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Thread: Insiders Give Rams C-Plus For Free Agency

  1. #1
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    Insiders Give Rams C-Plus For Free Agency

    Insiders give Rams C-plus for free agency

    March, 25, 2014
    By Nick Wagoner | ESPN.com

    As the waves of free agency have crashed ashore much faster than usual, the shelves that were once stocked with veteran options are now almost bare.

    ESPN Insider Mike Sando, with the help of fellow insiders Louis Riddick, Matt Williamson and Field Yates, decided to take stock of how each team has fared in free agency and hand out grades.

    In what has been an extremely quiet free-agent period for the Rams, Sando gave the Rams a C-plus for retaining starting offensive lineman Rodger Saffold and linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar while allowing other marginal starters to head elsewhere.

    Here's a small piece of Riddick's evaluation of the Rams' approach:
    "I don't know if there was anyone out in free agency who they felt could come in and help, but they have been burned in free agency anyway with Cortland Finnegan, Harvey Dahl and you could make a case for Scott Wells. They need to find an impact player in the draft."
    It's hard to disagree with that assessment and I believe the Rams were right to avoid trying to get involved with big-ticket free agent items like safety Jairus Byrd. They haven't had good luck with those high-priced free agents and they are going to have expensive pieces to re-sign in the near future in defensive end Robert Quinn and, if things go how they hope, quarterback Sam Bradford.

    Still, it's been a bit of a surprise that the Rams haven't made more of an effort to add some mid-level free agents in the secondary or perhaps on the offensive line. There are still a few names out there who could be useful pieces but to this point, the Rams have come up empty other than taking a flier on a cornerback and linebacker who are far from locks to make the roster.

    Sando also makes a good point about the team's offensive line. While keeping Saffold was crucial, the Rams are counting on three players -- Saffold, left tackle Jake Long and center Scott Wells -- who have had serious injury issues in recent seasons. That was a big question surrounding the offensive line going into last year and it remains one now. Adding young talent in the draft remains a necessity for that group.


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    Re: Insiders Give Rams C-Plus For Free Agency

    I would hope the Rams will finally be done with Bradford if he is not compelling this next year. Quinn, that guy is a stud and is really they only superstar on the team right now.
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    Re: Insiders Give Rams C-Plus For Free Agency

    I'm getting sick and tired of the articles hinting that our O-line was bad last season. I totally disagree. Fisher and his staff (Boudreau, O-Line Coach) have done a good job the last 2 seasons with what they had to work with. I really don't think bolstering the O-line is going to prevent Bradford from the injury he endured last season. We need to give Bradford more weapons and Sammy Watkins is the guy I want.

    There!!!! I feel better now.
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    Re: Insiders Give Rams C-Plus For Free Agency

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    I really don't think bolstering the O-line is going to prevent Bradford from the injury he endured last season.
    I do agree that the narrative that the OL played poorly last year is false, but Bradford was injured on a play where he felt pressure from Carolina's four man rush and chose to take off on the run, only to be caught from behind and pulled down awkwardly by a defender.

    Bolstering the OL isn't going to prevent all injury from happening, but improving a team's ability to provide their QB with a clean pocket and minimizing pressure as much as possible certainly sounds like a good strategy towards preventing the type of injury that comes about from running for your life.
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    Re: Insiders Give Rams C-Plus For Free Agency

    Yep, that was why I was so worried when all the Rams OG with starting experience where on their way out the door. You need to be able to step up into that pocket.

    As far as the grade, FA isn't over yet. I think the Rams getting a talented DL is a huge plus for the organization, and if we could get a solid backup QB and a safety or WR on the cheap we'll be in pretty good shape depth wise going into the draft.

    As grim as it's looked at times with the Rams holding their cards so close to the vest, this could be a pivotal offseason that we look back fondly as the start of something really good.

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    Re: Insiders Give Rams C-Plus For Free Agency

    The OL didn't stink, but in a division with three of the top defenses in the NFL it wan't good enough. So the suggestion that it needs to better isn't wrong, even if the narrative isn't accurate.
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    Re: Insiders Give Rams C-Plus For Free Agency

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Bolstering the OL isn't going to prevent all injury from happening, but improving a team's ability to provide their QB with a clean pocket and minimizing pressure as much as possible certainly sounds like a good strategy towards preventing the type of injury that comes about from running for your life.
    I don't think Sam Bradford will find any faults with that statement Nick. Additionally bolstering the O-line will help our offense stay on the field longer, and thereby help our defense immeasurably in the 3rd and 4th quarters of close games.

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    Re: Insiders Give Rams C-Plus For Free Agency

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I do agree that the narrative that the OL played poorly last year is false, but Bradford was injured on a play where he felt pressure from Carolina's four man rush and chose to take off on the run, only to be caught from behind and pulled down awkwardly by a defender.

    Bolstering the OL isn't going to prevent all injury from happening, but improving a team's ability to provide their QB with a clean pocket and minimizing pressure as much as possible certainly sounds like a good strategy towards preventing the type of injury that comes about from running for your life.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm all in as far as having a strong O-line goes. However pressure on the QB isn't always the O-lines fault.

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    Re: Insiders Give Rams C-Plus For Free Agency

    No question the OL needs some help, but it wasn't awful last year and why is Joe Barksdale never mentioned like he doesn't exist. He did a very admirable job and I hope he continues to improve. I trust that we'll be drafting some OL, just not necessarily in round 1, unless a prospect is too good to pass on.

    Getting back to the article, I disagree that Harvey Dahl burned us. There was a time when I thought he was our best OL and he certainly added some attitude. Plus even though Scott Wells has been hurt, that grade is incomplete in my mind. Having a center who makes all the blocking assignment calls is pretty helpful to the QB who needs to read the defense. I thought Nick Wagoner was more familiar with our team based on his previous job.

    Go Rams!
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    Re: Insiders Give Rams C-Plus For Free Agency

    Agreed, Harvey was considered a mainstay for a time, and brought some much desired nastiness to the group.

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    Re: Insiders Give Rams C-Plus For Free Agency

    good

    History has shown you cant buy a championship in Football. No team to date since this malarky called free agency has won the Superbowl.

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