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  1. #1
    RamsFan16 Guest

    Post What we have, what we need ( Long )

    What we have, and what we need

    Offensively, the Rams have a lot of potential, unfortunately that doesn’t automatically translate to All Pro talent. As cornerstones, we have several. Starting with the Offensive Line, we have Jason Brown, and Jason Smith. Both young, and talented, with room to improve. Jason Smith the rookie RT has had a few injuries this season, with the most recent being a severe concussion. Prior to the injury, he was playing at a very high level. While run blocking, Smith was a absolute bulldozer, driving opponents back, pancaking them, and being relentless. While in pass protection, he showed much improvement. He started out slow and got had a “Welcome to the NFL, Rookie!” moment when Julius Peppers made a comedian out of Smith. Other than that one play, Smith has been solid in pass protection, and outstanding in the running game. The Rams are set at C, and RT, and some could say LG for the future. Yes, LG, Jacob Bell has been playing much better this season, believe it or not. Starting lineman Alex Barron ( LT ) and Richie Incognito ( RG ) have expiring contracts at the end of the season, with that, the question “Do the Rams bring them back?” comes up. Granted, they make boneheaded penalties on occasion, they’re players, they’ve becoming accustomed to this scheme and other than penalties have played at a “winning level”. Even if they’re not guaranteed a starting spot, bring them back. A team with enough holes the way it is does not need to create anymore for themselves. At worst, the two of them will be solid backups. Bring in some draft picks, or Free Agents to compete with them, make them earn it, but we cannot just let them walk, and create 2 holes on the line when they’ve gelled together pretty well as of late
    .
    At the skill positions, offensively, the Rams have an absolute star Running Back in Steven Jackson. One of thee best, if not the best running backs in the game, Jackson has outstanding leadership and talent. He’s going to be 27 years old next season, and with his unique style of play, we badly need to get him a legitimate backup running back to take the load of him. Samkon Gado and Kenneth Darby will most likely be gone after this season, and Rookie RB Chris Ogbonoya ( sp* ) could serve as a potential #2, or #3 at worst. But we need to get Steven a backup, and a backup bad to let him continue this high level of play. At Tight End, veteran Randy McMichael will most likely be gone after this year, young Daniel Fells has shown potential and never gets utilized in our game plan for some reason. I’d feel comfortable next season with Daniel Fells and Billy Bajema as our two tight ends. That being said, it wouldn’t hurt to get a young guy in to compete either, but if not, I’m fine. At Wide Receiver, we have a stable of young, potential filled players. Donnie Avery, Brandon Gibson, Laurant Robinson, Keenan Burton, Danny Amendola, Ruvell Martin, Brooks Foster, Jordan Kent, who to keep, who to say bye too? You can book on Avery, Gibson, and Robinson. That leaves Amendola, Burton, Martin, Foster and Kent. Amendola has been a star in the Return Game and in the passing game, he’s stepped up big time, I don’t think you can let him go, for his special teams play. Keenan Burton was playing at a high level before being hurt. Hurt is a word that’s been following Burton since his his last few years in college. Now out for the season, is he worth a roster spot? Or should the Rams grab a legit #1? Martin, Kent, and Foster look to be the odd men out. Foster was decently quiet through Training Camp and OTA’s, he has potential, but I don’t think here. At Quarterback, we have Marc Bulger, Kyle Boller and rookie Keith Null. Bulger is out for the season, and carries a large contract. His play has really dropped off the last few years and is going to need to take a large pay cut, or be cut. He once was great, but is not anymore. He does not have a future here. Kyle Boller, could be kept has a backup again. He’s just in a really bad situation with receivers being hurt, and no creativity to beat a team. I have no problem with him as a backup, and Null will probably find himself on a Practice Squad ( most likely ours ) next year. I wouldn’t mind bringing in a veteran like Tavaris Jackson, or Jason Campbell to help groom a young franchise Quarterback.

