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Thread: St. Louis Rams Better or Worse

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    St. Louis Rams Better or Worse

    No longer am I locked in my room, eating instant pre-packaged food, sipping countless amounts of coffee in order to prepare for my finals. Finally the brain can solely focus on whats most important… Football. This time of year on the football calendar is definitely the most quiet, as teams prepare themselves for the much anticipated and dreaded training camp.
    At this quiet time on the NFL calendar, the only football news out is of each teams “star” rookies and their so to be said amazing potential that have been displayed at rookie mini camps and OTA’s. The game however, isn’t played in shorts. For some reason this type of hype gets to the fans’ head, resulting in completely over rating most rookies. This article is going to bring the Ram Nation back to the surface, by analyzing every position (other than Kicker and Punter), and stating whether the positions were better or worse than last year going into the 2013 season.
    OFFENSE
    Quarterback - Okay, no players have changed in this position. The one thing that has changed is that Sam Bradford can finally go into a new season with the same playbook as the previous year, something that has never happened to Bradford as a Ram. This will allow Bradford to work on his weaknesses from the previous year and be able to conduct the offense with more authority. With Bradford’s second year with wide receiver Chris Givens, expect the two to build on their chemistry and do wonders for the offense.Overall – Better
    Wide Receiver - Chris Givens was somewhat a one trick pony early on the 2012 season, but as 2012 drew to an end, Chris Givens was looking more like a complete receiver. Austin Pettis has been receiving praises from Brian Schottenheimer stating that he was the “MVP” of the OTA’s. Again, the game isn’t played in shorts, but I guess it doesn’t hurt to hear that he’s playing good ball. Losing Danny Amendola to the New England Patriots was obviously a little bit of a downer for the offensive side, as he was Bradfords safety blanket. With the addition of Tavon Austin, (arguably the most explosive player to come out of the 2013 NFL draft) you can’t help but get excited with what he will bring to the offense. Not only will he make the wide receiving core better, he will also help fix the 26th ranked special teams.
    Overall – Better
    Running Back – No one can stand here and make a valuable point that the running back position is stronger going into this season than the last. The Rams have lost a 13,000 all purpose yard and a 64 touchdown running back in Steven Jackson. It’s safe to say there’s no replacing that this year. Despite the loss of the Rams all time rushing leader (no big deal), the Rams do have an interesting young group of running backs. Daryl Richardson, Isaiah Pead and Zac Stacy are all hungry for that starting job. There’s no doubt the Rams will squeeze out every little bit of talent that these running backs have to offer.
    Overall – Worse
    Full Back - It’s hard to know what exactly what the Rams are doing at the full back position as of yet, because there isn’t a player penciled in the roster as a fullback. Tight end Lance Kendricks did see a fair few snaps at the full back position last year, maybe his reps at full back will increase considering the Rams now have an established receiving tight end in Jared Cook.
    Overall – Balanced
    Tight Ends - The addition of Jared Cook, will allow Rams to have one of the most potent tight end duo’s in the NFL. Lance Kendricks had some what of a little break out year, as he was able to collect 519 yards receiving for four touchdowns. While Cook had a very up and down year with only starting five of the 13 games, he was still able to gather 523 yards for four touchdowns. It’s easy to say that the Titans didn’t use Cook to their full advantage. Now with Cook re-united with Jeff Fisher, the coach who drafted him five years ago, expect Cook to rejuvenate his young career.
    Overall – Better
    Offensive Line - On paper, the Rams have one of the best offensive lines in the league. Again, only on paper. The biggest knock on the Rams offensive line isn’t their blocking skills, rather it’s whether or not they can maintain the same big guys blocking from round one till round 17, or heck, even playoffs. Jake Long protecting the blindside is a comforting thought, though again, no point in having him on the roster if he only plays 10 games a season. Jake Long’s investment is very much a boom or bust type of deal. Roger Saffold is usually over looked when it comes to discussing quality tackles. Moving over to the right side to make room for Long really shows where Saffold’s heart lies. Undoubtably, the offensive line has improved, but if injuries can be minimized this line could be a top 10 line in the NFL.
    Overall – Better


