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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Thursday's Update: Fighting For Jobs

    By Howard Balzer
    Thursday, August 28, 2008

    OK, so St. Louis isn't buzzing with anticipation for the Governor's Cup tussle with Kansas City tonight. But almost two dozen players boarded the plane today wondering if they will have a job Tuesday.

    Caution rookies: Even if you don't get the bad news Saturday, don't get too excited. Rosters are always changing, and it's possible the Rams could add players Sunday from the massive cut list from around the league.

    Still, there could be jobs won or lost against the Chiefs. Certainly, coaches have a solid idea who will make the roster. But when it's close between players, this last game could make the difference.

    Here then, is a look at who to watch tonight, with an eye toward the cutdown to 53 players on Saturday and those that could have practice-squad jobs:

    QUARTERBACK: Brock Berlin probably has a slight edge over Bruce Gradkowski for the No. 3 job, so Gradkowski needs to do something special tonight to win the job, unless Berlin plays poorly. The Rams like them both, and they probably wish rosters were larger so they could keep both. Berlin is eligible for the practice squad, but teams don't normally have a fourth quarterback there because the squad is needed for guys that will practice during the week.

    RUNNING BACK/fullback: Lance Ball has shown some promise, but it's nearly impossible for him to be on the roster. Write him down for the practice squad, along with fullback Russ Weil. Dan Kreider has come back strong from a knee injury he suffered in Pittsburgh last season.

    WIDE RECEIVER: There will be tough cuts here, made more difficult because of the injury status of Drew Bennett and Dante Hall. Teams usually keep six receivers, but will the Rams be forced to keep seven while they wait and see how Bennett and Hall respond next week? If they keep six, and Bennett and Hall can't play in the opener, that will leave just four receivers active. Competing for final spots are Derek Stanley, Brandon Williams, Reche Caldwell and Marques Hagans. Stanley is practice-squad eligible. Rookie Matt Caddell could also land on the practice squad.

    TIGHT END: Nick Cleaver has shown some potential, and has a chance at the practice squad. It's difficult to make a case for coach favorite Richard Owens.

    OFFENSIVE LINE: Rookie Roy Schuening will likely get the ninth and final spot, with Dustin Fry heading to the practice squad.

    DEFENSIVE LINE: If the Rams keep eight linemen, Eric Moore will make the team. There isn't much mystery in this group.

    LINEBACKERS: Tim McGarigle, David Vobora and Marc Magro are competing for one spot if six linebackers make the team. The losers will likely be on the practice squad, although McGarigle is not eligible.

    DEFENSIVE BACKS: Cornerbacks David Macklin and Darius Vinnett, as well as safety Jerome Carter, are vying for the ninth spot in the secondary. Vinnett likely won't play tonight because of a knee injury. Don't count out Tanard Davis. He will probably be on the practice squad.

    General totals for positions are: Quarterbacks (3), running backs (5), tight ends (3), offensive linemen (9), wide receivers (6), defensive linemen (7), linebackers (6), defensive backs (9), specialists (3). That totals 51, which leaves room for two players somewhere. Any time one position is "heavy," it affects another position.

    The practice squad is comprised of eight players, and they all have to clear waivers before being signed. It's not unusual for the Rams to sign players for the practice squad released by other teams.

    If all eight are from the Rams' current roster, the practice squad will come from a group of players that includes Ball, Weil, Stanley, Caddell, Cleaver, Fry, C Donovan Raiola, DE C.J. Ah You, DT Willie Williams, Vobora, Magro, Davis and Vinnett


  2. #2
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is online now Moderator Emeritus
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    Re: Thursday's Update: Fighting For Jobs

    Is is me, or do you think they should do away with the whole "Governor's Cup" nonsense.

    Are we really deciding bragging rights for the State of Missouri on the basis of the final score of a preseason game in which most starters won't play a down?

    As for the position battles, not a ton of intrigue there.

  3. #3
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Thursday's Update: Fighting For Jobs

    WIDE RECEIVER: There will be tough cuts here, made more difficult because of the injury status of Drew Bennett and Dante Hall.
    Hmm, I thought both were okay now! This is the most touchy area in the roster, it seems. It's been discussed at length here. Mine are: Holt, Bennett, Avery, Burton, Hall*, Stanley, Looker.

    Practice squad will be important.

    *. - Return kicks.

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    RAMarkable is offline Registered User
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    Re: Thursday's Update: Fighting For Jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    Dan Kreider has come back strong from a knee injury he suffered in Pittsburgh last season.
    Tremendous news on Kreider. Ever since the Rams signed him I've been hoping big time that he could come back to his previous form. I've got several friends that are die-hard Steeler fans and they all said he was a big part of turning the Bus loose. With both Kreider and A. Becht on the team it's looking like we are going to have an effective power running game. And with the schedule we have (especially early in the season) we're gonna need it.

    WHAT SAY YE?

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    Re: Thursday's Update: Fighting For Jobs

    "RUNNING BACK/fullback: Lance Ball has shown some promise, but it's nearly impossible for him to be on the roster. Write him down for the practice squad, along with fullback Russ Weil. Dan Kreider has come back strong from a knee injury he suffered in Pittsburgh last season."

    Well at least he will go to the practice squad.
    :ramlogo:

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