I suppose it makes sense as kind of a contingency plan, especially since the Rams were decimated by injury in just a week, to keep McCollum reserved as a center. However, McCollum showed lots of fire in the preseason competition for the starting center job, almost playing Romberg to a tie. And the Rams need passion above all else right now. We'll see how things go in the game and whether or not McCollum plays gaurd again anytime soon.
The tight ends will be really important this week to a decimated O-line. I'd venture to say we'll see more than the usual amount of two TE sets.
Arizona stacked the box against SF last week and containted Frank Gore pretty well. Surely the Rams will be looking to do this against the Niners and force Smith into a passing offfense he looked uncomfortable with last week. Again, the Rams may well give up short run after short run; they have to prevent Gore from breaking off a long one. The same article linked here contains this quote from SF offensive coordinator Jim Hostler:
Make no mistake about it, Carriker is already better than what we've had in the middle for the last two seasons. Smart play and keeping assignments will dramatically improve the run defense enough to take away the liability label it's been carrying around.
Sports Illustrated (they still exist?) notes the Rams needing to force the 49ers into their passing game this week. Couldn't agree more. Obviously, that keeps Gore in check, but it also allows Leonard Little to do what Leonard Little does best: wreck a QB's sanity and confidence. If Little has a big game, the Rams will win.
Finally, cheer up Rams fans! We've been through adversity before. Did you really think last October that we'd wind up an 8-8 team? This is a very winnable game for us, and a win would shore up the confidence of the team and the fans.
Back later today with a look at the Niners from Fooch over at Niners Nation.