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  • St. Louis Rams stay 'thin' at wide receiver

    St. Louis Rams stay 'thin' at wide receiver

    BY JIM THOMAS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    09/09/2009

    Tuesday normally is the day during the regular season when teams make roster moves. But if the Rams are going to add a body to their thin wide receiver corps, it didn't happen Tuesday.

    The Rams had five players in for tryouts at Rams Park, but no wide receivers. They did sign a wide receiver Tuesday — Nate Jones — but it was to their practice squad.

    So all indications are the team will enter the regular season with only four wide receivers on the active roster: Donnie Avery, Keenan Burton, Laurent Robinson and Derek Stanley. Robinson is the "senior" member of that group, entering his third NFL season.

    "In some regards, yeah, we're thin," coach Steve Spagnuolo said Monday. "We wanted to keep what we thought were the best 53. And it doesn't always lay out the way you did it way back in May."

    Wide receiver Greg Lewis, who played in Philadelphia for several seasons with current Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, was released Monday by New England. But the Rams aren't interested in Lewis at this time.

    Lewis is a vested veteran, as is Ronald Curry, who was released Saturday by St. Louis. Vested veterans are players with four or more years in the NFL, and their contracts are guaranteed for the entire season if they're on the opening-day roster.

    So in a season where the Rams figure to be snug against the salary cap, they may wait until after Sunday's season opener to add a wideout. The Rams also could be keeping an eye on Philadelphia, where the Eagles have seven wide receivers on their roster.

    Once quarterback Michael Vick becomes eligible for the active roster after Week 2, one of those seven may go. Hank Baskett and Reggie Brown are possible roster casualties once Vick goes active.
    :ramlogo:

  • #2
    Re: St. Louis Rams stay 'thin' at wide receiver

    Ok, that's one of the reasons why we're waiting. We don't want to have a guaranteed salary on the books, and so we'll wait till next week to make a move most likely. There's no way we'll stay at only four wideouts the whole year. Curry very well might be back with the Rams after all. Or it could be another Philly player, who knows? I'm sure Despags are doing the best for the team though. Nothing has shown me otherwise yet.
    I believe!:ram:

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: St. Louis Rams stay 'thin' at wide receiver

      Wow, we've come a long way from Bruce, Holt, Hakim, Proehl, Horne and Thomas.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: St. Louis Rams stay 'thin' at wide receiver

        Kevin Curtis.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: St. Louis Rams stay 'thin' at wide receiver

          We have no choice but pick up another WR somewhere in the season. I am sorry, but I don't see us having 4 young receivers and not having at least 1 of them getting hurt and missing a game or two.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: St. Louis Rams stay 'thin' at wide receiver

            Originally posted by chucknbob View Post
            We have no choice but pick up another WR somewhere in the season. I am sorry, but I don't see us having 4 young receivers and not having at least 1 of them getting hurt and missing a game or two.
            There will be some moves made, but it looks like the Rams are content to wait. It's a gamble, but an offense built around Steven Jackson makes it less risky. The TE's could probably pick up some of the slack in a dire emergency as well.

            I'll trust Spags, but it does make me a bit uneasy to start the season with only 4 receivers, and one of them coming back from a broken bone.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: St. Louis Rams stay 'thin' at wide receiver

              Dane Looker was cut by the Lions.
              Look away. I'm hideous. __ Cozmo Kramer

              Comment

              Related Topics

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              • r8rh8rmike
                Wide Receivers Short On Numbers, Credentials
                by r8rh8rmike
                Wide receivers short on numbers, credentials
                By R.B. FALLSTROM, AP Sports Writer
                56 minutes ago

                ST. LOUIS (AP)—Donnie Avery(notes) might as well get used to double coverage. He’s only in his second season, but the St. Louis Rams’ other three wide receivers have even thinner resumes.

                Avery, a second-round pick last year, caught 53 passes with three touchdowns and has the speed to make defenses take notice. The rest of the quartet combined for 24 receptions last year and also are young, with none of them having two years’ experience.

                It’s a far cry from the days when quarterback Marc Bulger(notes) had Isaac Bruce(notes) and Torry Holt(notes), both likely future Hall of Famers, zipping downfield.

                Coach Steve Spagnuolo joked that the backup plan for a roster that carries only four wide receivers calls for offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur to suit up. He can at least count on a trio of tight ends led by Randy McMichael(notes) as well as running back Steven Jackson for diversity in the opener Sunday at Seattle.

                Spagnuolo pointed out most teams don’t activate more than five wide receivers for games anyway, leaving the Rams only one body short heading into his head coaching debut.

                “Where we’re lucky, where we are fortunate, is we’ve got some versatile tight ends,” Spagnuolo said. “You get two injuries when you have five active, you’re looking at the same thing.”

