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Thread: Sando: Rams: One Big Question

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    Sando: Rams: One Big Question

    Rams: One big question

    By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
    May 3, 2012

    What are the St. Louis Rams going to do at outside linebacker?

    The team faces other questions coming off a 2-14 season, but that position went largely unaddressed in the draft. St. Louis emerged from the draft with five linebackers on its roster, leaving roughly six or seven spots to fill for training camp.

    The Rams used a seventh-round choice for Aaron Brown, a weakside linebacker from Hawaii, but linebackers selected that late would generally project as special-teams contributors only if they earn roster spots at all.

    Veteran Jo-Lonn Dunbar, signed from New Orleans in free agency, projects as one starter. Josh Hull, a seventh-round choice in 2010, projects as the other starter until the Rams can further address the position.

    James Laurinaitis is a solid starter in the middle. He should fare better in 2012 playing behind recently acquired Kendall Langford (Miami Dolphins) and Michael Brockers (first-round draft choice). He cannot make every play from sideline to sideline, however. He needs help. The Rams desperately need speed on the outside.

    After struggling through last season with aging stopgap options such as Ben Leber and Brady Poppinga, the Rams have gotten younger at the position, but they have not gotten appreciably better. Some of the players they cast aside in previous seasons -- Paris Lenon, Pisa Tinoisamoa and Will Witherspoon come to mind -- would have been better than the players St. Louis wound up relying on.

    At one point in the draft, the Rams traded down from the 45th spot, coming away with running back Isaiah Pead and the 150th choice. Philadelphia and Seattle took inside linebackers with the 46th and 47th overall picks. The Rams could have drafted Nebraska's Lavonte David, who went to Tampa Bay at No. 58, but they thought Pead would bring greater value at another position of need.

    Teams running 4-3 defenses selected only four projected outside linebackers from the third through fifth rounds, with Jacksonville selecting Nevada's Brandon Marshall at No. 142, eight spots before the Rams chose South Carolina guard Rokevious Watkins.

    The bottom line was that St. Louis entered this draft with more needs than it could address with the available picks. Outside linebacker moves closer to the top of their priority list as the roster rebuild enters its next phase.


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    Re: Sando: Rams: One Big Question

    I don't have much to add to the article, just that I like Sando a lot, he's one of my favorite writers. Pretty neutral, gives fair coverage, and has some pretty nice articles. Always enjoy reading them.

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    Re: Sando: Rams: One Big Question

    The Rams could have drafted Nebraska's Lavonte David, who went to Tampa Bay at No. 58, but they thought Pead would bring greater value at another position of need.
    I really would have taken Layonte, but who am I.... I like Pead think he will be a much needed playmaker for us...

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    Re: Sando: Rams: One Big Question

    While OLB is a glaring hole coming into the season, it shouldn't be a big problem seeing that all signs are pointing to mainly running a 4-2-5 defense. Whoever's playing as the OLB in our 4-3 defense will get the least playtime.

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    Re: Sando: Rams: One Big Question

    We're solid with Laurinaitis and Dunbar, but after that? Hull, Cole and Brown. We're on thin ice, but if Fisher isn't concerned, I'll just have to trust him.

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    Re: Sando: Rams: One Big Question

    If the rams had used their 3rd second round pick to select an OLB then this article would be about the rams neglecting the running back position. At the end of the day the rams had only so many picks, one position was always going to overlooked. I'm thinking Hull or stopgap for this year and getting a decent linebacker in round 2 or 3 nexy year.
    Rammed and shower beers like this.

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    Re: Sando: Rams: One Big Question

    I think Hull can be a decent fill-in. Shouldn't have let Chamberlain, or Vobora go.

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    Re: Sando: Rams: One Big Question

    I wish the last regime would have kept Jabara Williams, he had a nice camp and preseason... would have liked to see what he could have done.

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    Re: Sando: Rams: One Big Question

    Lots of holes and only so many draft picks. We should be able to pick up a servicable OLB or two that other teams will be cutting in the next few weeks.

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    Re: Sando: Rams: One Big Question

    Isiah Robertson is in pretty good shape. I think we should consider bringing him back. For those of you youngsters out there who never saw Robertson play, he was really an epic beast. Potentially the greatest outside linebacker the team ever had (i think even better than Jack Pardee, although Pardee had a longer career for the Rams and I think of Les Richter as more of an inside linebacker).

    ramming speed to all

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    Re: Sando: Rams: One Big Question

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    I think Hull can be a decent fill-in. Shouldn't have let Chamberlain, or Vobora go.
    The Rams can do a lot better than those two scrubs. Vobara is a player I deem as embarrassing to the franchise. Chamberlain is quite a fiesty dude, but is nearly always outmatched in the field of play.
    Its going to be interesting to see who Fisher brings in at OLB. Who ever it may be, Im betting strongly it's another tough, tough man.

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    Re: Sando: Rams: One Big Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    I wish the last regime would have kept Jabara Williams, he had a nice camp and preseason... would have liked to see what he could have done.
    For me, that was one of the biggest reasons that DeSpags ended up going. You have to back your picks over 'aging stopgaps' and their approach to roster managment last season was dismal.
    THOLTFAN81 likes this.

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    Re: Sando: Rams: One Big Question

    not really concerned. OLB is one of those positions where you really dont need world beaters. Im sure we can find one starter in the butt load of guys we're bringing in to camp.

    Dont need a playmaker there although you would like to have one. Really glad we're talking about OLB as opposed to CB or QB
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    Re: Sando: Rams: One Big Question

    With Laurinaitis' contract coming up next year, something tells me the pressing need for OLB will shift towards locking up our special MLB.

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    Re: Sando: Rams: One Big Question

    I really wish we could have drafted Sean Spence.

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