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Thread: Could Rams luck out and get Clowney, Barr, and a stud Safety in the 1st round?

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    Re: Could Rams luck out and get Clowney, Barr, and a stud Safety in the 1st round?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    He's the only one with a right to be hurt about my statement.
    Somehow I think Austin Pettis would beg to differ.


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    Re: Could Rams luck out and get Clowney, Barr, and a stud Safety in the 1st round?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I will say this, though. I'm glad my opinion doesn't depend on me defending Chris Williams as a valuable starter who should be brought back or the merits of a 3.9 yards per carry rushing average.
    Neither does mine, and I don't know where you got the idea that I need to defend Chris Williams.

    Bring him back for cheap or don't bring him back at all, that's really not an issue for me, and certainly not important enough to discuss in this forum.

    If we can upgrade his position for relatively cheap, then by all means, we should do so. And as far as I'm concerned, that philosophy goes for more than just Chris Williams.

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    Re: Could Rams luck out and get Clowney, Barr, and a stud Safety in the 1st round?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    Somehow I think Austin Pettis would beg to differ.
    He's probably begging for play time instead. But he did catch 60% of passes sent his way.

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    Re: Could Rams luck out and get Clowney, Barr, and a stud Safety in the 1st round?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    Help for the oline, a fs and a wr who can actually catch the ball regularly.
    IMO I think O-Line and CB/S are way bigger needs than WR. Sure the Rams don't really have themselves a true #1 wideout, but nowadays teams can win without one as long as they got a good line and running game. Look at the Hawks for instance; they don't really have any great WR's but they have a bunch of good guys who can make plays. Talent-wise, I don't think there's much separating the Rams wide receivers from the Seahawk receivers, especially with Austin filling the Percy Harvin role. Also, our TE's are far superior to theirs (even with Jared Cook dropping the occasional pass).

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    Re: Could Rams luck out and get Clowney, Barr, and a stud Safety in the 1st round?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie25 View Post
    IMO I think O-Line and CB/S are way bigger needs than WR.
    I agree 100%.

    I personally like our WR core, even without a true #1 yet to emerge. Austin has the slot locked down, and I think Bailey is really going to emerge when Bradford is throwing the ball to him. I haven't lost any faith in Givens either. Quick is still developing and Pettis was turning into a redzone threat before Bradford's injury.

    Its common knowledge that WR is one of the hardest positions to transition to in the NFL. The learning curve for a WR is greater than any position, besides QB, in my opinion. I think many would agree.

    With that said, I'm hesitant about using a 1st round pick on one. Sure, if there was a true Calvin Johnson/A.J. Green type talent out there, I'd be much more inclined to take a look. But, I don't see any WR in this draft separating themselves from the pack.

    There is potential out there though, and if the Rams used a 1st on a player like Watkins or Evans, I wouldn't be upset about it. Just not my personal preference.
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    Re: Could Rams luck out and get Clowney, Barr, and a stud Safety in the 1st round?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie25 View Post
    IMO I think O-Line and CB/S are way bigger needs than WR. Sure the Rams don't really have themselves a true #1 wideout, but nowadays teams can win without one as long as they got a good line and running game. Look at the Hawks for instance; they don't really have any great WR's but they have a bunch of good guys who can make plays. Talent-wise, I don't think there's much separating the Rams wide receivers from the Seahawk receivers, especially with Austin filling the Percy Harvin role. Also, our TE's are far superior to theirs (even with Jared Cook dropping the occasional pass).
    I agree and would be just as happy with us not drafting a WR at all. That comment was simply for if we managed to get both Browns picks how we'd spend them. I think we'll maintain two in the first and would like personally to see an OT and either a CB or a FS. Rounds 2-4 in no order a QB, G and DT/OLB(whichever presents the most value. We should have an extra 5th, 6th and 2 7ths are the projections being thrown around for comp picks. Could see our 6th and Indy's 7th bundled for a 5th I don't see staying with 13 picks. So 4-7 DT/OLB, RB, CB/FS and more depth on both lines. I'd love to see our five young WR's go into next year with Sam and the same system in place and see how they develop, hopefully the drop rate goes way down. Again this is just a weekend GM throwing darts and trying to hit the board and not puncture the waterline i mistakenly put the dart board too near to.

