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Road To The Preseason: Position Battles To Watch

ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 12: Isaiah Pead #24 of the St. Louis Rams looks on during rookie mini camp at the ContinuityX Training Center on May 12, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 12: Isaiah Pead #24 of the St. Louis Rams looks on during rookie mini camp at the ContinuityX Training Center on May 12, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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After the NFL Draft, there's always a long dry spell where nothing interesting will happen, espically concerning the Rams. When the Rams start their minicamps and get ready for their preseason games, things will get to be more interesting.

Unless Steven Jackson decides he wants to be twins with Isaiah Pead, and cut his dreads off? We can cover that for two weeks - easy.

In the off chance that doesn't happen, here's a list of position battles to watch during this long and boring off-season.

Who will start opposite of Brian Quick?

From the various quotes from Jeff Fisher, it will be surprising if the Rams don't give Quick every possibility to start. So with him starting, who will start in the slot and the other outside wideout position?

Well Danny Amendola will most likely start in the slot.

So that's two starters. Will Chris Given's earn the other spot opposite of Quick? Or will Austin Pettis improve over his rookie year and gain the outside spot? You also have Greg Sala's who did well in the slot before he was injured. Will he play there again or will he play on the outside? Danario Alexander is an interesting name, if he's ever healthy he would be a good player, but will he ever be healthy enough to start full time? The Rams signed Steve Smith earlier this season. He is a slot guy, no clue if he will get any looks on the outside. Last, but not least - Brandon Gibson - he looked like a solid number two before last season, will he finally break out?

All in all it will be an interesting dogfight for the remaining starting spot, and for the rest of the spots on the roster.

Who will be the starting cornerbacks?

One of the biggest disappointments last season was seeing the strongest position on the team get dismantled by injuries. It was bad when Jerome Murphy got hurt before the season started, because it looked like he was going to be a solid player; but then when starters Ron Bartell and Bradley Fletcher went down with injuries early in the season, and that just killed the cornerback position.

Josh Gordy, was good for just being thrown into the starting position, but he shouldn't be a starter - at best maybe a nickel or a 4th corner. Don't get me started on Justin King

The Rams acquired a great cornerback in Cortland Finnegan and they drafted Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson in this years draft, both players can develop into starters.

I imagine that Fletcher and Finnegan will start week one, but they will rotate the rookies in to create mismatches or, because of injury.

Will a corner move to safety? Trumaine and Jerome seem like the best canadates, but we will see.

Who is going to return kicks?

Right now only three players come to mind: Isaiah Pead, Janoris Jenkins, and Danny Amendola. Given's might also get a chance to return kicks, because he's done so in the past, but I would think it will be between these three, unless some unknown rookie shows out as a return man and earns a spot on the team.

I'm pretty sure the Rams will get Pead to return punts and kicks for the team. It will allow Danny Amendola to do less, and focus on just offense. Jenkins will probably return a few kicks, but I see it as Pead's job to lose.

Which players will start at outside linebacker?

It's pretty much a given that James L, will start at middle linebacker for the Rams. The question is who will start next to him?

The Rams added Jo-Lonn Dunbar and most recently Mario Haggins' this off-season. These two players should be starting right now, and the other players should have to fight to take their spots. Both aren't really game changers, so I wouldn't be surprised if they lost their spot.

The word is that the Rams have been impressed by two UDFA's Sammy Brown and Alex Hoffman-Ellis. It's early, but these two players should make the final 53.

The Rams drafted Aaron Brown from the University of Hawaii. He will compete for the weak side position. There hasn't been news on him, but he has the same chance of making the final 53 as the two UDFA linebackers.

Who will be the starting left guard?

This is probably the biggest hole on the roster, mostly because it's hard to tell who will earn a starting roll. It seems like it's going to be a vet that hasn't been impressive starting yet, or a rookie.

If a gun was to my head, I would say that Bryan Mattison is the leader for the spot right now. He started the last few games last season.

If he struggles it will be a battle between rookie Rokevious Watkins and veteran Quinn Ojinnaka for the starting spot.