Apr 16, 2014 fbook icon twitter icon rss icon

Rams

Titus Young to be Cut by Rams?

The St. Louis Rams recently claimed WR Titus Young off of waivers after the Detroit Lions had had enough of his lunacy and antics. Young is a complete disaster both on and off the field and we’ve previously chronicled that here, here, here and here.

So, the Rams have had him for, what?…10 days? And there is already a report out by Rob Parker that they will release him on Friday. I mean…you have to be kidding me.

“Keep a close eye on St. Louis today. There’s a report WR Titus Young will be cut and the Rams are declining comment. More to come at PFT,” tweets ProFootballTalk.

Are you kidding me? What in the hell could that douchebag have done in that time to warrant getting cut? Keep in mind that St. Louis is not in a position to be picky choosey when it comes to receivers. They need serious help for Sam Bradford. They haven’t even had a practice with him yet where he could punch a teammate!

This is really bad news for his young career, but we still think someone will take a flyer on him. For Christ’s sake we are running out of usable pictures off of Google Images for this guy; let’s hope he doesn’t get into more trouble.


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11Rams Must Cut Quintin Mikell, Harvey Dahl, Wayne Hunter

The St. Louis Rams are a team on the cusp of playoff contention. They possess a young defense that gets after the quarterback and offense that is finally putting pieces around it’s quarterback.

This is a team that with a few complimentary pieces added in free agency could catch the league by surprise and be in the thick of the playoff race as the season winds down.

The Rams are currently set to enter free agency with only 1.8 million in cap space. They could of course restructure Sam Bradford’s deal, but they might also have to make some cuts as well. Here’s a look at those potential cap casualties.

Quintin Mikell: Mikell had a good first year under Jeff Fisher, but with the Rams needing to create cap space good might not be enough to keep him a Ram. His cap hit for next season is in the neighbourhood of 9 million which, even taking into account how well he played in 2012, is a little too much. Ok, a lot too much.

Harvey Dahl: Dahl has developed into a solid reliable option on the Rams line, but is turning 32 and coming off of biceps surgery. It seems a bit much to have a 4 million dollar cap hit on the books for somebody his age, who was never really great and is coming off of surgery.

Wayne Hunter: The Rams are looking to upgrade at tackle this off-season and that likely spells the end of Hunter’s tenure with the Rams. Hunter also carries a 4 million dollar cap hit, but hardly earns it.

You can follow J.D. Burke: @JDBurkeOV


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11What Impact Will Titus Young Have on St. Louis Rams?

Titus Young finally got his. After two years of never ending drama with the talented wideout the Lions decided to cut ties. The move was far from shocking. His body of work last season included sucker punching a teammate in off season workouts, a public screaming match with his wide receiver coach, lining up in the wrong position intentionally to get more targets and a series of tweets where he makes it perfectly clear he feels he hasn’t done anything wrong. If that wasn’t enough to get Young cut, he tweeted “Oh I’m not done, if y’all going to cut me let me go. I’m tired of the threats”. These apparent threats were not empty and Titus Young was cut by the Lions on Tuesday.

Less than 24 hours later and the troubled wide receiver already has a new team. The receiver needy St. Louis Rams plucked Young off waivers. This move is of the low risk high reward variety, and I for one applaud the Rams for taking Young on. Even with all his baggage, and oh there is so much of it.

The prima donna receiver has 81 receptions for 990 yards and 10 touchdowns in his two year career. Young has all the tools to become an elite receiver in the NFL, even if his production over the last two seasons doesn’t indicate it. He did only play 10 games in his last season after being banished by Jim Schwartz. What is most appealing about Young though is his ability to lineup on both the outside and in the slot. He is a dynamic deep threat with amazing speed that could cause serious matchup problems, with the speedy Chris Givens already in place.

There are serious concerns about Young’s character, but Jeff Fisher is no stranger to restoration projects. He nearly succeeded with Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones, has done well with Janoris Jenkins (so far) and sure did try hard with Vince Young. Can’t win em all.

There is no telling how well this move will work for the Rams. If all goes to plan and he develops into the go to receiver that he has all the talent to be, the Rams will look like absolute geniuses for taking on the risk that comes along with Titus Young. If he continues to act like a 14 year old, it won’t cost the Rams very much to ditch him. There are only 2 years left on Young’s contract with 1.2 million left. Best of all, they didn’t give up anything to get him. Not even a draft pick.

