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  1. #1
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    Rams Inside Slant

    Rams Team Report

    Yahoo! Sports Apr 18, 4:38 am EDT


    Inside Slant

    DRAFT STRATEGY

    The options are plentiful for the Rams, sitting with the second pick in the draft, and they know how important it will be to not only select an impact player, but also add potential starters with their second- and third-round choices.

    The Rams have the 33rd overall and 65th overall picks in those rounds, so filling needs will be of paramount importance. The “need vs. best player” debate is what also lends itself to figuring out what to do.

    A pass-rushing defensive end is a priority, with Chris Long and Vernon Gholston considerations. Tackle Jake Long would fill a long-term need even with Orlando Pace and Alex Barron currently on the roster.

    But what about top-rated prospects such as defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey and running back Darren McFadden? The Rams selected defensive tackle Adam Carriker in the first round last year, while nose tackle Clifton Ryan was a fifth-round pick. Both should continue to improve.

    Selecting Dorsey would result in pushing need picks into later rounds. McFadden is intriguing, even with Steven Jackson on board. McFadden is a game-breaker, and can also contribute as a receiver. Jackson’s style of play also leads to injury, and he missed almost five full games last season. In addition, this is the final year of Jackson’s contract.

    It could be argued that McFadden would make the most immediate impact on a team that struggled to score points in 2007.

    Both Longs, Dorsey, Gholston and McFadden visited the team facility two weeks before the draft, as the Rams wrestled with their looming decision.

    Why have players visit when the team has already spent time with them at the combine or other venues?

    “Picking up that high, it’s just such an investment,” said Billy Devaney, the team’s executive vice president of player personnel. “We just like as many people that haven’t met them to just spend a few minutes.”

    One of them will be spending a lot more than a few minutes after April 26.

    Notes, Quotes

    • The league did the Rams no favors coming off a 3-13 season with a schedule that includes five playoff teams in the first seven games of the season. Two of those—the Giants and the Patriots—were in the Super Bowl and the first seven opponents had a combined record of 73-39 last season.

    The Rams open the season at Philadelphia, come home to play the Giants, travel to Seattle and are home against Buffalo. After a Week 5 bye, they play at Washington, are home to Dallas and then are at New England. Even the eighth game is against the Cardinals, who were 8-8 last season. The Giants will have extra rest coming off their opening game on a Thursday.

    “It’s not an easy schedule, but no NFL schedule is,” coach Scott Linehan said. “We knew who we were going to play, and you’ve got play them sometime. … What’s the best time? When you’re playing your best football. So, that’s why we’d like to get ourselves prepared and start off playing well (against) these tough teams.”

    Linehan also said of now knowing the schedule, “It kind of sets the tone for what you’re looking at. You see where you’re going to play, when you play your division games … the whole deal changes. It really affects a lot of people, and usually in a positive way, as far as motivation. Already our coaches are wanting to get the breakdowns for Philly; they want to know who to start working on.”

    • The Rams entertained a bevy of draft prospects at their training facility April 15. In the group were potential top picks Glenn Dorsey, Jake Long, Chris Long and Darren McFadden.

    The team has seen players at all-star games, the combine and individual workouts, so what is the advantage of the personal visits?

    Said coach Scott Linehan, “My biggest value is to see these players interact with each other. You get to see a side of them that maybe you don’t get to see on film or (in) a prepared statement at the Combine. … You put them in this environment, and it’s a little more low key for them.

    “It’s like any job interview. You have someone that’s coming in and interviewing for a job, no matter what the business is, if they don’t pull that part of it off, it’s going to affect their ability to be employed.”

    • The Rams hope to have a decision soon on what will be their training camp site this summer. They are considering several places in Wisconsin, plus Macomb, Ill., the location of camp from 1996 through 2004.

    “We’re going to evaluate the sites and then make a decision,” coach Scott Linehan said. “I’m getting antsy to get that done.”

