Pre-season Almost Over, Time to See the Real Rams

By Randy Gardner

Three weeks have come and gone and every week I sit in front of the television waiting for the Rams to put a check mark in the win column.  Even though it’s pre-season, it  hasn’t happened,

However, I think many fans are seeing the positive attributes that Sam Bradford has around him on the offense. Defensively  I’m not as worried, over the past few years we have always been a pretty good defensive team because that is what Jeff Fisher’s background has been built on.

Like I mentioned before, the Rams offense is a very young squad but with that comes eagerness and the willingness to go that extra mile and make the big play and sometimes that can make all the difference in regular season games.

This week, the Rams are back at home playing their final preseason game, the starters will play a little bit longer and this one so we’ll get a better look on how this team will look be heading into the season opener against the Cardinals Sept. 8.

In other NFL news, I’ve had a chance to sit and watch many games during the preseason this year. It is unbelievable how the rookies in this league are able to just step right into the game and make a huge difference. There really seems to be no adjustment anymore. In the past, it seems like it would take rookies one, two or even three years to get acclimated to the style of the game. With the pressure to win now, these rookies are put right into the firing line and expected to perform.

I’m  also a bit concerned, and I talked a lot to coaches from around the area about the NFL establishing so many policies on hitting and tackling. It seems like in these preseason games, every time a player makes a huge hit a flag is thrown. I understand the defensive-less player but when a defensive  player has already committed to making a tackle and the receiver drops the ball he cannot stop his hit,—if it is a legal head and not at the players head.

Many coaches have told me that they’re trying to take the injuries out football, but by doing this and making players only go in at 50 or 75% it actually makes the risk of injury greater because the player is up going into a tackle in an awkward position.

They all say the same thing though that it all starts as a youngster in peewee football the basics of tackling with your shoulder and not leading with your hat. If you teach it early and the kids continue to practice this throughout, by the time they get to a competitive level in high school they will have the skill down perfectly. Enough of my ranting though on a sport that almost every man, woman and child sit in front of the TV some Sunday to watch. The NFL  must be doing something right.

Trials and Tribulations of Parenthood

I always tell you about the trials and tribulations of my crazy life and readers always love the personal aspects because then they feel that their lives aren’t that crazy.

Last week was straight from a bad movie as my oldest boy broke his arm and my middle boy spend 24 hours throwing up everything in my house except the toilet and the bucket we gave him to put it in. So as you can see, all we can do is keep our heads up and enjoy life as it comes. Sports are a break from the realities of life. So sit back and enjoy the great moments in life that sports make for us.


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