Friday, June 27, 2008

Rams sign QB Bruce Gradkowski

The Rams claimed Gradkowski, 25, off waivers after he was released May 30 by Tampa Bay

Gradkowski will battle Brock Berlin for the 3rd QB spot behind Marc Bulger and Trent Green.

The 6-foot-1, 220-pounder, was drafted from Toledo. a Pittsburgh native, started 11 games in 2006 after first-teamer Chris Simms suffered a spleen injury in Week 3. The Bucs went 3-8 during that span, and Gradkowski's quarterback rating was a meager 65.9.

Team experimenting O-line combinations

Last year, the Rams were forced to reshuffle their offensive line several times because of injuries, the Rams coaches would try some different combination on the inside part of the offensive line.

Here are current offensive line

Left Tackle - All Pro Orlando Pace should be a fix on this position. He's now recovering from the shoulder injury he suffered last season.

Left Guard - Newly acquired Jacob Bell is very excited to play alongside Pace and will provide some mean streak on that position.

Center - It will be a toss up between Brett Romberg or Richie Incognito.

Right Guard - Mark Setterstorm is set on this position unless Incognito gets the center position.

Right Tackle - Alex Barron is still set on this position unless they would like to look on rockies Roy Schuening or John Greco.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Day 2 Draft Summary

Overall Assessment: The Rams traded up several time to get the best possible player for the positions they want to fill up.

Here are Rams picks on Day 2

ROUND 3 (No. 65 overall): JOHN GRECO
Position: Offensive tackle
Height, weight: 6-4, 326

Greco was the first offensive lineman to win the school’s Norman Cohen Award as the team’s top freshman. After starting at right tackle his first year, he moved to the left side for his final three years. He was a member of the All-Mid-American Conference first team his final two seasons and a team captain and third-team All-American his senior year.

Good bone structure. Goes full blast until the whistle. Uses his size and lower-body strength to get movement off the snap. Has the knee-bend to stay low in his pads off the snap and good recovery quickness to protect the pocket.

Lacks the athleticism and long arms to be effective reaching and mirroring edge rushers on the left side. Looks a bit sluggish trying to go long distances. Occassionally comes off a block early. Tends to lunge when punching if he gets his hands on the outside.

Could become the Rams third tackle, though he also could see time at guard.


ROUND 4 (No. 101 overall): JUSTIN KING
Height, weight: 5-10, 192
College: Penn State

Selected to the Sporting News’ Freshman All-American team, starting five of 12 games as a slot receiver in addition to reserve duty at cornerback. He switched full-time to cornerback in 2006 and was a first-team All-Big Ten pick in 2007. Was involved in an off-campus incident in April 2007; charges of criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and harassment were dropped because of lack of evidence.

Good leaping ability. Ran 4.3 speed in the 40, and has a smooth running stride. Shows proper timing to make plays on the ball in flight. Shows good acceleration staying with receivers on deep routes. Possesses a closing burst to prevent long gains on throws underneath.

Strength was rated as marginal, and he seems to shy away from contact in run support. He tends to give receivers a large cushion, which bigger receivers use to their advantage. More of an ankle-biter as a tackler.

Should fit into special teams and provide depth in the defensive backfield. Consider him a project.


ROUND 4 (No. 128 overall): KEENAN BURTON
Height, weight: 6-0, 202
College: Kentucky

No. 4 in Kentucky history in TD catches (25), third in receiving yards (2,320) and fourth in receptions (182). Dangerous kick returner who amassed more than 4,000 career all-purpose yards.

Good size, speed (4.4 for 40 yards) and leaping ability (43½-inch vertical). Nice change-of-direction skills. Crisp route-runner. Has ability to get open. Willing to play hurt.

Long list of injuries in college. Doesn’t always use hands to make catches, cradling the ball instead. So-so burst off the line of scrimmage.

Will get a shot to break into corps of wideouts. Also will get a look as a return man.


ROUND 5 (No. 157 overall): ROY SCHUENING
Offensive tackle
Height, weight: 6-4, 308
College: Oregon State

Schuening made 50 consecutive starts at Oregon State, a school record, but played part of 2007 with pneumonia. He most often played at right guard but shifted to right tackle for the last four games of his senior season.

Has a well-proportioned frame that can carry at least another 15 pounds. Plays with aggression and 100 percent effort until the whistle. Has good field vision and picks up blitzes alertly. Good position blocker who keeps his feet working in-line.

Can suffer mental lapses on the field. Sometimes reacts slowly to a bull rush and is slow to get good hand placement against double moves. Must do a better job of shifting his weight and lowering his pads.

Schuening should poivide depth on the offensive line, probably at guard.


