Jason Smith is having a training camp to forget.
The St. Louis Rams are one of the youngest teams in the NFL, with several players on this roster fighting just to make this football team. The competition in camp has been fierce, as one might expect under these circumstances.
So which players are having the worst training camp?
Read along today and I'll tell you who I think is taking a step backwards in camp so far. Some of these guys had better step it up, or they might find themselves looking for another job.
DX has a legion of followers in Rams' Nation, simply because of his ties to Mizzou, and also because dude can make a big play or two. Hey, I root for the guy because I love his story—too many knee injuries to count, he still has some game, and he refuses to quit.
Having said all that, DX is going to have a really hard time making this team. There are just too many decent—to—good players at the position to keep carrying DX if he can't stay healthy. Missing the first week of practice was probably a death sentence to his Rams' career.
My prediction: He will get cut, but expect him to get a lot of interest from other teams.
Greg Salas played pretty good football during his rookie season. Unfortunately, he broke his leg and missed the last part of the season. I really thought Salas would make this roster easily, but I'm not so sure now.
Steve Smith is a proven receiver, and he looks healthy. Danny Amendola is also proven, and he's healthy again. Austin Pettis, who unlike Salas was a rookie disappointment a year ago, is taking reps with the first team offense right now.
Do the math. That's three receivers ahead of Salas, and you know that the two rookies, Brian Quick and Chris Givens, are going to make the team. That's five slots filled. Salas is officially on the bubble. This is a real shocker to me, and it has to be a major disappointment to Salas, who looked so promising last year.
My prediction: Salas will make this team by the skin of his teeth.
This guy looked like an emerging player a year ago, now he might not even start. If you would have told me before the season that Craig Dahl was starting over Darian Stewart at free safety, I would have laughed at you.
Craig Dahl? Are you serious?
I really had Stewart pegged in as not only a starter, but as part of the future with this defense. Instead, he's having a hard time getting reps with the starters, and you know he has to be disappointed about that.
My prediction: At some point this year he will beat Dahl out of that spot. I just don't have any faith in Dahl as a viable NFL starter.
Scott Wells hasn't even practiced with the Rams yet.
Wells was the Rams' second biggest free agent acquisition, right behind Cortland Finnegan. He was supposed to anchor this O Line and help Bradford make those pre-snap reads. Instead, he is still trying to get over a minor knee surgery.
Wells not being a part of the offensive line's rebuilding process under new O Line coach Paul Boudreau has to be one of the major disappointments for Rams' fans so far during the preseason.
Saffold was really good as a rookie, then he was awful last year before he tore a pectoral muscle and missed the latter part of the season. So far in training camp he's alternated between being hurt and getting his behind kicked by Robert Quinn.
The Rams have four first-round picks over the next couple of seasons. If Saffold doesn't get it together this year, and I mean play some great football, you can bet your house that the Rams' will draft a left tackle to protect Sam Bradford.
So unless Saffold wants to play right tackle, or end up on another team, he better pick it up. So far in camp, he hasn't done that.
My Prediction - Saffold will start this season at left tackle, but don't expect him to stay healthy for all 16 games, and don't expect him to be playing left tackle next year.
Are coaches eligible for this list? Because if they are, put Schotty on here. That 215 yard, three point stinker against the Colts—not how Schotty wanted to start his time in St. Louis.
After so much heavy criticism in New York, you know he has to be burning to prove people wrong here in St. Louis. So far, all he's done is prove his critics right, and probably make Mark Sanchez say "I told you so."
Signs you're having a bad training camp:
1) In a contract year, you took a six million dollar paycut. Check
2) Get destroyed by Chris Long daily in practice. Check
3) Lose your starting job to Barry Richardson, a free agent castoff who was the worst starting tackle in the NFL last season. Check
Man it sucks to be Jason Smith. It sucks even worse to be Sam Bradford, the guy Smith is supposed to be protecting.
My Prediction: Barring a miracle, Smith is going to lose his starting job and play his last season in St. Louis. The Rams will be forced to draft a left tackle and move Saffold over to the right side.