You would be hard pressed to make an argument for any other player given the stunning performance Austin displayed last Sunday. He was dynamic, efficient, and game-changing. Everything the Rams had hoped he would be when they moved up in the draft to take him. Fans will hope this is a regular occurrence moving forward. Perhaps the coaching staff will find even more ways to get him involved now as well.
Rodger Saffold had proven himself to be a stout and effective NFL linemen, and now you can add versatile to that list of attributes. Rodger played his first game ever - in his life - at guard on Sunday. He played pretty darn well considering the defense they were up against. But what of Rodger's future, what position will he play, and who will he play it for?
Without any major surprise, the Rams will open next season without an opening at either tackle spots. Jake Long has come on and played like the Jake Long that the Rams paid big money to sign. The right tackle spot has been all but solidified by Joe Barksdale, who has proven himself to be a capable NFL starter. This would seem to leave Rodger Saffold without a job, right? Not so fast.
When - I said "when" - Rodger Saffold is healthy, he is a very good offensive lineman. He can play three positions, and can do it at a high-level. While the Rams may not have an opening at offensive tackle next year, they most certainly will have an opening at guard. Harvey Dahl is likely to fall victim to salary cap cuts this offseason, and the Rams would need to replace him with someone young and effective. If Saffold can stay healthy and prove himself to be a top NFL guard, is there any reason why the Rams wouldn't want to pay him to stick around at "guard price" if he was willing?
It all depends on Rodger and his agent. If they can't get top tackle money this offseason, the pay may be the same to stay with the Rams at guard, as it is to move on someplace else at tackle. We will learn a lot about how Saffold feels about the Rams in the coming months. Stay tuned.
There is a Ram that stands in front of Tavon Austin right now. It's probably not hard to guess who that is. What will be truly interesting evaluate is if Austin continues to play the way he did in week 10 and Zac Stacy continues to build upon his stellar performances. Pundits would have to consider both for offensive rookie of the year. Who would you give the nod to - considering both continue with their amazing performances?
Check out the breakdown of the Rams defense in week 10. The Rams have showcased a top 5 NFL defense and a bottom 5 NFL defense this year - it has depended on what game you watched. Against a 49ers team that runs the ball well, the Rams looked lost and scared; however, weeks later against Seattle the Rams boasted one of the strongest run defense performances of the year. How will the defense perform moving forward?
I love updating the power ranking, and absolutely put zero stock in it, but it is a great way to measure which way the wind is blowing each week. You think the Colts stock dropped this week? You better believe it, but are they a worse team than they were 3 weeks ago when they beat the Bronco's? Power rankings are a great way to how the media and fans perceive each team week by week.
Some of the best Rams updates each week come from Nick Wagoner at ESPN.com.
If you haven't watched it yet, be sure to check out this weeks episode of the Jeff Fisher show (on 101.1 ESPN), featuring Tavon Austin.
Stay classy Rams fans.