Morning Ram-blings: On playoff expansion

Discussions about the NFL playoffs expanding have been taking place for a while, so it was no surprise to see the subject pop up again at the owners meetings in Orlando, Fla., this week.

It has long been assumed that any alterations to the postseason format would come in a couple of years, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell didn't completely rule out the possibility it could happen this year, according to a story from our Jeff Legwold.

"It's not out of the question, but we didn't make that decision at all," Goodell said. "We have more work to do. I wouldn't rule it out, but I wouldn't say that's the direction we're heading right now."

So while it still seems like a long shot that the playoffs will expand this year, it's interesting that the league is speaking of it more in terms of a timeline than whether or not it's going to happen.

For the St. Louis Rams, the sooner more spots become available, the better. That isn't to write off their chances of making the postseason this year but more a commentary on the difficulty of the NFC West division. As it stands right now, Seattle and San Francisco don't seem to be going anywhere and Arizona was one of the best teams in the league at the end of the year.

If you fall into the group that believes Seattle and San Francisco are likely playoff teams again -- and right now it's hard to see why they wouldn't unless injuries strike -- that means there's only one other spot for an NFC West team to land. Expanding the playoffs would at least increase the odds.


A roundup of Wednesday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... In the Ram-blings, we offered a look at draft analyst Kevin Weidl's breakdown of the top two safeties in this year's class. ... Next, we took a closer look at the breakdown of picks the Rams have this year in this week's Buzz video. ... From there, we shifted gears to some notes from the free-agent trail as the Rams continue to look for more veteran help. ... Soon after, news came that the Rams did strike a deal with quarterback Shaun Hill and we provided some thoughts on that. ... Finally, we broke down the reasons running back Steven Jackson was not included in the NFL's formula for compensatory picks this year.


At stltoday.com, columnist Bernie Miklasz approves of Hill's signing.

Jim Thomas writes that the Rams are waiting for signals from other teams on the way the early part of the draft may go.

Thomas also has some information on Alex Carrington with thoughts from his former coordinator in Buffalo, Mike Pettine.

Pro Football Talk with an interesting nugget from Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, who cites the absence of Rams tackle Jake Long in causing Miami's locker room to fall apart.

At 101sports.com, Anthony Stalter provides a closer look at three potential quarterback prospects for the Rams in the upcoming draft.