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Rams Gear Up for 2023 Season
With another off-season in the books, it's time to look ahead to the 2023 season and all the highs and lows it might bring. Coming off a 12-4 season where they earned the number one seed in the NFC playoffs but ultimately got blown out by the Packers in the conference championship game the Rams surely have vengeance on their mind, but with an aging roster do they have the firepower to make another run?

The Rams have been talking about their window closing for a few seasons now, and that reality hit stronger than ever this off-season. Already a full season removed from the Sam Bradford era, the team saw another group of veteran players take either their first or an additional step back entering the season. Stephon Gilmore was a shell of what he used to be and was ultimately released via amnesty. Pro-bowl FS Eric Reid was put on the trade block for relative pennies and found no strong suitors. Xavier Rhodes has taken a step back, as has star WR Stephen Hill. WR Donald Lake, a player who still had two years before regression, was sent to the Vikings in a stunning trade.

The Rams are no doubt at a bit of a crossroads right now. Even the front office couldn't decide which direction this team was going to take as, despite WR Lake being traded, CB Gilmore being released, and GM Tyler Richardson reportedly making clear to the rest of the league that everyone and anyone could be had via trade, the roster is still largely in tact, aging vets and all. In fact, the team just added a pair of players in their thirties to bolster the roster. And although QB Jimmy Clausen is gone, another QB in the twilight of his career was signed to take his place in Christian Ponder.

So is this another year where the Rams look to contend for a second Superbowl championship or is this a rebuilding year? The answer to that question is most likely still up in the air. But one thing is clear - the Rams are keeping all of their options on the table. Xavier Rhodes and Eric Reid will still start for the Rams in the secondary, and Stephen Hill will still start at WR. The 35 year old Christian Ponder enters the season as the starter over his future predecessor Aaron Corrs who is likely not quite ready for primetime. Seven out of eleven starters on defense are at or over the age of 30. But none of this means the Rams are not "rebuilding" and preparing for the future.

The team traded Donald Lake at probably his highest value they possibly could have, as it would have only decreased with every game he played this upcoming season, and in return picked up a pair of first round picks. They used those picks to draft a WR and a CB who will likely become long-time starters for them down the road in Corey Davis and Quincy Wilson. Future starter at DE? Check. Future starter at DT? Check. Meanwhile, while the offensive side of the ball doesn't have quite the aging problems as the defensive side, the Rams are still preparing for a roster overturn there as well. The front office believes they have the long-term answer at QB, and there is still plenty of youth along the offensive line, as well as at HB and WR.

For now, the Rams are entering this season hoping to compete, but realizing it could be an uphill battle. At any point in time they reserve the right to switch to a youth movement and try to unload some of their aging players for whatever value they can recuperate for them. While Christian Ponder is starting the season at QB, don't be surprised if Corrs takes over the reigns at some point. WR Corey Davis could surpass Stephen Hill as a starter, while Quincy Wilson could receive extended playing time in the secondary. It really is going to be a wait and see proposition.

So which direction will this team take? I think it's safe to say that's all very much up in the air right now. If this team wants another shot at GZL post-season glory, they're going to have to go out on the field and prove they're capable. For now, anything's possible.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 10/25/2017) Replies - 1 :: Views - 11
Rams Add Veterans Jamie Collins and Jorge Lloyd
The Rams announced earlier this week that they have added two new players with a lot of experience, and, hopefully, plenty left in the tank. MLB Jamie Collins was inked to a one year deal worth $6.29 million, while Jorge Lloyd agreed to terms on a contract that will see him make $14.13m over the next three seasons with $3m guaranteed, but only $3.79 million this year. The controversial swap of incumbent quarterback Jimmy Clausen for QB Christian Ponder opened the doors for these deals to be made.

Collins spent his first seven years with the Tennessee Titans before joining the Minnesota Vikings last year. He has posted at least 100 tackles and 14 tackles for loss in his previous three seasons. He was particularly strong in coverage for the Vikings last year, deflecting fifteen passes while only allowing seven catches. Some may wonder why the Rams invested over six million dollars in Collins considering they traded two first round picks for MLB Ricky Austin just an off-season ago. Collins will at the very least provide invaluable depth for the Rams, but also gives the team the flexibility to run a multiple defense and switch between the 4-3 and 3-4 as they please. Additionally the belief from more than one source is that Collins could make a late-career position change and replace either Nathan Bookman or Margus Hunt as a starter at either the strong or weak side position. Look for Collins to play his way onto the field in any one of these scenarios.

LLoyd is another talented player that at a minimum will provide excellent depth, but could also factor in in either gameplan-specific scenarios or simply earn his way into more playing time. Lloyd was a first round selection of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but posted less than 1,000 yards and only 6 touchdowns across three seasons for them. He was able to find success in Chicago with the Bears, recording three seasons over 900 yards receiving and two seasons with more than seven touchdowns. He's a classic burner who would beat everyone but Odell Beckham Jr. in a foot race, and should help the Rams stretch the field this season. Despite being 30 years of age he has only played seven seasons in the GZL and should have plenty left in the tank for the Rams who appear to be replacing departed superstar Donald Lake with a committee approach. Llloyd shouldn't put up huge numbers in St. Louis this season, but should be an excellent chess piece for them to deploy on any given week.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 10/25/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 9
Rams Swap Quarterbacks Ahead of Pre-Season
In a move that's sure to come as a surprise to both fans and pundits alike, the Rams have welcomed a new starter to the roster while showing the old one the door. Jimmy Clausen, who served as a backup to Sam Bradford in 2021 and the Rams' starter in 2022, has been released, and Christian Ponder, who the Rams are quite familiar with after he spent ten seasons quarterbacking the Arizona Cardinals, has been signed to take his place, leaving many to wonder what the end game is here.

Clausen, who struggled to put up good numbers for four different teams before joining the Rams, enjoyed arguably the best two seasons of his career in blue and gold. He threw 26 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions as a member of the Rams and led the team to two straight post-season appearances. Despite his success, there's a belief in league circles that the Rams' front office simply were never won over by Clausen. Others point to the fact that their were simply cheaper quarterbacks on the market that could deliver similar results.

Clausen's cap hit entering the 2023 season was over $13 million, while the Rams were able to secure Ponder's services for almost $5 million cheaper this season. With a plethora of veteran quarterbacks on the open market, some see this as a lateral move that allowed the Rams to upgrade other positions on the team, as they used the extra cap space to sign veteran MLB Jamie Collins as well as former first round pick WR Jorge Lloyd. The argument seems to hold a fair amount of water.

And while some bill this as a lateral move, others are viewing it as a potential upgrade. While Clausen certainly did not put up bad numbers in his time with the Rams, Ponder has routinely posted better numbers than Clausen throughout their careers. Ponder has bested Clausen's 86.8 QB rating from last season five times throughout his career, and his lowest QB rating ever to close a season has been 79.8. Clausen has finished six seasons with a lower QB rating. Ponder also boasts better career numbers than Clausen almost across the board, including completion percentage, yards per attempt, TDs per attempt, INT per attempt, sacks per attempt, and, again, QB rating.

While this move is certainly a gamble for the Rams, it's easy to see why they made it. They were able to secure a QB who has consistently performed better than their previous starter while at the same time saving cap space. It has all the potential to backfire given the proximity to the regular season, but it appears that was a gamble St. Louis was willing to take.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 10/25/2017) Replies - 3 :: Views - 22
Rams Draft Recap Rounds 3-4
3.28 - OT Antonio Garcia
With the 28th pick of the 3rd round, the Rams grabbed a player they think could be a starter for them some day down the road in Antonio Garcia. Garcia is a player that has a lot of talent, but enters the league quite raw. He exhibits a rare combination of power (94 STR) and lateral quickness (67) that not many in the league can match. He couples this with adequate speed (55) and good acceleration (77). The problem with Garcia is that he has not refined his technique enough to be a consistent player yet. His AWR (49), and pass blocking (77) both need a lot of work, which is why he was still available at the end of the 3rd round. However, if he can put it together and take his game to the next level, he's going to be a tremendous value at this spot. Look for Garcia to spend a few years on the bench before getting a chance to prove his worth, and possibly work on his strength in the meantime.

3.30 - DT Dalvin Tomlinson
With the 30th pick in the 3rd round, the Rams sided with need a little bit more than BPA. There were still some talented offensive lineman on the board, but with a lot of young talent at the position the Rams felt it best to invest in Tomlinson, a player who would have a clear cut role in a season or two. Tomlinson has great size (6'3", 330 lbs) and agility (62) to go along with above average strength (92) and acceleration (77), as well as adequate speed (55). His awareness is a little on the low side at 54, but he showed good tackling technique in college (78). Tomlinson should receive work on his strength in training camp to become a more complete player, and eventually take over for Terry Bailey or Sylvester Williams.

4.17 - HB Victor Ruiz
At pick 17 in the 4th round of the draft, the Rams took a halfback. Given that Ruiz would be the 6th halfback on the team, some fans were left scratching their heads. Later, however, it was announced that he was drafted with the intention of being moved to fullback. Ruiz was available in the fourth round because he does not, by any means, have the athleticism you typically look for at the halfback position. He does, however, have good downfield speed (85) to go with solid strength (77), and he possesses exceptional blocking skills for a running back (56 PBK, 54 RBK). While none of his other attributes stand out, they are solid across the board (65 AWR, 79 AGI, 79 ACC, 66 CTH, 75 CAR, 77 BTK). It's not clear what the selection of Ruiz means for incumbent FB Darren Hixon, but it's believed both will be on the roster to start the 2023 season.

4.25 - HB Alex Almarez
While Ruiz might be switching to fullback, the Rams did truly draft a sixth running back eight picks later. As has been the theme throughout their draft, Almarez's best attribute is his speed (94). He also boasts solid strength (67) and break tackle ability (82). Almarez probably won't ever be a starter for the Rams, but they still felt he brought good value as a background in the 4th round. He's very similar to Royce Felton in his abilities and running style and could easily fill his role if he were to go down.

4.29 - CB Harlan Autry
Once again, speed is the key here. Autry's best attribute is his speed (93), although he also has very good strength for the position (67). The rest of his attributes are either average or subpar, but Autry could have some potential with the right skew.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 09/29/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 10
Rams Draft Recap Rounds 1 & 2
1.24 - WR Corey Davis
With the first pick in the draft the Rams drafted wide receiver Corey Davis out of Western Michigan. The Rams were quite surprised when Davis fell all the way to the 24th pick after they had tried to trade up with him as a potential target. Standing 6'2" with 95 SPD, only 20 other WRs can match his speed and height combo. But Davis has several other strengths to complement those numbers. Only 5 out of those 20 WRs have 60+ STR, 95+ AGI, and 90+ACC. Davis clocks in at 66 STR, 97 AGI, and 92 ACC. Yes, the one knock one Davis is that he doesn't have an elite first step, but with some work it should be more than adequate. Davis also enters the league with good but not great route running (60 AWR), and a good set of hands (79 CTH). When it's all said and done look for Davis to reach 98 SPD at 6'2", an attribute combo no current WR can match, along with 97 AGI, and 95 ACC. He'll start right away alongside Odell Beckham Jr., and will hopefully be able to fill a portion of the production of Stephen Hill and Donald Lake.

1.29 - CB Quincy Wilson
5 picks later, with the second pick the Rams received from the Vikings in the Donald Lake trade, the team selected Quincy Wilson out of Florida. According to sources they were all set to take LB Takkarist Mckinley to fill a need they've had at linebacker for a while before the Buccaneers grabbed him just one pick prior. With McKinley off the board the team decided on Wilson, another player tall player with good length and athleticism. Right off the bat, Wilson's combination of speed (92), agility (92), and height (6'2") put him among a group of only ten players who share those attributes. Of course, most of those players have higher speed and acceleration which is something that Wilson will have to improve to be a great player in this league. Like Davis, Wilson is going to need to work on his acceleration, which is by far the weakest part of his game. In fact, he'll need a few years just to get it to a respectable level. But, when all is said and done, Wilson should max out at 95 SPD, 65 STR, 92 AGI, and 91 ACC. And while it will take some time, Wilson's long-term potential is what the team is banking on. For now, he'll probably play sparingly on defense.

2.29 - Tanoh Kpassagnon
For the second pick in a row the Rams had a player sniped the very pick before them. This time it was Ajax Glazer, a player who the Rams had considered taking at pick 1.29, and had their eye on ever since. Instead, the Saints took him at 2.28, and the Rams were on to their next target. In the end they settled on Tanoh Kpassagnon, a 6'7", 299 lb defensive end out of Villanova. Kpassagnon doesn't do anything well, but he has many strengths to his game. His strength is good for the position, but not outstanding given his athleticism. Is athleticism is below average, but not bad for his strength and size. Once again, the Rams made this pick based on potential. Theoretically Kpassagnon could reach 80 SPD, 87 STR, and 80 ACC, a set of attributes that only Aaron Donald of the Seahawks could match. In the end it's unlikely he'll get to that level, but it is quite certain that the Rams will work on Kpassagnon's strength as much as possible, and he'll max out at a minimum of 77 SPD, 87 STR, 74 AGI, and 78 ACC with enough strength to stuff the run, but also enough athleticism to contain outside and rush the passer. He should start opposite Bud Dupree at DE for a long time.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 09/29/2017) Replies - 1 :: Views - 20
Rams Land CB Dre Hall in Free Agency
Reports emerging out of St. Louis suggest that free agent cornerback Dre Hall has chosen the Rams as his next GZL team. Early reports are that the deal is somewhere in the 2 year, $15-16m range with roughly a third of the contract guaranteed. With the contract being fairly reasonable, multiple pundits are surprised that the Houston Texans did not offer a comparable offer to the eight year veteran.

Not a high profile prospect entering the the 2015 GZL draft, Hall was selected near the end of the third round by the Texans, where he has spent all eight years of his GZL career. He earned a starting role in 2018 and had some early growing pains, but by 2020 he was listed as one of the most productive cornerbacks in the GZL. He followed up a strong 2020 season with an even more productive year in 2021 where he set a career high with 6 interceptions. And while he took a step back in 2022, Hall clearly still has the skills to be a productive player in the league.

It's not immediately clear where Hall will fit in with the Rams. Rumors out of St. Louis are that Stephon Gilmore is on the trade block and might potentially wind up being cut if there are no suitors. This would likely place Hall as the nickel back for the Rams, who are apparently looking for a veteran to fill in until the young Xavian Howard is ready for a more prominent role.

With the addition of Hall, the Rams should once again have one of the more talented cornerback groups in the league. He joins Xavier Rhodes and Jeremy Briggs, two players who have outstanding length and athleticism, despite Rhodes nearing the end of his career. Even with Hall on board, don't be surprised if the Rams still add a cornerback in the draft, as this group still lacks youth despite their talent. It's quite possible one of the first round picks acquired in the Donald Lake trade could be used for just that purpose.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 09/14/2017) Replies - 2 :: Views - 20
Rams Ink FA RB Travon Wilkins to Five Year Deal
It was announced early this evening that the Bears have decided to let HB Travon Wilkins walk in free agency, and that Wilkins will head to St. Louis on a 5 year, 17.5m deal.

Travon Wilkins has always been something of an interesting prospect since he came out in the 2019 draft. He possess a combination of speed (90) and strength (80) rare among running backs in the league, but has the frame of a scat back, weighing in at a mere 208 lbs. The Chicago Bears took a chance on him with the third pick in the second round, but he has had limited success as a backup to Bronze Pittman.

To say that Wilkins has struggled to this point in his career is an understatement. The Sonoma St. product has averaged more than four yards per carry just once in four seasons (his rookie year) and has never scored more than three touchdowns in a season. He also averaged under three yards per carry in two different years. Overall, he has managed just 3.34 yards per carry in his career. He’s tallied 87 yards on 14 receptions throughout his career as well while also recording three drops. On the plus side, Wilkins has only one fumble to speak of over the span of four seasons, which came in his first year. Wilkins has shown to be an adequate blocker as well, registering 15 pancakes and 0 sacks allowed.

Will Wilkins fare better during his time in St. Louis? It’s hard to say. It seems that a big reason for Wilkins struggles could be attributed to his playing weight of just 208 lbs. St. Louis may look to have him bulk up a little, but that is certainly far from a guarantee. While the Rams have an above average offensive line, it’s hard to point to blocking as a reason for Wilkins’ struggles, as Bronze Pittman has been one of the most successful running backs in the GZL.

It appears that the Rams are banking on a change of scenery to help the talented running back turn his career around. With rumors that Rams current backup Christine Michael is on the way out the door, it seems likely Wilkins will take his place behind starter Royce Felton.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 09/14/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 12
Rams Ship WR Lake to Minnesota
In a move sure to send shock waves throughout St. Louis, the Rams have announced they've traded star WR Donald Lake to the Minnesota Vikings along with their 4th round pick for the 24th and 29th picks in the draft along with a 5th round draft choice. The move can be described as nothing less than stunning, as Lake was set to take over the #2 WR spot from the aging Stephen Hill while the Rams have been incredibly quiet on the trade front this off-season.

The first question that's going to be asked is what this means for the Rams 2023 season. While the roster has been collectively aging for some time, and GM Tyler Richardson himself has publicly talked about the window closing, most pundits saw the Rams making one more run at a championship title this season. But after getting embarrassed by the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship this past post-season, perhaps the Rams front office has said enough is enough.

The move leaves the team with just one true playmaker at the receiver position now in Odell Beckham Jr., suddenly without either of their two twin towers that helped power their characteristically potent offense. Do they have plans to replace Lake elsewhere, or will they perhaps rely more on the run this season?

The only thing certain for now is that the Rams now have more ammunition in the draft than they've had in quite some time, and essentially gain back all of the assets they traded away for MLB Ricky Austin a year ago. It will be interesting to see what they do with it. Stay tuned for more on this developing story.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 09/11/2017) Replies - 4 :: Views - 44
Rams Sign SS Hodges to Cap Unusually Aggressive Offseason
The Rams announced that they have reached a three year agreement to sign SS C.J. Hodges in what should be their final move of an atypical St. Louis offseason. The deal is reported to be worth just under $6m in salary while only carrying a small amount of guaranteed money. Hodges was drafted in the third round by the Philadelphia Eagles and spent all of his rookie contract with the club before being picked up by the Seattle Seahawks followed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was released by the Buccaneers just one day prior on February 11th.

While it's a rather routine move to round out the final roster, it signals an end to a type of offseason that Rams fans haven't seen for quite some time - maybe ever. Long ago are the days where the St. Louis front office was busy wheeling and dealing to make splash moves in either the draft or free agency, as for many years their roster has been largely assembled and only required minor tweaking. But after Von Miller, the player who kickstarted the team's face-lift in the inaugural GZL draft, decided to call it a career, the Rams were left with a big hole at MLB. Veteran linebacker William Rogers filled that hole surprisingly well last year, but even he was in the twlight of his career. Somewhere along the line this offseason, the Rams braintrust figured out that if they needed to make a big move to fill such a large hole on the roster, and it was that move that launched some of the most aggressive moves the franchise has ever made.

The Rams were hoping to fill the MLB position by either drafting a future star or signing another veteran holdover, but after combing through the free agent market and draft class it became clear there just wasn't anyone fitting the bill. Enter Ricky Austin, who the team traded both their first and second round draft choices this year as well as their first round choice next year for. The team had long been in awe of his unique skillset and regarded him as the best in the business, but they figured there was no way they would ever be able to get their hands on him. However, after much contemplation late one night, the team engaged in trade talks with Saints GM John Stanley, and after some haggling the two parties were able to strike a deal by lunch time the next day. It just so happened that Stanely reportedly wanted to put his own mark on the franchise, and trading Austin, who while just entering his prime is also more than half way through his best years, afforded him the assets to do just that, allowing the trade to come to fruition. The move is truly the antithesis of how St. Louis assembled their team, as they have historically been the ones hoarding the picks rather than shipping them off for a veteran player. While it was a high price to pay, and may set back any potential efforts for a quick reload a few years from now, the move both fills a huge position of need for the club while giving them the type of unique difference maker that could really set the team up for another possible title run before their window fully closes. And it turned out that a move that no one saw coming - even those at the greatest heights within the organization - completely changed the course of the team's offseason.

In fact, quickly rewinding to the beginning of the offseason, there was a brief conversation between Rams GM Tyler Richardson and Seahawks GM Nic St. Marie about the current state of their respective offseasons. In the short back and forth, Richardson expressed a desire to stay the course with another typical St. Louis offseason - hold on to draft picks, possibly move up, fill some needs while drafting BPA, sign some FAs to fill some minor roster holes, and embark on another quest for a Superbowl victory. He wasn't lying or being coy with his longtime division rival, in fact there were no plans other than that. But when options for filling the crucial MLB role started becoming less and less promising, he decided it was time to make a move. Once the efforts paid off, it set the tone for another unusual strategy - an aggressive approach to free agency.

The Rams were big players for a pair of elite match-eligible free agents in cornerbacks Justin Gilbert and Kyan McGrady. In fact they had the largest offer between the two in for Gilbert, but the Dolphins made the tough decision to match. While the team ultimately came away from the match-eligible period empty handed, their aggressive strategy carried into the post-draft stage as well. The team put a large offer in for defensive end Sam Montgomery to the tune of almost $35m over three years - an offer the talented RE eagerly accepted. While Montgomery is also a different type of player than the Rams have typically employed at the positoin, he gives them yet another elite pass rusher in the trenches.

While this strategy is really only encapsulated in these two moves, largely because most of the team's roster they built through the draft is still in tact, it still marks a vastly different approach than the team has used in the past. It may also foreshadow what's to come. To put it bluntly, St. Louis ownership has realized that the core group of players they assembled and won a championship are aging - quickly. The rebuild was completed somewhere between 2014 and 2016 - a time span that dates back eight seasons ago. They can either try to continue to reload, or push all of their chips into the middle of the table. With this offseason - and part of next years offseason already too - the Rams have chosen the latter. Only time will tell how the strategy pays off for them in the coming seasons, or if they will stay true to the plan in the coming offseasons, but for now they're simply looking to transition from an aggressive, attacking offseason into an aggressive and attacking run at another GZL championship.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 02/12/2017) Replies - 5 :: Views - 67
Rams 2021 Training Camp
The Rams off-season started off with cuts, as usual. As a perennially cash-strapped organization, the change of seasons almost always requires freeing up extra cap room for the spending ahead. The unusual part about this off-season, however, was that the Rams did not cut anyone other than St. Louis legend Von Miller until after the first round of free agency. This stemmed mostly from fact that, other than Miller, the team did not have any players hogging up cap room that were obvious cuts.

After they went out and made the surprise signing of former Packers quarterback Jimmy Clausen, that all changed. Many thought this might mean the release of another Rams legend, quarterback Sam Bradford, but the team instead chose to keep their options opened and cut a slew of depth players instead, including LB Joe Day, DE Jacquez Emmanuel, P Brace Hargett, and OL Aiden Churchhill. The team also signed ex-Cowboys receiver Mathias Vasquez to a 5 year deal in order to replace P.J. Mitchell.

With free agency over with, it was time for the team to shift their attention towards the upcoming draft. They stuck with their usual off-season plane of late in not making many trades, although they did make a couple small deals. In the first trade the team sent 4th string WR P.J. Mitchell to the Lions to move up from 2.28 to 2.14 in the second round. They also traded one of their 6th round picks to the Raiders in exchange for three 7th round picks which would help add cheap depth to the roster.

Finally, it was time for the draft. Here’s the draft picks the Rams were able to haul in with their nine draft picks:

1.17 – OG Dewitt Ledbetter – While there was a lot of trading throughout the first round of the draft, the Rams decided to sit tight and see if the right prospect would fall to them. They were more than ecstatic that guard Dewitt Ledbetter was still on the board when the league announced the team was on the clock. Sources inside the Rams draft room indicate that some scouts had Ledbetter ranked as a top ten prospect in the class due to his unique athletic ability and sound blocking technique out of college. Ledbetter amazed scouts across the league with his elite quickness off the snap in pre-draft workouts, which he pairs well with his above-average upper-body strength. In fact, Ledbetter has the best acceleration of any offensive lineman in the league at 86, and is one of only 10 lineman in the league with 93 strength and 82 acceleration. He comes in a bit raw from a cerebral perspective, but from all pre-draft reports he shouldn’t have much trouble picking up the game on the fly – which is a good thing the Rams are going to plug him in at the right guard spot from day one. Look for Ledbetter to possibly struggle early on while getting his feet wet but eventually develop into one of the better and more unique offensive lineman in the league.


2.14 – RB Royce Felton – Although they entered the off-season with the 28th pick in the second round, the Rams realized that the top-shelf talent would be going off the board quickly in the second round and send backup WR P.J. Mitchell to the Lions in order to move up to 14th. Similarly to their first round pick, the Rams were content to sit back, wait, and pick the best player that fell to them at a position of need. While the Rams watched two running backs get selected ahead of their pick and also considered drafting a cornerback here, they ended up deciding to bite on the speedy RB Royce Felton, who they had a late first round grade on. Felton comes into the league with good athleticism despite lacking an elite first-step and above-average strength. And while he’s a bit undersized for the position (5’11”, 215 lbs), he displays an impressive ability to break tackles coming out of college, both through his elusiveness and his deceptive strength. The Rams figure to spend a good deal of time working with Felton improving his game both on the field and in the weight room, and he should see a fair increase in speed, strength, and weight before all is said and done.

2.27 – CB Xavian Howard – It was widely reported that the Rams would have taken a cornerback at 2.14 if they had not decided to select RB Royce Felton, and many believe that Xavian Howard was they cornerback they were considering there. By the time the end of the second round rolled around some teams were looking to trade out of their picks, and the Rams wasted no time jumping on this opportunity with Howard still on the board. They were able to send their future second round pick along with a 6th rounder this year to Miami in exchange for 2.27 and a future 7th, and get a player they consider to have a lot of untapped potential at the cornerback position. Howard has great length for a defensive back, standing 6’1” tall, and weighs a solid 210 lbs. He’s also got above average but not great strength and hands, while his tackling is a little sub-par. The thing that set Howard apart from the rest is that while he’s a little slow for a top-3 cornerback now, he has the ability to reach 94 SPD, 92 AGI, and 94 ACC to pair with his 6’1” frame with a manageable amount of work in training camp. He also needs to learn to play a more cerebral game on the field, but the Rams feel confident that he will be able to pick that up fairly quickly while learning from the likes of Xavier Rhodes, Stephon Gilmore, and Jeremy Briggs. Look for Howard to one day take over for one of those veteran players as they get closer to calling it a career


3.17 – DE/LB Apollo Plemmons – By the time the draft reached the middle of the third round, most of the more sure-fire prospects were off the board. With that in mind, the Rams decided to take a chance on a player that could never pan out but that could also develop into a solid starter one day. Enter Apollo Plemmons. The defensive end lacks solid strength and has poor tackling technique, but is fairly athletic for a 6’4”, 258 lb player. The Rams will convert him to linebacker where his 34 catch is never going to make him the sort of all-around playmaker teams covet, but he surely has the chance to become a legit pass rusher. Look for the team to try to put in a good bit of effort into developing him, which is a risky proposition considering he may never pan out. But if he can become the player they envision him to one day be, they found a steal in the 3rd round.

4.30 – Terrance Van Adder – At 4.30 the Rams found a talented but raw prospect when they drafted Terrance Van Adder. While he is certainly not the strongest offensive lineman in the class, he possesses nearly elite athleticism, although his first step is not quite at that level. Although he has good length standing 6’5” tall, he could be described as a bit undersized weighing in at only 288 lbs. And while he has a decent understanding of the position his blocking technique is fairly unpolished coming out of college. Nevertheless Van Adder has a lot of potential considering where he was taken and should improve on his strength at least slightly barring a bad skew.

5.17 – LB Nathan Bookman – At this point it’s really slim pickings with the players left on the draft board, and the Rams shifted their focus to drafting by need. Bookman is actually a fairly solid player across the board other than his slow first step, and was considered to be one of the smartest players to enter the draft this year. He also possess great hands and could have the ability to create some turnovers defending the pass. And although he’s a bit undersized, he should make for a solid depth player over the next few seasons.

7.17 – FB Gerald Henke – Henke is not expected to be signed by the organization.

7.24 – Michael McBride – This was a pick the Rams made purely to fill out the depth chart as cheaply as possible. McBride has good length standing 6’5” tall and average long-range speed, but is below average or poor in just about every other aspect of his game. His one other redeeming quality may be that he’s a slightly above average blocker. He will likely see the field as little as possible.

7.32 – Jaxson Lowry – 2021’s Mr. Irrrelevant is currently wrapping up his delightful vacation in Intercourse, Pennsylvania. When he returns, he’ll fill a similar role as TE McBride: cheap depth. While picked later than McBride, Lowry is actually a little more talented, and could develop into a good backup with the right skew. As it stands, though, the coaches will be wanting to bury him on the depth chart as well.

In addition to these picks, the Rams also made somewhat of a surprising trade on draft day. Instead of Sam Bradford being moved, like many had speculated, the team opted to ship out backup quarterback Kellen Moore to the Buccaneers. The team received Tamp Bay’s 2022 2nd round draft pick in addition to a depth player (who was immediately released).

When it came time to clear cap space for their newly acquired players, the Rams front office found themselves in somewhat of a conundrum. With Bradford still on the roster they did not have near the amount of cap space they were expecting, and it became obvious that some hard decisions would have to be made. It looked for a while that LB Dontay Moch, who was going to be moved inside to take over for Von Miller, would be the odd man out. Instead the Rams decided to once again cut numerous players to clear way for their draft picks. This time, CB Robert Alford, P Durant Brooks, OL Brady Navarette, and HB Keith Garner were given the axe. The team also opted to not sign the FB they drafted in the 7th round as well. While Moch remained on the roster, rumor around the organization and the league was that he was not going to be around much longer.

The rumors unfortunately turned out to be true, and just a few days later it was announced that Moch would be sent to the division rival Seattle Seahawks of all places. Perhaps the connection should have been made when the Seahawks placed their FB on their block and the Rams declined to sign the rookie FB they drafted, as the center-piece of the deal was Seahawks FB Darren Hixon. The Rams would have preferred to have the Seahawks other FB, RB/FB Tra Carson, who St. Louis was targeting in the draft, but the Seahawks drafting him 6 picks before the Rams were able to. In the end, they settled for Hixon, and sent a 3rd round pick and LB Dontay Moch in exchange for him. The team probably overpaid, but it was doubtful Seattle was going to take a 3rd for Hixon, and Moch needed to go anyways.

This move ensures that rookie HB Royce Felton will have someone solid blocking for him, but also leaves the Rams very thin at linebacker, a position which has traditionally been a strength for them. They are going to have to look very hard at their options both in free agency and the trade market in order to ensure they have adequate players there to field a formidable defense. Reports from inside the organization indicate they have already kicked the tires on a few potential targets, although none of those talks have progressed past the initial stages. Also, given their cap situation, it is likely they will only have enough money to pay a MLB, and may have to rely on one of their current defensive ends to play linebacker for them. It is not a great situation the Rams have put themselves in and it will be interested to see how/if they get out of it. Middle linebacker is an important position in this league, and right now the Rams simply don’t have close to the talent of a starter at that spot.


Once the off-season is wrapped up, the team is going to have some tough decisions to make about how to best spend their time in training camp and with what players. There are numerous players the Rams should be looking at devoting some extra time to, including HB Royce Felton, OG Dewitt Ledbetter, DEs Bud Dupree and Dave Salisbury, CB Xavian Howard, LB Apollo Plemmons, and LT Terrance Van Adder. Let’s take a look at how they might spread out that time.

With HB Royce Felton, the team is interested in developing two main areas – speed and strength. They are expected to improve these areas as much as possible without limiting the time they can devote to other players. It is also expected that they will ask their newly acquired RB to work on adding some weight in order to bulk up. The team would like to see him at 225 lbs at least.

For OG Dewitt Ledbetter, the Rams will mainly be concerned with increasing his strength. While he is already above average in that aspect of his game, the team feels that if he can get a little bit stronger it will truly put him among the best in the league. They will probably give him that time this off-season to avoid missing out on maximizing the strength he can add.

As far as DE Bud Dupree is concerned, the team is really just looking to finish off his development. He will probably at least see some time of strength development, and maybe some work on his speed or quickness as well. However, two or more areas is unlikely as the team wants to get started developing their youngsters.

It is a similar story for DE Dave Salisbury. The organization has previously thought about pouring lots of time into him to make him a unique player, but he could also probably get by just on strength, although some work in speed or quickness is not out of the question.

With CB Xavian Howard, the story is quite simple. He will receive work in speed and speed only until he has developed as much as possible. The good news is that since he was a second round pick the team will only have to do this for two off-seasons rather than three. They might delay the start of his development until next off-season for this reason.

For newly converted LB Apollo Plemmons the case is much more tricky. He’s a player that with some work could really be a special player considering where he was drafted. The team would like to devote time to him in at least two or three areas between strength, speed, and acceleration. How much time can be devoted to him really depends on what they do with their other players.

Finally, OT Terrance Van adder could use some work improving his upper body strength. Depending on how he projects after the team has gotten a closer look at him, this may prove to either be worthwhile or not at all. If so, the team will likely look to max him out in this area like others. As is the case with Xavian Howard, the start of his development can be delayed since he was not drafted in the first round.

And there you have it. While the team will surely have some tough decisions to make, you can be assured they will put the time and thought required into it to maximize the potential of all of their players. Keep a closer eye on our continued training camp coverage to see who is working on what and for how long.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 07/14/2016) Replies - 2 :: Views - 49
Rams 2021 Draft Review: 4.30 - 7.32
4.30 – Terrance Van Adder – At 4.30 the Rams found a talented but raw prospect when they drafted Terrance Van Adder. While he is certainly not the strongest offensive lineman in the class, he possesses nearly elite athleticism, although his first step is not quite at that level. Although he has good length standing 6’5” tall, he could be described as a bit undersized weighing in at only 288 lbs. And while he has a decent understanding of the position his blocking technique is fairly unpolished coming out of college. Nevertheless Van Adder has a lot of potential considering where he was taken and should improve on his strength at least slightly barring a bad skew.

5.17 – LB Nathan Bookman – At this point it’s really slim pickings with the players left on the draft board, and the Rams shifted their focus to drafting by need. Bookman is actually a fairly solid player across the board other than his slow first step, and was considered to be one of the smartest players to enter the draft this year. He also possess great hands and could have the ability to create some turnovers defending the pass. And although he’s a bit undersized, he should make for a solid depth player over the next few seasons.

7.17 – FB Gerald Henke – Henke is not expected to be signed by the organization.

7.24 – Michael McBride – This was a pick the Rams made purely to fill out the depth chart as cheaply as possible. McBride has good length standing 6’5” tall and average long-range speed, but is below average or poor in just about every other aspect of his game. His one other redeeming quality may be that he’s a slightly above average blocker. He will likely see the field as little as possible.

7.32 – Jaxson Lowry – 2021’s Mr. Irrrelevant is currently wrapping up his delightful vacation in Intercourse, Pennsylvania. When he returns, he’ll fill a similar role as TE McBride: cheap depth. While picked later than McBride, Lowry is actually a little more talented, and could develop into a good backup with the right skew. As it stands, though, the coaches will be wanting to bury him on the depth chart as well.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 07/14/2016) Replies - 0 :: Views - 11
Rams 2021 Draft Review: 2.27 & 3.17
2.27 – CB Xavian Howard – It was widely reported that the Rams would have taken a cornerback at 2.14 if they had not decided to select RB Royce Felton, and many believe that Xavian Howard was they cornerback they were considering there. By the time the end of the second round rolled around some teams were looking to trade out of their picks, and the Rams wasted no time jumping on this opportunity with Howard still on the board. They were able to send their future second round pick along with a 6th rounder this year to Miami in exchange for 2.27 and a future 7th, and get a player they consider to have a lot of untapped potential at the cornerback position. Howard has great length for a defensive back, standing 6’1” tall, and weighs a solid 210 lbs. He’s also got above average but not great strength and hands, while his tackling is a little sub-par. The thing that set Howard apart from the rest is that while he’s a little slow for a top-3 cornerback now, he has the ability to reach 94 SPD, 92 AGI, and 94 ACC to pair with his 6’1” frame with a manageable amount of work in training camp. He also needs to learn to play a more cerebral game on the field, but the Rams feel confident that he will be able to pick that up fairly quickly while learning from the likes of Xavier Rhodes, Stephon Gilmore, and Jeremy Briggs. Look for Howard to one day take over for one of those veteran players as they get closer to calling it a career


3.17 – DE/LB Apollo Plemmons – By the time the draft reached the middle of the third round, most of the more sure-fire prospects were off the board. With that in mind, the Rams decided to take a chance on a player that could never pan out but that could also develop into a solid starter one day. Enter Apollo Plemmons. The defensive end lacks solid strength and has poor tackling technique, but is fairly athletic for a 6’4”, 258 lb player. The Rams will convert him to linebacker where his 34 catch is never going to make him the sort of all-around playmaker teams covet, but he surely has the chance to become a legit pass rusher. Look for the team to try to put in a good bit of effort into developing him, which is a risky proposition considering he may never pan out. But if he can become the player they envision him to one day be, they found a steal in the 3rd round.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 07/13/2016) Replies - 2 :: Views - 31
Rams 2021 Draft Review: 1.17 & 2.14
1.17 – OG Dewitt Ledbetter – While there was a lot of trading throughout the first round of the draft, the Rams decided to sit tight and see if the right prospect would fall to them. They were more than ecstatic that guard Dewitt Ledbetter was still on the board when the league announced the team was on the clock. Sources inside the Rams draft room indicate that some scouts had Ledbetter ranked as a top ten prospect in the class due to his unique athletic ability and sound blocking technique out of college. Ledbetter amazed scouts across the league with his elite quickness off the snap in pre-draft workouts, which he pairs well with his above-average upper-body strength. In fact, Ledbetter has the best acceleration of any offensive lineman in the league at 86, and is one of only 10 lineman in the league with 93 strength and 82 acceleration. He comes in a bit raw from a cerebral perspective, but from all pre-draft reports he shouldn’t have much trouble picking up the game on the fly – which is a good thing the Rams are going to plug him in at the right guard spot from day one. Look for Ledbetter to possibly struggle early on while getting his feet wet but eventually develop into one of the better and more unique offensive lineman in the league.


2.14 – RB Royce Felton – Although they entered the off-season with the 28th pick in the second round, the Rams realized that the top-shelf talent would be going off the board quickly in the second round and send backup WR P.J. Mitchell to the Lions in order to move up to 14th. Similarly to their first round pick, the Rams were content to sit back, wait, and pick the best player that fell to them at a position of need. While the Rams watched two running backs get selected ahead of their pick and also considered drafting a cornerback here, they ended up deciding to bite on the speedy RB Royce Felton, who they had a late first round grade on. Felton comes into the league with good athleticism despite lacking an elite first-step and above-average strength. And while he’s a bit undersized for the position (5’11”, 215 lbs), he displays an impressive ability to break tackles coming out of college, both through his elusiveness and his deceptive strength. The Rams figure to spend a good deal of time working with Felton improving his game both on the field and in the weight room, and he should see a fair increase in speed, strength, and weight before all is said and done.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 07/13/2016) Replies - 1 :: Views - 29
Rams Continue to Shuffle Up Roster
The Rams have been unusually busy on the transaction front to kick off the 2020 season, and the moves keep coming. The recent string of moves have partially been due to injuries, partially due to tight cap space, and partially to upgrade the roster anyway possible.

In week 3 the Seahawks placed Christine Michael on the block. The front office had already tried adding Michael just a few weeks prior only to see the Seahawks strike a deal for him first. But they were able to offer a similar package of picks to their divison rival and secure his services anyways. But clearing cap room for even a $1.5m contract is not an easy feat this season. The Rams are backed up against the cap penalty limit wall in addition to having next to no cap room to spare, thus a whole chain of roster moves ensued. Backup HB Lew Johnson was released, as was the non-guaranteed contract of OG Clinton Newton. The team then signed OG John Knight to a lesser non-guaranteed contract that they would be able to part with when needed to. Recently injured FA acquisition CB Robert Alford was also sent to IR, and the team used its remaining cap space to sign the best CB they could, who turned out to be Buster Skrine. He received 70k in guaranteed money, which would put the Rams just 20k short of the $20m cap penalty if they were to part ways with him.

After week 6 the period for veteran exception contracts opened, which set in motion another chain of transactions foe the Rams. Jason Smith, the franchise's cornerstone RT since the inception of the league, had been sitting at home since the Rams releases him near the end of the off season for cap reasons. Since no team had expressed interest, Smith finally agreed to retake his spot fo the veteran mminimum of a 1m/500k contract. To make room the Rams let go of Jeremy Knight and his non-guaranteed contract and signed the guard with the cheapest non-guaranteed contract they could find, Matthew Russell.

Come week 8 another week had passed and the Rams were allowed by league rules to sign another player to a veteran exception contract. They quickly agreed to terms with RT Sebastian Vollmer, an aging but more than qualified veteran who will be asked to move to RG for the club. To make room the team released Russell, but not before taking out a full page ad in the newspaper thanking him for his services during the team's bye week. Additional cap room was still needed however, so the team also let go of CB Buster Skrine, leaving them just 20k below the cap penalty limit. To replace Skrine the team added CB Ron Brooks to, you guessed it, a non-guaranteed contract.

This is the team the Rams will travel with to Arizona when they take on the Cardinals, who narrowly edged them out in a close battle right before the bye week. The coaches are hopeful the recent additions to the offensive line will give Sam Bradford more time in the locket and return the offense to the explosive state they are capable of. You can be sure to expect more moves from the club in the weeks to come however, possibly as soon as next week when TE Ed Moss could return from injury. FBs Harvey Unga and Charles Clay were both signed to non-guaranteed contracts and Clay, who has been filling in for Moss, may be made expendable to again upgrade the #4 CB spot with Moss back in the lineup. The Rams are hoping to find some kind of continuity before heading into the latter part of the season, but they certainly don't plan on stopping looking to upgrade the roster anyway they can no matter how much room they have to work with.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 03/04/2016) Replies - 0 :: Views - 15
STL 2020 TC: An Offseason of Tough Decisions
The St. Louis Rams recently announced they have made several cuts to kick off the 2020 GZL offseason. Some of them were depth players, others longtime starters. With many expiring contracts this offseason the Rams are looking for every way possible to free up some cap room. The most notable of the cuts was FB Harvey Unga. Many people were either shocked or critical when the Rams handed Unga the largest contract a GZL FB has ever seen to pry him away from the Seattle Seahawks. While many correctly assumed he wouldnt see the end of his 5 year deal, he did last longer than expected, and played in St. Louis until he regressed. Harvey did it all for the Rams, playing at RB, FB, and TE as well as returning kicks and punts, as was a key ingredient in their 2019 Superbowl run. In addition to Unga, the Rams also cut QB Shane Hart, CB Sam Shields, RB John Clay, and CB Curtish Marsh.

The Rams had a couple RFAs to re-sign, the most notable one being SS Walter Black. Black was tendered at $2.51m, which would require any team making an offer to be prepared to part with a 1st and 3rd round pick. Black did not receive any offers and eventually signed a 5 year extension with the team. OG Virgil Montana was also signed to a 900k tender, but was later released.

The team used their exclusive resign on CB Jeremy Briggs, locking up him to a team friendly 5 year deal, and retained one of their other top CBs, Jeremy Briggs, by using their franchise tag. Briggs will make upwards of $14m this season.

Despite all that work and money already poured into retaining players, the Rams still had their hands full when it came to the match eligible portion of free agency. Several of the Rams starters made it to the process, including DT Sheldon Richardson, TE Ed Moss, HB Lavonte Bell, and OT Ernie Bowman. Moss received an offer that was only a little more than $1m more than the team's offer for the same amount of years, and the offer was quickly matched before teams could bid any more. The Rams did not get so lucky with the other three players. They ended up matching a huge 5 year, $55m offer for OT Ernie Bowman, and a slightly less painful 2 year, $20m contract for DT Sheldon Richardson. They ended up letting HB Lavonte Bell walk after the Ravens ponied up $33m over 3 years for the star HB.

With all the money the team had to fork over to keep its key players in town, they needed to free up a whole lot more cap room than they had available. RT Jason Smith, a member of the original GZL Rams squad in 2010, was let go, and DT Nick Fairley was traded to the Bills in exchange for some late round draft picks and a future 2nd. While the Rams hated to see players like this leave the team, it's simply the cost of doing business in this league.

While most teams, especially cash-strapped ones, would look to replenish some of this talent through the draft, the Rams entered the 2020 draft with their first pick being in the 3rd round. With that in mind let's take a look at whole their draft class panned out:

2.16 - After watching some good talent fall into the 2nd round, the Rams immediately started making phone calls to move to the top of the second round. Their initial target was DT Robert Nkemdichie, who they feel has elite talent and thought would go in the top 20-25 picks. Rumor has it the team was prepared to offer two future 2nd round picks along with their fourth round selection in this year's draft. However it is probably a good thing they didn't, as the Patriots made a trade having the same intentions only for the DT to be snatched away when the Jags GM finally showed up to the party. They still had some priority targets on the board though, and entered into negotiations with the Vikings for the 16th pick of the second round. They ended up agreeing on a deal to send the Bills future 2nd, their future 4th and 4.24 to the Vikings for the pick. With the pick they took DE Dave Salisbury. While a very good athlete, Salisbury is your classic tweener. He is a jack of all trades but a master of none. He has below average athleticism for a 4-3 DE but fantastic athleticism for a DT. Meanwhile, he's extremely strong for a DE but has below average strength for a DT. Word out of St. Louis is that they're not quite sure where they will use him yet. If they amnesty Justin Houston he will like play RE for the team while Dupree has earned the LE spot. After this year though they could easily move him to DT if they wish. It would be interesting to see what that type of quickness could do at the position. Either way they are sure to invest a lot of development time into him, at least increasing his strength 3 points and probably his speed as well. The Rams are excited to have a versatile athlete like Salisbury in the fold.

3.5 - They always say the third time is the charm, and it appears that might be the case for the Rams drafting quarterbacks. After striking out twice the previous two years in finding a quarterback to develop, the Rams might have finally found their guy in Aaron Corrs. At 6'3" 225 lbs he had the prototypical size teams look for along with a powerful arm. He's not as polished as some of the top QBs taken are, but at 60 AWR/80 THA he is not too far behind. He is just the type of prospect the Rams had been looking for, as they didn't have to spend a high pick to get him and he still has all the physical traits you look for while not needing too much development. Look for the Rams to groom him to be ready for when Bradford decides to ride off into the sunset.

5.21 - OL Brady Navarrete - Navarette is the classic 60/90/60/70 type prospect that you usually see a 3rd round value. However Navarette is fairly new to the position, being converted from the defensive line, and his blocking technique is far from polished which saw him fall to the 5th round. An interested skew took him to 60/90/58/75, but also lowered his PBK to 73 and his RBK to 75. Those are some pretty abysmal blocking numbers. The Rams could decide to develop him into a decent OL with some strength additions and a heft amount of time poured into coaching him up, but with all the FA OL talent will it really be worth it? We'll see which direction they go here.

5.24 - LB Matt Lawson - The Rams were drawn to Lawson's 6'4" and 82 speed with this pick, despite below average strength acceleration and tackle. The potential they saw was a Bobby Beck type however, if Lawson got a good skew. Unfortunately it did not work out that way and Lawson in fact lost some speed, although he did gain some acceleration. In the end though he's a pretty average linebacker other than his 6'4" frame.

5.27 - DT Juan Williamson - Williams got a decent skew (+1 in several places), but it's not going to do much to help his status as a perennial backup. He has above average but not great strength, decent speed, piss poor agility, and below average acceleration. He'll do a fine job of giving the Rams a cheap 3rd DT for a few seasons before being released.

6.11 - OL Aiden Churchhill - Churchhill got an OK skew as well, but like most of these guys is nothing more than depth. He could probably fill in better than the two players drafted before them, but really the Rams are going to hope that isn't an option. He has passable strength to match purely average athleticism.

6.24 - OL Colten Fonseca - Foneseca got maybe the best skew in the draft - +4 SPD/+1 STR/+1 AWR/+2 AGI/+3 ACC/+1 RBK. It's too bad it was wasted on him. The added athleticism really makes no difference with how slow he already was. He's still a one trick pony with 94 STR and a 6'7", 222 lb frame. He'll probably take over that role on the 2 deep when fellow backup Virgil Montana is cut.

Another important draft day move involved trading RG Quentin Rainey back to the Packer in exchange for their backup HB Mike James. James is entering his 4th season in the league, and while he's not an all-star, he is a capable player who should be able to handle the starting duties in St. Louis for at least a season.

After the draft, the Rams were left with very little cap space. They had to choose between having some bottom-level talent at positions like RG, #4 CB, FB, #2 FS/SS, or find a way to clear some more salary. With a bunch of talented DEs on the team, the decision was made to amnesty Justin Houston. The team was able to get a 2nd round pick in return from the Giants while freeing up almost $10m in cap space.

With the excess money they were able to sign some talented depth players and a decent RG. Speedy SS Brandon Claiborne was brought in to backup both safety positions. RG Clinton Newton was brought it on a non-guaranteed contract to fill in until the team could sign some veteran players who are being a bit too greedy at the moment. Robert Alford was brought in to be the team's #4 CB. Harvey Unga is returning to St. Louis and will compete with Charles Clay for the FB and #2 TE duties. Both players were signed to non-guaranteed deals similar to Newton in case the team needs the extra cap space down the road.

There was a pretty big shake-up in St. Louis this off-season, but it was bound to happen. There's almost no question they have taken a step back from the roster they accumulated when the won the Superbowl two years back, but they also have some fresh faces who can make an impact as well. How far this team goes this season will likely depend on just how well the new players play and how creative the coaching staff can get.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 01/08/2016) Replies - 1 :: Views - 25
Rams 2020 Draft Class: Day 2 Picks
5.21 - OL Brady Navarrete - Navarette is the classic 60/90/60/70 type prospect that you usually see a 3rd round value. However Navarette is fairly new to the position, being converted from the defensive line, and his blocking technique is far from polished which saw him fall to the 5th round. An interested skew took him to 60/90/58/75, but also lowered his PBK to 73 and his RBK to 75. Those are some pretty abysmal blocking numbers. The Rams could decide to develop him into a decent OL with some strength additions and a heft amount of time poured into coaching him up, but with all the FA OL talent will it really be worth it? We'll see which direction they go here.

5.24 - LB Matt Lawson - The Rams were drawn to Lawson's 6'4" and 82 speed with this pick, despite below average strength acceleration and tackle. The potential they saw was a Bobby Beck type however, if Lawson got a good skew. Unfortunately it did not work out that way and Lawson in fact lost some speed, although he did gain some acceleration. In the end though he's a pretty average linebacker other than his 6'4" frame.

5.27 - DT Juan Williamson - Williams got a decent skew (+1 in several places), but it's not going to do much to help his status as a perennial backup. He has above average but not great strength, decent speed, piss poor agility, and below average acceleration. He'll do a fine job of giving the Rams a cheap 3rd DT for a few seasons before being released.

6.11 - OL Aiden Churchhill - Churchhill got an OK skew as well, but like most of these guys is nothing more than depth. He could probably fill in better than the two players drafted before them, but really the Rams are going to hope that isn't an option. He has passable strength to match purely average athleticism.

6.24 - OL Colten Fonseca - Foneseca got maybe the best skew in the draft - +4 SPD/+1 STR/+1 AWR/+2 AGI/+3 ACC/+1 RBK. It's too bad it was wasted on him. The added athleticism really makes no difference with how slow he already was. He's still a one trick pony with 94 STR and a 6'7", 222 lb frame. He'll probably take over that role on the 2 deep when fellow backup Virgil Montana is cut.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 01/04/2016) Replies - 1 :: Views - 29
Rams 2020 Draft Class: Day 1 picks
2.16 - After watching some good talent fall into the 2nd round, the Rams immediately started making phone calls to move to the top of the second round. Their initial target was DT Robert Nkemdichie, who they feel has elite talent and thought would go in the top 20-25 picks. Rumor has it the team was prepared to offer two future 2nd round picks along with their fourth round selection in this year's draft. However it is probably a good thing they didn't, as the Patriots made a trade having the same intentions only for the DT to be snatched away when the Jags GM finally showed up to the party. They still had some priority targets on the board though, and entered into negotiations with the Vikings for the 16th pick of the second round. They ended up agreeing on a deal to send the Bills future 2nd, their future 4th and 4.24 to the Vikings for the pick. With the pick they took DE Dave Salisbury. While a very good athlete, Salisbury is your classic tweener. He is a jack of all trades but a master of none. He has below average athleticism for a 4-3 DE but fantastic athleticism for a DT. Meanwhile, he's extremely strong for a DE but has below average strength for a DT. Word out of St. Louis is that they're not quite sure where they will use him yet. If they amnesty Justin Houston he will like play RE for the team while Dupree has earned the LE spot. After this year though they could easily move him to DT if they wish. It would be interesting to see what that type of quickness could do at the position. Either way they are sure to invest a lot of development time into him, at least increasing his strength 3 points and probably his speed as well. The Rams are excited to have a versatile athlete like Salisbury in the fold.

3.5 - They always say the third time is the charm, and it appears that might be the case for the Rams drafting quarterbacks. After striking out twice the previous two years in finding a quarterback to develop, the Rams might have finally found their guy in Aaron Corrs. At 6'3" 225 lbs he had the prototypical size teams look for along with a powerful arm. He's not as polished as some of the top QBs taken are, but at 60 AWR/80 THA he is not too far behind. He is just the type of prospect the Rams had been looking for, as they didn't have to spend a high pick to get him and he still has all the physical traits you look for while not needing too much development. Look for the Rams to groom him to be ready for when Bradford decides to ride off into the sunset.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 01/04/2016) Replies - 2 :: Views - 39
RFA Profile: SS Walter Black
Entering the 2020 offseason, the St. Louis Rams had two restricted free agents, SS Walter Black and LG Virgil Montana. Today we will focus on SS Walter Black.

Black has always been an underdog of sorts. He was not a very highly touted prospect entering the 2017 GZL draft, as most GZL scouts did not think he had the speed or quickness to be a starting safety in the league. He was also criticized for lacking the intangibles necessary to play the position at the professional level: he frequently took poor angles and missed assignments in college, his hands were poor even for a defensive, and he had a tendency to miss tackles with poor technique. About the only thing he had going for him that the scouts could agree upon was his 6'3" frame and long arms.

With that said it was not a surprise to many when the prospect out of Arizona watched round after round go by while his name remained on the board. The Rams finally decided to take a flier on him with the 23rd pick in the 5th round, their second pick of the round. Most inside the organization viewed Black as a decent backup with upside who could pr I baby provide good depth for a few years on a contract.

Come time for training camp though, they quickly found out they had a much better player on their hands than that. Black received one of the better skews in the league that year, bumping his speed, agility, and acceleration to 90, 92, and 91 respectively. Once the Rams found out what they had on their hands they quickly decided they were going to invest every resource possible into him to develop him into one of the most athletically gifted strong safetys in the league. After 5 TC points and one point from the incentive to build traditionally program, Black now has 93 speed, 92 agility, and 93 acceleration to compliment his 6'3" frame. While he still is a little raw in other areas, he has worked hard to improve his football IQ and tackling technique. His hands could still use some work. In 2019 he received his first start and remained the starter the while season. He posted 12 deflections to 9 catches allowed and returned his lone INT for a TD. He also recovered 2 fumbles and returned one of those for a TD.

Come the 2020 offseason the Rams placed a tender of 2.51m on him, the highest possible tender, which would mean if any team offered him a contract they could/would not match, the Rams would get a 1st and 3rd round pick in return. Black was not offered a qualifying offer by any team, and the Rams signed him to a 5 year, 16m dollar deal.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 12/18/2015) Replies - 1 :: Views - 28
Rams to Give Lake New Deal?
While some teams seem to wait to use their restructure into later in the offseason, or even the regular season, possibly to use on a player they would trade for, the Rams are not one of those teams. It seems every offseason the Rams use their almost as soon as they can, usually because they are tight against the cap and need to clear up some additional space.

The process is usually to try to find a key player who has a soon - expiring contract , preferably with a large salary and low-ish bonus, that expires in a year where there are a lot of other expiring contracts. There were only a few candidates this year that fit this criteria, prime among them WR Donald Lake.

While Lake does not have a large contract, his deal is up next offseason and the team will have plenty of other players they need to try to keep around a year from now. Secondly, he is definitely a key player who the Rams will want to keep around as long as possible. Finally, the Rams will save about 1 million dollars in cap room, which is as important this offseason as ever. While they would have liked to be able to save more money than that, most other candidates would not have saved them any money at all as their bonuses were too high or they were too old to be signed to a 5 year deal.

Lake was drafted 1.12 in the 2016 draft and has amassed over 2500 receiving yards and 21 toichdowns over his four year career. While that may not seem like a massive outpit for a guy drafted so high, Lake has done well in his role as the team's #3 receiver, and played a key role in the team's 2019 Superbowl run when Stephen Hill went down. He had someone of a career year this previous season, hauling in over 50 balls for almost 900 yards and 9 TDs. He is also averaging over 15 yards per reception over his career.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 12/18/2015) Replies - 0 :: Views - 20
Rams Look to Retain Shutdown CBs
It's that time of the offseason where we find out who's staying, who's going, and who's getting a new deal. Players will either be rewarded for their hard work, shown the door, let ealk, or locked up to a long term deal.

For the St. Louis Rams this was a tougher task this year than probably any of the previous ones. Many high profile players saw their contracts end and would have to be either signed to a new deal or let walk. Most notable among them were CB Xavier Rhodes, CB Jeremy Briggs, LT Ernie Bowman, TE Ed Moss, HB Lavonte Bell, and DT Sheldon Richardson. SS Walter Black also had an expiring contract' but luckily for the team was a restricted free agent which meant they were able to lock him up to a long term deal without using one of the coveted resigns, franchise tags, or restructures.

It was a tough choice as to who to keep and who to let hit the open market for the match eligible portion of the league's free agency, but ultimately the front office knew that they had to lock up their shutdown cornerbacks Jeremy Briggs and Xavier Rhodes. As GZL columnists have noted as of late, the passing game is the most important and most highly compensated aspect of the game, and shutdown corners are at the top of that list.

The next question was who would be resigned and who would get the controversial franchise tag. Rhodes is obviously the more established and more experienced player, and arguably the most important player on the whole defensive unit, but will also likely cost the same amount to resign next year as this year. Briggs, while still stuck in a nickel role, is more unproven but has certainly earned the respect of his coaches. He will also likely cost more to resign the next offseason as he has the most room for improvement. On the flip side, Rhodes will cost almost 2 million more to franchise tag. There's really no cut and dry answer to this one, but we expect the team to tag Rhodes while locking up Briggs to a 5 year deal that will keep his numbers low through his prime. [/code]
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 12/18/2015) Replies - 0 :: Views - 18
Rams Make Several Cuts
The St. Louis Rams recently announced they have made several cuts to kick off the 2020 GZL offseason. Some of them were depth players, others longtime starters. With many expiring contracts this offseason the Rams are looking for every way possible to free up some cap room.

The most notable of the cuts was FB Harvey Unga. Many people were either shocked or critical when the Rams handed Unga the largest contract a GZL FB has ever seen to pry him away from the Seattle Seahawks. While many correctly assumed he wouldnt see the end of his 5 year deal, he did last longer than expected, and played in St. Louis until he regressed. Harvey did it all for the Rams, playing at RB, FB, and TE as well as returning kicks and punts, as was a key ingredient in their 2019 Superbowl run.

Another player to be cut was QB Shane Hart. The Rams took a flier on the inexperienced QB hoping they might find a gem, but things never panned out. The Rams ended up signing Kellen Moore to back up Bradford midway through the season. This marks the second year in a row the Rams drafted a QB who didn't make it past year one in the organization.

Sam Shields, who provided depth foe the club last year after Jeremy Briggs went down, was also among the cuts. Shields had a very player friendly deal and did not cut the team much to let him go despite having a couple years left on his contract. John Clay was also let go. The aging RB was signed to backup Leveon Bell, but played behind both Lew Johnson and Unga at times.

The last cut the Rams made for now was long time dime CB Curtis Marsh. Marsh was never glong to be a good starterIin this league, but always provided excellent depth. His combination of speed and height always allowed him to make plays even if his other a tributes left something to be desired.

That is all the cuts the Rams have announced for now, but as always there will surely be more to come. After entering the offseason with a little over 16m in cap space the team now has just shy of 30m to work with, but even that may not be enough to fill all their needs and resign the players they want to. Word out of St. Louis is that Justin Houston may be let go at some point given the emergence of youngster Bud Dupree who made the pro bowl as a rookie RE. However the Rams likely aren't willing to let go of him without some form of compensation, and will likely use their amnesty clause if it comes down to it. Stay tuned for more news on your St. Louis Rams.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 12/16/2015) Replies - 0 :: Views - 23
Rams 2019 Draft Recap
[1.15] DE Bud Dupree - The Rams made their first splash in the draft in a while, trading their future 1st round pick and 1.32 to the Texans for the 15th pick in the draft. While he's not quite as talented as DE Odighizuwa, who went 3 picks earlier, he is very comparable. And while an 84/75 SPD/STR combo might not be elite at this point in the time, the Rams' coaches plan to work him hard and get him to at least 86 SPD/78 STR/80 AGI/86 ACC, as well as put some extra weight for him. He should be the perfect replacement for longtime fixture DE Justin Houston.

[1.32] OL Larry Cox - In a very surprising move, St. Louis reacquired their first round pick from the Houston Texans for 2.32 and a future 2nd round pick. As was the case with Dupree, the Rams' front office was enamored with the potential he had at this point in the draft, and believe he has a higher ceiling than a few of the OL taken before him. He should receive +3 STR in off-season workouts to go along with a lot of work on his football IQ and blocking technique. In the end the team hopes he can develop the same way former 2.6 pick LT Ernie Bowman did.

*3.32 traded to Seattle for a future 3rd round pick*

[5.12] QB Shane Hart - The Rams were hoping they could trade up for QB Brett Hundley in the 3rd round, but were happy to be able to select Shane Hart in the 5th round. While he doesn't have the strongest arm, it can be maxed out at 93 before the skew, and 60 AWR/81 THA are not bad base attributes to work with. He has a solid build at 6'4", 219 lbs, to go with good STR, CAR, and BTK. Hart was also a 4 year starter at Arizona who never missed a game, as reflected by his 99 INJ rating.

[5.22] FB Lance Burrows - Burrows was the one "luxury" pick the Rams afforded themselves late in the draft, as opposed to drafting by position for cheap depth. He is undersized with unpolished blocking, but athletic with good strength and an ability to break tackles. In the end the team is simply hoping for a good skew which may make him a decent starter down the line. It may be an uphill battle to make the roster though, as the cap-challenged team could find it hard to keep even an extra cheap FB.

[5.31] LB Roland Mears - Cheap depth. Will be moved to MLB.

[6.32] FS Emanuel Thomas - Cheap depth.

[7.11] HB Lew Johnson - While he is a decidedly mediocre RB prospect, the Rams are curious what kind of backup he could be with a nice skew. He is
not very athletic, and his STR leaves something to be desired, but the team loves his frame. He just may find his way onto the roster.

[7.32] SS Alex Hoxha - Cheap depth.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 06/30/2015) Replies - 1 :: Views - 23
Rams TC
Season Recap:
For the St. Louis Rams, the 2017 GZL season was a season perhaps best described as a rollercoaster ride, full of ups and downs. The team got off to a pretty good start, as they won three of their first four games, with their only loss coming in overtime to a Bears team that scored 23 straight second-half points to win the game. But after Sam Bradford was injured in their week four match-up against the Denver Broncos, the team, now led by Denard Robinsion at the quarterback position, struggled to keep up with teams. They would drop their next two games against the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However Bradford would return the next week and lead the team to five victories in their next six games. After a week 14 48-3 dismantling of their division rivals the Arizona Cardinals, the Rams were looking like they would come away with the division crown for the second season in a row. But despite being able to beat the Seattle Seahawks, who have given the Rams a lot of trouble in recent years, the Rams dropped their other two games to the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys. The most frustrating part of this three game stretch was the fact that in week 17, the final game of the season, the Rams simply needed to beat the Dallas Cowboys, a non-playoff team, to secure the division crown. But the team struggled to find its rhythm offensively, and lost a closely contested battle 17-22. Despite backing into the playoffs, the Rams were able to secure the number five seed in the playoffs.
Their first test of the 2017 GZL playoffs came against the New York Giants. In a surprisingly low scoring game, the Rams found themselves leading 7-3 at halftime. The Giants gave them everything they had in the second half as Colin Kaepernick drove his team down the field to take the lead late in the fourth quarter, but Sam Bradford and company would not go down without a fight, and Bradford eventually found a WR in the endzone as time expired to win the game. Next up, the Rams traveled to Tampa Bay to take on the top seeded Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Once again, the Rams found themselves with the lead after one half, this time out-scoring their opponent 14-7. And once again their opponents came out of the gates in the second half swinging, and things were all locked up at 14 by the time the fourth quarter was underway. Despite taking a 6 point lead with only 30 seconds left, Josh Freeman found a streaking WR left wide open down the field for the TD with just 3 seconds left on the clock. Just like that, the Rams were eliminated from the playoffs. Their 2017 was over.
Sam Bradford and Donnie Avery would be named Co-MVPS for their excellent 2017 campaigns. Bradford threw for 3,999 yards and 30 TDs while only throwing 10 interceptions, while Avery had nearly 1,500 yards receiving along with 12 TDs. The team’s defensive MVP without a doubt was Von Miller. He record 133 tackles, 17 TFL, and 5 interceptions.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 01/09/2015) Replies - 0 :: Views - 10
Rams Squeak by 49ers in Season Opener: Analysis


While the Rams were able to come away with the victory, and a win is a win, they do not have a lot to be proud of coming out of this one. It was a decidedly mediocre performance by almost all members of the team sans Mr. Rutledge. Bradford mustered only 261 yards and a 78.4 QB rating. Avery had over 100 yards receiving but did not find the endzone and almost half of those yards came on one play. The offensive line allowed four sacks, two of them belonging to Ben Grubbs, the team's prize free agent addition. Harvey Unga, the fullback signed away from Seattle, fumbled on a kickoff return, besmirching an otherwise solid performance. The list goes on and on. Perhaps the only player to get a pass besides Rutledge is newcomer Nick Fairley, who posted four tackles, two for a loss, and a sack in his first regular season game as a Ram. If he keeps that up people around the league (and the division) might stop questioning the Rams' decision to trade for him.

The team did manage to out-gain their opponents by over 100 yards, with 342 to their 260. They also picked up 20 first downs and converted 43% of their third down attempts while the 49ers had only 13 first downs and converted just 27% of third downs. But the red zone was where they struggled. They drove the ball down the field fairly well, reaching the red zone five times, and scored every time they got there, but only found the end zone one time in five attempts. Meanwhile, the 49ers scored a touchdown all three times they entered the red zone. The Rams also lost the turnover battle 2 to 1.

Mediocre or not, the team found a way to get it done on a night where things weren't always clicking, and that is never a bad sign. They also currently sit atop a division that includes the defending champions without Cam Newton (injured for the rest of the season) and a historically tough Cardinals team that has lost their secondary, as well as a 49ers team they've already beaten. But there is no doubt they will have to elevate their game over the course of a long season if they want to build on their success from last year. A good place to start would be in week two when the host the New York football Giants in St. Louis next week in a battle of two 1-0 teams.

Note: I really hate being cheesy and breaking articles up into two, but if I have enough words for 2 GZQ I'm going to take the points
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 07/25/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 17
Rams Squeak by 49ers in Season Opener: Recap


It wasn't pretty, but the St. Louis Rams managed to narrowly edge out the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday to start the season out 1-0. The 22-21 victory marks the first time the team has established a winning record one week into the season since 2013 and gives them the early lead in the division race.

While Sam Bradford and the Rams' offense put together a solid opening drive and Jared Rutledge put the first points on the board when he converted a field goal, head coach Donovan McNabb quickly found his team trading field goals for touchdowns. By the end of the first half the Rams had scored twice as many times as the 49ers but found themselves trailing 14-12. It's never a good sign when your kicker is your team's first-half MVP.

This unprofitable tradoff continued all the way through the third quarter, as the 49ers scored another touchdown while the Rams tacked on - you guessed it - their fifth three-point score of the game. What's worse than your kicker being your first-half MVP? Your kicker being your team's MVP through three quarters of play. Going into the fourth quarter the Rams trailed six points by a score of 15-21.

Fortunately for St. Louis fans the trend fell apart in the fourth quarter when the 49ers were held scoreless and the Rams scored their first touchdown of the 2017 season (it was also their first touchdown in seven quarters, as they were held to just three points in their loss to the Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game) when Bradford hit second-year TE Ed Moss in the endzone to give his team a one point lead. They were able to hold off the 49ers in the time that remained to stake claim to their first victory of the 2017 season.

Note: I really hate being cheesy and breaking articles up into two, but if I have enough words for 2 GZQ I'm going to take the points
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 07/25/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 15
Rams Add Cam Thomas, Finalize Roster for Season Opener


DT Cam Thomas, cut by the 49ers this past week, has quickly found a new home in St. Louis. The team announced on Monday that Thomas has signed a 3 year deal to become a member of the Rams.

While the Rams already have a slew of talented defensive lineman, it is easy to see why they were intrigued by six year veteran's skill set. At 6'4", 341 lbs, the 30 year old defensive tackle has an impressive combination of strength (98) and initial burst (78) that few players in the league possess, with above average tackling technique (87) to boot. More importantly, the Rams have been lacking a player with his type of power for quite some time.



While Thomas had a relatively quiet season in San Fransico last year, his overall tenure there has to be considered a success as he recorded 97 tackles, 17 tackles for a loss, and 16 sacks in three seasons between 2012 and 2015. It is unclear what lead to the veteran's departure after the club traded a pair of second round draft picks for him back in 2012.

Whatever the case, the Rams are excited to have Thomas as a part of their defensive line rotation, where he will join the likes of Sheldon Richardson and Nick Fairley at the defensive tackle spot. "We think this move will really allow us some flexibility in how we gameplan for opponents," said defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. "His combination of raw power and athleticism can really create problems for opposing offenses. It's going to make for a crowded group at the position, but we have never shied away from competition. I couldn't be happier to have Cam here."

Although Schwartz clearly is pleased with the talent the team has accumulated at the position, could the front office have other plans in mind? Rumors have been circulating today that the team could look to move Sheldon Richardson in the coming weeks. Whether or not this is something the team is considering internally, they are not giving any answers away publicly. "Right now we are happy with the roster we have assembled," said GM Tyler Richardson at a press conference Monday. "Of course we are always looking to make our team better, whether that be through trade or free agency, but right now we have no intention of any more moves and are only focused on preparing for our season opener."

To make room for Thomas the team had to waive goodbye to several players, many of them recent additions. CB Chad Cummings, the stand-alone veteran of those departing, was cut along with rookies DT Jay Bromley and WR Demarcus Henderson, as well as RB Rashad Jennings, who the Rams had just brought back for a second stint with the club this pre-season. The team also signed CB Curtis Marsh and HB PJ Hill to get back to the league minimum roster requirements.

It won't be long at all before Thomas gets to prove his worth to his former team, as the Rams will welcome the 49ers to St. Louis to open the regular season. How much Thomas will play is anyone's guess, but you can bet he will make every snap count this week.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 07/21/2014) Replies - 4 :: Views - 71
Rams 2017 TC
The St. Louis Rams entered the 2016 season with something to prove. They had finished tied for last in the NFC West with a below five hundred record of seven wins and nine losses the prior season, something that certainly didn’t sit well with the organization or the fan base. After adding some key final pieces through trades, free agency, and the draft, the team felt they were ready to compete for a playoff spot and even the division crown. And that’s exactly what they did.

The season opener probably gave some fans the “here we go again” feeling, as the Rams dropped to below five hundred just one game into the season, falling to the Indianapolis Colts 20-34. But from there the team responded and really took off. They followed up the disappointing performance with a 42-13 trouncing of the eventual NFC North champs the Chicago Bears, and wouldn’t lose again until week 7 when they traveled to Seattle and found themselves on the losing end of a similarly lopsided score. But the team would respond again, going 7-1 over the course of their next eight games, with victories over the Texans, Titans, Buccs, and Falcons. Failing to get revenge, in Week 16 they would once again fall at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks, this time by a slim three point margin, recording just their fourth loss of the season. But the Rams traveled to Carolina and beat the Panthers handedly in their last game of the regular season to win the division crown with a 12-4 record and clinch the number one seed in the playoffs, ensuring home field advantage in the tournament.

Back in the playoffs for just the second time in franchise history and the first time since 2013 where they were ousted in the first round, the Rams were hungry to prove that the regular season was not a fluke. They sat and watched through the Wild-Card round, eagerly awaiting the news of who their opponent would be. After the Lions beat the Buccaneers, it was settled that they would be welcoming Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson to town the following week. The Lions jumped out to an early lead, and the two teams played a tightly contested first half. They would head into the third quarter all tied up with thirteen points apiece. But the Rams defense stepped up their game and intercepted the league leader in passing yards six times in the second half alone as the Lions vaunted aerial attack crashed and burned. The Rams offense was unspectacular but efficient and did their part as the team cruised to a 42-13 victory, putting up 29 unanswered points in the second half.

Heading into the NFC Championship game the team received both good and bad news. The bad news was that they would have to face their division rival, the Seattle Seahawks, who had already beaten them twice in the regular season. The good news was that their starting quarterback, Cam Newton, would not be available for the game. Nevertheless, the bad news outweighed the good. The Seahawks would once again stifle the high-flying Rams offense, holding Sam Bradford and company to just three points, their lowest total of the season by far, while Landry Jones would play an efficient game and lead his team to a 13-3 victory. The Seahawks would go on to win the Superbowl, even without their starting quarterback.



As usual, the Rams entered the off-season with one goal standing above all the rest: clearing cap space. The front office is quite consistent in maxing out their cap room every year, and therefore there’s always a few veterans that need cut in order to stay under the cap. This year they started hammering away at that goal by sending Demarco Murray to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for 5th and 6th round draft selections. A 5th round pick himself, this ultimately was a net gain for the team. Next, the team traded RT Michael Roos and their 3rd round pick to the Green Bay Packers in exchange for LG Quentin Raney and a another 5th round pick. Roos had a salary of $9m+, a contract the team simply could not afford to honor this year, and he was going to be cut if no suitor was found. They were happy with the return giving that Raney is one of the more unique lineman in the league with an outstanding speed/strength combination of 69 SPD and 92 STR. He should be a nice upgrade over last year’s starter at the position, Brandon Keith. Speaking of Keith, he became expendable as soon as the team acquired Raney, and the Rams simply auctioned him off to the highest bidder. In the end they were able to upgrade a 7th round pick to a 6th round pick by sending Keith to the Carolina Panthers. In addition to these trades, the team also made several cuts, starting with DE Kendall Langford and TE Gronkowski. Langford had a nice season at RE last year but was seen as easily replaceable, especially with such a rich contract, while Gronkowski was a late addition to the team last season who no one expected to stick around for that long. Other cuts of the offseason included Julian Vandervelde, Antwaun Molden, Rashad Jennings, Tony Fiammetta, Matt Stankiewitch, Markus Patton, and JJ Wilcox. Of the group only Rashad Jennings, a pro bowler, played a large role with the team the previous season.

Now that the team had cleared cap room, the next step was to take care of their own players. Justin Houston was franchise tagged for the second season in a row, which meant he was eligible to be restructured. He signed a 7 year, $72m extension with the team that will keep him in blue and gold for the rest of his career. Set to make $17m in his seventh year of the deal, a future amnesty is imminent. The Rams also resigned Dontay Moch to a 5 year, $31.5m deal, likely making him a lifetime Ram as well. The team is still eligible to use its exclusive restructure, and team sources indicate that they will likely exercise that right on WR Stephen Hill in the coming days.

After the resigning period the team had more cap room than they anticipated and decided to make a splash. In arguably their biggest move of the off-season they sent their 2018 1st round pick and DT Daniel McCullers to Indianapolis for standout veteran Nick Fairley. Fairley is one of the most astute DTs in the league and should bolster an already strong Rams front seven. The veteran DT could possibly see a move to RE in his future, although it’s possible that either Mike Neal or Sheldon Richardson will make that switch. Either way, the Rams are excited to have Fairley on the roster as he has been an absolute production machine throughout his five year GZL career.

In free agency the Rams were able to pick up a couple of players who should really help out their run game. RG Ben Grubbs was signed away from Baltimore, and the Seattle Seahawks elected to not match the Rams 5 year, $25m offer they extended to FB Harvey Unga. Grubbs is nearing the end of his career, but has a great combination of veteran experience, athleticism and strength. He will likely spend one to two seasons in St. Louis before his contract becomes too much of a burden. Unga is a player the Rams are delighted to have on their roster. He cost quite a bit of cash to obtain, but stealing a good FB away from the Seahawks was worth it. His combination of athleticism and strength is one of the best at his position, and the move should detract from the Seattle ground game while bolstering the St. Louis rushing attack.

With most of their cap room tied up, the team entered draft day with 1.30 and 8 5th and 6th round selections. Seeing no prospects the team truly coveted, they ended up trading 1.30 along with their 2018 3rd and 4th round picks to Buffalo in exchange for the Bills 2018 1st and 5th round draft picks. The move is a bit of a gamble, but it could pay off if the Bills perform how they did in 2016. Most of the rest of their picks were used to select cheap depth, but the team did get one player that is being seen as a real steal. SS Walter Black, selected 5.23, will start his career with 90 SPD, 62 STR, 92 AGI, and 91 ACC to go along with his 6’3” stature. He will need some work getting his AWR where it needs to be and is a little undersized 189 lbs, but the Rams see him as their future starting SS. Other picks included FS Benjamin Slater, DT Jay Bromley, LT Raliegh Cooper, LG Virgil Montana, HB Dallas Black, and WR Demarcus Henderson. None of these players are expected to be starting anytime soon, or really ever, but most of them have the ability to provide solid depth for the team.

With only 80k left in cap room, the Rams have been quiet during the latter stages of free agency. Feeling very content with their off-season, they will likely restructure WR Hill to make room to sign a 3rd HB and call it quits. They have also received a number of offers for WR Levon Taylor, but it is yet to be seen whether or not he will be on the move anytime soon.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 07/12/2014) Replies - 2 :: Views - 40
Nick Fairley Trade: Analysis


The Rams recently traded for DT Nick Fairley. They traded their future 1st and NT Daniel McCullers for the veteran defensive lineman.

The move gives the Rams both another talented body on their defensive line rotation and the sort of flexibility the organization covets throughout the rest of the off-season and into the regular season. Playing in the NFC West, the Rams clearly felt adding another veteran talent to the unit was far from overkill. The Seahawks and Cardinals, who the Rams play twice a year, finished last season with the 4th and 8th ranked rushing attacks, respectively, with 146.5 and 131.6 yards per game. The Rams also lost to the Seahawks three times last season, including their eventual defeat in the NFC Championship game, often failing to suppress their potent rushing attack. And with Mike Neal a match-eligible UFA, the team no longer will feel pressured to match any type of exorbitant offer he may receive, and will instead be able to use the money elsewhere in free agency. If Neal is brought back the coaches will have to make the kind of decisions they love to make. One of Fairley, Neal, and Sheldon Richardson will likely play DE for the team, the question is only who. While this decision will likely be worked out in training camp or the preseason, one thing that won't be in question if Neal returns is that the Rams will have four very talented bodies on their defensive line next year.

After a successful 2016 campaign the Rams clearly feel they have the pieces in place to compete for a championship and will not shy away from aggressively pursuing the kind of talent they think they need to win even more games. And with a late first round pick coupled with a slew of late round picks in this year's draft and free agency still ahead, the Rams are not done adding talent to their roster. They also haven't ruled out trading even more of next year's picks to either move in the draft or bolster trade options. Stay tuned for more news out of St. Louis.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 07/08/2014) Replies - 9 :: Views - 135
Rams Welcome Nick Fairley to St. Louis


Word around the league is that after making the NFC Championship game with one of the youngest rosters in the league the Rams are willing to trade a part of their future for some veteran talent. That's exactly the type of move the team made this week when they forked over their 2018 1st round pick as the centerpiece of a trade for Colts DT Nick Fairley. The full trade details can be seen below.

Rams Send:
2018 1st round pick
DT Daniel McCullers

Colts Send:
DT Nick Fairley
2018 7th round pick

Fairley has established himself as one of the premier defensive tackles in the league after being taken with the 8th pick in the 2012 draft. Consistently disruptive throughout his time in the league, the five year veteran has averaged 6 sacks and 40 tackles per season, while never posting less than 5 sacks or 38 tackles in any given year. These numbers are the cumulative effect of his pure physical talent, a savvy veteran presence, and some sure-fire tackling, as Fairley possesses a combination of these traits few other linemen in the league can stake claim to. Set to make just $3.83m this year after the Colts eat the rest of his contract, Fairley will also come at a bargain price this year. And between their exclusive restructure and resign, they are all but certain to lock up him up to a long-term deal before the 2018 season.


Fairley has been a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks


In addition to sending their 2018 first round pick, the Rams also sent DT Daniel McCullers to Indianapolis. While the Rams selected him in the second round three years ago, the 377 lb. tackle never lived up to his billing and failed to make an impact. In his sole year receiving much playing time, McCullers had 20 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks. Despite his monstrous stature and elite strength, his lack of athleticism caused him to get driven off of the point of attack far too often for an impact player.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 06/17/2014) Replies - 4 :: Views - 43
Rams Clinch NFC West, Home Field Adv. in Convincing Fashion


In the final week of the GZL regular season, the St. Louis Rams went on the road and defeated the Panthers 31-7 to win their second NFC West division title and earn a first round bye along with home field advantage for the first time in team history.

Despite sitting at 11-3 with just two weeks remaining in the season, the Rams still had a lot of work ahead of them with games against the Seahawks and Panthers remaining. After Seattle completed the season series sweep a week ago, the Rams came dangerously close to losing the division. Holding the division tiebreaker, a Seahawks win and Rams loss in Week 17 would have meant a #5 or #6 seeding for the Rams while the division crown would remain in Seattle.

Thanks to one of Sam Bradford's best performances of the season and a strong showing from the St. Louis defense it never came to that, or even close to it, as the Rams were up 31-0 before the Panthers put their first points on the board. Bradford would finish the game with over 300 yards passing along with 4 touchdowns and a 101.5 QB rating. As has been the case all season long, much of his success came by the hands of Donnie Avery, who reeled in 10 passes for 191 yards and 3 touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Rams' defense also had one of their strongest showings of the season, allowing less than 100 total yards in the first half while Bradford and Co. jumped out to a 21-0 lead. While the Panthers finished with over 300 yards, they only managed to put 7 points on the board. Their lone touchdown came on 4th and goal with under two minutes left in the game.

The win caps off the best season in St. Louis Rams history, setting team records for both games won and playoff seeding. Their only other playoff berth came in 2013, when they also edged out the Seattle Seahawks by one game for the division title. Much of the team's success this year can be contributed to one of the league's best passing attacks, led by the Sam Bradford and Donnie Avery connection. Bradford finished the season with career-highs in passing yards as well as passing touchdowns, while Avery, first in career receiving touchdowns and second to only Calvin Johnson for career receiving yards and receptions, put up his second-best season totals ever for receiving yards (1,541) and touchdowns (13).

Although the Rams do not know who they will play next, they do know they will be able to get some much needed rest as they will receive a bye in the first round of the GZL Playoffs. After automatically advancing to the second round they will welcome the lowest seeded team remaining into St. Louis to play in front of what is sure to be a raucous crowd. By all accounts it will be the biggest game the Rams organization has ever taken part in, as the team has never advanced past the first round of the playoffs.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 05/07/2014) Replies - 8 :: Views - 79
Rams Report: Preseason Week 1 Thoughts and Analysis


In week 1 of the preseason the Rams defeated the Bears 26-21.

All in all, this win was a moral victory for the Rams, even if that doesn't show up in the stat column. Both sides of the ball showed up for the exhibition game, and it showed as the Rams out-gained the Bears 473 yards to 285 yards. The organization was also pleased to see the offensive line perform well, combing for 35 pancakes and 0 sacks allowed, as well as their two-headed TE attack, as Dustin Keller and Ed Moss finished with a combined 93 yards on 6 receptions to go along with 9 total pancakes. FS Eric Reid was another player who stepped up big in this game for the Rams. In the fourth quarter he had an impressive showing of athleticism to pick off Max Hall and seal the victory for St. Louis

The biggest disappointment for the Rams was seeing Lavonte Bell go down for 4 weeks with a sprained elbow. Bell and the Rams have struggled with injuries in the past, and this is not a good start to the season on that front. Luckily Bell will be back for the regular season, but you can expect the Rams not to take any more chances this pre-season. Reportedly the team is prepared to rest Bell along with QB Sam Bradford, WR Donnie Avery, MLB Von Miller, FS Eric Reid, and CB Stephon Gilmore until the regular season starts. They are confident the rest of the team will be able to step up and perform well in their absence.

Next week the Rams will take on GM Kevin Mullendore and the reigning NFC North champs the Green Bay Packers who are 0-1 this preseason. It will be interesting to see how the team performs with their top players on the bench, as well as to get a look at some of the younger players on the team.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 01/08/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 20
Rams Report: Preseason Week 1 Game Recap


In the first game of the 2016 Green Zone League pre-season, the St. Louis Rams prepared to take on the Chicago Bears. Now obviously everyone knows this is just the pre-season and everyone's expectations were tempered accordingly, but nonetheless both teams were excited to get back out on the field, play some football, and gain some chemistry with their new-look teams. Niether team made the playoffs last year, as the Bears were narrowly edged out of the playoff picture by division rivals the Minnesota Vikings and the Rams lost in week 17 to send the Vikings to the playoffs instead and finish with a 7-9 record.

Both teams played their starters which made for as exciting a game as the pre-season offers. Rams HB Lavonte Bell kicked off the scoring with a 58 yard TD run, but Matt Schuab would answer, finding rookie WR Billy Crockett for the score to tie things. Sam Bradford and the Rams manged to take control in the second quarter and took a 20-14 lead at halftime. Bradford finished the half with 140 yards on 13 passes along with a touchdown, good for a 123 quarterback rating. Bell was not able to finish the half, going down with an injury that will see him miss the remainder of the pre-season with a sprained elbow, but was still able to finish with 111 yards at 6.1 YPC and a TD. Matt Schuab was decidedly the top performer for the Bears, finishing with 164 yards, 2 TDs, and a 115 quarterback rating.

The second half proved to be much more tame, with each team tallying just one touchdown and the Bears outscoring the Rams 7-6. Arguably the brightest spot for the Rams was recently acquired QB Denard Robinson, who finished with 80 yards on 4/6 passing, throwing both a touchdown and an interception. His 66% completion percentage and 13.3 yards per attempt helped him achieve a 109.7 QB rating. Also turning in an impressive performance was the Rams latest addition to their roster, powerback Rashad Jennings. Jennings had some bruising runs to finish with 111 yards on 19 carries. The Rams would win the game, 26-21.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 01/08/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 26
Rams Report: 2016 Training Camp


The 2015 season was a year full of surprises for the St. Louis Rams organization. For starters, general manager Tyler Richardson, the only general manager the team had known since the Green Zone League’s inception in 2010, had departed and Tom Collins was now running the show. Also absent at the start of the season was the heart and soul of the defense, linebacker Von Miller, who would miss the first half of the season due to injury.

Not surprisingly, the team got off to a slow start amidst the changes, dropping games to the Bears, Lions, and Cardinals (twice), while notching victories over the Patriots and the Saints, good for a 2-4 start. A win over a division foe in the 49ers would take them to 3-4 before another surprise struck the Rams team. Tom Collins was out, and Tyler Richardson was handed the reins of the team once again just in time for their week 8 showdown with the Minnesota Vikings. The team would rally around Richardson’s return and reel off three straight to place themselves firmly in the playoff picture at 6-4. But much of the season was still left, and the team faced a brutal four-game-stretch that saw them travel to Green Bay and Seattle before playing the Jets in St. Louis and then finally welcoming Seattle to St. Louis in a re-match. The Rams would fall to the Packers and Sam Bradford would not finish either of the next two games against the Seahawks and the Jets. After the Jets game it was announced that Sam Bradford would not play another snap in 2015. After climbing to 6-4, the Rams fell to 6-8. They were surprised once again, however, when in week 17 it was determined that they could still make the playoffs with a victory after narrowly edging the Eagles in week 16. Although Derek Anderson would outplay Geno Smith despite completing less than 50% of his passes and throwing three interceptions, Trent Richardson ran all over the Rams defense and led the 49ers to victory. The Rams were out of the playoffs and failed to reach .500 for the second straight season. Even worse, the team won only one game against division opponents in 2015, and that was against the 7-9 49ers. If the Rams want to achieve success anytime in the near future, they are going to have to find a way to show up for big games, especially those against the Cardinals and the Seahawks. Despite the disappointing season, let’s take a look at the team’s top performers from 2015.


Offense: Donnie Avery – Many probably expected to see Sam Bradford’s name here, as he led the league in passing yards for most of the season, but the Rams organization has always valued efficiency over production, and with under 7.5 YPA and an 82.2 QB rating, Bradford simply wasn’t efficient. Avery caught 2 balls shy of a hundred and almost totaled 1,500 yards, while finding the end zone ten times and averaging nearly 15 yards per catch.

Defense: Justin Houston – Houston simply had a monster year, recording over 60 tackles to go with 15 sacks. He also recovered 5 fumbles. Somehow this all happened with him recording only 1 sack between weeks 7 and 16. A lot of that had to do with him playing LB in the 3-4 scheme many of those weeks, and one has to wonder how many sacks he would have picked up playing LE the whole season.

At the start of the off-season, the Rams had two goals in mind: making sure they stayed under the salary cap and to move up in the draft. The team quickly identified the top of the second round as the place they wanted to be and got to work. The first trade of the 2016 off-season saw the Rams send 2.19, 3.12, and 6.12 to the Dolphins in exchange for 2.3. Next, the Rams shipped DE Chris Long and his monster contract along with CB Myron Lewis to Carolina in exchange for 2.6, 6.31, and FB Tony Fiametta. With these moves the Rams had already accomplished most of their goals for the off-season, and were free to wheel-and-deal as they saw fit. Next they sent TE Aaron Hernandez, 3.4, and 7.12 to the Raiders in exchange for 2.18, 3.1, and 4.17. They would also send FB Rhett Ellison and 4.6 to Tampa Bay in exchange for 3.26. In their final big, pre-draft move, the team acquired veteran tight end Dustin Keller from the Jets, moving back to the 3rd round from the 2nd and the 5th round from the 4th in order to do so. With 1.12, 2.3, 2.6, 3.1, and 3.26 in hand for the first day of the draft, the Rams were poised to pick up some playmakers. Let’s now take an inside look at how the St. Louis Rams fared on draft day:


1.12WR Donald Lake – While we weren’t expecting to take a WR with this pick, we were committed to the best pick available approach and had to pull the trigger when Lake was there. Lake is physically a similar prospect to Stephen Hill (3,378 yards, 20 TDs in three seasons), with -1 SPD, +3 STR, +1 AGI, +1 ACC, and -7 lbs setting them apart, but is much more polished (+10 AWR, +12 CTH). He will likely put on some weight to get up to 218 lbs and also receive some extra work in training camp and max out with 95 SPD and 95 ACC, at which point he would be one of three Rams receivers standing 6’4” with at least 94 SPD. Expect him to see time at the #1, #2, and #3 spots this season.

2.3CB Jeremy Briggs – Once again employing the BPA approach, we ignored our needs at other positions to snag Briggs in the early second round. At 6’1”, 94 SPD, 63 STR, 89 AGI, 93 ACC, this young man has everything we look for in a cornerback physically, although his agility does leave a bit to be desired. Unfortunately our scouting department did not see his highlight reel of missed tackles in college due to a snafu with one of our interns, but even after watching it we are not too concerned. Briggs should also see some extra work in training camp, although the extent of that work is yet to be determined. He will play nickel CB this season and could be stuck there for a while with Gilmore and Rhodes already on the roster. Briggs, along with Gilmore and Rhodes, is one of only 9 CBs in the league at 6’1” with 93 SPD, 60 STR, and 93 ACC.

2.6LT Ernie Bowman – This pick was a mix between BPA and need, as our interior offensive line is probably the weakest point on our roster and RT Roos is getting up there in both age and salary. This pick is all about potential as Bowman will likely sit on the bench this season while improving his technique and strength. While his athleticism (66 SPD, 62 AGI, 78 ACC) is impressive for a lineman with 91 STR, he will look more like a Top 15-20 pick if he can get his strength up to 93 or 94. He will need some work on his awareness and blocking technique to reach his potential, and may see some time at guard this season to get some experience.

2.13TE Ed Moss – We had already used both of our second round picks, but when we saw Moss still on the board in the middle of the second round we felt it was the right time to make a move and swoop in to get him. A deal was struck with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where we sent 3.8 and a 2017 2nd round pick for the 13th pick in the second round and grabbed our guy, Ed Moss. Some might say this was a pricey move to make to grab a tight end when we already have a playmaker there in Dustin Keller, but Keller is nearing the end of his career, and Moss will not only serve as a more than capable back-up and an excellent number two tight end, but will also line up at FB and WR occasionally. And Moss should see enough progression in the next two to three years that he will be more than ready to step in and make a huge impact when Keller moves on from the team. Moss stands 6’3” tall with blazing speed for a 240 lb man, and has outstanding awareness and catching ability for a first year pro. He will likely put extra time in during training camp to become even faster, and will probably reach 90 SPD eventually. In addition, Moss may be asked to put on a few pounds and get up to 250.

3.1K Jared Rutledge – This was a pretty straight forward pick for us. Sitting pretty with the 1st pick of the 3rd round, we decided to use the pick on the best kicker in the draft. While Rutledge will need some work on his accuracy before he can become the starter, he has a powerful leg with 94 KPW, and will likely reach 95 or 96 KPW before all is said and done. We have lacked a great kicker since losing Josh Brown, and we feel Rutledge will be a great piece of the puzzle for us for the next 15 plus years.

3.26OL Ty Blackmon – This is a pick that we were pleased to have the chance to make and one that has already been recognized as one of the best in the third round. While Blackmon leaves a little to be desired in terms of strength (85), and agility (54), he has outstanding athleticism for a lineman with 72 SPD and 83 ACC. He will be put to work in training camp to get his strength up to 88 and should put the Rams in the discussion for most athletic offensive lineman in the league, a proposition that has the speedy Lavonte Bell licking his chops.

To finalize the roster, several cuts and a few signings were made. Veterans C Jason Brown and FS Eric Weddle were let go due to cap concerns, and many other depth players were let go to make room for incoming rookies. The team would later agree to terms with DE Kendall Langford to allow for flexibility in defensive scheme, and powerback HB Rashad Jennings to make the Rams backfield more dynamic.


Each year a handful of players are selected from the roster to work on certain aspects of their game. Sometimes this means players will put extra time in to overcome their weaknesses, and other times it means players will make their strengths even stronger. In the past the Rams organizational philosophy has been to add these points where it makes the most impact. For instance, a strength point or three doesn’t do much for a wide receiver or cornerback, but the point(s) may make a huge difference for an offensive lineman. Similarly, three speed points over the course of three off-seasons probably won’t mean much for an offensive lineman, but could make all the difference when you’re talking about a wide receiver or cornerback. With all of this in mind, let’s see what areas the Rams decided to work on in training camp this year:

Speed – As mentioned, this is usually where the Rams focus most of their efforts in training camp. This year will be no exception, as TE Ed Moss, CB Jeremey Briggs, and WR Donald Lake will all see increases in their speed during the team’s 2016 version of training camp. The team reportedly has very clear visions for what they want to do with TE Moss and WR lake. The goal for Lake will be to get him to him to 95 SPD and 95 ACC to go along with his 6’4” frame. That means he will need +3 SPD and +1 ACC over the next three training camps. This year, he will get a boost of +1 SPD. The team also plans to max out the number of speed points they can add to TE Ed Moss, with the goal of him reaching 90 SPD to complement his 6’3” frame. This year, he will receive +1 SPD towards that goal. Finally, the plan is less clear for CB Briggs. The team already has two stud CBs they plan on having on the roster for a long time, which means Briggs will likely be playing nickel CB for a very long time. In the future the team may decide their training camp efforts are better off being spent elsewhere, but for now CB Briggs will get +1 SPD, and we’ll have to wait and see what the team decides to do with their points in future versions of training camp.

Strength – As previously noted, if the Rams are going to spend their points on strength it’s likely going to be on a lineman, whether they are playing the offensive or defensive side of the ball. This year is no exception, as LG Ty Blackmon will see extra work to work on his strength. It was mentioned earlier that Blackmon has outstanding athleticism but lacks strength. The plan for Blackmon is to give him +3 STR over the next three seasons, which means he will likely see +1 STR in the 2016 and 2017 training camps, and will then receive a point through the league’s Incentive to Build Traditionally program. If Blackmon can reach 88 STR along with his athleticism, he will likely be a long-time starter in St. Louis and a steal in the late third round of the draft.

Acceleration – The Rams were reportedly torn on how to spend their last training camp point, but in the end they decided to increase CB Xavier Rhodes acceleration from 93 to 94. In the past the team has largely ignored acceleration and only added points to speed, but with all of their top three CBs sitting at 93 acceleration, they felt it would be wise to use their last chance to get Rhodes’ ACC up to 94. Time will tell if the decision pays off.


2016 will mark a fresh start for the St. Louis Rams team. GM Richardson will be here from the start of the season after missing half the season last year during his brief hiatus. This will also come after he was around for a full off-season. He will have the team looking exactly how he wants it. If the team can get through the pre-season healthy, it will be the first time in a while. The team is looking at things as a blank slate. They have had a pair of disappointing seasons in 2014 and 2015, but the past is in the past now, and 2016 is a new year. Internally, they believe they have one of the better offenses in the league as well as one of the better defenses. While these units could probably use another season to develop, they are undeniably are among the most physically talented in the league. Will this translate into success on the field? Only time will tell. The organization knows they will have to play better within the division. In the past two seasons they are 4-8 against divisional foes. Yes, the Rams play in one of the stronger divisions in the league, as the Cardinals and Seahawks combined for 6 losses last year, but you can’t have success unless you can win within your division. They will also need to learn how to show up in big games. Between 2014 and 2015 they have three combined wins against teams who finished the season with winning records. Yes, you read that correctly, just three. Finally, they will have to stay healthy. Injuries have plagued the Rams in recent years, and their biggest playmakers such as Von Miller and Sam Bradford simply have to be on the field if they want to win. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the teams projected depth chart for the 2016 season and make some projections about how the team will fare:

QB: (1) Sam Bradford, (2) Denard Robinson
FB: (1/2) Ed Moss, (1/2) Tony Fiammetta
HB: (1) Lavonte Bell, (2) Rashad Jennings, (3) Demarco Murrary
WR: (1) Stephen Hill, (2) Donnie Avery, (3) Donald Lake, (4) Levon Taylor, (5) Ed Moss
TE: (1) Dustin Keller, (2) Ed Moss, (3) Ernie Bowman
LT: (1) Jason Smith
LG: (1) Ty Blackmon
C: (1) Kristofer O’Dowd
RG: (1) Brandon Keith
RT: (1) Michael Roos
LE: (1/2) Justin Houston, (1/2) Sheldon Richardson
DT: (1) Mike Neal, (2/3) Sheldon Richardson, (2/3) Daniel McCullers
RE: (1/2) Kendall Langord, (1/2) Sheldon Richardson
LOLB: (1) Dontay Moch
MLB: (1) Von Miller, (2) Audie Cole
ROLB: (1/2) Bobby Beck, (1/2) Justin Houston
CB: (1) Xavier Rhodes, (2) Stephon Gilmore, (3) Jeremy Briggs, (4) Chad Cummings, (5) Antwan Molden
FS: (1) Eric Reid
SS: (1) Patrick Chung
K: (1/2) Connor Barth, (1/2) Jared Rutledge
P: (1) Donnie Jones

The Rams will once again have to face the Cardinals twice and the Seahawks twice. If they can win two of those four games, they will be in good shape to make the playoffs. Our predictions are that the Rams will finish 4-2 or 3-3 within the division and 6-4 or 7-3 outside of the division, for a final record somewhere between 9-7 and 11-5. Our final prediction is that the Rams will make the playoffs. From there, anything can happen.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 01/06/2014) Replies - 3 :: Views - 58
Rams Report: Draft Recap Part 1


1.12WR Donald Lake – While we weren’t expecting to take a WR with this pick, we were committed to the best pick available approach and had to pull the trigger when Lake was there. Lake is physically a similar prospect to Stephen Hill (3,378 yards, 20 TDs in three seasons), with -1 SPD, +3 STR, +1 AGI, +1 ACC, and -7 lbs setting them apart, but is much more polished (+10 AWR, +12 CTH). He will likely put on some weight to get up to 218 lbs and also receive some extra work in training camp and max out with 95 SPD and 95 ACC, at which point he would be one of three Rams receivers standing 6’4” with at least 94 SPD. Expect him to see time at the #1, #2, and #3 spots this season.

2.3CB Jeremy Briggs – Once again employing the BPA approach, we ignored our needs at other positions to snag Briggs in the early second round. At 6’1”, 94 SPD, 63 STR, 89 AGI, 93 ACC, this young man has everything we look for in a cornerback physically, although his agility does leave a bit to be desired. Unfortunately our scouting department did not see his highlight reel of missed tackles in college due to a snafu with one of our interns, but even after watching it we are not too concerned. Briggs should also see some extra work in training camp, although the extent of that work is yet to be determined. He will play nickel CB this season and could be stuck there for a while with Gilmore and Rhodes already on the roster. Briggs, along with Gilmore and Rhodes, is one of only 9 CBs in the league at 6’1” with 93 SPD, 60 STR, and 93 ACC.

2.6LT Ernie Bowman – This pick was a mix between BPA and need, as our interior offensive line is probably the weakest point on our roster and RT Roos is getting up there in both age and salary. This pick is all about potential as Bowman will likely sit on the bench this season while improving his technique and strength. While his athleticism (66 SPD, 62 AGI, 78 ACC) is impressive for a lineman with 91 STR, he will look more like a Top 15-20 pick if he can get his strength up to 93 or 94. He will need some work on his awareness and blocking technique to reach his potential, and may see some time at guard this season to get some experience.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 12/29/2013) Replies - 4 :: Views - 49
Rams Awarded OT Michael Roos For 2nd Round Pick
The Rams may have started 1-6 and be tied for last place in the NFC, but they've made it clear they haven't given up on the season just yet. After winning 2 games in a row against previously top-ten ranked opponents, the Rams gave up what could be a high 2nd round pick in exchange for veteran OT Michael Roos.

Roos, 31, has established himself as a premier right tackle this year with 65 pancakes and 0 sacks allowed. His 65:0 pancake to sack ratio is the best in the league, and his 65 pancakes are good for 2nd best. He should prove to be a huge boost to the Rams offensive line, as the move fills a big need for the team. Nothing makes that more clear than the fact that four different players have already started at left tackle this year (Owen Hartley, Daryn College, Winston Justice, and Brandon Keith). This week that number will likely grow to five, with either Roos or Smith likely sliding over to the left side.

To make room for Roos the Rams released three offensive lineman, the most notable being starting left guard Chris Kuper. Kuper wasn't quite living up to expectations this season, but more importantly he had a fairly large contract with no bonus. Also waived were left tackles Winston Justice and Daryn Colledge.

It's unclear who will play where on the line for the Rams. The loss of Kuper leaves a glaring hole at left guard for the team. RT king Dunlap has slid over to left guard to fulfill roster requirements, but he is not going to start. The most likely possibility is that Brandon Keith will be played out of position at left guard, with either Roos or Smith at left tackle.

This week the Rams will host to the Detroit Lions as the try to win their third straight game against a a tough opponent. Roos should help the Rams keep up with the Lions high-flying offense, led by Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford. It's another must-win game for the team if they still have hopes of making the playoffs.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 04/04/2013) Replies - 1 :: Views - 49
Full Circle? Rams Bring Home Atogwe
Rams Sign Oshiomogho Atogwe to Help Solve Injury Problems



According to sources within the Rams organization, the Rams have agreed to terms with SS Oshiomogho Atogwe in a move that should boost their secondary in the short-term. While the specifics of the contract are unknown, the deal is said to be for multiple years and worth around $3-4M a year with very little guaranteed money.

As Rams fans might recall, this is not Atogwe's first time as a Ram as was with the team back in 2010. In that season he averaged almost 5 tackles a game and recorded 3 deflections and 2 catches allowed for the team in seven games. Unfortunately, Atogwe and the Rams were heading in different directions. Atogwe was talented and experienced but aging while the Rams were looking for a solid foundation of youth to build upon. St. Louis eventually agreed to terms with the Jets to send Atogwe to New York in exchange for their 1st round draft pick.

Now, Atogwe is a St. Louis Ram once again. While he had not received a contract offer to this point from any other teams, presumably because he has lost a step since his last stint with the team, he still believes he has the talent to contribute in this league.

“I know I can still play this game,” Atogwe declared when asked how much he has left in the tank. I might not be as quick as I use to be, but I can still make plays. I was just waiting, hoping for a team to give me that chance, and I’m thankful the Rams organization remembered what they had in me and offered me a contract. Now I just gotta go out there and hold up my end of the bargain”

If Atogwe is right, the move could go a long way towards stabilizing a Rams secondary that can use all the help it can get right now.

The move comes after a rash of injuries in the pre-season and opening week left the team short-handed. Although they entered the season three-strong at the safety position, both FS Eric Reid and SS Patrick Chung are injured and will be out of action for at least another two weeks. CB Stephon Gilmore and OLB Bobby Beck are also injured and will be out of the lineup for even longer. Atogwe is expected to start at strong safety this week against the Bengals, which will allow FS Eric Weddle to return to his natural position of free safety, providing even more stability.

To make room for Atogwe on the payroll, the Rams were forced to send three players packing. WR Tandon Doss was traded to the Cleveland Browns for their 3rd and 6th round picks, Dwight Jones was shipped to Chicago, and OT Stump Esposito was released.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 01/31/2013) Replies - 0 :: Views - 35
Rams Fall to Browns 30-31 in Season Debut
Browns Out Duel Rams 31-30 in Opener



This week the Rams welcomed the Cleveland Browns to town, and while the Rams were favored by most to win, Browns second year quarterback Boston Mallettled his team down thereceivers field twiceis to score9 points in the final 3 minutes to pull off the one-point upset.

The Rams were coming off of a 4-0 pre-season record, while the Browns split their four exhibition games. But the Browns were the true victors, emerging from the preseason relatively unscathed while St. Louis lost two key members of their secondary in CB Stephon Gilmore and SS Patrick Chung. Knowing this, the traditionally conservative Browns gave sophomore QB Boston Mallet free reign of the offense and unleashed an aerial attack.


Early on, the strategy worked to perfection and had the Rams defense on its heels. Mallet immediately targeted the inexperienced Rams secondary, beating both CB Xavier Rhodes and FS Eric Reid for 20 yard completions that the receivers would take to the house. After a missed point by the unpredictable rookie K Patrick Gostkowski, the Browns led 13-3 in the first quarter.

The Rams remained determined, though, and the teams playmakers soon answered. Sam Bradford found Donnie Avery on a 51 yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to three, and Levonte Bell would take it 37 yards to the house not long after to put the Rams on top 17-13. Bell would not return to the game. While the Browns would score a touchdown to regain the lead 19-17 (yes, Gostkowski missed the XP again), Dawson would answer with a field goal to put the Rams up 20-19 at the break.

Early in the second half the Rams looked like they were starting to gain some separation when Pierre Thomas capped off a methodical drive down the field to go up by 8. However, with both teams only adding a field goal apiece the margin remained the same until Rams FB Rhett Ellision (apparently playing because FS Eric Reid, who was filling in for Eric Weddle who was filling in for Patrick Chung, exited the game with an injury) got burnt deep covering a WR leaving the Browns a two-point conversion away from a tie game with under 3 minutes to go. But the two point conversion was no good. After 3 straight runs, the Rams were forced to give the Browns another shot. And this time, they were playing for the win.

Mallett led his team down the field with the poise of a veteran, giving his scattershot kicker, the guy who had already missed two out of three extra points, a chance to redeem himself with a 42 yard attempt. To the disbelief of even many Browns fans, Gostkowski came through and drilled it right down the middle. In the end, in 31-30 victory, he made the only extra point he needed to.


After the game, head coach Rod Marinelli said he has to do a better job preparing. “First of all, you have to give credit to Mr. Mallet and the Browns coaches for devising a gameplan that caught us off guard, and to their players for executing it,” said Marinelli at the team’s post-game press conference. “Next, I think we as coaches need to do a better job putting our players in a position to succeed and developing a more versatile gameplan. And we plan to do that for next week.”

When asked how big of a role injuries played in the outcome, he was quick to downplay them. “Look, every team has to deal with injuries, so you can’t make excuses. We were very fortunate last year to not have any major injuries. This year we’re not getting as lucky. And we have good depth in the secondary, a lot of talented players there. We’ll be fine. We just need to do a better job as coaches.“


While the Rams weren’t able to pull off the victory, there were several players who had stand-out performances for the team. Justin Houston came out guns-blazing with 3 sacks to open the season, while Dontay Moch provided even more pressure from the left side, notching a sack to go along with an interception and 2 deflections. Meanwhile, rookie Xavier Rhodes batted down 4 balls while allowing 5 catches, and Eric Weddle proved more than comfortable at SS with 5 tackles, 2 deflections, and a fumble forced. And although Levonte Bell would leave the game and not return after just 5 carries, he managed 57 yards and a touchdown for the game.

Next week the team travels to Cincinnati before heading down south to take on the Buccaneers in Tampa. The Bengals will be trying to rally back from a 3-30 beat-down from the Ravens, while the Rams are looking to avoid traveling to Raymond James Stadium with an 0-2 record. Sam Bradford will need to play better against a good Cincinnati defense, and hopefully Levonte Bell can stay healthy for the whole game. Meanwhile, the defense can’t give up another 400+ yard passing performance to a young quarterback. If the Rams trip up again next week, an 0-3 start is a very real possibility, a hole a team battling injuries does not want to find themselves in.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 01/30/2013) Replies - 6 :: Views - 82
Rams 2014 TC
2014 St. Louis Rams Training Camp



Offseason Recap

After finishing 10-6 and winning the NFC West for the first time in 2013, the Rams got their first crack at the playoffs under GM Tyler Richardson. However, they would go on to lose in the first round, falling to the potent aerial attack of the Atlanta Falcons.

Entering the off-season, the Rams had one main goal in mind: acquiring another top-end talent at cornerback to pair opposite of Stephon Gilmore. While they had the 4th and 23rd picks in the draft to make that happen, they still didn’t think that would be enough to land either Demarcus Milliner or Xavier Rhodes, the only two elite level cornerback talents in the draft. Knowing both players would likely be gone by 1.3, they worked out a three team trade with the Broncos and Raiders to acquire the 3rd pick in the draft, leaving them with 1.3 and 1.4. Now that the team had all but locked up either Milliner or Rhodes, they started focusing on their other goals for the off-season, namely freeing up some cap room.

To this end, the team did not enter contract with negotiations with MLB Terrell Suggs, a veteran presence who was acquired during the previous season to add versatility and depth. The team also used their amnesty clause on Charlie Johnson, a free agent signing from a few years back, whose inflated contract was too much for the team to handle. While they only got a 4th round pick in return for Johnson, the move freed up over 10M in cap space for the Rams, who would eventually need every penny of it. The team also restructured the contract of franchise RT Jason Smith, a move that saved nearly 7M in cap room. Finally, holdout Robert Gallery was traded for a pair of 7th round picks. While Gallery was a pro-bowl player for the team the prior season, the success had gone to his head and he was simply demanding more money than the team could afford to pay him, and the 7th round picks the Rams were able to net in return would save them even more money with cheap depth. Now that they had bought (or rather sold) themselves some breathing room financially, it was time to move on to the other prominent goal of the off-season: improving the team in any way possible.

They began by trading the 4th overall pick in the draft. While the 4th pick was very appealing, they likely would have used it to select stand-out OT Leo Richards, and they felt they could still get a very good offensive tackle later in the first round. So they traded 1.4 to the Chiefs in exchange for 1.11 and 1.17. And when the Chargers came knocking looking for a first round pick, they sent 1.17 to San Diego in exchange for WR Vincent Jackson and DT Michael Neal. Defensive tackle was a need for the team heading into the off-season, but they didn’t feel it was necessary to use a first round pick on one. With this trade, they were able to acquire a talented veteran WR along with a good defensive tackle for the price of a first round pick.



But the team wasn’t done there. Just days later they would send their bulldozing HB Keith Payne to the Jets for 2.18 and the Arizona Cardinals 2015 1st round pick. While St. Louis was sad to see Payne go, they had decided they were looking for more of a game-breaker type back, and felt they got good value for the bruiser. The rams made a few more moves after this, but for the most part they started to move their sights from the trade market to the GZL draft.
Entering draft day with 1.3, 1.9, and 2.15 in hand, the team was looking to make a splash. Here’s how their draft turned out:

1.3 – CB Xavier Rhodes
While many GMs touted DeMarcus Milliner as the best cornerback in the draft, the Rams saw them as near equals, with Rhodes arguably having the more potential of the two. At 215, 6’2’ lbs with 60 STR, Rhodes plays with a more physical style than Milliner, a trait GM Richardson looks for at the position. Combine that physicality with 93 SPD and ACC coming into the league, and Rhodes has the making of an elite cornerback who can do it all. The team will add to his athleticism and pair him opposite CB Stephon Gilmore to give them one of the better tandems in the league.



*Trade Alert* - The Rams send 1.9 to New England for 1.19, 2.21, and 3.5

1.19 – HB La’Vonte Bell
When Leo Richards was taken before 1.9, the Rams decided they wanted to move back to take an offensive tackle in the 1.15-1.20 range given the large amount of talent in the class at that position. But when an unexpected run came, they were left without any OT targets at 1.19. Instead, the pick came down to HB Bell and FS Eric Reid. Ultimately, the team went with Bell as he filled more of an immediate need and had impressed them in private workouts. Bell will add a new dynamic to the offense, threatening to take it to the house anytime he touches the ball. He hopes his stay in St. Louis will be longer than the last running back they drafted, as former 1.17 pick Keith Payne was traded in the off-season.

*Trade Alert* -The Rams send their 2015 1st round pick and 3.5 to the Packers for 1.23

1.23 – FS Eric Reid
After choosing Bell over FS Reid with 1.19, the team jumped on the chance to move back into the first round and grab Reid when he fell to 1.23 and the Packers were still looking to trade the pick. While many GMs were enamored by Bacarri Rambo, who was taken in the top half of the round, the Rams felt FS Eric Reid was equally talented. With a 6’2” frame and superb athleticism, Reid is one of the most physically gifted safeties in the league. While he is a little raw, the Rams front office thinks he will blossom into a star at the position after spending a year learning behind incumbent FS Eric Weddle.

2.15 – LT Owen Hartley
After failing to address one of their biggest needs, the left tackle position, in the first round, the Rams finally found an offensive tackle they liked at 2.15. While Hartley is very raw, and may struggle at times starting as a rookie, he combines above-average athleticism with a 6’8” frame and solid strength. He will need to put on some weight in the off-season, but it appears the team has already made that a priority for him. His football IQ and technique also need some serious work, but his potential was too good to pass up at this point in the draft.

2.21 – DT Daniel McCullers
With 2.21, the Rams selected DT McCullers to make probably the most controversial pick of their draft. While McCullers is a virtually immovable object at 377 lbs with 98 STR, he is one of the least mobile big-men in the league. Neither his SPD, AGI, or ACC are above 50, which will make it hard for him to get to the quarterback, or even off the line of scrimmage. But the Rams are hoping his elite size and strength will be enough to make him a factor against the run and clog up any lanes between the tackles.

Training Camp



Every year in training camp players fight it out for their rightful spot on the depth chart. Here are the position battles that you should pay very close attention to headed into the 2014 GZL season.

FS: FS Eric Weddle vs. FS Eric Reid
This will be by far the most interesting battle of training camp. While Reid was just taken in the first round and has elite physical talent, Weddle is much more experienced and polished, and figures to be the more reliable player this year. That said, if Reid can show the ability to make good decisions and tackle consistently he will prove to be the better option with his superior length and range. No matter who wins the battle, both will likely see playing time this season.
Prediction: Weddle sees the majority of snaps due to experience

DT: DT Daniel McCullers vs. DT Corey Peters
As mentioned earlier, McCullers is one of the least mobile defensive linemen in the league. The team took a gamble taking him in the second round due to his elite size and strength, and there’s a chance he might not be able to get off the ball quick enough to get any leverage. Peters is pretty much the opposite of McCullers, as he has a great first step and good overall athleticism but is very weak for an interior lineman. If McCullers struggles the team won’t hesitate to put in Peters or find a replacement. And don’t be surprised if a veteran presence is brought in if McCullers can’t cut it.
Prediction: It’s McCullers job to lose

LT: LT Owen Hartley vs. LT Daryn Colledge
Here’s another position battle that pits a rookie against a more experienced player. Hartley has all the tools to be successful, but he needs to improve his technique before becoming a dependable player. While Colledge isn’t an ideal option at LT due to his sub-par strength, he has good athleticism and played well for the Packers as a starter in 2010. During that season he started almost every game and allowed just 3 sacks to 69 pancakes. 2 of the sacks allowed came in the same game. If Hartley struggles at LT, Colledge should be able to provide consistent play. But the coaches aren’t expecting Hartley to have too many problems.
Prediction: Hartley impresses

#3 CB: CB Clarence Mitchell vs. CB Chris Houston vs. CB Xavier Rhodes
With CB Stephon Gilmore most likely set in stone at either #1 or #2 for most games this year, two of these cornerbacks will be fighting it out for the third versus fourth spot on the depth chart on a consistent basis. Mitchell brings great hands and experience to the table, while Houston is a good cover cornerback with great strength, and Rhodes plays the role of the very talented rookie. Rhodes will likely see time here quite a bit so he will be able to get some solid game experience under his belt and develop as a player. However, as the team will likely play the match-ups, Mitchell and Houston should see plenty of time here as well.
Prediction: All will see playing time there

The Rams also choose a handful of players every year to focus on in regards to skill development. This year, the team chose the following players:

HB La’Vonte Bell – La’Vonte will put in extra time to improve his speed this off-season. The team would ideally like to see Bell max out at 97 speed, which means he should be a mainstay in this program for the next few years.

OLB Bobby Beck – Beck will be faced with the task of replacing stand-out linebacker Chris Carter this season. He’ll get an extra speed boost to help him out to bring him to 86 SPD.

WR Stephen Hill – Hill is already 6’4” and fast, but the team is looking to make him even faster. Hill gets faster again this off-season, and will likely max out next off-season at 96 SPD.

LT Owen Hartley – While Hartley has decent strength, he’ll put in the extra time in training camp to get even stronger. The Rams are hoping he can get to at least 90 STR and become a force in the run game despite his current run-blocking deficiencies.

WR Tandon Toss – While Doss may be buried on the depth chart this year, the team is still hoping he can make a contribution down the line, so he will work on his speed. Even if he never sees time for them, he will look better on the trade block.

2014 Outlook

All in all, the team appears to have improved headed into the 2014 season, at least in the long-term. While they lost key contributors such as Chris Carter, Keith Payne, Robert Gallery, and Kenrick Ellis, and Charlie Johnson they replaced many of them and improved a good bit in other areas. Here’s how the team figures to shape up for the 2014 season:

On offense, the team is once again led by their franchise quarterback Sam Bradford. Improving every year, Bradford once again looks to take a step forward this year as he looks better than ever. All of his top targets are returning at wide receiver, and he even has a new toy in WR Vincent Jackson. The trio of two talented veterans such as Jackson and Avery and a promising youngster in Stephen Hill should create match-up problems that Bradford can exploit. Given his yet again improved skill and the best WR corps he has ever thrown to, and it spells a career year for Bradford.

The one issue that may slow him down is the offensive line. While C Jason Brown, RG Bryan Bulaga, and RT Jason Smith remain, Bradford will play behind an entirely new left side of the line with rookie OT Owen Hartley at LT and veteran LG Chris Kuper beside him. The weakest link of this line by far is Hartley, and if he can’t hold his own Bradford might be getting rid of the ball quicker than he’s used to.

Another plus for Bradford, though, is that the Rams feel they have improved the halfback position, which should take some of the pressure off of him. Knowing that he won’t be relied on to make all of the big players should allow him to relax and let the game come to him more. Once again, though, the line could be an issue, and they will have to do their part if the offense wants to be successful.

At tight end, the duo of Aaron Hernandez and Kevin Boss returns. Hernandez figures to start again and be the primary factor in the passing game, but Boss could see more playing time in run-heavy gameplans or even figure into the passing attack against teams with shorter linebackers. The tight end position will once again be a strength for this team. At fullback, Rhett Ellison will be looking to build upon a solid rookie campaign. He will likely have to adjust to a different style back in La’Vonte Bell, but the coaches are confident he can make the transition. Once again he is expected to provide excellent pass protection when afforded the opportunity.

On defense, most starters are returning but you will see a few new faces. Chris Carter, Kenrick Ellis, and Jovan Haye are all gone from the team, and Bobby Beck, Daniel McCullers, and Michael Neal will take their places.

With two new faces on the defensive line, no one can be sure how the line will perform this year. Mike Neal figures to be an upgrade at defensive tackle, but McCullers seems like a hit or miss type player, and is a bit of a question mark. The strength of the D-Line is still in-tact though, as Chris Long and Justin Houston look to make life even harder on opposing quarterbacks.

At linebacker, Bobby Beck will be looking to replace the departed Chris Carter at ROLB. While he is not near as strong and a good bit smaller than Carter, he is faster, more agile, and just about as experienced as Carter was. He will be a downgrade, but the coaches think he will surprise a lot of people. MLB Von Miller, the heart and soul of this defense, is ready to wreak more havoc, and Dontay Moch could have a career year rushing the QB alongside Justin Houston.

Many familiar faces remain at cornerback, including Clarence Mitchell, Chris Houston, and Stephon Gilmore, but the Rams also feel they’ve upgraded their group significantly with the addition of Xavier Rhodes, the prize of their draft class. At S, Weddle and Chung both are expected to start again and make solid contirbutions.

The team finished 10-6 last season and won the NFC West. There is no reason to think they shouldn’t be able to at least be that good again, and they likely won’t be satisfied unless they’re even better. The young team was knocked out in the first round of the playoffs in 2013, and there is no doubt they are hungry for a taste of playoff success. Look for the team to challenge for the division and at least end up with a wild-card spot. They have the potential to go far this year, although how far is anyone’s guess.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 01/14/2013) Replies - 5 :: Views - 54
Rams Grab 3rd Overall Pick in 3-Team Trade
Rams Send LB Carter, 1st Round Pick For 3rd Overall Pick in 3-Team Trade



For any fans still mourning the Rams first-round exit from the playoffs, a breaking story on the trade front may help to lift their spirits. As the playoff field continues to narrow down, rumors out of St. Louis about a blockbuster trade continue to grow. Earlier today, reports emerged that the St. Louis Rams had agreed to a three-team trade with two AFC teams. It was later learned that the other two teams involved were the Broncos and Raiders, managed by the Pearce brothers, Wade and Garth, respectively. While little was known about the specifics of the trade when the story first broke, the fog is starting to clear as more details emerge. The breakdown of the trade is believed to be as follows:

Rams Receive:
1.3

Broncos Receive:
1.15
1.16
A 2014 3rd round pick

Raiders Receive:
OLB Chris Carter
1.23
2 2014 4th Round Picks


It appears the preseason rumors of second-year linebacker Chris Carter being placed on the trade block were true. Overall, the Rams trade OLB Chris Carter, 1.23, and 2 4th round picks for the 3rd pick in the draft. While this leaves them with a hole at ROLB on the surface, the team is believed to be high on former 7th round pick Bobby Beck, who was reported to have a very impressive training camp this past off-season. There has been no word on whether the team plans to go with Beck immediately or sign a veteran until he is more developed. While the team also departs with their first round pick in this trade, they still have the Jets first round pick, the 4th overall pick in the draft, which they received in the pre-season in exchange for WR Leonard Hankerson, giving them back-to-back picks in the top five of the draft.

Although it is unknown who the Rams are looking at with these picks, and far too early to speculate, it has been reported they are looking at the CB, DT, WR, LB and OL positions. So far, word around the facility is that the team is talking to CB DeMarcus Milliner, LB Jarvis Jones, DT Star Lotulelei, CB Xavier Rhodes, OT Leo Richards, and WR Justin Hunter about pre-draft visits.

We will have more on this breaking story as it continues to develop, so be sure to stay tuned.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 12/05/2012) Replies - 2 :: Views - 73
Rams Preseason Trade Rumors
As the 2013 GZL Preseason approaches, many teams around the league are still looking to make roster moves. The story is no different for the St. Louis Rams who, as usual, have some players on the block. Let's take a look at who the team is reportedly shopping these days:

OLB Chris Carter
Carter was taken 1.12 by the Rams in the 2012 GZL draft and put up monstrous numbers in his rookie campaign. So why is he on the chopping block? The Rams reportedly have been very surprised and delighted by what they've seen early on from their 7.31 selection in this past draft class, LB Bobby Beck. While the Rams simply selected Beck to fill a roster spot, he turned out to be better than any of their scouts ever imagined. While it's still early to know for sure, the Rams think he could eventually be their long-term starter, and getting playing time this season would go a long way towards accomplishing that. Of-course, that wouldn't make much sense with Chris Carter on the team, but our sources tell us that the Rams would be willing to part ways with the second-year player should they get an offer that warrants doing so. So while the team isn't in a "must-trade" mode here, they are certainly keeping an ear open and listening to offers. Early reports suggest that the Raiders are a potential landing spot, although talks are at a stand-still right now. It is known that GM Tyler Richardson wants similar value to what he paid for Carter, but it's not known what exactly that means in terms of future picks. Our sources also suggest that the team would be willing to trade for a proven cornerback as well.

TE Aaron Hernandez
This is another player that you might be surprised to find on the trading block. Hernandez came over to St. Louis from New England along with SS Patrick Chung for a late first round pick, and has been the team's starter ever since. However, they also signed Kevin Boss in the off-season, and reports out of camp are that he has looked good. At 6'7" with good strength, he can be a weapon catching the ball as well as blocking, something that Hernandez doesn't do very well at all. Like Carter, there is no rush to move Hernandez, the team just thinks they may be able to invest the resources elsewhere while still being fine at the position if they can get something good in return.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 07/19/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 16
Rams Preseason Preview: Part 3
So far we have taken a look at the Rams first three preseason opponents. While the team may have been expecting an easy preseason, they certainly have not got it as they will have to face three of the league's top teams in the Saints, Giants, and Chargers. Do things get any easier? Let's check out how things match-up in the Rams final preseason game of 2013.

Week 4 - Rams at Broncos
In the final week of the preseason the Rams will travel to Denver to square off against GM Dave Bauer's squad. The team is led by head coach Josh McDaniels, with T. Rathman helping out on offense and Mike Nolan coordinating things on the defensive side of the ball. Taking a look at the roster, the Rams young defense will once again have their hands full. Although the name Kyle Orton doesn't jump out at you as someone who can take over a game, Orton has quietly become one of the more reliable quarterbacks in the league. He is protected by tackles David Harris and Ryan Clady on the right and left sides respectively, and his primary pass-catchers consist of standout WR Demaryius Thomas and the speedy Edmond Gates. Knowshown Moreno, who will be carrying the rock for the Broncos, has had an underwhelming career so far in the GZL, so the team will likely be able to focus on stopping the pass in this one. Moving to the defensive side of the ball, the Rams will once again be facing a great front seven. Robert Ayers and Marvin Austin are standouts on the defensive line, and should pose problems for Bradford throughout the game. At linebacker, Elvis Dumervil and DJ Williams give Mike Nolan once of the better linebacking corps in the league, and Shea McClelin looks to prove he can fit in. The teams major weakness lies in their secondary, as they have no start players there to speak of. The team made a major step towards fixing that by drafting Janoris Jenkins in the 2013 draft, but he has a long way to go to become elite. Look for the Rams to spread the field and attack deep in this one, because they likely won't have much success pounding the ball against that front seven. Another key to this game will be for the Rams to attack the quarterback. The Broncos don't have the strongest offensive line on the right side, and Dontay Moch and Justin Houston (18 sacks combined last season) should be able to generate some pressure. If the Rams can do that and beat the Broncos deep with their passing game, they have a good chance to come out on top in this throw-away game. Let's hope so, because this is as easy as it gets for the Rams this off-season.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 07/19/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 22
Rams Preseason Preview: Part 2
We already took a look at two of the Rams ever-exciting preseason matches against the Saints and the Giants. Will things get a bit easier for the team during the second half of the exhibition games? Let's take a look:

Week 3 - Rams at Chargers
The answer is a definitive "no!" Like the Saints and the Giants, the Chargers have been at the top of this league. They have already won a Superbowl, and after spending some time rebuilding, they are back in full force. Once again the team will have to deal with a potent offense backed up by a ferocious defense. On offense, Blaine Gabbert will be throwing to Vincent Jackson and Sidney Rice. While this is only Gabbert's second season in the league, he has shown he is a fast learner and is nearly as good as Sam Bradford. Ryan Matthews also presents a formidable challenge for the Rams running the ball. On the defensive side, the team's defensive line cannot be accused of lacking athleticism, and should force Bradford to get the ball out of his hands quicker than he would like. Linebacker is probably San Diego's weakest position, although they still feature players like Quincy Black and Shaun Phillips on the outside. The team's weakest point is right in the middle of the field, so it would make sense to pound the ball with Keith Payne in this one. In the secondary, the Chargers have elite players such as CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and FS Michael Griffin with the speedy Devin McCourty helping out. Unlike the case with the Saints and the Giants, the Chargers secondary is one of the strongest spots on their team, so the Rams will likely go with a more balanced approach in this one. If the Rams can pressure Gabbert from the start and force some bad decisions, they have a chance in this one. But they will also have to get a solid outing from HB Keith Payne, while Bradford will have to limit mistakes against a very good secondary.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 07/19/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 13
Rams Preseason Preview: Part 1
Now that the teams roster is set for the 2013 preseason, let's take a look at some of the match-ups they will face as they prepare themselves for the regular season:

Week 1 - Rams vs. Saints
Well, I'm sure the team would have liked to have kicked off the preseason against a cupcake team, but instead they get one of the best teams in the league, led by Drew Brees. If the Rams want to keep things close in this game, that is the man they will have to stop. Rookie CB Stephon Gilmore is likely to start and you can be certain Brees will be looking his way early and often. He, Clarence Mitchell, and Chad Cummings will have their hands full trying to contain the Saints receiving corps of Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, and Armand Robinson. On the defensive side of the ball, the Saints boast a stout front seven, anchored by Deandre Levy in the middle, rookie Nick Perry at left end, and Sedrick Ellis at DT. The team's secondary is decent but thin, so the team might look to go pass heavy in this one, seeing if their depth at wide receiver can give them an advantage. We are sure Donnie Avery, Stephen Hill, and David Clowney will be anxious to see what they can do, especially after the departure of Leonard Hankerson.

Week 2 - Rams vs. Giants
And moving to week two, things just don't get any easier for the Rams. The Giants made it to the NFC Championship game last season, and although they traded star quarterback Eli Manning, Chad Henne and company aren't a group to underestimate. Henne, if playing, will be tossing the ball to the likes of Desean Jakson, Eddie Royal, and Hakeem Nicks. Once again, Stephon Gilmore and company will have their hands full. But the Giants real strength comes from their front seven, where they are stacked at just about every position. Jared Allen, Justin Tuck, Terrell Suggs, and Luis Castillo are just a few of the names that give the Giants one of the best defensive fronts in the league. HB Keith Payne will certainly have his work cut out for him in this one. Like the Saints though, the Giants weak area, if you could call it that, is in their secondary. Bradford once again will likely be slinging the ball all over the field to the likes of Donnie Avery and Stephen Hill. But can the Rams offense put up more points against the Giants defense than the Giants offense can against the Rams defense? We'll just have to wait and find out.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 07/19/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 13
Rams Finalize Roster for Start of 2013 Season
As the 2013 GZL preseason approaches, the Rams have made several moves to finalize their roster. After the draft, the team had holes to fill at backup quarterback, tight end, offensive guard, kicker, and free safety. Let's take a look at how the team filled those holes:

QB Derek Anderson - Although it was reported that the team initially was going after Shaun Hill to backup starting quarterback Sam Bradford, they eventually went a different direction after talks broke down between Hill and the team. Anderson is a big man that stands tall in the pocket and has a rocket for an arm. His accuracy and decision making aren't the best, but he can fire it down field to hopefully keep the Rams in the game if anything goes wrong.

TE Kevin Boss - Boss was the best tight end in free agency that could be signed to a long-term deal, so the Rams snatched him up. Boss joins Aaaron Hernandez to give the Rams a 1-2 punch at TE that should rank among the best in the league. He and Hernandez will switch off as the #1 and #2 tight ends depending on the opponent.

LG Robert Gallery - After LG Joel Bell's 7m contract became too much to handle, the team cut him loose and picked up Robert Gallery. Gallery isn't as good of a pass blocker as Bell, but can move bodies in the run game while still providing solid pass protection for a much cheaper price.

K Phil Dawson - After letting K Josh Brown walk in free agency this offseason, the team had to find another starting kicker, because let's face it, they have zero confidence in Graham Gano. Dawson doesn't have the strongest leg, but has plenty of experience and accuracy to get the job done.

FS Eric Weddle - The Rams missed two different chances to sign Weddle, but were eventually able to convince him to come back to the Rams in post-draft free agency. Weddle is one of the best tackling safeties in the league, and has shown flashes of play-making brilliance during his first few seasons in the league. Weddle will once again team up with Patrick Chung to give the Rams a formidable duo at safety.

The team also signed a player they didn't particularly have a need for, but thought would make a nice addition to the team in David Clowney:

WR David Clowney - Clowney brings a good combination of speed, agility, acceleration, and height. He will be able to stretch the field for the team from the slot position, and also allowed them to trade Leonard Hankerson. He will have a big role in the team's offense and he will hopefully be able to find some chemistry with Sam Bradford.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 07/19/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 18
Rams Trade Leonard Hankerson to Jets


Word out of St. Louis is that the teams crowded wide receiver position just became a little less crowded. A source tells us that the Rams have agreed to send WR Leonard Hankerson to the Jets for their 1st round pick in the 2014 draft GZL draft. The Rams will also send their 2014 4th round draft choice to the Jets in the deal.

Hankerson was originally a major part of the Rams plans, but when the team traded up to 1.17 in the 2013 draft to select Stephen Hill, some wondered if Avery, Hill, and Hankerson could all co-exist. That view gained a little more traction when the team signed David Clowney during free agency, especially after he had a couple strong outings during training camp. Eventually, GM Tyler Richardson decided to place Hankerson on the block and see what kind of return he could net for him.

According to sources, the Rams initially received more inquiries about Hankerson than they could handle. Call after call, teams wanted to know what the asking price for Hankerson was. Although a few teams were turned off at the Rams asking price for a 1st, they really were in no rush to trade him, and they had a feeling someone would match the price eventually. It didn't take long. Although New York Jets general manager Tom Riddell initially sent out an extreme low-ball offer, he eventually realized the Rams were serious. Rumor is that the Tennessee Titans were also willing to send a 1st for Hankerson, but after making the playoffs last year in an incredible turn-around year, their pick wasn't as attractive.

The team will now move on with 4 quality wide receivers on the depth chart. Stephen Hill and Donnie Avery are expected to take care of the top two spots, while recently signed David Clowney mans the slot and Tandon Doss plays the #4 slot. Demarco Murray and Kris Adams will fill in at #5 and #6.

Hankerson was originally drafted 2.3 in the 2011 draft by the Texans. After being injured for most of his rookie season, he put up strong numbers for the Rams last season, but didn't hit the 1,000 yard mark. The general feeling from scouts is that Hankerson will be in his prime this season.

The trade gives the Rams their second first round pick in the 2014 draft. It is unclear whether they will hold onto the picks or use them to upgrade immediately, although the latter option is limited by their salary cap situation.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 07/19/2012) Replies - 1 :: Views - 40
Rams 2013 Training Camp
2013 St. Louis Rams Training Camp



2012: Year in Review

Heading into the 2012 GZL season, GM Tyler Richardson and the Rams were excited. And for good reason - for the first time since the league opened for business, St. Louis had a complete roster, with starter-quality players lining the top of the depth chart. But the results did not meet expectations, nor did they come close. The Rams started out with a strong showing against the division rival Seahawks, winning a close battle 24-21, but would go on to lose their next seven games. That’s right, seven. They would finish out the season 5-3, but after such a dismal first half of the season the Rams could only muster a 6-10 record. Although there were some strong individual showings, mostly on defense, the team effort simply wasn’t there, and it showed. At the end of the season, the Rams had beat just two teams ranked in the top 20 of the final power rankings. The team’s best roster had earned them their worst record in the franchise’s short history. But that’s enough with the negatives, let’s focus on some positives. The Rams linebackers, all who have been drafted by the front office since the inception of the league, put up huge numbers in 2012. Arguably the best performance of all was by Von Miller. He put up career highs across the board (which is still impressive although he’s only played two seasons in the league), compiling 135 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 3 fumbles forced, and 12 deflections. He even allowed a career high 17 catches (okay, that one doesn’t count). If Miller can keep his outstanding play up at this pace, he just might find himself in the record books by the time all is said and done. But enough about Miller, let’s turn the spotlight to his brethren on the outside. Chris Carter, a rookie ROLB who the Rams selected 1.12 in the 2012 draft, tallied 85 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 7 deflections. While many of those numbers aren’t overwhelming, 85 tackles is just ridiculous considering the man playing next to him snagged 135 himself. Turning our attention to the left side, Dontay Moch had an equally impressive 2012 outing, putting up 69 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and sacking the quarterback 8 times. 8 sacks is a big deal when your left defensive end puts up 10 annually. Put it all together, and you have 289 tackles combined from the Rams’ linebacking corps. I’m not willing to do the math, but I would bet a pretty penny that’s at least top two in the league, probably number one. On the other side of the ball, the offensive player with the best performance had to be QB Sam Bradford. Although he wasn’t to be found at the top of any statistical categories, he did put up the best numbers of his short career, throwing for 33 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions, while putting up a QB Rating of 88.1 for the season. Although his yards per attempt (6.99) will have to be better going forward, last year was a big step in the right direction for Mr. Bradford.

Offseason Recap

Heading into the off-season, the Rams knew they didn’t have to make many moves. Despite a miserable season, the team was young at nearly every position, and they were only going to get better. The only pressing need the team really needed to address was cornerback, a position that they had largely ignored to that point. Sure, they spent a late 2nd and 3rd on cornerbacks Clarence Mitchell and Chad Cummings, respectively, but those players are not considered elite or even very good by anyone. That was about to change, and the team knew it before the off-season even started. Lucky for them, their stumbling the prior season meant a good draft pick. The team possessed the 8th pick in the draft, and was poised to take the best CB available. The only other major thing the team needed to address was taking care of their free agents. Bryan Bulaga, a RFA who had shown promise the season before, was tendered and will once again start at OG this season. But he was the only free agent the team retained. Richardson fell asleep at the wheel, and FS Eric Weddle and K Josh Brown were allowed to hit the open market before ever even being offered a contract by the front office. Despite this glaring, inexcusable blunder, the team was forced to move on without the players due to financial reasons. For the same reason, the team only made one trade until draft day, in which they unloaded DT Issac Sopoaga and his near $5 million contract to the Titans in exchange for 4.31 and a 2013 4th round draft choice. Although it could be argued that the run-stuffing DT was worth more than that, the Rams couldn’t afford to pay him that kind of money this season, and they acquired him for free in free agency anyways. But let’s get to the exciting part: the draft.

The Draft

*Trade Alert* - The Rams trade 2.8, 3.8, 4.8, and OG Randy Gregory to the Bears in exchange for 1.17


1.8 – CB Stephon Gilmore
When the Rams were put on the clock at 1.8, they found themselves torn. Surprisingly, it wasn’t between two corners, but between two Steph(o/e)ns. Stephon Gilmore, a CB with great height, speed, and strength, and Stephen Hill, a WR with a very rare combination of height and speed, were both still on the board. Although the Rams had anticipated Gilmore would be there, they viewed Hill as a rare prospect that would be taken in the first five picks. Despite wanting to take Hill more than anything, the team needed a cornerback more than a meth addict needs his fix. On top of that, most of the teams picking until 1.17, the pick the team just acquired, had wide receivers but not cornerbacks, and most general managers value the cornerback position more highly than the wide receiver position. And there was more: Stephon Gilmore is simply a very good CB. He has an extremely rare combination of speed, strength, and height. Despite not having the greatest hands and not being the most GZL-ready CB in the class, Gilmore has all the physical tools, and the Rams look at those areas as being easily developed in the GZL. Gilmore should max out at 97 SPD, 6’1”. The team would have to pass on Hill, and settle for one of the other WR prospects at 1.17.


1.17 – WR Stephen Hill
Or not. To the surprise, shock, and delight or the Rams’ front office, Stephen Hill was still on the board at 1.17. This trend of WRs being picked later than they should carried on for the rest of the night, but with Hill being the first WR off the board, the team had no reason to expect he would fall into their lap. Although most GMs thought even 1.17 was a little high for Hill, Richardson and the Rams have to respectfully disagree. Hill had better measurable than AJ Green, former 1.4, coming out, and physical skills are 80% of what it takes to be a dominant WR in this league. Hill stands 6’4” tall, giving him a huge frame to compliment his already impressive 93 SPD and 93 ACC. Hill will be pushed to the max in St. Louis, and it is estimated that he will max out at 96 SPD, 93 ACC, 6-4”, giving him a speed to height ratio matched only by the likes of Calvin Johnson. Although his intangibles need some definite work (48 AWR, 70 CTH), there are plenty of examples of teams paying the price for passing on talented but raw WR prospects. Despite this being well-documented, 16 teams decided to pass up on Hill, and the Rams will hopefully get to reap the benefits.


4.31 – FB Rhett Ellison
After 1.17, the Rams didn’t have another pick until 4.31, but they still were able to find a starter they liked. Of course, he will be starting at FB, which makes that fact a little less impressive. While Ellison is not the fastest player, or even fullback, by any means, he is a big, BIG boy. Weighing in at 250, 6’5”, Ellison is larger than the majority of linebackers. He also has great AWR, STR, and blocking technique. The only drawback is that he is as slow as a rock. But that is okay with the Rams, as their starting halfback is not very fast either. If the Rams used a speed back, this would have been a wasted pick, but fortunately for them Ellison and Payne should make a terrific pairing. The skew was not kind to Ellison, but it wasn’t that harsh either.


7.3 – ROLB Bobby Beck
Beck is the only 7th round pick being mentioned, and that is because of the gem he turned out to be. Although the Rams were just picking to fill a roster spot and not expecting much from the second to last pick in the draft, Beck has been turning heads around the St. Louis facilities. Beck benefitted from an unbelievable skew, gaining +4 SPD, +1 STR, +3 AGI, and +3 ACC, to put him at 85 SPD, 68 STR, 86 AGI, and 77 ACC. Although the sentiment may not last, there are many in the Rams’ organization who want to make Beck a starter. Of course, with Chris Carter currently holding down the fort at ROLB, that most likely won’t happen any time soon. But the team has some options now. They could either move Carter inside and play a 3-4, or trade Carter for about what they paid for him and invest the resources elsewhere. If they can find a suitor, option B doesn’t sound like such a bad one, considering those resources would theoretically equal 1.12 minus 7.31.

Training Camp: Player Improvement

Every year, a select group of players puts in extra work to hone their skills. Let’s take a look at who’s putting in the extra effort this off-season.

Speed: CB Clarence Mitchell, CB Stephon Gilmore, WR Stephen Hill, HB Keith Payne, DE Justin Houston

This year, everyone partaking in the Rams’ training camp will be working on their speed. As they say, speed kills. To improve their speed, the players will be repeating all of their usual drills, but with parachutes on their backs. This way when they take the parachutes off, they will feel much less resistance and be able to run almost effortlessly. They will also spend a great amount of time after-hours working with the trainers doing plyometrics, hopefully training their muscles to be more explosive. Also, in a new, unprecedented exercise, the team will release a pack of wild lions on the group. As I always say, if you can out-run a lion, you can out-run anything. Let’s just hope they can out-run the lions.

Training Camp: Position Battles

While the Rams depth chart is largely finalized, there are a couple positions that are still up in the air. Let’s take a look at who is fighting for a starting job this off-season.

Slot WR: WR Stephen Hill vs. WR Donnie Avery
This battle will likely be based more on fit and less on talent, but it will still be a good one to keep your eye on. Can Stephen Hill come out and make an immediate impact, or will he be quieter for his first few seasons like most predict? That will be the question we look to answer during training camp. If Hill can elevate his game and make an impact at the #2 or #1 spot, then Avery will be able to play his natural position in the slot. If not, Hill will most likely see his snaps come in the slot, and we’ll see this same battle during next year’s training camp.

FS: FS Tyron Brackenridge vs. ????
This is the most interesting battle of all, because, as of now, Brackenridge will be competing with himself! That’s right, the team still has not found a replacement for the departed Eric Weddle. One thing is certain, though, Brackenridge will NOT win this job. I don’t care if I have to play FS, he will not be starting. So while this isn’t much of a battle, there wasn’t much else to fill this space with. In all seriousness, though, the team hopes to find a suitable FS who can, at the very least, beat out Mr. Brackenridge for the starting spot. If not, we’ll be back to 1-7 again. [/quote]
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 07/12/2012) Replies - 3 :: Views - 82
St. Louis Rams Training Camp 2012
2012 St. Louis Rams Training Camp



Offseason Recap

As usual, the offseason began with cuts. For many players, it was time to find a home outside of St. Louis. Those players included WR Brandon Gibson, C Hank Fraley, FS Madieu Williams, DT Marcus Stroud, WR Mark Clayton, HB Kory Sheets, OLB Stephen Cooper, and OG Marc Columbo. While the majority of those players will be missed, their lack of talent or excess of salary left the hands of Rams’ management tied.

Going into the offseason, the Rams had several key needs identified: WR, OLB, DT, and CB, and OG. At WR and CB the team felt it would do them a lot of good to bring in an elite player, as they already had good/great players at each position, but no one who could really take over a game. It was a bit of a different story at OLB and DT, as several “fill-in” players the Rams had signed the previous off-season had either regressed or become too expensive, and there was little remaining as far as talent was concerned.

Unfortunately, the teams’ dreams of bringing in a shut-down cornerback were thwarted when the draft class failed to produce one. Prince Amukamara was the best the class had to offer, and although he was drafted fifth overall by the Jets, he just wasn’t the complete package the Rams were looking for, especially considering they would have had to trade up to 1.5 to get him. Consequently, the team will enter 2012 with largely the same group of CBs as last year.

The draft class did, however, produce a stud WR in Julio Jones. But although the front office worked around the clock attempting to acquire 1.2 and ensure the Alabama product would don blue and gold in 2012, their efforts ultimately bared no fruit. The team did manage to reel in a WR they feel can be a superstar in the league, though, when they traded 1.19 to the Houston Texans in exchange for WR Leonard Hankerson and 3.3. While Hankerson isn’t quite on Julio Jones’ level, the talent/value ratio may have ultimately worked out in their favor.

As for OG, the team solved that need by bringing in Bryan Bulaga from the world champion Green Bay Packers when they sent 2.17 and 5.11 for Bulaga and 2.32, giving the team their fifth starting OL. Although Bulaga was originally slated to start at LT while Charlie Johnson would slide over to LG, Johnson did not feel comfortable with the switch. Instead, Bulaga will pair with Jason Smith on the ever-critical right side of the line to protect Sam Bradford, while Joel Bell, the better run blocker, will team up with LT Charlie Johnson to help open holes for second-year HB Keith Payne.

Finally, in their last pre-draft transaction, the team traded HB Jahvid Best along with 2.32 to the Panthers in exchange for the 19th pick in the draft. Best, an above-average talent, has the ability to start in this league, but he likely was looking at another year behind Keith Payne on the depth chart.

To see how the team addressed their key needs at OLB and DT, let’s take a look at the Rams 2012 draft class. Entering the draft, the team was set to draft at 1.11, 1.17, 2.11, and 3.3.


1.11 – OLB Dontay Moch
With this pick, the team knew they wanted to draft an OLB, but found themselves torn between the ultra-athletic Moch and the less athletic but much stronger Chris Carter. Ultimately, the team felt Moch’s stunning athleticism was too much to pass up on. With the freakish Justin Houston already manning the LE position, the Rams organization is expecting the tandem to create all kinds of problems for opposing quarterbacks coming off the left side. While Moch may give head coach Rod Marinelli headaches because of his poor tackling ability, the team feels he has the potential to vastly improve in that area, and it will be a top priority for the defensive-minded coach that preaches sound tackling practice after practice. Despite this grumblings around the league that Moch won’t be able to fully utilize his talent at OLB, the team foresees him making enemies out of quarterbacks for a long, long time.

*Trade Alert* - The Rams trade 1.17 + 2.11 to the Buccaneers for 1.12


1.12 – OLB Chris Carter
As mentioned, once Chris Carter unexpectedly fell to 1.11 the team found themselves in quite the dilemma. Even though they decided to go with Moch’s elite athleticism at 1.11, they couldn’t get the idea of acquiring both out of their heads. Thus, the team moved up to 1.12 and got their man. Also as mentioned earlier, Carter is the much stronger of the two, and thus will focus on stopping the run game at ROLB. But he’s no slouch athletically, possessing athleticism that many linebackers in the league can only dream of. With this pick, all three of the Rams starting linebackers are expected to have 85 SPD and ACC to go along with 250 lb. bodies (after offseason programs).


3.3 – DT Kenrick Ellis
The Rams felt very fortunate to be able to select Ellis with this pick, as they felt he was the best DT on the board since mid-way through the second round. Ellis is a BIG guy, weighing in at almost 350 lbs., and he has the strength to match. He can get after the QB, too, with a great first step for man of his size. His down-field speed and lateral quickness are less than ideal, but the Rams drafted him to stuff the run, not get after the quarterback. They certainly won’t complain if he is able to do both, though. Ellis will team up with Jovan Haye (12 sacks through 2 seasons) to create a balanced tandem in the middle of the Rams’ defensive line.


3.5 – WR Tandon Doss
Doss is another player the Rams were happy to select at the top of the third round. While his talent won’t “wow” you at the moment, the team’s front office feels that, with some work in the off-season, he has the potential to become a Leonard Hankerson type player. Nevertheless, Doss should expect to see solid time as the slot receiver in 2012. If doss pans out as expected, the Rams will be very happy with the value they were able to get with this pick.

Training Camp: Player Improvement

Speed: CB Clarence Mitchell, HB Keith Payne, WR Tandon Doss

These players will spend extra time with the team’s training staff to work on improving their speed during training camp. The players will alternate between running up-hill with parachutes attached to their backs and doing plyometrics in the sand. When they’re not doing this, the players will be working the crucial muscles needed for speed in the team’s weight room. Mitchell will need speed to cover the faster cornerbacks in the league, while Payne will be looking to break more long runs and hit the holes faster. As for Doss, the team hopes he will be able to join WRs Donnie Avery and Leonard Hankerson in stretching the defense.

Strength: DT Kenrick Ellis
When the team drafted Ellis, they were looking for a monster who could wreak havoc on the interior of his offensive line. His 93 STR gave him the potential to reach 96 STR, but due to faulty scouting Ellis the team overestimated his strength, which is actually only at 92. For this reason, the team will work tirelessly to make sure Ellis uses training camp to get as strong as possible. He will team up with folks from “The World’s Strongest Men” to ensure this happens. Word is this will include exercises such as pulling monster truck tires and refrigerators, and lifting small vehicles. Hopefully he makes it to the pre-season.

Training Camp: Position Battles

While the Rams depth chart is largely finalized, there are a couple unexciting positions that are still up in the air, or at least may vary from game to game.

Slot WR: WR Tandon Doss vs. WR Mardy Gilyard
This position battle comes down to speed and height versus agility and acceleration. While Doss is expected to start here the majority of the time, it is foreseeable that Gilyard’s agility and acceleration could be more helpful here and there. However, there is also the possibility that Gilyard might not be on the roster heading into the regular season, as his salary doesn’t exactly match his talent level, and the team is short on cap space.

#2 TE: OT Daryn College vs. TE Matt Spaeth
As with the other position battle, this one will also likely come down to the team’s gameplan for the given week. If they team is going with a pass heavy offense, Spaeth’s catching ability and relative quickness will likely give him the nod over Colledge. But if the team is looking to run it down someone’s throat, look for the more powerful Colledge to get the start due to his run-blocking capabilities. He is an offensive lineman, after all.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 12/21/2011) Replies - 4 :: Views - 79
Rams Offseason Update
The Rams have not had a very eventful off-season so far, and when it was eventful, it was mostly bad news.

As usual, the off-season started off with cuts. Due to salary cap reasons, the team was forced to let go WR Brandon Gibson, DT Marcus Stroud, OG Marc Columbo, WR Mark Clayton, LB Stephen Cooper, HB Kory Sheets, and C Hank Fraley. The team was sad to let some of these players go, but the team is likely still going to have to make some moves to stay under the cap. It's rumored that the Rams have placed OG Joel Bell on the block for this very reason.

In their sole trade of the off-season so far, the Rams sent 2.17 and 5.11 to the Packers in exchange for LT Bryan Buluga and 2.32. While Buluga lacks the strength most teams typically want in their offensive lineman, Buluga has elite athleticism and blocking ability. After seeing what LT Charles Brown has been able to do with the Saints, the Rams front office felt Buluga was well worth the gamble.

In other news, the team has also re-structured Chris Long's $13.5m contract. The defensive end's massive salary and great play so far left the team no choice but to sign him to a 7 year deal worth almost $80m. Some pundits are calling this a bad move, as the Rams will not have much wiggle room with the cap for the foreseeable future, but the Rams felt they weren't going to get anywhere near his true value in the trading market.

Finally, rumors have been swirling that the team could complete a trade for an unnamed impact WR soon. This move is expected to come in the next couple of days if it will at all, so stay tuned for more Rams off-season news.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 12/08/2011) Replies - 2 :: Views - 36
Rams Season Highlights and Disappointments
Dissappointment: 7-9, 3rd in the division, missing the playoffs

After the Rams went 8-8 last season with AJ Feeley playing more games than Sam Bradford, it was widely believed that the Rams would at least finish second in their division, if not first. Instead, the Rams finished third with a 7-9 record, only ahead of the 2-14 Seahawks. After beating the Cardinals and Patriots consecutively near the end of the season, the Rams' controlled their own destiny with just three games remaining against the Jets, Eagles, and Bills, but lost out instead of taking charge. In the future this team is going to have to handle themselves much better in the clutch, or they will never win anything.

Highlight: Defensive end play

It's no secret the Rams stock-piled draft picks in last years draft, and one of the players the Rams were most excited about was DE Justin Houston. After a disappointing training camp and preseason, Houston really turned it on during the season to finish with 50 TAK, 12 TFL, and 10 sacks. Chris Long, who was moved to RE so Houston could flourish at LE, took his role and stride and also delivered a great season, tallying 42 TAK, 12 TFL, and 7 sacks. The Rams went out and got these ends for a reason, and they will need Houston and Long to build on this season for their defensive scheme to flourish.

Dissappointment: Offensive tackle play

With Jason Smith, one of the most athletic and technique-sound OTs in the league, pairing up with the Rams big free agent signing OT Charlie Johnson, the coaching staff was expecting big things from this duo in 2011. Unfortunately for Sam Bradford, things didn't turn out quite that way. Smith gave up a whopping 16 sacks, while Charlie Johnson allowed 8, to make it a combined 24 sacks allowed from the pricey tandem. Rumor has it that if this doesn't turn around fast the team is prepared to shake things up by moving one or both or them.


Highlight: FS Eric Weddle

After the Utah product posted 92 TAK, 3 INT, and 15 DFL in 2010, the Rams matched a hefty price tag to bring him to St. Louis via a trade with the Titans. And then he got injured for half the season in the pre-season. Despite appearing in only half of the Rams' games this year, Weddle delivered with 36 TAK, 1 TFL, 3 INT, and 7 DFL. Although his TAK numbers dropped off near the end of the season with the team's change in gameplan, he notched 7 TAKs in three of his first four games in 2011. He also managed to match his INT total from last season despite playing in half of the games. With the game slowing down for him more and more each day, the Rams expect great things from him in the future.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 11/02/2011) Replies - 4 :: Views - 46
Rams Season Recap
The regular season is officially over, and while the Rams did not make the playoffs, their record of 8-8 met the highest of expectations for the team. Not only did the team meet expectations, they also are scheduled to select four players in the first round on draft day and own the third overall pick. Some other bright spots from the season include:

QB AJ Feeley:

Rookie quarterback Sam Bradford was only able to play six games this season, and AJ Feeley was the man in charge of taking over for him. While Feeley is a veteran quarterback in this league, he's the type of player you can easily find in free agency. But he sure didn't play like one, finishing 2nd among all QBs in passer rating and helping the Rams finish 1st in total offense per game as well as 4th in Passing yards per game.

WR Donnie Avery:

Feeley wasn't the only one who helped the Rams offense out significantly this season. Avery will run away with the WR of the year award and has a chance to be in the talks for most valuable player. Finishing with 96 receptions, 1,967 yards, and 21 touchdowns, Avery led the league in receiving yards and touchdowns as well as longest catch, average catch length (for anyone with 50+ attempts), and yards after the catch.

While there were plenty of positives for the Rams this season, there are also plenty of areas with room for improvement. The team finished 20th overall in total defense and ranked 27th against the run. The sack and turnover numbers were also fairly low. These issues will need to be addressed if the Rams want to compete for the division title next season.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 05/04/2011) Replies - 1 :: Views - 24
Rams....Winning? AJ Feeley...Dominating?
Rams Players Surprising Everyone Except Themselves


A.J. Feeley has been incredibly poised as the Rams signal caller


This cannot be what the Rams fan base expected. Let's have a quick history lesson and take a look at the sequence of events here.

Week 5: Sam Bradford goes down with a torn shoulder
Week 6: Rams trade star CB Justin King to Washington Redskins for a draft pick
Week 7: Rams trade talented FS Oshiomogho Atogwe for a draft pick
Week 8: Rams win
Week 10: Rams win
Week 11: Rams win

As you can see, the Rams have just won their third straight game, tallying victories over the Panthers, 49ers, and now the Falcons despite seemingly throwing the towel in. Over the course of those three games, the Rams have outscored opponents 134-55 and out-gained opponents by a combined 323 yards. So what exactly has gotten into the Rams? Head coach Steve Spagnulo thinks he might have an answer.

"I think our players are pissed. Bradford goes down and all of a sudden management starts trading talented players away for draft picks. Here we are trying to win games, and just because our starting quarterback goes down, the front office puts a big for sale sign outside our building," said Spagnulo at his post-game press conference Sunday.

One player who has especially stepped up for the Rams is backup QB A.J. Feeley. The nine year veteran has thrown for 932 yards, 7 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions over the course of the Rams past three games while posting quarterback ratings of 98.1, 112.3, and 119.3. But he hasn't only performed well recently, as his overall quarterback rating of 101.3 this season is one of the best in the league, ironically second to only Jon Kitna, another backup who is having a surprisingly dominant season off the bench. So why is Feeley a backup in this league?

"Honestly, I'm just playing out of my mind right now," Feeley responded when asked that exact question. "With players being shipped out every day, this team is just trying to rally around each other and play the best football we can. We can only hope we can prove to the team executives we have what it takes to win games in this league."

Other players who have helped this team achieve success are WR Donnie Avery and CB Ronald Bartell. Avery is running away with the wide receiver of the year award at this point, averaging 136 yards and 1.2 TDs per game. He is 318 receiving yards ahead of Calvin Johnson, the second place receiver in that category. Bartell is simply a man on fire. Over the span of the last three games, Bartell has amassed a whopping 5 interceptions (as many as any other CB has so far this season), 13 deflections, and a touchdown. Bartell leads the league with eight interceptions on the season. Despite his efforts, though, there are rumors that Bartell could be on the block.

So will the team continue to trade some of it's most talented players?

"That depends on who's interested and what they're offering," said Rams GM Tyler Richardson. "Despite the unpopularity of it, I hold the philosophy that everyone is available for the right price. I'll never turn an opportunity down to make my team better. It's especially important to consider that we need guys here that will help us in the long run and have room for improvement. I hope our guys continue to fight week in and week out, but the policy in St. Louis is not going to change."

After their recent surge, the Rams find themselves with a 5-5 record, trailing the San Fransisco 49ers by just one game in the race for the NFC West crown. On top of that, the team is 3-0 in the division and has a Week 16 date with the division leaders. Do the Rams, a team who had already at one point been completely discounted from the division race, have what it takes to overtake the struggling 49ers?

"I'm not going to comment on anything like that," commented Spagnulo. "We will continue to work hard every day in practice, fight for our lives on gameday, and hope for the best."
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 03/22/2011) Replies - 2 :: Views - 44
Rams, Redskins Roll the Dice
Rams Send King Packing; Acquire Third 1st Round Pick


The Rams and Redskins have submitted a trade for league approval that will send CB Justin King, the Rams second round pick, and the Cowboys sixth round pick to Washington in exchange for the Houston Texans first round pick.

Rams Send:
CB Justin King
STL 2nd Round Pick
DAL 6th Round Pick

Redskins Send:
HOU 1st Round Pick

The move is a gamble for both teams, and the winner will ultimately depend on the Texans 2011 draft position. They sit near the bottom of the standings right now, but they have had a tough schedule to date and are coming off of an impressive win over the Chiefs. Their star cornerback, DeAngelo Hall, who is the original reason the Redskins possessed the Texans first round pick, should also return for the final five or six games of the season. Only time will tell who won this trade, and the risk is certain for both teams, but the Rams had plenty of reasons to roll the dice.

For starters, Justin King's contract expires in two seasons, and the Rams have a plethora of contracts expiring in two seasons, including WR Laurent Robinson, C Jason Brown, RG Jacob Bell, K Josh Brown, SS Pat Watkins, CB Kevin Dockery, DT Clifton Ryan, and RE Greg Peterson. Secondly, it is widely suspected throughout the league that, although the measurements of King cannot be denied, the Rams were consistently unhappy with his lack of strength, tackling technique, and hands. Finally, with the ability to match up cornerbacks on specific wide receivers, the Rams don't need as much height in their "speed guy," especially if he lacks the ability to cover bigger, stronger WRs due to his small frame and strength. Instead, CB Ronald Bartell, despite receiving poor reviews from coaches in training camp, has proven to be the go-to-guy against the league's possession (taller) receivers.

With all that said, CB King is a good, young player who is going to develop into a great player. His speed and height combination are rare in this league, and his flaws are relatively minor when compared to his physical assets. King has also proven to be a play-maker already this season, recording two interceptions in a touchdown in week one (although that's the last we've heard from him in the turnover department since). If the Texans finish the season strong while the Rams gravitate towards their very likely top ten, possibly top ten, pick, the Rams will have essentially traded King for an early-mid second round pick, a move they would not be happy with. However, say the Texans finish with the fourth round pick in the draft rather than a mid-round pick, and the Rams have effectively traded King for the tenth overall pick.

With this move, the Rams have made it clear that they are in a full-on rebuilding mode. They now have three picks in the first round, two of which would most likely be projected by most to be top ten (although it is worth noting that their next pick is in the seventh round). With a 2-4 record, QB Sam Bradford out for the at least four more weeks, HB Stephen Jackson underachieving, and their best cornerback gone, the Rams have only the future to look forward to, but at least that future looks bright.

Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 02/17/2011) Replies - 20 :: Views - 165
Rams Finalize Two Trades
After making just one trade over the course of the off-season, the Rams have now finalized three times that many just one week into the regular season.

The two trades are as follows:

Rams Send:
STL 2011 4th Round Pick
STL 2011 5th Round Pick

Cowboys Send:
RT Marc Columbo

-and-

Rams Send:
TE Fendi Onobun
STL 2011 3rd Round Pick
STL 2011 6th Round Pick

Steelers Send:
TE Matt Spaeth
PIT 2011 1st Round Pick
PIT 2011 7th Round Pick

The first trade was made in order to bolster the offensive line. Although Columbo is near the end of the year and has an expiring contract, the Rams feel his presence on the line will greatly help the offensive line and thus HB Steven Jackson and rookie QB Sam Bradford this season. The move also allows C Jason Brown to play his natural position of center instead of filling in at one of the guard positions.

The second trade made will make for a very exciting off-season. While Onobun is going to be a monster someday, that day is far removed from the present and the Rams have problems that stem much further than the tight end position. The additional first round draft pick will most likely give the Rams three picks out of the first 40 in the 2011 draft, which can't come soon enough for the front office. One part of the trade that shouldn't be overlooked for the Rams is the pickup of TE Matt Spaeth. While he is severely lacking in speed, he has a big body at 6'7", 270 lbs and a decent first step, which should make him, for at least this year, an upgrade at the TE position.

These two moves illustrate the balance that the Rams are looking to keep between young talent and veterans. They hope that the combination of the two will give the team something big to look forward to, but at the same time something to play for now and be proud of. Look for this approach to continue unless things start to get out of hand in the loss column, at which point the veterans may be swapped out of the starting lineup in favor of getting some younger guys vital playing time. For now, the Rams will keep on fighting and try to scrape out every win they can.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 01/14/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 31
St. Louis Rams Hire GM Tyler Richardson.


The Rams have finally announced the hiring of GM Tyler Richardson, a move they hope will spark a return to the glory days of this once celebrated franchise.

After managing just six wins over the past three seasons, the move should come as no surprise to anyone. A change was certainly needed, and change has come in more ways than just a new general manager.

Along with the first overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft, Sam Bradford, taking over the reigns for the Rams this season, Richardson has also begun cleaning house and bringing in plenty of new names. Here are the changes already made this off-season/preseason:

Departing
DE George Selvie
DT Darell Scott
LB Larry Grant
TE Billy Bajema
HB Keith Totson
HB Kenneth Darby
LB Bryan Kehl
TE Daniel Fells
DE Eugene Sims
WR Dominique Curry
SS James Butler
WR Danario Alexander

Incoming
TE John Owens
DE Greg Peterson
LB Clint Ingram
LB Alex Hall
OT Langston Walker
DT Ryan Sims
WR Torry Holt
HB Kory Sheets
HB Kevin Faulk
CB Scott Starks
LB Roderick Green
SS Pat Watkins

Richardson thinks the roster shakeup will be a good place to start for the organization. "I think two of the most telling things about the state of this franchise are the number of wins its amounted over the past three seasons and the amount of upgrades we were able to find in the late stages of free agency. It is clear that it is going to take dedication and hard work to turn this thing around, and that is the message I intend to send from day one. Everyone will compete to keep their job on this team - no jobs are safe. Do what's expected of you in practice and on game days or you might find yourself on the bench or another roster."

While Richardson has a great track record of regular season success in the RZL (76-44), his playoff record is much less appealing (2-5). But Jim Mora might have said it best: "Playoffs?!? I just hope we can win a game." That quote sums up the organizations thoughts right now - just hoping to win a game. Hopefully the playoff problems can be worked out when it's time to cross that bridge.

It is not easy to say what the 2010 season will hold for the St. Louis Rams. While fielding one of the less talented rosters in the league, they also find themselves in a lackluster division. And despite a press conference marred by reality checks as to the state of a sunken franchise, this team is still looking to win, and they're looking to win now. "We aren't going to go out there and play for a draft pick," Richardson said. "We will go out there and give it our best every Sunday. Like I said, the culture here needs to change and a work ethic needs to be instilled. How does that happen playing for a draft pick? I don't like losing, and I don't suspect my players do either. I'm not sure when, but we will be a winning football team in this league."
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 12/31/2010) Replies - 3 :: Views - 35

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At A Glance

RAMS FRONT OFFICE
GM T_Richardson
Head Coach Bill Belichick
Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy
Defensive Coordinator D.Robinson
Special Teams Dave Toub
Salary $171.22M
Cap Penalty $2.78M
Cap Room $0K

INJURY REPORT
PLAYER POS OVR LENGTH

NFC West
RNK TEAM W-L-T PCT DIV
#3 Rams Rams 2-0-0 1.00 1-0
#21 Cardinals Cardinals 1-1-0 0.50 1-1
#11 Seahawks Seahawks 1-1-0 0.50 0-1
#29 49ers 49ers 0-2-0 0.00 0-0

RAMS SCHEDULE
WK DATE OPPONENT TIME/RESULT
1 Sun at Cardinals Cardinals #21
Won 30-20
2 Sun vs Giants Giants #20
Won 29-14
3 Sun vs Cardinals Cardinals #21 4:00pm
4 Sun at Cowboys Cowboys #10 1:00pm
5 Sun vs Eagles Eagles #26 4:15pm
7 Sun at Jets Jets #15 1:00pm
8 Sun at Patriots Patriots #4 1:00pm
9 Sun vs 49ers 49ers #29 4:00pm
10 Sun vs Bills Bills #13 4:00pm
11 Sun vs Dolphins Dolphins #28 1:00pm
12 Sun at 49ers 49ers #29 4:05pm
13 Sun vs Saints Saints #27 4:15pm
14 Sun vs Seahawks Seahawks #11 1:00pm
15 Sun at Packers Packers #17 4:00pm
16 Sat at Seahawks Seahawks #11 4:15pm
17 Sun at Redskins Redskins #22 1:00pm

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