At the Post-Dispatch this morning Jim Thomas writes that rite of passage for all major sports seasons: The we're-just-about-out-of-offseason-but-there's-still-nothing-going-on piece. Sample:â†µ
Even if things go smoothly for Bradford, subplots abound on offense, beginning on the line where youngsters Smith at left tackle and Saffold at right tackle are the projected starters. Smith still has a lot to prove after a rookie season in which he missed half the season with a knee injury and a concussion. Smith also missed the tail end of the offseason program, including the mandatory minicamp in mid-June, after suffering a fractured toe June 8. Had the toe injury occurred during the season, Smith would have missed considerable playing time. Safford, meanwhile, missed the last three weeks of the offseason program with a knee injury.â†µ
In the backfield, Pro Bowl running back Steven Jackson must show he is back in form following back surgery in April. The team still doesn't have a proven backup for Jackson, although former Philadelphia Eagles star Brian Westbrook, who made a free-agent visit to Rams Park over draft weekend, remains on the market.â†µ
At wide receiver, the Rams must have one or more of their young receivers step up, be it Donnie Avery, Laurent Robinson, Brandon Gibson or even rookie Mardy Gilyard.â†µ
Will Sam Bradford sign with the Rams before training camp? Will he start? Will he get $50 million or just 50-ish? We don't actually know the answer to any of the questions he raises, but he raises just about all of them—he even gives Leonard Little, training as a will-he-won't-he free agent on his own, a mention. As documentation of the storylines that the Rams take into Training Camp, it's worth a read.