Archive for the ‘St. Louis Rams’ Category

alec ogletree2

Most young players, rookies or second-year, struggle with discipline. They try too hard to make game-changing plays for their team without knowing what they’re really doing is hurting more than helping. It’s a matter of simply doing their job, as Bill Belichick frequently says to his New England Patriots. With discipline, game-breaking plays will come, and without it, they won’t. Simple as that. That’s why it’s imperative for the Rams’ Alec Ogletree to stop ball-watching so frequently and start dropping into his zones without freelancing.

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“He’s really struggling over there against Robert Quinn. I know Robert Quinn is pretty set to have another breakout year — he had 10.5 sacks last year– but Levi Brown cannot handle him right now on the corner. He has two sacks already, two holding calls… Robert Quinn is winning this battle.”

— Ronde Barber, Sunday, Sept. 8.

As you may have heard, Levi Brown had a rough Sunday. While Arizona Cardinals fans were grilling and watching their favorite team take on the rival St. Louis Rams, Brown was getting burned by Rams right defensive end Robert Quinn.

In-game analyst Ronde Barber noticed Brown’s struggles midway through the third quarter when Brown was called for a hold on a would-be completion by new quarterback Carson Palmer. It was his second hold of the game, and it prevented what would have been a third sack by Quinn, who has quickly ascended to a premier pass rusher.

The third-year end beat Brown with speed, length, and quickness throughout the afternoon. He went outside and inside of Brown, picking and choosing when and where he was going to go.

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Rams fans who have been forced to endure Rams football recently are rightfully jacked about the additions of Tavon Austin and Jared Cook. Unfortunately, Sam Bradford still has to throw them the footballs they desire.

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Every quarterback dreams of The Drive. It’s a euphoric sequence of throws that encompasses a passer’s career, good or bad, in the span of a few minutes. Most remember it as the unfathomable five-minute, 98-yard drive executed by John Elway in 1987 against the (forever) cursed Cleveland Browns, but it’s not always that historic and mesmerizing for others.

It can be miserable, turning what was supposed to be The Drive into The Debacle. It can also be inconsistent like Sam Bradford’s career has been, and like The Drive against the Buffalo Bills in Week 14 was.

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A couple of years ago, the St. Louis Rams’ Jake Long was the best left tackle in football. He was a former No. 1 overall draft choice and he played like it, disabling rushers every week with unreal power, length, and fundamental consistency. In short, he was the ideal left tackle.

Today, he’s no longer viewed as the best. Injuries at the vitals of the position — namely his biceps, knees, shoulder and back –  have taken their toll on his body and robbed him of his once dominant skillset. He no longer moves as quickly as he once did, noticeably slowing down in his kickslide from when he first came into the league, and that’s made him vulnerable to speed rushers.

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Everyone wants them some Tavon Austin.

The Rams are in the middle of three straight years with two first-round picks. Thanks, Redskins.

An abundance of early picks (two in the top 25, and three in the top 50) is convenient, because the Rams also have an abundance of early needs. Danny Amendola decided that receiving passes from Tom Brady rather than Sam Bradford is better for his long-term career aspirations, and then Brandon Gibson departed for the latest dreamy team in Miami. That left a thin depth chart at wide receiver led by youth and promise in the form of Chris Givens and Brian Quick.

Even more youth and even more promise will likely be added early, but how early? Tavon Austin has been linked to many teams, but schematically he seems like the best fit for the Rams among the teams we’ve previewed so far, since he’s the most Amendola-like receiver available. But with two picks in the middle of the opening round (16 and 22), plenty of options are available, including the possibility capitalizing on Austin’s allure, and moving back to collect more picks and address more needs.

More. That’s a steady theme when you hold two first-round picks. I talked to Eric Nagel from Turf Show Times about the Rams’ possible strategies, and their early focus.

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The St. Louis Rams will likely, probably, almost definitely add to their running back depth chart during the draft. That happens when the team in question just lost a running back who had been with the franchise for 10 seasons, nine of which ended with at least 1,000 rushing yards (Steven Jackson), and the other two guys in line have a combined 108 career carries (Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson).

But unless a gift falls to them in the perfect spot, it’s unlikely that a running back will be an early focus after some expensive draft real estate was spent on Pead last April when he was a second-round pick. Which is nice, because that gives Pead an opportunity, and it’ll give us a chance to capitalize on another late-round fantasy sleeper. I love me some discounted running backs.

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