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    Richbert88's Avatar
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    Scouts Inc.: Three concerns for Rams

    By Matt Williamson, Scouts Inc.

    Outside Linebacker: James Laurinaitis has become a rock in the middle of the St. Louis Rams defense and a great all-around player. But just imagine what head coach Steve Spagnuolo could do with a dynamic do-it-all outside linebacker to add to the defensive equation. To me, this is the one position that St. Louis should make the most significant upgrade. I am talking about adding a real difference-maker. David Vobora, Chris Chamberlain and Bryan Kehl are each adequate, and Vobora is a free agent.

    Offensive Line: There is a lot of talent at offensive tackle and in time, St. Louis very well could have the best set of bookends in the league in Jason Smith and Rodger Saffold. But overall, the protection wasn’t great. That should improve, especially as quarterback Sam Bradford and the tackles mature. But this group really didn’t do a very good job of opening holes for running back Steven Jackson either. Adding more weapons on the outside to get defenders away from the line of scrimmage would help. Getting nasty versatile John Greco into the starting lineup at right guard might help, too. But so far, the talent here is far greater than the production.

    Pass-Catchers: Many see wide receiver as the glaring No. 1 need for the Rams. I don’t totally disagree, but I think the foursome of Mark Clayton, Donnie Avery, Danario Alexander and Danny Amendola certainly can get the job done. Clayton is a free agent and I would very much advocate getting him locked up. It isn’t perfect and I don’t see a true No. 1 wide out in the bunch, so drafting a guy like Alabama’s Julio Jones would be hard to argue with. But to me, I would rather add a dynamic tight end (Owen Daniels and Zach Miller come to mind) in free agency for Bradford to lean on in the middle of the field. A quality tight end can be a young quarterback’s best friend.


    I would rather see the Rams address OLB and OG before they address TE. With OH-OH and Cin-a-Bun in the ranks, I am convinced that with a little health, this outlet would be readily available to Mr Samtastic next season.

    Semper Fi!

  2. #2
    Goldenfleece's Avatar
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    Re: Scouts Inc.: Three concerns for Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by Richbert88 View Post
    By Matt Williamson, Scouts Inc.

    Outside Linebacker: James Laurinaitis has become a rock in the middle of the St. Louis Rams defense and a great all-around player. But just imagine what head coach Steve Spagnuolo could do with a dynamic do-it-all outside linebacker to add to the defensive equation. To me, this is the one position that St. Louis should make the most significant upgrade. I am talking about adding a real difference-maker. David Vobora, Chris Chamberlain and Bryan Kehl are each adequate, and Vobora is a free agent.
    Pop quiz: Name five difference-makers at the outside linebacker position who play in a 4-3 on any team in the league.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richbert88 View Post
    Offensive Line: There is a lot of talent at offensive tackle and in time, St. Louis very well could have the best set of bookends in the league in Jason Smith and Rodger Saffold. But overall, the protection wasn't great. That should improve, especially as quarterback Sam Bradford and the tackles mature. But this group really didn't do a very good job of opening holes for running back Steven Jackson either. Adding more weapons on the outside to get defenders away from the line of scrimmage would help. Getting nasty versatile John Greco into the starting lineup at right guard might help, too. But so far, the talent here is far greater than the production.
    Agreed. Our run-blocking has been rather underwhelming.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richbert88 View Post
    Pass-Catchers: Many see wide receiver as the glaring No. 1 need for the Rams. I don't totally disagree, but I think the foursome of Mark Clayton, Donnie Avery, Danario Alexander and Danny Amendola certainly can get the job done. Clayton is a free agent and I would very much advocate getting him locked up. It isn't perfect and I don't see a true No. 1 wide out in the bunch, so drafting a guy like Alabama's Julio Jones would be hard to argue with. But to me, I would rather add a dynamic tight end (Owen Daniels and Zach Miller come to mind) in free agency for Bradford to lean on in the middle of the field. A quality tight end can be a young quarterback's best friend.
    Why does that have to be an either/or proposition? Between the tight end position and the wide receiver position, I'd say the bigger need is a top flight receiver, but we probably have the cap space to sign a player like Owen Daniels and still address wide receiver in the draft.

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    TekeRam's Avatar
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    Re: Scouts Inc.: Three concerns for Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenfleece View Post
    Pop quiz: Name five difference-makers at the outside linebacker position who play in a 4-3 on any team in the league.
    Briggs(CHI), Greenway(MIN), Brackett(or Session, I forget who plays outside for the Colts), Beason(shifted outside this year for CAR), Brian "I'm pregnant, I swear" Cushing (HOU). Would you like me to continue? I didn't even mention Orakpo, or Hill, or Weatherspoon, or Witherspoon(in Car, not Stl).
    I believe!

