Coming off a victory over Fresno State in the New Mexico Bowl, coach Steve Fairchild and the Rams hope to improve upon their 7-6 season. There was a lot of progress shown in Fairchild’s first season, but his second will be tougher with the lack of experienced players.
The quarterback position is up for grabs between Klay Kubiak and Grant Stucker. Klay is the son of the Houston Texans head coach, Gary Kubiak. Kubiak earned the backup position last year as a starter and gives him the most playing experience this year out of the group. Stucker is a senior who finally saw playing time last season including his first touchdown in the New Mexico Bowl.
There is also no clear-cut decision on who will be running for the Rams in 2009. Whoever will be in the backfield will have a solid and experienced line in front of them. The rams return four starters on the line who helped the rushing offense average 147 yards per game last season, which was good for 58th in the nation.
Rashaun Greer returns at wide receiver and he will definitely be the number one target for whichever quarterback is chosen to start. He finished last season leading the team with 63 catches and 1,114 receiving yards. He also found the endzone three times. Dion Morton is an explosive receiver who can get it done through the air as well as rushing. He rushed for over 100 yards last season and scored twice on the ground. Through the air he caught 10 touchdowns and brought in 51 catches for 859 yards.
The defense gave up 410 yards per game on average, which landed them 9th in the conference. It starts up front and if they cant put any pressure on the quarterback, then it is going to be another long year for the defense. Mychael Sisson will be the bright spot in the middle of the defense. Last season as a freshman he finished with 105 tackles last season and was a consensus freshman All-American. The secondary should be strong this season with the return Klint Kubiak, Gerard Thomas and Nick Oppenneer.
With there being a lot of questions at quarterback, running back and defensive line I don’t see the Rams making much improvement in the win column. This looks to be a rebuilding year for Fairchild’s and company, but they should still be bowl eligible.