Wednesday, August 31, 2011

St. Louis Rams Cut Roster Down To 80

Over the course of the last three days the St. Louis Rams have cot WR Joe West, TE Schuylar Oordt, WR Jared Jenkins, LB Na'il Diggs, S John Dempsey, DE Kenneth Charles, CB Dionte Dinkins and CB Mikail Baker to get down to the 80 player limit. Teams must now make some very tough choices to get down to the 53-man roster limit by midnight on Saturday, September 3rd. Overall these cuts came as no surprise however Mikail Baker was a 7th round draft pick this year. The Thursday night game for the Rams vs. Jacksville will be the final chance for players to show what they have to try and make the squad. The Rams are going to have some tought choices to make especially at wide receiver, linebacker and in the secondary. In addition to draft picks Greg Salas and Austin Pettis, the Rams also have Danario Alexander, Dominique Curry and Mardy Gilyard. I believe the last three all sit on the bubble and will need to play very well to make the team. 33% of the current roster will be gone by Sunday so stay tuned for all of the updates.

Sy Stlvinnie -

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

St. Louis Rams Preseason Game 3 Grades

Quarterbacks - C+
Sam Bradford, A.J. Feeley and Thaddeus Lewis combined to go 17 of 31 for 159 yards with 2 TD's and 2 interceptions. Yards per attempt back down to 5.1 as the Rams failed to throw the ball down field much against the Chiefs. Bradford was outstanding the first two drives ending each with touchdown passes. On the Rams third possession Derrick Johnson intercepted Bradford on the Rams 7 yard line. Bradford played until half time, and Feeley played most of the second half.

Runningbacks - B+
The Rams running game rebounded from a bad week last week as the blocking was much better from the offensive line. The Rams had 40 rushes for 170 yards and a 4.3 yard average. Steven led the way with the most preseason action I can ever remember him having. Jackson pounded the rock throughout the first half and had 72 yards on 15 carries. Williams and Norwood combined for 70 yards in 19 carries while Toston did see any action.

Wide Receivers - C+
The Rams had receptions from 11 different players on the night. The Rams running backs only had two catches on the evening and I really think the Rams are going to need to get the backs into the passing offense more. Mike Sims-Walker and Lance Kendricks each caught touchdown passes from Sam Bradford. There was not much running after the catch or spectacular plays on this night. The Rams again had a couple of drops and simply have way too many receivers still on the roster (12). Are Mardy GIlyard and Dominique Curry bring enough to the special teams to make the roster?

Offensive Line - B+
A MUCH better effort from the starting offensive line in this one. In addition to the 170 yards rushing how about their fire throughout as they were in several scrums throughout the first half. I think Dahl may just turn this line into something special down the road. Carnell Williams is a very good blocker and hopefully he will teach Steven Jackson how to pick up blitzes better than in the past. The Rams also only allowed 1 sack during the game.

Special Teams B
Mardy Gilyard still does not look very comfortable on the field and I am not sure he is the answer as the kickoff or punt returner. Also when you could not even get on the field for a year don't jump up and down after catching a short pass act like you have been there before. Quinn blocked a field goal attempt and Curry was close to blocking a couple of punts. Brown and Jones are still the best combo but they had little impact on this game.

Defense - B+
The starting defense was outstanding in this one. The Rams basically held the Chiefs scoreless in the first half except for the field goal when the Chiefs took over on the Rams 7 yard line after the Bradford interception by Johnson. The Rams held one of the best rushing offenses to 58 yards on 20 carries after being eaten alive by the Titans last week. Quinn and Hall each had a sack and the Rams had decent pressure throughout. The Rams were unable to create a turnover during the contest and I am still concerned about how invisible Chris Long can seem at times.

Coaching - A-
This was a nice bounce back game for the Rams starting offense and defense. I like how Josh McDaniels set the tone for the game with the consistent running of the ball in the first quarter. The Rams starters appear ready to go. The Rams are 3-0 in the preseason for the first time since moving to St. Louis. The staff will have some very tough decisions to make over the next week.

By Stlvinnie -

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

St. Louis Rams Ultimate Fan Contest

Hello Rams fans I just signed up for the St. Louis Rams Ultimate Fan Contest and you should to. It is easy just follow this link It is easy and you can join the contest in a matter of minutes. As everyone knows I am a huge Rams fan and would love your support in the contest. If you wish to support me in my bid to be the Ultimate Rams Fan please vote for Stlvinnie.

