The Rams have a long road back to respectability.

t

The good news at QB is that the Rams have a legitimate backup—Kyle Boller. The bad news is the way the O line plays, they will need Boller and Brock Berlin to replace starter Marc Bulger when he gets hurt. Bulger is a top QB on a team with an O line that couldn’t protect a Sherman Tank.

Bulger has had passer ratings in the 90’s when the team had an O line and receivers that could catch the ball in 2002-2006. In 07 and 08 Orlando Pace was hurt and there were more injured O linemen than healthy ones. Bulger had a rating of 70.3 in 07 and 71.4 last year. Bulger needs some better protection if the Rams’ O is going to improve.

The running game has suffered a similar fate to the passing game. RB Steven Jackson is as good as any but has struggled the last few years. In 06 he carried 346 times for a 4.4 average. In 07 he had averaged 4.2 and in 08 4.1. He failed to finish either of those two seasons healthy. He is capable of being the difference in close games that the Rams could not close out last … Read more at FryingPanSports

Rap up of the Preseason 1 NFL games

nfl

This will become a regular Monday column. I will comment on some of the key games of the week. Let me know what you think of it.

Cleveland at Green Bay—Ugly is as ugly does.

Cleveland: The Browns looked bad. The Browns need a pass rush and the ex-Jets don’t have the ability to generate it. Look for DE Williams to get traded. He is not a fit in the 3-4. By the way, Mangenus said that QB Ratliff was a guy he really liked in the trade down from the 4th pick in the draft. Coach, just what was it you saw?

Green Bay: Packer fans shouldn’t get too giddy about the win because they were playing only part of the Browns D without NT Rogers. The Pack O looks very sharp. Bret Who?

Dallas at Oakland—QB Russell looks better

Oakland: JaMarcus Russell looks a lot better. He still is not starter quality but seems to have been working on his mechanics. The running game looks sharp and deep. On D the pass D is fine but they will have to find a way to stop the run.

Dallas: The Dallas O looks confused and shaky. The 1… Read more at FryingPanSports

The problem with the Raiders is Al Davis not the QB.

t

The Raiders are the closest thing there is to a minor league in the NFL. It has become the black hole where players are forced to go to have their careers die. Al Davis couldn’t organize a 2 car funeral procession let alone run an NFL team. It wasn’t always that way. When the Raiders won regularly, they had head coaches that would stand up to Davis. Now no one with a brain is allowed to work for the team.

QB JaMarcus Russell just got the worst situation possible—a lack of ability to process information fast enough to be effective and Jeff Garcia as the backup QB who will do everything possible to undermine him. Russell is a thrower not a QB. He has never mastered the playbook and has the passing touch of a 100,000 pound sledge hammer. The organization is hoping that Russell’s last few almost decent games last year marks a turnaround in his career. Don’t bet on it. There is no way that he can lead a team to a winning record let alone a division title. Garcia is capable of starting but not winning. He has proven that in Cleveland. But he would be much … Read more at FryingPanSports

The Chiefs' Plan in 09—Build around their Cassel

t

Kansas City GM Scott Pioli has bet a lot on QB Matt Cassel but didn’t give up an arm and a leg to acquire him. Even though Cassel never started at USC and had one good year behind a group of pro bowl players, Pioli had very little to lose. The Chiefs needed a QB and Cassel’s question marks are far fewer than any rookie he could have gotten in the second round.

Cassel is a slightly above average QB in the Pat style O that KC will implement. However, he needs to be more accurate in the red zone to help the pathetic O of the 08 Chiefs claw its way to the middle of the pack. He will need an improved running game and a lot more protection from the line to make the Chiefs competitive.

The success of the running game depends on RB Larry Johnson staying healthy and focused all year. He is still capable of pro bowl level play but injuries and demands for a new contract or a trade have prevented him from showing it over the last two seasons. There is nothing behind him comes close to quality depth.

Cassel will miss the … Read more at FryingPanSports

Niblets for July

nib

Note: We will continue our preview of the NFL teams on Monday.

Comment of the Month: From Steve on Vegas projects the Browns to win 7 games(???)

Go Browns!!! I think the Browns have more potential this year than the Bengals. The Bengals have had the same team in the past and can’t win. The Browns do have new systems but new is better than old and crappy.

Steve: I am a recovering Browns fan and have the receipts for a number of new TV sets to prove it. The TVs got so depressed with the Browns play that they committed suicide.

I hope I am wrong but I don’t like what I see from Mangini. The Bengals will be better on D with Rivers coming back and Palmer will make the difference. I still will bet the under.

Updates on Previous Columns:

The world vs. Lance Armstrong

Despite an outstanding effort, it looks like Lance is not going to win this Tour. He has announced that he will compete for the Radio Shack team next year.

What should the NFL do with Mikey Vick?

Mikey met with Comm. Goodell this week. The rumor is that he will be allowed … Read more at FryingPanSports

Vegas projects the Browns to win 7 games(???)

CLE_logo-80x90

According to the over/under wins list put out by the odds makers in Vegas, the Browns are going to win 7 games but the Bengals are going to win only 6. These numbers look off to me.

The Browns are going to have a new QB, offensive and defensive system, key players on both sides of the ball. They traded their best receiver away and are shopping their only other starting pass catcher on EBAY without a minimum. And their other starting WR is suspended indefinitely by the Commissioner. They also have a new younger version of what they hope is Bill Belichick II in New England and not Bill Belichick I, the guy that they fired in Cleveland.

The Bengals have a quality experienced QB, the same O and D systems, and a coach that reportedly the players love to play for but is on the hot seat unless they win. My gut tells me that the Bengals are a lot closer to winning 7 or 8 games than the Browns are.

WR Braylon Edwards will have a lot of company when he runs patterns because he is the only deep threat the Browns have. Rookie WR Mohamed Massaquoi … Read more at FryingPanSports