One thing's for sure, Sam Bradford finally has some weapons to work within the receiving corps. After years of either watching talented wideouts walk in free agency, or be cut loose only to thrive with other teams he is finally getting some talent brought in. If Titus Young works out, look out for a big year from Bradford.

You can follow J.D. Burke: @JDBurkeOV


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11St. Louis Rams Would be Wise to Avoid Rob Ryan

I am not particularly fond of the Ryan brothers and their amazingly irritating antics. Not one bit. Few people in the NFL demand as much undeserved attention, be it negative or positive, as these two. They struggle to get results, but their rah-rah college style and mouths that would be fitting of a college freshman always seem to drag media attention their way.

Being cocky is fine – so long as you can back your talk up and get results. Something both the Ryan brothers have failed to do with their respective clubs. All the worse if one of them has to be “relegated” to the role of a coordinator or assistant. Something Rob’s been stuck doing his entire career. I can only hope for the sake of the Rams and Jeff Fisher he’s doing it anywhere but St. Louis next season.

In the aftermath of Bounty Gate, nobody felt the wrath of Goodell as much as Greg Williams. Rightfully so I might add. He was pegged to be the Rams’ defensive coordinator for the 2011-12 season, but would ultimately receive an indefinite ban. Something tells me he’s not coming back to the NFL any time soon. Following this development Jeff Fisher decided to call the defensive plays himself. The middle of the pack stats don’t show it, but Jeff Fisher not only helped to build a great young defense but he had them playing at a very high level last year. Not saying he has to be the guy calling the shots next season, but I’m really hoping he doesn’t settle for Rob Ryan.

Jeff Fisher is a man’s man. No doubts about that. He calls the shots, demands respect and gets it. He’s earned this right with a superb career behind him. Now I’m supposed to believe that there’s enough room for Ryan and his massive ego to join him on the sideline? Nuh uh. The kind of distracting bantering, and boastful claims by the former defensive coordinator of the Cowboys almost gave the impression it was never Jason Garrett’s team. The media may be guilty of aiding in this weird perception of the situation in Dallas, as it seems they almost permanently had a camera following him. Whatever the case, even though I am not a fan of Rob Ryan’s style, or even confident in his abilities as a coordinator he was made to be a coach. Mostly because of his style. Like it or not, Rob Ryan can’t play second fiddle to anyone.

As I said earlier, Rob Ryan’s reputation as one of the better defensive minds in the league really isn’t deserved. At least based on the “what have you done for me lately” mentality of most football fans. He lasted one year in Cleveland, and looking at the defense’s rankings it is kind of easy to see why. They were 21st in points allowed, and 31st in yards. Fantastic. His two years in Dallas didn’t go much better. A little bit, but he also had an incredibly talented roster to work with. Demarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff, Brandon Carr, Sean Lee, Morris Claiborne, etc. etc. Both years with the Dallas Cowboys, his defense was ranked 14th in yards. He actually regressed in terms of points allowed though from 16th to 23rd. The results speak to his genius.

The Rams have a great thing going on defense, they really do. They were tied for the league lead in sacks, and improved in nearly every category this season. I don’t trust the vociferous and perpetually job hunting Rob Ryan to aid in their development. Keep on looking Fisher, you’re one of the best in the business and I would be a fool to question whoever you do pick. Just please not Ryan. Besides, if this defense that’s ready to become elite does under him, dear god we’ll never hear the end of it.

You can follow J.D. Burke: @JDBurkeOV


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11NFL Draft Review: St. Louis Rams

Earlier this week I gave you my thoughts on the Arizona Cardinals’ draft. Next up are the St. Louis Rams.

There was a whole lot of trading down on their part in the early going, and it ultimately resulted in a lot -- and I mean a lot -- of high draft picks. Five picks in the first three rounds and ten in total. Sure, they could have had Robert Griffin, but they chose the depth route instead. Quantity beat out quality this year for the Rams, and that will pay off greatly in the next two as well as they have another two firsts courtesy of Washington.

Now that this season is done, let’s look at how they did in this one.