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    Re: Could Rams luck out and get Clowney, Barr, and a stud Safety in the 1st round?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Of the running backs who played 50% of more of their offense's snaps this season, Stacy's 3.9 ypc average ranks 22nd out of 31. Of running backs who played 60% of their offense's snaps, Zac ranked 17th of 22. Not in the top half of either.

    If you total the carries and yards for the 31 running backs who played at least 50% of their snaps this season, the average per carry for them all combined would be 4.15 yards per carry. Simply put, Stacy's yards per carry output was below average.
    So Zac 0.25 less then the average in your book is not average but somehow bad? Man I would hate to be graded by you on a curve. Some how you see this as... it's because it's much closer to bad than it is good. It's much closer to average then Bad.


    Jackson's career average of 4.2 ypc ranks 174th all time, according to Pro Football Reference. Hardly something to brag about. Gore's 4.1 ypc average this season is a career worst; over the course of his career, he's averaged 4.6 yards per carry.
    That helps me understand where you are coming from if that's how you see it, so Jackson has nothing to be proud of so I guess 4.3 yards per by HOF Marshall Faulk or 4.4 the ED put up is also, what did you say...Hardly something to brag about. I guess I can't go forward discussing this with you feel that way, whats the point really.

    If people are acting as if that is somehow bad, it's because it's much closer to bad than it is good.
    Not sure why you are just using Zac's numbers when the team avg was 4.1. Teams that played against us where 3.7.

    Another point is we all know we started this year in a spread offense that did not work. It was so bad Fisher changed it to a two TE set and we did very well for a long stretch.

    By Nick Wagoner

    Soon after the Rams’ 35-11 loss to San Francisco on Sept. 26, the Rams had hit an early season low point and lagged behind in many areas. None more so than the run game.

    At that point, the Rams were dead last in the NFL in rushing at 47.25 yards per game. They were only slightly better in yards per carry, ranking 31st at 2.59 yards per attempt.

    In the days after that game, Fisher, Schottenheimer and the offensive staff gathered over the long weekend and began piecing together the formations and plays they wanted to incorporate.

    They also changed personnel at running back by plugging in Zac Stacy as the starter and added more multiple-tight-end and power-I formation stuff with guys like Cory Harkey and Lance Kendricks more prominently involved. The coaching staff also emphasized the need for better blocking outside the hashes from the receivers, something else that has improved during the Rams’ run-game renaissance.

    Schematically, the Rams have stuck to what they know in terms of keeping Stacy between the tackles with plenty of inside zone calls, many of them to the left side behind Long, Williams and Harkey at fullback.

    “It starts upstairs,” Fisher said. “Guys have done a great job upstairs with the scheme, with the game plan and then carrying it over to the practice field. It just doesn’t stop with the line.”

    The personnel on the offensive line was the one area that didn’t see much change, though injuries have caused the occasional shakeup.

    Barksdale stepped in for an injured Saffold at right tackle and played well enough to hang on to the job upon Saffold’s return. Dahl suffered a knee injury and Smith stepped in before ceding the job to Saffold, who has excelled in two starts on the interior.

    No matter how the Rams have mixed and matched in the past seven games, they’ve found ways to have success on the ground.

    “I think we are a lot more physical, a lot more aggressive,” Saffold said. “We started out kind of like a different game plan. Now we are a lot more balanced.”

    The results have been overwhelmingly positive. In the past seven games, the Rams are averaging 151.86 yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry. Both of those totals rank second in the league over that span.

    The net effect of the improved run game has also allowed for the Rams to make more plays down the field in the passing game, many of those coming off play-action. The Rams are 9-of-20 on throws 20 yards or more down the field in those seven games, a vast improvement from the first four contests.

