The St. Louis Rams start the preseason in exactly one week. Jeff Fisher's squad took their first step toward that game on Saturday with a team scrimmage and practice at the Edward Jones Dome in front of some 13,000 fans. Fans and the media walked away from the event talking about Brandon Gibson, Greg Zuerlein and others who all scored as winners on the day. The real winner was the fans, who finally have a football team they can be jazzed about.
Some linkage for you after the jump.
The defense is well ahead of the offense, says Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch.
Things didn't look very fluid offensively for most of Saturday's session, however, especially with the Rams' second and third units. As always, no contact was allowed on the quarterbacks, but Robert Quinn (on Bradford), Eugene Sims (on Kellen Clemens), and rookie free agent Scott Smith (on Austin Davis) all would've had sacks Saturday during 11-on-11 work.
Players have the day off on Sunday, following the end of the first week of practice. Preseason play starts next Sunday for the Rams. The offense, especially the offensive line, needs to show at least a few signs of hope between now and then to assuage weary fans.
John Clayton, the Professor, was less concerned about the Rams offense in his visit to camp last week.
McDaniels' departure alone should be worth six points a game. A revitalized Bradford and the hiring of Brian Schottenheimer could be worth more. Bradford looks great. He has lifted weights in the offseason and is bigger and stronger. He finished last season at 216 pounds. Now, he's 225 and throwing with authority. Schottenheimer is adding more motion to the offense with his receivers to confuse defenses. A smarter offensive scheme should mean better quarterback play for the Rams.
Again, the key here is the offensive line. Can they be good enough to protect Bradford on the three-step drops?
Ramblin' Fan weighed in on kicker Greg Zuerlein.
The biggest star of the day was probably rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein, who put on a long-distance field goal show. Zuerlein nailed kicks from 39, 44, 49, 54 and 59 yards before just missing a 64-yarder that had the distance but drifted to the left. I know it's still only practice, but the kid has a bomb and he looks to be fairly accurate as well. Plenty of people were floored when the Rams picked Zuerlein in the draft, but those who saw him today probably feel quite a bit better about that selection now.
If you shared your thoughts from the scrimmage in the fanposts or on another site, let us know.