Height, weight: 6-2, 226
College: Tulsa

The Tulsa coaching staff considered Chamberlain the best athlete on the squad. He was recruited as a quarterback and defensive back but made the transition to weakside linebacker. He ended his career as the school's fifth-leading tackler, registering 352 in 50 games and was an honorable mention All-American his senior year.

Impressive flexibility, agility, balance, body control and change-of-direction skills. Reads and reacts to the plays instinctively. Smooth turning out of his backpedal and has a sharp initial burst to get a good jump on the ball.

He will need to add more bulk and improve his overall strength. Struggles to split double teams and loses battles when a lineman gets into his body. He can overpursue and miss tackles.

Depth at outside linebacker, though he has changed positions so often that could be subject to change.


ROUND 7 (No. 252 overall): DAVID VOBORA
Height, weight: 6-1, 236
College: Idaho

Vobora’s 134 tackles as a junior ranked seventh in the NCAA and his 148 in 2007 ranked third. Played more at weakside linebacker but occasionally moved into the middle. As a senior, he was an All-American honorable mention, All-WAC first-team member and the Vandals’ MVP.

Compensates for lack of size with good instincts. He’s often around the ball and almost never bites on play action or misdirection. Demonstrates good discipline and is quick to read and react to the run or pass. Takes good angles to close on the ball with urgency.

Struggles to add bulk and maintain weight. Lacks the range to chase down plays at the opposite end of the field. Does not show much explosion behind his hits. Backs push him easily when running right at him because of his high stance.

Depth at strong side linebacker, special teams.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Day 1 Draft Summary and Analysis

As I expected the Rams 1st round pick was the safest prospect in former Virginia defensive end Chris Long compare to LSU DT Glenn Dorsey. Coach Scott Linehan really liked C. Long's "intangibles" and he is excited to see him part of the defensive line that inludes ex-Pro Bowlers Leonard Little and LaRoi Glover with emerging tackles Adam Carriker and Clifton Ryan. Long will add some versatility on defense as he can play both left and right defensive end positions as well as stand up pass rusher as a linebacker (similar to what Philadelphia did Jevon Kearse before he went back to Tennessee).

Round Two on the other hand was a bit of a surprise personally as the Rams drafted WR Donnie Avery from University of Houston. I admit I have no knowledge about this guy because I would assume Cal WR DeSean Jackson would be here. Avery was the first pick overall for the Wide Reciever position (I was surprise that top WR prospects Devin Thomas and Limas Sweed where not picked during the 1st round). I did some research on Avery and i found out that he's a double threat as he has exceptional speed and he is also a good kick and punt returner. Some experts (and many Rams fans) argue that this team reached to make him the first receiver taken in the draft. But the Rams got something they needed. Once the run on receivers started in the second round, he probably would have gone somewhere else.

Houston played a spread offense, so Avery attacked defenses from every angle. He caught 210 passes for the Cougars, including 91 for 1,456 yards as a senior. For Donnie Avery's Scouting report you can go here.

To summarize the Rams draft, the team were able to fill some needed areas particularly on the defensive end position and depth at wide receiver and possible backup to Dante Hall.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Rams' Free-Agent Sscorecard of of 4/12/08

Who's coming:
TE Anthony Becht (Tampa Bay)
2 years, $2 million, $270,000 signing bonus

G Jacob Bell (Tennessee)
6 years, $36 million, $7 million signing bonus

K Josh Brown (Seattle)
5 years, $14.2 million, $4 million signing bonus

WR Reche Caldwell (Washington)
1 year, $645,000, $40,000 signing bonus

QB Trent Green (Miami)
3 years, $8.9 million, $2.1 million signing bonus

CB David Macklin (Washington)
1 year, $770,000, $40,000 signing bonus

Who's staying:

S Jerome Carter
1 year, $520,000

G-T Adam Goldberg
1 year, $645,000, $40,000 signing bonus

OT Brandon Gorin
1 year, $645,000, $40,000 signing bonus

DE James Hall
2 years, $3 million, $700,000 signing bonus
Hall was released, then re-signed.

RB Travis Minor
1 year, $755,000, $25,000 signing bonus

C Brett Romberg
1 year, $645,000, $40,000 signing bonus

Who's gone:
G-T Milford Brown (Carolina)
1 year, $645,000, $15,000 signing bonus

WR Isaac Bruce (San Francisco)
2 years, $5.5 million, $1 million signing bonus

LB Brandon Chillar (Green Bay)
2 years, $5.3 million, $550,000 signing bonus

QB Gus Frerotte (Minnesota)
2 years, $4 million

Draft Prospect Analysis: Vernon Gholston

Defensive End | Junior | Ohio St.
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 266 | 40-Time: 4.67

A terrific athlete...Good speed and quickness...Has a cut muscular physique...Very strong with good power...Has an outstanding motor...Does a solid job against the run...Has excellent range and is a terror in pursuit...Is able to get pressure off the edge or as a bull rusher...Good tackler...A hard worker with top intangibles...Very productive...Versatile and can play more than one position...Still has some upside.

