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Thread: Receivers Have Gone From Weakness to Strength for Rams

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    ZiaRam is offline Registered User
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    Receivers Have Gone From Weakness to Strength for Rams

    by Cliff Saunders

    We won't learn much from Saturday night's preseason game at the Edward Jones Dome between the Rams and the Indianapolis Colts. You won't see Sam Bradford and the starting offense get extended playing time. You won't see a lot of what is in the playbook of new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Assume the Rams will play it close to the vest on offense Saturday night. McDaniels won't want to give everyone around the NFL too much to go on in terms of advance scouting.

    So don't be upset when you don't see a lot of downfield passes on Saturday night. The entire offense will only be unveiled as the season goes on. What you see against the Colts will not be what you see against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 11 at the Jones Dome.

    But there is one thing you can pay attention to when you sit down to watch these two teams play. Watch the wide receivers. Watch which wideouts get the bulk of the playing time. Watch very closely, because this position is going to keep general manager Billy Devaney and the coaching staff up at night trying to figure out which players to keep and which ones to let go.

    The Rams will, in all probability, keep six receivers when the final cuts are made to get to the 53-man roster limit. These are the receivers that are virtual locks to make the club.

    Mike Sims-Walker: The free-agent pickup from the Jacksonville Jaguars wasn't brought in to be a training camp body. He has a track record of success in the NFL. His numbers would probably look a lot better if he had a quarterback like Bradford throughout his career. David Garrard is competent, but he doesn't scare anyone around the league. Now that Sims-Walker has Bradford and McDaniels on his side, he could have his best season to date.

    Danny Amendola: I was dead wrong about this player. I didn't think much of him a year ago at this time. I was wrong. He proved himself to be valuable last season. He became a weapon. Think about it. He became a go-to player in the conservative offense run by then-coordinator Pat Shurmur. Just imagine what he could become in McDaniels' system. Can you say Wes Welker 2.0?

    Austin Pettis and Greg Salas: These rookies weren't drafted not to make the club. They were drafted because McDaniels wanted them. They were drafted because McDaniels knows how he can use them. Unless something really crazy happens, they are locks to make the roster. The only way they don't is if they get hurt and have to go on injured reserve. They aren't practice-squad candidates because other teams around the league would snap them up quickly.

    That leaves only two spots left for the following players:

    Donnie Avery

    Mardy Gilyard

    Danario Alexander

    Brandon Gibson

    Dominique Curry

    Gilyard, the fourth-round pick a year ago, struggled through his rookie season. But he is talented, and if he can pick up the offense, I wouldn't be surprised to see him make the club. Gibson has some work to do, but by all accounts he has looked better than he did a year ago.

    Alexander and Avery have both dealt with some injury issues this summer. Everyone in St. Louis wants to see Alexander make it, but he has to stay healthy. He's got the talent and he showed it last season. Avery blew out his knee last season and has been limited in camp so far.

    And don't forget about rookie Lance Kendricks. The second-round pick out of Wisconsin has been lined up all over the field in camp so far. It looks like McDaniels is hell-bent on using him to the fullest extent of his abilities. I was one of the people who scratched my head at the selection when it came down in April. I'm hoping that McDaniels and Kendricks prove me wrong.

    One more name to be on the lookout for is Mark Clayton. He is in St. Louis and continues to rehab the knee he injured against Detroit last season. If he can get the knee close to where it was, he will be a Ram. He wants to be here, and all indications are that the Rams want him. He could join this group of receivers at some point before the season, possibly even at some point next week.

    A year ago, the wide receiver position was a major question mark. Now, thanks to some additions through free agency and the draft, plus a new coordinator in McDaniels, the position might actually become a strength.

    Some good players are going to be out of a job before the season starts. That alone speaks volumes about how much the Rams have upgraded their talent base.


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    Re: Receivers Have Gone From Weakness to Strength for Rams

    Slowly but surely people are going to start getting on board the Amendola band wagon....

    God, I hate this choice!
    I'd have to go with DX and Avery and Gibson on practice squad maybe?

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    Re: Receivers Have Gone From Weakness to Strength for Rams

    This is a very tough call. Gilyard being a special teams guy may have an edge on the rest?

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    Re: Receivers Have Gone From Weakness to Strength for Rams

    I'm leaning towards Avery and Gibson right now. I think Gilyard has too much of a whole to dig out of, DX's knee will always be a question mark and Curry is just Curry.

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    Re: Receivers Have Gone From Weakness to Strength for Rams

    A year ago, the wide receiver position was a major question mark. Now, thanks to some additions through free agency and the draft, plus a new coordinator in McDaniels, the position might actually become a strength.
    ...but until the season plays out, remains a question mark.

