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Training Camp Position Breakdown: LB

Training camp is over and the cutdown days are almost upon us.  So, let’s quickly sort the rest of the team out to see what they have.  Today is the linebackers aka ex-The Ohio State University linebackers.

James Laurinaitis – James is the Rams cornerstone on defense for years to come.  Although he is not the most athleticly gifted MLB in the league, he is solid, smart and a good tackler.  He made some bad plays and reads in his rookie year, but he is still learning at the NFL level.  He is perfectly capable of starting at MLB for the Rams and playing well for many years.  He leads the legion of Ohio State LBs on the Rams roster.

Na’il Diggs – Another Ohio State linebacker, the Rams picked up the veteran to fill their strongside linebacker spot that was a revolving door in 2009.  Just like Laurinaitis, he is not a huge athletic talent, but he is a solid NFL starter at a position the Rams needed help in.  He also brings a solid veteran presence to the Rams very young linebacker corps.

The rest of the LBs are after the jump!

Bobby Carpenter – In a “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” trade, the Rams dumped Alex Barron and received Carpenter in return.  He has not been able to find the field except in special teams in the preseason and he’s in competition with Chris Chamberlain to even make the roster at backup weakside linebacker.  He’s the final addition to the four Ohio State linebackers the Rams have.

David Vobora – Vobora was a much talked about player in 2009 as he was forced into a starting role in his second year after being Mr. Irrelevant as the last pick of the NFL draft in 2008.  He’s played both at strongside and middle linebacker.  He was suspended for four games in 2009 for taking a banned substance.  He denies that he took the substance and began suing the supplement company.  That story disappeared as quickly as it came, but Vobora should be the primary backup for both MLB and strongside LB in 2010.

Larry Grant – Larry Grant has been one of the stars in the 2010 preseason as he has been all over the field in run and pass coverage.  Pass coverage is a little more important in his position of weakside linebacker, but he has played well in all aspects.  He struggled in 2009, but the Rams had so many injuries and the coaches shuffled him in and out of the game for no particular reason.  Needless to say, he’s played much more consistently in 2010.  He should have put himself in the Ohio State linebacker trifecta for opening day.

Chris Chamberlain – Chris Chamberlain was selected in the 7th round of the 2008 NFL draft with Vobora.  He hasn’t played well in the preseason at linebacker although he has been a special teams ace and might have to battle with Bobby Carpenter for a roster spot.  His special teams prowess might put him over the top.

Josh Hull – The Rams drafted Josh Hull and he joins a crowded linebacker corps at middle linebacker.  He was a tackle machine at Penn State, but comes to the NFL a little undersized.  He’s listed as the third team middle linebacker and should safely make the practice squad if not the roster.

Cardia Jackson – Jackson is a rookie free agent the Rams picked up after the draft.  He attended University of Louisiana-Monroe.  He was also a tackle machine in college, but has not played much even in the preseason.  He’s listed at the second team strongside linebacker, but I would imagine Vobora would play there if (heaven forbid) something happened to Na’il Diggs.

Devin Bishop – Bishop was picked up by the Rams mid training camp when they released injured linebacker Dominic Douglas.  Bishop is out of University of California and is a 24 year old rookie.  He looks to be on the outside looking in on roster cutdown day.


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