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Preseason Game 1 Preview

St. Louis Rams' running back Lance Ball (44) heads past defender Henry Smith (69) during Rams football training camp

Things to Look Out For:

1. Who is carrying the ball? Antonio Pittman and Brian Leonard have been getting all the reps with the first offense in Steven Jackson’s absence. They should continue to get the first team carries at the beginning of the game. Look out for any improvement in both Pittman and Leonard reading the game, picking up blitzes and finding the holes on running plays. Look for depth player and veteran, Travis Minor to impress late in the game playing against the scrubs.

2. Who’s going to be the backup of the backup QB? As we learned last year, the 3rd string quarterback can be pushed into service because of injuries. Gradkowski and Berlin have both started in the NFL because of emergencies. Gradkowski with the Bucs and Berlin last year. Both probably have the same level of ability, but we can start to differentiate the two as they will both put in a considerable amount of minutes in the preseason.

3. Can Chris Long Impress? This is just the first preseason game, but it is the first professional game for Chris Long and other rookies, including my favorite, Mr. Irrelevant, David Vobora. This will be the Rams first look at him in a game and we will see if he impresses rushing the passer.

4. Quinton Culberson – Can he cement his spot as the strong side linebacker. I’ve been calling him the “Tackle Machine” all offseason and I hope he can live up to the moniker.

5. Lastly and most importantly, can the offensive line find some consistency and stability and actually block some people. There will be three groups or more of offensive linemen in the game, we will look to see if they can gel and begin to work with each other in a game situation.

6. Even more lastly and even more importantly can the Rams stay away from the injuries in 2008?

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