The Watercooler: What Questions Will Rams Answer Tonight?
08.21.2009 1:13 pm
What questions will Rams answer tonight?
By Roger Hensley
QUESTION: With the Rams expected to play their starters the entire first half tonight against Atlanta, what areas of play or specific players will you be watching most closely for signs of improvement for this team?
The Rams were respectable — no, make that more than respectable — on run defense last week against the New York Jets. Can they do it again tonight versus an Atlanta team that has one of the league’s best running games? Better third-down play on both sides of the ball is a must. And the defense must avoid giving up the big play. Individually, No. 2 overall draft pick Jason Smith probably will make his first Rams start at right tackle. How will Kyle Boller do at QB in place of the injured Marc Bulger? What will we see from the wide receiver corps and the backup running backs?
I plan to watch most closely rookie tackle Jason Smith, who figures to get his first real action against a first-team NFL defense. I also want to see how the competition for the backup spot at running back goes, after Samkon Gado’s big game last week vs. the Jets, and curious to see if any of the healthy wideouts begin to separate from the pack.
There is plenty to watch. Is Kyle Boller a viable alternative to Marc Bulger? We’ll know a lot more about him later tonight. Also, we’re know more about the WR corps. This is a primary concern to fans for obvious reasons. Is Laurent Robinson legit? Can Keenan Burton become a playmaker? Does Ronald Curry have anything left? The return teams will be interesting too. Once the starters leave, I want to see what this team has for depth at safety, offensive tackle and linebacker.
KEVIN WHEELER (Host of “Sports Open Line” on KMOX)
The play of Jason Smith and the play of the defensive line. Because of Alex Barron’s injury we’re going to see what Smith looks like “running with the 1’s” and I’m very curious to see how that goes. After all, he was the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft and, as such, is a player who should be expected to start. If he plays well tonight perhaps he can elevate his status on the team. If not, well, that would be disappointing.
Atlanta was an outstanding rushing team last year and I’ll be interested in seeing how this Rams team does in that regard after struggling to stop the run the last two seasons. It’ll also be important to see some kind of pressure on passing downs. This team has some players taken very high in the draft who need to start turning into impact players here shortly and tonight would be a good time for those guys to start showing a little something.
Re: The Watercooler: What Questions Will Rams Answer Tonight?
Okay...who's staying up until 11 PM pacific time to watch the game on the NFL network and chat on clanram chatroom? If there's interest...please post and I'll take a nap to be up!