From one class act to another ...
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Congrats 2 <a href="https://twitter.com/TerranceGanaway">@TerranceGanaway</a> on following his heart+making the tough call. Great teammate. Will succeed in anything. Way to leave on ur terms</p>— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) <a href="https://twitter.com/JOEL9ONE/statuses/370368050794475520">August 22, 2013</a></blockquote>
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The cuts are already being made...with Ganaway (and Cameron Graham last week), that is 13 gone...2 more to go
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Total roster moves so far at 11 for Rams: Fields, Lapuaho, Lebeau, Helmick, Steeples, Prince, Radway, Baer, Jenkins, Hus confirmed cuts.</p>— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) <a href="https://twitter.com/nwagoner/statuses/372087991482589185">August 26, 2013</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>And Pocic waived/injured is 11th move.</p>— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) <a href="https://twitter.com/nwagoner/statuses/372088154196430848">August 26, 2013</a></blockquote>
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My Home Opener: Student Of The Game - Cody Davis
Cody Davis [via his own blog], gives a first-hand account of the Rams' preseason home opener against Green Bay.
Rams to Wear Helmet Decal In Honor Of Jones: StLouisRams.com
A classy gesture by the Rams, in honor of one of the all-time greats:
"The St. Louis Rams announced that the team will wear a commemorative decal on its helmets throughout the 2013 season, in honor of Hall of Fame defensive end Deacon Jones, who passed away in June."
2014 NFL Draft Top 100 Big Board: Mocking the Draft - SB Nation
The college football season is about to begin. Dan Kadar presents the first set of rankings for the 2014 NFL Draft. The first round looks like it will be much stronger than 2013's. That's good news for the Rams - who have 2 first round picks next year. The abundance of quality QB's in the draft bodes well for the Rams.
Scenarios Coaches Fail Most: Grantland
Bill Barnwell examines five situations that can make the difference between a great head coach - and an ex-head coach. Does Jeff Fisher have the concept of field goal range "twisted"?
Rookie Highlight Reel - Stedman Bailey
SB3 (Stedman Bailey Career Highlights) (via TheGoldNBlue)
2013 NFL team-by-team record projections: CBS Sports
Pat Kirwan predicts how all 32 NFL teams will finish. The Rams finish 3rd in the NFC West - with an 8-8 record. Kirwan qualifies his prediction, by suggesting the Rams could be a "surprise team" - led by the defense, and a solid season from Sam Bradford.
Michael Gartman breaks down the Rams schedule, predicting a 9-7 record. The Rams go 3-3 in the division - losing both games with San Francisco - and splitting with Seattle.
"Look for the Rams to present a tough challenge for San Francisco and Seattle, along with the rest of their opponents."
2014 NFL Mock Draft: WalterFootball
The Rams have two selections in the first round of the 2014 draft. In this two-round mock, the Rams pick a corner back, defensive tackle, and safety. It's early, but the Rams might be looking to replace Rodger Saffold and Jo-Lonn Dunbar - both are free agents at the end of the season. Jake Matthews (OT) and Anthony Barr (OLB) are on my early wishlist. Who's on yours?
Rams' countdown to cutdown: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The Rams' roster must be reduced to 75 today - and to 53 by Saturday. Jim Thomas details the roster possibilities by position/unit: how many on the current roster - how many likely to make the roster - safe and sound - on the bubble - and probably not. Surprises? Shelley Smith, Matt Conrath, Ray Ray Armstrong, Cody Davis, and Darian Stewart are all "on the bubble". My prediction? All of them make the 53 man roster.
