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Scouting report: Rams' passing offense

Oct. 21, 2012
 
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Here is Pete Dougherty's scouting report on the Rams' passing offense based on interviews with coaches and scouts:

The Coryell passing game comes in different forms but generally emphasizes vertical routes more than a West Coast system. The Rams rank No. 27 in passing yards and No. 28 in yards per attempt and suffer from a shortage of top talent at receiver and overall talent on an injury-diminished offensive line.

They suffered a major blow when slot receiver Danny Amendola sustained a collarbone injury two weeks ago that is likely to sideline him for another month. He was quarterback Sam Bradford's security blanket (32 receptions).

Bradford is playing more like the promising rookie he was in '10 than last season, when he finished with a 70.5 passer rating and went 1-9 while playing through a recurring ankle injury. He's responded well to coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and new quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti after a tough season working under former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who overloaded him.

Bradford, 11-21 as a starter, has the makings of a winning NFL quarterback: size (6-4, 224), a strong NFL arm, good touch, a quick release, decent mobility, intelligence and toughness. His passer rating this season is mediocre (81.3) playing behind bad protection (18 sacks).

Without Amendola, the receiving corps is a group of complementary players. The de facto No. 1 is Brandon Gibson (6-0, 210), a fourth-year pro who is prone to the occasional drop but can make plays downfield. The best of the rest is rookie Chris Givens (6-0, 198), a fourth-round pick who's the fastest player on the team and runs the 40 in the mid-4.3-second range. He's averaging 28.1 yards on only seven catches.

The offensive line is below average. Former Packers center Scott Wells is on injured reserve-designated for return because of a broken foot, and starting left tackle Rodger Saffold is out for a couple more weeks because of a sprained MCL.

Some scouts don't like New York Jets reject Wayne Hunter at left tackle, but others think he's OK on the left side and viable starter on the right side. Left guard Quinn Ojinnaka (6-5, 306) and right tackle Barry Richardson (6-6, 319) are the weakest links.

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