At least England likes Rams

Rams running back Steven Jackson runs with the ball as Cowboys safety Abram Elam tries to make the...

Rams running back Steven Jackson runs with the ball as Cowboys safety Abram Elam tries to make the tackle at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Tex., Oct. 23, 2011. (MIKE STONE/Reuters)

BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:26 PM ET

The Rams play out of St. Louis, have been courted by Los Angeles, and now are being dubbed Britain’s “home team”. Talk about lovable losers.

This year they had two wins — not even one for each of their home towns, although that whole L.A. thing could remain just a corporate pipedream.

London, though, is a go. The Rams Friday announced they would play one game in London’s Wembley Stadium each of the next three years.

“We’ve seen first-hand the increased popularity of the NFL not only in London but throughout Europe,” Stan Kroenke, who owns both the Rams and English soccer club, Arsenal, said in a statement. “To play a role in that growth over the next three years will be incredible and is a testament to the many good things happening not only in the NFL but also in the St. Louis Rams organization.”

The Rams tied for the worst record in the NFL this season and won just 15 games in the past five seasons. So, London is getting NFL bargain-basement dross. But then, the Euro isn’t what it used to be either, so maybe it makes sense that a visit from a discounted NFL franchise would make them giddy.

The Rams will meet the Patriots Oct. 28. That will be followed by games at Wembley against undetermined opponents in 2013 and 2014.

This announcement, naturally, comes with word that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is thinking a European NFL franchise would be a good idea. Of course, he said that when the first game was played here in 2007, too. He also says that about Canada. And, he says that about Mexico. Basically when it comes to the NFL moving outside the U.S., there are melting glaciers that move quicker.

New Rams coach Jeff Fisher, meantime, has confirmed Hue Jackson and Brian Schottenheimer, run out of Oakland and New York recently, are candidates to become quarterback Sam Bradford’s third offensive coordinator in three years.

Bradford was criticized for not progressing in his sophomore season. But, perhaps, it would help if he didn’t have to learn a new offence every year. One of the reasons quarterbacks like Eli Manning or even Joe Flacco have succeeded is because they’ve been surrounded by some semblance of stability.

The only stable thing with the Rams is Kroenke’s bank account.

“Sam is excited about the direction we’re going,” Fisher said. Nice to know somebody knows where they’re going, other that is, than down the toilet.

AHOY TROY

Charlie Batch’s tenure as the best second-banana Ben Roethlisberger ever had may be finished.

The Steelers have signed former 49ers quarterback Troy Smith to play behind Roethlisberger. They are also expected to resign Byron Leftwich.

Smith was a starter in the NFL last year with the 49ers but dropped off the radar when he went to the United Football League. According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Batch was close to Steelers coordinator Bruce Arians. But Arians has quit and it likely means Batch will as well, whether he wants to or not.

MONEY PIT

Albert Haynesworth is trying to get the money he lost when the Redskins suspended him for the final four games in the 2010 season.

The Redskins suspended Haynesworth for “conduct detrimental to the club” and a hearing was set for this week. It was suspended when a scheduling conflict prevented a club official from testifying. In other words this is moving along about as quick as Albert’s pass rush.

SADLY MISSED

Law and disorder: A judge has set an April 16 trial date for Eric Rivera, 21, the alleged shooter in the 2007 killing of Sean Taylor during a robbery at the Redskin all-Pro safety’s home.

Meanwhile, two years after he died when he fell off the bed of a pickup, the estate of Bengals’ wide receiver Chris Henry is suing his fiance, Loleini Tonga. The suit alleges that her negligent driving caused Henry to be thrown from the truck. Henry had jumped on the truck when Tonga drove away following an argument.

Lawyers say they don’t want the $10,000 being sought in the suit from Tonga, but rather from companies who had insured Tonga.

She and Henry had three children together and the lawyers say they are attempting to recoup some of the money the family might’ve “reasonably expected” from Henry’s earnings as an NFL player.

QUICK HITS

Speculation continues that the Browns will select quarterback Robert Griffin after their Colt McCoy led offence ranked 30th in scoring (13.6 points per game) last year ... Dolphins’ Reggie Bush may be called as a witness in a lawsuit his ex-girlfriend Kim Kardashian filed against The Gap ... Ellen DeGeneres grilled actor Rob Lowe about the secret source who told him Peyton Manning was retiring. Said Lowe: “Ellen, I could tell you. But then I’d have to kill you.” For a story that big, there are some sports writers who would take him up on that offer, and take their chances ... According to ESPN NFL Business Analyst Andrew Brandt, it will cost the Colts $50.5 million to keep Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck on the roster in 2012. That’s virtually impossible, meaning the Colts either dump Manning or deal the No. 1 pick ... Redskins coach Mike Shanahan is reported to be interested in free agent Matt Flynn.


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