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Random Ramsdom: August 18: St. Louis Rams - 75 In 8

In 8 days NFL roster trimming begins. NFL teams must reduce their rosters to 75 by August 26, then to 53 four days later. The Rams will have many difficult decisions to make. Battles for roster spots will continue right up until the final cuts are made. The 2014 edition of the St. Louis Rams will be young, talented, and ready to challenge for a playoff spot.

Jamie Squire


Twitter Talk

Here's hoping Isaiah Pead has a speedy recovery from his knee injury:

Greg Robinson at his finest:

The Rams could sure use Kyle Long as well right about now:

Will Michael Sam beat out Ethan Westbrooks?:

On the injury front...more news on Sunday:

Rams backing Bradford heading into a make-or-break season: Fox Sports

There's little doubt the Rams organization is all-in on Sam Bradford, as this offseason has proven. Bradford looked sharp - in his first preseason action - against the Green Bay Packers.

The Front Lines OF Ferguson: Grantland

Rembert Browne spends 48 hours in Ferguson, Missouri, in the aftermath of Michael Brown's tragic death.

2014 St. Louis Rams Review And Predictions: Athlon Sports

The Rams reside in the NFL's toughest division: The NFC West. Athlon Sports predicts a difficult road ahead for the Rams, in their quest to reach the playoffs in 2014:

"A lot of "ifs" for what figures to be the youngest team in the NFL for the third consecutive season."

Danny Amendola Can Field Up To Four Punts At Once, Also, Juggle: USA Today - The Big Lead

Looks like former Rams WR Danny Amendola has learned a bunch of new tricks, since leaving the Rams for the New England Patriots in 2013.

Rookie Highlight Reel: Maurice Alexander - Safety

Observation Deck: St. Louis Rams: ESPN NFL Nation

Nick Wagoner shares his thoughts and observations, following the Rams' 21-7 preseason loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Bradford sharp, but not much else goes right for Rams: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

There was a mixture of good, bad, and ugly in Saturday's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. On a positive note, QB Sam Bradford looked sharp and healthy in his return to action.

Sam Bradford Highlights vs. Packers: St. Louis Rams Official Website

Sam Bradford had an impressive preseason debut, in his first game back from a 2013 season-ending injury.

Scenes From The NFC West: Sports On Earth

Dan Pompei takes an in-depth look at all 4 NFC West teams. The NFL's best division just keeps getting better.

Stat Facts Of The Week: Points For And Against

Points For and Against for Each NFL Team
Rank Team PTS PTS Against Diff. PPG PPG Against PPG Diff.
1 Denver Broncos 606 399 207 37.9 24.9 13.0
2 Seattle Seahawks 417 231 186 26.1 14.4 11.7
3 San Francisco 49ers 406 272 134 25.4 17.0 8.4
4 Cincinnati Bengals 430 305 125 26.9 19.1 7.8
5 Carolina Panthers 366 241 125 22.9 15.1 7.8
6 Kansas City Chiefs 430 305 125 26.9 19.1 7.8
7 New Orleans Saints 414 304 110 25.9 19.0 6.9
8 New England Patriots 444 338 106 27.8 21.1 6.7
9 Philadelphia Eagles 442 382 60 27.6 23.9 3.7
10 Indianapolis Colts 391 336 55 24.4 21.0 3.4
11 Arizona Cardinals 379 324 55 23.7 20.3 3.4
12 San Diego Chargers 396 348 48 24.8 21.8 3.0
13 Detroit Lions 395 376 19 24.7 23.5 1.2
14 Pittsburgh Steelers 379 370 9 23.7 23.1 0.6
15 Dallas Cowboys 439 432 7 27.4 27.0 0.4
16 Green Bay Packers 417 428 -11 26.1 26.8 -0.7
17 St. Louis Rams 348 364 -16 21.8 22.8 -1.0
18 Miami Dolphins 317 335 -18 19.8 20.9 -1.1
19 Tennessee Titans 362 381 -19 22.6 23.8 -1.2
20 Baltimore Ravens 320 352 -32 20.0 22.0 -2.0
21 Chicago Bears 445 478 -33 27.8 29.9 -2.1
22 Buffalo Bills 339 388 -49 21.2 24.3 -3.1
23 New York Giants 294 383 -89 18.4 23.9 -5.5
24 Atlanta Falcons 353 443 -90 22.1 27.7 -5.6
25 Minnesota Vikings 391 480 -89 24.4 30.0 -5.6
26 New York Jets 290 387 -97 18.1 24.2 -6.1
27 Cleveland Browns 308 406 -98 19.3 25.4 -6.1
28 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 288 389 -101 18.0 24.3 -6.3
29 Oakland Raiders 322 453 -131 20.1 28.3 -8.2
30 Washington Redskins 334 478 -144 20.9 29.9 -9.0
31 Houston Texans 276 428 -152 17.3 26.8 -9.5
32 Jacksonville Jaguars 247 449 -202 15.4 28.1 -12.7

Sometimes the simplest statistic can be the most compelling. Of the 13 teams who made the playoffs/had 10 wins in 2013, 12 finished in the top dozen in point differential. The lone exception - the Green Bay Packers - likely would have finished higher than 16th, if QB Aaron Rodgers hadn't missed 7 games due to injury. The Rams finished 17th in the rankings, scoring 16 points less than their opponents in 2013.


