Abeln: New Rams show big upside - KMOV.com

Abeln: New Rams show big upside

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Indianapolis Colts offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo, right, blocks St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn during the third quarter of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011 in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam) By Tom Gannam Indianapolis Colts offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo, right, blocks St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn during the third quarter of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011 in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam) By Tom Gannam
St. Louis Rams kicker Josh Brown celebrates kicking a 60-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter of an NFL preseason football game against the Indianapolis Colts Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman) By Seth Perlman St. Louis Rams kicker Josh Brown celebrates kicking a 60-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter of an NFL preseason football game against the Indianapolis Colts Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman) By Seth Perlman

St. Louis, Missouri (KMOV.com) -- There's no debating that Saturday versus the Colts, the Rams looked good, really good. But since it's only one preseason game, and oh by the way, Peyton Manning did not play, I'm not planning a Super Bowl party just yet. 

First off, there were a few people including myself who were a bit skeptical about the Rams' second choice in this year's draft, Lance Kendricks.  It wasn't like I thought it was a terrible, awful pick, I was just a bit confused by it.  But I've seen him several times in camp now and from what I saw against the Colts, he reassured me that he's going to be a legitimate solid tight end.  Kendricks led the rams in receptions with five, and four of his five catches went for first downs or a touchdown.  Speaking of that TD he caught from Sam Bradford, the former Wisconsin Badger showed some toughness as he collided with a defensive back and instead of getting knocked back on the play, he in fact knocked the DB over and scored. 

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The Rams first pick Robert Quinn has been battling a strained knee throughout camp which has limited his participation in full contact drills, but when I talked to him after the game he said he felt great which is a good sign.  The defensive end recorded one tackle and one quarterback hit in the win over the Colts.  He admitted to me after the game that he missed a few tackles.  He hasn't played an official game since 2009 because the NCAA suspended him for his junior year (2010).  The ex-North Carolina Tar Heel said he felt great to be back on the field and the one thing he learned during his first NFL game was to always, 'Keep my head on a swivel.'

And finally, we saw Steven Jackson's helpers for the first time, and I like what I see.  Jerious Norwood and Cadillac Williams combined for 77 rushing yards.  Williams scored a rushing TD, and Norwood produced the longest run of the night for the Rams, 17 yards.  If these guys can stay healthy and turn back the clock a few years (LIKE LANCE BERKMAN IS DOING WITH THE CARDINALS) St. Louis' backfield won't be good this year, it will be great. 

Look for Steven Jackson to hopefully take a few reps this week as the Rams host the Titans Saturday night. 

 --Jeff Abeln, News 4 Sports
 

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