Al Saunders: matchmaker

Ok, start turning over rocks, look in your closets, etc. we've got to find some football to talk about. Between dragging out the Super Bowl to February, the Pro Bowl, training camps, and the draft, the NFL made almost every month of the year interesting to the fans. They extended the season for me and you and all those hard working outfits that sell the things you need to have as a fan. It's almost a year round game. Almost. We've entered the dry spell, left to drift like a loney sailor at sea with nobody but his scroungy ship mates to catch his eye. Argh. It's a long slough 'til July maties, but I think we can make it. Tomorrow, we'll kick off the TST fan projection series, wherein we collectively posit the numbers for a key Rams player...similar to what you've seen 'round the internets with baseball fan projections. Anyway, more on that tomorrow. Here's a few links for a slow Monday.

Lost, somewhat, in all this talk about how many sacks Chris Long will or won't have in his frist season with the Rams is informed speculation about how often Haslett will employ the 3-4 that served the Rams so well last season. Yes, the Rams now have two studs to start at DE in a healthy Leonard Little and second overall pick Long, but Long's a rookie and Little's long in the tooth and will need to be kept fresh by not playing each and every snap. And, and, and...it would be foolish not to use a scheme that was so successful against the pass last season. 

I can't imagine we've seen the last 3-4 set with a play ending in a Will Witherspoon sack. Haslett, as you know, likes to mix up his play calls. Bringing out the 3-4 with Wtiherspoon featured as a rushing LB will keep opponents honest and fans happy. It also might make Will Witherspoon as vrey, very rich man when his contract with the Rams ends in 2011. You see, in resolving the Terrell Suggs situation in Baltimore, the league created the "defensive end-linebacker" franchise designatio n, whereas prior to that a pass rusher was either a DE or a LB, which was not a technicality given the disparity in salary attached to either position. Anyway, the more Witherspoon plays as a pass rusher, the more claim he has to that mantle come contract time.

Of course, with the collective bargaining agreement now looking like it might lapse in 2011 , it could be dead issue anyway.

I tried to forget, but reminders that the Rams scored just five rushing touch downs last season just keep appearing. That's likely to change this season. Mike Sando at ESPN takes a look at the Al Saunders/Steven Jackson offensive match made in heaven.

The PD looks at the Al Saunders/Randy McMichael match made in heaven.

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