    And though they still prefer to run block, the pass blocking comes much easier after the run has been established.

    “It’s really good, because it takes a lot of the heat off when you are dealing with the pass rush,” Saffold said. “When they get their ears pinned back, they start chipping away at you, and after that it can be one technique or one move that gets you beat, so of course we love to take the pressure off of doing that. I think we have been able to pass and run very effectively, especially these last few games, and it’s really opened up a lot of things for us.”
    If you want to point to Zac's 3.9 per and say it's bad because it's under the average but not at least consider how the season played out and the positive changes that where made then that your choice.

    IMHO I could clearly see improvement in the running game as the season went on and believe we will build on that. One of the reason Fisher may pass on top OT is the fact we will use Cory Harkey and Lance Kendricks in the running game. If we where running empty sets and spreading thing out, having an elite OT that would not be getting any help would be a must IMO.


    Who is making that claim?
    I have read a few post where you make reference to 2011 and state how we are the same or worse in some aspects. Now if I misunderstood your reference to 2011 then I apologize.

    Football Outsiders exclusive statistics ranks us in 2013 as the 12th best at running blocking and 14th in pass protection. Now if you think that's not good enough then I can see your point we can always do better. But you seem to be saying we are bad, I don't get that at all.

    In 2011 they ranked us 30th run blocking and 28th pass pro, I see a huge improvement.
    Last edited by Rambos; -02-12-2014 at 03:05 PM.

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    Re: Could Rams luck out and get Clowney, Barr, and a stud Safety in the 1st round?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    So Zac 0.25 less then the average in your book is not average but somehow bad?
    4.15 ypc is the average combined ypc of the 31 running backs who played at least 50% of their team's offensive snaps this season. Zac Stacy's 3.9 ypc average is below that.

    So it is, by definition, below average. I generally don't refer to below average things as good, so...


    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    That helps me understand where you are coming from if that's how you see it, so Jackson has nothing to be proud of so I guess 4.3 yards per by HOF Marshall Faulk or 4.4 the ED put up is also, what did you say...Hardly something to brag about. I guess I can't go forward discussing this with you feel that way, whats the point really.
    Just as I can't go forward discussing things with someone who insists on putting words in my mouth, since I never said Jackson "has nothing to be proud of."


    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    Not sure why you are just using Zac's numbers when the team avg was 4.1. Teams that played against us where 3.7.
    The team average was inflated by a couple of runs by Tavon Austin, and IMO you have to be careful about including those in a discussion about the efficiency of the OL blocking.

    I'll elaborate - Austin had two big runs of 65 and 56 yards this year on gimmick plays that had little to do with the OL's ability to run block (no OL pulling out in front of Austin on them, for instance) and more to do with schematic misdirection and defensive overpursuit.

    When just those two plays are removed from consideration, the Rams' team rushing average falls into the 3.8 range. If you'd prefer we consider all of the Rams' running backs (Stacy, Cunningham, Richardson, Pead), I believe the average is 3.94 ypc.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    I have read a few post where you make reference to 2011 and state how we are the same or worse in some aspects. Now if I misunderstood your reference to 2011 then I apologize.
    You did. The statistics comparing 2013's pressure % numbers to 2011's were to make a comparative point illustrating that our OL is not as good as some think it is. It was one metric presented among numerous others to support an overall point. Using that to assume I was saying the Rams' OL this year was as bad as 2011's or that it hasn't improved is silly, especially when I've specifically said the opposite (see below).


    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    Now if you think that's not good enough then I can see your point we can always do better. But you seem to be saying we are bad, I don't get that at all.
    If I seem to be saying that, then you aren't reading my posts. In fact, in a response to you on the third page of this thread, I specifically said that the 2013 Rams OL was improved when compared to previous units.

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    Re: Could Rams luck out and get Clowney, Barr, and a stud Safety in the 1st round?

