Thursday, September 1, 2011
Three things revisited: Rams-Jaguars
By Mike Sando
Looking back on three things discussed here before the St. Louis Rams' preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night:
1. Sims-Walker homecoming: There was one point in the first half when receiver Mike Sims-Walker's maneuvering before the snap suggested quarterback Sam Bradford might be coming his way with the football. It did not happen. Bradford attempted 11 passes, but none for Sims-Walker, who was returning to the stadium he called home for the previous three seasons. It's tough to fault Bradford for ignoring Sims-Walker. He was too busy finding a wide-open Lance Kendricks for 17 yards on third-and-4, 12 yards on first-and-10 and 44-yards on a third-and-1. Who needs wide receivers? Kendricks, the Rams' rookie tight end and second-round draft choice, caught a scoring pass in three of the team's four exhibition games.
2. Robert Quinn's development. George Selvie was the first defensive end off the bench after the Rams' starting right defensive end, James Hall, left the game with a back injury. Hall's injury was not thought to be serious. He was dominating to that point in the game, but he collided awkwardly with fellow defensive end Chris Long when the two met at the quarterback. Quinn, the Rams' first-round pick, entered the game with the other backups a bit later. He got close to the quarterback a couple times, but didn't make an obvious impact.
3. Pass protection. The Jaguars entered this game with no sacks during the exhibition season. The streak ended when they brought down Rams third-stringer Thaddeus Lewis. Bradford took a couple hits, including a late helmet-to-helmet shot that drew a penalty. Bradford held up well and appeared to come out of the preseason healthy. He completed 7 of 11 passes for 133 yards, one score and a 135.8 rating. The pass protection was good overall. The Rams did a good job beating pressure with screens.
Note: I posted this during the fourth quarter of the game, with the Rams leading, 21-10. Games involving the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals were just beginning.