After that last post, I started thinking more about what the St. Louis Rams final 53-man roster might look like come September. The offense is sailing in uncharted waters with a new offensive coordinator who appears to be bringing a new offensive game plan to his own repertoire. Is there any precedent to be found in the recent past that might give us a hint of how many receivers and tight ends the Rams will include?
With the Donkeys last year, head coach Josh McDaniels' final roster at the beginning of September included three tight ends (Daniel Graham, Dan Gronkowski and Richard Quinn) and six wide receivers (Erik Decker, Jabar Gaffney, Brandon Llyod, Eddie Royal and Demaryius Thomas).
In 2009, McDaniels' first year head coaching in Denver, the Broncos roster included three tight ends and seven wide receivers.
Hmm, three tight ends seems to be trend. So what about McDaniels' old boss, Bill Belichick, and his double-threat tight end system? Same. The Patriots had three tight ends on the roster, the same three all year (Alge Crumpler, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez). The Patriots kept three tight ends on their 2009 roster too.
So it could be down to just three tight ends for the Rams this year. Onobun would still have his practice squad eligibility, but he'd likely get plucked as the Rams thought he would last year.
That doesn't necessarily mean that the Rams will keep just three tight ends on the final roster. Hoomanawanui's struggles with injuries last year might give them some concern. Another player might earn a spot because of his special teams play. I'm not the biggest fan of straight comparisons from a coach's past; every situation is different. However, keeping three tight ends seems to be dogma for McDaniels and his mentor. That ought to make the training camp battle at TE pretty interesting.