Safety day continues here at Turf Show Times. Unofficial safety day, that is. Pursing the St. Louis Rams current group of safeties, I noticed an interesting listing on the team roster on the official web site. Craig Dahl is listed as a free safety, the only player listed as a FS now that Atogwe is gone.
Probably, it means nothing, especially at this point in time as we wait for some indication that the 2011 NFL season is actually going to happen.
Then again, maybe it's a reflection of how the team is thinking about its defensive backfield right now. Dahl and James Butler are the Rams' top two safeties on the roster now. Dahl earned the starting job over Butler in training camp last August. He's also seen time at FS, much of it coming relief of Atogwe during the 2009 season.
Devaney and Spagnuolo spent some time talking up undrafted rookie Darian Stewart, listed generically as a safety, in the wake of the Atogwe decision earlier this year. And what have we been saying about safeties being interchangeable in the eyes of Spags?
It seems unlikely that this year's two safety picks, Jermale Hines (5th round) and Jonathan Nelson (7th round), would be contributing much beyond special teams this year, so projecting them as starters at this point is a bit of a stretch. However Spagnuolo has a good track record of turning unheard of defensive backs into contributors, and a beefed up pass rush will much to help the back seven in the Rams defense.
Should the Rams roster look exactly the same at safety come September (it won't), Butler and Dahl will be the starting safeties, with Stewart battling them for a job through camp and the preseason.