    Defensively, the Rams have quite a few guaranteed cornerstones. Chris Long, James Laurinatis, James Butler, Ron Bartell ( He’s been getting better, just needs to locate the ball ), and Clifton Ryan. On the line, Chris Long will probably get switched to LE, his natural position. I’ve noticed him at LE a lot lately, and when in, he gets much more pressure on the QB then at his current RE position. He’s a future star, he’s just in a bad position ( waiting for potential Hall of Famer Leonard Little to retire ) currently. DT Clifton Ryan would be a star with the help of a good Defensive Tackle beside him. You’ll often times find him eating up double teams, making plays in the backfield, and batting passes down. A Free Agent after this season, he should be the Rams top priority. Backup DE’s LaJuan Ramsey, Douzable, rookie Darrell Scott, and IRed Adam Carriker are decent, but replaceable. Carriker was a high draft pick and has a lot of potential, his only problem is staying healthy. I believe with some more help from Spagnuolo, he could be a solid backup. I also believe that Scott will be a good rotational DT, but needs some more work. I foresee Ramsey and Douzable fighting for a roster spot, but ultimately being cut. They’re very serviceable players.

    At the linebacking position you have rookie sensation James Laurinaitis anchoring the MLB spot down, his play this year shows that he’s going to be there for a long, long time. The only problem is that on the left and right of him, he needs help. Vobora, Grant, Chamberlain and Lenon are all decent, but not exactly starting material. Vobora, Grant and Chamberlain are all young and could be decent backups, but aren’t going to strike fear in anyone. Grant was hyped in the offseason, but has ultimately under achieved. Vobora and Chamberlain have both started, but haven’t shown anything worth while. They’ve done decent, but that’s it. Paris Lenon is a veteran, and could serve to be a valuable backup next year. He’s versatile being able to play WLB, MLB, and SLB. He’s also made a few plays this year, but he’s at the age to be situational, not starting.

    In the secondary, we have James Butler, OJ Atogwe, Craig Dahl, David Roach, Ron Bartell, Jonathan Wade, Justin King, and Quincy Butler. James Butler, and Ron Bartell are guaranteed to be back next season. Bartell has had a down year, but he’s also been aggravated by a hamstring and other miscellaneous injuries, I have no doubt in my mind that next season will be a much improved Bartell. Non guarantee players are Atogwe, Wade, Quincy , King and Wade. OJ is going to be a Free Agent, a once good safety, Atogwe has really seen his stats, and play fall off this season. Being in a contract year, that’s disappointing. He’s now possibly out for this season, it’ll be his second shoulder injury. He’ll most likely have a large asking price, and in my opinion, let him test the market. Do not overpay for him, we can’t afford it. He’s really dropped off this season. Justin King, Wade, and Quincy Butler aren’t guaranteed next season. Quincy has been the best of the bunch, King and Wade both haven’t shown much, while Wade has been the better of the two, he for some reason cannot get onto the field ( a glaring sign that he’s almost for sure gone after this year ) and King has been very poor in his game. Also, Bradley Fletcher who was playing at a high level is going to be back, however it might not be until midseason. He suffered a severe, freak knee injury earlier in the season. He should be able to come back and come back strong. Craig Dahl, whose been excellent for us will now find himself starting in place for Atogwe. Dahl has an excellent chance to show what he has to offer for next year, and possibly earn a starting FS spot for next year.


    With all that being said, to me, these are the needs and what we should do with our current, potential key Free Agents:

    • - LT Alex Barron: Keep, he’s versatile at LT and RT. He’s solid, he has bonehead plays but is a good player and losing him would create another hole ( RT with Jason Smith moving to LT ).

    • - LG Richie Incognito: Keep, he’s a good player, he’s got a fiery attitude and is feared in the NFL, much like Alex Barron, he’s a good player, not All Pro, but good, and losing him would create another hole.

    • - FS OJ Atogwe: Walk, he’s going to demand a high Price Tag, and with him having a below average year in a contract year to me is disappointing.

    • - DT Clifton Ryan: Keep, he’s #1 on my “To Do List”, he’s a beast, and with someone good next to him, he’d be a pretty damn good defensive tackle.

    • - LE Leonard Little:Try and talk out of retirement, he’d be a very good rotational/situational player, and could show Chris Long some tips and tricks on the bench.




