The Rams Are Ready For Their First Preseason Game
The Rams play the Dallas Cowboys next Saturday for their first preseason game. We all know that there isn’t much to take away from the team as a whole in these games. Many teams don’t play their starters for more than a quarter. This is more of way to scout out players and potentially find a superstar. The Rams have a young team with plenty of players that could garner more playing time with a strong preseason. Here are three players who have the best chance of impressing Coach McVay for more playing time:
The Rams drafted Smart in the 6th round of this year to provide depth to a strong defensive line. However, Smart will be auditioning for a starting spot since the injury to Dominique Easley and the holdout of Aaron Donald. In his final season at Tulane, Smart had 18 1/2 tackles for loss and 5 1/2 sacks. Smart is a poor man’s Aaron Donald, he can bully the interior lineman and have them spun around. However, he does lack the size of a traditional lineman. Smart is competing with Ethan Westbrooks for the starting job. If Tanzel can prove that he can consistently finish, he may warrant some more playing time.
We know that Gurley is the starter, however he will need a break. The Rams signed former Cowboy Lance Dunbar to a deal to be the backup. Dunbar is out indefinitely with a knee injury. This opens the door for Malcolm Brown, the third year undrafted rookie out of Texas. Brown has been impressing in camp and has caught the attention of coach Sean McVay. Look for Brown to be a bigger part of the offense if he does well in preseason.
Oh yeah, here we go again. More quarterback controversy. This all started with Eric Dickerson claiming that Mannion should start over Goff. Then we hear that Mannion is having a solid camp. Now lets just theorize that Mannion has a better preseason than Goff. That wouldn’t necessarily mean that Mannion would get the start week one, but it will put pressure on McVay to start him at some point, if Goff’s struggles continue. Mannion was a third round draft pick, he has talent. He just needs opportunity to show it off. Now that more people are paying attention to him, he may have the opportunity he needs.
The Rams have had some bad luck with the Easley and Donald’s holdout, so as Rams fans we must look for the positive. Smart, Brown, and Mannion will all most likely ride the bench, but who knows? Look at the case of Warner, no one thought he would do much from the back up position but an injury happens and he is a hall of famer. It may not be that dramatic but hey, anything is possible!