Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What is this talk of a Bubble Match?

So bacon found in my mailbox this morning indicates that the Rams will play the Jaguars tomorrow at 4:30pm pacific daylight savings time. Whaaaaa...???

For those who don't remember, the Rams were scheduled to play in the Hall of Fame Game this year. We should have played the Bears. That game was canceled. Logically, this must mean one of two things: (1) we were originally scheduled for 5 preseason games, (2) they did something to quickly make up for the lost game. I have not heard of any rescheduling, so we must have been scheduled for 5 originally.

That is absolutely crazy.

In any event, it looks like we will have ourselves a Bubble Match.

For those who don't know, the first game of the Preseason is sometimes called the Fumble Match. This is because no unit in football has its $#it together as of game 1. There are often miscues, fumbles, interceptions, penalties, blown assignments, etc.

The second game has no name.

The third game is called the Dress Rehearsal. This is because both team's starters are expected go 2 or 3 quarters, and both teams are expected to compete for the victory. This is the big tune up game.

The fourth game is called the Bubble Match. Coaches are supposed to play their marginal rosters candidates through most of this game. This is the game where kids in danger of being cut get a chance to show they can do something to help the team make it through the season. If you are on the bubble, this is your chance to make it... at least in the near term. If you don't, they will burst your bubble, and you will be thrown off the team.

I understand Denario Alexander is on the bubble. Some believe Donnie Avery is on the bubble. That wouldn't surprise me, but it would surprise many. Cutting Donnie would mean we just gave up on our 2nd round pick of 2008. That would be another significant bust, and the first credited to GM Billy Devaney. Most believe Brandon Gibson and Mardy Gilyard are on the bubble.

The large number of receivers On the Bubble shouldn't surprise observant Ram-fans. We had the worst receiver corp in professional football last year. Most of these guys did not impress us. I thought Denario and Donnie might be safe, or at least beyond critical reach, but it seems they have underwhelmed coaches in camp and in the Preseason games. There will be some addition through subtraction.

The one guy who would cause me some mourning is Mardy Gilyard. He's a kid with a great story, and he was pretty sensational with the Bearcats, who even ran him as a Heisman candidate a couple of years ago. I was hoping he would flash some of that broken-field running ability we saw in college. However, I have seen some scared play out of him.

Run angry kid. Don't run scared. Run like hell. Don't tread softly. Run to kill the enemy. Don't run to avoid injury. You can still make it, and I hope you do.