Grading the St. Louis Rams Roster: Tight End

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 25: Lance Kendricks #88 of the St. Louis Rams drops a pass as Cary Williams #29 of the Baltimore Ravens defends at the Edward Jones Dome on September 25, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)

Going into the 2011 season, the St. Louis Rams were hoping to get a lot out of their tight ends, mainly Lance Kendricks and Michael Hoomanawanui. The Rams envisioned something close to the offense that the Patriots or the Ravens run. Soon it became apparent that this wouldn't be the case. Why didn't things work out the way they were planned?

The Rams didn't have tight ends that would help them consistently in the passing game. All the tight ends on the roster can block - that wasn't the problem. The Rams realized only one of them was a big passing option, and on a team without good wide receivers, the tight end position was really forgotten most of the season in the passing game.

Lance Kendricks

Lance Kendricks, is one of the players that disappointed me the most this season. He is a rookie, and I always say expect the worse from a rookie their first year in the league. However, after his amazing off-season workouts and pretty good pre-season, the expectations were high.

The thing that bothered me the most about Kendricks was the fact that he kept dropping passes the first half of the season. He was so bad, that he was benched for awhile.

Kendricks did show flashes of what he could possibly do for the Rams in the future, so it wasn't a horrible year for him.

Receptions 28, Receiving Yards 352

Grade D

Michael Hoomanawanui - also know as Big Mike or Illinois Mike

It was surprising to see how much Big Mike wasn't used in the passing game. He was a good blocker in 2011, like he was in the 2010 season. In fact, I'm sure it was the Rams plan to have Kendricks go out on routes and Big Mike to stay at home and block more.

However, just like last season, Big Mike ended this season on injury reserve. He's only played in 16 games in two years. He may get another year or two to prove that he can stay healthy, because the Rams need someone like him, though it's going to be hard to count on that.

Receptions 7, Receiving Yards 83

Grade F

Billy Bajema

Billy was primary here to block and he got the job done in the trenches. He was never supposed to be an offensive weapon and this year wasn't different than what should be expected from him.

Bajema does a boring job, but he's hardly ever injured, so at least the Rams have someone who can do his job. It would be better if he could have been more involved in the passing game.

Receptions 9, Receiving Yards 71

C-

Receptions

Stephen Spach

Yes, I know he was on the roster, and no, I don't remember any of his catches. I could lie, but I'm going to be honest, I don't remember this guy, but I do know the Rams brought him in to help block.

Receptions 2, Receiving Yards 2

Grade N/A

Looking towards the future.

The Rams have to add another tight end to this roster. I can't stress it enough how important that is. A tight end is a quarterbacks best friend and with how this offense performed, Sam needs a lot more best friends.

Right now, I can only see Lance Kendricks and Big Mike coming back this season, Bajema contract is up, and I'm sure the Rams have better options than Spach.

I would like the Rams to kick the tires on a good veteran tight end. Most likely one over 30 and who is a balance tight end.

I'm not giving up hope on Kendricks, but no one knows if he can make that jump in 2012. A veteran could help push Kendricks, and the Rams just might be able to throw the ball to two good tight ends.

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