Football is back! Well, that is if you consider meaningless football meaningful. It might not give off the adrenaline-fueled-rush that the regular season provides, but I'm tired of golf and A-Rod being the two biggest draws on ESPN. Skip Bayless has been dreaming of this moment, people. It's time.
So! Can we crown the Rams champs already? Let's take a look at how they did...
On the Upswing
Michael Brockers: Brockers played as advertised, generally wreaking havoc for the interior of the Browns offensive line. He was in for just a single series, but managed to tip two passes. The Rams didn't have much success blitzing, but Brockers (and Langford) impressed against the run.
Sam Bradford: If last night was any indication, Bradford's made it. Austin Pettis and Tavon Austin both dropped near perfect throws from Bradford, who looked poised in a pocket that wasn't always there. His throws were fast and laser accurate. If there was a MVP, it was him.
Chris Givens: I mentioned Pettis and Austin- who both had some struggles- but Givens clearly is the leading man for the Rams. Not only did he fly past coverage for a huge strike, but he caught a missile from Bradford for a touchdown.
Matt Conrath: Conrath is raw and that was evident on a few plays where his height was used against him. Still, he was around the ball quite a bit and looked the part against the Browns second team offense. I'd expect him to get more playing time as the preseason continues.
Stedman Bailey: Bailey looked good. He made some great catches and looked like he belonged on the field. He easily turned in the best rookie performance of the night.
Robert Steeples: You've got to give credit to Steeples. He's a hometown player and he did a good job out on the field late in the game. His coverage overall was sound and he's someone to keep an eye on during the preseason as he attempts to make the team.
The 'Don't Worry About It' Guys
Isaiah Pead: Pead still looks nervous and it's clear he just isn't ready to be relied upon. His first touch on offense resulted in a fumble and he very nearly knelt on the one yard-line during his second kick return. He had a pair of decent runs after the fact, but he needs to do a lot more if he wants to see some playing time at a position that's so hotly contested.
Austin Davis: Ouch. Davis didn't look very good backing up Bradford, but he has room to grow. Overall, the second team offense looked very second team. Davis looked shaky and nervous and it was obvious that he's still learning the game.
Brian Quick: I may get a little heat for this, but Quick still has a long way to go. He made some great catches, then had a pass bounce right off his hands. The Rams have plenty of young receivers that flash talent. That's just not enough anymore.
Bernie Kosar: I know it's the preseason, but don't get shitfaced before the game even starts.
Overall, the Rams looked decent. You can't expect perfection during the first preseason game considering the average age of the team. There were some bright spots, like Bradford and Givens. There were also some growing pains. But wait just a few more games before making a final decision.
After all, we can't be as clairvoyant as Kosar was- just ask Kellen Clemens.