The biggest Rams news in terms of free agency has been the signing of cornerback Cortland Finnegan. He is very familiar with new Rams head coach Jeff Fisher from their days together in Tennessee and was a huge reason why he chose the Rams when the opportunity presented itself. Cue Peaches and Herb’s classic, “Reunited.”
Rams make the trek down south to visit the Dallas Cowboys and feast their eyes on JerryWorld. But what will they be taking on their road trip? Their 0-5 record which will most likely become 0-6 by the end of it.
Looks like QB Sam Bradford will still be donning his stylish walking boot leaving A.J. Feeley to lead the team into the luxury dome in Arlington.
Let’s take a quick peek at the Rams’ rankings vs. the Cowboys’ rankings:
The first and last categories are a lesson in opposites. Yet the Cowboys are only sitting at 2-3, 3rd in the NFC East.
Could be another week where the passing game will be put on the back burner as QB A.J. Feeley will most likely be starting in place of the injured Sam Bradford.
WR Brandon Lloyd will get his first start as a Ram just days after being traded from the Denver Broncos. With his working knowledge of the Josh McDaniels offense he’s expected to step right in and make a contribution. I’m not expecting a huge game from Lloyd but at least the threat of him on the outside has to give the Cowboys something to think about.
Throw in rookie WR Greg Salas and Danario Alexander and you have a semi-decent list of targets. Just have to hope Feeley is able to deliver the ball to them.
The inconsistent Rams offensive line will have to check down the numerous defensive threats: LB’s DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, and Sean Lee just to name a few.
The Rams will once again have to rely and lean upon the legs of their RB Steven Jackson. This could be much to ask especially against the number one ranked rushing defense. Jackson ran for 96 yards against the Packers who came into the game ranked 3rd in the league.
Jackson ran for 160 yards and 3 TD’s in the last game against the Cowboys back in 2008. I’m not sure he can put up those kind of numbers with his current offensive line woes though.
The Cowboys WR corps is one of the most talented on paper. Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, and a name that Rams fans should be familiar with, Laurent Robinson.
You can’t forget their TE who basically serves as the Cowboys’ Danny Amendola. When QB Tony Romo gets in trouble he looks for his security blanket – Jason Witten. All these players will be a handful for the banged up Rams secondary.
The one area where the Rams D might get a reprieve is from the Cowboys running game. Starter Felix Jones has already been ruled out with a high ankle sprain and they will attack with a RB by committee approach with rookie RB DeMarco Murray and Tashard Choice.
The Rams will look for their tried and true defensive stars LB James Laurinaitis, DE Chris Long, and CB Quintin Mikell to take it to the next level in getting pressure on QB Tony Romo. (Congratulations to Quintin Mikell and his wife on their newest addition this week.)
I still think the Rams secondary is still very much a work in progress and they’ll get picked on all afternoon by Romo. For the Rams’ sake, here’s hoping “Bad Romo” appears at Cowboys Stadium on Sunday. A gal can always wish for a pick-6, right?
Who will win?
Y! has the Rams as 13 (THIRTEEN) point underdogs. I think the Cowboys will cover the spread and defeat the Rams 30-13. Rams will score a passing TD to Brandon Lloyd and Josh Brown will kick two FG’s.
And if you guys missed the genius-ness that is Trey Wingo and the crew at NFL LIVE here’s what they call “the most unpredictable ride in the NFL: Riding the Romo-Coaster.”
The expressions on Marcellus Wiley’s face as he’s going through the ride is priceless. Equally as impressive is how Trey Wingo goes through the entire segment without missing a word is truly amazing. Well done, sir. Enjoyed it greatly on many levels.
Are you all familiar with the Madden curse?
Players who have graced the cover the wildly popular and addictive football video game from EA Sports have had a history of bad luck. Their careers have either taken a turn for the worse or have seen their season end due to injuries.
Notable cover boys who have fallen to the Madden curse include:
Eddie George (Madden ’01), Daunte Culpepper (Madden ’02), Michael Vick (Madden ’03: broken leg), Ray Lewis (Madden ’04: wrist injury & no INT’s), Donovan McNabb (Madden ’05: torn ACL/meniscus), Shaun Alexander (Madden ’07: foot injury), Brett F**** (Jets: Madden ’09: torn bicep), Troy Polamalu (Madden ’10: MCL sprain/PCL).
But could the Rams have their own jinx no one knows about?
Last night I brought you news about veteran long snapper Chris Massey. He was cut just a couple days after his “My Ride” segment aired on the Edward Jones jumbotron during the second preseason game against the Tennessee Titans.
While doing some research for that post I found a couple more “My Ride” videos. I’m sure you’ll see where I’m going with this…
First up on “My Ride Out of St. Louis” is former Rams WR Laurent Robinson. Laurent’s choice vehicle: 2007 Infinity M35 – sleek and clean.
