The Rams have a lot of expectations and excitement surrounding them this season, and for good reason, the Rams went 7-8-1, 4-1-1 in the division, and look to be on the rise. However, if a key player fails to play up to those expectations, the Rams could struggle, much like they did in 2012. So who exactly are these players key to the Rams success? Let’s find out, shall we.
Now this one is kind of obvious, but do you really expect Austin Davis or Kellen Clemons to lead this team to the playoffs? Bradford must stay healthy for the Rams to succeed. He finally feels comfortable in an offense, now it’s time for him to go out and perform. Snead and Fisher also went out to acquire Jared Cook and Tavon Austin in the offense. The Rams used to not have any weapons, now they have a handful of them, which is a good thing. Bradford’s biggest problems were his offensive line and lack of weapons, now he has both. It’s time for Bradford to step up and rise to the expectations, because this team’s success depends of it.
Jared Cook was literally a huge addition for the Rams this offseason. Cook and Bradford have developed a chemistry throughout camp, and Bradford trusts that if he puts the ball in Cook’s general area, Cook can come down with the ball. Bradford has been begging for a receiver like that his entire career. Cook is Bradford’s new Amendola, but better. Without Amendola in the line-up Bradford struggled finding other guys. Cook is a larger, more durable Amendola, so hopefully Cook not being on the field shouldn’t be a problem. Cook has a lot of expectations and the fans are excited to see what he can be. All he has to do is go on the field and be the number one guy the Rams brought him to St. Louis to be.
Every player on the offensive line will be key to the Rams success this season. The Rams are flipping from a running team to a passing team, therefore Bradford is going to need time to throw. The Rams did sign Jake Long who needs to get back to playing at the Pro Bowl level that he is capable of and Rodger Saffold needs to make the adjustment to the right side.If Bradford can stay upright, opposing defenses will struggle.
Ogletree has a lot to prove as a rookie. Ogletree needs to prove that the Rams taking him in the first round was worth it. Ogletree brings speed to the defense as well as physicality and will help them is their base and nickel formations. The Rams struggled at times chasing down the mobile quarterbacks last season, and they will be relying on Ogletree to help chase down Kaepernick and Wilson.
James Laurinaitis is the quarterback of the defense and he is more key to the team’s success than some may think. Laurinaitis is the Brian Urlacher and Ray Lewis for the Rams. Laurinaitis understands the defense and understands where everybody has to be and what everybody has to do in order for the defense to be successful. He will play a large role in getting the Rams to the playoffs this season.
The Rams have not made the playoffs since 2004, have not had a winning record since 2003, and have not had a .500 record since 2006. There is a lot of hope that all of those droughts could go away this season and start streaks instead. Sam Bradford, Jared Cook, the offensive line, Alec Ogletree, and James Laurinaitis will all need to stay healthy and play well in order for it to happen.