There's a lot of stuff to talk about today, so I'll skip the snappy introduction and jump right in. For the St. Louis Rams, quarterbacks, rookies and selected others start reporting for camp today, with practices starting tomorrow. That also means we should, hopefully, be hearing some contract news with the Rams top two picks very soon. The sun has lifted the veil of this long night we call the offseason.
Sad news about Jim Johnson. He was a helluva football coach, and the league's not the same without him. Johnson was Steve Spagnuolo's mentor and the two worked together for years in Philadelphia. The Rams defense will be closely modeled on the style Spagnuolo learned from Johnson, part of his legacy to professional football.
Earlier in the week we mentioned that the St. Louis Rams had interest in free agent DT Hollis Thomas,a long-time Eagles defender, and discussed what the 35-year-old might offer the Rams. The Rams are interested in enough in Thomas to have made him an offer, along with three other teams. That probably answers some questions about the results of a recent physical. His agent says he's in shape, of course, but sitting at 340 lbs. He'd be strictly rotational for the Rams, and probably whatever team signs him, coming in for a handful of snaps on rushing downs, think 3rd and 1 in the red zone. The Rams were dead last in the league on third and short, according to DVOA, last season and the second worst against the run in the red zone and goal-to-go situations. They need the help. I still think Darell Scott is a good prospect, and it might be nice to have him and Thomas in the middle in those situations. Contract or not, I'd think at 35, Thomas is not guaranteed to win a spot on the 53-man roster out of camp.
Right now, Kenneth Darby is the primary backup for Steven Jackson.
DE Chris Long is ready for his second season. So are we.
CB Bradley Fletcher, the Rams third round pick this year, writes about his transition to the NFL.