    One problem I see with drafting an OT in the 1st is what do you do with Barksdale? I thought he performed quite well at RT, but with Long playing LT and Matthews/Robinson taking his spot over, does that mean he's moved inside to play one of the Guard positions? That might be fine if Saffold isn't resigned, but if he is and the Rams draft an OG like I expect, that would most likely mean he'd be on the bench next year. Hell of a way to reward a player who was an above-average starter at RT last year.
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    Re: Could Rams luck out and get Clowney, Barr, and a stud Safety in the 1st round?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie25 View Post
    One problem I see with drafting an OT in the 1st is what do you do with Barksdale? I thought he performed quite well at RT, but with Long playing LT and Matthews/Robinson taking his spot over, does that mean he's moved inside to play one of the Guard positions? That might be fine if Saffold isn't resigned, but if he is and the Rams draft an OG like I expect, that would most likely mean he'd be on the bench next year. Hell of a way to reward a player who was an above-average starter at RT last year.
    If Joe Barksdale ends up riding the bench next year, due to upgrades on the line, I will be very pleased with the way the Rams fortified the line this offseason.

    If our 6th lineman is considered an above-average starter, I'd feel much more at ease with the offensive line unit as a whole.

    As we've seen countless times as Rams fans, the 6th lineman will get his fair share of snaps at some point in the season.
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    Re: Could Rams luck out and get Clowney, Barr, and a stud Safety in the 1st round?

    Quote Originally Posted by FestusRam View Post
    If Joe Barksdale ends up riding the bench next year, due to upgrades on the line, I will be very pleased with the way the Rams fortified the line this offseason.

    If our 6th lineman is considered an above-average starter, I'd feel much more at ease with the offensive line unit as a whole.

    As we've seen countless times as Rams fans, the 6th lineman will get his fair share of snaps at some point in the season.
    A 6th OL of Barksdale's caliber would be terrific. I agree with Vinnie in that JB did quiet well for us last year, perhaps better than expected. And yes, it would be an indication that the Rams' overall OL quality will have improved, in addition to sharing of snaps on a rotating system.


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    Re: Could Rams luck out and get Clowney, Barr, and a stud Safety in the 1st round?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie25 View Post
    One problem I see with drafting an OT in the 1st is what do you do with Barksdale? I thought he performed quite well at RT, but with Long playing LT and Matthews/Robinson taking his spot over, does that mean he's moved inside to play one of the Guard positions? That might be fine if Saffold isn't resigned, but if he is and the Rams draft an OG like I expect, that would most likely mean he'd be on the bench next year. Hell of a way to reward a player who was an above-average starter at RT last year.
    Simple: Barksdale either shifts inside to guard or becomes one of the best back-up tackles in the league. He could reemerge as a starter at right tackle after Jake Long leaves and Matthews/Robinson shifts to LT.

    I don't understand why some people are so worried about Barksdale's status. He entered the season as a back-up and likely would have returned to being a back-up had Dahl not gotten injured and Saffold shifted inside. When both Saffold and Dahl were healthy in Week 14, Barksdale was back on the bench.

    If we as Rams fans have learned anything over the years with this team's endless combinations of offensive lines, it's that good depth on the OL is a good problem to have.
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    Re: Could Rams luck out and get Clowney, Barr, and a stud Safety in the 1st round?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie25 View Post
    IMO I think O-Line and CB/S are way bigger needs than WR. Sure the Rams don't really have themselves a true #1 wideout, but nowadays teams can win without one as long as they got a good line and running game. Look at the Hawks for instance; they don't really have any great WR's but they have a bunch of good guys who can make plays. Talent-wise, I don't think there's much separating the Rams wide receivers from the Seahawk receivers, especially with Austin filling the Percy Harvin role. Also, our TE's are far superior to theirs (even with Jared Cook dropping the occasional pass).
    You cannot compare the Seahawks WR and game in general to the Rams. The Seahawks are not where they are due to marshawn and his running game. The Seahawks offense works because of their QB play.

