EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams have finally dived into organized team activities. So yes, we finally have some actual football (such as it is in shorts and jerseys) to talk about.
As always, you can find me on Twitter @nwagoner and send me questions for the mailbag at any time. Please use the hashtag #RamsMail.
Plenty to discuss this week but once again, the focus seems to be on the offensive line.
@nwagoner: As it stands right now, there are two spots that require some guesswork. First, the center spot where Barrett Jones, Tim Barnes and Demetrius Rhaney are competing. The other issue is at the guard spot opposite Rodger Saffold. Rookie Jamon Brown is the odds-on favorite at the moment, but it's possible the Rams could go with veteran Garrett Reynolds there if they don't want to go with two rookies on the right side. So you have Greg Robinson at left tackle, Saffold at left guard and Rob Havenstein at right tackle. Those are safe bets barring injury, though Saffold theoretically could still flip to right guard. Center is hard to call. I think the Rams would like to see Jones with the job, but Barnes has more experience and Rhaney can't be completely ruled out either, especially since he's a better fit if the Rams are indeed going to implement more zone blocking schemes. Still, I tend to think Jones wins out because of his intelligence as long as he stays healthy. At the other guard spot, I'm tempted to go with Reynolds because it's risky to throw two rookies and another inexperienced player at center out there against a defense such as Seattle's. But the Rams drafted Brown for a reason and they clearly believe in him. So we'll go with (left to right) Robinson, Saffold, Jones, Brown and Havenstein. But that's purely a guess at this early stage. Training camp will reveal a lot more.
@nwagoner: First of all, I enjoyed how you played off of another question. Just gives the mailbag more flow, which I appreciate. I'm generally not a big fan of putting numbers on things like this, especially right now, but because it worked off the first question so well, I'll play along. Let's go with Jones at 4-to-1, Barnes at 6-to-1 and Rhaney as the long shot at about 15-to-1. (These odds are for entertainment purposes only, and I'm not sure they were even that entertaining.)
#RamsMail should the Rams move Saffold to the RT spot and allow their youth to develop inside at both guard spots?— Joseph Garcia (@ShinerJoe) June 5, 2015
@nwagoner: That's not really an option, nor should it be. Saffold is better at guard and, if you remember, struggled a bit at right tackle when he played there. But they drafted Havenstein to be their right tackle and there's no sense in moving him around when you can plug him in and let him grow there. Maybe in the short term, you'd realize some minimal gains but over the long haul, it's better to let him start there and stay there. The more likely scenario if either Havenstein or Brown isn't ready to go is that Reynolds would step in. He's played pretty much everywhere but center on the line and could fill in if needed until one of the youngsters gets up to speed.
@nwagoner: I don't think the Rams had huge expectations for Sasser, other than for him to come in and compete with Chris Givens for a job at the fifth wide receiver. It's also possible he could have been kept as a sixth wideout. Regardless, it doesn't matter much now. Here's hoping for the best for Sasser. You have to feel bad for someone who is on the cusp of his dream only to have it snatched away before he realizes it.
@nwagoner: No. But they are more likely to keep three quarterbacks this time around after keeping just two for most of the past three years. Nick Foles and Sean Mannion will be here. The battle is almost certainly for the No. 3 job between Case Keenum and Austin Davis. Ayers could very well be starting over Dunbar well before that. He's already getting work with the first-team defense.