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ROTB Roundtable: Running backs, Areas of Concern, and the St. Louis Rams

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After a 1-0 start to the season, fans and pundits alike are feeling confident about the season ahead.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

However, despite last week's win, questions have still risen regarding the team.  The ROTB Writing Staff took on three of these.

Don't forget to answer the questions yourself in the comments below!

1) With Andre Ellington out for the next few weeks, how confident are you in the Johnsons to maintain the run game?

Jesse Reynolds: While a lot of fans are dismissing Ellington right now I think we will be missing him next week. Sure he isn't a power runner but he's so dynamic and explosive that him being on the field causes mismatches. If he lines up at RB and motions wide the defense has to match a DB against him which opens up the secondary. If an LB covers him, well it's an immediate mismatch.

Tyler Derby: I think Chris and David will fill in nicely and do a great job. I really wouldn't expect to see much of a drop off, if any from these two. Chris is a veteran who is very similar to Ellington in the way they play and David has shown some great flashes of how good he could be. It is definitely nice to have depth at the Running Back position.

Robert Norman: Different people, same result. Chris Johnson is a veteran who may not be able to stand up to the punishment, but if he gets daylight he can still get 6-10 yards on a run. Meanwhile, David Johnson has shown he has plenty of athletic ability, but he is a rookie and will make mistakes as he learns. They won't replace Ellington, but I still think they will help us maintain about 100 rushing yards per game.

BigRedBilly: I have a very good feeling about the Johnson's.  With Chris we have a guy who has more than proven he's a quality running back and now wants to prove he's still a weapon.  David is a rookie with great potential who has shown he not only has speed but also power when he needs it.  Looking forward to great things from both these guys starting this weekend.

2) Despite the team's resounding victory against New Orleans, were there any areas that left you concerned?

Jesse Reynolds: Pass rush still concerns me. Getting to Brees twice is nice but Alex Okafor's first sack seemed more like a coverage sack then the d-line exploiting the Saints o-line. I noticed Marcus Golden getting a few pressures and would be oh so happy to see him emerge opposite of Okafor as a pass rushing threat.

Tyler Derby: I don't know if there was anything that was glaring wrong on Sunday but there were a few issues that need corrected. The first was covering the running back screens. Our defense never was able to consistently stop that. The second was the clock management at the end of the first half where we ended up running out of time before we could spike the ball. The 12 men on the field on the 4th down that ended up giving the Saints the first down is something that will need to corrected, but nothing that is major that Arian's cant fix. 

Robert Norman: Plenty of areas. Punting, pass rushing, assignments, tackling. My major concern is punting. I don't care if Butler can punt it farther than Zastudil or that he's cheaper. I only care about consistency. Butler can be fantastic, 3 out of four punts, but if that fourth punt is only 30 yards he just isn't good enough.

BigRedBilly: Defense against the screen pass stands out to me and count on opposing teams trying to exploit that until we prove we've come up with an answer.  Otherwise it's just a matter of concerns about consistency all across the board.

3) How scared should we be of this year's St. Louis Rams?

Jesse Reynolds: Give me one more games worth of film. I believe the Rams d-line is very good but were they helped by the ineptitude of the Seahawks o-line? Is the Rams secondary any good? Is their offense a real threat? So hard to say in one game, especially when Seattle looked weak last year (started 3-3) before surging to the Super Bowl.

However to not totally avoid the question I am a bit concerned as our o-line is still gelling but not as concerned as I have been in the past. The Cardinals o-line looks like it could be real good this year. 

Tyler Derby: I don't know if we should be scared of them, but they will be a huge challenge this year for us and will contend for the NFC West crown. After watching them finish the season last year the way they did I knew they would be a contender this season and adding Foles at the QB position made them even better. In my opinion the NFC West is by far the toughest division in football and will truly be a 3 team race for the division title between us, St. Louis, and Seattle. With the way their front four is, we will have a huge challenge protecting Palmer, so that will be key.

Robert Norman: Not scared. The Seahawks have always struggled against the Rams and Seattle had a bad start last year too. The Cardinals have the ability to shut down their offense and may be better suited to stop their defensive line this year. I still think they are going to end up in 3rd place in the NFC West.

BigRedBilly: The Rams will be a force to be reckoned with and not to be taken lightly. Obviously, their defensive line strikes fear into any team with concerns about their offensive line, but if any team in our division has an answer it would be the Arizona Cardinals.  Expect tough games when we play the Rams.