    It'll be fun to see what these guys can do in McDaniels' offense, and I think the Rams have made some improvements in personnel in this area, but IMO this team still has a ways to go before the WR unit is considered a strength.

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    Re: Receivers Have Gone From Weakness to Strength for Rams

    I think Curry's the obvious weak one there, so let's put him to one side. We can't know what's happening with Clayton either, at this point, so we have to disregard (for now..). As Saunders says, I then have the four he names as a lock for four spaces.

    I think, realistically, you can only take the risk of one of DX and Avery, which means you're then calling one of Gilyard and Gibson.

    Hard to know which direction to take, but I think those are the pairings you're trying to call between (fwiw, I'd go Avery and Gibson - Amendola to continue in his special teams role).

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    Re: Receivers Have Gone From Weakness to Strength for Rams

    I think we dump both Avery and DA. They are just way too injury prone. Alexander would be a prime candidate for the practice squad as long as no one picks him up. Avery needed to have a good training camp but is still injured.

    Here's how I have it

    1. MIke Sims Walker
    2. Brandon Gibson
    3. Danny Amendola
    4. Austin Pettis
    5. Mardy Gilyard
    6. Greg Salas

    If Gibson struggles I wouldn't be surprised to see Pettis, Gilyard or Salas take his slot or us resign Clayton.

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    Re: Receivers Have Gone From Weakness to Strength for Rams

    Its a tough call, throw in Clayton and its just plain painful.
    Aussie Dave likes this.

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    Re: Receivers Have Gone From Weakness to Strength for Rams

    Kendricks wasn't drafted as a WR. He's a TE, HB.

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    Re: Receivers Have Gone From Weakness to Strength for Rams

    Gilyard was recruited as an elusive playmaker. If he gets his head on straight with the playbook I think he stays. Last year was just a nightmare for him with a host of well-rehashed occurrences. I think he stays because no one else has the potential to make things happen AFTER the catch like he does.

    DX/Avery: Fragile
    Curry: I'm not hearing a lot

    Gibson stays...I hear too much about the great camp he's having.

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    Re: Receivers Have Gone From Weakness to Strength for Rams

    this is an awfully hard choice but i guess a good one to have.

    i think out of the 'bubble' guys, avery and gibson make it.
    avery has the elite speed to set him apart, gibson has shown flashes and is supposedly looking good this year.

    i love DX but we have some new big physical/ red zone guys that dont have knees like mash potatos.
    i just cant see gilyard making it.
    clayton is a tough one, loved him before the injury but it sounds like the knee is still not right, concerns me he wont be the same again.

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    Re: Receivers Have Gone From Weakness to Strength for Rams

    This is tough, I wish I had the opportunity to see them in live action, hopefully one day I will.? Id like to see Gilyard make it, Avery isnt worth it, he isnt a great WR when healthy, but he is fast. So Im wavering on him a little bit. DX is the best player potentially at the WR position, he makes it. Danny Amendola is beginning to win me round with his improved play, God, the Rams are a young offense.! I have always liked Gibson-makes it. Rookies Salas and Pettis are middle round draft picks so they stay.
    Gilyard, Curry and maybe Avery see the door.?

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    Re: Receivers Have Gone From Weakness to Strength for Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by MACD View Post
    Gilyard was recruited as an elusive playmaker. If he gets his head on straight with the playbook I think he stays. Last year was just a nightmare for him with a host of well-rehashed occurrences. I think he stays because no one else has the potential to make things happen AFTER the catch like he does.

    DX/Avery: Fragile
    Curry: I'm not hearing a lot

    Gibson stays...I hear too much about the great camp he's having.
    Im pretty much with you on everything, Gilyard is struggling again with mental lapses and will probably end up on PS if know one takes him. Its a shame really, cos he is one of the most talented players with the football in his hands. The lockout couldnt have come at a worse time for Gilyard.?
    COME ON MARDY YOU MENTAL PATIENT, PROVE ME WRONG.?

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    Re: Receivers Have Gone From Weakness to Strength for Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by ZiaRam View Post
    Slowly but surely people are going to start getting on board the Amendola band wagon....

    God, I hate this choice!
    I'd have to go with DX and Avery and Gibson on practice squad maybe?
    Without knowing the rules off hand, I don't believe Avery and Gibson are eligible for the practice squad.

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    Re: Receivers Have Gone From Weakness to Strength for Rams

    What no love for Joe West, Greg Matthews and Jared Jenkins?

    And I'm with Nick; this unit is far from a strength. No one but Amendola has done anything good for this team for a full season. Too many unprovens and injury prones on that list. Sure the potential to be a strength is there, but too much needs to be proven on the field.
    Last edited by RamFan_Til_I_Die; -08-13-2011 at 01:54 PM.

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