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Thread: Rams Boast Stealth Threats at Skill Positions

  1. #1
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    Rams Boast Stealth Threats at Skill Positions

    By Randy Karraker

    With the departure of Steven Jackson to Atlanta and Danny Amendola to New England, Iíve been hearing what I hope is a vocal minority of Rams fans saying that the franchise has no offensive skill players heading into the 2013 draft. Perhaps my standards are too high for the savvy of those fans, because I know lots of fans that get it. But, if you donít think the Rams have a chance because their skill players are young, either you donít want to know about them or you havenít had time to pay attention.

    First of all, these days in the NFL, itís a young manís game. The 2008 Atlanta Falcons went 11-5 and won the NFC South while utilizing a rookie quarterback in Matt Ryan. Running back Michael Turner had never carried the ball more than 81 times in a season. Wide receiver Roddy White continued to break out, and Michael Jenkins served them well as a second receiver. The Packers won the Super Bowl as the youngest team in the league, as the Rams did in 1999, and a perennial contender like the Giants continuously infuses young talent like Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Ahmad Bradshaw, David Wilson and Reuben Randle. So when Amani Toomer, Plaxico Burress, Derrick Ward, Brandon Jacobs and Mario Manningham arenít around anymore, there are able, young replacements.

    The Rams will have Sam Bradford at quarterback. As has been noted here before, Bradford had a nearly identical season to the quarterback who won the Super Bowl in 2012, Joe Flacco. He also had better numbers in his third season than two-time Super Bowl champ Eli Manning.

    Isaiah Pead, Daryl Richardson and Terrance Ganaway, at the moment, will split carries. If the Rams run the ball 30 times, each back would theoretically get a shot 10 times. Pead was a very productive player in college, averaging more than 1,000 yards rushing and 28 catches in his three full seasons. This is a guy who ran a 4.39 40-yard dash at the combine and is 5-10, 197 pounds. Jeff Fisherís last running back in Tennessee, Chris Johnson, is 5-11, 191. Cincinnati was on the quarter system, so Pead missed last yearís OTAs and minicamps. This year, he has an offseason to prepare. If scouts are right, Pead should be a productive NFL back, far from not being a skill player.

    Anyone who watched Ganaway at Baylor has an idea of what the Rams have in him. The 6-1, 240-pounder ran for nearly 1,600 yards as a senior. Against the Missouri Tigers, he ran 12 times for 186 yards and touchdowns of 38 and 80 yards. He did more against Washington in the Alamo Bowl, piling up 200 yards on 21 carries. The Rams liked him in the draft, but missed out when the Jets selected him. Ganaway has a chance to be more than serviceable in the NFL Ė heís another skill position player with a chance.

    If you watched the Rams, you saw what Daryl Richardson is capable of. With a year of game action and an offseason, he has a chance to be a game-breaking NFL back.

    You saw what Lance Kendricks is capable of in the last quarter of last season, and the addition of Jared Cook provides Bradford a big, fast target. There are two more skill position players.

    At receiver, Chris Givens broke the league record for consecutive games by a rookie with catches of 50-plus yards, previously held by Willie Gault. The fourth-rounder was sixth in catches among rookie wide receivers. He was fourth in yards, second in yards per reception and tied for fourth in touchdown catches. A pragmatic observer would have to think Givens has a chance to ascend and be a pretty good player.

    We didnít see much of Brian Quick, but we werenít supposed to. He wasnít going to be Randy Moss or Torry Holt as a rookie. Les Snead, who was in Atlanta when they selected the aforementioned Roddy White, watched White, a first-round pick, catch just 29 balls in his rookie year. Now heís one of the premier wide receivers in the NFL. Thatís a comparable for Quick. The Ramsí comparison, 2012 NFL yards-per-catch leader Vincent Jackson (19.2 yards per reception), hardly did anything as a rookie. Coming out of Northern Colorado to San Diego, Jackson caught three balls for 59 yards as a rookie. Now heís one of the best. Both-second round picks, both players are big receivers with great speed that, as it turns out, didnít produce much in their first years.

    Are the Rams set at the skill positions? Absolutely not. But last yearís team had just five rushing touchdowns, and even though Amendola and Brandon Gibson were the best guys on the Rams, that doesnít mean that theyíre premier guys in the league.

    The Rams must add to their depth in the draft and free agency. They only have five wide receivers and four running backs on their roster. They need more quantity and competition, and like every team would do well to upgrade. But to say they have no skill players is a silly statement. They have guys with ability, who have a chance to break out in a big way in 2013.


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    Re: Rams Boast Stealth Threats at Skill Positions

    Right now I am liking what the Rams are going and that is fixing the O-line...Cook/Long are great pick ups for the Rams and I would be surprised that the Rams don't make more moves to improve the line. Imagine Bradford, whose numbers where solid in 2012, took snaps behind a solid O-line, or Sjax gashing yards from holes the O-line made for him.

    The long history of the Lions' failures are a reminder for the Rams...yes you can draft one skill player each year after year, but without a solid interior those drafted players look good only on paper. Of late the Lions seemed to have learned that lesson to a point--but Safford was still a walking tackling dumbie in 2012. They have the nearly all the pieces at the key positions and it would surve them well if they took a page out of the Rams strategy to shore up their line to keep Stafford on his feet--But I am hoping they double-down on stupid leaving the door open for the Rams to acquire what they need
    live4ramin likes this.

