The Rams certainly have a bright future ahead of them going into 2014 and could be a team that “makes the leap” per say. The Rams have a lot going for them but most teams there are questions surrounding them. Here are five questions for the Rams going into the 2014 season:
Is Sam Bradford the long term solution at quarterback?
This is by far the biggest question for the Rams and as of right now a lot of us would love to agree with Les Snead and say yes, that Bradford is the long term solution. However at this point it just doesn’t seem hopeful. 2014 is going to be a big year for Bradford, a boom or bust type year.
Any sign of disappointment and the Rams must consider drafting a quarterback in 2015 and going in another direction. You hate to give up on Bradford, but this season will be his last chance to prove what he’s got.
The Rams have put a good team around Bradford. He has some good weapons, and the Rams will certainly add more, he has a pretty good offensive line, he has a running game, and on top of all that, he has a defense. It’s time to go out and produce.
Here’s what ESPN expert and former quarterback Ron Jawarski had to say about Bradford,
“I have my doubts, and I’m a big Bradford guy. He just hasn’t been able to take that offense and elevate it. Yes, he’s been banged up and missed time with injuries, but I think this coming season is going to be absolutely critical for him. The Rams have a solid defense and are building a good receiving corps. If he wants to stay in St. Louis as the starter, I think he’s going to have to step up. Soon.”
Do the Rams need to draft an offensive lineman in the first round?
Many mocks thus far have the Rams going offensive line in the first round of the draft. Although that makes sense with the Jake Long tearing his ACL and Bradford suffering a major injury, it may not be something that the Rams need to do.
The Rams offensive line faired pretty well last season, sure they could use some help on the inside, but the Rams may be able to address that need in the second or third round.
What are the Rams going to do about their cap situation?
Right now the Rams have absolutely zero flexibility with their cap. If free agency started tomorrow the Rams would not be able to sign anybody or their draft picks for that matter as they only have $86,162 available.
The Rams are going to have to cut or at the very least restructure some of the players taking up so much of the cap like cornerback Cortland Finnegan, guard Harvey Dahl, and center Scott Wells.
The Rams are a young team looking to grow and become better, it’s pretty difficult to do that when you don’t have any cap space.
What are the Rams going to do in the draft?
As has been the trend with Les Snead, the Rams will play the role as the wild card going into the 2014 draft. Will they trade up, will they trade back? Nobody really knows for sure. Last year the Rams did both, multiple times.
What we do know however, is that Snead is going to do his best to make this team better and give them a fighting chance to make the playoffs next season. The Rams have a lot of options in this upcoming draft, its just a matter of what direction Snead decides to approach it.
Can the Rams make the leap in 2014?
The last two years head coach Jeff Fisher has taken a team that was 2-14 before he arrived, and taken them to back to back seven win seasons. The big question is now that the Rams have proven that they aren’t the laughing stock of the NFL, can they take that next step.
The Rams are young and have a lot of talent. This will be their third season in the system and that’s usually about when teams make or break with the new head coach. Which direction the Rams go however is still a mystery.
Most would like to say the direction of the arrow for the Rams is pointing up as they have so much potential, but being that this is the NFL and the Rams do play in the NFC West, anything can happen.
Those are the five biggest questions going into the 2014 NFL season for the Rams. How the Rams answer those questions will determine their fate in 2014.