Tuesday, June 19, 2012

10 Early Winners and Losers of the St. Louis Rams' Offseason

As fans, we judge the team's offseason based on what kind of players were acquired through the draft and free agency and whether or not we're excited for the season to start based on those acquisitions.

We're looking for recognizable names and blue-chip prospects who can better the team and improve the entertainment value.

For the players, who approach the NFL as a profession rather than a source of entertainment, they judge their team's offseason based on whether or not their job is now easier thanks to the added talent.

Not only that, but the players can also hold resentment against the team if the offseason was spent finding their replacement.

So based on the roster moves that have been made over the last several months, which St. Louis Rams players have benefited from the offseason? And which players are likely to suffer as a result of the offseason?  

This slideshow will look at the 10 winners and losers for the Rams this offseason.

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Predicting 2-Deep St. Louis Rams Depth Chart, Pre-Training Camp

After a highly disappointing 2-14 campaign in 2011, the St. Louis Rams are doing every thing they can to bounce back and take the league by storm in 2012.

Jeff Fisher and his crew will enter training camp towards the end of July and see their newly acquired free agents and draft picks in action with the remainder of the team.

After careful analysis of the team and the current situation, Fisher will weigh his options and cut the dead weight as he molds together the official roster for the 2012 season. 

In an attempt to predict what the roster will look like, this article will look at the top two players and each position on the team.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

St. Louis Rams: Positions Still In Need of Upgrades

With OTAs (Organized Team Activities) and minicamp nearing a conclusion in a few weeks, the St. Louis Rams are pretty much set on who will be joining the team for training camp in July. 

The Rams had six draft picks in the top 100, so they'll enter camp with a considerable amount of young talent. Also, with several key free-agent signings (Cortland Finnegan, Scott Wells, Kendall Langford, Jo-Lonn Dunbar), they've added an impressive group of veteran players as well. 

The new additions to the team will allow Jeff Fisher and the coaching staff to solve some of the problems that haunted the team last season, but there are still several gaping holes in the roster that can be filled between now and the start of training camp. 

Here are some units that could still use reinforcements: 

Left Guard 

Every spot on the offensive line has a starter penciled in expect for left guard. And although the opening-day starter is unknown at this point, Fisher has already indicated that their starter is already on the roster. 

One option is Rokevious Watkins, who was the team's fifth-round pick last April. He's a promising talent, but his inexperience may require the coaching staff to develop him for several years before he's truly ready to start. 
Bryan Mattison, who started four games last season after the line suffered a swarm of injuries, is one of the top candidates, but he'll be competing with veterans Robert Turner and Quinn Ojinnaka. 

Fisher feels that the team has options, but don't be surprised if he goes back on his word if there are several promising veterans released from other teams during training camp. 

It's vital that the team protects quarterback Sam Bradford before he becomes permanently shell-shocked. If Fisher feels that a free-agent veteran can get the job done better than any of the current options, then he won't hesitate to pull the trigger. 

Outside Linebacker 

The Rams signed Jo-Lonn Dunbar and 32-year-old Mario Haggan in free agency, but the depth behind them consists of pretty much all rookies. 

Aaron Brown was drafted by the team in the seventh round, and he's expected to provide some depth behind the veterans. However, if Brown and the other rookies are unimpressive in training camp, then Fisher might explore alternative options. 

The Rams seem to be set at the moment, but if the rookies are causing headaches, then don't be surprised if the team brings in a third veteran linebacker for depth. 


Quintin Mikell and Darian Stewart are solid players and are capable of fulfilling their duties as the team's starting safeties, but the depth behind them is quite alarming. 

Craig Dahl is the third safety, and as Rams fans have discovered over the past three years, he's a liability in coverage. 

Right now, undrafted rookies Matt Daniels and Rodney McLeod are the only other options besides Dahl. So needless to say, it's a bad situation for the Rams if either of their starters go down. 

At this time, the team has been unwilling to try third-year cornerback Jerome Murphy at safety. Murphy would be a solid option as a backup safety, but there have been no reports of him getting reps at the position. 

If the coaches are reluctant to give Murphy a shot, then don't be surprised if they bring in a budget-friendly veteran to provide some competition.

Financial Advice For 2012 NFL Rookie Class

For the typical NFL rookie, starting a career in professional football is not merely a chance to achieve a dream and play a great sport for a living, but it's also a catastrophic lifestyle change. 

Those of us who have attended college, even for a short period of time, can recall a daily life that featured microwaved noodles, a collection of quarters for laundry, as well as a car that was consistently stuck with only an eighth of a tank of gas. 

Many people rise above the penny-pinching lifestyle after graduation, but it's hardly an overnight change. It takes years to earn a comfortable life by saving money and rising through the corporate ranks. It's a gradual process. 

But imagine yourself sleeping on a futon one night, and the next night you're suddenly living on a $390,000 dollar salary (the minimum salary for an NFL rookie). Or better yet, what if your bank account is empty one day, but the very next day you're a millionaire? 

This is the scenario that NFL players face upon entering the league. 

Ex-athletes receive zero sympathy for financial troubles because of the gross amounts of money they earn over the years. However, adapting to a life of wealth is certainly a difficult task. Budgeting $100 over a month is much simpler than budgeting $5 million over 50 years. 

So with that in mind, what can the 2012 rookie class do to insure financial success?


NFC West Rankings: How the Rams Compare with Their Division

The St. Louis Rams undoubtedly have a long way to go before they improve their heavily-damaged reputation.  

They have a surplus of promising young talent to develop, but they won't garner league-wide respect until they replace potential with production and force their win/loss column to do a back flip.

You don't have the luxury of the doubt when 15 wins is all you can accumulate over a five-year period. So if the Rams want to be relevant once again, they must produce wins. And if they want to win, they must be competitive within their division. 

As it stands, knowing what we know now, how do the Rams stack up against their NFC West opponents?

This article will power rank each unit and determine which NFC West team dominates each category.