Sunday, August 18, 2013
St. Louis Rams rookie review
By Nick Wagoner
ST. LOUIS -- The Rams made a concerted effort to get many of their rookies some valuable playing time in Saturday night’s preseason loss to Green Bay.
Here’s the breakdown on how much the seven-man rookie class played and how it fared in those opportunities along with a glimpse at a few undrafted rookies who have made an impression.
WR Tavon Austin, first round, No. 8 overall: Was much more involved this week, playing 16 snaps on offense and two on special teams. Targeted seven times in the passing game, Austin came up with four catches for 28 yards. His first punt return attempt gained nothing as he was unable to find room to run.
LB Alec Ogletree, first round, No. 30 overall: Left to play the most amongst defensive starters, Ogletree clocked 39 snaps there and five more on special teams. He made a little progress this week after a rough first go, particularly in terms of communication and assignments. He finished tied for the team lead with four tackles in unofficial pressbox statistics.
S T.J. McDonald, third round, No. 71 overall: Like Ogletree, McDonald didn’t have some of the glaring problems he had last week as he took on a similar workload though the Rams had some coverage issues, particularly in the middle of the field. He played 23 defensive snaps and four more on special teams and finished with one tackle. He walked off the field with trainers early in the game but returned right away.
WR Stedman Bailey, third round, No. 92 overall: Bailey wasn’t as involved in the offense this week though he played 21 snaps with the backups and another play on special teams. He had two targets and no catches as both passes were essentially uncatchable.
OL Barrett Jones, fourth round, No. 113 overall: Jones continued to work his way back into shape, getting the heaviest workload amongst the drafted rookies. He played 37 snaps with the offense and four on special teams. Although he’d worked some as the No. 2 right tackle early in the week, he spent his night mostly at guard.
CB Brandon McGee, fifth round, No. 149 overall: McGee played 20 snaps on defense and two on special teams. He got some work with the top defense in a nickel role in practice during the week but that didn’t come into play much Saturday night. He finished with one tackle but appeared to get dinged up and come out of the game.
RB Zac Stacy, fifth round, No. 160 overall: Did not play after sitting out practice a couple of days prior to the game. Last week, Stacy did not practice and then played against Cleveland. This week, he practiced a bit then sat out then missed the game.
Undrafted Rookie Roundup: With normal backup Eugene Sims not playing, end Gerald Rivers got a lot of opportunities, even with the starting defense. He played a team high 40 snaps on defense, coming up with two tackles and generating some pressure on a fairly consistent basis. … Linebacker Ray Ray Armstrong was again a busy man, playing 36 snaps on defense and 12 more on special teams. He also looked much more comfortable in his second game and tallied three tackles and a pass defended while getting some work with the second team defense. … Safety Cody Davis again had a solid performance with the third team defense, coming up with four tackles, including one for loss, while playing 36 snaps on defense and 12 on special teams. … Receiver and local fan favorite Andrew Helmick (Lindenwood University) got his first taste of preseason after a hamstring injury. He played 15 snaps and came up with a catch for 30 yards on his two targets.