1st Round, 14th Overall, DT Michael Brockers: Many considered him to be a reach with the 14th overall pick, but once the Jags swept in and took Justin Blackmon and Floyd was off the board, the Rams had to improvise. It was a high risk pick, but did it ever pay off. He made his career in college ball by shutting down the run with his impressive combination of speed and size and only registered two sacks in his entire college career. In his first year as a Ram he helped with the run defense and doubled his college sack with four on the year. This fella has a great future on what is shaping up to be one of the league’s youngest, and most feared defensive lines. Solid Pick.

Final Grade: B+

2nd Round, 33rd Overall, WR Brian Quick: After losing out on Michael Floyd and Justin Blackmon, the Rams still felt the need to address their lack luster receiving corps. Unfortunately, Brian Quick really wasn’t the answer. At the very least not this season. He struggled to get any playing time and put up a very modest 156 yards on 11 catches, he also had 2 touchdowns. He apparently had difficulty with the size of the playbook this year, and could rebound with a better knowledge of it next season. Hopefully.

Final Grade: D

2nd Round, 39th Overall, CB Janoris Jenkins: Talk about a high risk high reward pick. Everyone knew he was every bit as talented as the first corner taken in the draft (Morris Claiborne) but serious “character issues” made his draft stock plunge. He had a great first year with the Rams as both a punt returner, and a starting corner. He posted 73 tackles and 4 interceptions. He also blocked a kick, and had four touchdowns over the course of the year. If they can keep this kid out of trouble, he will continue to become the steal of the second round.

Final Grade: A

2nd Round, 50th Overall, RB Isaiah Pead: Most likely picked to supplant Steven Jackson as the starter, he could barely get time as a depth guy and slipped to third on the depth chart. He was considered a bad pick at the time, and did nothing to prove anyone wrong on that front. He had 54 yards on 10 attempts. Can only hope he picks things up next season, because with Jackson likely on his way out they’ll need the production out of him.

Final Grade: C-

3rd Round, 65th Overall, CB Trumaine Johnson: A great pick at 65th overall, he quietly had a great year behind Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins. He was moved around quite a bit this season. He would occasionally sub in for a few plays when Finnegan was struggling with injuries, and also play in some nickel packages. He played well when called upon, and proved he has the potential to eventually be a starter in this league.

Final Grade: B

4th Round, 96th Overall, WR Chris Givens: Talk about a steal. Expected to be used occasionally in receiver heavy sets, as a deep threat, but never to become their second best option. At least not in his first year. With Amendola struggling with injury for large chunks of the season, and Brian Quick a virtual no show Givens’ took the opportunity to become a starter and ran with it. Literally, the kids got wheels. He even set a record with 5 straight games with a reception of 50 yards or more. Not too shabby.

Final Grade: A

5th Round, 150th Overall, OG Rokevious Watkins: Hard to evaluate the massive linemen. Was placed on injured reserve before week 3. He was always considered a project player, who would take a long time to develop so losing him to IR in only his first season doesn’t help.

Final Grade: D

6th Round, 171st Overall, K Greg Zuerlein: The affable kicker was a bit of a surprise as a 6th rounder, but worked out quite well for the Rams. In only his first year in the league he even acquired two nicknames. Young Geezy, and Legatron. Anyways... He had a great first half, but was inconsistent down the stretch. Hopefully finds similar success over the course of an entire season next year.

Final Grade: B

7th Round, 209th Overall, LB Aaron Brown: Signed, released, signed to practice squad, eventually released again. They had to address their needs at linebacker but this seventh rounder really didn’t help.

Final Grade: F

7th Round, 252nd Overall, RB Daryl Richardson: Many didn’t even think he would make the cut, and at best thought of him as a depth guy; maybe useful on special teams. Then he went on to beat out Isaiah Pead for the backup running back gig, and force him onto special teams. He even started a few games this year, and looked great in all of them. Now it seems more realistic that he takes over for Steven Jackson, instead of Pead. Didn’t see that coming. Talk about value with your 7th round pick.

Final Grade: A

Lots to report on with regards to last year’s draft, and that’s a good thing. Believe me. What they did with their second overall pick in turning it into two extra seconds will definitely pay off, and Bradford played well enough to make passing up on Griffin justifiable. Bright future for this club to be sure, and all these young pieces certainly help. Especially in this extremely competitive NFC West.

You can follow J.D. Burke: @JDBurkeOV


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