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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams Team Report

    5/19/2006

    By Jim Thomas
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch


    PERSONNEL ANALYSIS: First-round draft pick Tye Hill admittedly was out of shape at his first NFL minicamp. The CB from Clemson needs to work on his conditioning between now and the start of training camp. Otherwise, he performed according to the scouting report--displaying good speed and coverage skills, but also dropping a couple of potential interceptions. Even with the selection of Hill in the first round, and the $12.5 million free-agent addition of Fakhir Brown, don't count Ron Bartell out of the mix at secondary. Bartell made a lot of progress over the course of the '05 season as a raw rookie, and was impressive at the team's rookie minicamp. Bartell closed well on the football, and seemed to be more instinctive in his movements. For now, it looks like the club is keeping him at cornerback, although with his size, he could end up backing up Oshiomogho Atogwe at free safety.

    Give Joe Klopfenstein the early edge over Dominque Byrd in the battle for the starting tight end job. Both rookies looked impressive catching the ball at minicamp, but Klopfenstein can get downfield with his 4.53 speed, which could make him effective on deep seam routes. That's a dimension the Rams haven't had on tight end routes since Ernie Conwell was with the club.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Alex Barron is trying to take the next step as an NFL right tackle, from good blocker to one of the best. Barron's athleticism and natural ability are great starting points. He has a huge wingspan, which he uses to his advantage; if he gets his hands on you first, you're not going to get to his shoulders. Although not as graceful as Orlando Pace, Barron also has good footwork. The combination of footwork and those long arms give Barron the ability to recover if pass rushers get a step on him. The element Barron needs to augment in his game is more power. He has spent the offseason working on his strength, particularly upper body strength. The Rams want to incorporate elements of the power running game into their attack, and be a more physical offense. Barron needs to be able to anchor better, and push the pile.

    MINICAMP MAYHEM: After spending his last two college seasons playing QB at Virginia, fifth-round draft pick Marques Hagans looked like he'd been playing wide receiver all his life. Hagans ran good routes and caught everything thrown his way. He made some tough catches as well, laying out for passes, or changing directions to catch passes thrown behind him. Hagans could nail down a spot as a punt returner, "slash" player, and fifth wide receiver. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jeff Smoker are competing for the No. 3 QB position, and neither was impressive at minicamp. Fitzpatrick made some nice throws on the move, but was off on several of his deep balls. Smoker's accuracy was erratic all weekend. It will take a while to sort out this battle.

    JUNE 1st CUTS: LB Dexter Coakly: A base salary of $1.5 million is a lot to pay for a weakside LB, and if the Rams like what they see from rookie Jon Alston, Coakley could be gone.

    LINEBACKERS: C-plus. Will Witherspoon must show he can be a full-time middle linebacker; it's hard to get excited about either Brandon Chillar or Raonall Smith on at strong side.


  2. #2
    Fortuninerhater's Avatar
    Fortuninerhater is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams Team Report

    What did McGarigle look like? From what I've seen of him he looks like no worse than a special teams stud.

  3. #3
    RamOfDenmark is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams Team Report

    Nice report, not all rose-colored either, so I'm inclined to believe it's probably close to the truth. I would have liked to hear more on Incognito's progress though, I really think he could be a good blocker, sounds like he may have the nasty attitude that Barron lacks a little bit. We need some mean, nasty blocking from our O-line this year to make way for Steven Jackson in a (hopefully) more power-oriented running attack that will suit him well.

  4. #4
    RAM-BO's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Team Report

    I don't see whats wrong with Brandon Chillar. He is a very solid LB who rarely misses a tackle.

  5. #5
    bruce4life's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Team Report

    bartell has to be on the field somewhere in the secondary. he is too good of a player talent wise to be on the bench.

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