Wednesday, March 28, 2012

On going deaf and some thoughts on the St Louis Rams

So it's been a weird week, really. 

I've had some trouble recently with my hearing, having to ask colleagues, my kids and my friends to speak up or repeat themselves, and it's been annoying for all involved. I went to my GP, and was promptly referred to a specialist, who, after giving me a hearing test, stated that I needed hearing aids in both ears. Both ears! What's THAT all about??? I mean, I had a feeling that I was going to need at least one, but two? On top of that, I went for an MRI scan today. Apparently, it's "just a precaution" (why do doctors always say that? it's like salespeople saying "this isn't a sales call", you just KNOW as soon as they say it that they're lying) to check that there isn't any swelling of the nerves that connect some stuff to some other stuff. Results to follow, but the specialist was at pains to point out that it's really no big deal, nothing to see here, move along. 

We'll see. 

St Louis Rams, my beloved but, quite frankly, rather shite NFL team, continue to upgrade in free agency. This time, we're rumoured to be talking to Jo-Lonn Dunbar, a linebacker with New Orleans. I'm not sold on this potential acquisition to be honest, Dunbar had a breakout year last year, but a few years of mediocrity, bad behaviour and injury before that. We're not exactly blessed with options at LB though, so I supposed beggars can't be choosers. I'm more excited by the potential signing of Marcus McNeil - he would upgrade the OLine in an instant, and has Pro Bowls under his belt. Having said that, I think he has other suitors elsewhere that may look more attractive at this moment in time. Even if we don't sign anybody else in FA, I'm very happy with the work we have done - Cortland at CB and Scott Wells at Centre are both a massive and immediate upgrade. Wells in particular will make a difference; Sam will finally have someone in front of him who knows how to read a defensive line, who can spot whether the players are lined up to blitz or zone cover and can direct the players around him accordingly. It will give Sam the chance to concentrate on his routes and receivers, and make good on the promise he showed in his rookie year. Langford is also a nice addition, although I'm concerned that his best position is in a 4-3, and we play a 3-4. Time will tell, I guess, he's got a ton of potential, and will, at worst, give us more options on a defense that was devastated by injury last year.

The rumour mill has it that Jeff Fisher may look to trade back up or down in the draft, possibly either with Cleveland, currently in the number 4 spot, or even down further with the likes of Miami. I guess that's the beauty of holding so many extra picks in upcoming drafts (and two in round two of this years) thanks to the mega trade with the Redskins - we get some room to maneuver and hold a few cards we can deal. I just want to see them used wisely - the Cowboys used the draft picks, players and trades earned in the Herschel Walker trade many years ago to build a team that won three it too much to dream that we can do the same?

What would I do? I would stay put at number six, and take Blackmon at WR, Richardson at RB or Claibourne at CB - whichever of those three is still on the board then, I'd be happy to have in a heartbeat. Personally, I'd prefer Richardson, I think he's by far the standout RB of  not just this draft but of any draft in the last few years - the type of player at his position who doesn't come along very often. Blackmon is GOOD, but there are other WR's in the draft this year that aren't that far off his (apparent) level. Also, as much as SJax is a legend, he's 29 now, and reaching an age when running back's traditionally start to drop off - we need to start thinking about his successor. Jeff Fisher loves a heavy, pound on the ground running game, and a second back to compliment SJax is vital, if Fisher sets up along the same lines he did when bossing the Titans. Whoever we get, what we need is a genuine playmaker, a difference maker who can step in from day one and start us back on the road to relevancy in the NFL. 

Speak soon folks, thanks for reading.

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