B- with Sanders

    Special Teams: Not good last year, but not nearly as atrocious as years past. We added some hard-hitting special teams guys in Draft and Johnson and hopefully we can bring back Isaiah. We still need a kick returner and punt returner.

    Grade: C

    2007 prediction - We've got a pretty rough schedule, but I don't see any reason why this team shouldn't finish 10-6 or better. We have incredible offensive firepower and the potential is there for a 500 point season. I am optimistic about a defense that improved at the end of '06 and think the unit should become very steady as '07 progresses. I think this team is one year and one or two players away from super bowl contention and I for one am very excited about this season.

    Well, there is my ramble! Hope you enjoyed it!


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: NOOB's Perspective for 2007 - Excitment Abound!

    Loved your ramble, keep em coming.

  3. #3
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    Re: NOOB's Perspective for 2007 - Excitment Abound!

    So how do you rate the rest of it? How do you rate the coaching; besides the change at offensive play calling we still have the same ol, same ol on special teams. How about the orginization; how do you rate them? Will Hasslet get his linemen or will they tie his arms behind his back? How do you rate the fans; the crowd in the stands (ours not Chicago's)? Are they waiting patiently or are they silenced by fear of just more of the nineties? Are we one injury away from being losers or one trade away from the Superbowl?
    Prepare to be amazed.

  4. #4
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    Re: NOOB's Perspective for 2007 - Excitment Abound!

    Nice post, welcome.

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    JRoc's Avatar
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    Re: NOOB's Perspective for 2007 - Excitment Abound!

    Very good read. I'd rate our secondary above our LBs, based mostly on the fact that they're a bit undersized and liable to be pushed around a bit. I think you're a bit kind to our D Line. I hope you're optimism regarding Kennedy proves to be well founded but I can't see him turning it around. Though you are correct that Little is our main threat on D.

    A great synopsis. Welcome to the Clan.

  6. #6
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: NOOB's Perspective for 2007 - Excitment Abound!

    Very good job for a NOOB! Welcome to the Clan, Infiniti!


    I enjoyed reading your thorough view of our 2007 Rams. It may be a tad optimistic in nature but I tend to be the same way so, no worries. I appreciate your enthusiasm and expectations for the team this year.

    The only downgrade I'd make for now on your study is the OL. I'd mark it down from B+ to C+ only because I believe it needs to prove itself more this season; hopefully with a healthy Pace and a more experienced workforce there it will do just that.

    :r Again, well done and Welcome! Glad you joined in on the action.

  7. #7
    viper's Avatar
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    Re: NOOB's Perspective for 2007 - Excitment Abound!

    Well done! As mentioned before, perhaps a little optimistic, but hey, you're a homer. Nothing wrong with that...me too!

    Welcome to the ClanRam. Now, what is your take in rounds one through three?

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