The St Louis Rams have certainly made some moves to try to surround Sam Bradford with offensive weapons in hopes of realizing his potential. The Rams snatched up the highest rated Tight End in free agency, and then made some nice moves in the 2013 Draft to pickup both Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey out of West Virginia University. Austin was widely considered to be the best playmaker in the draft, and should be a threat to score every time he touches the ball. The Rams are likely to try getting him the ball any way that they can, as a receiver, runner or special teams return man he will be given an opportunity to contribute right away. Stedman Bailey may not have the blazing fast 40 time, but he has some of the best hands in the 2013 draft and runs some of the best routes. Some people have compared Bailey’s game to that of Greg Jennings, and perhaps if he wasn’t on the same team as the explosive Austin in college he may have generated more draft buzz.
Adding this trio of talented young pass catchers to the already talented young group of Chris Givens, Brian Quick, Austin Pettis and Lance Kendricks and you have the makings of a very explosive offense. That all hinges on whether or not these receivers are able to fully reach their potential, as they are each brimming with talent. Sam Bradford has to be very excited about the potential of the young players around him. Aside from the dynamic receiving threats that Bradford will be working with, he has also seen some talent added to the offensive line this offseason. The signing of Jake Long should be a huge bolster to Bradford’s comfort level in the pocket as Long has largely been regarded as a top offensive tackle since he was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 2009. The Rams also got a huge steal in the draft when they selected Barrett Jones in the 4th round. Jones is a very versatile offensive lineman out of the University of Alabama with the ability (and experience) to play any of the 5 positions on the line. He is best suited to play the guard or center position, and just may be in line to take over for Scott Wells in the future.
The Rams did lose their all time leading rusher in Steven Jackson, but this offense is changing gears from a power running style team to one that fields multiple looks and tries to create favorable matchups for its dynamic playmakers. The running game will likely be a three-headed monster of Isaiah Pead, Daryl Richardson, and 5th round draft choice Zac Stacy. Richardson and Pead each have game breaking speed and agility that should match up nicely with the more power running style of Stacy. The Rams offense will almost certainly run through Sam Bradford, but the trio of running backs will be given opportunities both on the ground and through the air and will need to be productive.
The 2012 St Louis Rams managed to score 299 points which is an average of 18.7 points per game. So in light of all the changes made to the Rams offense from 2012 to 2013, what is a reasonable expectation for the 2013 offense. Before I throw out a number I would say that my prediction assumes the team stays relatively healthy, especially the teams prize free agent Jake Long. If the team can stay relatively healthy and the young playmakers can make reasonable progress during the season I could see the Rams scoring an average of 23 points per game. What do you think, is that too high or too low? Please feel free to comment on what you think the Rams will average this season. Thanks for reading and as always Go Rams!