    After that, our needs in my opinion are these:
    • - Quarterback, we need a Franchise Quarterback, get one high in the draft, and start grooming ASAP. Perhaps with some help, he could start Day 1 for us.
    • - Starting Defensive Tackle, we need someone to play beside Clifton Ryan, and perhaps draftee Suh from Nebraska could be that guy, or maybe a Free Agent like Barry Coefield could also potentially be that guy.
    • - Starting WLB and SLB, what we have are decent, but we need some true players besides Laurinaitis to help him show what he really is all about.
    • - Starting Right Defensive End, we need someone there who is a pass rusher so that Chris Long can move back to Left End and show off his potential and talent.
    • - Backup Running Back, get someone who is a legitimate #2 and can provide a spark and back Steven Jackson up.
    • - #1 Receiver, we have one on this team, but so far it’s not being shown, we need someone to be a legit #1. Hell, if someone on the team ends up being that guy, then we have 2 good #1 Receivers, and about 2 or 3 good #2 receivers, no problem to me.


    Thanks for reading,
    RamsFan16
    Last edited by RamsFan16; -12-09-2009 at 06:22 AM.


  2. #2
    39thebeast's Avatar
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    Re: What we have, what we need ( Long )

    I think you have a pretty good analysis this year, but I would bring back OJ and not Barron. Barron has be giving up way to many sacks and he could set records for penalties on this team. If it is not a false start it is holding. Jason Smith is the future there, Barron is even worse on the right side just let him go.

  3. #3
    RamsFan16 Guest

    Re: What we have, what we need ( Long )

    Quote Originally Posted by 39thebeast View Post
    I think you have a pretty good analysis this year, but I would bring back OJ and not Barron. Barron has be giving up way to many sacks and he could set records for penalties on this team. If it is not a false start it is holding. Jason Smith is the future there, Barron is even worse on the right side just let him go.
    I would rather not create another hole on this offensive line this year, maybe next, but not this.

    OJ is 29, going to be 30, coming off a serious shoulder injury, with a below average season... We'd absolutely overpay for him and be strapped. I don't want that.

  4. #4
    39thebeast's Avatar
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    Re: What we have, what we need ( Long )

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFan16 View Post
    I would rather not create another hole on this offensive line this year, maybe next, but not this.

    OJ is 29, going to be 30, coming off a serious shoulder injury, with a below average season... We'd absolutely overpay for him and be strapped. I don't want that.
    I dont think it was below average second on the team tackles, first in forced turnovers. We have the 3rd most cap space in the league we wont be strapped. He is one of the few play makers on this team. Letting him go would be a mistake, There are a bunch of safties who are really playing well in their mid 30's notably Darren Sharper and Brian Dawkins I think OJ can do the same.

    Barron is a whole on the line, so we wouldn't be creating one.

  5. #5
    RamsFan16 Guest

    Re: What we have, what we need ( Long )

    Quote Originally Posted by 39thebeast View Post
    I dont think it was below average second on the team tackles, first in forced turnovers. We have the 3rd most cap space in the league we wont be strapped. He is one of the few play makers on this team. Letting him go would be a mistake, There are a bunch of safties who are really playing well in their mid 30's notably Darren Sharper and Brian Dawkins I think OJ can do the same.

    Barron is a whole on the line, so we wouldn't be creating one.
    They are a few. Look at Clinton Hart ( guy we just signed ). San Diego gave him a big contract at 30, and they ended up cutting him. OJ is decent, but I don't want to lock him up long term. If we want to be a more physical team, he's not going to be here. With him missing tackles, bad angles, and being at sometimes a liability in coverage, he's not worth a large contract.

    Alex Barron is solid. Would you rather have Adam Goldberg starting there?

  6. #6
    GolfnRAMFAN is online now Registered User
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    Re: What we have, what we need ( Long )

    I would be absolutely shocked if the Rams brought back Barron and not OJ. Barron will probably have a pretty high asking price too. He has played in who knows how many games in a row, showing his durability, and has potential hidden somewhere in that huge frame of his. To bring him back, I'm 99% sure we would overpay, and I don't think he is very good. OJ however busts his tail, doesn't cause distractions and is a playmaker. Bring him back for sure, maybe with a contract similar to Bartell's last year. It wasn't too high but got the job done. We need to resign our draft picks who turn out to be good players. I think it helps the whole franchise.

