Rams laying it on the offensive line

August, 17, 2010
8/17/10
9:21
AM ET
Will from Salem, Mass., writes: Mike, while at Rams camp, what most fans seem most interested in is the offensive line. That unit is so critical to the offense's ability to improve on their terrible 2009 numbers. The big questions are obviously how quickly Jason Smith and Rodger Saffold develop at tackle, and when the Rams settle on a starting duo at center and right guard. I'm hoping the Rams keep Jason Brown at center, where he belongs (and is one of the league's top centers). Let Hank Fraley and Adam Goldberg square off at right guard until John Greco returns healthy.

Mike Sando: No doubt, the line is in focus and under pressure after a weak showing in the exhibition opener. This is where Richie Incognito is the Rams' forgotten man. Had he not imploded last season, sealing his exit from the team, the Rams might have a tough and fiery scrapper at right guard. I agree that Brown should be at center, but Fraley's value is disproportionately at center, I think, while Brown's size lets him play guard a little easier. Fraley has played center almost exclusively during his career.

I'm heading out to the Rams' morning practice shortly and will be watching the line closely. The team thinks Saffold avoided serious injury to his back in practice Monday, but we do not yet have a definitive report on his status. Smith should only improve with more reps, assuming he is healthy. I do think guard is a concern, though, in part because Jacob Bell has had some injury problems and, as noted, the team had little choice but to part with the volatile Incognito last season.

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