St. Louis Rams: Monday's Rams News and Notes at Noon
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Welcome to Monday's St. Louis Rams "News and Notes at Noon," the go-to source for all major Rams headlines and other updates of interest with brief analysis and commentary for Rams Nation. I hope each of you had a tremendous weekend.
Steven Jackson Talks About the Rams and His Legacy
As shared in this feature by Simon Milham for dailymail.co.uk, the Rams veteran running back expressed a vast array of thoughts on his tenure and the team, including these:
We just got to build our nucleus we have. We have a very young team. We've had to hit the reset button once again. The grey hairs are growing in! The only thing I'm really concerned with now is winning.
That's the goal—to be part of a winning organization. Hopefully it can be with the Rams. It would be a shame for me to uproot my family after nine or ten years and go and look somewhere else for something at I'm hoping to achieve in St Louis.
I've achieved a lot individually. At this point I'm thinking about what my legacy will really be. How will it read out? No-one really remembers a loser.
It's hard. You see some players who don't have such individual talent, but they are on good teams. They get noticed and you get overlooked, so you have to deal with that.
The above-linked piece shares a lot more from Jackson, so I would strongly suggest reading the piece in full.
Among other things, Jackson talks about the team's past struggles, his hopes of being with the Rams long term and the key to seeing St. Louis return to its former winning ways.
Rookies Expected to Improve the Rams' Situation at Defensive Back
Dan Arkush of Pro Football Weekly expects rookie cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins (Round 2) and Trumaine Johnson (Round 3) to help bolster the secondary this season, as you can read here.
As Arkush points out, St. Louis sent six corners to injured reserve and lost a staggering total of 10 on the year.
Arkush shares some thoughts that quarterback Sam Bradford expressed earlier in the offseason regarding the team's new DBs:
I think they’re both going to be good players. Jenkins is very instinctual. He’s made a lot of plays on the ball, and just—I think—purely on instincts. He just seems to have a knack for being around the football.
And then Trumaine, he’s a bigger kid, and he really seems to have some range. Throwing one-on-ones against him…he was stride for stride with (rookie WR Chris) Givens, and Givens can move. I’ve been very impressed with both of those players so far.
As you may have read in this feature piece last week, I expect Jenkins to be one of the top five most effective Rams rookies.
In case you missed it, please click the aforementioned link for the full projections.
As for the overall position group, I expect it be one of the Rams' most improved units.
Cortland Finnegan, one of the league's best all-around cornerbacks, was added via free agency and will help both the pass and run defense.
Bradley Fletcher, a former starter, is progressing nicely after missing most of last season due to injury. Jerome Murphy seems to be a great fit for Jeff Fisher, and Josh Gordy returns after filling in admirably under dire circumstances last season.
Will Sophomore Wide Receiver Greg Salas Make an Impact This Fall?
Turf Show Times recently took a look at St. Louis sophomore wide receiver Greg Salas.
Salas, who was chosen in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL draft, had a very nice rookie season.
Before suffering a season-ending injury at Arizona, the 6'1", 209-pound 23-year-old hauled in 27 catches in just six games.
Salas displayed very good run-after-the-catch ability, good hands, nice instincts and some decent quickness last season.
In fact, according to the above-linked piece at turfshowtimes.com, Salas led the Rams in average yards after the catch (8.5.)
If not for the return of restricted free agent Danny Amendola, Salas would likely be the leading candidate as the top option for the primary slot role.
With Amendola back, Salas figures to fulfill a smorgasbord of roles and contribute some both inside and outside. He should compete with Steve Smith, the versatile Chris Givens and fellow second-year man Austin Pettis, perhaps for time in the second-slot position.
Amendola, however, figures to lock down primary slot duties.
After missing the vast majority of last season with an elbow injury, the diminutive wideout seems to be fully recovered and has been very impressive during the offseason. Amendola caught 85 catches from Sam Bradford in 2010.
The duo seemed to have an instant chemistry and there is no reason to expect that to change this fall. Make no mistake, Amendola will be a big part of the offense and, as Andrew Astleford of Fox Sports reported last month, he is eager to return and make an impact.
Stock Is Up for St. Louis
According to this slideshow by Tyson Langland of Bleacher Report, the St. Louis Rams team stock is warming up and on the rise.
Among other things, Langland points to the additions of Jeff Fisher, the rookie cornerbacks and the help that the Rams secured for Sam Bradford as reasons for optimism in the Gateway City.
Columnist Suggests that Safety Darian Stewart is Poised for a Breakout Year
Finally, in an article for Bleacher Report, featured columnist James Dudko asserts that St. Louis safety Darian Stewart is poised for a breakout season in the coming campaign.
In 2011, Stewart ultimately laid claim to a starting safety spot and contributed nicely, posting 84 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception.
At just 23, Stewart's career trajectory should be pointing upward. Unless Rams rookie Matt Daniels comes on even stronger than expected, after the Rams signed him as an undrafted free agent from Duke, Stewart figures to start opposite of Quintin Mikell at safety.
Gil Brandt, a senior analyst for nfl.com, feels that that the collection of undrafted rookies the Rams reeled in is the league's best and, of that group, likes the aforementioned Daniels the best.
Have a great day, as always, STL Rams Nation.
I appreciate any thoughts and prayers for my family today after the passing of my grandmother last night.
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