    DEFENCE

    Safeties - The loss of Quintin Mikell is a huge blow for the Rams. It will be very hard to replace his 101 tackles, four forced fumbles and three sacks. Craig Dahl on the other hand was somewhat of a frustrating player for the Ram supporters and not too many were sad to see him shipped to San Francisco. However, he did at least bring experience to the table, something the current safeties do not have. T.J. McDonald is a rookie with obviously no NFL experience and Darian Stewart didn’t start a single game last year. Although the safety position was addressed in the draft, this remains the Rams weakest position on the roster.
    Overall – Worse
    Cornerbacks - Janoris Jenkins and Cortland Finnegan had a very up and down season last year. Jenkins was more the case of rookie growing pains, as he struggled early on in the season to then become one of the most dangerous corners towards the end of the season. He had four defensive touchdowns, which is an all time rookie NFL record. Finnegan was on the opposite end. He started dangerously, having gotten an interception in his first three games, including taking one to the house. He then dropped a little in form, allowing more and more quarterbacks to target him. Trumaine Johnson is a long, rangy, athletic nickel corner who is looking like he has the goods.
    Overall – Balanced
    Linebackers - James Laurinitus has been the rock of this defence for the last four years. The only problem is that the Rams weren’t able to find Laurinitus any other linebackers to help support him. This was until the Rams signed Jo-Lonn Dunbar. He has been nothing short of a good linebacker for the Rams, as he was able to collect 115 tackles, 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions. The one knock on Dunbar is that he is a liability in pass coverage. Now, in comes Alec Ogletree. He’s a hard hitting, rangy, fast linebacker from Georgia, who was actually a former safety. All of a sudden the Rams linebackers are almost the best position on the roster.
    Overall – Better
    Defensive Line - The reason behind the statement that ‘the Rams linebackers are almost the best position on the roster’ is simply because of these big guys. This front four played the starring role of the Rams being the number one sack team in the NFL last year, able to collect 52 sacks. You’ve got Robert Quinn who is itching to break out to be a 15+ sack player, Chris Long who is just a non stop beast on the other end, William Hayes who is the defensive linemen equivalent of a swiss army knife and finally the 21 year old who arguably had the best defensive linemen rookie season last year, Michael Brockers. Will the defensive line help the Rams reach 52 sacks this year? Maybe, maybe not. But will they be worse? Absolutely not.
    Overall – Better
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    Re: St. Louis Rams Better or Worse

    I think the O-line will create a ripple effect on improving our RBs. No disrepect to Sjax but he lost his burst during his last few years with us. Zac Stacy has been known to do as well as Sjax when he had a piss poor team around him and against SEC competition. With his burst, all you really need is to break the first line of defense to move the chains and we shouldn't worry about our RBs being forced to fight for a couple of yards behind the line of scrimmage.

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    Re: St. Louis Rams Better or Worse

    Good post. But I will disagree with a couple of points.... I think the running back position will be better. Jackson did not have the home-run burst that both Pead and Richardson have. And I think the opponents knew that. They didn't fear the Rams running attack because of that. With these kids in the backfield, they can break a big one at any time. Let's face it, Jackson was no longer the beast. He wasn't imposing at the goal line, or on the outside. I can't wait to watch the running game this year. I also think the CB's will be better simply because the rookie should be better. Last year, he made a LOT of mistakes, looking into the backfield and getting beat by guys that had no business of beating him with his speed. He'll learn that this is not college and that he can't get away with that in the NFL. Yes, he took a few to the house, but he was schooled early on. He should learn on those mistakes this year and be better. This team should be as good, or better at every position this year. Will it translate into a playoff appearance? Today, I say "no", but in say, six to eight weeks, I may change my mind.
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

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    Re: St. Louis Rams Better or Worse

    I am very concerned if it's 4th and 1 and we have Lance at the FB position......

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    Re: St. Louis Rams Better or Worse

    Good Post buddy

    I also respectfully disagree on a few points as well, Completely agree with the fact the game is not played in shorts and we have some rook's that have a long way go, The thing that has me feeling pretty good right now is our team is overall is a better by far, We have a lot more speed on both sides of the ball. The natural talent of the rook's is plain to see and our coaching staff will get the most out of our new and 2nd year players.

    As I mentioned in another post, Having done a lot of research and found that we are better than most are willing to acknowledge due to being the youngest team in the NFL again which I understand. But looking at the multiple amount of talent and speed plus our coaching staff will bring a new look to our Rams team this year.

    On Defense:

    We have one issue and its at the safety spot this true, But look at our corners and linebackers which possible could be in the top 10 back fields in football, With our front D line together again will make our D line much better, they will apply a lot of pressure on the Qb with good creative blitz's which will give the young safeties time to re-act to the ball we have some good talent their and expect them to have learning curves as most rook's do, But with our Linebackers and corners I see a lot of interceptions this year.

    On Offense:

    Here have a lot of fresh talent and major league speed with a solid O line staying healthy is always a concern for every club and losing turner in my mind was a very big lose for us more that SJ39 which hurt considerably as well.

    Any D will have major issues in covering all our Wide outs and tight ends who or which Wide out will they double cover if they do they will lose the battle most the time as their is just to much talent and speed to cover them all with the healthy O line and Sam playing well their will be a lot of miss matches on the field most the time. After looking at and reading many different sites with different points of views, Most agree that HC Fisher and company main focus has been to create miss matches. Even with the youngest team in the NFL the rook's and 2nd and even the 3rd year players have the so much raw talent to create those miss matches that we will score more points than we did last year.

    Overall:

    Last year we were close and in a lot of the games we lost, The D kept us in those games but the O just could not get it done with SJ or Gibson and Danny. Many see this Offense as trouble for any Defense to handle. Please Note I'm not saying were going to the SB just yet lol But want many see is a strong opportunity for our Rams to go deep in the playoffs. Also I would like to mention that our Rams seem to rise to play well in the big games (except for the over sees game last year) When looking what we did last year in our Division and knowing in most people's mind hold the whinners and hags as two teams at the top of their game and the NFL, I firmly believe being a much different team for the better we can or have the possibility of creating the same results. If we do and with a little luck going our way the 1st step toward the playoffs is on our door step and it only gets better from here.

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