Another week, another batch of roster moves for the beleaguered Rams. We knew C Nick Leckey was going to IR. The surprise is that they cut fullback Dan Kreider.
After stupidly cutting Madison Hedgecock prior to the 2007 season, the Rams needed a fullback and that became apparent in the blocking mess we witnessed last year. Last spring they signed Kreider, which seemed like a good move at the time. The FB earned his stripes opening lanes for Pittsburgh running backs prior to an ACL tear.
Unfortunately, Kreider failed to live up to the standard he set with the Steelers. He missed crucial blocks in pass protection and the running game and was easily pushed aside by oncoming defenders. The PD article linked here points out one of Kreider's costly missed blocks. What happened? Kreider's knee was still hurting in training camp, causing him to miss lots of time in August. He probably just lost step, never getting back to his previous level after his injury. Or maybe the curse that seems to plague recent Rams free agent additions just got to him.
What about a replacement FB? Undrafted rookie FB Russ Weil turned some heads in training camp with some nice plays, and that earned him a spot on the practice squad. He was cut from the practice squad earlier this month. Could he be back?
The Rams also signed a couple new guys. C Cory Withrow seems small at 6'2" 290 lbs, but he did an admirable job filling in as the Chargers starting center for four games last season. He was cut by the Chargers prior to the season when they addded former Pro Bowl center Jeremy Newberry to backup Nick Hardwick. Given the play at center the Rams have had this season, can't hurt to see what he's got.
LB Larry Grant was a 7th round pick by the 49ers this season assigned to their practice squad after camp. He could bolster special teams right away, and though he's an outside LB by trade, he has the ability to play all three positions. Scouting report highlight (from the draft): "He can play all three linebacker positions and could be a very good special teams player. He has blocked 15 kicks in his college career. With his versatility and special teams contributions, he could stick on an NFL team and be a contributor." Here's more on Grant from Niners Nation. Grant also got into a fist fight with 49ers TE Vernon Davis.