This solves one draft time mystery:
Bernie Miklasz, on whether the Rams should draft a QB with the #2 overall pick:
Five Rams Who Will Be On The Roster Bubble In 2014: Bleacher Report
An early look at Rams' draft needs: ESPN NFC West
Draft analyst Kevin Weidl surveys the Rams' draft needs: offensive tackle, outside linebacker, and safety.
Trading down the number 2 pick in the draft is all about supply and demand, as Les Snead attests to:
"What always happens at the top of the draft is who needs QBs? How many QBs do people think are worthy? Then it’s just a supply-and-demand thing. Last year there were no QBs that went early. This year, you just don’t know that yet."
Ten Free Agents The Rams Should Target This Off Season: Rant Sports NFL
The Rams have fewer holes to fill this off season. A tight cap space situation may preclude them from making any big splashes in the free agent market. Should retaining Rodger Saffold be the Rams' primary goal this off season?
Will The St. Louis Rams Make A "Splash'?: Ramblin' Fan
Draft Prospects Highlight Reel: OL - David Yankey - Stanford
2013 David Yankey Highlight (via StanfordFball)
Maybe Rams should draft a QB: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Bernie Miklasz examines the reasons the Rams should consider drafting a QB... with the #2 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft.
On The Clock Mock Draft Simulator: Fanspeak
A fun - and free - way to create mock drafts for all 32 NFL teams. Caution...very addictive!
How The Rams Could Approach The 2014 NFL Draft: S.I. - NFL Mocks
Why only trade down the #2 pick in the NFL Draft, when you can trade down BOTH first round selections? In this scenario, the Rams trade down the #2 pick to Tampa Bay [#7], and the #13 pick to the NY Jets [#18]. It certainly opens up a world of possibilities.
Much to consider on Rams' offensive line: ESPN - Nick Wagoner
Questions about the offensive line will predominate the off season, especially over the next two months. Les Snead shared many thoughts on the offensive line last week:
"One will be a rehab situation; one is an unrestricted free agent," Snead said. "Of any group I was most proud of, it was that group this year. I have a heart for offensive linemen because that's your basketball team. It's not just one great player. It's five guys working together."
I took an in-depth look at the offensive line in an off season primer article - on December 19 - for Turf Show Times (link).
Estimating Price Tags For Top Free Agents: Bleacher Report
Safeties Jairus Byrd and T.J. Ward are two players frequently commented on as possible targets for the Rams in free agency. Given the tight cap space situation, are they affordable options for the Rams?
Stat Facts Of The Week: Turnover Differential
|2||Kansas City Chiefs||36||18||18|
|4||San Francisco 49ers||30||18||12|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||31||21||10|
|8||New England Patriots||29||20||9|
|9||St. Louis Rams||29||21||8|
|14||New Orleans Saints||19||19||0|
|19||Green Bay Packers||22||25||-3|
|20||San Diego Chargers||17||21||-4|
|30||New York Jets||15||29||-14|
|31||New York Giants||29||44||-15|
Winning the turnover battle is often cited as a key to winning football games. Among this seasons 12 playoff teams, 10 had a zero or positive turnover differential. The Rams ranked 9th in turnover differential this season [+8]. This represents an improvement over 2012, when the Rams ranked 19th [-1] in this vital statistic. The biggest reason for the improvement is the increase in fumble recoveries over the course of the season. In the Rams' 7 victories this season, they had a positive turnover differential in six of them, with a zero differential in the other win. The chart is courtesy of "Sporting Charts".
On This Day In Sports History
1940 - In the NFL Pro Bowl, the Green Bay Packers defeated the NFL All-Stars 16-7.
2014 NFL Free Agent Rankings: Walter Football
Walter ranks all of the eligible free agents by position. Prominent on my target list are: CB Alterraun Verner, S Jairus Byrd, S T.J. Ward, S Chris Clemons, DT Linval Joseph, G Jon Asamoah, G/T Geoff Schwartz, and C Alex Mack.
Snead: Richardson Still In Rams' Plans: ESPN NFC West
As the Hall of Fame induction process continues, 3 Rams players are still in the running for a place in the Hall: Jerome Bettis, Kevin Greene, and Aeneas Williams.