Stat Facts Of The Week - Fumble Luck
2012 Fumble Luck
OFF FUM KEPT FUM LOST Lost% DEF FUM KEPT FUM LOST Lost% DEN 3 12 80% X NYJ 3 11 79% DET 4 13 76% X MIN 5 13 72% BUF 6 16 73% X NO 4 10 71% KC 6 15 71% X JAC 4 9 69% GB 4 7 64% X ATL 5 11 69% TEN 7 12 63% X HOU 7 14 67% ARI 6 10 63% X CLE 7 12 63% MIN 7 11 61% X CAR 6 10 63% CIN 6 9 60% X ARI 5 8 62% NYJ 11 15 58% X SF 6 9 60% OFF FUM KEPT FUM LOST Lost% X DEF FUM KEPT FUM LOST Lost% DAL 6 8 57% X CHI 11 16 59% NYG 5 6 55% X CIN 9 13 59% PHI 15 18 55% X WAS 7 10 59% SEA 6 7 54% X BAL 8 10 56% JAC 7 8 53% X NE 16 20 56% MIA 10 11 52% X OAK 5 6 55% PIT 14 15 52% X NYG 8 9 53% HOU 5 5 50% X PIT 8 9 53% NE 6 6 50% X SD 10 11 52% OAK 8 8 50% X DAL 7 7 50% OFF FUM KEPT FUM LOST Lost% X DEF FUM KEPT FUM LOST Lost% SD 10 10 50% X SEA 9 9 50% ATL 5 4 44% X TB 7 6 46% CHI 9 7 44% X BUF 12 8 40% BAL 6 4 40% X DEN 12 7 37% IND 11 7 39% X MIA 9 5 36% CAR 11 6 35% X TEN 10 5 33% STL 11 6 35% X DET 11 5 31% NO 8 4 33% X GB 9 4 31% SF 14 6 30% X IND 7 3 30% CLE 12 5 29% X PHI 13 4 24% WAS 15 6 29% X KC 11 3 21% TB 8 3 27% X STL 11 3 21%
How much luck is involved with recovering fumbles? The chart, compiled by Football Outsiders (link), breaks down the percentage of fumbles lost [both offensively and defensively], for all 32 teams. The Rams defense ranked last in the league in percentage of fumbles recovered. On offense, the Rams ranked 6th in the NFL. Defensively, the Rams will have better luck in 2013 - if the percentages regress to the mean.
St. Louis Rams: Best, Worst-Case Scenario For 2013: Rant Sports NFL
The health of the offensive line plays a key role in these scenarios. Best case? The Rams finish 12-4 and reach the NFC Championship game. Worst case? 6-10. These scenarios translate to the Rams' ceiling and floor for the coming season - although I believe 7-9 to 11-5 are more appropriate.
32 Teams In 32 Days: San Francisco 49ers: Pro Football Focus
PFF previews the Rams' biggest rival. Can the 49ers win a third consecutive NFC West crown? The Rams may be their biggest obstacle to overcome.
Dizzy Bat Race - Video: St. Louis Rams Official Website
The "Dizzy Bat Race" is a Jeff Fisher training camp tradition - an initiation of sorts for the rookies. Quite entertaining, to see professional athletes a little "off-balance".
Top 2013 NFC West Impact Rookies: Fox Sports
Tavon Austin and Alec Ogletree make the top 5. Their importance to the Rams cannot be overstated:
"You need to pay attention to the names on this list, because they can shift the balance of power in the division for years to come."
On This Day In Sports History
1921 - J. E. Clair, owner of the Acme Packing Company [of Green Bay] - was granted an NFL franchise.
Full Stat Predictions For St. Louis Rams' Regular Season: Bleacher Report
BR predicts stats for all the Rams' units. There are a few surprises - but if these predictions materialize - the post-season is in the cards for the Rams. Sam Bradford's predicted stat line:
"355-for-572 (62.1 percent), 4,147 yards, 28 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 91.5 QB rating"
5 Rams Players Poised For Stardom In 2013 NFL Season: Rant Sports NFL
William Hayes, Janoris Jenkins, Daryl Richardson, Jared Cook, and Brian Quick make the list of Rams ready to take the next step to stardom. All will play key roles for the Rams - and their playoff aspirations - in 2013.
