September 8, 2009

2009 NFL Preview: St.Louis Rams

Remember when the Rams where "The Greatest Show on Turf"? Well those days are long gone. No more Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Orlando Pace, Issac Bruce, Dick Vermeil, Mike Martz, and now Torry Holt is gone.

The Rams went out and hired Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Spagnuolo had a chance to be the Redskins coach last season but chose to stay in New York. Now he's made his way to a grease fire in St. Louis. Think he will regret that decision much?

Remember the Predator?: Steven Jackson at one time was one of the best running backs in the league. Before Brandon Jacobs and LenDale White, Jackson was the both of those guys two years ago. But injuries have derailed his career.

Jackson has missed five games in the past two season due to injuries. The Rams suffered when he was hurt. They are a completely different team with Jackson playing. He takes pressure off of Marc Bulger. Well Jackson is healthy this season and has a sledgehammer in front of him. The Rams signed fullback Mike Karney to be Jackson's lead blocker. If Jackson can stay healthy this season, the Rams should be vastly improved.

Who are the Receivers?: This unit will be green since the Rams released Torry Holt in the spring. Donnie Avery had a nice rookie year, but an hip injury hurt his production. Another rookie from last year Kennan Burton was also hobbled last season by an knee injury. So the Rams have two young receivers with injury problems already? Enjoy your season Marc Bulger.

Line Problems: The defensive line could be a big problem for the Rams. Adam Carriker is lost for the season and Leonard Little is past his prime. Last year's top pick Chris Long struggled in his first season only picking up four sacks. Long should have a better season though now that the Rams are switching from the 3-4 defense to the 4-3 defense. Also there isn't much depth at defensive tackle. The Rams line will have a long year.

Schedule: Their schedule is favorable to a rebuilding team like the Rams. Indianapolis, Green Bay, and New Orleans all travel to St. Louis. Their toughest road games are against Chicago and Tennessee. The perfect schedule for a rebuilding team.

Video: The Rams didn't have much to celebrate last year, but this beatdown they gave the Cowboys is worth celebrating.

Prediction, 4-12, 4th NFC West: Even with a favorable schedule, there just isn't enough there for the Rams to compete. Green receivers, a weak defensive line, and injuries will hurt this team in the long run. I do expect this team to improve from last season though under new coach Steve Spagnuolo.

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