So when thinking about potential players we would go after in the upcoming free agent period of 2013, I began to think about where we need some help. One position for sure is in the Tight End side of the offense. Don't get me wrong, although there have been many this past season that have bashed Lance Kendricks, I say that he did exactly what the game plan called for him to do. I think he made a jump this season keeping healthy, on the field and serving in a multifaceted capacity as full back, lineman, tight end, down field blocker and all around "whatever-man" for a truly sputtering St. Louis Rams Offense this past season.
Does he need some help? Heeeeelllll yeah!! So who do we go for?
Well for years I always thought that the best way to truly build a team is from the draft up. Yet that isn't what Jeff Fisher and Les Snead are doing with this franchise. They are building a culture of players who desire to be with this club and love this community. They are making a statement of who the Rams really are and not just what they would hope to be. To do that you must have some solid veterans to show the next guys what's "good" in the NFL. This is masterfully being done at Rams Park.
Granted, this article is by no means saying that our other guys like Matthew Mulligan, and Mike McNeill didn't play a major role in the limited successes of the offense this past season. We just need a little more help. Another playmaker. A balla!
I wonder if going after free agent tight end Dustin Keller wouldn't be a better investment than what lies ahead in the draft? I find that when looking at a free agent it's best to start with what they bring to the table:
"Keller was drafted by the New York Jets 30th overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. Keller was slowly phased into the offense and eventually finished with productive numbers in part of the presence of the veteran Brett Favre. Keller finished a strong rookie season with 48 receptions, 535 yards and 3 touchdowns. In his second season, 2009, Keller finished with 2 touchdowns and 522 yards on 45 receptions. Keller led the Jets in receptions (55) in 2010. In 2011 he again led the jets in receptions (65) for 815 yards and 5 touchdowns."
What does this mean? It means that he can start right away and contribute as he has only been out of the offensive system for one season.
2. He brings the red zone threat.
3. He has stayed relatively healthy for 16 games each of his 5 seasons. His most injured year was this past season with him only playing in 8 games.
4. He has an average yard receiving of over 11 yards every year of his NFL career. That's an average "fresh downs" runner. In case you didn't see any of the Rams games last season, but we sucked on 3rd down. We could use this kinda average.
5. And lastly, he did all of this with a fluctuating line (although one of the best in the league), a subpar quarterback in Mark Sanchez and rumored insanity in the locker room
I can only imagine what a change in scenery yet still working with an offense that saw him make a jump to 12.5 yard average in both 2010 and 2011 would do for the guy. With the coaching that we have here at Rams Park, working with Sam Bradford who will move into year 2 of this offense, we may have a chance to have a pack of Tight End beasts on this team with his addition. What do you think?