The St. Louis Rams are off to another 0-2 start, for the fifth straight season. Week three is probably a little soon to start calling for resignations at Rams Park, even with owner Stan Kroenke in the house for last night's game. Nevertheless, there are some legitimate questions that the Rams' brass needs to answer.
One question stuck in the collective consciousness of Rams fans after last night was why were Robert Quinn and Danario Alexander on the bench last week?
Quinn's put his speed on display last night. He registered his first NFL sack last night bursting in unmolested to bring down Eli Manning. Quinn regularly pressured the Giants defensive line, chugging toward the backfield like there was an agent dangling travel benefits behind the line. Sure, the rookie's game lacked sheer perfection, but there were veterans struggling far worse with the basics last night, though not on the defensive line.
Even the most optimistic version of hindsight can see that Quinn would not have made a difference in the Rams loss last week. With Quinn, the issue is a matter of settled policy now; after his play last night, we can expect to see him on the field regularly this season.
Danario Alexander is a different story. To be honest, it would not surprise me at all if his knee was deemed not ready to play last week. He was dealing with knee troubles late in practice.
He made a big difference this week, even in limited play. Which begs the question, why aren't the Rams playing him more? Actually, let me back that up just a little bit. The reality of Alexander's situation with his five-time surgically repaired knee, is that he will never be able to play 60 snaps in a game. Fine.
How those snaps are doled out matters more. For instance, why is Alexander not a regular part of the red zone package? Why on Earth are they throwing to Salas on 3rd-and-2? I'd expect some combination of Alexander, Brandon Gibson, Mike Sims-Walker, Michael Hoomanawanui and Lance Kendricks to be regulars in that part of the field, especially without Danny Amendola. As he showed with his third quarter touchdown catch, DX gives the Rams a legitimate option to beat defenders over the top in the end zone. (More important than that, the Rams really need that power blocking to come through in the red zone, but that's another post all together).
Let's not be irrational about Alexander. Calvin Johnson he is not, and he has had his fair share of drops or misses. Every receiver does. Alexander does stand apart from the Rams other receivers, not because he has more talent, just because he brings a different skill set than the possession types the dominate the depth chart. They used those abilities last night to get big chunks of yardage when the clock was working against them. They finally used that talent targeting him in single coverage in the red zone against backup corner Michael Coe.
I expect to see more from Alexander down the line, making those 15-20 plays that the Rams have him for as productive as possible.