Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest
By BEN FREDERICKSON  |  Last updated 8/25/13
Alec Ogletree, ladies and gentleman. The rookie buried two less than impressive preseason games with a highlight-filled Saturday night that showed why the Rams think the outside linebacker can be something special. First, with just less than 10 minutes to play in the first quarter, Ogletree not only stripped the football from Denver running back Ronnie Hillman, but managed to take it 13 yards for a touchdown. He wasn't done. In the second quarter, Ogletree dropped back on a Peyton Manning pass. The ball was supposed to go to Erick Decker, but Ogletree tipped it with one hand then corralled the deflection for an interception. It was the first time the ballhawking skills Ogletree had shown in Rams practices came alive in a game. Ogletree finished the evening with six tackles, two of which were for a loss. "It felt great to get out there and play fast and get my first touchdown and first interception," Ogletree said. "It was a great feeling tonight, so I'm very excited." Probably just as excited as those who were starting to wonder about the kid. Austin was electric Jeff Fisher said on a radio broadcast before the game that he wanted to see rookie Tavon Austin return some punts. The chances had been limited in the first two preseason games, but Austin got a couple of choice looks Saturday. He made the most of them. Austin returned Britton Colquitt's first punt 81 yards, juking and nuking defenders with his speed until he was stopped at Denver's 3-yard line. That set up the Rams' first touchdown (more on that below). In the second quarter, Austin nearly erased another Colquitt punt. He ran the 38-yard kick back 23 yards, and looked to be one good shimmy away from a touchdown. Cook in the zone Last week the Rams wasted a key red zone opportunity with two incomplete passes to Austin, a stuffed Isaiah Pead run and Sam Bradford fumble. This week, they immediately targeted the guy who could be a red zone game changer -- tight end Jared Cook. After Austin's explosive return, Bradford found Cook for six points on the first play. Cook used his 6-foot-5, 248-pound frame and soaring leaping ability to create space, then held onto the grab as he fell into the corner of the end zone. Look for the Rams to continue to take advantage of Cook's unique skill set in that territory this year. Saffold got reps It looked like the Rams might be in a tough spot when backup tackle Joe Barksdale didn't make the trip due to an infected cut on his hand. It was unclear heading into the game whether Rodger Saffold, the expected starter at right tackle, would be healed enough from a dislocated shoulder to step onto the field. But Saffold followed through on his plan to play, and looked decent in the spot he is still adjusting to after shifting from the left side. Yes, Saffold got hit with a couple of penalties. And yes, there were blocks that weren't perfect. But the big man did a decent job battling with Denver linebacker Von Miller and, more importantly, racked up reps at a spot he needs all the experience he can get. Hey, Ray-Ray Hall of Fame football player turned CBS broadcaster Dan Dierdorf thinks former Miami Hurricane Ray-Ray Armstrong should make the Rams roster. Anyone who watched the outside linebacker play Saturday has to agree. He nailed Broncos backup quarterback Brock Osweiler for a 10-yard sack in the third quarter. Follow Ben Frederickson on Twitter (@Ben_Fred), or contact him at frederickson.ben@gmail.com.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Pablo Sandoval apologizes for comments about Giants

Marcus Morris to Kyrie Irving: 'Just don't go to Golden State'

Report: Cubs interested in Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy

Marc-Andre Fleury took Stanley Cup on a road trip, protected it well

Cardinals say Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald won't play in Hall of Fame Game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Chiefs LB Tamba Hali goes on Twitter rant, seemingly wants out

O.J. Simpson still invited to attend Hall of Fame ceremonies

WATCH: 49ers and Seahawks players working out together

WATCH: Vince Carter throws out first pitch for 'SagerStrong Night'

Knicks GM Scott Perry has yet to meet with owner James Dolan

Karl-Anthony Towns, Jimmy Butler reportedly recruiting Kyrie Irving to the Timberwolves

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

Best of Yardbarker: General managers take the spotlight

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

The unexpected rise of the Connecticut Sun

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

Kicking It: USMNT struggles to find consistency in Gold Cup as World Cup qualifying nears

Three Up, Three Down: The Dodgers are a complete juggernaut right now

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

Who won the Open Championship in the year you were born?

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

Box Score 7/21: Stay cool this weekend sports fans

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

The Orioles need to unwind past deals if they are going to rebuild

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Sam Hinkie is calling the shots

The 'No one is betterer than Roger Federer' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker