were wheeling and dealing in this year's draft but how will all those future
draft picks look if the man they could have had as the number two overall pick,
Robert Griffin III becomes the next great quarterback?
Rams Sign Jenkins
By: Craig Tattan
The Rams got busy signing a pair of
cornerbacks from this year's draft in 2nd round pick Janoris Jenkins
and 3rd rounder Trumaine Johnson. Jenkins is the big fish, but his off field antics have caused the Rams'
brass to be cautious about how the contract is to be paid out and who is
looking after the big money bonanza.
There was a report that the team wanted it written into the agreement
that they would be able to choose a
financial manager to manage Jenkins' bank account and determine the manner in
which the guaranteed money is paid out if agreeing to the largest percentage
increase (above the 2011 draft) of any 2nd round pick chosen.
That's a long way around to saying
that St. Louis is highly suspect of any lingering character issues that Jenkins
may have. Jenkins as you may recall was
regarded as a top ten talent but the former Gator had two drug related
incidents within a three month period and was dismissed from the Florida
football program. Prior to his marijuana
possession charges he was tasered by police in 2009 when he punched a man in
the head in the wee hours of June 1st after resisting officer's
demands to stop fighting. He transferred
to the University of North Alabama to complete his senior season.
coach Jeff Fisher has high hopes for Jenkins and expects him to compete for the
starting corner assignment across from seven year pro Cortland Finnegan.
Rams Count On Bradford
By: Craig Tattan>
are a great many questions for the Rams yet to be answered heading into
training camp. Quarterback Sam
Bradford's ankle is perhaps the most important issue because if he has not
fully recovered, then the choice to trade away the pick that would have netted RG3
becomes more questionable.
If Bradford is fit
and primed to fire away, the question becomes to whom? He does not have a bevy of talent to target
but early 2nd
rounder Brian Quick may up the ante and afford
Bradford another viable option. Factor
in a new offensive coordinator and St. Louis will be an interesting team this
season. Whether interesting equates to
better remains to be seen, but a stockpile of draft choices and a healthy Sam
Bradford would seem like a logical improvement over what has been a dire
situation the past few seasons.
Week 1 Pick
By: Craig Tattan>
The Rams are
charging straight into the Lion's den for their opening game and I can think of
better places to begin your rebuilding project than Motown with this edition of
the former hapless Detroit Lions.
have a healthy, we think, Sam Bradford, returning as the leader of the Rams
offense and their run defense will hopefully be bolstered by 1st
round pick Michael Brockers to bolster their stop unit which ranked a dismal 31st
have weapons and Matthew Stafford is certainly one of them. But the talented quarterback is not the first
thing you think of when you talk about the Lions. Calvin Johnson, the freakishly athletic wide
receiver will be the name on everybody's lips.
The Lions spent most of their draft choices on the defensive end of the
ball and that may make things a bit tougher on opposing offenses.
opened with Detroit -10 and it now sits at Detroit -9 which is always a reason
to temper your enthusiasm for the home chalk.
Nevertheless, it's a game I forecasted
to be Lions -11 so I will forge ahead and advise a play on Detroit -9.
Jackson Sold On Fisher
By: Craig Tattan
veteran running back Steven Jackson as a fan of new Rams head coach Jeff
Fisher. Jackson was drafted a few years
after the Rams were known as the Greatest
Show on Turf, and their decline since
then has been unmistakable - though no fault of the talented Jackson. But, now the Rams 1st round pick in
the 2004 draft has had an opportunity to see for himself what coach Fisher
brings to the table.
Jackson had this to say about the new regime's
impact thus far, "It’s quite a
against what I’ve had before coach Fisher, but you can definitely tell a
difference in leadership, a difference in confidence. It’s not so much of
on-the-job training. I’m just impressed by what he’s assembled with assistant
coaches around him. We have very credible coaches that are teaching me and some
of my teammates. It’s just impressive, what they’ve been able to accomplish in
some of their own careers.”
Solid defensive foundations
By: Craig Tattan>
The Rams may have their share of holes to plug this season but according
to assistant head coach Dave McGinnis, middle linebacker isn’t one of
them. The Rams 2nd round pick
out of Ohio State in 2009 James Laurinaitis appears to be the perfect fit for
St. Louis’s defensive scheme according to McGinnis.
“He’s perfect. He’s the perfect
middle linebacker for this defense. The ultimate linebacker for this defense
when it started evolving was Mike Singletary. I was with Mike Singletary for
seven years. The quarterback of the defense is the middle linebacker and in
this system he has to be so in tune, I mean he has to be right in the defensive
coach’s skin. He has to understand it and know it from a lot of different
angles. We could not have asked for a more perfect middle linebacker to install
this system than James Laurinaitis. I remember watching him come out. I
interviewed him at the Combine when he came out and I loved him then and I love
him even more now because he’s exactly what you need.”
