Morning Ram-blings: Breathing exercises

On Sunday afternoons, colleague Mike Reiss, ESPN's outstanding New England Patriots reporter, likes to take a spin around the NFL and New England. In this week's edition, he touched on an interesting topic involving the St. Louis Rams.

Here's an excerpt from that Rams mention:

"I’m always fascinated with the various aspects of building a team and one line of thinking is that sometimes the addition of a veteran player can get in the way of the development of a youngster. This is something the Rams have had in mind this offseason, and it explains, in part, their less-than-proactive approach in signing unrestricted free agents. They want to see what they truly have in their younger players, with third-year cornerback Trumaine Johnson one prime example of a prospect they want to “let breathe” a bit."

This concept is clearly a big part of the Rams' thinking this offseason. Johnson is a good example of a player the Rams believe will make important strides in his third year. Fellow cornerback Janoris Jenkins is too.

The concern is whether the Rams have faith in allowing too many of their young players "to breathe" without having a veteran taking repetitions away. There's nothing wrong with having a system in place and believing in your ability to develop players but chances are some of those players won't pan out. Nobody bats 1.000 in this league.

Getting more to the point, however, it's worth noting that Johnson is a corner and the secondary is an area the Rams figure to be extremely young in 2014. I'll have more this week on why the Rams haven't added to the defensive backfield and how finding more help there is still a priority.


A roundup of the weekend's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... In Saturday's Ram-blings, we discussed the positives and negatives of drafting players to fit your coaching staff. ... Next, we took a look at the film of Friday's chat with plenty of topics covered. ... Finally, we took a little Sunday stroll with Rams notes on topics including Tavon Austin, DeSean Jackson and more.


ESPN NFL Insider Mike Sando has been spending time at Jon Gruden's quarterback camp and come back with some takes worth reading on this year's class in this Insider piece.

All 32 of our NFL Nation reporters weighed in on whether DeSean Jackson is a fit for the team they cover.

At stltoday.com, Jeff Gordon hits on some Rams topics in his weekly chat.

Jim Thomas explores the possibility of a team such as Buffalo or Oakland moving to Los Angeles.

Thomas also take a closer look at the Rams' addition of cornerback Greg Reid.