Ravens vs. Rams, preseason 2013: Questions left to answer

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Rams conclude preseason play on Thursday, but they still have plenty of questions left to answer.

Jeff Fisher doesn't plan to play his starters in Thursday's preseason finale to the extent he did last season. Another benefit of the continuity from last year to this one. This game is about the St. Louis Rams' players vying to stay on the roster past Saturday. It's also about the players making their case to be starters.

Tevin looked at some of the players to watch earlier in the week. I wanted to scan through the questions yet to be answered as the Rams gear up for the regular season.

Will the tackling improve? It's going to have to if the Rams want to have a shot at improving on their record from last year. The starters missed fewer tackles last week against Denver. Can the guys playing tonight continue progressing in that area?

Who will be the other starting safety? We know T.J. McDonald has one spot nailed down. But Darian Stewart could be close to losing his grip on the other spot because of a hamstring injury and the outstanding play of Rodney McLeod in his place.

Who will be the starting left guard? The odds now favor Chris Williams, so this would seem to be Shelley Smith's last chance to show that he belongs at the top of the depth chart.

Does Zac Stacy breakout? I expect to see a heavy dose of the rookie running back against the Ravens. The second and third parts of the running back rotation are still being decided. This is Stacy's big chance to cement his place as the primary complement to Daryl Richardson.

Can someone stop all the misdirection? Ugh, the play action pass has been a source of frustration for the Rams this preseason and throughout the last year. Fisher's been clear that they're playing a very basic defense, so some cushions are going to happen. But stopping the play action is kind of basic football, no?

Will the backup quarterbacks do anything to assure us? Obviously the Rams are in hot water if Sam Bradford goes down, but it's downright boiling from the looks of things at the backup spot. Kellen Clemens and Austin Davis could be fighting for a roster spot.

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