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TSN Rams Report - Interesting Tidbits
TSN Rams Report
CAP STATUS: When all is said and done, the Rams have enough cap room to
make one or two moderate to large strikes in free agency. Currently the
team is $4.5 million under the salary cap, but it will gain cap room if
RB Marshall Faulk restructures his contract, if the team signs
franchise LT Orlando Pace to a long-term deal, and when the team makes RT Kyle
Turley a post-June 1 cap casualty.
MOVING ON: Tommy Polley was a productive starter for most of his four
seasons in St. Louis, and he was above-average in coverage. But his play
was inconsistent, radically so at times, and the team seems committed
to having '04 draft pick Brandon Chillar step into his starting spot at
strong side linebacker. The team has helped develop Bryce Fisher from a
fringe player into a bona fide NFL defensive end. But Fisher's
late-season surge -- he was NFC defensive player of the month in December --
basically priced himself out of the market as far as the Rams are
concerned. He finished with a team-high 8.5 sacks. Pass rushers are always at
a premium in free agency, so Fisher figures to be in line for a nice
payday. Anthony Hargrove, who actually was starting ahead of Fisher late
last season as a rookie, will man the right end spot. Hargrove remains
raw, but he is a promising talent. The team is considering moving DT
Damione Lewis outside to DE to help on run defense. FS Aeneas Williams is
expected to retire after missing the last five games of the season with
an arthritic condition in his neck and shoulder area. Williams, who
turned 37 in January, wasn't much of a factor last season, largely because
of the injury. Either Adam Archuleta, who has been moved to free
safety, or Antuan Edwards, who the club is trying to re-sign, will man the
position in '05.
ACTION PLAN: Linebacker already was a position of prime need. But that
is the case even more now that the team has decided to switch OLB Pisa
Tinoisamoa to strong safety. With Polley not expected back, the Rams
now need two new starters in '05. That's particularly true at middle
linebacker, because the team plans to switch Robert Thomas to weak side
linebacker. If you had to pick one area that the team would target in free
agency, linebacker would be it. It's clear the team is looking for more
size and striking power in the middle. Philadelphia's Jeremiah Trotter,
Baltimore's Edgerton Hartwell or Washington's Antonio Pierce all would
fill the bill. All three weigh 240 pounds or more. Pittsburgh's
Kendrell Bell could be another option. He can play all three LB positions and
can rush the passer. . . .
With Turley on the way out, right tackle is a high area of need.
Youngsters Scott Tercero or Blaine Saipaia could play the position, and they
played decently there last year, either in the preseason or regular
season. But the Rams will consider adding a veteran to the mix.
Tennessee's Fred Miller, a former Ram, could be a possibility if, as expected,
he's a cap casualty. Other possibilities are Pittsburgh's Oliver Ross,
Buffalo's Jonas Jennings, and Indianapolis' Ryan Diem. If Lewis, in fact,
moves to DE, another DT will be needed to help out in a defensive line
rotation that already has Ryan Pickett and Jimmy Kennedy as starters.
But it's unlikely the Rams would want to pay more than a moderate price
for a free-agent DT. . . .
If Antuan Edwards is re-signed, then the team needs decrease at safety,
which appears to be a weak position anyway in free agency.
-02-21-2005 #2Registered User
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Re: TSN Rams Report - Interesting Tidbits
This is very interesting...
I think if they can sign Antuan Edwards, I almost like the thought of having Adam Archuleta as a backup at 3 positions:
SS, FS, and OLB. He's not big enough to play permanently at OLB, but could provide some spark here and there to spell one of the other guys, or on a blitz package. (I'm of course picturing the Archuleta of years gone by).
Somehow, I see this working. Pisa, Edwards and Arch as the Safeties (use the FS position like Faulk and Jackson, Edwards on most plays and passing downs, and Arch against teams that don't have much of a deep passing threat and run more.) I realize you might say that if we use Archuleta in more of a situational role that he is a bust as a first round draft pick, and I can't disagree, but if that's what you got, work with it.
Linebackers, Outside - Chillar, Thomas, and a Hartwell/Trotter type in the middle.
DLewis at DE at times, and pick up yet another DT. Preferrably a veteran that is not too expensive, ala D'Marco Farr in his later years.
Draft an OT in the first round, and CB's and LB's who are good on special teams in the middle rounds.
It's all about putting your best players in position to make plays, and although I don't like trying players in other positions, I think small linebackers make good safeties, so it's not a huge transition. And DLewis will be a bust, barring a move to DE and a few pounds shed that could revitalize him, so they might as well try it...and hope Little is a free man.