May 212012

The Rams had the worst offensive line in the league in terms of total sacks allowed last season. Both tackles, Jason Smith and Rodger Saffold struggled mightily through injuries and their replacements were any better. Meanwhile, left guard Jacob Bell was awful, as was center Jason Brown. The Rams cut Jason Brown and signed a new center, Scott Wells of the Green Bay Packers, one of the best in the league at the position, but they didn’t address an offensive lineman until the 5th round, attending to other needs.

Some felt they could move one of Saffold or Smith inside to guard and draft a new starting offensive tackle, but they did not do that. They will give Saffold and Smith each one more chance on the outside, though if they struggle again out there, I expect it’d be their last chance at the position. Saffold and Smith could bounce back from injuries outside and they are still young, but they’re left with a gaping hole at left guard.

Incumbent Jacob Bell was not resigned, for obvious reasons. He signed in Cincinnati briefly as a backup before retiring. The Rams are holding an open competition for the spot and all 4 of the candidates as underwhelming at best. Bryan Mattison, Tim Barnes, and Rob Turner are the “veterans,” but none of them have much experience at all, nor were they high draft picks. Rokevious Watkins was their 5th round pick rookie and he might be their best bet at the position, which is how sad the situation is. The starting job will be decided in Training Camp and the Preseason.

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