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Enough, O-line talk

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  • Enough, O-line talk

    Man, I can't believe how many people I've spoke that don't seem to realize how ridiculous moving players around to positions they've never played before is.

    I keep hearing, move Saffold to RT, move Smith to LG, etc.

    Jim Hannifen's expert opinion is Saffold can be a great starting LT that's good enough to me. If you think he can't do that then you need to consider him at LG, you can't put him on the right-side after two years on the struggling on the left, or he will struggle again. He also doesn't have that nasty power to play RT.

    As for smith you can't swith positions and sides with a guy who hasn't been able to get the hang of things the way he has. For me he can play RT, he has the ability, just not the technique. You may be able to fix him, or he may be Alex Barron, either way he can play RT or probably wash out. You gotta let him try, and find some dpeth behind him.

    End mini-rant.

  • #2
    Re: Enough, O-line talk

    I'm assuming that your title really does not mean you don't want to talk about the O line since you posted this.

    realize how ridiculous moving players around to positions they've never played before is.
    Not sure where you are getting your information about moving players on the offensive line is, but it's pretty common that players shuffle positions. That being said Saffold played LT in college. Asking a player to go inside and play is normal. If a player has the talent to play tackle he should have no problem moving inside and having success.

    If you think he can't do that then you need to consider him at LG, you can't put him on the right-side after two years on the struggling on the left
    Saffold may have the talent to be a great LT... I would not be shocked if he came back next year and played well at LT... One of the problems we have is that we don't a the answer at RT. Partially due to Smith play and health concerns.

    Rams placed RT Jason Smith (concussions) on injured reserve, ending his season.
    We're losing hope fast for the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 draft. Beaten like a drum when healthy and usually not the latter, Smith has suffered two serious, multi-game concussions in his first three seasons. The Rams need to enter the 2012 offseason operating as if they have a hole at right tackle and considering anything Smith provides going forward only a bonus.
    It's possible that the Rams draft a RT or pick one up in FA and leave Saffold at LT. I think Smith days are numbered personally he cost ton and has played poor when he has played.
    Last edited by Rambos; -01-04-2012, 07:49 AM.


    • #3
      Re: Enough, O-line talk

      I believe the same things as you. Plus I have A LOT more optimism now that Steve Loney is gone.


      • #4
        Re: Enough, O-line talk

        I really hope they try Smith at guard before cutting him loose. He seems solid in the run game and wouldn't be alone in the passing game.

        More generally, I'm a little puzzled about the offensive line. Two seasons ago they were solid, if not spectacular. They added a high quality player in Dahl this year...and got worse. It makes me wonder how much of this was the scheme and whether these guys just don't fit McD's offense. That also makes wonder why we didn't adjust more (and sooner).


        • #5
          Re: Enough, O-line talk

          I am likely to lean towards Smith being gone as well. As horrible as it sounds his injury may force him into retirement which would actually be the best case scenario for the Rams, from merely a salary cap situation. My apologizes to Smith if that is the case, certainly you never want to see a guy go out that way.

          Either way, Smith is not the #2 overall we expected and I think his best fit is at RT, switching sides and having him play the opposite side on the inside may be too much to a guy who has struggled anyway. It is worth a try, but I have a feeling that a good coach could watch him on film and tell you whether or not that would work anyway ( I cannot say).

          Saffold is built to play LT he is not the fiery run blocker you need on the right. He could possible play LG, but I don't know that you can draft an upgrade at LT besides Kalil. In FA an upgrade at LT is expensive. I think Saffold can do it.

          Big thing about shuffling is this... No doubt it can be done, but players are not just interchangeable on the line. Folks that have never played football don't realize how difficult it can be. Imagine if you had to start writing left-handed for work, or using a left handed mouse all of a sudden, it would be tough. You wold eventually get the hang of it, but you may be better suited for one or the other. It may be bets to let guys develop in the spot you believe they have best natural talent rather than bumping them around which may lead to greater struggles.

          To sum up the convo.... here is what I would do with the line next year

          LT: Saffold
          LG: FA
          C: Wragge
          RG: Dahl
          RT: Smith battles a 1, 2, or 3rd round pick for a job


          • #6
            Re: Enough, O-line talk

            Wragge versatility is great as the 6th man for next year's offensive line. I am not sure he can start the whole season, and we need some youth that will stick around for a few years.

            Saffold can play but had a set back last year, and Smith is border line being cut. TylerBishop dont' you want to change something that is broken. The offensive line was broken. We need a full fix.

            TO me Dahl is only person guaranteed to start game one of next season in their same position.


            • #7
              Re: Enough, O-line talk

              Is jason brown not under contract next seson?


              • #8
                Re: Enough, O-line talk

                Originally posted by Fastcat View Post
                Is jason brown not under contract next seson?
                He still is, Jacob Bell is no longer under contract.


                • #9
                  Re: Enough, O-line talk

                  Wragge grades out good in the run and OK in the pass.

