I won't be attending everyday, probably just a few times over the next few weeks. Here are my quick thoughts over an hour of practice that I witnessed today.
- The Rams are a much much better team with Ricky Brewer on defense. Flip half their close games last year with him on the field, 5-7 wins easy last season if Ricky Brewer doesn't get suspended. He is the life of the defense and a leader that they sorely missed last year, more so after Klint Kubiak went down.
- One look at Raymond Carter and you know who the starting running back will be, I stopped paying attention to the RB's after I saw him. He is everything a coach could want in a running back, quick, strong, and you could see the work ethic right away.
- Your starting freshman quarterback
Pete ThomasNico Ranieri... you read that right. I had never seen Ranieri play but he was impressive and looked to be the second on the depth chart behind TJ Borcky. Ranieri might have the best arm on the team, his decision making looked as good as anyone else as was his accuracy (all the QB's struggled some as Fairchild let them know with a few F bombs they were hitting only 50% of their passes in a drill without a defense). The only problem was a few flubbed snaps but he caught my eye out of all the QB's today.
- The QB depth chart sure looked like Borcky, Ranieri, Thomas from who got the reps and what order. Eastman didn't get any reps in live team drills and it looks like M.J. McPeek would be best off with a red shirt this year. Thomas just sort of looked like a freshman which isn't meant to be disrespectful in any way, he is a freshman at his first spring practice and it showed. His arm could be stronger, his presence could be better, but he did have a few nice throws and is in the running to start it looks like.
- Byron Steele could be a stud at WR and will start, he could flourish in the Steve Fairchild system. Ligget looks to get the other starting gig. Marquise Law had a tough day with a few slips and no great catches. Jyrone Hickman, a senior who transferred from Scottsdale Community College made a few nice catches and is another big physical WR for the Rams who might get some playing time. Overall the depth at WR is a little thin which is expected after losing two starters. This all could play into the decision to start Borcky at QB or move to WR.
- The depth at safety is non-existent. After Ivory Herd and Elijah-Blu Smith its a big drop the Rams don't want to see during a game. The starting CB's in Wilkinson and Momo Thomas looked good, Brandon Owens impressed me the most out of the rest with his size and quickness. But the secondary as a whole got a few good earfuls so it wasn't the best day from them.
If any of these predictions/notes fall through just blame it on me only seeing an hour of the first practice.