1. So, it sounds like it's Shaun Hill this week. What are Rams fans' thoughts about the re-switch?
More than anything, it's thoughts about how dismal of a reality that is. To have to decide between Austin Davis and Shaun Hill isn't a decision that's going to end well. Would you like a fermented fish and pomegranate paste sandwich or a coagulated duck blood burrito with pickled beets? You can try to argue which one's better, but the reality is that you'd generally like to avoid that situation...and that's kind of what you pay executives in the front office millions of dollars to so. But I guess we'll get a full meal one way or the other on Sunday...gross.
2. What is the future looking like for Sam Bradford in St. Louis? For Austin Davis?
This is the hellscape of a franchise that hasn't had real success in a decade. Your second question is about two QBs who aren't even starting on Sunday...yeesh.
Well as for Davis, I think he's played himself into some kind of NFL future. He's not someone you'd like to rely on and ask to carry your team, but he is someone who could bridge your team over a couple weeks while your primary QB deals with some kind of minor injury. That's not something you could say about him confidently a year ago. Whether that's for the Rams or someone else, I'm not sure. I could see the Rams drafting someone or grabbing someone on the market to replace him. Cool story though.
Now Bradford...there's not a good answer here. For one, you've got a Head Coach/General Manager combo who stubbornly avoided seeking some kind of challenging alternative or credible backup the last two years. Any reason that you could give for why the Rams should look to replace him is one you could've given a year ago, and they went all-in on him for 2014, so...yeah. Secondly, there's not a great avenue to back off of Sam. Should the Rams win a couple more games, they could well be out of striking (or even feasible trading) distance for Florida St.'s Jameis Winston or Oregon's Marcus Mariota in the 2014 NFL Draft. Who would be the better option for the Rams in 2015? Sam Bradford in year five or a rookie like UCLA QB Brett Hundley or Michigan St. Connor Cook? And even then, compare Sam Bradford, the 2010 NFL Draft prospect, to either Mariota or Winston as 2015 NFL Draft prospects. Bradford was a clear cut #1 option. I'm not sure you can say that about Mariota or Winston, and look how Bradford's NFL career has turned out. It's just not a problem with an easy solution, but it is one that we're talking about just about every week at TST. (P.S. if you guys have that solution, shoot it on over)
3. Who is the 2014 Rams' best player?
Well I'm comfortable ruling out the entire offense. There's some talent there, but no real standouts.
So on the defensive side, you've got DE Robert Quinn who's leading the Rams with 6 sacks, DT Aaron Donald who's an absolute phenomenal rookie talent and OLB Alec Ogletree who has been outstanding recently. I'll give the nod to Quinn because his impact on splash plays is just so evident, but Donald is one that Rams fans are excited to have around for a long time. He's a rare breed at DT as someone who's undersized and better suited to playing quick than playing with power, but he's incredible to watch.
4. The Rams' offensive line and defensive line play against one another. Who wins?
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Who wins? The doctor who has to reassemble the quarterback.
5. What are your predictions for the game and for the rest of the Rams' season?
As much as I love, and buy into, parity-fueled chaos in the NFL, this one seems headed to a comfortable Denver win. I went with 31-10 in our staff prediction post, and nothing's really happened in the last three days for me to change that. As for the season, the defense is too good and there's enough talent on the offense to get to six wins...which sucks because with the Rams' strength of schedule, I expect them to play themselves out of the top 10 in the 2015 NFL Draft. Where does it leave us? Waiting another year for things to gel and for the Rams to get plus performance out of the quarterback position...wait, what year is it?
Thanks again to Joe for taking the time!