Rams-Colts: Five things to watch
8 hours ago • BY JIM THOMAS

Here are five things to watch when the Rams visit the Indianapolis Colts for a preseason game at 12:30 p.m. Sunday (KTVI Channel 2; 101.1 WXOS FM):

1. Setting the tone
It might not be as extreme as the 2011 preseason contest in Kansas City, where then-offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels told the offense he wouldn't call a pass play until the Rams had gained three first downs rushing. But look for the Rams to come out running. Coach Jeff Fisher's best teams with Houston/Tennessee always had strong running games.

2. Book of Isaiah
Speaking of running the ball, veteran Steven Jackson figures to get limited work Sunday in Lucas Oil Stadium. That shouldn't be the case with Isaiah Pead. The Rams can't wait to get the second-round draft pick from Cincinnati off the showroom floor and into game action. Pead has displayed quickness and good change-of-direction in training camp.

3. Here's the catch
Danario Alexander (hamstring) isn't expected to play. The same may hold true for Brandon Gibson, who hasn't practiced all week. Veterans Danny Amendola and Steve Smith figure to get limited work. That mean's 2011 draft picks at wide receiver (Austin Pettis, Greg Salas) and this year's (Brian Quick, Chris Givens) should get plenty of balls thrown their way.

4. Sam I am
Although subject to change, the plan calls for Sam Bradford to play a series or two against the Colts. Every rep counts for Bradford this summer as he learns yet another new offensive scheme. A completion or two, or even — dare we say it? — a touchdown could be an early confidence boost. He'll be matching passes early with No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck.

5. Tackle troubles?
Don't be shocked if the Rams' starting offensive tackles Sunday are Barry Richardson at right tackle and Quinn Ojinnaka on the left side. Richardson moved ahead of struggling Jason Smith on Wednesday in practice. Roger Saffold missed time in the week with leg soreness. The best way to get Bradford in a comfort zone is keeping the pocket clean from the start.