St. Louis Rams 2009 NFL Projection:
Steve Spagnuolo takes over as the Rams' new head coach.
He inherits a team
that gave up more than double the number of points scored a season ago.
Not even the (0-16) Detroit Lions can stake that claim...
But to be fair, St. Louis was riddled with injuries at offensive line.
And that's where the Rams spent much of their offseason focus.
St. Louis signed center Jason Brown from the Baltimore Ravens. He dramatically improves
the middle of their line.
The Rams also drafted Jason Smith out of Baylor in the first round. He is slated to start at right tackle.
However, LT Orlando Pace is now with the Bears, leaving St. Louis with a glaring
hole at the position. Alex Barron moves over from the right side.
It's questionable how he will perform in his new role.
In the offseason WR Torry Holt also departed, marking the end of an era.
His departure leaves the Rams inexperienced and thin at wide receiver.
Speedster Donnie Avery suffered a stress fracture in his foot and may miss the opener.
With few options in the passing game for QB Marc Bulger, and inexperience at left tackle,
the Rams will likely be forced to run the ball often. Of course having battering ram
Steven Jackson to hand the ball off to is a luxury when healthy. But opponents
will surely stack the line of scrimmage and dare these Rams to win through the air.
On defense the Rams' are weak in the middle of their line as DT Adam Carriker
was placed on IR with an injured left shoulder.
As a result, the Rams' linebacking crew will probably be
overtaxed throughout the season. That's bad news for second round draft pick
and starting middle linebacker James Laurinaitis of Ohio State.
How he holds up to the workload remains to be seen.
The Rams' secondary is led by FS Oshiomogho Atogwe. I don't know how many chances he'll
get this season as teams are likely feature a steady diet of runs when playing St. Louis.
Of note, CB Tye Hill was released. Jonathan Wade looks to take his place.
When your team is as uncompetitive on paper as the Rams project to be, nearly every game on the
schedule grades as an uphill battle.
When looking up and down the Rams' 2009 schedule, finding games to pencil in a "W"
is a chore. Stretches have to be made to assign many wins in advance.
Overall we project a woeful season in the record department at (1-15)
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