Monday, December 16, 2013
Week 15: Rams rookie review
By Nick Wagoner
ST. LOUIS -- A look at playing time and performance of each of the St. Louis Rams' drafted rookies and a quick glimpse at the undrafted rookie class in Sunday’s 27-16 win against the New Orleans Saints.
WR Tavon Austin, first round, No. 8 overall: After sitting out all week with an ankle injury, Austin was inactive for the first time in his young career. Coach Jeff Fisher said he was hopeful Austin would be able to return this week against Tampa Bay.
LB Alec Ogletree, first round, No. 30 overall: Ogletree never came off the field on what was a long day for the defense, playing all 86 snaps with two more on special teams. He was all over the field and instrumental in slowing down the Saints’ screen game.
In unofficial press box statistics, Ogletree had seven tackles, one for loss and a pass defended. In one sequence, he blew up right tackle Zach Strief to kill a run play and then dropped a running back on a screen for a loss. He also did quite well in coverage against tight end Jimmy Graham when given the opportunity.
S T.J. McDonald, third round, No. 71 overall: Like Ogletree, McDonald was on the field for all 86 defensive snaps and also chipped in on six special teams plays. He finished with five tackles, an interception and a pass defended. His interception on the Saints’ first play from scrimmage set the tone for the game.
WR Stedman Bailey, third round, No. 92 overall: Bailey was second among Rams receivers in snaps with 28 and also played four special-teams plays on what looks like a quiet day on paper but was actually better than it first appears.
Bailey finished with two catches for 26 yards and a rush for 6 more yards. But his best play of the day may have been his picture-perfect onside kick recovery to help set up a field goal to make it 17-0 Rams early in the second quarter.
OL Barrett Jones, fourth round, No. 113 overall: Jones was active for the second time this season. He stayed behind Tim Barnes as the team’s backup center against the Saints but got five snaps on special teams, working on place-kicking units.
CB Brandon McGee, fifth round, No. 149 overall: McGee suffered a foot injury two weeks ago but returned to action Sunday against New Orleans. He played one snap on defense and 15 more on special teams but did not post any statistics in unofficial press box numbers.
RB Zac Stacy, fifth round, No. 160 overall: Stacy got back to business Sunday, making the most of his 46 offensive snaps and carrying the mail for the offense. He finished with 28 carries for 133 yards with a 40-yard touchdown run and a catch for 10 yards.
Stacy is closing in on a 1,000-yard season and has made a case to at least garner some votes for the offensive rookie of the year award.
Undrafted rookie roundup: Running back Benny Cunningham played seven snaps on offense and six more on special teams and had a pair of carries for zero yards. ... Linebackers Ray-Ray Armstrong and Daren Bates played their usual 16 snaps on special teams. ... Safety Cody Davis also had 16 special-teams plays.