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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Rams: Love and hate ..

    CBSSports.com Senior Writer
    Tell Pete your opinion!

    By Pete Prisco
    CBSSports.com Senior Write

    Rams: Camp tour

    EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Love-hate impressions from St. Louis Rams camp on the 2010 season.


    Love


    Steven Jackson. The guy ran for 1,416 yards last season and nobody noticed. He's a workhorse. The Rams love him. If you're in a Fantasy league, draft him early. He will have another huge year.

    Sam Bradford. The Rams picked him with the first overall pick in April, and they knew they would long before they did. They loved the kid. Bradford has the "it" factor. He impressed in the red-zone work the day I watched him practice, clearly the best the Rams have already. There is no timetable for him to become the starter, and right now A.J. Feeley is working with the first team. That won't last. I mentioned that to Rams coach Steve Spagnuola that I'd make Bradford the guy now, and get it over with. He said the best player would start the opener, but I get the idea it will be Bradford. I asked Bradford if he wanted to start on opening day. Of course he does. "The competitor in me says yes, but that's the coach's decision," he said.

    Middle linebacker James Laurinaitis is a big-time player. He stepped in as a rookie and started all 16 games. He has quietly grown into a leader on this team in his second season. He can play the run and the pass. One thing you notice about him is how much he loves the game.

    Spagnuola. He coaches with a passion. You can see it on the field during their practices. And the players seem to respond. Spagnuola seems much more at ease in his second season. He's a realist and knows it's a process getting to be a winning team, but there are some nice pieces in place. If Bradford works out -- and I think he will -- Spagnuola could.

    Their division. Let's face it. The NFC West isn't that good. That could help this young team develop some confidence. Can they be in the race? No. But the poor division could help get them to five victories.

    Danny Amendola. He should be one of the team's top three receivers and he's good in the return game. He's a tough player in the Wes Welker mold. He's the kind of player teams love to have on the roster.

    Hate

    The Bradford timeline. Make him the guy now. I know they have to be careful and let the process play out, but Bradford needs to play as soon as possible. I think he will be picked as the starter by the third preseason game -- if he doesn't struggle in the first two.

    The lack of a go-to receiver. If Bradford is to develop down the road, they must find a No. 1 receiver. There isn't one on the roster. The Rams had high hopes for Donnie Avery in his rookie season in 2008, but he slipped some last season. He has deep speed. This is a big year for him. If he struggles, the Rams will have to get Bradford a receiver next spring.

    Pass rush. The Rams are moving Chris Long from the right side to the left side. The coaches feel it's his more natural position. That leaves a void at right end. Veteran James Hall will start there, and he has some pass-rush skill but he's a stop-gap guy. They hope one of their rookie defensive ends can help, but they are raw.

    Secondary. The Rams gave corner Ronald Bartell a big contract last year, but he battled some hamstring troubles and didn't play as well as expected in 2009. He should bounce back at one corner. The other corner will likely be Bradley Fletcher, but he's coming off an ACL injury. He is working in full in practice. James Butler and O.J. Atogwe form a nice safety pair. If the corners can play well, and they play a lot of man press coverage, the defense will be better. That's a big if.


  2. #2
    sjacksonrules's Avatar
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    Re: Rams: Love and hate ..

    I hadn't heard they moved long to the left I think he will be able to sign over there as opposed to the right side. I think James hall will do ok over there at RE not great but at least as good as long was last year. I'm kinda excited to see what long does against the right side now all the time. Didn't they have him in on some plays last year at LE?

  3. #3
    tomahawk247's Avatar
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    Re: Rams: Love and hate ..

    This would be a better article if they had spelt Coach Spagnuolo's name correctly at least once

  4. #4
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    Re: Rams: Love and hate ..

    Spagnuola, lol is that the name of Amendola and Spagnuolo's offspring.

  5. #5
    Flippin' Ram's Avatar
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    Re: Rams: Love and hate ..

    Quote Originally Posted by sjacksonrules View Post
    Spagnuola, lol is that the name of Amendola and Spagnuolo's offspring.
    That would be either Spagdola or Amendnuolo.

  6. #6
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    Re: Rams: Love and hate ..

    Spagadoodle
    "The horror"

  7. #7
    evil disco man's Avatar
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    Re: Rams: Love and hate ..

    I think he will be picked as the starter by the third preseason game -- if he doesn't struggle in the first two.
    Well, that's the point of having a timeline. If he does struggle, why throw him out there and risk wrecking his confidence (and body)? Don't want the next David Carr on our hands.

    Can't argue with much of the rest of the "Hate" ...

    Robinson looked like he could become a go-to guy before his injury. He's been delicate throughout his career and who knows if he can ever get back to 100%.

    The pass rush is the most glaring weakness on the team, in my opinion - especially considering Spagnuolo's style of defense thrives on a pass rush. We really need Long to come through in his third year. Convincing LL to come back wouldn't hurt, either. Hall is solid but not consistent in getting to the quarterback. Hoping for one of 3 late-round DEs to burst onto the scene seems like asking too much.

    The secondary is a real mystery to me. Atogwe is a playmaker. Butler was average and is hurt now - I like Payne and Dahl as hitters, but can they cover? Bartell showed signs of becoming an elite CB in 2008 but played hurt last year. Fletcher and King were both impressive before having huge injuries. Murphy has starting potential but is only a rookie. The secondary could go either way.

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