Thursday, September 3, 2009

St. Louis Rams vs. Chiefs Pregame Thoughts

The St. Louis Rams will take on the Kansas City Chiefs tonight at the Edward Jones Dome. This game will be blacked out locally since it has not sold out. You can catch the taped delayed showing on Fox 2 at 10:30 CST in the St. Louis area. Both teams will be playing for the PFC (Private First Class) Cup, I mean Governor’s Cup. The Rams and Chiefs combined to go 4-28 lastyear, and a horrific 11-53 over the last two seasons. This is just another reason Rams PSL holders should be upset. The fact that season ticket holder are forced to pay full price for these preseason games is a joke. In addition it is upsetting that your casual fan can find tickets to the preseason games as low as $5 on Stubhub and other major ticket outlets. Teams are looking at the bottom half of their roster by game four of the preseason as well as being cautious with starters. We already know we will not see Marc Bulger or Matt Cassel do to injury and it is unlikely we will see much or any of Steven Jackson or Larry Johnson. This game is basically a try out. Below are some things we will be watching for.

There is a battle for the 3rd QB spot between Brock Berlin and Keith Null. I give the edge right now to Null who was drafted by coach Steve Spagnuolo, is younger, has a bigger upside, and is cheaper to keep.

There is a log jam for backup running back. Samkon Gado seems to have earned the #2 spot for now. Antonio Pittman or rookie Chris Ogbonnaya will probably be odd man out. I will project Pittman will be cut.

The Rams have quantity but not much quality at WR. Nate Jones is odd man out, but veterans Tim Carter and Ronald Curry will also be playing for a roster spot tonight. Do we really need to spend big money on Ronald Curry?

The O-line is pretty much set and has some versatile players on it as well. This is bad news for the likes of Renardo Foster, Tim Taltran, Mark Setterstrom and Eric Young. It will just come down to how many O-line the Rams plan to keep.

On the D-Line the emergence and play of Darell Scott and Gary Gibson could have veterans Adam Carriker and Hollis Thomas on the bubble at DT. I would not be surprised if Antwon Burton and Carriker are cut. Eric Moore has played well in preseason at DE but has it been good enough to earn a spot? With James Hall, Leonard Little, and Chris Long as a solid rotation how many backups will they keep? Adeyanju, Ah You, and Moore will battle for a spot or maybe two tonight.

Very excited about the Linebacker prospects with James Laurinaitis on the Rams. With Will Witherspoon back on the outside where he belongs who will be the other starting LB? Culberson has not played much at all in the preseason and I look for him to be cut. Chris Draft is a better coach and backup than starter. I expect to see a lot of Larry Grant tonight. I would love to see him win the other spot and then have the Rams keep Chris Chamberlain and David Vobora as backups and special teamers.

Now for maybe the most interesting part of tonight's game and roster decisions the Rams have to make. With Tye Hill being traded to the Atlanta Falcons early this week who will line up with Ron Bartell as the other starting cornerback as the 2009 NFL season starts? The Rams only have 5 corners on the roster so they may not cut any of them unless they pick up another player this week. I do not believe Jonathan Wade can be a starting corner he struggles playing nickel and was not good on special teams last year either. You know early in the season our opponents are going to try and match up T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Santana Moss, and Greg Jennings on Wade. I don't want to see that. Are youngsters Quincy Butler, Justin King, or Bradley Fletcher ready to start in the NFL, I don't think so. We are already forced to play one when in the nickel. I look for the Rams to pick up a veteran corner in the next week.

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