Robinson came to the Rams in 2009 after spending two years with the Falcons. His brief tenure in St. Louis was marked by a leg injury (broken fibula) sustained in the beginning of the 2009 season. He was never the same after that and was not resigned by the Rams this summer.
Robinson eventually signed with the San Diego Chargers on August 3, 2011.
Former WR Keenan Burton makes a quick appearance in Robinson’s video which goes to show you even a cameo in “My Ride” is not suggested.
The second player to show off his wheels was former Rams LB, 2008′s Mr. Irrelevant, David Vobora. He shows off his 1984 Chrysler Town and Country LeBaron convertible complete with fuzzy dice – vintage sweet ride.
Despite being the last pick in the 2008 draft he quickly became a factor in the Rams defense playing all three linebacker positions and contributing on special teams.
This off season he became the odd man out with the addition of Brady Poppinga, Zac Diles, Ben Leber, and Jabara Williams. The Rams released Vobora on August 12 and it was just reported on yesterday he had signed with the NFC West rival Seahawks.
For those keeping score, it’s 3 for 3. The odds are not in your favor.
So my advice to those players who wish to remain a Ram: Don’t tempt fate and make a “My Ride” video – no matter what. Otherwise this is what you’ll be seeing when people click on your Rams player bio.
Many people had concerns about the impact all that time off would have on the players. And if the last three weeks are any indication, then we’re in for a long season.
More than 10 Rams players are not participating during practices with big names like LB James Laurinaitis, TE Michael Hoomanawanui, and CB Ron Bartell just to name a few. The biggest lost so far has been CB Jerome Murphy who seems to be lost for the season with a broken ankle.
Looking at the most updated roster you’ll find a plethora of new names. Those, including me, who thought Billy Devaney and Kevin Demoff were gun shy were sorely mistaken. The Rams didn’t make huge waves during free agency with any glitzy signings but they made some key acquisitions to shore up the holes left by the departure of S OJ Atogwe, WR Laurent Robinson, LB Larry Grant, OL John Greco, TE Daniel Fells, and FB Kenneth Darby.
They even addressed the pesky “Who’s going to be Steven Jackson’s back-up?” question by bringing in two change up RB’s in Cadillac Williams and Jerious Norwood.
Let’s take a look at the new additions, shall we?
Among the new free agent faces you’ll find in Rams Park are S Quintin Mikell (from Eagles), OG Harvey Dahl (from Falcons), WR Mike Sims-Walker (from Jaguars), DT Daniel Muir (from Colts), RB Cadillac Williams (from Buccaneers), RB Jerious Norwood (from Falcons), LB Brady Poppinga (from Packers), LB Zac Diles(from Texans), CB Al Harris (from Dolphins), and LB Ben Leber (from Vikings).
Along with the Rams draft picks: DE Robert Quinn (first round, North Carolina), TE Lance Kendricks(second round, Wisconsin), WR Austin Pettis (third round, Boise State), WR Greg Salas (fourth round, Hawaii), S Jermale Hines (fifth round, Ohio State), and S Jonathan Nelson(seventh round, Oklahoma).
(That’s not including all the undrafted free agents that have come and gone since the lockout was lifted.)
As the preseason progresses we will still see changes to that list until the final 53 is determined by September 3.
They should just install a revolving door at all the NFL camps, don’t you think?
If you’re old enough you’ll remember the days when Campbell’s alphabet soup was all the rage. Tomato broth with little chunks of vegetables and those cute little pasta letters. I’d try to spell out my name or make up funny looking words because, well, you just could never find the letter that you really needed.
Who knew those countless cans of soup would come in handy.
Today marks an important day in the NFL. This morning the NFL (league) and the NFLPA (NFL Players Association) are still putting the finishing touches to the new CBA (collective bargaining agreement). Steelers players were told the vote will be happening at noon Central Time.
Assuming the players are able to get 51% affirmative votes the league year will officially begin at 3pm CT. That’s when all classes of free agents will be able to officially join their teams for the first time since training camps opened last week.
According to Howard Balzer here is where the Rams stand as of Tuesday. (Wednesday was a mandatory day off from camp).
So far, the Rams added the follow UFA:
- S Quintin Mikell
- CB Al Harris
- G Harvey Dahl
- LB Zac Diles
- DT Justin Bannan
- DT Daniel Muir
- WR Mike Sims-Walker
- LB Brady Poppinga
Wednesday, Rams waived the following players: Safety Travon Bellamy (NFI), Tackle Karri Kuutila, and LB Maurice Simpkins to go along with DT Arthur Thomas.
As of today the roster is at 88 and with the signings of RB’s Jerious Norwood and Cadillac Williams it will bring the Rams up to 90 by the end of today.
