Round Two: Have The Rams Improved The WR Position This Season?
Have the Rams improved the WR position this season?
BY ROGER HENSLEY
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
QUESTION: Through training camp and two preseason games so far, have you seen much improvement in the Rams WR corps over last season?
Well, if you could tell me that the group was healthy – and could stay healthy – it would be an emphatic yes. But who knows if Donnie Avery and Danario Alexander can stay healthy for 16 games –or close to it. Same goes for Mardy Gilyard. Mike-Sims Walker will help, but he’s had only a couple weeks of practice time and still needs to get in sync with Sam Bradford. The rookies, Austin Pettis and Greg Salas, haven’t shown a whole lot. Salas was out with a hamstring injury for a while, but made a couple of nice catches on the fourth-quarter field goal drive against Tennessee.
The improvement has been in depth. The Rams still don’t have a legitimate No. 1 receiver, but they’ve increased the number of wideouts that fall into the next category. That’s created more competition, which in theory should bring out the best in all of them. Ultimately, I think it’ll be a stronger WR corps than last year.
The potential for improvement is obvious, given the speed Donnie Avery flashed during the second preseason game. That is an element the team lacked most of last season. Mike Sims-Walker is still getting in sync with the offense, so we can only guess how much he can help. Brandon Gibson and Mardy Gilyard both seem ahead of where they were a year ago. On the other hand, Danario Alexander faces a questionable future due to his knee condition and rookies Greg Salas and Austin Pettis still have a lot to learn. So we’ve seen more potential to this point than actual performance.
I have seen enough flashes to believe the potential is there. But it all comes down to the health of guys like Donnie Avery and Danario Alexander. If they can stay on the field, things could be better.