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Heckuva Job, Brown

Can't a man smoke some herb without the man hassling him? No, not if he's an NFL player.

Ok, we don't know that Fakhir Brown tested positive for weed, but it's not a far fetched assumption. I don't necessarily agree that these offenses merit a four game suspension, but that's neither here nor there; the fact of the matter is that the Rams are stuck without one of their starting cornerbacks for the first four games of the season.

While I'd rather it be the first four games than the last four games of the season, that's not a particularly easy part of the schedule. The Rams open at home against the Panthers, then another home game against the 49ers, a battle of potential. They hit the road for games against Tampa Bay and Dallas after that. Two of those teams should have a good passing game, Carolina and Dallas, with Tampa Bay being the softest spot on that part of the schedule. Dallas in particular has a pretty well balanced attack (10th best passing game and 7th best rushing game in 2006, per Football Outsiders), and unless we get the interception prone Romo that we saw late in the season, Dallas could really open up the field if the Rams defense isn't playing air tight.

Free agent acquisition Lenny Walls should be the main beneficiary of Brown's suspension. Walls ran with the first team in minicamp, if you'll recall, filling in for Tye Hill who was out with a staph infection, and reports had Haslett and the rest of the coaching staff impressed with his performance in that setting. He's on a one year contract, so this would be a prime opportunity for him to sniff those free agent dollars and step into the spotlight with a big season.

Bartell really emerged as a nickel back last season, and he and Walls were expected to split time in that role. Bartell could very well spend some time as Brown's replacement too.

The door also opened a bit wider for this year's third round pick, Jonathan Wade. He's got the natural athleticism, but his football instincts need some work. Hopefully, he's studying the play book this month, sensing the opportunity.

Now, let's just hope this is the last player incident we have to deal with for awhile.