Rams 2007 Defense Part 2 of 2
Part one of this two part mini-series included analysis of the Rams defensive line and linebackers. In the final part of this series here on RAMblin Fan, I will cover the secondary which includes the cornerbacks and the safeties. Enjoy.
*Cornerbacks- We start off with the guys that usually cover the receivers, the cornerbacks. The average Ram fan definitely would have had some satisfaction with the starters at the end of the season if it remained that way throughout the offseason and into the preseason. With one preseason game left to play, however, starting right corner Fakhir Brown is appealing a drug suspension worth four games. This is somewhat of a big blow to this secondary as Brown had 63 solo tackles last season and two forced fumbles. The guy slated to back him up is Ron Bartell, normally a free safety that backs up Oshiomogho Atogwe. Bartell takes over the right corner position at 6″ 1′, and a slim 205 pounds which would suggest he has the speed to play the cornerback position to his advantage.
At the left corner spot, the team has inserted 2006 number one draft pick Tye Hill who had 47 solo jobs in his rookie season. Hill is still very young, and St. Louis needs to keep a watchful eye on him for this season to monitor his progress and see exactly what type of transition he can make from his rookie season to his second season. He looks to have an underlying talent as the 10th overall draft pick in 2006 and hopefully the Rams will gage his success well. Jonathon Wade backs up Hill. Wade was a third round draft pick in this yearís draft class who shows glimpses of speed. According to Scout.com however, he could use some improvement in tackling ability which is an essential priority of playing the cornerback position.
*Safeties- The safeties on this team seem to be a reliability at the least. O.J. Atogwe is only in his third year out of Stanford. The free safety totaled 66 solo tackles last season and at 26 is said to use a lot of wasted motion when the ball is in the air. The Rams will need to take their time with this guy as he is still very young and still needs some time to get used to things as an NFL player.
Now, on the other side of the field, strong safety Corey Chavous seems to be at the prime of his career. The 31-year-old Vanderbilt graduate had 77 solo tackles last season and seems to be showing the Rams just how good he can be. However, the only problem for Chavous seems to be a lack of premier speed. When playing the safety position, I beleive that speed is an overrated atribute. Unless the ball is being thrown deep down field, all you have to be able to do is get a good read on it and be able to tell where itís going to go. According a 2006 scouting report, Chavous takes good angles to the ball in pursuit.
In the next couple of days, expect an offensive preview in the same format. Also, there will be a game preview for the Rams preseason finale against the Cheifs. Take care. Check out RAMblinfan.com for all the latest Rams news.