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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Rams invite 3 RBs to Visit (Not Who You Might Have Guessed)

    From NFL.com:

    The St. Louis Rams found a franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford at the 2010 NFL draft. This year, they may be looking for a complement -- and potential successor -- to running back Steven Jackson.



    Alex Green of Hawaii, Stevan Ridley of LSU, and Daniel Thomas of Kansas State have been invited to make pre-draft visits to Rams Park on Tuesday and Wednesday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Sunday.

    The Rams have struggled to find an effective backup for Jackson, who is the club's all-time leading rusher and will enter his eighth season with the team in 2011. Keith Toston and Chauncey Washington are the only other running backs on the roster.

    St. Louis has the 14th pick in the first round, and it's been speculated the team will draft Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones if he falls to 14.

    If Jones is off the board, Alabama running back Mark Ingram is an intriguing possibility. Ingram is projected as the first running back off the board by five different NFL Network draft analysts.
    Interesting. While this does not necessarily mean that the Rams will targe these guys to the exclusion of other prospects, it is noteworthy that none of them are what you would call a "change-of-pace" back. Rather, they're all 220+ lb. backs with average speed.

    I think the two qualities that all three have, based upon the reports I've read, is (1) the ability to carry a large workload if needed and (2) receiving ability.

    Perhaps our notion of the change-of-pace speed back is not the Rams' thinking with respect to Jackson's backup.


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    Ram Mar Ram's Avatar
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    Re: Rams invite 3 RBs to Visit (Not Who You Might Have Guessed)

    Looks like they might be looking to grooming a replacement rather than a complement to Jacksons game, or they want to extend the shelf life of Jackson a few more years.

    Id expect his trade value would diminish after the next season and looking at what happens around the league, you dont want to be caught without a suitable replacement when your premier back starts to decline. Not saying thats what will happen but but its gotta enter there minds with Jackson entering his 8th season. (mind you he is only 28 this year so a little while before he reaches the "hump")

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    Re: Rams invite 3 RBs to Visit (Not Who You Might Have Guessed)

    He may be only 28, but his age by carries is more like 31. SJ is reaching that point in the career of a RB where the tread starts to get a little thin. I forget off hand what that threshold is, but he's close from what I remember. I think he's got a couple years left in the tank and those legs, but it would be negligent to take him for granted at this point. A backup/replacement/young partner is warranted now, has been for a couple seasons.
    Semper Fi!

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    Re: Rams invite 3 RBs to Visit (Not Who You Might Have Guessed)

    yeah i agree... we played the lotto with not giving him a back up for a few seasons... i think it's time to cash in some chips and give the man some help.. having 2 good backs wouldn't be a bad thing.. and if we could give jacks 3-4 good years left out of it.. and run a 2 back system I would be happy

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    Re: Rams invite 3 RBs to Visit (Not Who You Might Have Guessed)

    But wouldnt a change-of-pace back be the better option at this point, and worry about getting a "successor" in years to come? Because, to me, if we got a replacement now, opposing defenses wouldn't have to worry about a different speed and size coming at them; they can just focus on a bruiser. But if we had a COP back, it would have defenses on their heels.

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    Richbert88's Avatar
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    Re: Rams invite 3 RBs to Visit (Not Who You Might Have Guessed)

    Quote Originally Posted by rNemesis View Post
    But wouldnt a change-of-pace back be the better option at this point, and worry about getting a "successor" in years to come? Because, to me, if we got a replacement now, opposing defenses wouldn't have to worry about a different speed and size coming at them; they can just focus on a bruiser. But if we had a COP back, it would have defenses on their heels.
    I understand what your saying about a COP back. However, *"IF"* the line blocks and the offense runs the Steven Jackson package *"effectively and consistently"*, then one of the above listed backs is fine as long as he can be effective in the same SJ package. Run right, those packages can be hard to stop. (I remember Denver and Terrel Davis running the same set of plays over and over and being effective).

    I don't think this offense has run the SJ package all that effectively and certainly not consistently effective, so I don't think the COP back is going to produce the desired effect.

    Now, establishing a passing threat (we have Bradford but we need a receiver of two to step up) will help develop the SJ package as "more" effective. That would have defenses on their heels, who are they going to defend?

    Bottom line for me, "consistently and effective" are key. A deeper threat forces the other team to account, and SJ and his backup won't face 8 and 9 at the LOS. And if that truly comes to pass, I'd rather have the SJ backup/replacement/partner be similar to SJ. And that reason is because I would feel uneasy about a 5-9 170 RB trying to pass protect for Sam.

    Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, would be more reassuring than seeing the offense run the SJ package and the other team have problems stopping it, even knowing it's coming. They'll eventually adjust, bring more men up, and then Sam will burn them.
    Semper Fi!

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    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams invite 3 RBs to Visit (Not Who You Might Have Guessed)

    Quote Originally Posted by rNemesis View Post
    But wouldnt a change-of-pace back be the better option at this point, and worry about getting a "successor" in years to come? Because, to me, if we got a replacement now, opposing defenses wouldn't have to worry about a different speed and size coming at them; they can just focus on a bruiser. But if we had a COP back, it would have defenses on their heels.
    One thing to keep in mind... maybe the Rams do both. I could see the Rams going after a "successor" type in Round 2-3, and then perhaps looking at a 2 down/change of pace type on Day 3.

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