With two preseason games in the books (one not so bad and one in the "let's not go there" realm) the age old mentality of what you see is what you get should be coming to fruition. The regular season is approaching fast and after this game you should have a pretty good glance at how well the Rams will play this season. You may not see there "aggressive" play calling, but you will see how well the team can tackle, block, and work together on a technical level.
Lets look at some players who have the ability to make an impact on the team should they play well in this week's game at Cinci:
Laurent Robinson: He's been on my list every week, but by putting good numbers each game (he's had 7 receptions for 117 yards and had a nice 50 yard grab against the Jets) he's proven to be a great acquisition. With Donnie Avery coming back sooner then expected, a good performance this week would guarantee him the other starting position.
Gary Gibson: You could put down Adam Carriker here, or any DT you think has been playing well. But when your head coach says:
"We'll let everybody battle it out and we'll see what happens by the time we get to Seattle" for the regular-season opener Sept. 13.
You know you are in some trouble. There have been whispers that Carriker's ankle is becomming a chronic injury (lets hope not, at the very least for depth's sake), and this one-two punch could be just the motivation either of them needs to up their game. All that aside, somebody better step up their game, because the run defense was just horrible against Atlanta.
The Coaching Staff: When you have a defensive oriented head coach, you'd think the defense would at least improve slightly. However, as you all know (against Atlanta) it didn't. Say what you will, it's been discussed before, but for a team that is being controlled by "football people" (and has been focusing on live tackling all preseason long) I would expect tackling and technique to be at the bottom of the list on what is going wrong. If you can't prepare your best players on the team for a quarter or two of play, then that could become a major problem. Also, for a team that is supposed to be led by the two-headed monster Steven Jackson (the "three-headed" term is reserved until you can block Steven), they sure aren't showing much in the way of run blocking. It's only the preseason, but as an alarmist, I can't help but be concerned.
Enjoy your Tuesday evening everyone.