Wide receiver was considered the St. Louis Rams main shortcoming entering this past offseason, but via free agent additions as well as draft choices, the team built that area up into a possible strong point. While the signing of former Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants wideout Steve Smith seemed relatively innocuous to some, it is starting to show why the Rams felt he would prove to be their most valuable newcomer.
During his time with the Giants, Smith was a terror as a possession receiver, providing quarterback Eli Manning with a reliable third down target time after time. After a microfracture injury left his playing future uncertain, he landed with the Eagles and did very little there.
Now in St. Louis, Smith seems to be born again as NFL insider Jason LaCanfora tweeted from Rams practice saying: “Very strong buzz about WR Steve Smith here. Having another strong practice. Bradford excited to see Smith and Amendola both in slot.” Obviously Danny Amendola has an injury stigma as well after missing all of last year with an ugly elbow dislocation.
With both of these guys healthy, the Rams expect for quarterback Sam Bradford to have two very reliable targets lining up in the slot and running precise routes. This will hopefully restore any confidence that the signal caller may have lost a year ago when things looked so bleak.
Smith’s health remains a daily concern with the fickle nature of microfracture injuries, but if he can stay on the field, he and Bradford have a chance to make some real noise. He may not be a flashy receiver with gaudy yards per reception numbers, but Smith can rack up the grabs and be an asset in fantasy football as well for points per reception leagues. Keep your eye on him as he and Bradford establish a chemistry moving into the regular season.
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