St. Louis Rams 2013 NFL Team Preview: Athlon Sports
Athlon predicts a 3rd place finish in the NFC West, and a .500 record for this young team on the rise. The future looks very bright:
"A foundation of young talent has been established, although the team probably needs another good draft and off season to be considered a genuine playoff contender. So 2014 may be the true breakout year, not ’13."
The Perfect Fantasy Football Draft: The Sporting News
In this "Perfect Draft", Daryl Richardson is selected in Round 10. I agree with the strategy - to some degree. The team does have firepower at every position, bench depth [with upside], and no bye-week dilemmas. If I could only make this fantasy a reality...
NFL defenses will be better prepared this year - in dealing with the read-option - after an off season of studying college strategies. HOF coach Madden has kept close tabs on these developments:
"Every guy I've talked to is going to go after the quarterback. That's going to be their answer. If you watch what they did last year, a lot of guys played the quarterback. If he pitches, get off him. If he keeps it, tackle him. Now, they're just going to go after him whether he pitches or not."
"Jeff Fisher has a plan for the Rams, and it revolves around raw young players with unique athletic gifts. If you give these athletes lots of playing time, you hopefully accelerate their ability to reach their potential."
Tavon Austin Explodes For An 81-Yard Punt Return - Video: St.LouisRams.com
I could watch this video all day long...
Mike Snider takes a look at how this popular video game has evolved over the past 25 years. The game - and John Madden - are still going strong.
St. Louis Rams Weekly "Re-Cap"
The Rams' Available Cap Space currently stands at $113,676 - lowest in the league. They will have some maneuvering to do in the next two weeks, to create enough cap space to navigate through the regular season. Reducing the roster to 75 today should have little effect on the cap space situation. Until the start of the season - only the top 51 contracts count against the cap. It's likely that none of the cuts involved in getting down to 75 will affect the cap, since they are not in the top 51.
Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds (Bovada)
Player Team Pos Odds Tavon Austin STL WR 5-1 Montee Ball DEN RB 11-2 Eddie Lacy GB RB 7-1 EJ Manuel BUF QB 10-1 Geno Smith NYJ QB 10-1 Deandre Hopkins HOU WR 10-1 LeVeon Bell PIT RB 12-1 Robert Woods BUF WR 14-1 Tyler Eifert CIN TE 14-1 Aaron Dobson NE WR 16-1 Cordarrelle Patterson MIN WR 16-1 Justin Hunter TEN WR 20-1 Keenan Allen SD WR 20-1 Denard Robinson JAC RB 25-1 Zach Ertz PHI TE 25-1 Matt Barkley PHI QB 33-1 Joseph Randle DAL RB 33-1 Mike Gillislee MIA RB 33-1
32 Teams In 32 Days: St. Louis Rams: Pro Football Focus
PFF previews the Rams in their continuing series. They review - in-depth - 5 reasons to be confident, and 5 reasons to be concerned.
"The Rams will likely be in the mix for a wild card spot, and with a stout defense they’ll be in a ton of games."
The Quarterback Curve: Grantland
An in-depth look at what it takes, for the younger QB's of the NFL, to become a Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.
"Does he make everyone around him better? We have all played with those types of quarterbacks, we have coached them, or we have seen them. That is the greatest gift the quarterback can have."
The cuts have already begun, as four players were released on Sunday, and 7 on Monday. Roster trimming will continue throughout the week...down to 75 today...and 53 by Saturday.
Rams - Broncos: What To Watch Revisited: Nick Wagoner - ESPN
Nick Wagoner takes a look at how the Rams fared in 5 key areas of Saturday night's loss to the Broncos. The Rams easily played their best game of the preseason.
Highlights of Saturday's game with the Denver Broncos [ and there were lots of highlights!].
Les Snead speaks candidly about this season's expectations - and the expectations of winning in today's NFL.
