May 11, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher during mini camp at ContinuityX Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
Well, this is it. The St. Louis Rams officially, again, kick off a new era in the team's history. Once we get done with this game, we can stop calling it a new era, leaving the bad cliches to the poorly edited freebie sports magazines living in bins outside discount pizza places around the state of Missouri.
The starters will probably play about a quarter or so. Watch for some younger players to get mixed in with the starters as the game goes along. Fisher wanted some of the more hotly contested position battles to get looks with the first team and against the Colts starters.
A few things to watch for in today's game:
- Penalties - preseason games usually see players jumping offsides and doing some things the coaches will not like. Watch to see how versed Fisher's team is in this. Remember the offensive linemen getting booted from the practice field when they jumped offsides in practice?
- Tackling - Fisher made this point time and time again. It seems so obvious, but missed tackles killed the Rams last year, especially in the secondary. The defense is expected to give this team a tough identity, but if they tackle poorly they'll have to wait.
- Speed - No, not the 40 times, the speed of the game. Watch to see how players are executing. It's a sign of how well they know the playbook and their roles. It's a key part of a team being able to get the fundamentals straight.
- Blocking - Obviously the offensive line is going to be under plenty of scrutiny. Watch how the individual players fare. Also, keep an eye on how OC Brian Scottenheimer and OL coach Paul Boudreau use their blockers. Are they favoring an extra tight end or running back on on side or another?
- Under Pressure - Sam Bradford struggled when the pocket collapsed on him in his first two seasons. Last year things got so bad that he was anticipating pressure that wasn't there. For the Rams to improve and Bradford to remain a viable option at QB, he has to be able to work under pressure.
Keep it tuned to the comments here with your thoughts. I'll hopefully have some videos and GIFs from the game to share as we go through it.