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Behind Enemy Lines: St. Louis Rams

The preseason is over, rosters have been trimmed down to 53 players and at long last, we're ready for NFL football!

The Arizona Cardinals open their 2013 campaign and the Bruce Arians era with a road trip to St. Louis to take on the Rams at the Edward Jones Dome.

Each week of the season, we'll give you a look at what they're saying in enemy territory -- in this case, St. Louis -- to give you a unique primer for Sunday's action.

Friday, September 6

• The evolution of Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams — ESPN

Rams QB Sam Bradford looks back on how his game has changed over the course of his collegiate and NFL career. Both Oklahoma and St. Louis changed their offensive personalities to fit Bradford and he's had to change along with them.

• It's time for Sam Bradford's breakout — ESPN

The Rams believe Sam Bradford is the guy to lead the franchise forward, but it's time for him to step up and prove it after a disappointing last two seasons.

• Cardinals-Rams Preview — ESPN

ESPN's breakdown of the Cardinals' match-up with the Rams.

• Bernie Bytes: Quick Hits on the Rams —

Bernie Miklasz provides 19 brief comments and predictions on the Rams' upcoming season.

• St. Louis Rams Vs. Arizona Cardinals: Players to watch — Turf Show Times

Turf Show Times breaks down the key players to watch in the game. Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald and rookie Tyrann Mathieu listed for the Cardinals.

• Rams won't use youth as an excuse — ESPN Blog

The Rams enter their second consecutive season sporting the league's youngest roster. Almost half of the team's players have less than two years of experience, though head coach Jeff Fisher isn't worried and won't use it as an excuse.

Thursday, September 5

• WR Givens ditches past to enhance future — ESPN

Late in his rookie season, Rams receiver Chris Givens had something of a revelation.

• Rams embracing homegrown players — ESPN

From the moment he arrived in St. Louis, Rams general manager Les Snead has made it clear that he and coach Jeff Fisher want to build their roster through the draft and even with undrafted free agents.

• Austin unveiling boosts Rams' intrigue — ESPN

There's probably not a player the St. Louis Rams have drafted in the past decade or so that fans have been more excited to see in real games than rookie receiver Tavon Austin.

• 5 questions for the 2013 St. Louis Rams — Turf Show Times

Although the Rams have shown flashes of their on-field potential, how can you not have questions about the youngest team in the league?

• No joke, Bradford ready to go —

It wasn't exactly Chris Rock or Louis C.K., and I don't think we'll see the Rams' starting quarterback dropping in to do a comedy set during an open-mike night at the Funny Bone.

• Clemens earns his way with Rams —

With the NFL regular season upon us, backup quarterback Kellen Clemens should quickly fade into the background. But the fact that he's even in the background — and not Austin Davis — was one of the surprises of Rams training camp and preseason.

Wednesday, September 4

• Rams Report: Long returns to practice field, looking forward to facing Arizona -

Long who sat out three recent practices- league sources told the Post-Dispatch that he had tweaked his right knee- took regular turns and looked to be moving well on Wednesday. He was not mentioned in the team's first injury report of the season and is anxious to open the season Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals at the Edward Jones Dome.

• Bytes: Dunbar release reaffirms Rams' youth movement -

The release came less than a month after Dunbar's four-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing drugs. So at best he could only play and contribute in 12 games in the final season of a two-year contract. Dunbar lost value when he did something stupid to cost himself 25 percent of the regular season.

• Laurinitis sets tone for young Rams -

Middle linebacker and Rams' team leader James Laurinaitis is keeping an eye on his young teammates these days. And that's quite a chore, considering the 53-man roster includes 12 rookies and 14 second-year players.

• Transcript: HC Fisher & QB Bradford, 9-4-13 -

• Door open for Dunbar's return to Rams -

Jo-Lonn Dunbar's spot on the St. Louis Rams' 2013 roster was vacated when he was released from the reserve/injured list early Tuesday evening. But that status isn't necessarily a permanent one.

• Life After Jo-Lonn Dunbar: A Few Options to Consider - Turf Show Times

Replacing Dunbar, in the long term, will be no easy task. He was on the field for 1,088 of the Rams' defenses snaps last year racking up 115 tackles, 4.5 sacks, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles. Stopping the run was his best asset, having earned an 8.6 grade from PFF. Pass coverage was his weak suit; PFF graded Dunbar at -8.1 when defending the pass.

Tuesday, September 3

• DE Sims agrees to new 3-year deal with Rams -

Defensive end Eugene Sims, a small-school find out of West Texas A&M, has agreed to terms on a new three-year contract with the Rams. Sims already was under contract through this season, so the new deal extends his contract for two additional seasons through 2015.

• Rams Notebook: Roster features 5 undrafted rookies -

When the Rams submitted their 53-man roster to the NFL over the weekend, it included five undrafted free agents - linebackers Ray Ray Armstrong, Daren Bates and Jonathan Stewart, defensive end Gerald Rivers and running back-kick returner Benny Cunningham.

• Rams are healthy entering Week 1 -

The No. 1 goal of any training camp and preseason always has been staying healthy. When it comes to frontline players —that is, starters or key reserves — the Rams made it to the regular season in good shape. In fact, they could enter the season with all projected 22 starters ready to go.

• Jo-Lonn Dunbar cut from St. Louis Rams suspended list -'s Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that Dunbar has been released, according to a source informed of the move. Howard Balzer had the first report, and Dunbar's release later was listed on the NFL's official transactions list.

• Game Preview: Rams host Cardinals in opener -

Sunday's game will mark the 12th time the Rams and Cardinals have faced each other in Week 1. The Rams have won seven of those match ups, while Arizona took the last Kickoff Weekend contest between the two teams. That came in 2010 when the Cardinals beat the Rams 17-13 in Week 1.

• Tuesday Rams' depth chart musings -

The St. Louis Rams sent out their weekly game release Tuesday afternoon. In it, they list an unofficial depth chart. It's important to note the word unofficial there so the starting lineup could look different when the Rams play the Cardinals on Sunday and not just because of sub-packages, etc.

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