You probably should get used to daily, or least regular, updates on the St. Louis Rams offensive line. No position group is being watched more closely at training camp this year, not even the wide receivers. The starting five for this Sunday's preseason opener will look different than the starting five expected for the regular season opener.
So far, there is no indication that Barry Richardson has leapfrogged Jason Smith at right tackle on the depth chart, no official indication. (The Rams have yet to release a depth chart). Richardson was with the first team in practice on Thursday, lending more than enough circumstantial evidence to the notion that he will be on the field to start the game against the Colts this week.
We talked about the pros and cons, mostly the later, between the two tackles.
Rodger Saffold missed practice yesterday with a minor "soft tissue" issue, giving the coaches a chance to look at his potential backups. Jose Valdez worked in his place during the team's scrimmage last weekend. On Thursday, Kevin Hughes took reps in Saffold's place with the ones. So did Quinn Ojinnaka, who is quickly becoming this coaching staff's version of Adam Goldberg, a multifaceted backup lineman. We really don't know who the primary backup for Saffold is at this point.
Bryan Mattison was back at left guard with Ojinnaka on the outside.
Nobody knows what the darn is going on with center Scott Wells, who had his knee scoped in the spring.
Based on the info we have, here's a projected depth chart for the Rams offensive line.
|Left Tackle||Left Guard||Center||Right Guard||Right Tackle|
|Rodger Saffold||Quinn Ojinnaka||Scott Wells||Harvey Dahl||Barry Richardson|
|Kevin Hughes||Bryan Mattison||Robert Turner||Rokevious Watkins||Jason Smith|
|Jose Valdez||T-Bob Hebert||Ryan McKee|
|Tim Barnes||Joe Long|
On the fringes, things are not so clear, but should be as the preseason moves along. The Rams have a glut at center, and some of those players will get looks as guards. Rok Watkins could be ticketed for either guard spot; ditto Mattison.