Training camp is the last chance for NFL teams to implement their plans and schemes and decide which players will put the team in the best position to win. Although final depth charts will not be set until after the preseason, most teams have a good idea of who the starters and second stringers will be by the end of training camp.
The St Louis Rams training camp will take place at the Russel Athletic Training Center in Earth City, Missouri, with the rookies reporting on July 21st and all other players arriving on July 24th.
Training camp is important because it allows coaches and the front office to figure out what type of team they will be fielding during the season. It is the first time players are in pads and real game situations are simulated. The Rams, like most teams, have some sure things going into the 2014 season along with some question marks that need to be answered in training camp if they are going to have a successful year.
One of the biggest things Rams fans are wondering is who will be catching passes from Sam Bradford. Newly signed veteran Kenny Britt was the best receiver during OTAs, burning Rams corners on deep routes and not being afraid to let them know it. He will most likely start and try to start fresh with old coach Jeff Fisher. Chris Givens and Austin Pettis will compete for the other wideout spot and try to continue their track record as reliable red zone options.
After that, the receiving corps is a major question mark. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has praised the improvement of Brian Quick, but it is unlikely he will move from the bottom of the depth chart to the top in one offseason. Tavon Austin will look to have an increased role playing in the slot and will be used in the run and return game. Stedman Bailey is suspended for the first four games so he cannot be relied on. This part of the team will be critical if the Rams are going to get over the hump
The two components that Rams coaches and fans are most excited about is the defense and running game. Zac Stacy will look to build on his successful rookie year and have a huge sophomore season. The drafting of bulldozer Greg Robinson and the talented Tre Mason gives every sign that the Rams will look to pound the ball and control the clock, a scheme that has proved to work for other NFC west powers like the Seahawks and 49ers.
The 2014 Rams have the potential to have the best defensive line in football. Robert Quinn has defensive player of the year talent, and the combination of him and Chris Long will make any quarterback run for the hills. First round pick Aaron Donald, Kendall Langford, and Michael Brockers will be clogging up holes to stop opposing run games. The secondary was the one group that struggled last season and the Rams did everything they could to improve it with the drafting of Lamarcus Joyner and Maurice (Mo) Alexander. The Rams will use training camp implement their schemes and solidify doubts that some people may have to put themselves in the best position to win in 2014.