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Thread: What if Rams already have their next guard?

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    What if Rams already have their next guard?

    By Mike Sando

    Steve Hutchinson's disputed departure from the Seattle Seahawks five years ago changed the landscape for guards across the NFL.

    The contract Hutchinson commanded from the Minnesota Vikings put other top guards in position to cash much fatter paychecks.

    The position has assumed the spotlight in the NFC West recently. The San Francisco ***** used a first-round pick for a guard in the 2010 draft. The Seahawks used a 2011 third-round choice for Wisconsin guard John Moffitt. Their first-rounder, tackle James Carpenter, appealed to them in part because he can play guard as well. The Arizona Cardinals watched left guard Alan Faneca retire while wondering whether right guard Deuce Lutui would hit free agency.

    The St. Louis Rams, meanwhile, failed to address the position in the draft, creating questions about how the team might proceed in free agency. But what if their next starting right guard is already on the roster?

    "John Greco is much better than anyone realizes and will be a starting-caliber guard if they give him a chance," Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. told me recently.

    Greco, 26, started three games in 2009 and one in 2008. He played in six games last season, but did not start. The Rams selected Greco in the third round of the 2008 draft, a couple of months after current general manager Billy Devaney arrived as executive vice president of player personnel. Veteran Adam Goldberg started all 16 games at right guard last season. He has 30 starts over the last two seasons.

    Greco, meanwhile, hasn't done much.

    "They should be excited about him," Williamson said. "He doesn't have a discernible trait where he is a real masher or a wonderful technician or a great athlete, but he is good at all of the above and he really has a nasty streak to him. He is somebody to keep an eye on."

    Goldberg, valued for his versatility and leadership, has started 58 games over seven NFL seasons, including two with the Vikings.

    "Goldberg, to me, is a great six," Williamson said. "He can play a lot of positions. Keep him in the offensive line meeting room, but keep him off the field."
    This seems to go completely against what Tony Softli wrote in that article (posted here on Clanram a couple of days ago), here's what it said:

    I was the vice president for the Rams when we drafted Greco. A former tackle in college that lacks foot quickness and athletic ability to play on the edge in the NFL. The natural progression was to move him inside, but he lacks consistent toughness and aggression level along with power and explosion to play on the interior. He has been given many opportunities to become the starter and I feel despite being a great person with no off-the-field issues, Greco lacks the passion for the game and the ability to stay healthy. The Rams need to cut ties and move on.
    I'm not sure which talent evaluator I should believe. Obviously Tony Softli is in a great position to evaluate Greco having drafted him but there's a reason he's not with the Rams anymore. Plus I really like the idea that Greco can be a starting guard next season and not let the interior get shoved around as much as it has so I'm leaning towards trusting Williamson's evaluation


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    Re: What if Rams already have their next guard?

    As much as I have rooted for Greco to become that guy, and despite the conflicting talent evaluations, there has to be a reason the coaches have not seen fit to plug Greco into the line-up. Having said that, I think Softli's evaluation is more accurate. Still, I hope Greco becomes that guy.
    Last edited by Chris58; -05-16-2011 at 12:26 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Re: What if Rams already have their next guard?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris58 View Post
    As much as I have rooted for Greco to become that guy, and despite the conflicting talent evaluations, there has to be a reason the coaches have not seen fit to plug Greco into the line-up. Having said that, I think Softli's evaluation is more accurate. Still, I hope Greco becomes that guy.
    Agreed. Playing time (or lack thereof) is a pretty telling sign of whether or not your coaches think you can cut it, especially at a position that is in need of some solid time there. I'd at least like to see him get a chance at it, though.

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    Re: What if Rams already have their next guard?

    could be a make or break year for Greco, hope he gets his chance and hope he doesnt get Bradford killed in the process of getting his chance.

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    Re: What if Rams already have their next guard?

    The thing that stands out for me is that it's not even abuot Greco not starting already, it's that sometimes he doesn't even make the game day roster even though he doesn't appear on the injury report. Something has to be up with that!

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    Re: What if Rams already have their next guard?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk247 View Post
    The thing that stands out for me is that it's not even abuot Greco not starting already, it's that sometimes he doesn't even make the game day roster even though he doesn't appear on the injury report. Something has to be up with that!
    Playbook troubles?

