—UDFA Standouts? Deantre Harlan, the DT from tiny Bacone College in Muskogee, Okla., has shown some quickness on the interior. Alex Bayer, the TE from Iowa, isn’t spectacular at anything, but does a lot of things well. At this point, I think he has a chance at the No. 4 TE job _ assuming the Rams keep 4 TEs. RB Trey Watts, has a little wiggle and some burst. Those are just a few.
—You haven’t heard anything about Westbrooks because he hasn’t been practicing. He’s on the non-football injury list. He gets that designation because the injury occurred away from Rams Park. He suffered a hamstring injury while training on his own during the summer break.
—Aaron Donald, the DT from Pittsburgh, looks very, very good. He’s very quick. It’ll be interesting to see how he does going against the o-linemen in pads. That starts today, in the first full-squad practice in pads. Tre Mason, the RB from Auburn, also has looked impressive. Quick feet, good instincts. Again,, we’ll see how he looks in pads.
—How has Donald Looked? Maybe better than advertised.
—Q: Hearing Donald is a terror – cant be blocked on 2nd unit, giving starting OL fits as well. A: Your hearing is good.
—Parade meter still at 9 at this point. And let’s review the rules. Heeding the advice of a chatter a year ago, the Parade Meter can change only up to the first game of the regular season. Then it’s set in concrete for the rest of the year, for better or worse.
—Bradford was a little rusty Friday. But he was better on Saturday, and looked really sharp on Sunday. He’s moving around well; doesn’t seem to be favoring the knee at all. Jake Long is doing individual drills, but no “team” drills at this point. He seems to be moving well in the drills he participates in. The plan is to gradually work him into game-day form, and possibly play in the second or third preseason game.
—UDFA’s that have looked good? I mentioned a few in one of my earlier answers: DT Harlan, RB Watts, and TE Alex Bayer. At this point, I think Bayer has the best chance of the three to make the 53. Greg Reid’s had some moments at CB.
—Nothing against Tinoisamoa, who was very productive but as you mentioned undersized. But Laurinaitis isn’t undersized at 248 pounds. Laurinaitis also is extremely durable. He’s only missed a handful of snaps in his first 5 NFL seasons.
—Jenkins? He hasn’t looked bad. But more often than not, he’s been in tight coverage and just missed making the play. He needs to make players.
—Usually it’s the strong safety who gets the TE.. And that would be T.J. McDonald. Usually it’s the nickel back who gets the slot WR, which would be Lamarcus Joyner. We’ll see. But I do think it’s fair to question the coverage skills of the safeties at this point.
—Well, they’re mixing and matching WR’s constantly in practice. I do like that “big” formation they use with Quick, Britt, and Cook _ all 6-3 or taller.
—D’Marco Farr compared to Donald –Yeah, they do have a lot of similarities. Keep in mind, even though D’Marco went undrafted he was no slouch. He was the Pac-10 defensive player of the year coming out. D’Marco has a little wider, how should I put this, anchor.
—Joyner should be the nickel back. Alexander, especially with his late start because o knee surgery, projects more as a special teamer this year.
—The Rams have a pair of highly-credentialed backup tackles in Greg Robinson and Rodger Saffold.
—If the Rams leave, I don’t think it’ll be right after the lease expires this year. I think the Rams will go several seasons on a year-to-year lease before anything happens.
—Robinson looks pretty good; has had some blips on pass-blocking, especially working at LT. As for keeping everyone at the same position, I remember that from OTAs, and that’s basically what happened in OTAs. I think they’re just getting GRob some reps at LT, and giving Saffold a refresher course there as well in case Long isn’t ready. As for Barrett Jones, he’s been getting reps with the first_ and second unit at center.
—I don’t think Jenkins looks as bad as some apparently have indicated. In fact, from what I’ve seen _ and I’m not watching him every play _ he looks average to me. Not bad. But I think the entire secondary as a whole remains a big question mark.
—A healthy OL should be pretty good. Too early to tell on secondary and WRs. That probably doesn’t make you feel better. But at least the weather is great.
