As you know, the NFL and NFLPA just went back to court. Hopefully, we hear some good news about it soon, but we're not talking about the lockout right now. I'm sure I can find another way to bore you later. Recently, I read White088's topic about the lockout. White088 was right -- with all this negativity surrounded the lockout, its been hard to look to the bright side.
So let's look at which players are benefiting from this lockout. Of course, I'm not going to discuss about every player, but the main cast follows the jump.
Donnie Avery- Avery's injury had to be the biggest disappointment last season. Going into the season it seemed like Avery was poised to have his breakout season. Avery had an up and coming quarterback in Sam Bradford, and it looked like they would make a great pair. In fact, Avery showed his potential when he ran the deep route that injured him. There is no way this lockout isn't helping Avery recovery better from his injury. An extra few weeks of rest never hurts anyone.
Mark Clayton- Clayton sadly had a similar fate as Avery. Clayton was brought in to replace Avery, and him and Bradford connect instantly. Those two players had a great chemistry going, until his injury against the Lions. That injury made that horrible game, even worse. After that injury Bradford never had a steady number one receiver.
Fendi Onobun- Onobun got injured at a bad time. Onobun is a project for the Rams, but such an intriguing prospect that the Rams can't put him on the practice squad. He only had one year of college football, but he has all the intangibles to be a good receiving tight end. It was disappointing to see him get injured for the season. Onobun probably wouldn't have made a big impact last season, but those extra reps wouldn't have hurt. This lockout had to help him, from what I can tell on twitter and his website last season motivated him. This lockout gives Onobun more time to practice his craft.
Players coming off of disappointing seasons
Laurent Robinson- Wow, do you remember when everyone thought that Robinson and Avery would be the Rams two best wide receivers? It turns out that that wouldn't be the case. I thought he would do well, I even picked him up on my fantasy team (Damn ESPN).
The injury that he had the season prior had to be a hard one to get over, but the big negative on Robinson is his injury history. Robinson needs this lockout more than any WR on the Rams, he should be more healthy when the lockout ends, and who knows he might do good in this new system.
Greco and Goldberg- I had to lump them all together. It's hard to just point at one of these players and say you did good. Goldberg started the majority of the time, but he doesn't seem to be a long term answer for the Rams. Everyone is sold on Greco, but I would caution not to be too excited. The Rams could have used him a lot last season, but he barely played. Both of these players left a lot to be desired last season.
Players with something to prove next season.
Sam Bradford- Bradford had a good year, better than anyone thought he would last season. I have no issue on how he played, its just that he hit the rookie wall HARD, during the last stretch of the season. You can blame a lot of things, but if Bradford doesn't play at a high level in games last season we lose. Rather its unfair or not, if he continues to have a slump, the Rams will have a bad season. Bradford needs these weeks off, so that he can shrug the dust off his sholders, and have a good sophomore year.
Jason Smith- You have to feel bad for Jason Smith. He went from being a number 2 pick, and a potential franchise left tackle, to being an average right tackle. The Rams certainly didn't get their moneys worth with that pick. Smith was transitioning from left tackle to right tackle, that didn't help matters. But he has all the tools to become at least a solid player at right tackle, but I doubt that he will take the left tackle spot back from Rodger Saffold.
This players who are enjoying the lockout the most
Steven Jackson- Talk about having fun, Steven Jackson has been traveling a lot this off season. I'm not talking states either. Right now Jackson is in Italy just chilling, and most importantly resting to become our workhorse for another season. He might not have been at the player practices, but I would rather him vacationing, then riding bulls.
Brian Kehl- It's just something about finding your father during the lockout that makes everything better. This had to be the biggest bright side, maybe he would have found his father anyway, but now they can spend time together.