    And I would prefer Goldberg starting at RT than Barron, far far less money and not a big drop off IMO.

  7. #7
    Rampingitup Guest

    Re: What we have, what we need ( Long )

    There comes a point when it time to stop saying, "He has potential." and get rid of a penalty machine. It could very well be that Barron goes somewhere else and they find the way to unlock his "potential". But the reality for the Rams has been no matter which side of the line Barron has been on, he is a drive killing penalty machine and has been for years. Not just this season. Currently he is the the most penalized lineman in the league. If not the most penalized player in the league and it is killing us.

    I agree with most of the rest of your review, but not this one. Goldberg is good enough to hold the fort until we can get another lineman through FA or the draft.

  8. #8
    RamsInfiniti's Avatar
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    Re: What we have, what we need ( Long )

    I cannot even fathom why anybody would doubt Atogwe's ability at this point. Tired about hearing about missed tackles and bad angles. I've seen Ed Reed and Brian Dawkins get juked out of the jockstrap many a time. You put Atogwe on this teams, you wouldn't hear any of that nonsense ...

    Most safeties that play with average corners end up being a liability in coverage. Safeties are safeties for a reason. You have to understand the game of football and the role they play to understand how they really factor in ...

    Simply watch the Chicago game to see what Atogwe brings to the table. And blah, blah, blah, no arguments about how Atogwe needs to do that every game. He is top 3 in the NFL in turnovers forced the past three years, he does it on a plenty regular basis ...

    As for Goldberg, he plays every position on the line except center. He is a coaches dream. He is an above average, if not very good guard. He's an average tackle at best, but his ability to play both sides makes him very valuable. He's a great asset to this team, and any other in the league ...

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    39thebeast's Avatar
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    Re: What we have, what we need ( Long )

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFan16 View Post
    They are a few. Look at Clinton Hart ( guy we just signed ). San Diego gave him a big contract at 30, and they ended up cutting him. OJ is decent, but I don't want to lock him up long term. If we want to be a more physical team, he's not going to be here. With him missing tackles, bad angles, and being at sometimes a liability in coverage, he's not worth a large contract.

    Alex Barron is solid. Would you rather have Adam Goldberg starting there?
    yes I would, neither are long term solutions and I would rather have the lower priced and maybe just as good Goldberg as a stop gap. The long term solution at RT can be found in the middle rounds. Clinton Hart was never the player OJ is. I don't really need to say much more I think Infiniti has got it covered.

  10. #10
    TheRammer Guest

    Re: What we have, what we need ( Long )

    Quote Originally Posted by 39thebeast View Post
    I dont think it was below average second on the team tackles, first in forced turnovers. We have the 3rd most cap space in the league we wont be strapped. He is one of the few play makers on this team. Letting him go would be a mistake, There are a bunch of safties who are really playing well in their mid 30's notably Darren Sharper and Brian Dawkins I think OJ can do the same.

    Barron is a whole on the line, so we wouldn't be creating one.
    I agree let go of Barron and pick up a tackle in FA, but to let go of OJ? Now that's just crazy talk!!!! He alone has accounted for 6 of the Rams turnovers this year and is a ball hawk, I don't know about you but everytime I see a defensive highlight it's either of OJ punching the ball out or Recovering/intercepting a ball or around the ball aka saving a TD, not only does he have gas left in the tank but we should reward him for the most consistant play on the defensive side of the ball the last couple of years!
    Edit from Dec. 9 2009 St. Louis Rams.com
    Atogwe finishes his year with 84 tackles, two interceptions, three passes defended, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Before the injury, Atogwe had started 60 consecutive games dating to 2006.

    Now tell me ho on the team has posted better numbers for us this season? Also he has played most consistantly over the years for us...
    Last edited by TheRammer; -12-10-2009 at 12:21 AM.

