Good morning and welcome back to Random Ramsdom. Well, it's finally here. That time of year when the only professional sporting event to watch is baseball - and NASCAR if you can get into it - is again upon us. Trust me - we'll get through this. So how do we all feel about LeBron winning a championship and being named MVP? Did I strike a nerve just asking that? I'll move on.
The best part of football in June and July is following the progression of position battles in camp, and the Rams are currently practicing with no definitive lineup barring roughly ten positions. Other than the outside linebackers and one or two defensive backs, those gaps appear to be on the offensive side of the ball. Heading into training camp, the Rams have question marks along the offensive line, at wide receiver and blocking in the backfield. The most perplexing of the unit, though, may be the tight ends. Find out why after the jump...
Rams drawing a crowd at tight end - Warning: Breathe deep, and sit down before you read this. The St. Louis Rams will be employing a very tight end-oriented offense this year. Have you heard that before? Coach Jeff Fisher and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer have always implemented TE's in their schemes, in many varying degrees and uses. Lance Kendricks figures to be first on the depth chart, the field-stretching go-to guy of the group. Other than him - assuming only two or three more roster spots - will be a blocking specialist and someone with the versatility to both fill in and play from the backfield.
Billy Devaney on what went wrong with Rams - I'm confused; should Devaney be the best or worst person to ask as to why the Rams emphatically failed during his time with the team? Regardless, he gave his two cents in a radio interview this weekend, and he did make some points. He cites instability of the entire franchise - both before and during his tenure - as well as the countless injuries which the team incurred in 2011. The lack of continuity he spoke of refers to the coaching vacancy left by Scott Linehan's departure, the sale of the team and Josh McDaniels' replacement of Pat Shurmur in a lock-out shortened off-season. Although few will look back on Devaney's time as general manager fondly, he did leave behind a much better situation for Les Snead than the one which he walked into in 2008.
Former employee alleges age discrimination, harassment - Lory Fabian, 56, is now the latest disgruntled former Ram employee who is looking for restitution in court. During her time with the franchise, she performed many important tasks and day-to-day operations as "executive assistant to head coaches and executives." Much like former equipment manager Todd Hewitt, Fabian was just shy of her 55th birthday, which would have led to increased health benefits. Apparently the on-field youth movement is not the only one going on at Rams Park.
Jaws: Bradford had "Cabin Fever" in pocket - Everybody's least favorite Monday Night Football announcer was once very high on the Rams' Sam Bradford. One year later, after Sam failed to improve on his record-breaking rookie campaign, Ron Jaworski is a little less sure. He still sees all the attributes that made Bradford a No.1 overall pick, but wonders if the quarterback may already be getting "Bulger-ized" (as some TSTers have put it) in his young career. A leaky offensive line and ineffective receivers will leave any QB feeling edgy, but many expect him to recover and rebound in 2012.
Forbes 100 highest-paid athletes - After the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning near the top of the list, Forbes 100 players in the world of professional sports become much less obvious. One, however, should come as little surprise to fans in St. Louis. Sam Bradford - the highest-paid rookie in NFL history - lands with a respectable No. 27 overall after making $27.8 million in 2011. Ideally he will better earn those paychecks next season with better play. Also of significance to those in the "Lou" is Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday, who comes in at No. 87.
Adam Archuleta attempts second career in broadcast booth - Former Ram safety Adam Archuleta went through some turbulent seasons in the ladder half of his career. After leaving St. Louis, he was never the same player, nor the same person. He says that he let his performance on the field define his own worth, and that the game was no longer enjoyable to him. Archuleta will now look to put that phase of his life behind him from behind a news desk.
Finally, one of the most impressive videos that I have yet given you. If you happen to be a San Diego Padres fan, then you undoubtedly saw my new dream girl make headlines the other day. As DouglasM said, "Kate Upton can't do this!"