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    Re: Scouts Inc.: Three concerns for Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    Briggs(CHI), Greenway(MIN), Brackett(or Session, I forget who plays outside for the Colts), Beason(shifted outside this year for CAR), Brian "I'm pregnant, I swear" Cushing (HOU). Would you like me to continue? I didn't even mention Orakpo, or Hill, or Weatherspoon, or Witherspoon(in Car, not Stl).
    Brackett plays on the inside. Session a playmaker? I'd rather have Vobora starting...that should tell you something. Also Orakpo is in a 3-4. Not sure what Hill you're talking about, but Sean Weatherspoon certainly has done nothing this past year.

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    Re: Scouts Inc.: Three concerns for Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    Briggs(CHI), Greenway(MIN), Brackett(or Session, I forget who plays outside for the Colts), Beason(shifted outside this year for CAR), Brian "I'm pregnant, I swear" Cushing (HOU). Would you like me to continue? I didn't even mention Orakpo, or Hill, or Weatherspoon, or Witherspoon(in Car, not Stl).
    Maybe you should have. Cushing had 1.5 sacks, 4 passes defended and 1 forced fumble last season--that's over the course of a season mind you, not in one game. Gary Brackett is not exactly a household name, either. Orakpo is a 3-4 linebacker whose best fit in a 4-3 would be defensive end.

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    Re: Scouts Inc.: Three concerns for Rams

    Cushing also served a 4 game suspension, which hurt his numbers, after having a huge season in 2009 as a rookie. Still an impact OLB.

    Orakpo plays in a 3-4 yes, however, he played as a 4-3 OLB in 2009 and had double digit sacks. Impact player.
    I believe!

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    Re: Scouts Inc.: Three concerns for Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    Cushing also served a 4 game suspension, which hurt his numbers, after having a huge season in 2009 as a rookie. Still an impact OLB.

    Orakpo plays in a 3-4 yes, however, he played as a 4-3 OLB in 2009 and had double digit sacks. Impact player.
    Actually, in a 4-3 he played defensive end.

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    Re: Scouts Inc.: Three concerns for Rams

    I would personally say OLB is our biggest need.

    It was disgusting to watch speedy halfbacks hit the edge or catch passes in the flats.

    Especially against Seattle in our final game
    Last edited by C-Mob 71; -02-27-2011 at 08:57 PM.

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    Re: Scouts Inc.: Three concerns for Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    Briggs(CHI), Greenway(MIN), Brackett(or Session, I forget who plays outside for the Colts), Beason(shifted outside this year for CAR), Brian "I'm pregnant, I swear" Cushing (HOU). Would you like me to continue? I didn't even mention Orakpo, or Hill, or Weatherspoon, or Witherspoon(in Car, not Stl).
    Chad Greenway had a solid year. Cannot argue there.
    Gary Brackett plays MLB.
    Clint Session played 5 games this year so don't know where your going with that one.
    Jon Beason is a natural MLB. He also recorded much less stats this past season than in 2009. (off year).
    Brian Cushing also dropped in his production.
    Lance Briggs had a solid year.
    Brian Orakpo is a 3-4 OLB and a 4-3 defensive end. He cannot be included.
    "Hill" Not sure who this is...
    Sean Weatherspoon did absolutely nothing last year. Struggled.
    Will Witherspoon? Please don't tell me you put Will Witherspoon on the list!

    In total that is 3 OLB's who really made a difference.

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    Re: Scouts Inc.: Three concerns for Rams

    To tell you the truth i dont care about all the 4-3 OLBs in this league. So lets talk about the OLBs that play on a good Defense. In terms of yards allowed there are four 4-3 defenses. The Saints, Giants, Vikings, and Bears.

    Lets take a look at there OLBs...

    Saints: Scott Shanle 76 tkls 1FF 2 pass def

    His numbers are solid. But the thing he did so well is force RBs back inside. He is instrumental in that defense and will and does a nice job of taking angles vs. blocking schemes. He is a jack-of all trades master of none type. But his role on the D is soooo important.

    Giants: Michael Boley 86 tkls 2FF

    He is the Giants weak side LB. What he does so well is his pursuit and ability to wrap up the RBs. He is also above average at dropping into zone coverage.

    Vikings: Chad Greenway 114 tckls 1FF 2 PD

    You guys have already mentioned how good of a year Greenway had. Very good instinctive player. He can also take on blocks. But his instincts is what makes him so great beacuse he always finds the RB. He is also a good blitzer.solid in dropping back in coverage. Another Jack-of All trades but he actully is a master of pursuit and getting to the RB with a good wrap up tackle.

    Bears: Lance Briggs 89 tckls 2FF 2INT

    Briggs plays weakside linebacker for the bears (apperently Pisa Tinoisomoa is there SLB) anyway brigg is a great coverage LB that has plenty of range in zone coverage. He is also a really good wrap up tackler. He is not the greatest in his pursuit of the RB but can shed blocks effectivly and take down the ball carrier in his zone.


    What do all these LBs have in common?...

    There ability to drop in zone coverage but also be able to get to the RB. This type of linebacker would mightly benefit our Spagfense. We also need someone that can blitz effetivly with all of spags LB blitz packages. I think a good (not just solid) OLB would help bring this defense to an elite level.

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