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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Av's 2009 Preseason All-NFC West Team

    Each year, I prepare a preseason All-NFC West team to see how the Rams' starters measure up to those in the division. This year it was more difficult in previous years because many of the top players are coming back from injuries or otherwise had down years. Also, while rookies are not eligible for the list, there are some (J.Smith, Curry, Crabtree, Unger, Laurinaitis) who could end up being among the best at their position in the division.

    So, with that said, here's my list (Note: I've listed 3 WRs and 4 LBs to account for 3 WR sets and 3-4 defenses):

    QB: Kurt Warner, Cardinals
    RB: Steven Jackson, Rams
    FB: Mike Karney, Rams
    WR: Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
    WR: Anquan Boldin, Cardinals
    WR: T.J. Houshmanzadeh, Seahawks
    OT: Walter Jones, Seahawks
    OT: Mike Gandy, Cardinals
    OG: Deuce Lutui, Cardinals
    OG: Sean Locklear, Seahawks
    C: Jason Brown, Rams
    TE: John Carlson, Seahawks

    DE: Patrick Kerney, Seahawks
    DT: Darnell Dockett, Cardinals
    DT: Aubrayo Franklin, Niners
    DE: Bertrand Berry, Cardinals
    OLB: Will Witherspoon, Rams
    OLB: Karlos Dansby, Cardinals
    ILB: Patrick Willis, Niners
    ILB: Lofa Tatupu, Seahawks
    CB: Ron Bartell, Rams
    CB: Nate Clements, Niners
    FS: O.J. Atogwe, Rams
    SS: Adrian Wilson, Cardinals

    K: Neil Rackers, Cardinals\
    P:Donnie Jones, Rams
    RS: Allen Rossum, Niners

    Overall: Not surprisingly, the Cardinals have the most players on the team with 10 of 27. Of course, they could lose a member if Anquan Boldin is traded.

    The Rams are second with 7 players. Am I being a homer? I don't think so. Two of the seven are new players (Karney, Brown) and a third has changed to a "new" position (Witherspoon). Some might argue with the selection of Bartell, as there are other good CBs in the division, but Bartell's numbers last year support his inclusion on the list.

    The Seahawks have 6 players on the list. One previous member of the team, Julian Peterson, is gone. His replacement, Aaron Curry, may someday be on the list, but not yet.

    The Niners have only 4 players on the team, and none on offense. That said, their offensive line as a unit is not that bad. It lacks elite players, but generally has solid starters.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -05-05-2009 at 11:44 AM.


  2. #2
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    Re: Av's 2009 Preseason All-NFC West Team

    I'll offer a few arguments...

    1. Sean Locklear is a tackle. If we have one interior lineman that qualifies as All-NFC West I might collapse from cardiac arrest. We have two underachievers in Spencer and Sims and a washed-up vet in Wahle.

    2. I have no faith in Kerney. First of all, watch the guy at the snap of the ball...he is almost always the last man off. His M.O. is relentless hustle, but two season ending injuries in three years scare Seattle fans.

    3. Deuce Lutui as All-NFC West shows how feeble the interior line talent is in our division. He's twenty injured OGs from being a Pro-Bowl alternate.

    4. Bertrand Berry? I'd trust the two 1st round DEs from last season over him...Long and Jackson...and neither have scratched the surface of potential the Rams and Hawks saw in them.

    5. The one Seahawk I will trumpet is Brandon Mebane at DT over Franklin. I know Franklin is good, but Mebane was our best defender hands down last year (Julian Peterson had turned into a one-trick pony) after a top-notch rookie season. Our defensive coaching staff is going crazy over this kid.

  3. #3
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Av's 2009 Preseason All-NFC West Team

    Quote Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
    I'll offer a few arguments...

    1. Sean Locklear is a tackle. If we have one interior lineman that qualifies as All-NFC West I might collapse from cardiac arrest. We have two underachievers in Spencer and Sims and a washed-up vet in Wahle.
    NFL.com has him listed as an OG. I realize he has lined up at OT but, as you noted, it is actually difficult to come up with a O line for the division.

