We're just a couple of hours away from the kickoff of the 2010 season, on this most auspicious day. The NFL is back, and I'm celebrating by watching two former Rams' offenses duel each other in Chicago ... a meaty appetizer for the main course!
To kick things off, I had a brief (and one-sided) Q&A with Kevin Bonneville (@KevinBonneville), our Fanball correspondent for Desert Flock. Enjoy this little amuse-bouche before the Rams and Cardinals serve up the goods.
Q1: Is there reason to believe Derek Anderson can win games for AZ?
@RamsHerd I believe that Anderson can and will win games this season. He did it in Cleveland with less than a stellar group around him.
Technically speaking, he's right. Anderson did win games, plural. But a 1-5 string as starter last year put a real dent in his NFL rep. He played relatively mistake-free in the preseason, though, and Whisenhunt has a much better offensive pedigree than Mangini. The onus is on the Rams to force him into mistakes, and keep the Cardinals' receivers blanketed.
Q2: Lots of turnover on defense, how is that unit shaping up?
@RamsHerd The defense is looking good and I think it can be improved from last season. The front 7 is strong and the secondary is too.
Early returns on their rookie linebacker, Daryl Washington, have been very positive. As James Laurinaitis, Brian Cushing and Rey Maualuga showed last year, linebacker is a position where rookies can step in and become immediately productive NFL players. He's a player to watch.
Q3: How important is a healthy Beanie Wells to the offense?
@RamsHerd A healthy Beanie is essential to this offense with the retirement of Warner. He is a stud every down back when healthy.
If the true measure of a player is how much he's missed when he's not on the field, we'll find out today just how essential Wells is. He's inactive for today's game.
Finally, give me your prediction for this one.
@RamsHerd 27-17 Cards