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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Evaluating Team Needs

    I thought we should add a thread evaluating positions of need for the St. Louis Rams. Here's my breakdown, in order of importance.

    1) Linebacker - Inside or outside, take your pick. The poor tackling displayed by the Rams for the past few years, let alone the playoff game against the Falcons, shows that we need linebackers who can not only tackle, but get off their blocks in order to make those tackles. We could probably draft someone to replace Tommy Polley on the strong side, or if Thomas moves outside, pick up a middle linebacker in free agency to improve this unit.

    2) Offensive Line - Primarily at the right tackle position, but we could use a guard as well. We cannot bank on Kyle Turley returning for 2005, not only because of his health but also because of possible tension with the coach. Blaine Saipaia has looked better than I expected, but I don't believe we can count on him to be a long-term answer. Also, we need to find someone to fill the hole at left guard. Pulling two guys out of retirement to eventually start on the line at that position signifies it as a need in my book.

    3) Cornerback - Groce got burned twice if not more in the Seattle game. Garrett was seemingly demoted while Fisher was injured. Butler is arguably our biggest ballhawk but looked pathetic in run support last night - I think it was a statement about Butler when the Redskins gave him an offer sheet to be their nickel corner after looking elsewhere for a starter. I think we need to find a cornerback who can immediately step in for nickel packages if not compete for a job with Butler.

    Feel free to add additional comments to the positions mentioned, or other positions you'd like to see addressed.

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  2. #2
    lakerams Guest

    Re: Evaluating Team Needs

    they need more than that and they won't be able to get it done this off season.

  3. #3
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Evaluating Team Needs

    Quote Originally Posted by lakerams
    they need more than that
    Obviously. I left off some others to try and get some conversation going.
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    Key - Stopping Run and Running

    I Tivo'd the game, and it was pathetic in the run blocking and run stopping. LB play was terrible, but even worse was the play of Groce and Garrett in run support, they looked like they were hoping not to have to tackle. So I think the key in offseason is to stop the run and to be able to run consistently without tricks.

    While LB is a key, I think getting a vet here is key, we have lots of young guys but need a Trotter type in there, big experienced and a run force. So I say spend the bulk of any FA $'s on a vet LB, not the top 2 in draft.

    Then unless a big physical DB falls 10 spots below where they should, I say draft an OL... I don't care G or T, that can run block and can start from day 1.

    I'd go best DB in round 2, but if a great OL drops to 2, I go OL AGAIN!

    Then with 3 I'd go CB/S/WR with the 2 picks. The Bruce injury is scaring me that he might not be consistently around next year, and while Curtis and McDonald were great in their roles, neither is a #2 receiver. We need a big one (said this last year and will continue to say it until they do it).

  5. #5
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Key - Stopping Run and Running

    Quote Originally Posted by ramhard
    Then unless a big physical DB falls 10 spots below where they should, I say draft an OL... I don't care G or T, that can run block and can start from day 1.
    While it's questionable as to whether any rookie offensive lineman would be able to start in this offense from day one, I think you bring up a good point. Our need at guard is only slightly less than our need at tackle yet still very large itself.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Evaluating Team Needs

    :ramlogo: get rid of marmie.its evident the D doesnt want to play for him.

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    Re: Evaluating Team Needs

    Nick, nice work here. I watch quite a bit of college football but never judge talent that well or pay enough attention to exactly who each player is. That is why I appreciate what you are doing here. I like how you have broken things down by addressable needs. I agree that a run stopping LB and a tackle & guard are priority one. Keep up the good work.
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    Re: Evaluating Team Needs

    With justa bout everyone on the O line aging to the point of AARP status, drafting an O lineman of any sort in Round 1 would be a very good move. MLB is something that the Rams should persue in the offseason via FA.

