Random Ramsdom: September 3: St. Louis Rams - The Season Begins In 5 Days

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The long wait is just about over. The NFL season kicks off this week, with the Denver Broncos hosting the defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens Thursday evening. The St. Louis Rams begin their season at home - against the Arizona Cardinals - in a divisional match up...5 days from now. Let some real football begin!!

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Chris Long speaks of the talent on the Rams heading into the season - and the cuts made on the weekend:

Leave it to DC to produce the correct top 5 list...

We can now put to rest any notion of the Rams re-signing Quintin Mikell...

Aaron Hernandez - The Gangster In The Huddle: Rolling Stone

A riveting expose' - by Paul Solotaroff - about the life and times of Aaron Hernandez. A player who could have been an NFL All-Pro for many years - but could never escape the guns, drugs, and violence that were part of his life - and career.

Recapping #NFLRank From Rams' Perch: ESPN

ESPN's project [ranking the top 100 NFL players offensively and defensively] concluded last Friday. Four Rams made the list: Cortland Finnegan, Chris Long, James Laurinaitis, and Jake Long. Will there be more Rams on the list after this season?

St. Louis Rams 2013 Team Roster: Report Card Grades For Every Position: Bleacher Report

BR grades every unit on the Rams, heading into the season. The defense earns a lot of "A's". The running back and safety positions earn the worst grades - both with "D's".

Season Preview: Do The St. Louis Rams Have Enough To Compete In The NFC West: Rams 101

An in-depth look at the season ahead. Who will be the Rams' Defensive/Offensive MVP's? What will the Rams' record be? Their most important game? Surprise player of the year?

Rookie Highlight Reel: Barrett Jones

Barrett Jones - 2013 NFL Draft Profile (via Erick Ward)

Never as Good, Never as Bad: Student Of The Game - Cody Davis

Safety Cody Davis shares his thoughts [via his own blog] on making it through the cut down to 75 players - and the anticipation of the last preseason game. This was written by Davis, before he was released on Saturday by the Rams. The Rams did sign him to the practice squad on Sunday - his hopes for an NFL career still intact.

Hypocrisy, Insanity, and Ed Reed: Football Is Back: Grantland

"We see players get screwed in the NFL lockout and then see ex-players get screwed in litigation. We know the most profitable professional sport in America is also the sport in which players are most underpaid and likely to spend the bulk of their retirement hobbling around in pain. When you couple all that with the NFL's staggering arrogance and unlimited popularity, you gotta think that at some point it'll be too much to handle."

Rams have exciting toys to unwrap: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Christmas in September? That's what it'll feel like when the Rams unveil, and unleash, their dynamic, new-look offense - on Arizona, this coming Sunday at the Dome.

Nine Teams Need To Make Cap Related Moves: Over The Cap

The Rams head the list of teams that need to make moves to create salary cap space. As noted in my brief cap space update last week (link) - Cortland Finnegan is the prime candidate for having his contract restructured. All 32 teams must be compliant with the cap space accounting change by September 4.

Stat Facts Of The Week: NFL Team Penalties Per Game

Rank


Team


2012


1

Atlanta

3.3

2

NY Giants

4.5

3

NY Jets

5.2

4

Miami

5.2

5

Minnesota

5.5

6

Pittsburgh

5.8

7

Kansas City

5.8

8

Indianapolis

5.8

9

New England

5.9

10

Green Bay

6.1

11

Cincinnati

6.1

12

Philadelphia

6.1

13

Carolina

6.1

14

Tampa Bay

6.3

15

Jacksonville

6.3

16

Chicago

6.4

17

San Diego

6.4

18

Detroit

6.4

19

Arizona

6.4

20

Denver

6.5

21

New Orleans

6.5

22

Buffalo

6.5

23

Houston

6.6

24

Tennessee

6.6

25

Seattle

6.7

26

San Francisco

6.7

27

Oakland

6.8

28

Washington

7.0

29

Cleveland

7.1

30

Dallas

7.4

31

Baltimore

7.5

32

St Louis

8.1

The St. Louis Rams were the most penalized team in the NFL - over the course of the 2012 season. Penalty yards for the Rams totaled close to ten lengths of the football field. The Rams continued to be penalized at an excessive rate throughout the 2013 preseason. This is an area they will need to improve on this coming season.

[The chart is courtesy of Team Rankings]

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Analyzing Seattle's 53-man roster: ESPN NFC West

Know your enemy. Terry Blount takes an in-depth look at the Seahawk's 53-man roster, and how the offensive and defensive units stack up.

Rams Keeping It Real - Keys To Success: Rams Gab

The 5 keys to success?: Sam Bradford staying healthy - the offensive/defensive lines playing to potential - the safeties not giving away games - an explosive receiving game - and a productive running game.

Fantasy Football 2013: TE Jared Cook Will Be A Strong Pick-Up: Football Nation

"If you are in need of a tight end for your fantasy football team and have the option to draft Jared Cook, don't pass him up. Cook shouldn't be a high-round pick for you, but if he is available around the 3rd or 4th round, take a chance on him."

Daren Bates makes St. Louis Rams' roster as a UDFA: AL.com (Alabama)

A look at how Daren Bates made the jump from relative obscurity - to a spot on the Rams' 53-man roster.

On This Day In Sports History

1904 - Closing ceremonies at the St. Louis Olympic Games.

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NFL Power Rankings: Walter Football

The Rams come in 12th in Walt's final preseason power rankings.

"This team is going to be very dangerous in 2013 as long as Sam Bradford doesn't totally suck. Bradford has been pretty decent in the preseason and seems to have good chemistry with Austin and Chris Givens. So far, so good."

