The St. Louis Rams backup offensive line played the entire game against the Packers on Saturday, in some form or another. Even the starters played without Jake Long and Rodger Saffold ... and it showed. A few notes and observations from the offensive line play.
Greg Robinson, Mike Person, Scott Wells, Davin Joseph, Joe Barksdale ... that was the starting front five the Rams went with on Saturday. The pass protection was decent -- Sam Bradford was not sacked -- but the running game was nowhere to be found as the Packers defensive front had their way with that group. Zac Stacy had just six yards on six carries. SIX.
Fourth-year journeyman Mike Person played all 71 of the Rams offensive snaps this week. He started the game at left guard, moved to left tackle and finished the game at center. He was the only player on the whole team to play every single snap with his unit. And he struggled the whole game.
Person played 55 snaps last week, notching a better grade in pass protection than he did as a run blocker. Struggles with run blocking were readily apparent last night, from the whole team, but the combination of Person, Scott Wells (never a great run blocker) and Davin Joseph in the middle of the starting offensive line, the Rams couldn't get anything going with the run game.
Tim Barnes took over at the pivot for Scott Wells. Absent this week was second-year player Barrett Jones. The Rams confirmed that Jones had back surgery this week, as reported by the Post-Dispatch, and his status for the 2014 season is cloudy at best. He could end up on the injured reserve list.
Wells' run blocking has been an issue throughout his career, and if the Rams can't get their starting guards in the lineup consistently, it poses a threat to the offensive game plan.
The Rams got a good look at their tackle depth this week with Jake Long and Saffold on the bench. Sean Hooey got lots of reps on the outside with 49 snaps ... he also struggled in pass protection. His speed and footwork were badly exposed by the Packers' second- and third-team pass rushers.
Sam Bradford avoided a sack, but the backup quarterbacks were brought down four times.
Mitchell Van Dyk got 39 snaps at tackle. He got some reps at guard too. RJ Dill had a forgettable outing with 27 snaps.
Greg Robinson played 22 snaps, all with the ones, at left tackle. It was a mixed bag, but he didn't allow a sack. Robinson's inexperience with pass blocking means he could take some time to adjust in the regular season, but his pedigree suggests he'll eventually pick it up anyway. Until then, the Rams tackle depth is going to be a real concern heading into the season.