Injury Update as of Tuesday:
- DE Robert Quinn – knee (NFI)
- CB Ron Bartell – mild ankle sprain
- CB Mikail Baker – knee
- LB Jabara Williams – knee
- CB Marquis Johnson – knee (PUP)
- FB Brit Miller – knee (PUP)
In other Rams news, WR Laurent Robinson announced via Twitter that he will be going to the Chargers.
Rams have moved today’s training camp to coincide with the start of the league year at 3:00pm CT.
I’m planning on being at Rams Park to catch a glimpse of the entire team and will send update via Twitter @ThePigskinArch.
So I’m doing my usual bedtime routine: brush my teeth, wash my face, check Twitter one last time before I actually put my head down on my memory pillow. This is what I come across:
While the rest of the team was building camaraderie and bonding at Lindenwood University, Steven Jackson was obviously absent. And from this tweet he’s not planning to stick around. What’s the deal?
Ok, I get the fact that these workouts were put together at the last minute. I’ll even give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he scheduled his Paris getaway well in advance. But he was in town, why not show up and at least show his face?
To make matters worse, even UFA’s TE Daniel Fells and WR Laurent Robinson were on hand despite not being formally on the team’s roster.
Tony Softli on 101 ESPN says, “SJ was here this week. I talked to him on the phone.” He continues:
Steven works out on his own a lot. You’d like to see him here because of the leadership qualities that he has but he’ll come to camp in better shape than anybody on the team and Coach knows that.
That’s who he is. He’s a warrior.
I don’t have any doubt SJ will be in great physical condition when training camp opens. But that’s not the point. He’s a warrior, huh? Well, right now he’s acting more like a M.I.A. grunt than a captain.
As a team leader, shouldn’t he be at these workouts? In this instance I question his lack of leadership. SJ’s lost out on an opportunity to meet with these news guys, earn their respect, and pass along any little bit of experience he can. Epic fail.
With the 8 year veteran, SJ, missing in action who are they turning to for guidance and direction? The second year QB, Sam Bradford.
Sam made calls to get the offensive players together. He’s been sharing his knowledge of the new McDaniels offensive playbook with current players and the new draftees, Lance Kendricks, Austin Pettis, Greg Salas. He’s taken command of this team during these workouts.
This is a Sam Bradford team. You can see him put his stamp mark on this team right now with the leadership qualities. And everyone is flocking to him. When he says something, it’s like EF Hutton, everybody turns and listens.
It’s real simple. They’re following the leader. They’re following Sam Bradford right now.
Maybe when SJ returns from his Paris vacation he can explain his side of the story. I for one, would love to hear it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of SJ. I’m just disappointed that he hasn’t played a bigger role in helping the team during these workouts.
I think Tony Softli summed it up quite nicely:
While Sam is the face of the franchise, that guy (SJ) is the work horse. I think it’s a great combination of what they have here.
Right now it would seem the team belongs to Sam. And with Josh McDaniels at the helm of this new pass happy offense I wonder if McDaniels will draw in the reins.
Did everyone survive the weekend? Â I barely did and the two hardest days are just ahead. Â Let’s just say I’m not the best at hosting things and yet I find myself in that position tomorrow night. Â Sounds petty but it’s literally been sucking the life and sleep out of me.
On the other hand, yesterday was Mother’s Day. Â My hubby and kids did their best and that’s all I could ask for. Â Despite being a busy family day we did make time to go out and have some yummy Thai food for dinner – Thai Kitchen in Maryland Heights. Â I love their red curry!
1) ESPN.com: Ok, checking my Twitter timeline during dinner wasn’t cool on my part but hey, I’m addicted just like many of you. Â I started reading about all the craziness that was the Lakers-Mavs game. Â Andrew Bynum, you’ve shown brief flashes on greatness on the court but you dude, are a sore losing punk. Â If that were to happen off the court his butt would be in jail for battery/assault.
That’s not the way Phil Jackson should have ended his incredible coaching career – and in front of his kids and family none the less. Â The Zen master deserved a better send off than that.
2) STLSportsMinute.com: Continuing our discussion of the many WR’s the Rams will have at training camp this summer (if we indeed have a season) who would you keep and who would you cut from the roster?
The only clear cut WR to stay on the team would be Danny Amendola for me. Â And if they can resign Mark Clayton I’d take him back too. Â The others would have to show me 1) that they’re back healthy and 2) that they’re really ready to put some hard work in. Â DX, Donnie Avery, Brandon Gibson, Laurent Robinson, Mardy Gilyard, and Dominique Curry you’ve been thrown a challenge flag.
3) NewsRecord.org: Speaking of Mardy Gilyard. Â Wanna see what he’s been up to during the lockout? Â He must have known I was throwing out that challenge flag. Â Looks like he’s working out and getting ready for the season.
I’m going to have a crazy 48 hours. Â I’ll try and be around on Twitter but I probably won’t be coming up for air until Wednesday morning. Â Send some positive vibes this way if you can. Â Appreciate it!