Thursday, October 10, 2013
Morning Ram-blings: Hard Knock Life
By Nick Wagoner
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- During this week's owners meetings in Chicago, the league's owners approved a measure allowing the NFL to choose a team to participate in the HBO documentary-style show "Hard Knocks" if no team volunteers.
Had the rule been in place this year, the St. Louis Rams would have been one of five teams that could have been exposed to the pomp and circumstance of the show according to the guidelines put in place for selecting a team.
The three guidelines that would have had the Rams in the running along with Oakland, Carolina, Tampa Bay and Tennessee stipulate that a team could be exempt if it has a new coach, has reached the playoffs in one of the past two seasons and/or has appeared on the show within the past 10 years.
St. Louis would not have met any of those criteria and, barring a change in the team's fortunes this year or a shocking change in the coaching department, could be a potential target next year.
The popular HBO show documents a team throughout training camp, offering insight into fringe players attempting to make the roster as well as a closer look at what camp life is like. Dallas, Cincinnati, the New York Jets, Baltimore, Miami, Jacksonville and Kansas City have appeared on the show in the past.
Asked about the guidelines that could have his team making weekly television appearances, Rams coach Jeff Fisher decided to punt.
"With all due respect to everything that’s going on at the owners meeting, I’m a little bit more focused on this coming game against the Texans," Fisher said. "That stuff can be addressed in the offseason. I know some people have voiced their opinion, but I’ll keep my opinion to myself.”
A quick straw poll of players in the locker room revealed some strong opinions against the idea of being forced to be on television. Not unlike when the league said it was going to place cameras in the locker room to broadcast to fans attending home games, this was met with multiple eye-rolls.
It's hard to blame players who already live under a microscope for not wanting to have that microscope paired with a magnifying glass.
Our daily roundup of yesterday's Rams' stories right here on ESPN.com. ... Following yesterday's Ram-blings, we provided our weekly QB watch with a look at Sam Bradford's week that was and what awaits this week in Houston. ... Next, we moved to the weekly buzz with a video setting up something that would come later. ... Our daily injury update revealed that running back Zac Stacy sat out Wednesday's practice but end William Hayes returned to the mix. ... Finally, we took a deeper look at the impact of the Rams' 17 special-teams penalties.
At NFL.com, Gil Brandt gives his thoughts on some rookies who are performing well and those that aren't meeting expectations. He's got Tavon Austin landing in the latter category.
Fox Sports Midwest's Ben Frederickson offers his take on Austin and the special-teams penalties.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch provides a look at the busy Rodney McLeod.
At Turf Show Times, a case is made for the Rams to incorporate more play-action passes into the offense. If the Rams' running game can build on last week's performance, it's hard to argue with that case.
They also provided a statistical look at where the Rams stand through the first five weeks.