Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

10 Rams Questions, Revisited

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

10 Rams Questions, Revisited

Article excerpt

Revisiting 10 questions posed six weeks ago when the Rams assembled for training camp:

1. Make or break for Bradford?

This much we know: His knee is broken. So once again, there's no chance to evaluate quarterback Sam Bradford over an entire season. Bradford was throwing as well as ever before the injury. Now the question becomes, do the Rams keep him around in 2015? He has one year left on his contract and is scheduled to make $13 million in 2015. The team must decide if it wants Bradford back but has months and months to make that decision. If the Rams do, they could seek to restructure that last year down from $13 million.

2. Can the other Sam make the team?

That answer came down Saturday. From the outset of training camp, it was apparent that undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks would pose a big challenge to Michael Sam. And in this case, the 2012 NCAA Division II defensive player of the year from West Texas A&M beat out the 2013 Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year from Missouri. Go figure. As the saying goes, that's why you play the game even in the preseason. Sam was good, but Westbrooks was better. Sam could still end up on the practice squad.

3. Is Fisher's seat getting warm?

This is a question that will take an entire season to fully answer, but again only an outright collapse should make that happen. Outside Rams Park, expectations have been lowered by Bradford's season-ending injury, but Fisher still seems relaxed and confident about this team and about new starting quarterback Shaun Hill. However, Fisher and general manager Les Snead won't get many sympathy votes on Bradford's injury since the team didn't draft a QB until the sixth round Garrett Gilbert who was cut.

4. How good is Gregg?

Still a bit of a mystery because the Rams' new defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams, showed only a limited part of his scheme in the preseason. It is clear, however, that the Rams will be more aggressive on defense, take more chances and blitz more often than a year ago. There is more volume and diversity in his defense, with at least 18 packages in the playbook using different personnel in different ways. He is passionate and outspoken and holds players accountable on the practice field and in the meeting room.

5. Can anybody cover back there?

One of the more underrated developments in the secondary has been the safety play of T.J. McDonald and Rodney McLeod. Williams is pleased with how they've picked up his system and then carried it out on the field. McLeod, in particular, has made an impression on Williams, displaying more aggressiveness and crisper tackling than a year ago. Cornerback remains a work in progress. Janoris Jenkins played in only one preseason game; Trumaine Johnson (knee) is expected to miss at least a month, leaving the unit even less experienced. …

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