Today I braved the heat to go to the Lindenwood Scrimmage, and boy was it hot! It was still worth it though as I got to see the Rams having practice sitting at the 48 yard line.
First off the injuries. No one was hurt form what I saw in the scrimmage. There were several notables that didn't participate. Among them are Ron Bartell, Donnie Avery, Danario Alexander, Gregg Salas, Jerome Murphy (who will be out for at least a couple of months), David Vobora and Michael Hoomanawanui (who were both out with concussions.) I still hope I can see Salas in action before I move in to college next Sunday.
My thoughts after the jump.
Whoever said that all Billy Bajema is good for is blocking clearly doesn't know what they are talking about. He had two very good catches today, one was a very tough TD catch. He may not be fast, but he has good hands, and he just knows how to get open. He is a very good guy to have as a third TE.
The offense was sloppy. This comes from the NFL Lockout "rust" factor and the fact that the Rams are putting in a new offense and with the lockout they have only been practicing it for a week. It was expected. Now I was actually impressed with a lot of our plays though. Definitely a lot of downfield throws. The two TE play action game looks promising. The Rams lined up in shotgun A LOT. Really looking forward to the preseason games.
Our backup RBs are infinitely better than Ken Darby. I actually saw good plays from RBs not named Steven Jackson. Norwood showed great elusiveness and caught a great swing pass for a first down, didn't see the speed though, and Cadillac Williams looks like a very solid backup.
Danny is still the man. On third and short he was absolutely lethal today. Also had a TD. Today more than ever I saw a guy who completely reminds me of Wes Welker. Now someone else has to step up at WR, but it nice to know that the Rams have a stud in the slot.
Speaking of the other WRs, I though that they did okay today. They struggled getting open at times (sound familiar), but almost all had good plays, except for Austin Petitis, who I though was a bit off. Bradon Gibson made some nice catches and was working with the 1st team. MSW played with the 2nd team. He made a great catch on 3rd down for 20 yards and he had a TD beating Fletcher. I though Mardy Gilyard played very well today. He made a great catch on a corner route on third and long early. I was really impressed with his ST play. He was used as a gunner at times, where I though he was great, and he "returned" punts. He still has to do a bit more to make the team but he's making solid progress.
The Rams red zone offense did great. 3 out of the 4 plays that the 1st team ran went for TDs, and the 4th might have been, but the ball was a bit out of Danny's reach. It seemed like the D had no answer for the red zone offense.
Bradley Fletcher had a really nice day in coverage, though he gave up some TDs. He had a pick though and was in good position all day. I really think he is going to take another big step forward this year.
Jabarra Williams was the player who caught my eye. He did great in coverage, he made a great pass break up on Billy Bajema and he caught a tipped ball INT for a TD. I want to see what this guy can do in the preseason. Who knows, this could be another good late round pick at LB.
Overall both sides were a bit rusty, but that's expected this is their first week of practice. Right now the D is better that the offense, which is also expected since they have the same system in place as last year. It's early and I think the preseason games will tell a lot more about the team than this half-speed scrimmage. Looking forward to Saturday's game against the Colts at the Dome! (who else is going?)
That's all for today....GO RAMS!