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Which Ram Is Under the Most Pressure?

The question comes from Marshall Faulk. The answer's a bit harder to pin down.

Michael Thomas

We're going to take a question a week this year from Marshall himself and run with it.

So I'd look at a couple candidates for who needs to step up this week.

Austin Davis

Davis now steps firmly into the limelight with the likelihood that he's the starter in Tampa this week as Shaun Hill has missed practice two days running. Today's the last tune-up before the Rams head out, but it may already be the case that Davis is locked in to give Hill a weekend to rest...and to give Davis a chance to see if he can marshal more offense to start the game than Hill did against the Vikings. There's no understating the impact of the early QB play. It can force a defense to adjust and lean into less comfortable aspects of overall gameplay.

Davis doesn't have to be outstanding. But the pressure's there to at least be sufficient if he indeed takes the first snap on Sunday.

Robert Quinn

Quinn's hands down the best player at his position on the Rams. So with the loss of Chris Long, the pressure on Quinn to perform escalates. No, it doesn't mean he has to finish with three sacks every week. But if Long's absence results in some specific changes to the opposing offense to deal with Quinn knowing that the havoc Chris Long creates is no longer something to worry about, he still has to have an impact. He has to disrupt the pocket, beat the protection packages and continue to have coaches thinking about what they're going to do to deal with him throughout 60 minutes.

Jake Long

With the poor showing from the left side of the line, it's Jake Long who has to step up here. In the prime spot on the offensive line, Long's got to ensure he steps up and leads a change on the front. Obviously, the instinct is to consider things in the passing game as he'll have the primary pass rush protection assignment; however, you could argue that the larger impact he'll have will be in the running game. The Rams need to find more success on the ground against Tampa than they did last week. Nobody arguably will more important in that regard than Long.

Head Coach Jeff Fisher

If Fisher was at all protected from the hot seat going into the season, it's hard to say that's the case anymore. From avoiding to stash sufficient QB depth talent behind Sam Bradford to the utilization of Tavon Austin to the penalties...dear lord the penalties...this would be my vote. Nobody is under more pressure than Jeff Fisher. It's year three. This is the year his vision as the manager of the direction of the franchise comes to fruition. He should be held to that standard. If the Rams can look back at the last three years at season's and say that it's been a successful run, he should get the credit. If not, his desk should be the first place to lay blame. Nobody's under more pressure to perform and get results than Jeff Fisher.

What say you guys? Anyone not on the list? Brian Quick or Tavon Austin? What about Janoris Jenkins or James Laurinaitis?

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