Thoughts from Thursday night.
by Rams Nation's Rudy Hiers
Is it just me, or did Marc Bulger show some excellent touch and composure
on the field? Of course, it was just an exhibition match up, but he showed signs
of being able to play in this league.
As was my knock on him coming out of college, Trung Canidate still seems to
have ball security problems.
Whomever was thinking that Brandon Manumaleuna’s hands were suspect,
should be re-evaluating him at the moment. He has in my opinion, showed soft
hands and very nimble feet for being such a large man. His blocking has noticeably
improved, and if he continues to show he can catch the ball, he will cause headaches
for opposing defenses this year, especially in 2 tight end red zone sets.
My new nickname for RB Lamar Gordon ? “E.D. Light”
Way too early to start comparing the kid to a HOF back such as Dickerson, but
his running style in this reporters eyes, is eerily reminiscence of the legendary
#29. Barring a proneness to injury, I think we may have a gem in the making.
I poured a bowl of Capn’ Crunch this morning and as I picked up the milk
carton, I swear I saw Rich Coady’s picture on the back.
John St Clair? Much work is needed. The Rams are playing with fire going into
the regular season with him performing at the level he is now. If he does start
the season without much improvement, then each passing down with him at RT is
going to be of the holding breath-peeking through fingers variety. Maybe we
should all stock up on nitro pills.
Although the trolls and naysayers are out and about on the internet message
boards, running smack and getting worrisome over the Rams 0-2 start to the exhibition
season, it is as always, impossible to gauge anything about the team from these
games, other than to evaluate fringe players in game situations.
Warner’s played what? 5 offensive series? Faulk hasn’t even suited
up. Herring has been sidelined as has Williams and Proehl. Bryan Young, Ryan
Pickett, Damione Lewis, have yet to see any significant time at DT. The Rams
3rd string QB is getting the majority of all the work.
Even more importantly, Martz’s playbook is slammed shut, locked away
in a vault, not in any way shape or form, to see the light of day before opening
day in Denver.
The sum of all this? People chill “lol”
CURSE OF THE EXHIBITION SEASON
Over and over again, we’ve heard complaints about the exhibition season
being too long and a breeding ground for injury. If you all remember, up until
the late 70’s and the institution of the 16 game regular season, there
were 6 exhibition games every year.
The question then becomes, how much training is actually needed in these days
of the off season workout warrior? How does a team balance that against the
time needed to evaluate players for roster spots? Are 4 games too much? Too
little? What is the solution? 2 Games? None at all?
Of course, the conspiracists will tout, that the exhibition schedule, is solely
orchestrated so that owners can make them a mandatory part of ticket packages
and such, for pure profits sake, and that the league can do without them, while
others will say that exhibition games are critical in terms of live contact
evaluation and preparation for the season, because one cannot properly judge
certain things in 7 on 7’s and practice sessions against one’s own
I feel the answer lies somewhere in the middle, and that between practices,
a series of scrimmages and maybe 2 full scale exhibitions, that the proper evaluation
can be done, but that’s just my opinion.
Of course, football is football, and players will get injured. They’ll
be injuries in contact and non-contact drills, as well as live match-up’s
whether it preseason or regular season, that’s just the nature of the
game…. Heck, third year guard Cosey Coleman of the Buccaneers, tore cartilage
in his left leg during non-contact pre game warm-ups before their game with
Miami last week. As the proverb goes #$@! happens.
With that being said, it still seems though, that each every year, more and
more players are going down during camp and the exhibition season. One could
argue that it might be because of players being overly hyped and overly aggressive
due to competition for roster spots and such, and even those who claim that
perhaps the players are pushed “too far” physically during camp,
thus leading to increased breakdowns because of fatigue.
The irony of the latter view is that while the training facilities and the
training staffs themselves are light years ahead of what they were 10-15-20-30
years ago, leading one to believe that there perhaps would be less overall downtime
due to injury, is that that the players themselves are bigger, stronger and
faster, due to the increased and specialized attention they get from the hi
tech staffs. i.e. bigger players = bigger collisions, which as the laws of psychics
state, will create more destructive force.
In the dark shadows of the equation, are the “supplements” some
of today’s players are rumored to have either have taken in the past,
or are presently taking. How destructive are they to a players physical well
being? How much more susceptible to injury do they render a player?
This year’s toll:
• Jamir Miller LB Cleveland-Achilles Tendon ( out for the season )
• Trent Dilfer QB Seattle- Knee ( 4-8 weeks )
• Michael Bates KR Carolina- Ankle ( out for the season )
• Jamie Martin QB St Louis- Shoulder ( 4-5 weeks )
• Terrance Wilkins WR KR St Louis- Ribs ( 2-3 weeks )
• Flozell Adams OT Dallas- Knee ( 4-6 weeks )
• Dominic Rhodes RB Indianapolis- Knee ( out for season )
• Santana Dotson DT Washington- Achilles Tendon ( out for the season )
• Tre Johnson OG Cleveland- Knee ( 3-4 weeks )
• Darnay Scott WR Cincinnati- Shoulder ( possibly out for season )
• Ryan Pickett DT St Louis- Knee ( 4-5 weeks )
The list goes on and on…
The bottom line is that the exhibition seasons will continue in the future,
and so will the pre-season injuries, the question is whether or not the NFL
will attempt to find a balance between length and profit in order to limit them.
Questions and comments