It's a bold new frontier for the St. Louis Rams who will have a new owner today and could have a new starting quarterback in just a little more than 24 hours from now. Weighty stuff.
NFL owners vote today on whether or not to approve the finance committee recommendation that would allow Stan Kroenke to complete his ownership bid for a 100 percent stake in the team. It is expected to be a unanimous vote. Much of that has to do with Broncos owner Pat Bowlen who has said he will not block Kroenke's ownership bid. Bowlen and Kroenke compete for sports fans' dollars in the Denver market. Kroenke will be transferring ownership of the Nuggets and Avalanche to his son in order to get in line, technically, with the NFL's cross ownership rules.
Most people, including this hack, agree that Kroenke will make a fine owner for the Rams given his successful track record with his other sports franchises. Some even suppose that his steady hand on the checkbook could be the difference in adding a free agent here or there when the opportunity presents itself. The Post-Dispatch's Bryan Burwell thinks so, but also expresses some concern about Kroenke's ties to one John Shaw, aka the man who helped run the Rams into the ground. I wouldn't worry too much. Shaw has remained an advisor to Chip Rosenbloom since the passing of his mother, and the Rams have taken solid steps toward building a stable foundation for the future. Kroenke's done quite well for himself and won't be dependent on a single advisor like Shaw to run his team.
Turning to matters on the turf, head coach Steve Spagnuolo said that QB Sam Bradford will not only start, he'll play the entire first half and possibly into the third quarter. And for the first series at least, Bradford will have Steven Jackson in the backfield with him.
Keep your fingers crossed on OT Phil Trautwein. A teammate fell on his knee in practice yesterday, and he'll have an MRI to determine the extent of the injury. Trautwein is the team's fourth offensive tackle, mainly a right tackle. In the event that one of the starting OTs can't play, Adam Goldberg would most likely move to the right tackle spot with Hank Fraley replacing him at RG. We're all anxious to see what John Greco, the team's third round choice in 2008, could bring to the mix at that spot with his size advantage over Fraley, but Greco remains sidelined with an injury to pectoral muscle.
Along with Greco, DE George Selvie, SS James Butler and WR Brandon McRae will be out this week.
Transitioning to the defensive line, DT Gary Gibson has replaced Clifton Ryan as the starting DT next to Fred Robbins. Ryan has been a pleasant surprise since the Rams drafted him in the fifth round in 2007. He does struggle against blockers at times and can have a hard time getting disengaged. That said, the Rams defensive tackle rotation should be a stronger unit this year. Gibson was the free agent addition last year who replaced Adam Carriker, the Rams first round pick in 2007.
Through two games of preseason play, the Patriots are feeling pretty good about things. Check out this rundown of where things stand with the Pats over at Pats Pulpit, SBN's Patriots site. That tight end rotation is loaded with potential.