    Wilson is able to MAKE good reads, amd when plays arent there either CREATES a good play or EXTENDS the play to MAKE a play.
    We do not have a QB who can do that.

    Our receivers are terrible. They cant create separation, and more importantly, cant consistantly catch a ball. We are deluding ourselves if we think that our current set of WR will make the types of plays for us that need to be made on a regular basis.

    We have the luxury of 2 1st round picks. I dont mind 1 spent on OL, but the other really needs to be a good receiver.

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    Re: Could Rams luck out and get Clowney, Barr, and a stud Safety in the 1st round?

    Examining Barksdale's future at right tackle

    By Nick Wagoner | ESPN.com

    ST. LOUIS -- Of the many questions awaiting the St. Louis Rams along their offensive line heading into the offseason, one player they know will be back in the mix is offensive tackle Joe Barksdale. What remains to be seen is how the team views his role long term.

    Barksdale was an important cog to the offensive line in 2013, initially stepping in for injured starter Rodger Saffold at right tackle in Week 2 against Atlanta. From there, he made the most of his opportunity, playing well enough in Saffold's absence to mostly keep the job even after Saffold returned to the mix.

    Barksdale
    Claimed on waivers from Oakland in 2012 on the recommendation of special teams coach John Fassel, who had worked with Barksdale with the Raiders, Barksdale has been yet another in an increasingly large group of line coach Paul Boudreau specials.

    With Saffold set to become an unrestricted free agent and Barksdale playing well and under contract, it made plenty of sense for the Rams to take a long look at Barksdale to determine his long-term viability. Barksdale started 13 games, and though he split time with Saffold in a few before Saffold moved to guard, he was clearly the team's primary right tackle in playing 794 offensive snaps on the season.

    Was that enough to ensure Barksdale a starting job moving into 2014?

    "I don’t know," Barksdale said. "That’s all speculation. All I know is I’ll come back with the same work ethic I’ve had the last three years, done the best I can every day and try to become the best player I can to help the team out."

    The 6-foot-5, 326-pound Barksdale seemed to fit the mold of what the Rams are looking for at tackle. Although he's not the most athletic or strongest tackle you'll find, Barksdale competed well and was mostly a net positive in 2013. For what it's worth, Pro Football Focus gave Barksdale an overall grade of 12.2 for the season, with an 11.9 in pass protection. Barksdale earned a negative grade just three times.

    Considering that Saffold and guard Shelley Smith are headed for unrestricted free agency, left tackle Jake Long has a long road back from a torn ACL and MCL, and center Scott Wells and guard Harvey Dahl are potential cap casualties, the presence of Barksdale is made even more important.

    It's entirely possible the Rams could be facing up to 80 percent turnover on the line for opening day 2014. Teams often talk about the importance of continuity, especially on the offensive line which also plays in Barksdale's favor.

    On the other side of the coin, the Rams are armed with a pair of first-round draft picks at Nos. 2 and 13 and would be well served to draft a top tackle. Whether it's Texas A&M's Jake Matthews, Auburn's Greg Robinson or some other top tackle, a player capable of stepping in and playing right away and eventually being Long's replacement at left tackle would make sense with an early pick.

    Of the many possibilities and permutations the Rams' offensive line could take on in 2014, at least they know that Barksdale fits into the picture whether he's a starter or not.

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    Re: Could Rams luck out and get Clowney, Barr, and a stud Safety in the 1st round?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Wagoner, ESPN.com
    On the other side of the coin, the Rams are armed with a pair of first-round draft picks at Nos. 2 and 13 and would be well served to draft a top tackle. Whether it's Texas A&M's Jake Matthews, Auburn's Greg Robinson or some other top tackle, a player capable of stepping in and playing right away and eventually being Long's replacement at left tackle would make sense with an early pick.



    Humor aside, I think that was a pretty fair write up by Wagoner, though I think we've covered most of what he said here in discussions. Everyone agrees Barksdale is going to be part of the Rams' plans moving forward, the only question is in what role.
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