Coach O’s Rams Notes and Observations
From Coach O:
***Catching the football is more about concentration than it is about “hands”. there are guys out there than make circus catches everyday, which demonstrate having very good hands, who then turn around and DROP balls that hit them between the numbers.
For what its worth, the guys who seem to catch the ball on a more consistent basis, have been:
Bailey; Pettis; Austin; Cook; Lutzenkirchen; Harkey; Ganaway; Helmick (when he was out there); Cunningham; Reynolds
Guys who show they CAN catch the football, but have their share of drops:
Quick; Pead; McNeill; Givens; N. Johnson; Blake; Veltung; Stacy; Richardson
Guys who struggle catching the ball consistently:
Radway; Fields; Graham; Potter (doesn’t get many balls thrown his way); Prince
Kendricks get an “incomplete” in that he has yet to be on the field.
Obviously this is purely a subjective list based on nothing other than my observations.
***So far, there is no reason to think Barksdale will struggle. He looks pretty good at RT.
Nsekhe clearly isn’t the answer. He’s without a doubt the most physically intimidating guy of the group. HE is ONE LARGE HUMAN BEING. He has had flashes where he looks fine. but overall, his set is slow, and methodical. He “lumbers” against the smaller quicker DE’s, but I will say this, if he gets his hands on a guy, its over.
***Bottom line for me, there is no one RB on this roster who is good enough to expect them to separate themselves from the pack.
Not Richardson, Not Pead, Not Stacy, Not Ganaway.
They all have their strengths, and they all have weaknesses in their “game”. They will be used in the situations that play to their strengths. Pretty simple concept.
Richardson hits the hole with a burst that no one, not even Pead has. But lets face it. He is not big enough to withstand the number of hits he will take carrying the load, as many seem to think he should. That’s why I continue to think that this truly will be a RB by committee year.
Richardson hits the hole, and if he’s not able to bounce it on his first cut, he doesn’t make people miss. Therefore, he takes hits that other backs don’t. He had 6 carries against Cleveland and look at the hits he took in those limited carries. No way he can withstand that getting 25 touches a game.
What I envision, is they will dress 3 backs on Sunday, give them all carries in situations that dictate each players strength. And then they will go with the “hot hand” as the game progresses. The thing, it will be different guys from week to week. Gameplan, and opponents may very well determine who is active for a particular game.
But it will surprise me, if any ONE RB has more than 200 carries at the end of the year.
[Either way, w]hether it ends up being Stacy, Ganaway or even Cunningham/Reynolds, its way too early for any of us to know how this will shake out.
***I would be shocked if Cody Davis, Ray Ray Armstrong aren’t on the 53 man Roster. Bennie Cunningham sure looks the part, just not sure how he brings something “different” to the mix in what they already have. He isn’t much bigger than Richardson/Pead, and his running style is very similar to Stacy’s. Those guy’s aren’t going anywhere. And he doesn’t have the sixe of Ganaway.
The guy who just keeps “showing up”, is Chase Reynolds. Not that I think he makes the team ahead of any of these guys, but he is showing up on ALL of the Special Teams. And seems to be just as productive as a RB.
Cunningham, IMO, is a perfect Practice Squad guy. And it ouldn’t surprise me if they don’t go out of their way to over expose him the rest of the Preseason.
***I like Lutzenkirchen, ALOT. The kid is just a FOOTBALL player. He doesn’t look all that special physically. isn’t the biggest guy on the field, especially in the TE group. But all he does is make plays when targeted. Does he beat out McNeill? 60/40 at this point in McNeill’s favor IMO.
But, unless someone steps up and takes the 6th WR spot, it wouldn’t surprise me at all, to see them keep 5 TEs. Especially given they are not likely to keep a FB. Kendricks AND Harkey will be in that role, so keeping five would allow them to keep both McNeill and Lutzenkirchen. And if you really want to be creative, Cook is more like the 6th WR anyway.
Kendricks has been working out with trainers on conditioning for the past week. Not EVERY DAY, but I’m sure he is getting closer to making his return. I’d be shocked if he’s not back by NEXT Monday.