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State of the Rams - Training Camp Preview
David Dorey
July 31, 2009
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This series of analysis on the 32 NFL teams takes a look at where teams have been over the last three years for each position - where they have ranked in the most notable categories and the hard statistics produced. This is to give a view of each team heading into training camp and what they most likely need to improve on this season and where their strengths lie that likely won't need any changes. Ending each team review is a brief summation of what to watch in training camp in August to uncover those developing situations that you can take advantage. Combining where teams have come from and what they have done in free agency and the NFL draft gives you the very same thing that NFL coaches are looking at as they attempt to improve their team for 2009.
Team Menu

Training Camp Opens: July 30 (Rookie), July 31 (Veteran)
Head Coach: Steve Spagnuolo (1st year)
Stadium: Edward Jones Dome (Dome)  Surface: FieldTurf
2009 Schedule   2009 Roster   2008 Statistics   2008 Record: 2-14

QB Carries Rush YD Rush TD Pass Comp Comp % Pass YD YPP Pass TD Int Rank YD Rank TD
2006 18 44 0 591 371 63% 4328 11.7 24 8 3 8
2007 18 0 0 573 332 58% 3559 10.7 18 28 18 21
2008 17 45 0 515 290 56% 3251 11.2 11 19 23 30

Quarterback - The Rams have kept Marc Bulger but it wasn't a foregone conclusion to start the year. Between a disintegrating offensive line and Bulger's natural tendency to get injured, he's fallen below 3000 yards in each of the last two years and by now has none of the old receivers that had him as an elite fantasy quarterback once upon a time. Bulger has a great passing schedule and no real threat but also no real receivers in a first year implementation of a new scheme. Things fell apart in St. Louis rather quickly and not much has been done yet to turn it around other than collecting very young players.

RB Carries Rush YD YPC Rush TD Target Rcv Catch % Catch YD Rcv TD Rank YD Rank TY Rank TD
2006 396 1725 4.4 13 157 124 79% 1094 4 14 4 12
2007 378 1512 4.0 5 117 83 71% 555 1 21 21 31
2008 382 1518 4 7 122 83 68% 728 1 23 18 29

Running Backs - Not unlike Bulger, Steven Jackson has been much injured for the last two seasons and only played 12 games in each. He did barely manage to top 1000 rushing yards and maintained around 40 catches in each season but his shining glory remains 2006 when he not only ran for 1328 yards and 13 scores, he added a league-leading 90 catches by a running back for 806 more yards and three more touchdowns. Once again, Jackson is proclaimed the central focus of the offense. And once again, he'll be proclaimed as the central focus of the defense as well. Antonio Pittman came on last year to act as his relief and replacement but Kenneth Darby may challenge him for the #2 role. With Jackson's proclivity to get hurt, the #2 back is an important role on this team.

WR Target Rcv Catch % Catch YD YPR Rcv TD Ranks YD Rank TD
2006 391 219 56% 2891 13.2 18 5 6
2007 366 200 55% 2463 12.3 14 14 17
2008 331 172 52% 2141 12.4 10 18 24

Wide Receivers - They are all gone. Gone. Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt and even Drew Bennett. Gone. The Rams intend on using second-year starter Donnie Avery and the #2 wideout is still open. It could end up with freshly signed Ronald Curry or second-year player Keenan Burton. There's also a chance that Laurent Robinson can work himself into some playing time. Let's be serious - this at least appears to be a disaster in the making hoping that cast-offs Curry and Robinson can step up into a starting role. Burton only has 13 catches in his career. Curry is 30 years old and no longer getting the benefit of his supposed potential. This is just a mess and should end up in the bottom five in the league. It's worth a draft pick in late rounds to see what happens but really nothing may happen. At least not with fantasy significance.

TE Target Rcv Catch % Catch YD YPR Rcv TD Ranks YD Rank TD
2006 45 27 60% 333 12.3 2 28 28
2007 80 48 60% 532 11.1 4 22 25
2008 62 35 56% 382 10.9 0 28 30

Tight Ends
- Randy McMichael missed 12 games last year because he broke his leg and tore a tendon but is back to full strength and will be healthy for camp. With the Rams wanting to establish the run, that will mean more blocking for McMichael who carries too much risk to be anything more than a fantasy backup.

Training Camp Fantasy Angle - There is plenty to watch on this rebuilding team but in the end - will it really matter outside of Steven Jackson? The battle for #2 behind him between Darby and Pittman is worth following if only for the Jackson owners. The passing game is wide open for players to step and make a difference but this is a really young, inexperienced group other than Curry who has never delivered on where ever he's been drafted in the past. The schedule is very nice and the Rams will need to throw. The final outcome of camp on the roles of the wideouts are good to know but still won't rank more than being a fantasy backup for you.

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Ease of Schedule for Quarterbacks
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Ease of Schedule for Receivers
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