Rams-Bears: Things To Watch
QUARTERBACK: Marc Bulger experienced some arm soreness - aka "camp arm" - last week. But after resting his arm for a day, Bulger says it now feels great. He has been very sharp thus far in camp, but figures to play only a couple of series tonight. Look for rookie Jeff Smoker to get a lot of work.
RUNNING BACK: With Marshall Faulk sitting this one out, and Lamar Gordon recovering from ankle surgery, Arlen Harris, first-round draft pick Steven Jackson and undrafted rookie Dusty McGrorty will handle the rushing chores.
WIDE RECEIVER/TIGHT END: Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce figure to have cameo appearances only. Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald, both 2003 draft picks, must continue their good work so far in camp to make a dent on the depth chart.
OFFENSIVE LINE: Dave Wohlabaugh's hip injury has forced Andy McCollum back to center, so the left guard spot could be Andy King's to lose. Good showings by Grant Williams, Scott Tercero and Greg Randall would help ease concern about the tackle position.
DEFENSIVE LINE: DT Damione Lewis is off to a good start. Can he transfer that into game conditions? DT Ryan Pickett is healthy but heavy and still is getting into shape. Rookie Anthony Hargrove has been slowed lately by ankle and knee injuries but has been impressive to date.
LINEBACKER: There is spirited competition for three or four backup spots behind starters Tommy Polley, Robert Thomas and Pisa Tinoisamoa. At the moment, Trev Faulk, Jeremy Loyd, Tony Newsom, Justin Smith and rookie Brandon Chillar are closely bunched.
SECONDARY: DeJuan Groce probably will start tonight in place of Travis Fisher (ankle) at right corner. Groce and Kevin Garrett are off to good starts in camp. Rich Coady, Justin Lucas and rookie Jason Shivers are jockeying for depth-chart position at safety.
SPECIAL TEAMS: It appears that Harris and Jackson will get the first cracks at returning kickoffs, with McDonald, Groce and Brian Sump all possibilities on punt returns.
Re: Rams-Bears: Things To Watch
With the exception of the O & D lines, I am very excited about our reserve depth across the board. Smoker, Jackson, Curtis, Chillar, Shivers, Garrett, Hargrove...our 2nd & 3rd stringers may turn heads this month.