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RamView: Preseason Week 1 – Backs And Receivers

* RB: The Rams had a 77-yard run in the first preseason game last year but only ran for 33 total tonight, on 13 carries. Chris Ogbonnaya (5-8) delivered one of the night’s key plays. A bad one. On a 4th-and-1 run in the 2nd, he hesitated and was lost. The worst thing I can think of to do on a 4th down play is head outside, and then stop. You have to be decisive there, and Ogbonnaya wasn’t. Mike Karney (1-0) may have been decisive the previous play, but didn’t get anywhere. Yep, two plays to get a yard and they couldn’t do it. Keith Toston (4-16) was about the only guy to even show a spark, against the Vikings’ last-stringers, and he got dinged again at the end. Ogbonnaya did do well as a receiver, with 4 catches for 31 yards. But the RBs didn’t make up for their lack of offensive impact as blockers; far from it. Ogbonnaya nearly got Bradford killed after a weak failure of a blitz pickup. Karney couldn’t quite pick up a middle blitzer to give up another solid shot on Bradford. Jamie McCoy (0-0) had troubles with it in the fourth quarter. It made for an inauspicious night for the front office to soft pedal the Brian Westbrook rumor, as the Rams failed to show they have anyone on hand to take over for Steven Jackson if need be, or anyone who blitz-protects well enough keep Sam Bradford from getting killed.

* Receivers: There’s a crowd here but nobody really standing out in it. Keenan Burton (3-22) may have been targeted the most but didn’t do anything very special. He tried to one-hand one flare pass from Lewis; that didn’t particularly look good. He and Danny Amendola (1-5) both ran out of first downs on short passes, which also didn’t look good. Laurent Robinson (2-27) was on the money end of Bradford’s first completion, though it seems like Bradford’s the one who should be called the money end. He and Donnie Avery (1-4) got the kid gloves/starter treatment. Yeah, I don’t know what Avery does to merit that, either. There was no carryover effect from last week’s scrimmage. Though says he did, I never saw Brandon McRae (0-0) get on the field, and he was the receiver I most wanted to see in action. I know Dominique Curry (0-0) got in, though. As did Jordan Kent, (2-24) who had a couple of good catches over the middle from Lewis and looked like he could handle the role. Clean play by Kent at WR plus his usual good special teams play = roster spot. TE Darcy Johnson (0-0) had the night’s worst drop; I’d feel free to move Michael Hoomanawanui (2-26) and Fendi Onobun (1-8) ahead of him, though the highest I’d rate either rookie is “steady”, and I didn’t follow the blocking of either. The one long pass attempt was curiously intended for Brooks Foster (0-0), who didn’t look fast enough to catch up to it. Still a lot to sort out here.

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