    2. I have no faith in Kerney. First of all, watch the guy at the snap of the ball...he is almost always the last man off. His M.O. is relentless hustle, but two season ending injuries in three years scare Seattle fans.
    I agree that Kerney has a precarious hold on the spot, given his injuries. The problem is, the younger players like Long and Jackson are not quite there yet. They probably will be in the discussion next year.

    3. Deuce Lutui as All-NFC West shows how feeble the interior line talent is in our division. He's twenty injured OGs from being a Pro-Bowl alternate.
    Agreed. I would not be surprised if the OGs are completely different next year. Could be Richie Incognito, Max Unger, or someone we haven't even thought of yet.

    4. Bertrand Berry? I'd trust the two 1st round DEs from last season over him...Long and Jackson...and neither have scratched the surface of potential the Rams and Hawks saw in them.
    See comments on Kerney.

    5. The one Seahawk I will trumpet is Brandon Mebane at DT over Franklin. I know Franklin is good, but Mebane was our best defender hands down last year (Julian Peterson had turned into a one-trick pony) after a top-notch rookie season. Our defensive coaching staff is going crazy over this kid.
    Give him another year and we'll talk. I gave Franklin the nod because I think that last year he was the best pure NT in the division.

  4. #4
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    Re: Av's 2009 Preseason All-NFC West Team

    How did you come to the decision that Allen Rossum is a better long snapper than Chris Massey? Admittedly i don't watch that many Niner games but I've never seen Massey give a bad snap. You were doing so well with the team until then......

  5. #5
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    Re: Av's 2009 Preseason All-NFC West Team

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBritishRam View Post
    How did you come to the decision that Allen Rossum is a better long snapper than Chris Massey? Admittedly i don't watch that many Niner games but I've never seen Massey give a bad snap. You were doing so well with the team until then......
    RS = Return Specialist

    LS = Long Snapper
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    RAMarkable is offline Registered User
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    Re: Av's 2009 Preseason All-NFC West Team

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBritishRam View Post
    How did you come to the decision that Allen Rossum is a better long snapper than Chris Massey? Admittedly i don't watch that many Niner games but I've never seen Massey give a bad snap. You were doing so well with the team until then......
    RS would indicate "Return Specialist". Rossum returns kicks and has never been a LS "Long Snapper".

    BTW you are certainly correct about Massey. The guy has been clockwork now for years and I don't believe that I've ever seen a bad snap either.

    Note to Avenger: I would have placed Leroy Hill over Witherspoon at OLB simply because Hill has been playing there at a high level while 'Spoon is just now making the move from the middle. Hopefully by this time next year its a moot point and 'Spoon will take his place on this list at the postion he should have been playing all along.

    WHAT SAY YE?

  7. #7
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Av's 2009 Preseason All-NFC West Team

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMarkable View Post
    Note to Avenger: I would have placed Leroy Hill over Witherspoon at OLB simply because Hill has been playing there at a high level while 'Spoon is just now making the move from the middle. Hopefully by this time next year its a moot point and 'Spoon will take his place on this list at the postion he should have been playing all along.
    That's a fair point, but Spoon did play OLB in Carolina, and was very effective. I think Spoon is a much better player than Hill, regardless of the spot.

  8. #8
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    Re: Av's 2009 Preseason All-NFC West Team

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    RS = Return Specialist

    LS = Long Snapper
    What i was trying to say is Av may have overlooked Massey's potential as kick returner.

    Doesn't that sound more likely than me completely misreading his post?

  9. #9
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Av's 2009 Preseason All-NFC West Team

    I'll buy that. After all, I believe Massey ran a 4.29 in the 30.

  10. #10
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    Re: Av's 2009 Preseason All-NFC West Team

    Very solid picks there AV.
    I'm hoping we'll have a lot more able to add their names on that list this year, especially Jason Smith, Chris Long, and Adam Carriker.

  11. #11
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    Re: Av's 2009 Preseason All-NFC West Team

    Vernon Davis is the best TE in the divison no doubt.

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