After acquiring a number of talented weapons to surround quarterback Sam Bradford for the 2013 season, the St. Louis Rams have yet to really show what any of them are capable of this preseason. The team has been very vanilla on both sides of the football thus far, and head coach Jeff Fisher doesn’t seem destined to change that philosophy any time soon. So when the bulk of the league tries to replicate real game conditions in the third preseason game this week, will the Rams continue to buck the trend and keep their weaponry under wraps?
It’s an interesting question to weigh really, as it could be argued either way. Getting these new pieces involved on offense could really propel the Rams to greater heights in the upcoming season as the new guys get acclimated to the way things work at game-speed with their new teammates. But the other side of the argument says that NFL teams can’t stop what they haven’t seen, so giving teams any unnecessary film to look at with these new weapons would be a competitive disadvantage for St. Louis.
Aside from tight end Jared Cook’s impressive 37-yard catch and run in the second preseason tilt, the Rams really haven’t seen much from any of their new team members at the skill positions. Speedster Tavon Austin has caught four balls for an uneventful 28 yards thus far, Stedman Bailey has hauled in two for 27 yards, and Cook’s aforementioned grab was his only of the preseason so far.
It stands to reason that the Rams will remain status quo when they take on the Denver Broncos on Saturday night and keep their newest weapons close to the vest until the regular season gets underway. This game will be the last likely sighting of Bradford under center and several key starters as the final preseason affair rarely, if ever sees starters getting playing time. Is this really a sound strategy for a team whose average age at receiver and running back is just an incredible 23 years-old?
Football is football no matter what age or what level of competition. These guys won’t have any difficulty assimilating into the offense so long as they have all been working together in practices (which they have) and getting their timing right for the regular season. Don’t expect the Rams to change course when they take on Broncos on Saturday night. The team’s own defense was baffled by the jitterbug Austin when they first saw him in practice, so just imagine how dumbfounded opponents will be when they see that quickness for the first time.