                The Rams are skimping at wide receiver because of concerns at other positions. They’re also carrying 10 linemen on both sides of the ball, which will force several starters into duty on special teams.

                Quarterback Marc Bulger, who’s expected back from a broken pinkie on his throwing hand, said he’ll have plenty of options in the Rams’ new West Coast offense.

                “I know this time of year there are concerns at different positions where you might have to steal a guy or two, and I think once things get worked out we might add wide receivers,” Bulger said. “But we feel confident with the guys we have now.”

                Jackson holds the franchise record for running back receptions with 90 in 2006. McMichael had 39 catches in 2007, his last full season.

                Avery made light of a question about the lack of depth at wide receiver, pointing to the locker stalls of Derek Stanley(notes), Keenan Burton(notes) and Laurent Robinson(notes) as if he was introducing his teammates.

                “All of us are fast,” Avery said. “All of us are deep threats. If we get the ball in our hands, we can make something happen.”

                Robinson was acquired from the Falcons, general manager Billy Devaney’s old team, after slumping to only five catches in an injury-shortened 2008. He’s had to prove himself before, emerging from Illinois State as a third-round pick in 2007.

                Stanley was a seventh-round pick in 2007 and began last year on the practice...
                -09-10-2009, 03:30 PM
              • MauiRam
                St. Louis Rams lack wide receiver experience
                by MauiRam
                By Bill Coats
                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                05/18/2010

                The Rams obviously have invested heavily in Sam Bradford. They spent the No. 1 overall pick in the draft on the former University of Oklahoma quarterback, and they'll deposit millions into his bank account some time this summer.

                The team also has spent liberally on potential targets for Bradford, mostly through the draft. Over the past 10 years, the Rams have drafted 11 wide receivers, including fourth-rounder Mardy Gilyard last month.

                But of those 11, only four occupy the current roster. And of the seven others, just two — Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald, both 2003 draft choices — are still drawing NFL paychecks.

                General manager Billy Devaney has been bombarded with questions about the Rams' receivers, or lack thereof. Some of the queries hit close to home.

                "My brothers in New Jersey, they follow it, and they'd say, 'Aren't you going to sign a receiver?'" Devaney said in December. "And I'm like, 'Give me a break. We have this list (of needs) that's a mile long. We're going to fill as many as we can.'"

                Devaney insisted that despite the Gilyard pick, wide receiver wasn't a major priority in the recent draft.

                "We didn't come into this saying we have to get a receiver," he said. "I guess ... people think we're desperate to take a receiver; we certainly don't feel that way. ... Not even close."

                Still, Bradford is accustomed to working with top-shelf partners. Before he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury last season, Bradford had thrown to a trio of future NFL receivers at OU. Juaquin Iglesias, Malcolm Kelly and tight end Jermaine Gresham piled up big numbers — more than 4,300 receiving yards among them — during Bradford's two full seasons running the Sooners' spread attack.

                With the Rams, Bradford is operating in a much different system, the West Coast-style offense that coordinator Pat Shurmur brought from Philadelphia. It requires a highly accurate quarterback, and Bradford fits that bill: He completed 67.6 percent of his passes in college, throwing for 88 touchdowns with just 16 interceptions.

                It also calls for sure-handed receivers who run precise routes and get consistent separation. Whether the Rams also have that component has not been established.

                Two wideouts acquired through the draft have yet to appear in a regular-season game. Gilyard, of course, is a newcomer. Brooks Foster, a fifth-round pick in 2009, missed his entire rookie season after ankle surgery.

                The two others have been nagged with injuries, rendering a thorough evaluation of their potential incomplete. Donnie Avery, a second-rounder in '08, has averaged 50 receptions and 631.5 yards over two seasons, decent production considering the assortment of bumps and bruises that have hindered him at times....
                -05-17-2010, 11:54 PM
              • r8rh8rmike
                Rams Add Wide Receiver.....To Practice Squad
                by r8rh8rmike
                09.08.2009 4:22 pm
                Rams add wide receiver. . .to practice squad
                By Jim Thomas
                St. Louis Post-Dispatch

                All signs point to the St. Louis Rams holding firm at just four wide receivers on the active roster for Week 1 of the regular season. The team signed wide receiver Nate Jones to their practice squad Tuesday, but made no additions to the active roster.

                The first-year player from Texas was on the Rams’ 53-man roster for one day over the weekend, until he and linebacker Quinton Culberson were released to make room for the waiver-wire additions of safety Anthony Smith and defensive tackle LaJuan Ramsey.