Enter and you could win a 2011 Pro Bowl experience in Hawaii, 2012 Rams season tickets and more. So what are you waiting for please sign up or at least put in some votes for me Stlvinnie (Page 12 of entries). Voting ends December 26th 2011.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

St. Louis Rams Preseason Game 2 Grades

Quarterbacks - B
Sam Bradford, A.J. Feeley and Thaddeus Lewis combined to go 21 of 34 for 256 yards with 1 TD and 1 interception. All three performed well especially if you consider the lack of blocking they received from various members of the Rams offensive line. Bradford and Feeley each threw a touchdown pass and Lewis led a great 2 minute game winning drive to close out the game. Overall a pretty nice performance. In addition the Rams threw the ball downfield much more in this game and they averaged almost 2 more yards per attempt than week 1.

Runningbacks - C
The Rams had a measly 44 yards on 21 carries in this one. Steven Jackson started but could only gain 10 yards on 6 carries. There simply were no holes. Every back seemed to dance a little and them get swallowed up. Can't really judge much here since there really was nowhere for them to run.

Wide Receivers - B
The Rams had receptions from 15 different players on the night. Brandon Gibson caught an electric 83 yard pass from Sam Bradford and even Donnie Avery was able to get on the field and into the end zone. Week 1 star Lance Kendricks only caught 1 ball for 9 yards but everyone was involved. Salas and Pettis contributed and even Marty Gilyard caught a pass. Much better job of hanging onto the ball than last week.

Offensive Line - F
That's right an F! The Rams number one job in these four preseason games should be to keep hands off Sam Bradford. Bradford was belted around for a whole half of football. The Rams allowed 3 sacks and only averaged 2.1 yards per carry on the ground and should be ashamed of their continual year after year inability to pick up the blitz.

Special Teams A+
What can you say about Josh Brown and Donnie Jones. Again I will tell you they are the best combo in the NFL. Brown hits the game winner twice at the buzzer after the bush league timeout call from the Titans. Donnie Jones has a 48+ yard average on 8 punts while knocking 3 out of bounds inside the 20 yard line. These two guys are worth at least two victories during the season. Chris Chamberlain is a beast but I believe the Rams will miss Chris Massey who was cut on Monday.

Defense - C-
Simple things like staying in your lanes (Chris Long) and stopping the cut back run eluded the Rams on this night. The Rams allowed the Titans to convert almost half of their 3rd down attempts (8-17) and gave up 198 yards on the ground and the Titans did not even have Chris Johnson on the field. The second unit held the Titans scoreless in the second half which game the Rams a chance to win the game. The Rams James Butler did have an interception and Quintin Mikell made some solid tackles.

Coaching - C
The Rams were a little flat after the opening play touchdown from Bradford to Gibson. I liked the fact that McDaniels had some longer passes called during the game. With as much as the Rams have spent on the offensive line I would like to see them be able to dominate a game or at least pick up the blitz.

By Stlvinnie -

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Rams Beat Titans 17-16

The St. Louis Rams scored on the first play of the game and the last play of the game in their 17-16 victory Saturday night over the Tennessee Titans. In between the Rams were outscored 16-7 and only gained 200 total yards. The Rams were not as sharp as they were last week against the Colts. The Titans killed the Rams on the ground gaining 198 yards on 35 carries for a 5.3 yard average. Luckily Chris Johnson did not play or a couple of the runs would have been taken to the house. Chris Long badly overplayed several cut back runs by the Titans. In addition the interior of the Rams D-line did not play well at all throughout the game. The Rams who were nearly perfect last week committed 7 penalties and one costly interception against the Titans.

The game started with a scintillating 83 yard touchdown pass from Sam Bradford to Brandon Gibson. Sam Bradford finished 8 of 15 for 138 yards with 1 TD and 1 interception. Bradford was hounded the entire half and took some brutal shots from the aggressive blitzing Titans front. The Rams O-line did not perform well and their blitz pickup was not solid either, as they allowed 3 sacks. A.J. Feeley took over in the second half and finished 5 of 9 for 44 yards and a nice TD pass to Donnie Avery. Again Rams fans need to know Feeley is a very solid NFL backup QB. Thaddeus Lewis took over late in the game and led the Rams on a 12 play 67 yard drive that ended with a game winning Josh Brown 42-yard field goal.

