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Thread: Rams don't sweat lack of top receiver

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    Rams don't sweat lack of top receiver

    Rams don't sweat lack of top receiver
    9 hours ago • BY JIM THOMAS

    The Rams don't have a true No. 1 wide receiver at this point, and that could be the case throughout the 2012 season. But even if they did, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer would still be trying to figure out who are Nos. 2 through 6 at this point in training camp.

    "I think we have a couple guys that we're going to put in spots to make plays," Schottenheimer said. "I've been other places where you have a so-called No. 1 receiver and it's easy to double that guy.

    "We're looking for a bunch of weapons. They're hard to find. We put 'em in different spots all over the field. That way, we can take advantage of matchups."

    Two weeks into camp and with the first preseason game Sunday in Indianapolis, not much separation has occurred among the clump of eight receivers jockeying for position and playing time. From practice to practice, sometimes from play to play, different wideouts have shined or struggled.

    Danny Amendola easily has been the most consistent performer in the group. Brandon Gibson was impressive the first week, but has been rested this week with leg soreness. Greg Salas and Steve Smith have had their moments. Austin Pettis had a strong practice Wednesday night.

    "It's still very fluid," Schottenheimer said. "There's going to be a lot of combinations that you guys will see, even working through the second and third preseason game as we're just trying to evaluate everybody."

    Because of a hamstring injury that has sidelined him most of camp, former Missouri standout Danario Alexander is the only wide receiver clearly trailing the pack.

    And what of the rookies?

    "A lot of the young guys are coming along," Schottenheimer said. "I think you see a guy like Brian Quick picking it up now. For him, third, fourth time (going through the offense) he's starting to get it. Chris Givens is showing up."

    Quick, a second-round draft pick, has had more drops than you'd like in camp and for a while appeared leg weary. But he's making steady progress. Every now and then, he'll flash and make an eye-opening grab.

    Givens, a fourth-round pick, had trouble catching the ball over the middle earlier in camp, but has displayed good quickness and change-of-direction skills to go along with his straight-line speed. Neither Quick nor Givens has gotten extensive work with the starting offense so far.

    The tight end situation is nearly as muddled, although Lance Kendricks, Michael Hoomanawanui, and Matthew Mulligan look like the top three.

    "We've got a lot of guys," Schottenheimer said. "It's probably the deepest tight end group I've ever been around in terms of not only just numbers, but of good players. It'll be good to get Lance going, let him get some work (in preseason play)."

    St. Louisan Mike McNeill, as well as undrafted rookies Cory Harkey, DeAngelo Peterson and Jamie Childers, have all flashed at times on the practice field in what at the very least could be a tight battle for a fourth tight end spot.

    Schottenheimer said the Rams are looking for versatility at the position in terms of who can block on the line of scrimmage, line up in the backfield, or split out wide as a receiver.

    "I've always thought that if you have tight ends that can play multiple spots, it makes it harder for the defense," Schottenheimer said. "If guys are interchangeable, you can do one thing one week, and the very next week just flip the pieces."

    At quarterback, Schottenheimer feels like Sam Bradford is right on track.

    "We got on him a little bit the other day — just some mental things and stuff that came up," Schottenheimer said.

    Even so, Schottenheimer said Bradford is getting to the point where he understands the new scheme well enough to simply react instead of thinking his way through.

    "It'll be good for him to get in the (Indianapolis) game and play a little bit," Schottenheimer said. "Obviously, he's not going to play very long. We'll get him mixed in and get him a completion or two."

    The start of training camp marked the third time the players have gone through basically the entire offensive playbook. The Rams are about 75 percent through this latest installation, with the theory being each exposure leads to fewer mistakes and smoother execution.

    Similar to Bradford's acclimation process, Schottenheimer said of the offense as a whole: "You see the guys playing faster now and that's what it's about. It's building up to that tempo where they can actually just go and react and they don't have to think."

    The play at offensive tackle has to be a concern, with starters Rodger Saffold and Jason Smith struggling to consistently block defensive ends Robert Quinn and Chris Long. Barry Richardson replaced Smith with the first-team offense at right tackle Wednesday and Thursday.

    "I tell you what, I think this defensive line we're going against (in practice) is one of the best in the league," Schottenheimer said. "A lot of people are going to have problems with those guys. You've almost got to be perfect with your fundamentals and your sets to block those guys. Because not only are they great edge rushers with speed, but they play so hard that it's not only the first effort, but the second and third effort. You've got to sustain that block."

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    Re: Rams don't sweat lack of top receiver

    I don't actually either. I wish we had some more proven guys that are known to have good track records, but you definitely don't need a #1 #2 #3 WR. I'd rather take two #2's, rather than a #1 and #3 like we had last year (Brandon Lloyd, Gibby or DX or Pettis). Its easier to shut down a #1 WR when the rest of the corps is bad, rather than plenty of decent options. Roll coverages, double team, safety over the top, bracket coverage's, all used to stop dominant guys. Not 100% effective, but can be worked properly.
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    Re: Rams don't sweat lack of top receiver

    Im way more concerned with the tackle position.! I think its a little too early to be writing off our chances with these new receivers in tow. Obviously, I was hoping for someone other than Gibson or Amendola, to man the starting spots with some inspired play in camp. However, to be truly realistc about the newcomers at the WR position. It was a longshot at best to expect them to light it up right out the gate. A little patience is needed Rams fans.
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    Re: Rams don't sweat lack of top receiver

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    Let our franchise $78 million dollar QB get murdered? At this point I think we need to do EVERYTHING we can to help Sam out. I just re-watched a few games from last year.. I totally forgot how bad our WR's are. I think Quick and Givens will be solid some day, but what about next year? We have to be realistic.. Quick and Givens will struggle. Amendola is nice, but he changes nothing. Steve Smith hasn't been the same since his injury. DX can't play 5 consecutive plays. Pettis is horrendous. Salas has potential, but we have to wait for him, not to mention he broke his leg last year.

    We have no bonafide #1 or #2 WR on our team. We have plenty of guys with potential, but that doesn't mean ANYTHING in this league. Realistically, we ALL know that our WR's are going to once again be below average if not bad, and we will once again struggle on offense only being able to muster up 15 PPG at max. I'm sick of watching that crap.

    Imagine what Wallace could be here? He'd immediately be our #1 WR by far. He makes for probably the best deep threat (other than Calvin) in the NFL. Blazing fast, great hands, and decently sized at 6'0. He'd open up HUGE holes for guys like Amendola, Salas, Smith and Quick underneath.

    I'm all for it. As long as we have the $ to re-sign Long and Laurinaitis, we should do this.
    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    I don't actually either. I wish we had some more proven guys that are known to have good track records, but you definitely don't need a #1 #2 #3 WR. I'd rather take two #2's, rather than a #1 and #3 like we had last year (Brandon Lloyd, Gibby or DX or Pettis). Its easier to shut down a #1 WR when the rest of the corps is bad, rather than plenty of decent options. Roll coverages, double team, safety over the top, bracket coverage's, all used to stop dominant guys. Not 100% effective, but can be worked properly.
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    Re: Rams don't sweat lack of top receiver

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I think we have some potential #2's on this team, but the addition of Wallace I'd still accept. What I'm saying is I'd rather have two Jeremy Maclins rather than a Stevie Johnson and Donald Jones (#1 and #3).

    Salas and Amendola may surprise and turn into serious #2's this year. Quick and Givens can also do the same, but I'm going to temper my expectations and think of the struggles many rookie WR's have had. Smith if healthy can do the same, but I'm not too high on him as some.


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