You'd be hard pressed to find a post that doesn't mention the St. Louis Rams offensive line lately. There's a good reason for that: the Rams success this year and beyond depends largely on a tougher, younger offensive line. Of course, those five players aren't the only ones being counted on to beef up the running game. Fullback Mike Karney was signed as a free agent during the offseason to give Steven Jackson a lead blocker, taking out any defenders that might creep into the holes being opened by the made-over line.
Karney's a bruiser who is more than capable of bulldozing through opposing defenders. And he's young(er), than the last FB the Rams added, Dan Kreider, who was still recovering from serious injury issues. Statistics for fullbacks are wrapped up with the stats for the running backs and offensive line. I did find one interesting number at Football Outsiders that Karney that Karney's performance would have directly impacted. The Saints, Karney's former team, had a 28.1% DVOA on runs in the red zone last season, the fourth best number in the league. By comparison, the Rams had a -39% DVOA on runs in the red zone, second worst in the league.
More and more teams are abandoning the traditional blocking fullback, but for a team installing a power running game at the heart of their offense he's indispensable to the equation.
- Don't forget, tonight it's the Turf Show Radio training camp spectacular! The fun starts at 6 p.m. central time. Here's the call-in and listening info. Will from Rams Herd and Jeff from Rams Gab will be joining 3k and I as we get ready for the official start of the Rams 2009 training camp.
- Got a design or a suggestion for a TST-shirt? Then send it to us. If your design gets picked, you get a free shirt. Sweet!
- Camp starts in full swing Friday, when the entire roster takes the field. If you're going to be at Rams Park this weekend, BE SURE to post your reports, reactions, etc. in the fanposts. We want to make sure we have as many of our community members as possible offering their thoughts on what they see.