Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rams are gonna adapt some "Air Raid" concepts on their offense

With Rams drafting Tavon Austin and his fellow college mate Stedman Bailey, the Rams are rumored to incorporate some of the plays of  the West Virginia's Air Raid offense. It made sense since those plays utilizes the skills of both players. As of this writing, it is reported that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer are working Austin also as a runningback since he has played the position in college. 

Having Austin as Running back specially in spread offense would give the sense of confusion how they will defend Austin. The Rams are very effective in running the no-huddle offense least season since Bradford has done that during his Oklahoma days and couple this with his new receivers who thrive also in a no-huddle type of offense, I can presume that they can become a prolific offense maybe rival the Air Martz offense of the Greatest Show in Turf days.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Undrafted Free Agent Watch

It's been a week or so after the NFL draft and each teams are scrambling to sign undrafted free agents to fill the training camp roster. Among UDFA's the Rams signed here are some the notables that I believe has the potential to make the 53 player roster limit.

Jonathan Stewart
Texas A & M
Even though the Rams drafted Alec Ogletree to fill one of the outside linebacker spot, the unit is quite thin in terms of depth. Stewart is a big linebacker (6'4") but lacks the athleticism compared to the other SEC linebackers but he is great against the run and has the straight line speed to be effective on blitz plays. Stewart can backup the middle or the strong side spots and is great in special teams.

Ray Ray Armstrong
Strong Safety
Cody Davis
Free Safety
Texas Tech

The Rams are very thin at the safety positions that they drafted T.J. McDonald to fill the free safety position while Darian Stewart is penciled in at Strong Safety but has been injured last season. Jeff Fisher preferred his safeties big so they sign two big ones in Cody Davis (6'2" 205 lbs.) and Ray Ray Armstrong (6'3"  216 lbs.) Davis was one of Texas Tech's team captains and he is good in coverage while Armstrong has been out of football since 2011 due to character issues but has been projected to be a top 5 Strong Safety prospect prior to his ejection from the team.

With virtually three defensive back coaches in the Rams staff (Head Coach Jeff Fisher, Defensive Coordinator Tim Walton and DB Coach Chuck Cecil), I won't be surprise that these two supplants Rodney McCleod and Matt Daniels.

Robert Steeples
Steeples is one of the those big cornerbacks who know Tim Walton because he played for him in Memphis in 2008. The only problem with Steeples is that he needs to bulk up (he's current reported weight is 190 lbs). once he does that he can challenge Quinton Porter for the 5th cornerback spot.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Rams 2013 Post Draft Review

The NFL draft is in the books and St. Louis Rams management was able to fill the needs with high value picks. As a long time Rams fan I would like to share my opinion about each pick and grade them accordingly.  Take note that this review is based on my personal research of each prospects' scouting reports online.
Round 1 - Pick #8
Tavon Austin
Wide Receiver/Return specialist
West Virginia
Grade: A
It very clear that Rams management are in love with Tavon Austin since they held the private workout in Morgantown, WV. They are very impressed with Austin to the point that they trade up and draft him ahead of the Jets (who are rumored to be very interested with Austin too). Austin is practically an upgrade to Danny Amendola and will surely create mismatches against opposing teams. Aside from filling the slot receiver spot, Austin is penciled in as the team's kick and punt returner taking over for the ineffective Janoris Jenkins and Isaiah Pead.

Round 1 - Pick #30
Alec Ogletree
Outside Linebacker
Grade: A-
If at first the Rams traded up to grab Austin, the Rams traded down from #22 to #30 and was still able to get their man. I suspect that the Rams where waiting to see if Kenny Vaccaro would drop to them but unfortunately the Saints pick him up by pick #15. So the Rams traded down and was able to fill the next area of need which the OLB spot. Alec Ogletree is the best cover linebacker in this class and should probably fill the other linebacker spot.

Round 3 pick#71
T.J. McDonald
Free Safety
Grade: B+
The Rams finally addressed one glaring need by pick USC's T.J. McDonald. The son of former Pro Bowl safety Tim McDonald, this big, hard hitting safety is what Jeff Fisher likes in his safeties. Most draft experts question his coverage skills and viewed as a 4th or 5th rounder but Jeff Fisher viewed otherwise. I personally grade this a B+ as it will be determine by training camp.

Round 3 pick#92
Stedman Bailey
Wide Receiver
West Virginia
Grade: A-
It's now clear why the Rams QB's where smiling too much during the private workouts at West Virginia. Not only they where impressed by Tavon Austin but also with his fellow wide receiver buddy Stedman Bailey.  Bailey will be the possession receiver that Rams needed since the departure of Brandon Gibson. Even at 5'10" Bailey is also explosive and can play outside or at the slot. With him and Austin, the Rams can exploit some mismatches in opposing defenses.

Round 4 pick#113
Barrett Jones
I considered this as a steal for the Rams as Jones is very versatile that he can play ALL five positions very well that he has won Awards as the nations top offensive lineman. He is also very intelligent and a team player. I would assume Jones drop this low because of their concerns with his history of injuries. Jones will likely start at LG if not a backup to all five spots.

Round 5 pick#149 
Brandon McGee Cornerback Miami Grade:B McGee not only fills the need for a cornerback depth left by Bradley Fletcher but also a good special teams player because of speed and is very physical his specialty is the "gunner" during punts and kick offs.

Round 5 pick#160 
Zac Stacy
Running back
The Rams traded all 6th round pick to trade up in the 5th round and pick Zac Stacy. Stacy is not the typical "Big running back" in the Steven Jackson sense but he is.more of a compact "between the tackles" running back in the Ray Rice sense. .