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Nick Wagoner’s Rams Chat Highlights: June 20

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by RamBill, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. RamBill Well-Known Member

    Jul 31, 2010
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    Wagoner Chat Highlights

    —I’m not going to make any sweeping proclamations about any position based on OTAs when guys are running around in jerseys and shorts with no pads. This time of year is best to see how young guys or new guys are transitioning to the team and catch up with those coming back from injury to see where they are in rehab. The receiver group had some really nice moments in camp, from guys like Britt and Givens on down to someone like Emory Blake. But in the grand scheme, it doesn’t mean a whole lot.

    —The going rate for an average quarterback is still pretty high and you have to factor what Bradford has been paid in the past. I’d think he’d be in the $15 million range on an annual basis depending on how well he plays. Jay Cutler’s contract would be a likely baseline, I’d think. Again, that’s based on him playing well enough for the Rams to want to do an extension.

    —Brian Schottenheimer said Quick was the most improved player in camp. He definitely had some good moments. But that’s nothing new, either. Quick has always showed great promise in practice. It’s about doing it in games. Let’s see where he’s at when the real stuff begins.

    —For the Rams to win the division, they’ll need the defense to deliver on all of its promise, an offense that can be as balanced as it wants to be, a lot of injury luck and a lot of young players to take big steps forward. Especially that last part.

    —Jenkins vs Tru Johnson: I think Jenkins has accomplished more but he’s also more of a risk taker. You could argue that Johnson’s ceiling is as high based on raw talent. I’d still tend to lean to Jenkins because of the play making ability but he needs to become more consistent and not allow the big plays that cancel out the ones he makes.

    —Joyner? He’s doing well. Working with the second team in the nickel mostly though he’s also gotten some work in that role with the 1s and some work at safety with the backups (mostly because of injuries to other safeties). I still expect him to be the nickel back when the season starts but we’ll see how he does in camp in overtaking McGee.

    —Which 7th Rounders Make It? It’s going to be tough for all of them, honestly. Bryant is the one that plays the position that would seem to have the most open competition but hard to project him as having a good chance since he’s been hurt and hasn’t played at all since he arrived in STL. If not him, then Michael Sam would be next best guess but I’d venture that the odds are against all four.

    —OTAs have their purpose and there’s things that can be gleaned from watching them but there’s nothing roster or season altering that takes place with limited contact and no pads. Don’t get me wrong, you can see if an injured player is making progress or if someone is in better shape or earning more reps with the first team but it’s really hard to take too much from them.

    —There were a lot of things that contributed to Givens not taking the step forward that was expected, some out of his control and some that were in it. It’s not just the absence of an accurate deep ball thrower or another wideout to take the pressure off. He battled injury issues for much of the season and he struggled to improve his route running. And, at times, he didn’t put forth the effort he needed to on contested balls. In talking to him, he sounds like someone who knows what needs to be done to succeed. We’ll see if he can do those things.

    —As of now, they don’t seem to be in a hurry to do anything else in terms of vets and they will need some cap space to get through the season with injuries and such. If they do, I think the two positions you name would make the most sense, especially a veteran linebacker…… I don’t know if it’s a surprise but I thought Ray Ray Armstrong looked much more comfortable and confident in the defense during the OTAs. That’s before he missed the last couple practices of course. But I think he’s someone to keep an eye on as we head to camp and into the regular season.

    —Hall of Fame? Well, Faulk is already in so you can mark that one off. I think Warner and Pace will definitely get in, even if it’s not right away. Bruce and Holt are tougher cases just because of the potential glut of receivers that’s only going to increase the next few years. I think both should get in and they probably will eventually but I’d feel more confident in Warner and Pace before the two wideouts. If I had a vote, I’d vote yes for all four (not in the same year necessarily but within a reasonable amount of time).

    —3rd QB? It could go either way depending on how preseason goes. If neither Davis nor Gilbert shows much, I could see the Rams keeping two and then putting Gilbert on the practice squad. If Gilbert plays well in the preseason, I think they keep all three. But I do think Davis would have to really surprise to make it.

    —Well, it’s especially difficult to judge linemen in OTAs without pads but Barrett Jones definitely has done the work to change his body and looks much more prepared to contribute at this level. He also got some work with the first team so the Rams clearly have some faith in his future.

    — I expect Austin to be used more like he was toward the end of the year, moving around and lining up inside and out similar to how Philadelphia used DeSean Jackson. Wouldn’t be shocked to see him out of the backfield more, too.

    —Mason overtake Stacy? A possibility? Sure. But I still am not fully buying this competition for starting RB discussion quite yet. Mason looks good in practice but from conversations I’ve had, the Rams want to see a lot more from him in terms of understanding of pass blocking and blitz pickup. I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s involved in the offense quite a bit. And Cunningham and Pead could factor as well. It’s also worth remembering that Stacy struggled with nagging injuries last year. If he does so again, someone could take his carries and never look back.

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