Some NFL fans can’t wait for the offseason. This is usually because their football team has been struggling all year long and when the offseason has rolled around, they can quickly forget their team’s struggles. The reason why fans of struggling teams also love the offseason, because they have time to try and find what’s missing to make a good team. When an organization isn’t so active in the offseason, it usually means they have little holes to be filled and are generally satisfied with where they are currently at. While many fans hope for their team to pick up and draft good players throughout the offseason, it is easy to forget to think of the players who are already on the team. It is important to fill the gaps on the roster, but it is just as important to maintain the already established positions. The St. Louis Rams won’t be as active in the free agency as they have been in the last five years because less changes will need to be made. Although, the Rams will be very active in replacing coaching staff….. again. Blake Williams has been the first of the coaching squad to get the flick.
If the St.Louis Rams are to be successful in this years NFL offseason, this is what they’ll have to do.
- Draft at least one offensive linemen in the 2013 NFL draft. This is a must for the Rams, as the offensive line has been a constant struggle for over six years. Roger Saffold, Harvey Dahl and Scott Wells (although Wells has struggled at times) are the Rams best linemen. Robert Turner has been impressive throughout the 2012 season, but he simply isn’t the answer. The Rams must draft either a left tackle and switch Saffold to the right, or keep Saffold at the left and draft a right tackle.
- Sign the players that had a solid influence in 2012. This is the forgotten aspect in the offseason. Everyone is so focused on what they need and forget on what they have. The Rams have a great back up guard in Robert Turner. Turner isn’t the answer at guard as a starter, but will definitely be helpful if a player goes down at either guard or center. Bradley Fletcher is a must sign as well. The Rams are loaded with talent at cornerback, but dont be surprised if Trumaine Johnson comes to the rescue and takes free safety Craig Dahl’s position, as Johnson has the athleticism and tenacity to be a great safety. Rams will still need a more than capable back up for Janoris Jenkins and Cortland Finnegan.
- This should be the Rams biggest mission. Try and keep offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. If Schottenheimer leaves to a head coaching role, this will be a nightmare for the fans, the players and especially Sam Bradford. If Schottenheimer leaves, Bradford will be forced to learn yet another offensive playbook – the fourth playbook in four years. That is a recipe to destroy a young quarterback. If Schotty does get a head coaching offer and decides to leave, expect the Rams to contact former Chargers head coach, Norv Turner, as he is an already experienced offensive coordinator and has a very similar playbook to Brian Schottenheimer.
- Must find an experienced defensive coordinator. Don’t expect Lovie Smith to make an appearance, as he will have head coaching offers from around the league. The Rams cant afford to keep chopping and changing the play-books as this will encourage players to feel uncomfortable within the organization.
- Don’t spend big money on an offensive linemen….again. The Rams have a knack for spending big money towards an already established linemen, only to find out that the linemen was on the downside of his career as soon as he walked into St. Louis. There is too much talent in this years national draft to be splashing around the big bucks towards already proven linemen.
- Don’t trade one of their first round draft picks to move up the board. This would not make any sense if the Rams decided to pull such a move, as their positional needs would not require them to move into the top five. The Rams need a guard, tackle, safety, wide receiver, outside linebacker and a tight end. All of which can be found later in the first round.
- This is an obvious ‘dont’ from a fan perspective, but knowing Jeff Fishers past come draft time, it may not be out of the question. DO NOT draft a defensive linemen in any of the first three round draft picks. The Rams totalled first in the NFL for team sacks with 52. While many may question our run stopping abilities, the Rams still rank 15th in the league.While 15th does sound a little bit worrying, fans have to remember the match ups were against Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49ers (x2) and Seattle Seahawks (x2) – all of which include a stout running back, with scrambling quarterbacks. So don’t look too much into that 15th rank stuff. Not to mention the Rams defensive line is the youngest in the NFL.
Follow @davebarber92 for more updates