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    Re: Evaluating Team Needs

    There may be some debatable points, but I'd say that our top priorities are LB & OL. And I don't see how that could be debated. We've got to pick up a starter in the LB corp. I doubt Polley will be here, and my hope for Thomas is dropping every day. One of them, if not both, will be replaced. If another Jonathen Vilma exists in this draft, then we have to get him. If an Edgerton Hartwell exists in FA (oh wait, he does), then we have to get him.

    As far as O-line, yes their horrible, but it's looking more and more like there won't be a starting OL in the draft at our position (what spot are we? 26th I think) and FA doesn't offer much better (Walter Jones, but who wants that headache?). If we get to 26 and there's not an OL or LB worth starting left on the board, I say we trade it down and stock-up, because there's nothing worse than spending a 1st round pick and 1st round money on 2nd round talent.

    Oh, yea, one last thing, fire Marmie.
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    Re: Evaluating Team Needs

    Unless Bulger grows a foot and puts on 40 pds,They need the o-line first! Period! If Bulger is going to do as well as you think he can do, O-line is first priority!The defense wasn't that great in 99'! When most teams have to play catch up, the D looks usually better than they are!So get the line taken care of with the whole draft if you have to and be very aggressive in the FA in the off season on DEFENSE!
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    Re: Evaluating Team Needs

    The problem is that there doesn't appear to be a starting O-lineman at the #26 spot. Maybe Adam Terry (OT), or Baas (OG) or Elton Brown (OG), but even then, I don't know how much they will help as a rookie. None of them are immediate starters, IMO, but I could be wrong. On the other hand, I think there will be a LB at #26 ready to start. Crowder, Burnett, Blackstock, Ruud, Mitchell. I think any of them could start and will probably be there at #26.

    As I said, the O-line is a priority, but I guess I have more faith in Tercero, Turner, & Saipaia, than I do in Trev Faulk, Chillar, and Wahlroos.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Evaluating Team Needs

    I think the Rams D could also use some specialists. The kind of players that don't have a complete enough game to go in the first 3 rounds, but can nonetheless contribute in situations. I would look for:

    1. A speed rushing DE/OLB who could be brought in for blitz packages; and
    2. A nickel/dime back who likes to knock the snot out of receivers.

  13. #13
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Evaluating Team Needs

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam
    1. A speed rushing DE/OLB who could be brought in for blitz packages
    Sounds like Blackstock to me, although I'm not sold on him personally. Also sounds like Dan Cody now that I think about it. Both would probably do better in a 3-4 scheme though.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Evaluating Team Needs

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam
    I think the Rams D could also use some specialists. The kind of players that don't have a complete enough game to go in the first 3 rounds, but can nonetheless contribute in situations. I would look for:

    1. A speed rushing DE/OLB who could be brought in for blitz packages; and
    2. A nickel/dime back who likes to knock the snot out of receivers.
    Ah, the ever intriguing 2nd day picks. Day 2 of the draft has to be the biggest crap shoot in the world, and with that caveat in place...I'd go with

    1. (speed rush DE/OLB) - Ryan Riddle, Cal. - 6'3", 250 lbs., think a faster Grant Wistrom...Riddle is very quick off the edge (4.6 forty) and piled up 14.5 sacks this season. Unless he hits the weight room and puts on 30 pounds or so, he will be a perfect candidate for the 'tweener pass rush. Is he a small DE or a big OLB or both? He'd be a great 4th round pick-up, IMO.

    2. (nickel back) - Ronald Bartell, Howard (the school, not the person) - 6'2", 205 lbs., 4.4 forty, very physical, very aggressive, but he has the small school stigma. The question is can he make the jump from small school to the NFL. Technique is questionable, but he can lay a hit like few college cornerbacks. If he can better his technique, he will be a great 2nd day pick-up.
    "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

  15. #15
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    Re: Evaluating Team Needs

    With the number of young guys on the defense, I start wondering if maybe there should be a coaching concern. Marmie was on the grill much of the season and I have to say I would fix that, then draft defense.

    After that, O-line should be top priority, then heavy on defense with LB and DB critical.
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