  11. #11
    WhinerFan Guest

    Re: What we have, what we need ( Long )

    Assuming next year is an uncapped year, as it likely will be, Atogwe will almost certainly be gone, while Barron and Clifton Ryan will almost certainly be back. In an uncapped year, six years of NFL experience are required before a player becomes an Unrestricted Free Agent, as opposed to the usual four. This means that Barron will be given a slotted salary by the Rams, and any team who wishes to utilize his services will have to give up draft picks commensurate with that slot. The Rams will also have the ability to match any offer Barron receives, so there is almost no way that a back-up OT who cannot play the right side of the line is going anywhere.

    I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that Ryan would be a RFA even if this were not going to be an uncapped year, as he was drafted in 2007. In any case, he probably will not be going anywhere, either.

    Atogwe is another matter altogether. With fewer available free agents on the market, good players who are scheduled to become UFA's will command a higher price. The only way to retain Atogwe's services will be to either drastically over-pay him, or to franchise him again, risking a hold-out. He seemed none too pleased to accept the franchise tag this year, and I tend to think that franchising a player two years in a row invites disaster, if for no other reason than it requires a player to be paid the average of the top five players at his position, or an increase in salary of 20%, whichever is higher. This means that, while this year Atogwe was paid the average of the top 5 safeties in the league, next year he would command an additional 20% and likely be the highest paid player at his position, which is certainly not in line with his talent.

    As for the rest of the post: Incognito will be gone, as will be Leonard Little, and no one on the roster is even close to being a #1 WR, despite what anyone's hopes might be (the real question is: do you need a #1 WR to win?). The Rams will be absolutely out of their minds if they do not select a QB with their first pick, as none of the QB's who will be UFA's in an uncapped year are starters on their current teams. Safety is still a concern, as is CB, WLB, SLB, DE, DT, OT, RB, OG, WR, and TE.
    Last edited by WhinerFan; -12-10-2009 at 02:07 PM.

  12. #12
    RebelYell's Avatar
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    Re: What we have, what we need ( Long )

    OJ - he's at the top of his game. If you can sign him to a 3 year deal, bring him back. If he demands a 5 year deal - he's gone. I would love for him to be back but signing a 5 year $30 million contract would be idiocy.

    Barron - 3 weeks ago I'd have said he's coming back. Since then he appears to have given up. Buh Bye. He's not worth it. Move Smith to LT and fill in the RT spot with a backup or cheaper free agent.

    Richie Incognito - Buh Bye. He's a hot head who loses his cool at the worst possible moments. If you watch him closely, the other team is playing him all game long. They get him off his game and then he takes a penalty. Goldberg is equal or better than Richie.

    Ryan - KEEP KEEP KEEP

    Little - talk him into coming back for one more year w/ shared duties and move him to the other side.

    Via free agency bring in a second level CB (Ellis Hobbs?)
    Bring in a DT like Cofield
    Backup RB is a guy like Chester Taylor and draft a project who falls.
    WR - get an old veteran who wants to play one more year. We need time for the youth to develop so we can see who needs to stay and go.
    TE - this is where you invest instead of WR. Get Owen Daniels if at all possible
    OLB - Derrick Johnson at WLB and get a SLB in the draft or secondary type play in FA

    The key for the Rams is brining in guys who aren't old, aren't premier but increase the overall level of talent at affordable prices. They aren't building to win the Superbowl in 2010, they are looking to break out of the cycle. If you do it right, 9-7 is very possible. If you sign 2 guys for $12 million per year, you still have massive holes. You build a franchise via the draft, you fill holes via free agency.
    Last edited by RebelYell; -12-10-2009 at 03:15 PM.

  13. #13
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    Re: What we have, what we need ( Long )

    IMO, Barron should not be brought back. The notion that he is solid is not even close to being accurate.

    He gets burned many times, and to make matters worse, he tries to hold every single defender that rushes pass him. This is solid?

    I don't think so.

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    Re: What we have, what we need ( Long )

    I wouldn’t mind bringing in a veteran like Tavaris Jackson, or Jason Campbell to help groom a young franchise Quarterback.

    Has no-one else noticed he wrote this? Since when have these two horrible QBs been veterans, or any good for that matter???? I lost interest after i read that

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