A Saturday edition of St. Louis Rams news and commentary to digest.
Aaron Hooks at SBNation St. Louis has more with Mardy Gilyard, including the video interview and some thoughts on his young career.
Let me give my quick take on Mardy. I think he'll be fine. Why isn't he playing more? Mostly, because he's blocked on the depth chart by Brandon Gibson and Laurent Robinson. It's likely that one of those guys will not be in a Rams uniform when the regular season starts in 2011, and that's when expectations can be ramped up for Gilyard. Had he gotten the Rams playbook earlier in the year and not had to deal with minor but nagging injuries, he might very well have claimed one of those spots. But he didn't.
The Rams rolled out Gibson and Robinson because those are their most experienced receivers left, and competing for a division title with a rookie QB requires some experience and consistency, changing receivers just to give a guy a look is a luxury the Rams don't have anymore...now that they're winning more than one game a season. The play of Gibson and Robinson has improved in recent weeks. Though not exactly flawless, it's been enough that changing the depth chart is off the table.
That said, it's still a little disappointing that Gilyard isn't getting any balls thrown his way in limited action with the offense. Are there not a couple plays where they can use him? Surely there are. Still, it's very, very early in his career. Spring OTAs and training camp will be big markers for Gilyard's progress. Stay tuned.
Do you remember that Spagnuolo was a finalist for the Broncos coaching job?
Miklasz talks about the game plan for the Rams in Denver.
"As our defensive line goes, so goes the team," says Rams DE Chris Long. Denver has allowed 26 sacks this season, and has the 16th ranked sack rate, exactly middle of the pack.
Here's Mike Tanier from Football Outsiders breaking down the matchups for the New York Times:
The trick to beating the Broncos is to wait through their initial barrage of reverses, funky screens and oddball formations. Once they stop goofing around and start playing toe-to-toe football, the Broncos are easy to beat.
Hopefully, the Rams defense has watched plenty of tape on the Denver offense. Their record against trick plays is mixed, but misdirection has burned them on a couple of occasions. James Laurinaitis will be important, and this is a matchup where the Rams will need to do all they can to help out a vulnerable group of outside linebackers. Tanier predicts the Broncos to win.
Time for road game breakthrough for Bradford and the Rams?
Denver is favored by anywhere from 5 to 3.5 points this week.