Can you believe it? One week from today and the St. Louis Browns will be playing the Cleveland Browns in their first preseason game. Get those football juices flowin’, as they famous Sunday Night Football saying goes, “Are you ready for some football?” Going into the preseason there are always questions that need to be answered before the regular season starts. Here are some questions the Rams will have to answer:
What is the offense going to look like?
Right now it’s a mystery, what exactly is the offense going to look like, what is the identity going to be? Obviously we won’t see all of it during the preseason, no team lays out all their cards in the preseason. What we will get though, is a feel for it, we will get a feel for what the offense will be like, but we wont see all of it. We will get to see how comfortable Bradford is with his new weapons, what sort of improvement the wide receivers have made, and we may even see a few big plays. We wont see everything until the season begins, but we will finally get to see the new Rams offense for the first time. The Offense has changed drastically from last season. No more number 39 in the backfield, Danny Amendola is no longer on the team, and neither is Brandon Gibson. The offense is different and with that comes the anxiety to see the new big players in action such as Tavon Austin and Jared Cook. One more week Rams fans and we will see them all for the first time.
Who will take command at running back?
The running back competition is wide open for the taking, the only question is, who is going to grab it? Second year players Daryl Richardson, Isaiah Pead, along with rookie Zac Stacy are all competing for the job. Pead has impressed some in camp so far showing a little physicality as well as Zac Stacy. I would expect either Pead or Richardson to get the starting role, with Stacy as a change of pace third down back. Richardson showed what he had a little last season and Pead is suspended week 1. That gives Richardson a little advantage, but not much. It’s hard to win a running back spot in training camp, therefore every snap these three guys get during the four preseason games will be huge and they will need to take advantage of every opportunity they get to win the starting role if there even is one. Fisher has said they might take the committee approach, but if someone significantly separates themselves, there is no doubt Fisher will give him the nod.
Will the favorites emerge as the starting safeties?
It is expected that T.J. McDonald and Darian Stewart will be the day one starters at safety, but if someone were to outplay the other, Fisher would make the change. Contrary to pre-draft talk, T.J. McDonald has actually impressed in coverage so far in camp by grabbing a few interceptions which has obviously stuck him out from the crowd. I think McDonald is a lock, it’s the other safety spot that I see as being uncertain. Can one of the younger guys impress enough, or will Stewart hold on? This competition will be fun to watch as soon as the preseason games begin.
How will the younger players play this season?
The Rams have a lot of young players on their team, and you have to wonder if that is going to be the Rams’ downfall, not enough experience. Many of the Rams’ skill positions will all be held by first or second year players with not a lot of experience. If these players can continue to grow and improve from last season, the Rams will be just fine, however if they fall victim to a sophomore slump or hit the rookie wall, the Rams could be in for a long year.
There are obviously more questions such as will Rodger Saffold be able to move to the right side, or will Brian Quick have an impact in his second year? For the most part however, these four questions are four of the bigger questions when the preseason games roll around next week. We are in for an exciting preseason Rams fans. My advice would be to enjoy it, because it has been awhile since the Rams have looked this promising.