If the media hasn't told you yet, let me be the first; the third preseason game is considered the "dress rehearsal" by most NFL teams. That means teams will play their starters longer than in other preseason games, and may even "game plan" against the opponent (meaning they will specifically direct their efforts around exploiting opponents weaknesses).
This is often the time that second and third stringers that have impressed in camp get opportunities to run with some of the first and second team units. Jeff Fisher doesn't necessarily conform to this standard mold of preseason procedure, but I would still look for the first team to get a lot of reps. I would also be on the lookout for bubble players to get more reps as well. So which Rams players do you think will stand above the rest, and who will make the most of their opportunity?
On to the news...
No surprises here. If everything plays out exactly how fans would envision, Austin, Bradford, and Jenkins should all expect team awards this year.
The intensity seems to be high this week at Rams camp. This is likely due to all the fundamental and mental mistakes in the first two preseason games. Coaches like to see progress, and I'm not sure the coaching staff saw progress between the first two preseason games.
Fans certainly hope Austin can be a rookie of the year candidate. If he can settle down and make half of the plays in the NFL that he did at West Virginia during this years season, the Rams will be in good shape.
Ouch, it's only the 3rd preseason game but it must hurt fans to think that someone views the teams rookie grade a "D" right now. Fans are certainly looking for something more encouraging than that from a team that has done so poorly in the draft in the past. However, judging only upon PFF stats in the preseason is not fully accurate. Often base defenses are played against the wrong offensive personnel forcing players out of position. There is truth in all of this though. Ogletree, Austin, and McDonald are all starting for the Rams in 2013, and the team is expecting them to play better than the players they replaced from last year.
Arizona adds now journeyman wide receiver Mike Thomas to their receiving mix, but will he even make the team? I suppose it's possible, but Thomas hasn't shown enough in his career to prove he can just walk in and make the team. If he does, it says something about the other receivers on the bottom of that roster.
No Rams on the list, but there are certainly a few I can think of that probably should be named.
Stay classy Rams fans, and follow me on Twitter this season as I will be bringing live commentary from the Edward Jones dome during Rams home games.