Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Rams standing pat ... for now
By Nick Wagoner
Within three days of trimming their roster from 75 to 53 in 2012, the Rams had made four waiver claims and a trade. They were one of the league's most active teams in their efforts to churn and upgrade the bottom of their roster.
As of Tuesday morning, three days after making the same cut to an initial 53, the Rams appear satisfied with the group they've assembled.
Speaking on his weekly radio show on 101 ESPN in St. Louis, Rams coach Jeff Fisher acknowledged that his staff and general manager Les Snead's group agree that what's in place is the right mix for right now.
"There's a lot of players that have been released," Fisher said. "Obviously everybody went from 75 to 53. We didn't submit any claims. We weren't interested in anybody else's players right now. We think the guys we've got can fill roles for us."
Last year, the Rams claimed tackle Ty Nsekhe, guard Shelley Smith, running back Terrance Ganaway and defensive tackle Kellen Heard and dealt receiver Greg Salas. Of course, the Rams also had a much more favorable position on the waiver wire, which gave them a better opportunity to get players they want.
Coming off a dreadful 2011 season, the Rams sat at No. 2 on the waiver wire behind only Indianapolis. That gave them second crack at any players that came available.
This year, the Rams didn't sit in the catbird seat, checking in right in the middle of the pack at No. 16 on the wire. So even if they had interest in some of the players that came available, many of the desirable players they might have had interest in would have been long gone before they got the opportunity to claim them.
Jacksonville, the team that holds the No. 2 spot on the wire this year, claimed seven players.
It's worth noting Fisher's comments about not putting in a claim on any players that were out there. The Rams again have the youngest roster in the league and added five more undrafted free agents to the mix this year.
That doesn't mean things won't change in the near future, though. If nothing else, the Rams will have to make decisions following the return of running back Isaiah Pead after Week 1 and linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar after Week 4.
"We're constantly evaluating those guys that come up on the waiver wire," Fisher said. "If you neglect the bottom half of your roster, you're going to be in trouble. So we are always trying to upgrade the bottom half of our roster, so if there are guys out there we'll entertain signing some of these guys if they're worth it."