                Defensive end Ian Campbell was dropped from the practice squad to make room for Jones.
                -09-09-2009, 11:29 AM
              • r8rh8rmike
                Young Receivers Relish Opportunity
                by r8rh8rmike
                Young Receivers Relish Opportunity
                Friday, May 29, 2009

                By Nick Wagoner
                Senior Writer

                In the moments following the first truly hot organized team activity of the early summer, most Rams players made a quick exit, heading to the cool confines of the Russell Training Facility.

                Most Rams, that is, except for a hungry group of young wide receivers aching to run more routes, catch more balls and work on their return skills.

                To most fans and even the coaches, this was a group of relatively anonymous players hoping to make an impression and find a way to land a roster spot come training camp.

                Some of them are undrafted free agents such as Jarrett Byers and newly-added Sean Walker. Others are veterans only in the sense that they have bounced around the league and never found a permanent home, players like Horace Gant, Chad Lucas, Nate Jones and Travis Brown.

                “Because we are a young receiver corps we have been out here working hard and you see guys out here getting extra work,” Jones said. “It’s just going to make everyone better.”

                In years past, cracking the depth chart at the wide out spot has been nearly impossible for a young receiver as the Rams regularly pumped out productive players at the position.

                For many years, Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce were the gold standard with plenty of help from players like Az Hakim, Kevin Curtis, Shaun McDonald, Ricky Proehl and Dane Looker.

                Opportunities for youngsters to hold a spot beyond the practice squad were few and far between.

                But with a new era on the way under coach Steve Spagnuolo and a lack of experience at the receiver position, an intense competition appears to be brewing among a group of virtual unknowns.

                That competition is adding an element of excitement in these workouts according to quarterback Marc Bulger, who believes the Rams have some intriguing possibilities to be his targets.

                “I think we’re fine,” Bulger said. “Like Coach says, you always want more competition at every position. That makes us better. A lot of these kids I don’t know some of their names. I know their numbers right now. But we have some speed; we have some guys that can move. Obviously, the guys we had last year are doing a great job, but we have some sleepers in there I think that are going to surprise you guys.”

                As it stands, it appears second-year men Donnie Avery and Keenan Burton are all but sure things to sit atop the depth chart when the smoke has cleared. Laurent Robinson, acquired from Atlanta via trade before the draft, is also right in the mix.

                Beyond that trio, the Rams have Derek Stanley recovering from a serious knee injury and fifth-round draft pick Brooks Foster. Stanley’s return ability and Foster’s upside will have them right in the mix for spots on the depth chart but the fact remains...
                -05-29-2009, 06:55 PM
              • Nick
                Rams WR injury issues getting worse
                by Nick
                Rams WR injury issues getting worse
                August 16, 10:35 PM
                Tim Klutsarits - St. Louis Rams Examiner

                The St. Louis Rams came into training camp knowing that they were not the most talented wide receiver unit in the league. They knew that they were going to need receivers to step up out of the mix and that they were also going to have to stay healthy this year. Who steps out of the mix remains in question but what is really starting to become a major issue is the health factor. Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo announced today that wide receivers Brooks Foster and Tim Carter are both going to miss significant time.

                Brooks Foster has a sprained ankle that will keep him out for the next two to four weeks. Foster did receive an MRI and he is currently walking around in a boot. Tim Carter also had to get an MRI today because of a groin injury. Carter is expected to miss the next 10 days to two weeks with the injury. When you include Donnie Avery who is questionable to start on opening day it means that three of the Rams projected top 6 receivers will most likely miss the rest of the preseason games. What started as an already shallow position is getting thinner by the minute.

                The Rams face two problems while trying to deal with this issue. First the available talent is just not out there at this point. If a player is going to do something in the NFL in 2009 then they are on a roster. Second the Rams are at the maximum capacity on their roster. When it was brought up today if the Rams were going to bring someone in Spagnuolo said, "If you do you got to lose somebody. I don't know if we want to do that, we'll try to get by with the guys we have right now. But it's a one for one now. We're right at 80 it's not like you can add one. I don't know if there is a position that we can afford to lose anybody." All that means is that the Rams have no wiggle room at this point.

                So where do the Rams go from here? The short answer is that Keenan Burton, Ronald Curry and Derek Stanley are going to get every opportunity to stake claim to a starting position. As well guys who are on the fringes get an even better shot at making the roster. Sean Walker who scored a touchdown against the Jets should be salivating at the chance.

                I am certain that Steve Spagnuolo and Billy Devaney are ready to pounce on some wide receiving talent that might become available after the first round of cuts. But until that happens there is really nothing the Rams can do. The Rams knew wide receiver was going to be a problem in 2009 but they could not have expected all of the problems that have already arisen in the 2009 pre-season.
                -08-17-2009, 10:27 AM
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