Behind Enemy Lines: A Pre-training camp look at the St. Louis Rams


Training camp will be here before we know it. While our Seattle Seahawks are getting themselves ready for another big season, so are their division rivals.

The Seattle-St. Louis rivalry got off to a fun start when the Seahawks moved to the NFC, but the series has been rather one-sided over the last decade. The St. Louis Rams have the defensive line to give the Seahawks fits, but they’ve yet to turn the corner and turn themselves into a contender.

Colin Hubbard from Ramblin Fan was nice enough to agreed to answer a few questions. I have to admit that I was surprised at how pessimistic his thoughts on the Rams are. There is much less optimism coming out of St. Louis than you typically see from fans at this time of the year.

The Rams made headlines when they traded away quarterback Sam Bradford for Nick Foles. Do the Rams see Foles as a franchise quarterback, or is be a just a stopgap as the team searches for their future at the position?

In the beginning many probably believed he would be a stopgap, but it is now looking like Foles will be the guy. He could sign a lucrative deal by training camp. I don’t think it will get done that fast though. But, if he has a year like he did in 2013, then you can expect Foles to be the guy in St. Louis for the next 5-10 years. I personally hope he gets the deal. He has the talent.

The Rams has arguably the NFL’s best defensive line last season, and then signed Nick Fairly in the offseason. What do you tell fans that feel that those resources about have been better spent elsewhere?

I tell the fans that the are absolutely right. I hated the signing from day one and still do. We could possibly give him up to 8 million for 2015 alone and in return get a backup DT that may or may not get hurt. He is extremely inconstant, lacks leadership and wont be the rams long-term plans, at least I hope he won’t.

There’s no doubt that Todd Gurley is an amazing talent, but that knee is a serious question mark right now. What is the word on his recovery? What sort of impact do you think he’ll have as a rookie?

The word is he should be ready to go by training camp. I don’t expect him to be a full participant. He will most likely have a day off every other day. If he misses the first week of training camp that wouldn’t surprise me either but he will be ready to go by the preseason without a doubt. If he isn’t starting behind nick Foles come week one id be really surprised at this point. His torn acl came all the way back in November so there is no reason why 8-9 months wouldn’t be enough recovery time.

Tavon Austin has been a major disappointment since being taken No. 8 overall in 2013. Has he shown signs that make you optimistic that he’ll eventually become the player the Rams thought he’d be?

New Rams OC says he is poised for a breakout, but we have heard that time and time again so I don’t see it happening. The only excuse Austin had in 2014 was the lack of talent behind center. He won’t have that excuse this year so its do-or-die for Austin. I sure hope he breaks out and goes for 1,000 plus and 10 tds but the likelihood of that happening are slim to none

The Rams have invested heavily in their offensive line recently, including two straight 1st round picks and 4 draft picks this year. How does that roster battle shape up at this point. Will the unit be much-improved this year?

This is a hard question to answer, but id expect the o-line to be slightly better than it was last year but not very much better. Joe Barksdale wasn’t bad and he is gone and the Rams could have two rookies starting in Jamon Brown at guard and Rob Havenstein at RT. The only position that isn’t weak is LG and maybe center but the edges are terrible and I don’t expect them to be very good in 2015. The fans like to think that the rookies will somehow come in and act like seasoned vets but that just isn’t how it works.

Finally, give me a prediction for the Rams this season. Do you see them making the playoffs, and if so, how far can they go?

The Rams havn’t made it to the postseason since 2004. And while this may be the best roster they have had in quite some time, there wait will remain. The Rams will not make the playoffs due in large part to the brutal schedule the NFC West faces this year. In order to make it to the playoffs the Rams will have to have a winning record after the first five games of the season, a stretch in which they play the Seahawks, Redskins, Steelers,Cardinals and Packers.

As far as Foles goes, I expect him to have a solid year but nothing to flashy. The rams goal is to run the football which will take the ball out of his hands more times than not. Gurley should have a nice year, possibly a rookie of the year could be in his near future. Tre Mason will serve as a fantastic back up and the defense should finish inside the top 10. Final record prediction: 8-8

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