Sunday, July 27, 2008

Between the lines 7/27

I can only go by what I've read, but it seems like Brett Romberg has an edge over Richie Incognito right now in the position battle at center. Incognito struggled early in the first practice, causing at least three fumbled snaps, and he and Trent Green appeared to have words with one another at one point.

Criticizing the third-round pick of Incognito in '05 has seemed at times to be one of my poorer calls. You have to admire the guy's mauler personality, you have to admire that he'll stand up for his teammates. He's also been a pretty capable blocker. He has all the physical tools and seems to be someone who can be developed into one of the best offensive linemen in the league.

Of course, the Rams drafted Incognito high even though he blew out a knee at that year's Combine and couldn't even play. He hasn't been able to stay healthy ever since, including missing a significant amount of play last year.

Then there's the bad penalties Incognito repeatedly takes, a fair offshoot of the knucklehead personality traits he showed in college at Nebraska, where he was suspended a couple of times for anger issues before finally getting kicked off the team before he could even play his senior year.

So yeah, anger management issues, blown knee, didn't play his senior year. Let's draft him in the third round!

Incognito's physical abilities have been enough to justify that pick. His psychological abilities, though, aren't showing the growth that they need to be at this point in his career. Turning around and snapping at Trent Green is not a good sign that this guy has his act together.

I'm looking for Romberg to win the center job, with Incognito sliding over to RG and Mark Setterstrom backing up both positions, until the enigmatic Incognito inevitably pulls that one stunt so stupid the Rams can't live with it any more.

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