On the ground Steven Jackson who usually plays little if any in the preseason started in the backfield for the Rams. The Rams O-line was equally as inept run blocking as the Rams could only gain 44 yards on 21 carries. Jackson finished with 10 yards on 6 carries. Carnell Williams was the most effective back with 23 yards on 6 carries. Through the air Greg Salas and Fendi Onobun led the team with 3 catches each. It was nice Donnie Avery on the field and contributing with a nice touchdown catch, now we will have to see if he can stay on the field week in and week out.

The Rams will have plenty to work on prior to their third preseason game coming up on Friday against the Kansas City Chiefs (0-2).

By Stlvinnie -

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Friday, August 19, 2011

St. Louis Rams - Titans Week 2 Preview

The St. Louis Rams will play game 2 of the preseason Saturday night at the Edward Jones Dome against the Tennessee Titans. The Rams coming off of a tremendous 33-10 victory last week against the Colts will look to keep up their solid play against the short-handed Titans. The Titans who finished last in the AFC South last year at 6-10 will be without their star running back Chris Johnson who is still holding out. In addition to Johnson being out WR Kenny Britt will also most likely not play, the league is looking at possible disciplinary action for some offseason issues Britt had with the law. The Titans seem to be on their way down while the Rams seem to be on their way up. In the offseason the Titans lost their head coach Jeff Fisher in addition to QB Vince Young. The Titans seem to be in a transition phase and part of that transition may include surprise first round draft pick, and 8th overall QB Jake Locker. Jake Locker played well in relief of Matt Hasselbeck going 7 of 10 for 89 yards and 1 touchdown in a 14-3 Week 1 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. With Chris Johnson out Jamie Harper led the Titans in rushing last week with 8 carries for 27 yards. Harper is a 4th round draft pick out of Clemson. The Titans spread the ball to 11 different receivers in Week 1 while they showed a nice 26-28 pass/run balance. I think new head coach Mike Munchak will have his work cut out for him in 2011.

According to the St. Louis Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo, the starters may play the entire first half on Saturday night, and the includes RB Steven Jackson. Jackson normally sees very little action in the preseason but has also stated that he would like to play as long as the first unit is on the field. The Rams ran well behind Harvey Dahl last week and I am looking forward to watching Jackson pound the rock over the right side. WR Mike Sims-Walker should debut for the Rams Saturday night as well. Sam Bradford who looked ok last week should have all of his weapons heading into this game. I know this is only a week 2 preseason game but after last week I would be pretty disappointed if the Rams do not seriously outplay the Titans at least up until halftime.

By Stlvinnie -

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

St. Louis Rams Preseason Game 1 Grades

Quarterbacks - B
Sam Bradford, A.J. Feeley and Thaddeus Lewis combined to go 20 of 31 for 173 yards and a TD. Rams quarterback play was solid and efficient however they only averaged 5.6 yards per attempt. I expected more vertical attack in Josh McDaniels debut. A Danario Alexander drop cost A.J. Feeley a touchdown.

Runningbacks - A-
Carnell Williams, Jerious Norwood and Keith Toston were outstanding seeing the majority of the Rams carries on the ground with Steven Jackson not seeing any action in this one. Williams, Norwood and Toston combined for 141 yards on 30 carries and two touchdowns. The competition may have brought the best out of Toston who is fourth on the depth chart. Williams started the game and looked great and Norwood showed his speed and quickness once he came in.

Wide Receivers - C
Second-round draft pick TE Lance Kendricks was the star of the show with 5 catches for 47 yards and a touchdown. Mike Sims-Walker left the game early with a leg injury and Donnie Avery did not play so still hard to tell what the overall squad will look like when the season starts. Overall there were too many drops including Alexander in the end zone. The Rams have to find a solid six wide receivers.

Offensive Line - A-
The offensive line looked great with Harvey Dahl out there. The Rams O-line did not allow a sack or anyone near the quarterback. In addition the Rams dominated time of possession by running the ball 41 times for 169 yards. I still think Jacob Bell gets overpowered at the line from time to time but overall this unit looks very solid.

Special Teams A+
The St. Louis Rams flat out have the best punter/kicker combination in the NFL. Donnie Jones averaged 43 yards on punts not downed inside the 20 in which he had two of those. Josh Brown who stated he lost 14 pounds and is in the best shape of his life showed it by nailing a 60 yard field goal. Brown was 4 for 4 on field goals and had 15 points on the night.

