Thoughts from Thursday night.

Is it just me, or did Marc Bulger show some excellent touch and composure on the field? Of course, it was just an exhibition matchup, 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.

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 teammates.

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

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