Wednesday, May 8, 2013
101ESPN St. Louis audio: Youth movement
By Mike Sando
The St. Louis Rams entered their first season under coach Jeff Fisher with a starting lineup averaging 26.7 years old. That was eight months ago. At least eight of the starting spots figure to change over this offseason. The new starters are almost invariably younger.
As a result, the current projected starters average about one year younger overall even though 14 of them are eight months older than they were entering last season.
Some of the positions remain open for competition, but the trend is unmistakeable. One of the NFL's youngest teams has gotten younger in lots of places. Seven of the 10 oldest players entering last season are no longer with the team (Mario Haggan, Quintin Mikell, Wayne Hunter, Rocky McIntosh, Steven Jackson, Robert Turner and Matthew Mulligan).
We can easily see the Rams' leadership putting its stamp on the organization in ways that make sense for the long term. It's tough to know in some cases whether the benefits will be immediate. There figure to be growing pains and a few disappointments along with the excitement that comes with developing dynamic young talent.
D'Marco Farr, Randy Karraker and I discussed expectations surrounding the Rams in relation to their NFC West rivals during our conversation Tuesday on 101ESPN St. Louis. We'll be talking Rams and the NFC West on Tuesday afternoons from this point forward. This will replace my Tuesday conversations with Bernie Miklasz on the same station. Bernie recently vacated his show. I'm looking forward to the new arrangement and to reconnecting with Bernie as he takes on an expanded role at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and its website.