Next Thursday, the St. Louis Rams head to Cleveland to face the Browns in their first preseason game. As Billy Madison once said - while sitting on an in-ground sprinkler - "Yeeee….that’s nice." Now, if you’ll remember, you’re no longer allowed to bring bags into the Edward Jones Dome, BUT in the great state of Ohio you can smuggle in anything you’d like…with a little bit of imagination.
Freebies are always nice…
Jeff Fisher’s Press Conference After Wednesday’s Practice: St. Louis Rams’ Official Site
If you don’t want to hear this, you’re on the wrong site…or you need help prioritizing. Yeah…I thought you’d click the link.
Former Rams’ GM - Billy Devaney - Now An ESPN "Insider": ESPN
Debuting less than one week from today, ESPN will air it’s first episode of NFL Insider. You can tune in at 3pm EST on August 5th. One familiar face of note is that of former Rams’ GM, Billy Devaney. He’ll discuss all things football, and most likely try to avoid talking about how his team managed 12 wins in 64 games.
Rams "Receiving" A New Grade After NFC West Injuries: ESPN
Let’s face it, the Rams WR’s don’t get a great amount of respect and it’s not all that unjust. They lost Danny Amendola, their 2nd round pick [which was essentially a 1st] in 2012 played a minimal role in the offense, the team's veteran wideout has 57 catches in his career, and they’ve got rookies with promise but with no meaningful snaps in the league. As a result, Matt Williamson graded them 4th in the NFC West after the 2013 Draft. After a few key injuries, how are they stacking up? Pretty darn well.
In Case You Missed It…A Refresher On Janoris Jenkins: MMQB
Simply put, the risk has been well worth the reward. The "new regime" took a chance on a CB from the University of Florida whose off-field concerns dropped him from top-tier to second-round. Drafting players with "character issues" probably isn’t the recipe for success in the NFL, but selecting the right ones - and surrounding them with an adequate support system - has been rewarding thus far. Jackrabbit had a fruitful rookie campaign, and improvement in 2013 is the expectation.
49ers' Rookie RB Marcus Lattimore Eyeing a Week 10 Return: NFL.com
Both Lattimore and the 49ers have made it clear that there’s no rush getting their rookie RB onto the field. Lattimore was willing to sit out the entire season if it’s what the organization asked of him. Well, now he’s eyeing a return to football just a few weeks prior to the Rams/49ers matchup on Dec. 1 [Week 13]. I - for one - would like to see him suit up for that game.
Sam Bradford Says Tavon Austin Plays Like He’s In A Video Game: NFL.com
The Rams’ signal caller provides some insight on the pulse of the team, how he feels about how’s progressing in his second year in the same offense, the pressure involved in being deemed the team’s leader, and how Tavon Austin makes playing football look like a video game...
Scott Wells Rebounding From Injury-Riddled 2012 Season: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Signing a former Pro Bowl Center sounded like a tremendous idea heading into the 2012 season. Injuries - and a fair amount of downright poor play - have plagued the Rams offensive line in recent years, and Wells [unfortunately] became just another name on the long list when he went down in the team’s 2012 season opener [broken foot]. He wouldn’t return until Week 12. He’s feeling good prior to the 2013 season…can he hold up? [P.S. - 4yr/$24mil contract….I know you already thought about it]
While Greg Zuerlein Rested, Others Played: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Prior to Vikings’ kicker Blair Walsh stealing his nickname, Rams’ kicker Greg "the leg" Zuerlein was making a name for himself as a rookie in the NFL. Well, he got tired, and the results were wavering throughout the latter half of the 2012 season. The Rams have given him some rest during the offseason in hopes of keeping him fresh for the upcoming year. Others have used his on-field absence for our viewing pleasure.
The NFL Is Shaking Up The Pro Bowl: CBS Sports
You hated it. Hell, I think everyone hated it. You certainly didn’t watch it. If you did, you were probably enjoying the island breeze, sporting a fine lei of kakui nuts, and hammering down your fair share of Kona Longboard Lagers. The NFL has decided to switch it up, and they’re wasting no time in doing so. Are you tuning in to next January’s Pro Bowl?
Chris Long Believes In This Defense: Yahoo!
Will Witherspoon is now the eldest of the Rams’ defensive players, but that won’t make him the leader of the defense. No. 91 gives his thoughts - past and present - on training camp, how he’s winning the "pie war," and how he’s as proud as ever to be a Ram. "...and now we’re on the upswing. I really believe that. We have evidence to believe, we have reason to believe."
I Can Call You Betty. You Can Call Me Al. But Don’t Call Him "Honey Badger": USA Today
He’s trying to distance himself from the name, that Tyrann Mathieu. Associated with some of the "darker times," Mathieu prefers to make his sobriquet a thing of the past. Regardless, he’s getting praise from fellow players and coaches in Arizona. The thought of Honey Badger [yea, I went there] and Patrick Peterson together on defense - or special teams - can’t sound all that appetizing for opposing QB’s/Punters…like Johnny Hekker.
The Rams’ Chances Of Winning The West Just Got A Whole Lot Better: Ramblin’ Fan
The injuries to Percy Harvin and Michael Crabtree may hurt their respective teams in a big way. Then again, both teams made the playoffs last year. The 49ers, though, had Crabtree - who lead the team in receiving yards and TD’s last season - while Harvin was the cog that could’ve lifted the Seahawks atop the NFC West. Suddenly, both players are several months from seeing any significant playing time. It’ll have an impact on who wins the West…
From Bags To Riches; The Tale of Kurt Warner: Deadline.com
There aren’t many tales like it, and for that reason FOX has decided to acquire the rights to Warner's story and convert it into fine cinema. Not many folks can go from making minimum wage at a grocery store to being a Super Bowl MVP and Champion. That’s Rams’ glory, Kurt…never forget.
Evan Silva’s Early Camp Top 150 [Fantasy]: RotoWorld
Silva updated his Top 150 Fantasy Football players on Wednesday. He didn’t have much choice, as big named players started filling out the league’s injured reserve list. He hasn’t had any Rams higher than the 7th round, and even with all the hype surrounding a few of the Rams’ offensive weapons…he still doesn’t.
Power Ranking Every NFL Offense: Bleacher Report
I’ve read a lot this offseason about how the Kansas City Chiefs are potential sleepers to make a playoff run, and how Ryan Tannehill could have a breakout year. Neither team has a more potent offense…at least according to BR. Do you agree with their placement of the Rams’ offense?
Rating the NFC’s Fan Bases from One to Sixteen: Football Nation
Damn…that didn’t take long.
Alec Ogletree…The "Cookie" Monster: Rant Sports
Ogletree - the second of the Rams’ 2013 1st round selections - is expected to step up and be an immediate contributor on the Rams’ defense. A converted safety from the University of Georgia, Ogletree will also be expected to cover the league’s most athletic TE’s. He’s practicing against one of the league’s fastest…that should help.
Make sure you tune into NFL Network on Thursday AM...
Off The Turf…
Expert Picks for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational: WGC.com
The World Golf Championship tees off from the Firestone CC in Akron, Ohio on Thursday morning. All of the usual suspects will be on hand, in hopes of claiming their share of the $1,400,000 purse.