by Matt Soltysiak
As if a 3-13 2007 season wasn’t bad enough, St. Louis went 2-14 last year, leading to plenty of changes for this team. Those departing include Hall of Fame to be (receiver) Torry Holt, another cornerstone of the team in tackle Orlando Pace and quarterback Trent Green retired. Touching down in St. Louis include quarterback Kyle Boller and receiver Ronald Curry.
In the draft the Rams hope they found Pace’s replacement in offensive tackle Jason Smith. In the second round the team took linebacker James Laurinaitis and in the third round added defensive back Bradley Fletcher.
What to watch for in training camp
Does the quarterback have anything left? Bulger enters only his 8th NFL season, but each of the last two season’s his quarterback rating was in the 70′s for the only times in his career and he threw more interceptions than touchdowns, not exactly a winning formula. Health is also a concern as he’s only played a full season once.
Catching the ball belongs to a new group of receivers. Second year man Donnie Avery may be the teams’ new go to guy with the departure of Holt. Avery hauled in 53 catches for 674 yards and three scores. Those numbers should go up if he becomes Bulger’s favorite target. Also in the mix should be Keenan Burton, Ronald Curry and 5th round draft pick Brooks Foster. Don’t forget about Randy McMichael, the tight end. Injuries sidelined him for 12 games last season.
When it comes to running, the Rams are hoping Steven Jackson can do some running back to the future. He’s missed four games each of the last two seasons, but still managed to cross the 1,000 yard threshold. If he’s rested and healthy he is one of the most talented guys on the field, but he needs to be on the field to get those yards. If he can’t, Antonio Pittman is there in reserve. Expect big things from Jackson this year, but pay attention to information during training camp to see how he and the team are shaping up.
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