The NFL's All Make-Or-Break Team: Grantland

Alec Ogletree makes the lineup of players who could define the success or failure of entire offenses and defenses this coming season.

The Rams and First Round Linemen: Football Perspective

The Rams will have 7 players on the offensive/defensive lines who were selected in the top 33 of their respective drafts. The 1976 Los Angeles Rams had the same number, and were noted for their outstanding play in the trenches.

Healthy Bradford needs to go deep: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Can Sam Bradford throw the deep ball successfully? Bernie Miklasz thinks so:

"I’ve seen analysts trash Bradford’s ability to throw the deep pass. That’s fine, but we saw him go there in 2012 in hooking up with then-rookie wideout Chris Givens. According to Pro Football Focus, Bradford ranked just outside the top 10 among NFL quarterbacks in accuracy on passes that travelled 20-plus yards that year. The arm strength is there."

2014 preview: Rams' biggest obstacle is the NFC West: Fox Sports

Alex Marvez predicts an 8-8 record for the Rams this season. The Rams play 10 games against teams who made the playoffs/won 10 games in 2013. If the Rams can achieve a 6-4 record in those games, 10 or 11 wins is not out of the question.

On This Day In Sports History

1986 - QB Jim Kelly - after a brief stint in the USFL - signs with the Buffalo Bills [$75 million for 5 years].

1987 - Houston Oilers RB Earl Campbell retires from the NFL.

Remembering Isaac Bruce

WR Isaac Bruce was a key component of the famed GSOT. The following video is a tribute, to one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history.

The insider's guide to a Gregg Williams defense: Bleacher Report

For those who may have missed this last fall, Matt Bowen - a retired NFL defensive back who played 7 seasons - lends his insight into the nuances of a Gregg Williams defense.

NFL Preseason Week 2 Film Study: Bleacher Report

As part of his weekly preseason film study, Matt Bowen takes a look at the progression of the Rams' defense under Gregg Williams:

"Given the amount of talent the Rams have along the defensive line, new coordinator Gregg Williams could play more coverage this season (Cover 2/Cover 7) instead of sending pressure."

The QB Contract Mirage: Sports Illustrated - MMQB

Recent contract extensions for Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick look impressive at first glance. In reality, they're nothing more than short-term commitments, with players ceding more and more control.

Rams could be a dangerous team: Rams News Now

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio believes the Rams could be a surprise playoff team this year, a year where potential turns into production on the field.


Fantasy Football

Peter King - and his team at MMQB - unveil their Fantasy Football player rankings. The first position groups in the series: TE's, QB's, RB's, and WR's.

Fantasy Football Rankings - Tight Ends: Sports Illustrated - MMQB

Fantasy Football Rankings - Quarterbacks: Sports Illustrated - MMQB

Fantasy Football Rankings - Running Backs: Sports Illustrated - MMQB

Fantasy Football Rankings - Wide Receivers: Sports Illustrated - MMQB


Quick thoughts on the Rams loss to the Packers: Ramblin' Fan

Nathan Kearns shares his observations from Saturday's game.

Five takeaways from loss in Week 2: Rant Sports NFL

The Rams still have plenty to work on over the next few weeks. There were many promising signs in the game against the Pack, including the healthy return of QB Sam Bradford.

The making of the 53-man roster: National Football Post

90-man offseason rosters must be reduced to 53 by August 30. Greg Gabriel summarizes the key factors in assembling a teams final 53-man roster.

Zuerlein not a fan of longer extra point attempts: Yahoo Sports

Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein has mixed feelings about the longer extra point attempts:

''I don't know why they'd change it. The extra point has been around a long time. I really don't know what to make of it. It's a little tougher than the normal extra point. I just go out and kick.''


How can the Seahawks repeat? Players like Sherman, Harvin, Michael key: CBS Sports

Jason La Canfora takes an in-depth look at the reigning NFL champs, and what it will take for them to repeat as champions.

2013 Pressure Plays: Defense: Football Outsiders

The importance of the Rams' defensive line to the teams fortunes cannot be under-stated:

"The NFC defense to best fit the mold of "secondary is toast without pressure" was St. Louis: fifth with pressure and 21st without for the second-biggest pressure drop in the league. Of course the Rams added to the front seven with Aaron Donald in the first round, but the young secondary should be a little better this season under Gregg Williams."

