Thursday, September 3, 2009
What to watch in the Rams' exhibition game
By Mike Sando
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Among the things I'll want to see when the Rams conclude their exhibition season Thursday night against the Chiefs:
NFL Network is replaying this game Friday at 7 a.m. ET.
- Prominent holdovers. Parting with recent first-round cornerback Tye Hill had to put other disappointing high draft choices on notice. After pushing out aging vets a few months ago, the Rams have targeted young underachievers, including Brian Leonard, Joe Klopfenstein and Hill. If the Rams valued Hill only as much as they valued a 2010 seventh-round choice, how much do they value, say, Adam Carriker?
- Backup receivers. The final exhibition game often helps shake out the final one or two spots at receiver. That appears true for the Rams. They sounded high on veteran Tim Carter earlier in the offseason. They acquired Ronald Curry from the Lions. Neither seems to have made a strong impression. Where do they stand?
- Special teams. The Rams had some problems defending returns in their previous exhibition game. Punter Donnie Jones can help solve that with better punts. Still, lapses in coverage could raise red flags.
- Jason Smith. The No. 2 overall draft choice gets another chance to prove he belongs in the starting lineup for Week 1. He could play extensively at right tackle.