Well, the season is effectively over for our beloved St. Louis Rams. Indy and Chicago were a lot of fun, but with the loss to San Francisco, our potential win total has been mathematically capped at 9 and that's not going to get us anything but a middling pick in the draft, at best. (Thank God for Washington, right? ) And no... this isn't a piece on tanking the season. That's unacceptable as far as I'm concerned. This is just a small list of things I'd personally like to see in the final quarter of this, now defunct, 2013 season.
1. Let Austin Davis take his lumps: Kellen Clemens is the starter ... Sorry... Nothing we can do about that. But, I would like to see more of Austin Davis. If games start getting out of hand (whether in our favor, or not) throw Davis in there and see how he does. Hell... I'd consider giving him a start (on a short leash) or two. Why only put him up against garbage time defenses? We need to know what we've got going into 2014. Is he a worthy backup? Does he have enough to supplant Clemens at the #2 spot? Even more importantly... is he a guy we can groom behind Bradford to be his sucessor, some day? No better time than '5-7' and out of playoff contention to throw him to the wolves. With so many draft picks coming up, it might not be a bad idea to start looking for Bradford's heir-apparent.
2. Less Stacy... more Cunningham/Pead: Okay, now hear me out. I'm not insane. Lol. Zac Stacy is the man. We all know that. So why not keep a little more tread on his tires (and less cobwebs in his head) while feeling out the backups at the same time. I'm not calling for Satcy to be "benched". Just a little more balance in the carries. I'm still not 100% sold on "Bam-Bam", only because of the size of his body of work. If Isaiah Pead is going to have his last shot at a job in St. Louis, at least give him that shot. Shelving the guy doesn't allow him to prove (or disprove) anything. Let's see how he does playing for his job.
3. MORE STEADMAN BAILEY!: I cannot emphasize this enough! He should be starting from here on out. Chris Givens' head hasn't been in the game for a while now. At least not like last year. Bench Givens, put Brian Quick in the #1 spot (where we drafted him to be), make Bailey the #2 and keep Austin/Cook in the slot. These guys are the future of this team and it will at least give us a clearer picture of whether or not to keep Givens or Pettis (or even one of the guys who are "the future", for that matter) around next year.
4. Give Jake Long a breather: Again... I'm not talking about benching the guy for the season. I'd just like to see more line configurations. Plus, we've invested a LOT of money into this guy. Don't wanna burn him out in year one if we're just playing for pride. We've got to start thinking about where we can trim the fat for the upcoming draft. Do we need a lineman? Sure. Do we need one now? Perhaps. What's the story on this Mike Person, guy? And where is Graham Pocic? Is he even still a Ram? Or am I just way behind the information curve? Lol.
5. Cody Davis deserves a shot: He's been bustin' ass all year on special teams, I say throw this kid a bone. The drop off in talent level can't be that big of difference between he and Rodeny McLeod, or Matt Giordano.... can it? Maybe it can. I don't know.
I just think we have a golden opportunity here to develop the talent we have currently on the roster and be in a better position to make an informed decison on who gets to stay on board this rising young team and who's getting replaced in April. Why wait 'til preseason to pit these guys against other teams' scrubs? If these last four games only serve to round out the league schedule, at least make 'em worth something to us and to our future.