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Rams less talented after cutting Brown

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The Rams' decision to release Fakhir Brown, considered their top cornerback heading into the season, isn't going to help them field a more talented secondary this season. Then again, talent might not be the Rams' only problem during their 0-3 start.

The notebook I keep during games will inevitably feature 30 or 40 hastily scrawled observations. Some translate directly to a story or blog entry. Some get filed away for future consideration. Others become irrelevant.

The 19th note taken during the Rams-Seahawks game questioned Brown's effort defending a deep pass during the second quarter. Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw deep left for Billy McMullen for a 34-yard gain to the 6.

I'm always reluctant to question effort without knowing a player's responsibility on a play. After this play, I consulted with another reporter in the press box to see if he had seen the play the same way. He wasn't sure.

After rewatching the play several times on video today, Brown doesn't look any better. First, he does nothing to slow McMullen at the line. He gave McMullen a 5-yard cushion, stepped forward after the snap, turned back to the quarterback, stopped briefly and then jogged as McMullen ran into the clear for a 34-yard reception. Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe made the tackle at the St. Louis 6. The jogging part stood out.

A shoulder injury sidelined Brown through training camp and the exhibition season. He returned for the season opener and started the Seattle game. Ron Bartell and Tye Hill become the starting corners heading into Week 4. Brown, 31, has 27 starts and seven interceptions for the Rams over the last three seasons.