Jerry Langton's Pregame Observations

Monday's opponent may have a 2-3 record and an interim coach, but the Rams are still one of the most dangerous teams in the NFL...

... With extraordinary speed at the skill positions, secondary and linebacker spots, they can score from anywhere on the field on offense, defense or special teams.

Although my deepest concern goes for Mike Martz's health, he's made some bonehead decisions this year which have really hurt his team. Some fans may remember interim coach Joe Vitt from his brief tenure with the Baltimore Colts. He's a steady guy known for developing a tight rapport with his players and adapting schemes to suit his personnel. You won't see any of Martz's flights of fancy out of him.

• There'll be a lot of hype over the Freeney-Orlando Pace matchup, but I think it'll be pretty one-sided. I've never been a huge Pace fan and he's already allowed 3.5 sacks this season. He's been soundly outplayed by rookie right tackle Alex Barron, who could make things difficult for the Mathis/Raheem Brock/Josh Thomas three-headed monster. But could also be confused by having to face three very good and very different players. Last week, the Rams benched veteran right guard Adam Timmerman. He's also allowed 3.5 sacks this year. Although that total is pretty bad for Pace at left tackle, it's absolutely atrocious inside for Timmerman. His replacement in the Rams' 37-31 loss to the Seahawks Sunday was huge but slow-footed rookie Claude Terrell. No matter which starts, the Colts will take advantage.

• The Rams have one really good cornerback — Jerametrious Butler — but he's on injured reserve. With just Travis Fisher, DeJuan Groce and some also-rans out there, Peyton Manning could have his 2005 breakout game in front of a national audience.

• Colt DBs should watch for No. 3 and 4 receivers (Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald) on crossing and underneath routes. Both are smart, courageous and rarely drop the ball. Another potential danger is old ex-Colt Marshall Faulk. Having the pressure of a starting assignment taken off him has rejuvenated him to the point where he's a big-time weapon again.

Draft Watch

The Colts have a fondness for speedy little backs, especially if they can create on their own and catch the ball, and there's a dandy at Washington State named Jerome Harrison.

He looks shorter than his listed 5'9, but he's a solid ball of muscle who's hard to bring down. He has the vision to succeed on long developing plays and follows his blockers like an old pro. He hits the hole in an instant and isn't afraid of the big boys. The Cougars don't ask him to get real involved in their passing game, but he runs nice routes and catches naturally. If he can prove he has the ability to negate the blitz despite his size, he could be a great find in the middle rounds.

After five games in 2005, he's gone 125-741-9 rushing and 7-92-0 receiving after totals of 174-900-9 and 10-69-0 last year. He has some experience as a return man, but hasn't really excelled there.

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