Good First Impressions
By: Craig Tattan>
wonderful thing about football in June is that the positives always outweigh
the negatives. If someone doesn't make a play or a quarterback tosses an
interception it is all chalked up to a rusty arm or a blown route because the
pass and catch units are still getting acquainted. But in the Rams minicamp
last week it looked as though Sam Bradford's targets were all eager to create
the best first impression with their signal caller.
receiver Danny Amendola looked a bit bulkier than in the past but it could be a
good shock absorber for the pounding he is most certainly going to take when he
crosses the middle on 3rd and five throughout the season. Brian
Quick, the high ceiling rookie receiver from Appalachian State didn't look like
a small school player when he burned down the sidelines and hauled in a couple
of beauties from Bradford. Greg Salas, the Rams' 4th round pick in
the 2011 draft looked like the Mr. All Everything that he was when he broke
records at the University of Hawaii. Salas made a magnificent one-handed grab
along the sidelines to add his contribution to the circus-like catching
symposium at Rams Park.
Faith In Bradford
By: Craig Tattan
The Rams could have had RG3 but
instead wound up with defensive tackle Michael Brockers of LSU as the 14th
pick in the draft plus a slew of draft picks. If the truth were told and the Rams had to choose between staying pat
with their current QB Sam Bradford, the first pick overall in the 2010 draft,
or Robert Griffin III it would probably not be much of a contest which isn’t to
say that Griffin will leave a better legacy.
Bradford has had a baptism by
fire as the Rams are long removed from their predecessors as the Greatest Show
on Turf. He started all 16 games in his
rookie campaign and a high ankle sprain definitely contributed to his
lackluster 2011 season, limiting him to ten starts and getting sacked a
whopping 36 times.
But this season Bradford
appears to be healthy and the Rams certainly addressed a glaring need in
bolstering their run defense, which ranked a dismal 31st last
season, when they tapped Michael Brockers as their top pick. Brockers will be counted on to make an
immediate impact and his journey starts in minicamp this week.
By: Craig Tattan
round draft pick (one of three) Janoris Jenkins was uncertain where he would
land in this year's draft due to his "character" issues. Jenkins was
busted twice for marijuana possession and tossed off the Florida Gators
football team. He landed as a starting cornerback for North Alabama but along
the way fathered four children with three different women.
coach Jeff Fisher is undeterred. "We did our background checks. We did
our due diligence. We did the preparation. We did the research. And all along
the way, everybody we talked to - including his high school coach, mentor here,
police officer there, somebody in Florida, somebody at North Alabama - every
single person said: 'Take this kid.' And I don't want to say 'kid' anymore.
He's a fine young man. So he's going to be fine. He's going to have a great
career in this league."
An Early Look At The Rams
By: Craig Tattan
Sam the Man
better be the real deal because the Rams eschewed RG3 for a boatload of high
draft picks and kept the faith that the 2010 Rookie of the Year can lead this
team for the next decade. Bradford was
hampered by injuries last season but will he be ready to fire away once he
returns? High ankle sprains have a
tendency to linger and Bradford was clearly not the same quarterback after Week
6 when he sustained the injury.
Bradford will have a new head coach in Jeff Fisher and Jeff Cignetti will take
the reins as quarterback coach to make sure Bradford is fundamentally sound and
will be entrusted with keeping the prized signal caller on target. The front office decision to trade down from
the coveted number two overall draft pick to number six with the Washington Redskins and
then again from six to fourteen with Dallas will either be this regime’s
crowning achievement or their disappointing epitaph.
2-14 and have lost your last seven games there’s really no place to go but up. The Rams were ranked a dismal 30th
in passing yards and 31st in yardage allowed when defending against
the rush. After wheeling and dealing
with Washington and Dallas the Rams finally selected LSU defensive tackle
Michael Brockers. Addressing their run stopping
unit was obviously a chief concern and Brockers is projected to be a big part
of that rebuilding process. He is not a
player who will pressure the quarterback but he can stop traffic up the middle
like a Playboy Playmate flashing in the breakdown lane during rush hour.
Bradford and the entire Rams offense would have benefited mightily by landing a
receiver like Justin Blackmon of Oklahoma State or Michael Floyd of Notre Dame
their tumbling draft position precluded them from selecting either so they
decided to shore up a porous defensive line with Brockers. However with the first pick of the 2nd
round the Rams did address the void in their passing game when they called the
name Brian Quick of Appalachian State, a 6’4” 222 pound receiver who many
projected as a 3rd rounder.
But the Rams liked what they saw in his workouts and reached just a
little to take the raw rookie who comes with all the athletic bells and
whistles but has not faced upper echelon competition nor does he have
experience in running more sophisticated routes. Despite his last name, Quick is not a burner,
running a 4.55 at the combine but he does possess the ability to catch anything
and everything thrown his way.
then selected Janoris Jenkins, a cornerback out of North Alabama with the 37th
pick overall, but their third pick of the 2nd round (50th)
could be a draft day coup as they tapped the Big East Offensive Player of the
Year, Cincinnati’s Isaiah Pead to be the heir apparent to Steven Jackson at
schools garnered more of the Rams front office attention when they opted to
select Montana’s star cornerback Trumaine Johnson in round 3 but they went back
to the offensive side of the ball with their next pick (4th round,
96th overall) when they called Wake Forest’s Chris Givens’ name, a
5’11” wideout who will give them another option for Bradford.
of these small school players may not make the immediate jump to the next
level, this is after all a team in the rebuilding phase and nobody expects
Fisher’s crew to contend right away.
This will give their rookies a chance to become acclimated to the NFL
and don’t forget the bounty that the Rams received from the Redskins, acquiring
their 1st round picks in 2013 and 2014!