Mike Sando has a great blog, dedicated to the NFC West, over at ESPN's blog network. If you don't read it, you should make it a part of your daily stroll around the interwebs.There's a link in our links menu on the left side of the page.
Anyway, today, he responds to our continuing lobbying for the Rams to give the younger players more playing time, concluding:
I'm not sure how much the future of the franchise changes by suddenly leaning on those players before they might be ready. On the other hand, it's tough to imagine things getting any worse.
It sounds cynical, but that last point echoes what we've been saying here.Why not stick 'em in there? Too much chance the Rams might get beat 41-13 or 38-6? oh wait.
An Sando makes clear, the Rams don't have a heckuva lot of young players left to turn to, a painful reality we fans are all too aware of. And a number of young players are already playing, some to better results (Chris Long) than others (Tye Hill). Specters of bad drafts past will haunt this franchise for a while. But there are a few rookie and younger guys that aren't being played enough, that I remain convinced the Rams should employ more as the season goes on. We covered this in yesterday's post, but let me go back for a quick review.
Many of us noted in the comments this Sunday and the day after, that the second year DT Clifton Ryan and third year DE Adeyanju didn't see many snaps. And the Rams could have used them agains the run.
Donnie Avery wasn't available last week, but getting his speed in the lineup would seem beneficial...if the line can play well enough to give Bulger time in the pocket. Why bury him behind the ancient Dante Hall who's clearly lost a step in his twilight years.
OL John Greco probably couldn't do any worse than the porous middle did last week. Move Incognito to C, get Bell back and use Greco at RG. Worth a shot, no?
Give Chris Chamberlain a try at S or leave him at LB against the pass. He looks good in coverage, an area of great need for the Rams, why not give him a shot? At this point, we might as well see what Brandon Condren can do with a few reps at S. The fewer snaps the slowed, aging Chavous sees, the more effective he is on the snaps he does see...or so the theory goes.
Trying something new can't really hurt a team struggling like this. And the young guys offer another advantage by compensating with some of their enthusiasm and the chance to establish themselves in the pros.
Relying on the rookies over veterans with the team in a must-win situation is a tough argument to make, certainly to coaches. Honestly though, from the fan perspective, it's as much about having something to root for, the future, in the midst of another lost season. If only the Rams had more rookies to turn to.