Franchise Updates: San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams

Bill DowSenior Analyst IApril 11, 2008

I decided I would try something new, outlining the current situations of NFL franchises and then doing a seven-minute audio editorial on them.

It isn't perfect, but it is original, I think. Below are the rundowns of the audio recordings, which are from my website. (


Franchise Update - San Francisco 49ers (Audio)

Last Season

The Niners went 5-11 with the lowest average points scored, passing yards and total yards. They were also in the bottom six in rushing yards.

Alex Smith proved all the doubters correct with his sad campaign, eventually creating hope for Shaun Hill, a mobile quarterback who got his chance to play later in the season thanks to injuries.

The addition of Nate Clements, however helpful to the secondary, didn’t help propel this team into the playoffs.


Offseason Acquisitions (Top 3)

1. DE Justin Smith - The Niners probably overpaid him (as all teams do in free agency), but he will show the Bay Area that he is more worthy of a player than his two 2007 sacks show him to be.

2. QB Shaun Hill (re-signed_ - Usually don’t do resignings, but locking up this kid could be the key to future success for a team troubled by a poor Alex Smith.

3. RB DeShaun Foster - A solid back who will bring depth to a team that has been hurt by Frank Gore’s injuries in the past. He can also help usher in a two-back system, which is becoming hallmark in the NFL.


What Were They Thinking?

1. Signing Issac Bruce - I, like most, see him as too old. Sure, he can run a route and provide leadership, but having this guy as your number-one receiver when your coach is trying to save his spot is plain dumb.


Looking to the Draft

One of the most interesting prospects in this draft is WR Early Doucet out of LSU. He runs crisp routes and is an excellent punt returner. Although he does not have the speed or athleticism that some have, he reminds me of a young Bobby Engram.


San Francisco Sleeper

If the 49ers can grab Joe Flacco in the early second round, he could put up extraordinary numbers in the next couple of years. He is like a young Joe Montana, especially with that bullet arm.


Franchise Update - St. Louis Rams (Audio)

Last Season

The Rams were 3-13 with mid-season wins over the Saints, 49ers and Falcons.

Marc Bulger played poorly with 11 TDs and 15 interceptions.

Steven Jackson also fought the injury bug, reeling in just over 1,000 yards on the year.


Offseason Acquisitions

1. G Jacob Bell (Underrated player coming from Tennessee, should help bolster a weakened OL)

2. K Josh Brown (Solid under pressure, and in the Edward Jones Dome)

3. WR Reche Caldwell (Solid slot receiver who made some big plays for the 2006 Patriots)


What Were They Thinking?

1. Releasing WR Isaac Bruce - guy is a future Hall of Famer, though cap-heavy

2. Signing QB Trent Green - solid player, but contract was too big and he is far too injury-prone.


Looking to the Draft

Rams have the No. 2 selection in the draft and seem to be very interested in picking up Jake Long, who would be an immediate addition in the spot of Hall of Fame LT Orlando Pace. If he is selected by the Dolphins, they will likely go after DE Chris Long from Virginia. He’s a solid defensive lineman who can replace the now-retired Leonard Little.


St. Louis Sleeper

If the Rams can get a second or third round bruiser in the center of the defensive line, they could help plug up some problems they have had stopping the run.


Thanks for listening!


    Rams Try to Convince Suh to Come to L.A.

    Los Angeles Rams logo
    Los Angeles Rams

    Rams Try to Convince Suh to Come to L.A.

    Gary Klein

    Richard Sherman in Fine Form at 49ers’ News Conference

    San Francisco 49ers logo
    San Francisco 49ers

    Richard Sherman in Fine Form at 49ers’ News Conference

    via SFGate

    Bills' Zay Jones Arrested After Bizarre Incident

    NFL logo

    Bills' Zay Jones Arrested After Bizarre Incident

    Alec Nathan
    via Bleacher Report

    Sherman Expresses 'Concern' Eric Reid Remains Unsigned

    San Francisco 49ers logo
    San Francisco 49ers

    Sherman Expresses 'Concern' Eric Reid Remains Unsigned

    Charean Williams
    via ProFootballTalk