Rams Insider Analysis: What Dunbar's release means for the Rams
By John Bailey
CHICAGO, IL- SEPTEMBER 23: Michael Bush #29 of the Chicago Bears is tackled by Jo-Lonn Dunbar #58 of the St. Louis Rams on September 23, 2012 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) By David Banks
(FootballStL) -- On the eve of their first full squad practice, the Rams cut offensive lineman Rokevious Watkins for reporting to camp overweight.
Then, just 5 days before the season opener against Arizona, the Rams cut linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar 3 weeks after his suspension for violating the NFL policy on PED use. It looks like Jeff Fisher has sent a clear message to his football team. Selfish attitudes won't be tolerated on his watch.
On the day that Dunbar was suspended by the league, Fisher never took the usual "we stand by our player" stance. As a matter of fact, Fisher had this reaction to Dunbar's 4 game suspension. "First and foremost, we are very, very disappointed in his choices and his decisions. It's selfish, it hurts the team."
Meanwhile, the Rams head into their season opener on Sunday against Arizona with 11 year veteran Will Witherspoon as Dunbar's full time replacement. Dunbar's 115 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 2 interceptions in 16 games last year, will be tough to replace.
Witherspoon joins fellow linebackers James Laurinaitis and rookie Alec Ogletree in the starting lineup. Free agent Ray Ray Armstrong, who impressed the Rams in training camp with his play at linebacker and special teams, could see more playing time.
Armstrong was on his way to successful career at Miami, before getting dismissed by the team before his senior season. Armstrong was rated as the 18th best NFL prospect before his junior season. Ironically, Armstrong could get a boost to his career because of Dunbar's exit.