5 Takeaways For The Rams From The Divisional Round: Ramblin' Fan
With two NFC West teams still alive in the playoffs, there is much the Rams can learn from this past weekends games.
Fisher's style of offense works: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The running game has played a prominent role in this years playoffs. However, as Bernie Miklasz notes:
"A powerful running game becomes even better when the defense knows you can hurt them in the passing game."
A nostalgic look back at the Los Angeles Rams' 1967 season:
1967 LA Rams Yearbook (via amcneill1992)
Les Snead On The Rams - Video: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Bryan Burwell interviews Rams GM Les Snead in the first of a three-part interview.
What Happened To Jared Cook: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Bernie Miklasz examines Jared Cook's first season with the Rams: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
A case for Ray-Ray Armstrong: Cover 32 Rams
Both Will Witherspoon and Jo-Lonn Dunbar become free agents this off season. Can Ray Ray Armstrong step up to replace them?
Rams safety Cody Davis - via his own blog - recaps the trials and tribulations of his first year in the NFL.
2014 NFL Draft Rankings: Optimum Scouting
Optimum Scouting presents their latest positional rankings for the upcoming NFL draft.
St. Louis Rams Weekly Salary "Re-Cap"
The Rams currently have $172,529 in Available Salary Cap Space, second-lowest in the NFL. They will likely carry this amount forward into the 2014 off season as a credit towards the 2014 salary cap.
Several holes in the Rams' offense need to be filled: Fox Sports Midwest
A backup quarterback, the offensive line, and wide receiver are the holes that need to be filled this off season. The report suggests some players who could help from the draft.
Ryan Van Bibber explored the fifth-year contract option yesterday in an article published on TST (link), specifically as it relates to Rams DE Robert Quinn. There is little doubt the Rams should exercise that option on Quinn. I wouldn't entertain an extension until after next season. Quinn's cap hit is only 3 million for 2014. An extension at this time would likely negate that cheap cap hit. In addition, too much of the extension would need to be back-loaded to make it work under the tight 2014 cap space the Rams are currently experiencing.
Top ten first round trade options for the St. Louis Rams: Rant Sports NFL
Rams gearing up for all-star games: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Rams GM Les Snead has a complex, all-encompassing process in place for evaluating college talent. It's the type of process that allows them to find players like Ray Ray Armstrong, Daren Bates, and Cody Davis.
Nick Wagoner presents the case for - and against - drafting Jadeveon Clowney.
2014 NFL Free Agency And Salary Cap Overview: Over The Cap
OTC summarizes each teams salary cap situation and potential free agents heading into the off season.
Rams' Decision On Finnegan Looms Large: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The Rams will be deciding sooner than later about their plans for Cortland Finnegan in 2014. It's unlikely the Rams will keep Finnegan without restructuring his contract, which calls for a 10 million cap hit in 2014.
QB costs helped shape powerful NFC West: Nick Wagoner - ESPN
The Rams pay a lot more for their starting QB than the other teams in the NFC West. Invariably though, what goes around...comes around. The Rams have to be a little more careful than the others at this point in time:
"In the meantime, the Rams' margin for error in the draft and free agency remains far thinner than the two NFC West rivals who will play for a trip to the Super Bowl on Sunday."
Jake Long Injury Complicates Draft Preparations: Yahoo Sports
Jake Long's injury added another layer of uncertainty to the Rams' off season, particularly regarding the offensive line. Harvey Dahl and Scott Wells could become cap casualties. Tim Barnes, Shelley Smith, Chris Williams, and Rodger Saffold are all eligible for free agency. Hopefully, the next two months will bring some clarity to the situation.
Special teams unit is biggest surprise of Rams season: Cover 32 Rams
Although it may come as a surprise to some fans...
"The St. Louis Rams had one of the best special teams units in the entire league."
Blast From The Past: Classic Rock Tuesday: Led Zeppelin - Over The Hills And Far Away
Led Zeppelin - Over The Hills And Far Away - Madison Square Garden 1973 - HD (via tokairock)
Please have a great Tuesday and a Ramtastic week!!