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  1. #1
    ZigZagRam's Avatar
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    Ziggy's Pre-Camp Offensive Preview

    Camp has started and I have made my triumphant return to the Clan for another great season of Rams football. While unable to give the Rams as much attention as I'd like to last season, I've been trying to keep up with the offseason happenings as the Rams rebuild from top to bottom. This offseason I've taken a more realist approach to my expectations for the team this year, as opposed to the mostly optomistic approach that I've had in the past. That said, here's my breakdown of the shake-down at Rams Park in preparation for the 2006 season, using a 1-10 scale (1-horrible; 10-superb).

    Quarterbacks
    Marc Bulger has proven that he can toss with the best in the NFL when given proper protection. What he hasn't proven is that we can count on him to stay healthy when the protection breaks down. With Chris Chandler backing up last year and a young Ryan Fitzpatrick doing the same, the Rams postseason hopes were gone after Bulger stuck his shoulder where it didn't belong. This year they have a capable backup in Gus Frerotte who knows the offense Scott Linehan will run, and should be able to fill in and be a solid QB if Bulger goes down. Rams quarterbacks might not put up the GSOT numbers that we're used to seeing but the offense should be more efficient with Bulger now being able to audible at the line and running an offense that actually emphasizes the run and passing to the tight tends.
    Grade: 8.5

    Running Backs
    There are some that are already calling Steven Jackson a bust based on his performance behind a shoddy O-Line last season. While Jackson's performance was slightly discouraging, I don't think we can gauge his value based on his production in Martz's offense. Jackson is not the typical Martzian RB. He is what he is, a North-South running bull. With an offense actually focusing on running the football, I expect Jackson to have a break-out year, if the O-Line holds up. Tony Fisher provides good depth but with Marshall out of the game this year, the Rams still need to add a shifty change-of-pace backup. Whether or not Madison Hedgecock will give the Rams the FB blocking in the new offense remains to be seen.
    Grade: 8.0

    Receivers
    This is, once again, the strength of the Rams team. With Torry Holt, Kevin Curtis and, Mr. Ram, Isaac Bruce returning, the Rams have a Top 5 1-2-3 punch at the WR position. Shaun McDonald is also a solid #4 receiver. The tight ends are a big question mark. Klopfenstein and Byrd both showed terrific hands in college but time will tell whether or not that will translate well to the NFL. I'd like to see the Rams add a veteran blocking tight end.
    Grade: 9.0

    O-Line
    For the first time since 'Rockin' Kyle Turley's departure the Rams go into camp solid at the tackles. Orlando Pace is arguably the best O-Lineman in the league and sophomore Alex Barron proved to be solid last year and will only get better with age. The inside of the line is filled with question marks though. Adam Timmerman could be on his last legs and Andy McCollum might be soon to follow as the Donut Bros. careers wind down. Claude Terrell and Richie Incognito will apparently battle for the LG spot, and should both find themselves in the starting lineup no later than next season. Blaine Saipaia and Larry Turner provide decent depth while the veteran Todd Steussie should give us at least what Grant Williams did, probably more. This group should be solid but the success depends mainly on the health of the old guys and the ability of the youngsters to play at the NFL level.
    Grade: 7.5

    The Greatest Show on Turf days are over and I'm sure as the beginning of the season comes to fruition some fans will speak ill of the new offense as it fails to score 35+ per game. What we will see is a more efficient ball-control offense that we haven't seen for awhile. The big plays will be limited but so will the turnovers. The new balance should quietly allow for big years from Bulger, Jackson and the receivers.


  2. #2
    tomahawk247's Avatar
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    Re: Ziggy's Pre-Camp Offensive Preview

    I actually think you are underrating our WRs.

    And i disagree on Jackson being a North-South runner, he is a bit more balanced. He has the power, but he can also get round the corner.

  3. #3
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    Re: Ziggy's Pre-Camp Offensive Preview

    Hi ZigZag, good to see you around.

    Your analysis of the offense seems to be pretty optimistic. What kind of record do you think the Rams will have this year if the offense is that good?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  4. #4
    Dr. Defense's Avatar
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    Re: Ziggy's Pre-Camp Offensive Preview

    I think that is a pretty good article. I agree with pretty much everything you said. Do have to disagree with you on one thing though. Steven Jackson has the ability to run on the outside (espically when they pull Timmerman to the left and have him run behind him) but he is primarily a north to south runner. That was part of our running troubles in the past. We were trying to use a guy that specilazes on north to south running, so we run him east to west.

  5. #5
    ZigZagRam's Avatar
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    Re: Ziggy's Pre-Camp Offensive Preview

    I actually think you are underrating our WRs.
    The question marks at the TE spot drag the grade down.

    And i disagree on Jackson being a North-South runner, he is a bit more balanced. He has the power, but he can also get round the corner.
    This is true however I still believe that he's at his best when he can hit a hole right in front of him and power through the linebackers.

    Your analysis of the offense seems to be pretty optimistic. What kind of record do you think the Rams will have this year if the offense is that good?
    That will depend mainly on the defense, which I'll get to in Part II.

    Hi ZigZag, good to see you around.
    Thanks. Good to be back!

  6. #6
    JackieSlater's Avatar
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    Re: Ziggy's Pre-Camp Offensive Preview

    The Greatest Show on Turf days are over and I'm sure as the beginning of the season comes to fruition some fans will speak ill of the new offense as it fails to score 35+ per game.

    is scoring 35 points per really a requirement? as long as we are tidy/neat on Offensive production, and the wins occur, are we concerned if the team dont get near the 35 pt mark?

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