—Fisher hinted pretty strongly before the start of camp that Bradford probably wouldn’t play in the opener. But that’s as far as he went on that. Since he hasn’t played in a game since October, you’d think Bradford would have to get at least some work in preseason.
—Who backs up McLeod? That’s a good question on McLeod. And I think it’s still getting sorted out as camp and the preseason progress. Off the top of my head, Joyner could move back there. I do think special teams should be crisper, meaning fewer penalties at the start of the season. Usually refs come in for a few days. As for Robinson holding, I remember some draftniks mentioning that pre-draft. I can’t say that it’s come up in camp.
—Fisher likes this team _ that’s the sense I get. Whether he’ll feel that way in October or November remains to be seen.
—RB that can be trusted on 3rd down? When I think about it, I don’t think I can flat-out give you one name. There’s a lot of unproven in the backfield when it comes to third down. Stacy improved his pass-blocking as the season went on, and is so-so as a pass-catcher. That’s about as far as I can go.
—Yeah, just a tad early. But as we sit here today, I’m still looking or help in the secondary in the 2015 draft.
—Stacey/Mason Work Load? I think the mix will be closer than 80 Stacey/20 Mason _ maybe 65-35. Just a guess. It’s possible Mason could be worked in slowly in the early games. And you have to factor in that this is still a position of flux. As good as Stacy was last year, it’s not like he’s been the established back for several years. Who knows, by midseason, maybe Mason is the starter. And don’t forget about Benny Cunningham.
—I think Lanford and Brockers open the season as starters, and Donald comes into the rotation on passing down. Haven’t watched Carrington a lot _ remember, there’s 90 guys out there. The few plays that I have, he has looked just OK. But the coaches, particularly Waufle, really like him.
—There’s been a fair amount of chatter on Robinson actually. But he’s the type of player whose plusses will stand on more in pads when his size and strength should shine. There aren’t many fully-padded practice in camp under the new CBA, but today is one of them. So far, Robinson looks fine. As I’ve mentioned several times (in print, on the radio, etc.) he has had a few blips in pass-blocking, but when he’s playing LT _ which he has a lot so far in camp _ he’s been going up a pretty good one in Robert Quinn.
—Rams could be mediocre again, but they haven’t been awful since 2011.
—Pass on Austin in Draft do over? No, I liked Tavon Austin a lot coming out. And would still take him.
—Rams moving or staying? 55-45 staying _ which is what I’ve been saying for months.
—Bradford was playing well when he got hurt. I think he can be an effective NFL quarterback.
—The simplest way I can put it, is that Williams’ defense will be more aggressive. Especially on third down. Especially when it comes to blitzing.
—Who will start at LT if JLong Can’t go? I don’t know if that has been determined yet by the staff. But it seems more logical to put Saffold over there at LT and keep Robinson at LG at this point. That’s because your third guard is Davin Joseph, who has basically played his whole career at right guard.
—Does Sam make the 53? The longer Ethan Westbrooks is on the non-football injury list with a hamstring injury, the better Sam’s chances become. Sam is off to a pretty good start so far.
—EJ Gaines a starter by the end of the year? Can’t see that happening at this point.
—McDonald and McLeod are the starters. McDonald was shaky before his injury, but I thought he played pretty well when he got back.
—Joyner? He has the potential to be a better version of Finnegan _ I mean Finnegan in his prime. (And without the Finnegan histrionics.)
—I think Warner gets into the Hall of Fame first ballot. He’s up for selection for the first time after this season. As for the Rams and Warner we all know about the divorce with Martz. Spagnuolo and Linehan didn’t want anything to do with the Greatest Show players. As for the Ring of Honor in the Dome, I think initially it was meant to be for Hall of Fame players (and coaches) only but that changed somewhat over the years. I’m sure Warner’s name will be up in the Dome at some point.
—I think the Rams are very happy with what they’ve got at running back with Stacy, Mason, and Cunningham among others. Trey Watts has shown a little something as well. I they keep
four backs _ not counting Reynolds _ it would have to be Watts that unseats Pead.