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Rams Roster Preview: Austin Davis

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The St. Louis Rams are set at starting quarterback. But what about the backups?

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Roster Battle:

The Rams currently have three quarterbacks behind Sam Bradford. Historically, the Rams have only kept two quarterbacks on the active roster. 13 year veteran Shaun Hill looks like a lock for the immediate backup spot. After the departure of Kellen Clemens via free-agency, the Rams brought over the longtime backup from Detroit to fill the gap. Hill is regarded pretty highly around the league as far as backups go, and has performed pretty well when pressed into service. He started 16 games over three years with NFC West rival San Francisco, and 10 games during his 4 year tenure in Detroit. His career numbers aren't too shabby either, with Hill attempting 954 passes and completing 591 of them. That's good for a career 61.9 completion percentage. He has thrown 41 touchdowns versus 23 interceptions, with 12 of those occurring during the 2010 season. Rams fans might remember Shaun Hill throwing for three TD's against the Rams in week five of that year, leading his team to their first victory in 10 games with a final score of 44-6. If you feel like torturing yourself for a few minutes here's the recap video link via NFL.com.

Checking in at numero tres on the roster is third year undrafted free agent Austin Davis. Davis was cut by the Rams last year and signed with the Miami Dolphins. Just two months later the Rams brought back Davis due to Bradford's knee exploding in Charlotte while playing the Carolina Panthers. Davis was brought in due to his familiarity with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's scheme. Davis doesn't have a whole lot of NFL stats, but he has been serviceable in preseason play, while becoming somewhat of a fan favorite for a backup spot. Davis has good mobility, as is evidenced by his 1375 yards rushing over four seasons at Southern Mississippi, and his arm isn't bad either. He did break a bunch of records in college which belonged to a guy named Brett Favre. He finished his collegiate career with a rating of 135.4, a 61.1 completion percentage, and 10,892 yards for 83 touchdowns and just 27 interceptions over 1527 attempts.

Garrett Gilbert is the wrench in Austin Davis's gears. The Rams spent a 6th round pick on the Southern Methodist product. Gilbert has a good frame at 6'4" 221 lbs. His arm strength isn't going to impress, but his touch on the ball will. Gilbert backed up Colt McCoy at Texas, (before transferring to SMU after graduating from Texas), and replaced him in the 2010 BCS National Championship after McCoy left with an injury. While his play wasn't awe-inspiring in college, he did play under a system similar to what he will see in St. Louis; high percentage route schemes complemented by a consistent running attack. Gilbert will only see the field during the preseason, where fans will get to see enough of him to warrant judgment. Gilbert is a developmental quarterback who, in terms of a backup, will excel in the St. Louis offense.

Expectations/Will He Make the Roster?:

Austin Davis obviously has his fans in the Rams' front office and coaching staff. The appearance of Garrett Gilbert this preseason could mean the end to Austin's time in St. Louis. It is unlikely that either Davis or Gilbert will be on the active roster, leaving only one spot on the practice squad open at quarterback.