Needs to be more consistent...Questionable awareness and instincts...Undersized if he were to play defensive end...Does not have a lot of experience dropping into coverage...Has some work to do when it comes to technique...May have to learn a new position at the pro level...At times he gets by on his natural ability...Does not have an elite burst...Some durability issues...A better athlete than football player?

Could be either a 4-3 defensive end or a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL...Broke his left hand in the '05 season opener and redshirted...Beat Michigan's Jake Long for the only sack he surrendered as a senior..A workout warrior with rare physical tools but he was also very productive..Can be a Shawn Merriman type of player at the next level with some development..The best pure pass rusher in the '08 Draft.

GHOLSTON BEAT Michigan's Jake Long

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Draft Prospect Analysis: Chris Long

Defensive End | Senior | Virginia

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 272 | 40-Time: 4.75

It's beginning to look more and more like this will be a defensive end for the Rams. For a while there Jake Long looked like the obvious choice but even though he is still in the picture the signing of Jacob Bell to help shore up that offensive line probably makes it much less likely. The defensive line has been a problem area in St. Louis for a while now so after upgrading the interior with Adam Carriker and Clifton Ryan last year it might be time to look outside. Leonard Little is going to be 34-years-old next season and James Hall was cut so from a talent and need perspective there may not be a better fit than Chris Long, although if he's gone don't rule out Vernon Gholston.

Scouting Report:


Has good size and bulk...Very active and has an unparalleled motor...Hard worker and team leader with top-notch intangibles...Strong, tough and powerful...Sheds blocks well...Outstanding hand use...Does a terrific job versus the run...Technically sound and understands leverage...Great in pursuit and has a burst to close...Real smart with good instincts and awareness...Versatile and could play in either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme..Durable...Has a lot of experience..Had a fantastic senior campaign.

Doesn't have great timed speed or quickness...May not have a lot of upside...Not a great natural pass rusher...Isn't going to strike fear into the hearts of opposing offensive tackles off the edge...Was not overly productive prior to his senior year.

Father, Howie, was an All-American defensive end at Villanova and enjoyed a 13 season Hall of Fame career with the Oakland Raiders where he made 7 Pro Bowl appearances, won a Super Bowl ring, and was the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year twice...Younger brother, Kyle, is a standout baseball player...Chris won the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation's top defensive end in 2007...Played in a 3-4 defense in college and that might be his best fit at the next level...May never be an "elite" NFL defensive end but he should be a very good player for a long time.
Career Statistics
2004 6 5 2.0 1.0
2005 12 46 10.0 2.0
2006 12 57 12.0 4.0
2007 13 79 19.0 14.0
Totals 43 187 43.0 21.0



source:NFL draft Countdown

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Reche Caldwell Signs 1-Year Contract to play for the Rams

The Rams added some depth to the receiver position Tuesday, agreeing to terms on a one-year contract with veteran wideout Reche Caldwell.

The former second-round choice of the San Diego Chargers comes to the Rams from Washington , where he played eight games last season under then Redskins and current Rams offensive coordinator Al Saunders.

Caldwell had 15 catches for 141 yards in 2007. He has spent six seasons in the league, his best coming with New England in 2006 when he had 61 grabs for 760 yards and four touchdowns.

On his arrival, Caldwell should immediately be in the mix as a potential slot receiver behind starters Torry Holt and Drew Bennett.

source: St. Louis

Bell Agrees to Terms [Repost]

A snow storm moving into the St. Louis area might have been enough to keep Jacob Bell in St. Louis for a little while. But that won’t go nearly as far as the six-year contract he agreed to with the team on Monday evening.

The Rams and Bell agreed to terms after a getting-to-know-you session that lasted most of Monday afternoon, according to team sources. The athletic guard comes to St. Louis from Tennessee, where he earned a reputation as one of the league’s fastest-rising young players on the interior of the offensive line.

Bell immediately fills a void on the offensive line and should help form one of the most athletic left sides in the game next to tackle Orlando Pace. At 6’4, 295 pounds, Bell isn’t the mauler type, but that doesn’t mean he can’t hold his own as a run blocker in addition to his nimble feet in pass protection.

The Titans drafted Bell in the fifth round of the 2004 NFL Draft and Bell has been an ascending player since. He has been a starter for three of his four seasons in the league In that time he has played in 55 games with 46 starts.

The left guard position has been ravaged by injury in recent seasons as starter Mark Setterstrom was lost to a season ending knee injury. Bell has started 43 games at left guard but also has experience at tackle where he has started a trio of games on the right side.