ESPN, NFL Deny Report That League Pressured ESPN To Pull Out Of Investigative Project: Sports Business Daily
ESPN and NFL officials met last week - to discuss an upcoming documentary about head injuries in the NFL:
"League officials during the "combative meeting... conveyed their displeasure with the direction of the documentary, which is expected to describe a narrative that has been captured in various news reports over the past decade: the league turning a blind eye to evidence that players were sustaining brain trauma on the field that could lead to profound, long-term cognitive disability."
Lack Of Running Game A Troubling Sign For The Future: Rant Sports NFL
Do the Rams lack a running game? Is Daryl Richardson the answer as the lead back? Will the running back by committee approach work?
Left guard decision looms for Rams: ESPN NFC West
The battle for the starting position at left guard has been going on all summer - a battle between Chris Williams and Shelley Smith. Who will win?
Rams Camp Comes To An End: Student Of The Game - Cody Davis
Rookie safety Cody Davis gives an insiders look (through his own blog) at the close of training camp - and what his future may hold.
Quick Thoughts On The Rams Loss To The Broncos: Ramblin' Fan
RF shares 10 thoughts following Saturday's game with Denver. There is much to be happy about - despite the loss.
ESPN is conducting an "NFLRank" project - listing the top 100 players on each side of the ball. To date, the Rams have 3 players ranked on the countdown - JL55 at #57, Jake Long at #61, and Cortland Finnegan at #63.
Saffold Gives Rams More Than Expected: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
It was encouraging to see Rodger Saffold back in the starting line-up for the Broncos game. He played the entire first half - a little sore, but coming along just fine. Let's hope the Rams' offensive line can remain healthy for the entire season.
Rams draft class shines in first half vs. Denver: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Tavon Austin and Alec Ogletree put on quite a show against Denver. Just a small taste of things to come?
Veteran Players And Termination Pay: Over The Cap
The CBA has a myriad of rules regarding veterans salary. Look for the Rams to use the clauses to their advantage in the coming weeks. Last year, Kellen Clemens was released in the final cuts - only to be brought back after the first week of the season. Why? The maneuver allowed the Rams to have Clemens on the roster for the remainder of the season - without having his salary guaranteed.
Projecting The St. Louis Rams 53 Man Roster: Ramblin' Fan
Not too many big surprises here. This roster could be very close to the one the Rams start out the season with.
Making a point: Rams must score more: Nick Wagoner - ESPN
Nick Wagoner is putting together his prediction for the Rams in 2013. He enlisted the help of Twitter followers with certain issues. What do the Rams need to have a double-digit wins season? Score more points.
Rams Break Camp, But Remain Focused For Week One: StLouisRams.com
"The Fisher Culture", the whole camp experience, and looking ahead to the first regular season game - all examined, in this fine article by Nate Horgan.
Rams lose TE Harkey with leg injury: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
From Saturday's game with Denver:
"The Rams’ No. 3 tight end, Cory Harkey, has a slight fracture in his lower leg and could miss about a month of action. "
Should the Rams be worried about their run blocking? Offensive depth? Carey Davis explores these issues in this podcast.
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Alec Ogletree Still A Work In Progress: ESPN NFC West
Ogletree has had his ups and downs throughout the preseason - but is learning fast:
"Alec is getting better," Laurinaitis said. "He’s quiet, he’s humble, he works hard. His talent is definitely there. You can see it. He’s learning but he’s doing a good job but I expect him to get better incrementally."
A lot will happen in the next 2 weeks - as rosters are trimmed, players are claimed off of waivers, and teams ensure they are under the salary cap:
"The Rams and Chiefs currently have less than $500,000 in cap room. It may be necessary for them to ask players to take pay cuts and restructure contracts. Cortland Finnegan and Sam Bradford are contract restructure possibilities for the Rams because their cap numbers are $15 million and $12.595 million."
Blast From The Past - Classic Rock Tuesday - The Rolling Stones - Sweet Virginia
The Rolling Stones - Sweet Virginia (Live) - OFFICIAL (via TheRollingStones)
Have a great Tuesday... and a Ramtastic week!!!