Mailbag: Too early for angst from Rams fans
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Vince from St. Louis writes: Alright, the Rams have certainly rebuilt the team with quite a few additions. I like our secondary and we have certainly got some blocking help for Steven Jackson. But we don't have a solid receiving corps by any means.
It seems to me that even more pressure is being put on Jackson to succeed since our lack of experienced WRs will hurt our offense. No real deep threat leads to more men in the box more often. Are we already a one-dimensional team? And if Jackson gets hurt, we are an offense that is dead in the water.
Is there anything the Rams can do, via trade or free agency, to improve our offense? Do the Rams have enough cap room to do so? Or am I not giving the offense enough credit?
Mike Sando: Take away the best player from any team and that team is going to suffer. The Rams are a little more vulnerable because they aren't as good as some teams elsewhere on the roster. But this first season under Steve Spagnuolo is as much about subtraction as it is about addition. The team flushed out older players with inflated salaries. Cap room remains tight and options for upgrading are scarce. The Rams aren't going to significantly upgrade their roster before the regular season.
At receiver, Donnie Avery caught four passes of at least 40 years last season. Ten players had more. He has the potential to beat teams deep. The position lacks proven depth. The receivers on the roster will struggle at times. I think that was pretty much known going into the offseason. The Rams were going to focus on rebuilding their offensive line. They couldn't fix everything in one offseason.
Matthew from Rolla, Mo., writes: I'm a big Rams fan, but I'm afraid that how this team is built, they'll have the worst record in the NFL. Is it way too early to think about Sam Bradford being picked #1 by the Rams?
Mike Sando: Yes, it's too early for that. Many things must go wrong for a team to have a horrendous season. The Rams most likely will not lose 10 in a row again this season.
Nick from Seattle writes: Hey Mike, your blog is fantastic work. I thoroughly enjoy it. Keep up the great work! I read a question on the AFC South blog and thought I would pose the same to you about the NFC West: "Which division team can least afford a prolonged holdout from their top pick?"
Mike Sando: Thanks, Nick. Having Beanie Wells or Jason Smith miss time would hurt their teams quite a bit. Graduation rules prevented Wells from practicing this offseason. He has much to learn before the Cardinals can trust him with pass protection in critical situations. A prolonged Wells absence would probably rank as the costliest one for an NFC West team.
I don't think the 49ers are counting on Michael Crabtree as a rookie to the same degree as the Cardinals are counting on Wells. The Seahawks' Aaron Curry could get back up to speed relatively quickly given how involved he has been to this point.
Jeremy from Phoenix writes: Hey Mike. I have some more Warren Sapp material for you. I just got done watching him list his top 5 QBs in the league. He has Jay Cutler on the list at No. 5. Nos. 1 through 4 were Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Donovan McNabb. I cant argue with the top four, but does Cutler really deserve to be on this list?
What about Warner? He has the best receiving corps in the league and is coming off of an incredibly unforeseen Super Bowl appearance. I would easily put Big Ben or Philip Rivers on the list before Cutler. There are arguably two or three other QBs who I believe should be on the list ahead of Cutler.
I just don't see how a QB is top five material for the 2009 season when that QB has yet to lead a team to the playoffs, is starting fresh on a new team, and that new team has an average, at best, receiving corps.
Mike, I'd be interested to see if you agree with Warren Sapp's assessment and, if not, who would make your top five?
Mike Sando: Sapp has always been in the business of being talked about, but in watching the video, I didn't get the feeling he was trying to stir up anything here. I think Warner is perfect for the situation in Arizona and a potential Hall of Fame quarterback. Cutler might be better for the Bears than Warner would be, however, given the offense and the cold weather.
My top five would feature Brady and Manning, of course. I like Brees as well. I admire the way Rivers plays and it's tough to argue with Roethlisberger's results, but think Warner, at his best, is better than either of them. The Warner I saw last season was a top-five quarterback.
Curt from Helena, Mont., writes: Hey Mike, thanks for covering the West with such fluidity and grace as well as non bias and some gravitas.
I was reading over on Mosley's East blog that somewhere between 18 and 22 teams sent scouts to view UK's Jeremy Jarmon.
Considering the 49ers' apathy toward addressing the pass rush situation in any way this offseason, do you know if the 49ers are showing any interest Jarmon? He seems to be a 3-4 OLB type and had a Maybin/Orakpo-type future until it was cut short. With two first-round picks in the 2010 draft, would the Niners forego a third or fourth round pick and select him?
Mike Sando: Gravitas! Haven't heard that one in a while. I'll take it. To your question, sounds like the 49ers might sit out this supplemental draft. They most likely are not counting on getting immediate pass-rush help at this stage. I haven't heard anything to make me think they're planning on making a move for Jarmon. The 49ers have proved so far this offseason that they will not add pass rushers for the sake of adding them.