According to one team source, Bell was the highest rated interior lineman on the team’s free agent list heading into the offseason.

Terms of the contract were not immediately available. Bell is expected to be introduced as a Ram officially on Tuesday in a 10 a.m. news briefing at the Russell Training Center.

Monday, March 3, 2008 By Nick Wagoner Senior Writer St. Louis

Rams All-Pro Kicker Jeff Wilkins Retires; Signed Josh Brown as replacement

RAMS Kicker Jeff Wilkins Retires

Kicker Jeff Wilkins officially decided to retire on February 29, bringing to an end one of the most successful careers a kicker has ever put together.

Wilkins had indicated that retirement could be on the horizon after the team’s final game of the season against Arizona because of some health issues, specifically a worn down and beaten right (kicking) leg.

Wilkins apparently decided that the leg wasn’t good enough to return for a 15th season. In that final game, Wilkins tied the record for most consecutive extra points made at 371.

Never one for the spotlight, though, Wilkins will go into retirement with just a share of that record.

But nobody can doubt Wilkins’ track record. On a 14-year career, 11 with the Rams, Wilkins set essentially every kicking record in franchise history and will leave as one of the most accurate kickers in league history.

Wilkins holds the NFL record for greatest success rate on kicks of 49 yards and longer and owns team records for longest field goal (57 yards), field goals made (265) and scoring (1,223 points).

Wilkins struggled some in 2007, mainly because of health issues as he was 24-of-32 on field goals and hit all of his 25 extra point attempts.

For most of his career, Wilkins has maintained he would know when the time to step away would come. He played in 200 games over the course of his career.

Rams signs Josh Brown as Wilkins' Replacement

A simple twist of fate brought Josh Brown home or at least as close as he can get to home Saturday morning.

In the prime of his career as one of the league’s top place kickers, Brown had a good grasp on his options as recently as Thursday night. Those choices didn’t include St. Louis.

By Friday morning, Rams kicker Jeff Wilkins had retired and the Rams immediately knew they didn’t have to travel too far outside the NFC West Division to find Wilkins’ replacement.

So it was only fitting as the man they called “Money” retired that the Rams pursued Brown and gave him plenty of currency to ensure he would be in St. Louis for the next five years.

With that, the Rams made Brown one of the highest paid kickers in the league, signing him to a five-year deal worth about $14 million Saturday morning.

source: St. Louis

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Free Agency Scenario so far

The free agency period so far was full of surprises as some familiar players are gone and some have came back. The most notable loss was when former Pro Bowler and long time Rams Wide Receiver Isaac Bruce was released due to salary-cap reasons. He later on signed with the division rival San Francisco 49ers who now have former Rams Head Coach Mike Martz as the offensive coordinator.

On the other hand one player is glad to be back as a Ram. Former Kansas City and Miami quarterback Trent Green was signed to be Marc Bulger's back replacing Gus Frerotte. Green was happy to be back in St. Louis as he grew within the area and has many friends living in the area. The signing of Green has at least established a solid backup for QB Marc Bulger.

2008 Rams Offseason : The Hiring of Al Saunders

The Rams enter the 2008 season with a lot of revamping that is desperately needed to improve from one of the franchise's worst seasons. The Rams (3-13 in 2007) recently hired offensive coordinator Al Saunders to help improve the offense that has lost its touch since Scott Linehan replace Mike Martz as head coach 3 years ago .

Saunder has worked with the Rams before as Dick Vermeil's recievers coach and has worked with Vermeil in Kansas City as the offensive coordinator. Saunder's style is similar to Mike Martz style of offense as Saunder is a former assistant under Don Coryell's system.

A Gridiron Fanatic Since Hgh School

I've been a fan of American football which makes me different from other Filipinos who are more into basketball (or the NBA specifically). But I find American football more exciting than basketball. Maybe because of the hard hits and the fast-pace plays that it brings to game.

I got introduced to American football or the NFL when my father rented a all four VCR tapes of the San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl Games (Superbowl XVI, XIX, XXIII and XXIV in particular). With those games I instantly become a fan the great (and future Hall-Of-Fame) quarterback Joe Montana.

I followed the NFL games until I graduated highschool. From there, my interest for football games was put on hold because I was very busy in college.

In 1999, my passion for the game got a back when I was able to watch Super Bowl XXXIV. There I saw how Superbowl and NFL MVP guided the St. Louis Rams to win their first ever SuperBowl trophy. Since then I've been following the NFL and St. Louis Rams even in the off-season.

My favorite time every year is when I do share my opinions on who should the Rams pick during the June draft picks. So far, I was disappointed by the Rams picked.

Since the evolution of the internet, I can now follow the team's progress and other news thru and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch websites. Now I made this blog to share my rants, opinions and news about the St. Louis Rams.

Undergoing MyBlogLog Verification