The offensive line was at the forefront of most fans’ minds when discussing the St. Louis Rams this offseason, but the team did very little to further insulate quarterback Sam Bradford. After seeing that already less than outstanding line get decimated by injuries thus far in 2012, the team decided to take action. Former first round pick by the Chicago Bears, offensive tackle Chris Williams has signed with the Rams and will be with the team in London this weekend.
While some may say there is a reason the Bears released him after he failed to become a solid starter for the club’s offensive line, that could be countered with there is a reason he was a first round pick back in 2008 out of Vanderbilt. Williams has no shortage of talent and Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher seemed sure of that when he said: “Chris was released last week, and we talked to him. He made a visit in here. We’re really excited about the opportunity, as he is. He’s flexible from a standpoint, he’s played all the positions. He was the number one pick out of Vandy, and we just think that he can help us. Now, he’s got a lot to learn and don’t know how soon or where we’ll plug him in, but we think that he has a future here with us.”
Williams is a flexible player as Fisher said with the ability to move inside to guard or play on the edge at his natural position of tackle. Given the issues that this line has already seen (21 sacks allowed, 30th ranked in the league) and a number of injuries, he could find himself starting sooner rather than later.
In order to make the signing, the Rams cut guard Quinn Ojinakka who started five games this year following injuries to both Scott Wells and Rokevious Watkins. Shelley Smith replaced Ojinakka this past Sunday and impressed enough to prove that the team could move on at the position comfortably.
The Rams have pretty much thrown continuity out the window along their offensive front, but sometimes injuries force clubs to make brash decisions. Adding Williams will provide some much needed depth and if he can adjust quickly, perhaps he will be in the mix soon as coach Fisher predicts.
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