    Quote To Note: “I’ve wanted a dominant blocking tight end since I’ve been here. He gives you that kind of a guy. … He’s a fierce competitor and a great blocker. And he’s not a shabby receiver.”—Coach Scott Linehan on the addition of TE Anthony Becht.

    Strategy And Personnel

    Franchise Player: None.

    TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

    UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

    • C/G Andy McCollum started at left guard and center during the ‘07 season, but hasn’t made a decision whether he wants to play another season.

    • S Hanik Milligan played mostly on special teams when he was on the field.

    • LB Raonall Smith is a solid special teams player and backup linebacker, but ended the ‘07 season on injured reserve with a knee injury.

    • T/G Todd Steussie wants to return for another season, but it’s unknown where he fits on the line. Suffered a broken foot at the end of the preseason and came back for the final six games of the season.

    • TE Aaron Walker is a decent blocker who saw his season end because of a shoulder injury. Likely not back after addition of Anthony Becht.

    UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

    • RB Rich Alexis (not tendered as ERFA) was signed late in the season after being cut in training camp.

    • DE Trevor Johnson (not tendered as RFA) was a situational player that is expendable.

    RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

    • S Oshiomogho Atogwe (tendered at $2.017M with 1st-round pick as compensation) tied for the NFC lead with eight interceptions.

    PLAYERS ACQUIRED

    • G Jacob Bell: UFA Titans; $36M/6 yrs, $7M SB/$6M base salaries guaranteed 08-09; 2008 cap: $3.167M.

    • TE Anthony Becht: UFA Buccaneers; $2M/2 yrs, $270,000 SB; 2008 cap: $865,000.

    • K Josh Brown: UFA Seahawks; $14.2M/5 yrs, $4M SB; 2008 cap: $1.8M.

    • WR Reche Caldwell: UFA Redskins; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $485,000.

    • QB Trent Green: FA Dolphins; $8.9M/3 yrs, $2.1 SB/$900,000 reporting bonus; 2008 cap: $2.6M.

    • CB David Macklin: UFA Redskins; $770,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $485,000.

    PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

    • S Jerome Carter: Not tendered as RFA; $520,000/1 yr, no SB; 2008 cap: $445,000.

    • T/G Adam Goldberg: UFA; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $485,000.

    • OT Brandon Gorin: UFA; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $485,000.

    • DE James Hall: FA; had been released by Rams; 2 yrs, $3M/2 yrs, $700,000 SB.

    • RB Travis Minor: Potential UFA; $755,000/1 yr, $20,000 SB.

    • C Brett Romberg: UFA; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $485,000.

    PLAYERS LOST

    • G Milford Brown: UFA Panthers; $5.5M/2 yrs, $1M SB.

    • WR Isaac Bruce (released).

    • LB Brandon Chillar: UFA Packers; $5.4M/2 yrs, $550,000 SB/$1M RB.

    • QB Gus Frerotte (released).

    • PK Jeff Wilkins (retired).


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Inside Slant

    Picking McFadden with our #2 pick in the draft would really screw up the draft for the other teams. All the mock drafts would be trashed. I'm not saying we will pick him but if we did what a backfield we would have!!!!

  3. #3
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    Re: Rams Inside Slant

    Think about this, we can't even decide where our training camp will be so does any honestly believe the Rams who they are going to pick in the draft Saturday?

  4. #4
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    Re: Rams Inside Slant

    It could be argued that McFadden would make the most immediate impact on a team that struggled to score points in 2007."

    That would be stupid we have to go D.
    :ramlogo:

  5. #5
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    Re: Rams Inside Slant

    I personally hate the idea of drafting McFadden

  6. #6
    Mooselini Guest

    Re: Rams Inside Slant

    McFadden is a joke. I don't even think its a smoke screen, its just retarded if we drafted him. We would have a good backfield yes, but when our defense is getting scored on alot, it still hurts us.

    We need a DE. DE is a need people. Not RB, not DT, we need a DE.

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