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Camp report roundup, 8/11: Rams stepping up

Day one without WR Donnie Avery is in the books for the St. Louis Rams. We've talked plenty here about the team's receivers behind Avery, their prospects for the season, and their potential. If you want more, there's wide receivers stepping up stories all over the media today, the PDBelleville News Democrat, and the official site

No surprises as to the names now atop the depth chart at WR, Laurent Robinson and Keenan Burton. Both are having a good go at it early in camp, with their next major test coming this Friday against the Jets. Most surprising is the report that Tim Carter, who sat out last season, appears to be the most likely guy to get a shot at the #3 job. With his speed, a millisecond slower than Donnie Avery, and strong route running ability, I see the seven-year vet as an intriguing possibility out of the slot. Add some Ron Curry into the mix and the Rams could have a decent stable of pass catchers filling in while Avery recovers. The only problem they've got right now is that they're mostly unknown. Should be a good role to watch Friday.

Speaking of position battles, Chris Draft still seems to be getting most of the snaps at SLB, with Laurinaitis now in the middle with the starters. There's time left in camp and a position battle may yet emerge, especially with strong performances in the preseason game. I wonder if Flajole won't use a rotation for the SLB spot, bringing in a guy for blitz packages or to match up against certain TEs. I guess we'll find out. Laurinaitis is impressing the vets with his football acumen and leadership. That's good.

DE James Hall has a champion in head coach Steve Spagnuolo, who likes the veteran's versatility and plans to use him at DT also to play the matchups. Hall offers his take on the differences between DT and DE in this piece from the BND.

Sakmon Gado is playing fullback with Mike Karney still out, and playing his way into Spagnuolo's versatility loving heart. I don't know about the FB thing once the hitting steps up a notch for the 5'10" 227 lbs Gado, but his special teams ability would seem to give him a roster spot.

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