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Rams and The Rookie Wall

The Rams are heading into the final 3 games of their regular season schedule leading the NFC West on a tie-breaker.  However, they have been and will be relying heavily on rookies to lead them over the final month.  Will the young Rams be affected by the rookie wall?

The rookie wall is a phenomenon in the NFL in which rookies run out of gas after game 12 or 13, because that is as many games as they play in college and that is how many games the player’s body has been accustomed to playing.  The Rams have 14 total rookies on their squad (including the 3 on IR), so let’s take a look at the key Rams rookies and check out if they are going to be able to get up and over or around the infamous rookie wall.

QB Sam Bradford – The most important rookie on the Rams squad has had two off games in a row, but both were away from home and he still found a way to win against a lesser opposition in Arizona and never gave up against a better team in New Orleans.  Since Bradford lost most of his last season in college to injury and had been lifting weights and working out for months, it does not seem like Bradford would be susceptible to the rookie wall.  Rookie quarterbacks are more vulnerable, but Bradford has shown his intelligence and awareness is far above a typical rookie.

LT Rodger Saffold – The next most important rookie on the Rams offense is the rookie left tackle.  Saffold has been solid if not shutdown on Sam Bradford’s blind side.  Saffold played at Indiana, which was not frequently bowl eligible so by this time of the year, Saffold and Indiana had already closed down for the year.  I’m not going to say Saffold has hit the rookie wall, but of all the key Rams players, Saffold is the most vulnerable and it is something to keep an eye on.

WR Danario Alexander – The Rams picked up Alexander mid-season and he has only played 5 games for the Rams so far in 2010 after a offseason knee surgery and a midseason knee surgery as well.  The Rams are bringing him along slowly.  Considering his importance in stretching opposing defenses, he is very important to the Rams going forward.  But, being that he has only played 5 games this season, we can assume he is in no danger to hit the rookie wall.

DEs Eugene Sims and George Selvie – The Rams have used both rookie defensive ends as rotational pass rushers and both have had a small amount of success.  Since, they have not played every down, they should be fresh going into the final stretch.

Secondary players Darian Stewart and Jerome Murphy – Stewart has played much more than expected due to injury, but has only appeared in 10 games.  Murphy has not come along as quickly as the Rams staff have hoped, but he still is a quality depth corner.  Considering both players have not played the full season so far, both are probably safe from the rookie wall.


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