The St. Louis Rams announced a wave of transactions yesterday in advance of the league’s Tuesday deadline for submission of a 75-man list. Nothing too extreme or unexpected really occurred, although LARams.net can nicely pigeonhole at least three moves into convenient categories of good, bad and ugly.
On the good side, LARams.net favorite Isaiah Battle is still with the team, continuing on course for his seeming destined position on the 2015 St. Louis Rams … practice squad. On Battle’s holding penalty against the Indianapolis Colts last weekend, head coach Jeff Fisher stated that “Late in the game, Isaiah got beat inside and he’s been coached not to get the quarterback hit, so he was called for holding. I’ll live with that. We have to teach him to do better with technique and his hand placement, but at least he understands the importance of not getting the quarterback hit.”
Such is a fairly typical assessment on Battle at this point, with most insiders and pundits reckoning that the tackle needs more work – a shame, because this OL could certainly use someone of Battle’s talents sooner rather than later.
Bad news came for cornerback Imoan Claiborne, who will not be with the Rams going forward. Claiborne was always a longshot to make the team, but seemed to be moving up the pecking order a bit after his interception in the first preseason game against the Oakland Raiders.
Even Fisher seemed somewhat disappointed Claiborne didn’t stick longer: “He’s played good,” said the coach in grammatically questionable form. “He’s a defensive practice squad candidate but just because of the other positions and numbers, it just didn't work out for us. We’ve got depth there, the other two young guys are doing good…”
Clearly, Claiborne’s cut is part of a fairly transparent conspiracy. Those following the Rams-move-to-L.A. story realize that the most strident voice among owners on Stan Kroenke’s side is Jerry Jones. In fact, these two owners are chummy enough to have arranged joint practices between the Rams and the Dallas Cowboys in California. Of course, such a practice erupted into a dustup which had Jones’s favored superstar Dez Bryant punched in the face – by none other than Imoan Claiborne.
Don’t believe it? Despite the “doing good” by “the other two young guys” (by which Fisher presumably means undrafted rookies Trovon Reed and Montell Garner), the ugly bit of yesterday’s name-shuffling was the placement of E.J. Gaines on the injured reserve list.
With the Rams already sporting a serious “no name” secondary, LARams.net and other fans have little to hang our hopes on in 2015 in this area, save for the team’s returning DBs to somehow exploit the intangible familiarity to their advantage. That slim hope was trimmed further with Gaines’s elimination for the year.
Ah well, it’s just one more reason – albeit a twisted one – to hate the Cowboys…
– written by Os Davis