Defense - B+
The Rams held the Colts to 10 of 25 passing and intercepted 3 passes. In addition the Colts did not convert on a third down conversion until the fourth quarter. I love that Craig Dahl and Brady Poppinga love to bring the hammer. New additions Mikell, Bannan and Poppinga all played well. Robert Quinn played quite a while and had some pressure. I would have liked to see the Rams get to the quarterback but they did apply some nice pressure throughout the game.

Coaching A+
I can be tough on the Rams but on this night I applaud the coaching work that has been done. The Rams dominated the game from start to finish. The Rams had only 2 penalties, allowed no sacks, and no turnovers which is fantastic for it being the first preseason game of the year. In addition the Rams had contributions from their free agents and draft picks. Major kudos for getting these 90 guys to play as a unit after less than two weeks of practice.

By Stlvinnie -

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

St. Louis Rams Whip Colts 33-10

Sure the Indianapolis Colts were without Peyton Manning but the St. Louis Rams beat them in every facet of the game Saturday night at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams got out of the gate early as their big free agent pickup safety Quintin Mikell intercepted Curtis Painter on the third play of the game and returned it to the Colts 16 yard line. Four plays later Sam Bradford hit second round draft pick Lance Kendricks for 6 yard touchdown pass and the Rams took an early 7-0 lead. After the Colts closed within 7-3 Craig Dahl intercepted Dan Orlovsky and returned it to the Colts 16. The Rams were unable to get into the end zone but Josh Brown kicked a 30 yard field goal to go up 10-3. The Rams continued to dominate in the second quarter behind A.J. Feeley who had a nice game going 10 of 14 for 100 yards. The Rams scored 13 points in the second quarter capped by a 60 yard field goal by Josh Brown as the half ended with the Rams leading 23-3. The Rams first and second units were dominate and looked very sharp as they did not draw one penalty and held the Colts without a third down conversion.

The Rams started just as hot in the second half as they drove 73 yards in 9 plays to take a 30-3 lead after Keith Toston busted in from 5 yards out. The rest of the second half was your normal first preseason game as both teams shuffled in and out backup players. Other than a bad overplay by Tim Atchison who was beaten by Taj Smith for a 44 yard touchdown pass from Dan Orlovsky the rest of the game was pretty vanilla. The Rams were happy to just run the rock with Keith Toston & Van Stumon as the Rams ran for 169 yards on the evening. The Rams closed out the scoring with a 53 yard field goal from Josh Brown who was spectacular on the evening with 15 points. The Rams won 33-10 and will face the Tennessee Titans next Saturday night at the Edward Jones Dome.

By Stlvinnie -

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Danny Amendola - Our Warrior

Since the loss of Issac Bruce and Torry Holt the St. Louis Rams have been looking for a #1 receiver. Well the Rams drafted two receivers in the 2011 NFL Draft and just picked up Mike Sims-Walker as a free agent. The Rams have 12 receivers in training camp and will most likely keep six or seven to open the 2011 NFL season. We may need a #1 but lets not forget what we already have. We have Danny Amendola a 5-11 185 lb solid sparkplug of a receiver. Amendola steped up while returning the second most punts in the NFL he was also 9th in receptions with 85. Maybe we do not have a #1 but we have Danny. The same Danny Amendola that had ONE reception less than Brandon Marshall and Andre Johnson. I am not saying Amendola is as talented or will score as many touchdowns as the high priced top receivers in the NFL, but what he will do is compete every second of every game and be where Sam Bradford expects him to be. With the Rams switching from Pat Shurmur to Josh McDaniels look for Amendola to catch balls in better situations with more running room instead of his back to the defense. I am usually the person that points out that St. Louis would rather have a hard worker like Bob Bassen or Bo Hart than an actual player with talent. Well in Amendola I see both. I bet Tom Brady is very happy having Wes Welker and Sam Bradford has Danny Amendola so don't put him down just because of his size. Danny Amendola stuck out in the Rams scrimmage on Sunday and there is no reason that he will not stick out in 2011. Why shouldn't we love a 25 year old receiver that can ball with the big boys.

By Stlvinnie -

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

St. Louis Rams Scrimmage

It was fun to watch some football today as the St. Louis Rams held a scrimmage in front of an estimated crowd of 6,200 in Harlen C. Hunter Stadium at Lindenwood University. It was scorching hot before the players even put their pads on. It was great to see an excited fan base to check out the new players and welcome the 2011 NFL season. The 80 minute scrimmage was the same format as last year as the first team offense started against the second team defense. The Rams offense was badly outplayed by the defense until the Rams started their red-zone drill. Sam Bradford was 4 of 5 for 47 yards and four touchdowns during the drill as Billy Bajema and Danny Amendola shined. Overall Bradford was 13 of 20 passes for 140 yards and four touchdowns and one interception.