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    Re: What if Rams already have their next guard?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk247 View Post
    The thing that stands out for me is that it's not even abuot Greco not starting already, it's that sometimes he doesn't even make the game day roster even though he doesn't appear on the injury report. Something has to be up with that!
    Overall, I'm not all that surprised by him not making the game day rosters, though it is a bit telling. If you have a generally healthy team, the guys you want on your game roster are starters, key backups, and special teamers. For the offensive line, you want your best overall non starter, backup center, and a swing tackle, and maybe only two of those. Overall, you want to be able to get away with as few o lineman playing as possible, as they can't contribute on special teams, really, and should only be in there if the starter is gassed or hurt.

    Already, about 12% of your roster is starters on the line, so to dress 8 is really pushing it (with 7, it's more than 1/7 of your roster). Since Greco can't play tackle or center, it's not a wonder he doesn't play if not starting.

    To think of it another way, your gameday roster is 42, plus punter, kicker, and long snapper. You need more tacklers than offensive players, so maybe you do a 19-23 split. 2 QB's, 3 RB's, 3TE's and 5 WR's and you have only 6 spots left for the line, so either you lose a defender/special teamer, or you lose a skill player, probably your 5th WR. As you can see, getting a guy who can only play guard as a backup is hard to put on the gameday roster. Doesn't mean he can't be good, he's just not a starter yet. Hopefully he can be!
    MauiRam, C-Mob 71 and thermobee like this.
    I believe!

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    Re: What if Rams already have their next guard?

    That's much much better than maybe not being able to pass a drug test, which was what I was thinking, but didn't want to say..... I'm just sayin.
    With all the gravitas of Jackie Treehorn.

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    Re: What if Rams already have their next guard?

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    Overall, I'm not all that surprised by him not making the game day rosters, though it is a bit telling. If you have a generally healthy team, the guys you want on your game roster are starters, key backups, and special teamers. For the offensive line, you want your best overall non starter, backup center, and a swing tackle, and maybe only two of those. Overall, you want to be able to get away with as few o lineman playing as possible, as they can't contribute on special teams, really, and should only be in there if the starter is gassed or hurt.

    Already, about 12% of your roster is starters on the line, so to dress 8 is really pushing it (with 7, it's more than 1/7 of your roster). Since Greco can't play tackle or center, it's not a wonder he doesn't play if not starting.

    To think of it another way, your gameday roster is 42, plus punter, kicker, and long snapper. You need more tacklers than offensive players, so maybe you do a 19-23 split. 2 QB's, 3 RB's, 3TE's and 5 WR's and you have only 6 spots left for the line, so either you lose a defender/special teamer, or you lose a skill player, probably your 5th WR. As you can see, getting a guy who can only play guard as a backup is hard to put on the gameday roster. Doesn't mean he can't be good, he's just not a starter yet. Hopefully he can be!
    Oh no i understand that, it's just a hear a lot of talk of Greco being starter quality. Well where has that been shown? He hasn't played much. He isn't good enough to dress for games ahead of Goldberg. If he was good enough to start, why isn't he? I'm not saying he can't progress, but for him to suddenly rise from not dressing on gamedays to starting at G? Seems a bit of a stretch if you ask me.

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    Re: What if Rams already have their next guard?

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    Since Greco can't play tackle or center, it's not a wonder he doesn't play if not starting.
    Greco was a college tackle, and I'm pretty sure he has taken reps at right tackle before at least in camp. Playing time might not be a perfect indicator, but it does say something. It's not like Greco has been languishing between two All-Pro guards, either, and both the guys who have been playing ahead of him are still on the roster and not old enough that they would be expected to have lost a step over the off-season. Basically, if Greco isn't better than he has been in the past and we don't have injuries, there's not a lot of reason to think anything will change.

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    Re: What if Rams already have their next guard?

    Indeed, Greco was a college tackle... but was determined to not be quick enough to stay outside in the pros. I didn't know he took some RT snaps in camp though.

    I think he's a career backup, nothing wrong with that, I just dunno if he'll ever get a chance to start with us. I hope he does and then does well though. I've always liked him,
    I believe!

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