Paradigm Shift From Run-First Offense To Aerial Attack Imminent: Rant Sports NFL

Although a reliable running game will be important to the Rams fortunes this season - all signs point in the direction of the Rams shifting to a pass-first offense.

Ranking NFL Teams By Age: Philly.com

As noted in my weekend roster update (link) - the Rams are again the youngest team in the NFL. Young, inexperienced...and very talented.

Rams roster features five undrafted rookies: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Ray Ray Armstrong, Jonathan Stewart, Daren Bates, Gerald Rivers, and Benny Cunningham all made the 53-man roster as UDFA's. This is in addition to the 7 UDFA's still remaining with the team from last years group. Jeff Fisher and Les Snead obviously can find talent anywhere.

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NFL Odds: Yahoo Sports [via OddsShark.com]

The Rams are 4.5 point favorites in this weeks early odds for Week 1 of the NFL schedule. I'll be taking the Rams - both straight-up - and against the spread. A 21-10 victory to open the season.

NFL Preview: St. Louis Rams: ESPN

5 ESPN analysts preview the Rams and where they will finish in the NFC West. The consensus? The Rams will finish 3rd - behind Seattle and San Francisco.

Rams DT Brockers poised for breakthrough: ESPN

The sky is the limit for Brockers. He is an integral part of the Rams' defensive line - and one of the reasons the Rams tied for the league lead in sacks last year.

"Another step forward for Brockers would equal another step forward for the defense."

Which Teams Could Make The Jump To The Postseason?: S.I. Audibles

Although the Rams play in the tough NFC West, they could make the jump to the postseason - given their improvements on both sides of the football:

"If Bradford can pick up the pace in his fourth season, the Rams could have enough on both sides of the ball to play on past Week 17."

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Jake Long ready to roll: Pro Football Talk

The Rams took it easy on Jake Long during the summer - not pushing him too hard. The result? He feels healthier than at any time in the last three years. Good news for the Rams.

The NFL's Concussion Settlement: The Sportsfan Journal

Despite the NFL's 765 million settlement of concussion lawsuits - it remains a problem, with few definitive answers. Some things are evident as knowledge increases:

"You don’t need to be an expert in CTE to realize that changes must be implemented so the game is safer for the players."

NFL Power Rankings: CBS Sports

Pat Kirwan reveals his final preseason power rankings. San Francisco and Seattle are #1 and #3, respectively. The Rams? #17 in the rankings. As Kirwan suggests, it all comes down to the offense scoring more points than last year.

Rams Enter Regular Season With Healthiest Roster In NFC West: Rams 101

If there is one advantage the Rams have over their division rivals entering the season - it is health.

"The Rams accomplished the number one goal of the preseason, to remain healthy, while their divisional foes weren't as fortunate."

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Rams' Ability To Create Mismatches Evokes Shades Of The GSOT: 101 ESPN

Will the Rams be able to bring back memories of the Greatest Show On Turf? They will...if the "rock stars" have anything to say about it:

"For the most part, the talent is there for the Rams, who have the youngest team in the league for the second straight year. The coaching staff is a "rock star" group, led by Fisher. They have knowledge of how to win, and the tools do so."

Sims' Deal Shows Rams' Devotion To The Defensive Line: ESPN

Eugene Sims signed a two -year contract extension on Monday afternoon. He was eligible to become a free agent after this season.

8 Things We Learned About The Rams During Preseason: Bleacher Report

The most important thing we learned about the Rams during the preseason? This is a young, talented team on the rise - and ahead of schedule for playoff contention.

What Goes Into Finalizing NFL Rosters At 53: CBS Sports

Pat Kirwan analyzes some of the processes in cutting down a roster to 53 - and what can be learned from them.

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2014 Big Board: CBS Sports - NFLDraftScout

No surprises here - as Jadeveon Clowney is # 1 on Rob Rang's board. The first round in 2014 is shaping up to be something special.

Fighting For Themselves, Fighting For The Game: S.I. MMQB

"The season is near, but don't lose perspective on the importance of the players’ battle in the concussion lawsuit. And meet Kevin Turner, one of its foremost faces."

St. Louis Rams Weekly "Re-Cap"

The Rams' Available Cap Space currently stands at $362,351 - lowest in the league. They will have some maneuvering to do in the next two days, to create enough cap space to navigate through the regular season - and to comply with the changes to cap space accounting on September 4.

Jared Cook gives his thoughts on the Rams' weapons, his chemistry with Sam Bradford, and how he will be utilized this coming season.


2013 Age Ranks: Active Rosters, Aug. 31

Rk. Tm. OFF DEF ST
1 DET 3 2 6
2 CHI 6 11 2
3 WAS 17 1 11
4 ARI 12 8 1
5 DEN 5 5 24
6 NYG 11 4 5
7 SF 16 7 7
8 CAR 1 19 29
9 IND 21 6 4
10 PIT 20 3 17
11 BAL 8 9 23
12 SD 2 27 10
13 NO 4 16 25
14 TEN 7 22 19
15 OAK 24 13 8
16 ATL 14 20 14
17 HOU 9 24 15
18 MIN 15 15 26
19 DAL 22 12 22
20 CIN 27 10 13
21 TB 13 30 3
22 NE 10 21 28
23 PHI 19 28 9
24 MIA 28 17 16
25 KC 31 14 12
26 NYJ 26 18 21
27 JAC 25 26 27
28 GB 30 25 20
29 SEA 32 23 18
30 BUF 23 29 30
31 CLE 18 32 31
32 STL 29 31 32

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Blast From The Past: Canadian Classic Rock Tuesday: Rush - Tom Sawyer

Rush - Tom Sawyer (Official Music Video - 1981) [HQ] (via ensisorionis)

Have a great Tuesday and a Ramtastic Week!!

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