                  Dahl grades out great in the run and OK in the pass

                  Saffold while struggling with the new alignment this year still graded out great in the pass and really good in the run. He was our best lineman till he got hurt. Say what you will, but PFF agree's and they have the best grading available.

                  To me these are not broken parts, just inefficient. You fix that with scheme, not with players. Green Bay doesn't have a phenomenal 5 man line. They have 2 or 3 good guys and they fix the rest with scheme.

                  I think you add 3 new lineman this year, 2 in the draft, and one in FA, that battle guys like Goldberg, Smith, Barnes, and Mattison for the next two spots. If you do a good job you will have a solid line with some decent depth there.

                  Also, I would have never cut Renardo Foster last season, the guy graded out great and would have helped a ton at the end of this year. I'd see if we could get him again for min. contract next year at training camp time.


                  • #10
                    Re: Enough, O-line talk

                    This is perfect. McD is gone, and we will most likely be switching back to the WCO, but a much better version. This means Saffold will once again be a dominant LT, Smith a more than serviceable RT, and we fix one OG spot because C will be Wragge and RG Dahl. Our switch to the WCO enables us to go after DT in the draft, rather than OG/OT very early.


                    Related Topics


                    • Guest's Avatar
                      2010 Starting O-Line
                      by Guest
                      Note: This is just a thought -I think if we went this way we would have a pretty darn good o-line and very good depth.. what you think?

                      Starting O-Line
                      LT Smith
                      LG Bell
                      C Brown
                      RG Saffold
                      RT Barron

                      Yes I know we wanted to get rid of Barron this off season but it didn't happen, so why not play the best of what we have? Except he needs to fix that freaking problem of his FALSE STARTS or at least minimize them!
                      -04-30-2010, 04:03 PM
                    • r8rh8rmike
                      Tackle Duo Making Strides
                      by r8rh8rmike
                      Tackle Duo Making Strides
                      By Nick Wagoner/Senior Writer

                      For those that haven’t met them yet, it’s probably not too early to make the introduction. Meet Stud and Bud, for if you don’t know who they are yet, you’ll want to get familiar because if things continue as they have for the Rams’ enthusiastic young offensive tackles, they’ll be around for a long time to come.

                      “Since you got the handshake, you have got to remember Stud and Bud,” right tackle Jason Smith said, a big grin creeping across his face. “He’s Stud, I’m Bud. Stud and Bud, Stud and Bud.”

                      The he to which Smith is referring is rookie left tackle Rodger Saffold, Smith’s bookend and the Rams’ second round pick last April. The origin of the nickname is unknown though Smith says he has people back home in Texas who have called him Bud for a long time.

                      As for that handshake, it’s a creation of Saffold from a phrase that the duo has been using as a motto for the better part of the season. Before each game, Smith and Saffold would approach each other and repeat the theme “Lock it Down.”

                      After the Sept. 19 game against Oakland, Saffold came up with the idea for a handshake in which he and Smith pound fists, stick out their thumbs and turn their still joined fists downward to symbolize the saying.

                      “We were already saying it and he just came up with the handshake to go with what we were saying,” Smith said. “At the end of the day, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for nothing so we have to stand for something together every time we go out on the field together, work in the training room together, working together, protecting the quarterback together, blocking for the running back, in the meeting room communicating.”

                      It is that bond that has been a revelation to an offensive line that has long sought stability on the edge. Even with stalwart Orlando Pace dominating the left side for most of the past decade, the Rams often found themselves looking for a consistent performer at right tackle.

                      But from the moment coach Steve Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney took over, the offensive line became a major priority. Never was that more evident than in the past two drafts as the Rams used the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 draft on Smith and then surprised some by grabbing Saffold with the first pick of the second round this year.

                      Still, not many teams would entrust a newly minted No. 1 overall pick and face of the franchise to the hands of two tackles with a grand total of five starts between them.

                      “I really love the way they put a lot of trust in us,” Saffold said. “It’s a challenge and from that challenge you are going to see whether you can play in this game or you can’t. I think we have been stepping up to the challenge each and every week. That’s helped us throughout the season. It keeps you hungry instead of worrying about...
                      -11-12-2010, 11:10 AM
                    • Nick
                      Rams Sorting Out Tackle Spots
                      by Nick
                      Rams Sorting Out Tackle Spots
                      Monday, August 2, 2010
                      By Nick Wagoner
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                      Rodger Saffold has no problems embracing all of the duties that go with his status as a rookie in the NFL.

                      Whether it’s carrying helmets or pads, getting breakfast or simply standing still, Saffold is more than willing to do whatever it takes to ingratiate himself into the team concept.

                      So when Jason Smith, who last year also openly took to all of the usual rookie duties, asked Saffold to stand at his side and just listen as Smith took questions from reporters late last week, one couldn’t help but see the similarities in the duo the Rams hope will serve as the offensive line’s bookends for the next decade or so.

