NFL Nation: Dominic Douglas
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Biggest surprise: The Rams cut former special-teams captain Todd Johnson, a safety, and they also flushed out two veteran receivers they hoped would contribute, Ronald Curry and Tim Carter. Keeping rookie quarterback Keith Null over the more experienced Brock Berlin made sense because the Rams' top two quarterbacks, Marc Bulger and Kyle Boller, have lots of seasoning. The biggest roster surprise came when the team traded 2006 first-round cornerback Tye Hill to the Falcons. Free-agent addition Quincy Butler stuck on the 53-man roster after a strong training camp and preseason. He looked better than Hill, frankly, and the Rams' new leadership wasn't afraid to part with symbols of past failures. Placing defensive tackle Adam Carriker on injured reserve cleared another spot.
No-brainers: The Rams also released linebacker K.C. Asiodu, defensive tackle Antwon Burton, tight end Eric Butler, defensive end Ian Campbell, linebacker Dominic Douglas, tackle Renardo Foster, fullback Jerome Johnson, center Tim Mattran, running back Chris Ogbonnaya, cornerback Cord Parks, running back Antonio Pittman, safety Mark Rubin, guard Roy Schuening, tackle Phil Trautwein and receiver Sean Walker.
What's next: The Rams still need to make one move by the 6 p.m. ET deadline for complying with the 53-man limit. With only four running backs on the roster, counting fullback Mike Karney, the team probably needs to seek help at the position. Backup Samkon Gado suffered injured ribs in the final exhibition game. The Rams lack quality depth and they are starting over. As a result, the team could pursue players released from other teams.
Update: The Rams placed defensive lineman Eric Moore on injured reserve to comply with the 53-man limit.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
The Rams' roster requires additional study after a thorough house-cleaning this offseason. With so many new faces, I feel less familiar with the Rams than with the other teams in the division. This initial look at the roster will hopefully help bring some focus.
Donnie Avery's injury and overall health concerns at receiver could influence how many players the Rams carry into the season at the position.
Marc Bulger's broken pinky shouldn't affect the roster as long as he recovers on schedule. Teams must reduce to 75 players by Sept. 1 and 53 players by Sept. 5. Those initial 53-man rosters sometimes change by Week 1 kickoffs. For that reason, I've been focusing on Week 1 rosters when setting baseline expectations for each position.
The chart provides a framework for how many players the Rams might keep at each position heading into the regular-season opener against the Seahawks.
Here's a quick look at which Rams players I might keep on the cutdown to 53 players:
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart worked out with the Patriots' Tom Brady at UCLA this offseason. I'm sure this was simply a case of Brady wanting to pick Leinart's brain. Ha. Ha. Ha. Seriously, though, Brady helped Leinart with fundamentals such as footwork and his release. Brady is one of the most fundamentally sound quarterbacks in terms of how he stands, where he holds the ball, etc. Good move by Leinart.
Also from Somers: The Cardinals are raving about new quarterbacks coach Chris Miller. This was an important hire for coach Ken Whisenhunt after the Cardinals lost offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Miller appears to have instant credibility with Kurt Warner and the other quarterbacks.
More from Somers: Look for Steve Breaston to remain the Cardinals' punt returner.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com looks at how the team's linemen approach non-contact practices. The work can become monotonous.
Revenge of the Birds' Bezekira wonders why Bertrand Berry isn't attending the Cardinals' voluntary camp.
Larry Fitzgerald [via Twitter] says he spent Wednesday night watching TV at his house with Cardinals rookie running back Chris Wells. Wells is hanging out with the right guy.
Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Rams fans shouldn't worry too much about the team leaving St. Louis. Burwell: "Regardless of whether the majority ownership of the Rams is eventually purchased by local buyers or strangers from a thousand miles away, the odds are still fairly strong that St. Louis will remain the Rams' home. No matter who ultimately ends up buying this franchise from Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez, they will find a dramatically different economic landscape in place since the wild and woolly 1980s, when NFL franchise free agency was at its peak."
Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch solicits feedback from Dan Dierdorf about the Rams' future in St. Louis. Dierdorf thinks the Rams would have had much better luck finding a local buyer eight or nine months ago. Dierdorf: "I think that gentlemen in St Louis who might have been players in it -- given the economy -- are more interested in running their own businesses ... and the interest in owning an NFL franchise has been put on the back burner. It's hard to criticize anyone who is taking that stance."
Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with Rams linebacker Dominic Douglas.
Tim Klutsarits of examiner.com reiterates why he thinks the Rams might be unlikely to leave St. Louis. Los Angeles appears to be the only logical destination, but the city has struggled to bring back the NFL. Klutsarits: "The NFL tried everything in their power to get a team there a few years ago but had to give the expansion team to Houston because L.A. can't get their act together. One of two things will happen in the LA market. They will build their stadium and the Chargers, Raiders or Jaguars will make the move or they will never get it done. I am still betting on them never getting it done and even if they do it, won't be with the Rams."
Denis C. Theriault of the San Jose Mercury News details the Santa Clara City Council's decision to approve the 49ers' financing plan for a new stadium near team headquarters. The approval sets up a public vote on the matter. This is a significant victory for the 49ers and team president Jed York, although much work remains.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers have had no substantive talks about sharing a stadium with the Raiders. Barrows: "There hasn't been a Super Bowl in Northern California since Joe Montana outdueled Dan Marino in Palo Alto in January 1985. But that will change if the new stadium is built in Santa Clara, York said."
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune summarizes Ken Lucas' recent interview with KJR radio host Mitch Levy. Lucas: "Some people feel like I'm old now age-wise. But for me, my motivation is to show everybody that I'm not going to let a young guy outwork me, period. I feel like I have a lot of football left in me. I feel like my best is yet to come. So with that being said, I'm only getting better with time. And I feel like I'm faster, quicker, and much wiser than what I used to be when I first went to Carolina."
Also from Williams: He thinks the Seahawks will finish among the NFL's top 10 teams in rushing yardage if Julius Jones and T.J. Duckett stay healthy. There's no question that coordinator Greg Knapp's teams have fared well running the ball. I just wonder if the Seahawks might pass more than expected given their personnel.
John Morgan of Field Gulls revisits Jon Ryan's season as the Seahawks' punter in 2008.
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