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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams Team Report

    The Sporting News

    January 7, 2007

    Jim Thomas, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    A year ago, there were plenty of rumors about coach Scott Linehan's interest in QB Daunte Culpepper, or in perhaps drafting Jay Cutler. That in turn fueled speculation that Linehan wasn't totally sold on Marc Bulger at quarterback. If Linehan had any doubts about Bulger, they are gone after one season. Bulger enjoyed a career year, drastically reduced his interception total and started 16 games for the first time in his career. Linehan says he wants Bulger in St. Louis as long as Bulger wants to play quarterback in the NFL. With just one year left on his contract, Linehan would like to see Bulger's contract extended during the offseason. Team management is expected to begin working on it in the coming weeks. . . .

    After seeing little action in his rookie year, Jon Alston could have a considerable role next season. The question is: Will it be as a safety or a linebacker? Alston prefers to play linebacker, his natural position. But at barely 220 pounds, he needs to put on some weight to play there according to defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. Meanwhile, Linehan is intrigued with the idea of using Alston as a box safety, playing near the line of scrimmage in run support but also using his speed and burst as a blitzer. If it's safety, Alston could be groomed as an eventual successor to Corey Chavous in a year or two.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Rookie TE Dominique Byrd caught just two passes all season, both against Washington, but made an impression on the coaching staff. Beat out for both the No. 1 and No. 2 tight end jobs in training camp, Byrd looked like a huge rookie disappointment until late in the season. But after a couple of impressive weeks in practice, Byrd was given a chance to play and made the most of his limited playing time. He has excellent pass-catching skills for someone his size (6-2, 254) and is a smoother route-runner than starting TE Joe Klopfenstein. Linehan likes big receivers, and the team envisions using Byrd as a slot receiver and out of the backfield in an H-back role in 2007.

    FREE-AGENT BUZZ: Signing DE Leonard Little and LB Pisa Tinoisamoa to contract extensions during the season took much of the pressure off the club in terms of retaining their own players. The Rams were interested in making it a third but couldn't negotiate with WR Kevin Curtis because he didn't have an agent. Curtis hired Tom Condon just as the regular season was ending but now seems likely to test the free-agent waters. A healthy Isaac Bruce limited Curtis' playing time in '06 to the No. 3 receiving role; as a result Curtis' numbers dipped. But he remains a deep threat who can stretch defenses. Curtis dropped a few passes this season, but the more he plays, the more sure-handed he seems to get. Curtis is expected to draw significant interest as a free agent, and it seems unlikely the Rams will be able to re-sign him. No. 4 receiver Shaun McDonald also is unrestricted, but the Rams don't appear interested in bringing him back.


  2. #2
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Team Report

    Interesting, seems as if mcdonald is a goner.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  3. #3
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    Re: Rams Team Report

    13 catches for 130 yards, and 1.5 punt returns a game for a 7 yard average.

    I don't really like or dislike the guy, but it would seem we could do better at that position, or fill another need.
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

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    Re: Rams Team Report

    I hope we can keep our entire offense intact.

    The defense is where I want to read about changes.

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    VegasRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Team Report

    And speaking of other needs, I wouldn't go so far as to draft him in the first round, but I WOULD look for a pure return man in the second.

    A lot has been said about it not making any difference since no one blocks for the returner, but I don't buy that. We haven't had anyone with that, (or even 'a') burst since Horne.

    It shouldn't make any difference, in a perfect world, but knowing you got a burner behind you might fire up the blockers a bit.
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

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    supachump is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams Team Report

    so... if we lose Curtis and then drop Mcdonald... Then what? Looker? Someone new?

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    Re: Rams Team Report

    It really leaves us short at the receiver position, and that really concerns me. The third spot is not anything to take for granted in this league. Do we remember what happen to this offense when we lost Az? It took a year and a draft to rebuild. A twist or a stub here or there and it is bye, bye to the season without a third and forth option. I wouldn't be upset with a draft pick used 1st through 3rd. We will be thin, and there isn't much for free agent options.

  8. #8
    VegasRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Team Report

    I don't really see a huge problem. Linny is going to increase the TE participation, and from all reports, Dominique Thompson is ok, and we pick up a receiver in the fourth round. Definitely keep Looker - he's our current Proehl, who is STILL playing, (and making plays). and he's actually faster than most people realize.
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

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    Re: Rams Team Report

    Interesting thoughts on Byrd, I've always liked him...Bulger, resign him now, get him a good and deserving contract, lets keep him as a RAM!


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  10. #10
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    Re: Rams Team Report

    Curtis' numbers were down this year because he didnt get on the field as much with Linehan using the two TE set more. Dane Looker has been the 3rd WR before and also hold on field goals.

    I say we bring in a WR/returner through the draft to compete for the third WR spot, but we shouldnt worry too much about Curtis and McDonald leaving

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    Re: Rams Team Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Thomas
    A year ago, there were plenty of rumors about coach Scott Linehan's interest in QB Daunte Culpepper, or in perhaps drafting Jay Cutler.
    How humorous......a reporter references rumors which were both born of and perpetuated by...reporters!

    Gotta love the American media.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  12. #12
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    Re: Rams Team Report

    Because 3rd reciever played a role in Martz' Offense, you needed a good 4th reciever. It's different in Linehans Offense. I expect he'll probably go with Looker, and look for Hagans to move to the 4th spot. I suspect we'll also pick up a rookie. It is not of the picture that we could pick up a good prospect at reciever late in the draft. Look at Colston in N.O.

    I'm hoping that we use F.A. to retool a couple of spots on the D. I think if we could get Freeney, you could see our sack totals escalate. Because then you wouldn't see a lot of double teams on Little, and even with double teams he still got 12 sacks. I see a lot of people saying we're soft in the middle. But the problem is lack of pressure from the right side. You get a player like Freeney now the offense has to block one on one, which then frees up your mike back to wreck havoc on the running back, and Spoon can hit, and tackle.

    In the Draft, I'd like us to add depth on the offensive line, and get a good NT.
    Maybe even draft a back up to Davis. But we really won't know how the draft is going to start unfolding until we see who we pick up in F.A. And it's clear that Linehan is not afraid to spend big, and hit early.

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    Re: Rams Team Report

    I would imagine that Freeney is going to cost a lot of money and I'm not sure I would like to spend that much money on a defensive player that is pretty much one dimensional. I would rather take that money and get a top notch DT that can anchor the middle of our D-line and keep blockers off of Witherspoon.
    Sprtsmac :football:

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    Re: Rams Team Report

    We definitely need help on the defensive side.

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    tim
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    Re: Rams Team Report

    Quote Originally Posted by sprtsmac View Post
    I would imagine that Freeney is going to cost a lot of money and I'm not sure I would like to spend that much money on a defensive player that is pretty much one dimensional. I would rather take that money and get a top notch DT that can anchor the middle of our D-line and keep blockers off of Witherspoon.
    freeney will be franchised or signed by indy... if he isn't for some unimaginable reason, then i don't care if he is one dimensional. who do you double team little or freeney? seriously, that would be ridiculous.

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