ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- The Rams took to the field in full pads in front of nearly 13,000 fans at the Edward Jones Dome. It was called a scrimmage but, really, it was more of practice. There was no real full tackling and no hard hitting at all. But it was still good to see these guys out there on the field.
Brandon Gibson had some terrific catches today. He had one in particular where he was racing down the sideline in front of the end zone and snagged a strike from Sam Bradford in the air and came down with both feet inbounds. It was a very acrobatic catch.
After the scrimmage Jeff Fisher said he thinks Gibson and Bradford have very good chemistry together, where both guys kind of know what the other is going to do on the field. Gibson is not the most talented receiver on this roster. He doesn’t have the pure athleticism that Brian Quick or Danario Alexander have. He isn’t as smooth as Steve Smith. But Gibson is probably as reliable of a receiver that the Rams have at the moment. He could be the bridge until the young guys like Quick, Chris Givens, Greg Salas and others are ready to have bigger roles. Gibson really made some plays today. Very impressive on his part.
Every day I see Steven Jackson I have more and more respect for the guy. He just goes full speed on every snap every single day regardless of where he is. It’s almost as if each play could be the last of his career and he doesn’t want to get cheated. There is a reason I once heard Jackson referred to as “the pro’s pro to end all pro’s pro’s”. When your best player and unquestioned leader is also your hardest worker...no one has any excuses. You’ve got to at least match his intensity otherwise it looks bad on you. Jackson’s problem is that he hasn’t had much of a supporting cast over the years. He’s hoping that changes now. But even today in a meaningless “scrimmage” at the Edward Jones Dome, he’s going 100% like it’s the Super Bowl.
When people ask me or just talk in general about who is impressing and who is not...I always try and qualify that statement because it’s so hard to judge that stuff right now. I am a firm believer that you can’t truly know what someone has until he gets into a game. And I don’t mean a scrimmage or even a preseason game. I’m talking about a regular season game. In the preseason, offenses and defenses are extremely vanilla. They don’t show much of anything of what they’re going to be doing in a few weeks. So if a 4th string linebacker makes a million tackles how can you possibly suggest that he’s going to be doing that in the regular season? You can’t. All you can look at right now is the technique these guys are using, how hard they are working and how their skills compare to others. But it’s not uncommon, in fact it’s quite common, for someone who seems to be turning a corner of playing well in training camp to not do much of anything once the regular season begins. You have to be careful. Tony La Russa used to say “don’t fall in or out of love too early”. It’s so true.