Bradford's return a step in the right direction: ESPN NFL Nation

Nick Wagoner shares his thoughts on the return of Sam Bradford.

Young defenders try to make their mark with Rams: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Greg Reid, Cody Davis, Phillip Steward, and Marcus Roberson are all vying for positions on the final 53-man roster. Will they make the roster?

St. Louis Rams Weekly Salary "Re-Cap"

The Rams currently have $1,678,451 in available salary cap space. I will be publishing a complete "Training Camp Edition" salary cap update within the next couple of weeks.


Rams vs. Packers Highlights:

Highlights of the Rams' second preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.

Three Rams who helped themselves: ESPN NFL Nation

Ethan Westbrooks, Michael Sam, and Cody Davis all made cases for their inclusion on the final 53-man roster, with solid performances versus the Packers.

Pead out for season: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Have the Rams lost both RB Isaiah Pead and C/G Barrett Jones for the season?

"It looks like the Rams have lost running back Isaiah Pead for the season with a knee injury. And even before Saturday’s preseason contest against Green Bay, they lost center/guard Barrett Jones for an extended period — possibly for the season — with back surgery."

The Grantland NFL Podcast: 2014 NFC West Preview: Grantland

Robert Mays and Bill Barnwell preview the toughest division in the NFL: the NFC West.

Barrett Jones out with back injury: ESPN NFL Nation

Barrett Jones continues his hard-luck career to-date with minor surgery on his back. His return date is yet to be determined.

The Pressers

Jeff Fisher Press Conference - August 17: St. Louis Rams Official Website

Jeff Fisher Post-Game Press Conference: St. Louis Rams Official Website

Sam Bradford Post-Game Interview: St. Louis Rams Official Website

Chris Long Post-Game Interview: St. Louis Rams Official Website

Jeff Fisher Press Conference - August 14: St. Louis Rams Official Website

Under The Lights - Gregg Williams: St. Louis Rams Official Website

Coach Jeff Fisher recaps the game versus the Green Bay Packers: 101 ESPN

St. Louis Rams Current Roster And Depth Chart

C Scott Wells Tim Barnes Demetrius Rhaney
RG Rodger Saffold Davin Joseph Travis Bond D.J. Morrell
LG Greg Robinson Barrett Jones Brandon Washington
RT Joe Barksdale Sean Hooey R.J. Dill
LT Jake Long Mike Person Mitchell Van Dyk
TE Jared Cook Justice Cunningham Alex Bayer
TE Lance Kendricks Cory Harkey Brad Smelley
WR Tavon Austin Stedman Bailey T.J. Moe Austin Franklin
WR Brian Quick Austin Pettis Emory Blake
WR Chris Givens Kenny Britt Justin Veltung Jordan Harris
RB Tre Mason Isaiah Pead Trey Watts Kadeem Jones
RB Zac Stacy Benny Cunningham Chase Reynolds
QB Sam Bradford Shaun Hill Austin Davis Garrett Gilbert
PK Greg Zuerlein
P John Hekker Bobby Cowan
LS Jake McQuaide Jorgen Hus
DT Kendall Langford Aaron Donald Deantre Harlan
DT Michael Brockers Alex Carrington Matt Conrath
DE Chris Long Eugene Sims Michael Sam Kourtnei Brown
DE Robert Quinn William Hayes Ethan Westbrooks
MLB James Laurinaitis Phillip Steward Aaron Hill Pat Schiller
OLB Alec Ogletree Daren Bates Etienne Sabino Johnny Millard
OLB Jo-Lonn Dunbar Ray Ray Armstrong Sammy Brown Lawrence Wilson
CB Janoris Jenkins Brandon McGee Marcus Roberson
CB Trumaine Johnson Greg Reid Darren Woodard
CB Lamarcus Joyner E.J. Gaines Jarrid Bryant
S Rodney McLeod Maurice Alexander Christian Bryant Avery Cunningham
S T.J. McDonald Cody Davis Matt Daniels
IR Mason Brodine

I've updated the roster to include all transactions as of August 17, 2014. The Rams roster is currently at the 90-man off-season limit. With TE/DE Mason Brodine placed on Injured Reserve, the Rams have 91 players under contract. Rosters must be trimmed to 75 players by August 26. The final roster cuts - to reach the 53-man regular season limit - must be completed by August 30. The Rams will need to make roster decisions regarding Isaiah Pead and Barrett Jones. Jones underwent back surgery a week ago, and his status for the season has not been determined. Pead suffered a knee injury against the Packers on Saturday, and will likely be placed on season-ending Injured Reserve.

With injuries beginning to rear their ugly head, roster depth will be very important for the Rams. After two preseason games, my concerns regarding depth on the offensive line and the back-seven - as noted in a recent article for TST (link), still remain.

Blast From The Past: Classic Rock Monday: Janis Joplin - Ball And Chain

Please have a great Monday and a Ramtastic week!!