                      “I am excited about that deal,” Smith said. “At the end of the day, we are both young, we both fly around and play football otherwise he wouldn’t be here and I wouldn’t be here. So we are just happy the coaches and people upstairs decided to bring us both here.”

                      After the Rams used the first pick of the second round on Saffold in April’s NFL Draft, it became clear that general manager Billy Devaney has put a premium on forging a dynamic tackle duo for the future. It was the second time in as many years the Rams had spent a valuable pick on a tackle after taking Smith with the No. 2 overall pick the previous year.

                      In the minicamps and organized team activities, the Rams got a short glimpse of Smith and Saffold together but a toe injury to Smith and Saffold’s knee ailment cut short the beginning of the tandem’s tenure.

                      Now in the opening days of this training camp Saffold has returned to full health while Smith is edging closer to a return every day.

                      When Smith does make his return, there’s seemingly no question that he’ll be a starter opposite Saffold. The biggest question is which player will line up on which side.

                      “The thing as we go through these practices, we will continue to work with both of these guys and look and find the best spot for everybody,” offensive line coach Steve Loney said. “I think whether you are talking right or left side, just settling into a position is a plus for any offensive lineman. Being able to settle into a single position is a real plus.”

                      In the opening days of this camp, Saffold has taken the majority of the repetitions on the left side as Smith has been limited to individual drills as he continues to work his way back from a toe fracture.

                      And though it’s a small sample size, Saffold has certainly taken advantage of the opportunities presented to him. Matching up regularly with veteran end James Hall, Saffold has held his own and showed a strong knack for learning on the go.

                      “I know one good thing for him, well good or bad however he wants to look at it but he’s going against James Hall a lot,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “I mean...
                      -08-02-2010, 01:54 PM
                    • MauiRam
                      Smith, Saffold form a bond on offensive line ..
                      by MauiRam
                      BY JIM THOMAS • Sunday, November 14,

                      A couple of games into the regular season, young Rams offensive tackles Jason Smith and Rodger Saffold came up with their own little handshake.

                      "We call it 'lock it down,'" Saffold said. "We actually put our hands together and twist 'em. Lock it down, meaning that we're going to hold down both sides (of the line)."

                      Saffold was more than happy to demonstrate the handshake to reporters the other day in the locker room at Rams Park. It's basically a fist pound — with a few extras.

                      But wait, there's more. They also have a self-imposed nickname.

                      "Stud & Bud," Smith said with a measure of pride. "He's Stud, I'm Bud. You like that? We came up with it."

                      For Smith, the "Bud" nickname at least has history — some people at Smith's church back home in Texas call him that. As for "Stud," apparently that's a reference to Saffold's prowess at left tackle.

                      Stud & Bud. What do you think, Steven Jackson?

                      "Oh, don't," Jackson said, shaking his head in exasperation. "Please. I'm not calling them that. They're rookies. Jason's still a rookie, too."

                      (Or almost a rookie, after missing eight games last season due to a knee injury and a concussion.)

                      So you've got the "lock it down" handshake. The "Stud & Bud" nickname. Anything else? Saffold offered one more thought in describing the bond between himself, Smith and rookie quarterback Sam Bradford.

                      "It's almost like a love triangle," Saffold said, as serious as could be. "You go from left tackle (Saffold) to right tackle (Smith) to Sam. So as long as we stay together, we're going to be just fine."

                      It may all sound goofy,but then again, despite their adult responsibilities protecting the flanks for Bradford, Saffold and Smith are practically kids. Saffold, a rookie from Indiana University, is 22. Smith, a second-year man from Baylor, is 24.

                      So chalk it up to youthful exuberance. They certainly have put a lot of youthful energy into their jobs as the Rams' bookend tackles.

                      Better than expected

                      What was expected to be one of the key story lines of the season — can Saffold and Smith get it done at tackle — has been a non-issue midway through the season. Offensive linemen usually get noticed only when they give up a sack or get called for a penalty. Under those guidelines, Saffold and Smith have been barely noticed.

                      "It's like the engine of a car," offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. "As long as it runs right, everybody's happy. But when things start to break down a little bit, that's when you notice it."

                      Zero in on Saffold during a game, and his footwork and athleticism are easy to spot...
                      -11-14-2010, 12:02 AM
                    • AvengerRam_old
                      The Jason Smith Question
                      by AvengerRam_old
                      Let me start this by saying that I believe it is WAY too early to presume that the Rams' OT spots are etched in stone at this point.

                      However, to address a potential outcome of the "battle" between Jason Smith and Roger Saffold, I ask you this:

                      If Jason Smith does not become the starting LT but, instead, becomes one of the best RT in the league over the next 6-8 years, how would you rate his career?

                      For the second pick in the draft is it "LT or bust"?

                      Is it more about him having a long, productive, career at either tackle spot?

                      Somewhere in between?

                      What are your thoughts?
                      -08-12-2010, 09:27 AM