Blog Entry

Rams camp talk

Posted on: August 7, 2011 4:01 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 10:18 am

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Danny Amendola led the St. Louis Rams in catches with 85 last season. The problem is that he averaged just 8.1 yards-per-catch.

"My role was a third-down guy, get 4-, 6-, 7 yards a catch," Amendola said. "That's the role I was forced to fill. With this new offense, it's a lot different. I could catch balls for 100 yards per game or 50. It will be fun."

When your leading receiver is under 10 yards per catch and your quarterback  (Sam Bradford) averages 6 yards-per-attempt, the offense will come under scrutiny for being one that shies away from the deep ball.

Expect that to change under new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.  He will throw the ball more, and he will change the way the Rams play. Bradford is raving about the new offense, and so is Amendola.

"It's a lot less predictable because we have so many variations and formations and motions," Amendola said.

The Rams still lack true deep speed. Brandon Gibson and Mike Sims-Walker appear to be the two best options for improving the deep passing game. Donnie Avery would be another option, but he is battling back from a knee injury and is limited in practice.

Look for the Rams to be a team that uses a lot of receivers. It wouldn't be shocking to see four or five guys with 50 catches.

While watching practices, you could see a real effort to get the ball down the field.

"I do think you will see more of that in this offense," Amendola said.

With Bradford now in his second season, I think you can expect his yards-per-attempt numbers to go up in the 7.0 range. If not, the Rams will get  a receiver early in next year's draft.

----The Rams did a nice job of signing vets than might help them to one-year deals. One of those is Sims-Walker. Some of the others are running backs Cadillac Williams and Jerious Norwood, linebacker Brady Poppinga and defensive tackles Justin Bannon and Daniel Muir. In the work I watched, Muir did some nice things. Sims-Walker, who said he played on a high-ankle sprain in the second half of the 2010 season for the Jaguars, caught a couple of deep balls in the days I watched the team work.  He caught a touchdown pass to end the Rams scrimmage by beating corner Bradley Fletcher. Credit the Rams for doing a nice job inking these vets to low-money, low-risk deals. 

----Running back Steven Jackson, now in his eighth season, averaged under 4 yards per carry last season. He said there were a variety of reasons, but he wouldn't throw anybody under the bus. So I will. The lack of a deep-passing game meant a lot of eight-man fronts. The inside three players on the offensive line also didn't do a good job in the run game. That's why guard Harvey Dahl was signed as a free agent. He is a mauler in the run and will provide a nastiness the line needs. Jackson was so excited about getting Dahl. "To have not only what's on paper a good offensive line, but to have some size, it's special," Jackson said. "I'm looking forward to it."

---It's time Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis get his proper due. He should have gone to the Pro Bowl last season. He is a feisty leader of the defense. He practices hard as well.

----I asked Amendola about the comparisons to New England receiver Wes Welker. "We're short, Caucasian receivers," Amendola said. "You don't see that a lot. It's a good deal for me. He's such a great player." Amendola said he knows Welker since they both went to Texas Tech.

---Rams corner Bradley Fletcher is coming off his breakout season and could be a guy to watch for potential Pro Bowl votes this season. He will team with Ronald Bartell to give the Rams a nice 1-2 punch at corner. Second-year player Jerome Murphy was expected to be the nickel corner, but he fractured his ankle Friday. Veteran Al Harris is in the mix at corner, but the team is unsure how much he has left. Harris played for Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo when he was the coordinator of the Eagles defense.



Category: NFL

Since: Nov 14, 2008
Posted on: August 8, 2011 11:14 am

Rams camp talk

You can't shine a turd, but nice try Prisco. You act like them using 4-5 receivers regularly is a good thing, but they have to create trick plays, have more formations than most, etc., because they grossly lack talent at WR and they did nothing for Bradford in adding a legit weapon for him in the offseason.

Bradford is legit though, so he'll make due with what he has. I see the Rams in the thick of things again in the NFC West (I'm not sure that actually says anything really), but not much improved.

Since: Apr 4, 2009
Posted on: August 7, 2011 6:42 pm

Rams camp talk

Go Rams

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