I was re-reading the Sporting News unit rankings from before last season. Basically teams are ranked from 1 to 32, 1 being the best at that position, and 32 being the worst. In retrospect, I agree with most of the rankings for the Rams, give or take a few spots, but have a few comments where the Rams made progress, or not, throughout the year and should (or need to) make progress next year:
QB - 6
RB - 22
WR - 2
TE - 22
OL - 30
DL - 23
LB - 32
DB - 29
ST - 32
RB, I agree for 2005, but hopefully will be better in 2006. Hard to get too much better than about 15th given the pass oriented offense.
WR - Agreed, although I might just say they are top 5...lots of good young WR units out there.
TE - actually I think we ended up worse than this Possible FA pickup for next year to improve this with Linehan utilizing 2 TE's.
OL - given the poor run blocking, and QB abuse, I would have to agree, but could be more like 20th next year with Barron/Incognito/Pace.
DL - Agreed. I don't see this changing in '06.
LB - Well, if we're not 32nd, I can't think of who is worse. I don't see too much improvement here, except for coaching, which could be significant. Perhaps 24th in 06 would be encouraging, or get a FA/Draft pick to get around 20th.
DB - well, if they gave us this ranking before Butler went down, I'm insulted....but as it turns out, this is accurate. Perhaps we move up a few slots, but such a gamble with Bartell, or the rookie safeties in Atogwe/Carter.
ST- 32 Ah ha, an area that we saw some improvement towards the end of the year. Is Liggy going to stay as an assistant to the assistant to the special teams coach?? I say we got, and will get much better here. Probably 24th last year, and perhaps 19th next year. (Really need to hire a guy to kick off.)
Overall, these rankings are a good insight into where this team is. There's a lot of room for improvement.
Re: Unit Rankings
I don't think our DL played that well. If it had, the rest of the defensive units would've looked better too.