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    Re: Rams Boast Stealth Threats at Skill Positions

    I predict deep play off action for this team within 2 years.

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    Re: Rams Boast Stealth Threats at Skill Positions

    I respect the opinions of those who like who we have and I trust Jeff Fisher knows a helluva lot more than I do about these players. But I am entrenched firmly in the camp of those who feel these guys must show me tangible results on the field before I have overwhelmingly positive feelings about our offense. I am not worried about Bradford. I think Lance Kendricks showed enough improvement last season to warrant belief he could be an above average tight end in this league. Chris Givens had a pretty good rookie season. Beyond that, there are major question marks- at least as far as I am concerned. Brian Quick did nothing last season. Show me 600-700 yards and 5-6 TD's before I become a believer. Pead didn't do anything to show me he's going to be a prominent figure at the RB position. Richardson had some nice moments but didn't have the same impact as the season wore on. And why would the Jets let Ganaway leave if he had THAT much upside? Maybe they completely misjudged him, but it's a fair question. The promise of "potential" isn't enough. Hopefully, these guys will be better with a year under their belts- and in a division that has rapidly gotten better they better be.
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    Re: Rams Boast Stealth Threats at Skill Positions

    NJ Ramfan...there is hope. Granted th Rams gave up games they should have won. But look at th games the Rams did win. Discounting AZ, the Rams delt with affectively San Fran and Seattle which most other NFL teams didn't. Thats where my hope stems from. Also the Rams at this point are not running around with their heads cut off trying to fix it all but are focused on one item at a time. Thing is, we will not know how well the Rams efforts have been till its the last regular season game of 2013

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    Re: Rams Boast Stealth Threats at Skill Positions

    Great post! I honestly don't think the Rams will make the playoffs this year, but with four 1st rounders coming up and all our stars entering their primes I'm expecting huge things in 2014 and beyond

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    Re: Rams Boast Stealth Threats at Skill Positions

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    I respect the opinions of those who like who we have and I trust Jeff Fisher knows a helluva lot more than I do about these players. But I am entrenched firmly in the camp of those who feel these guys must show me tangible results on the field before I have overwhelmingly positive feelings about our offense. I am not worried about Bradford. I think Lance Kendricks showed enough improvement last season to warrant belief he could be an above average tight end in this league. Chris Givens had a pretty good rookie season. Beyond that, there are major question marks- at least as far as I am concerned. Brian Quick did nothing last season. Show me 600-700 yards and 5-6 TD's before I become a believer. Pead didn't do anything to show me he's going to be a prominent figure at the RB position. Richardson had some nice moments but didn't have the same impact as the season wore on. And why would the Jets let Ganaway leave if he had THAT much upside? Maybe they completely misjudged him, but it's a fair question. The promise of "potential" isn't enough. Hopefully, these guys will be better with a year under their belts- and in a division that has rapidly gotten better they better be.
    So would you say you're cautiously optimistic at this point?

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    Re: Rams Boast Stealth Threats at Skill Positions

    Without reading the article the first thing that popped in my head was the movie Scott Pilgrim:

    Scott: Why can't we have our own secret shows?

    Kim: All our shows are secret shows.

    Otherwise, good article. People who say we have no WRs left are basically saying that of course Quick will have made 0 progress and produce at the exact same level. Absolutely no improvement from the Rams second year players at all. Which is silly to assume.
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    Re: Rams Boast Stealth Threats at Skill Positions

    The Rams offense is going to be unknown for the most part until the season is underway. We just don't know what this new group will do. That said we did know what the last group did for five years or so.

    Steven Jackson was one of the best at moving the chains, but he was one of the worst at scoring TD's. In his career he averaged 5.6 rushing TDs a year.

    Danny Amendola again he is similar to SJ, he was great at moving the chains, but not productive at scoring. In his career he averaged 1.75 TDs a year.

    The NFL is all about scoring and IMO this is one of the reasons OUR team has lost so many games during that five years, worst in the history of the NFL.

    No I'm not blaming our failures all on SJ and DA just trying to make this point. Why wound anybody be worried that we may take a step backwards. The production from our key players was just not good enough.

    Last year SJ had four rushing TD. Does anyone fear that a backfield of Pead, D Rich and Ganaway, cannot match four TD's in 2013? Does that seem impossible to achieve?

    Danny Amendola had a career high with three TD's last year and one of those came on a fake FG. He stood near the sideline and slipped into the endzone for a uncontested TD. So he had two TD's that came on normal game play and the guy who was so disappointing to all of us had two TD's and that was Quick.

    Austin Pettis who did not start was able to score four TD's but he did it with only 47 targets. Amendola had three TD's but was targeted 101 times.

    I'm more then ready to move on and give the younger guys more reps. I don't see any downside going into this year with the young guys.

    If we continue to do the same thing over and over again the results are going to be the same.
    Last edited by Rambos; -04-08-2013 at 05:28 PM.

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    Re: Rams Boast Stealth Threats at Skill Positions

    We need more ______________.

    a) Blocking

    b) Cowbell

    c) Beast Light

    d) All of the above
    Prepare to be amazed.

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    Re: Rams Boast Stealth Threats at Skill Positions

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    So would you say you're cautiously optimistic at this point?
    I'd say that's a very fair assessment. It will be interesting to see these guys featured in more prominent roles than in the past.

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