Here we go, the you know what is hitting the fan as the offseason gets under way. Our new DC Gregg Williams, the czar of bounty-gate, may be gone for the year if you believe what some media outlets are saying. There are however some contingencies on staff. Both assistant coach Dave McInnis and DB coach Chuck Cecil have spent time as DCs in the NFL. Cecil coordinated the D in Tennessee although for 2 seasons. in 2009 his D was great against the run and very opportunistic but fell to earth in his second year to 26th in total yards. McInnis has always had a stout, opportunistic defense on any team he has coached and may be the best option to fill-in/take-over. With Manning being released, as I already thought would happen, the trading partners for the #2 pick may change depending on where he signs. I don’t believe it will be in Cleveland or Washington so it may not change much. Rich Eisen said on The Dan Patrick Show that Miami is the leader in the clubhouse. Once these 2 shoes drop the make-over begins in earnest.
Les Snead has begun to build up the market for #2 through the media as of late. He has made appearances with Rich Eisen, Mike Florio and Colin Cowherd in the last week. It is being reported in quite a few outlets that Washington is hot-to-trot after RGIII and may be willing to give up the farm so to speak. Cleveland still can make the best offer but if they sign Flynn or withhold #22 it may not happen. St Louis also has a plethora of free agents to deal with but I’ll get into that in the next paragraph as a start to go through the roster. With a new coaching staff taking over and the team playing terrible a massive roster overhaul would not be unexpected or unwarranted. Most of the UFAs will be let go.
On special teams they need to bring back P Donnie Jones and have already begun to negotiate with him according to rotoworld. It also wouldn’t hurt to look at revamping the return game with Jerious Norwood set to be a a free agent and likely not to return. Although Nick Miller did have a punt return touchdown last year he was average overall and an upgrade could be made. On offense we should start at the QB position. Sam Bradford is the starter and this may be the only position that requires only a modicum of attention. They have Brandstater as third string and should resign Clemens as the back-up to Sam. At RB Steven Jackson is still a stud but finding a solid back-up remains an issue for yet another offseason and yet another regime. WR is one of the biggest needs entering the offseason. Amendola, a restricted FA, is an exceptional slot guy but may be out of place as a starter, 2 wideouts are needed this offseason. They want Lloyd back but won’t overpay. They have depth but no frontline talent at WR. TEs Kendricks and Hoomanawanui are okay but Hoomanawanui is injury prone and at least one other body needs to be found. TheO-line is hard to read. Saffold and Dahl are certainties. The new regime is negotiating to keep Jacob Bell, who was Fisher with the Titans and thinks he is a serviceable plug. Wragge played very well as a fill in center and may be retained and if Jason Brown isn’t cut he can play there too. A starting caliber Tackle is definitely a must if Jason Smith is cut for cap room.
The defense needs a massive overhaul so it doesn’t help that Williams is in the fire. On the line they have good starting DEs in Quinn and Long. Depth may be needed but the bigger need is youth in the middle of the d-line. Robbins and Bannan should be back-ups not starters or at least part of a rotation. Gary Gibson was the only source of pressure on the interior but he is a UFA. Most new staffs like to bring in players from their past so Jason Jones remains a strong possibility here, as does corner Cortland Finnegan. Finnegan makes a lot of sense for the Rams. Injuries decimated the cornerback position. The safety position with starters Mikell and Stewart are fine but CB needs an upgrade. Bartell may be back but Fletcher is becoming injury prone with 2 ACL injuries in 3 years. Depth isn’t a concern but like many positions on the Rams the roster is not very top heavy meaning they have decent depth but lack great quality. LB is straight forward Laurinatis is a stud in the middle. They are negotiating with Chamberlain to bring him back to start after a solid year. The other starting positiion is up for grab. Brady Poppinga was solid but probably won’t be back after tearing a part Williams in public comments.
This is a quick roster assessment before free agency…let us see what happens March 13!!!
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Written by Aaron Worden