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Saturday, August 20, 2011
Three things revisited: Rams-Titans

By Mike Sando

Looking back upon three things discussed here before the St. Louis Rams' 17-16 preseason victory over Tennessee on Saturday night:

1. Three wide receivers: Mardy Gilyard, Danario Alexander and Donnie Avery are fighting for what could be one roster spot. Gilyard had a 30-yard kickoff return, an 18-yard punt return and a tackle for no gain while working with the punt coverage team. His 12-yard reception in the final minute moved the Rams into position for the winning field-goal attempt. Avery beat the Titans' second-team defense for a 19-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter. He mistimed his jump for a deep ball that might have been tough to come down with anyway. Alexander's nifty move along the right sideline produced a few extra yards. To be continued.

2. Steven Jackson's debut. The Rams' Pro Bowl running back found little room against the Titans' defense. He carried six times for 10 yards. His lone reception gained four yards. There wasn't much to analyze. The Rams' first-team offense did very little after Sam Bradford's 83-yard scoring strike to Brandon Gibson on the first offensive play of the game.

3. Quinn off the edge. The Titans' offensive line generally contained Rams rookie first-round draft choice Robert Quinn. Once the regular season begins, the Rams will likely work Quinn into the mix as a situational pass-rusher. Quinn played every-down defensive end with the backups in this game. The Rams dropped him into coverage on a third-and-13 play in the third quarter. Quinn came close to a sack on a third-and-8 play later in the quarter, but Jake Locker escaped and ran for a first down.

Programming note: I'm heading to the Rams' and Titans' locker rooms. I'll revisit the other NFC West games when I have a chance to watch them more closely. Bandwidth limits complicated efforts to watch them all at once.