Monday, July 23, 2007

How Fast Can Bennett & McMichael Be Incoorperated?

By Nick Wagoner

How fast can Drew Bennett and Randy McMichael incorporate into the offense?

While most fans and football analysts expected the Rams to jump headfirst into the free agent market in search of defensive help, the team was actually investigating ways to improve an already talented offense.

After most of the top defensive players were either franchised or re-signed with their teams, the Rams wasted no time finding a couple of pieces to add to their stable of skill position players.

As Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald departed for Philadelphia and Detroit, respectively, the Rams moved swiftly to replace that duo with a pair of players who can boost the Rams’ red zone production with their size.

On the opening day of free agency, the Rams surprised many by going hard after the top receiver on the market in Tennessee’s Drew Bennett. By the end of the day two of free agency, Bennett had put pen to paper as the team’s new slot receiver and eventual replacement for one of the top two spots.

Bennett brings an added element of size at 6’5 and has the ability to stretch the field with underrated speed. For his career, Bennett has 273 catches for 4,033 yards and 25 touchdowns.

In addition, the Rams pounced on a veteran tight end with ties to coach Scott Linehan in the form of Miami’s Randy McMichael. St. Louis revamped the tight end position last season by trading former starter Brandon Manumaleuna and drafting Joe Klopfenstein and Dominique Byrd. While that duo performed well along with veteran Aaron Walker, McMichael gives the Rams an experienced tight end capable of receiving and blocking with equal aplomb.

In five seasons with the Dolphins, McMichael racked up 283 receptions for 3,096 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Now, in St. Louis, it is up to the Rams to find a way to successfully integrate Bennett and McMichael into an offense that already has a number of top skill position players.

That process will begin in training camp. Bennett and McMichael flashed their talents in the full squad minicamp, but there is still work to do to ensure there are enough ball to go around when the season begins.

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