The St. Louis Rams went back to work yesterday after a tough loss to the Vikings in their preseason opener. Of course, it wasn't the loss in and of itself that was tough, rather some of the groan inducing play witnessed in the game. Let's dive in.
The back injury suffered by OT Rodger Saffold in practice yesterday is fortunately not a serious one. It is still unclear as to how long Saffold will be out of action. Yes, that's good news, but the rub comes in the fact that missed reps are costly in and of themselves for a young line that is just now getting it's first whiff of life together.
You thought Jason Smith would move to LT in Saffold's absence, but Phil Trautwein got the work there yesterday. Are they making this kid work his way back up or what? I hope he earns it.
Jacob Bell did return to practice and Adam Goldberg worked at the right guard spot yesterday with the first team. That's good news as well, and signals that perhaps Spagnuolo and Steve Loney, his OL coach, have moved on from the idea of Hank Fraley starting in the middle. Saffold's injury delays a decision about the line's final configuration.
With Westbrook in San Fran, I still the Rams will likely find help somewhere else as team trim their rosters from 80 to 53 players over the coming weeks. That conversation has mostly been about finding a backup runner to slot in behind Steven Jackson, but finding a pass blocker may be just as important. Rams RBs not named Steven Jackson continue to struggle in blitz pick up, echoing a similar theme from this time last year.
Pro Football Focus has some thoughts on the Rams game. They wonder why Vobora has been replaced given his performance last year as one of the best 4-3 OLBs in the league according to their stats. PFF also believes that Jason Smith will get better.
Bradford gets his own post from PFF.
He’s far from the finished article, as you would expect. But he was able to look calm in the pocket, show good understanding and demonstrate an uncanny accuracy, and those are all excellent traits in a young quarterback.
Be sure to give it a read, they have some interesting thoughts on Bradford.