Danny Amendola had 8 catches for 70 yards and a TD and definitely stole the show. In addition to the catches he ran 50+ yards a few times after the whistle to show his hustle and determination. I thought other stars were Mike Sims-Walker and Billy Bajema who saw a lot of action. Harvey Dahl took a couple swings at George Selvie about half way through the scrimmage confirming his bad boy attitude. I think Steven Jackson is going to love running behind Dahl. Jackson had one carry for three yards in very limited action. It was great to see the Rams free agents Mike Sims-Walker, Harvey Dahl, Cadillac Williams, Jerious Norwood, Al Harris, Brady Poppinga, Zac Diles and Justin Bannan get plenty of action.

The St. Louis Rams will now prepare to play their first preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts next Saturday night at the Edward Jones Dome.

By Stlvinnie -

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rams Sign RB Cadillac Williams

According to Jim Thomas The St. Louis Rams have signed RB Cadillac Williams. Williams was the 5th overall selection in the 2005 NFL Draft and has played six seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Williams is 5-11 215 lbs and 29 years old, and will provide another solid backup option to Steven Jackson. The Rams continue to add solid depth everyday however I worry about the health of the depth. Cadillac Williams is another player that has had a ton of injuries over his college and professional career. I do not believe Williams has ever been truly healthy since his college day at Auburn. Williams has had a lot of serious injuries including tearing both patella tendons, a broken collar bone, broken fibula and several foot injuries. Over the course of his professional career Williams has had 968 rushing attempts, for 3677 yards and 20 TDs along with 134 receptions for 909 yards and 4 touchdowns. Last year Williams was passed over by LeGarrette Blount who took over as the starter. In my opinion Williams best days are behind him and I truly believe Jerious Norwood will have more impact on this Rams season. I do congratulate the Rams for continuing to improve the roster, build competition and provide coach Steve Spagnuolo with Versatility.

By Stlvinnie -

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rams Sign RB Jerious Norwood

Tuesday the St. Louis Rams signed five year veteran running back Jerious Norwood to a one year deal. Norwood was a 3rd round selection in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons and has played his whole career to date with the Falcons. The Rams FINALLY have a serious threat at running back behind Steven Jackson. The Rams have once again picked up a player that has had a major injury as Norwood is coming off a torn right ACL which ended his 2010 season before it even got started. On the plus side Norwood is a burner with a ton of potential and not a lot of miles on his 28 year old body. In five years Norwood has 375 attempts for 1995 total yards and a 5.3 yard average and 7 touchdowns. Jerious also has nice hands and has been decent out of the backfield with 96 receptions for 912 yards and 3 touchdowns during his career. Norwood can also return kicks and has a 25.5-yard career average on kickoff returns. I think people have forgotten how good Norwood is. In two seasons at Mississippi State Norwood rushed for over 1000 yards both season. In addition Norwood has sub 4.4 speed and has averaged over 5 yards a carry for his pro career. After the 2008 season I recall a lot of teams thinking of prying Norwood away from the Falcons. We may look back at this being the Rams best free agent pickup of the summer.

By Stlvinnie -

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Rams Sign LB Brady Poppinga

The St. Louis Rams continue to add players with a winning pedigree to their roster as they signed LB Brady Poppinga to a one year deal on Tuesday. Poppinga collected a Super Bowl ring last year while playing for the Green Bay Packers. Poppinga was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft after playing college football at BYU. Like most BYU players they enter the NFL a little older and Poppinga is no exception as he served a two-year Mormon mission in Uruguay and is now 31 years old. Poppinga was a strong specimen coming out of college with 4.6 speed at 260 pounds. Since then Brady has had an ACL tear early in his career and his 2010 season was cut short as well by another knee injury. Yes that is correct the Rams have added yet another player with previous serious knee injuries. The Rams will play 10+ games on turf in 2011 so I hope our players can hold up to the wear and tear. Poppinga had 244 tackles, 5 sacks and 2 interceptions during his six seasons with the Green Bay Packers. Don't look now but the Rams may field a formable set of linebackers in 2011 with Zac Diles, James Laurinaitis and Brady Poppinga.

By Stlvinnie -

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