Yesterday here at Ramblin’ Fan we were given a great opportunity to add a 2014 in depth analysis of the Rams on zoneblitz.com as part of their 2014 in depth analysis series. Here is the full article:
The St. Louis Rams finished fourth in the NFC West in 2013, but that’s not as bad as it might sound. Despite sharing the division with San Francisco, Seattle and Arizona, the Rams finished 7-9 – despite losing QB Sam Bradford early in the season to a torn ACL.
The Rams have shown steady potential since Jeff Fisher took over as head coach two seasons ago and, with two picks in the first round of the upcoming draft, the team has the chance to add two more top-notch pieces to a solid and growing core.
So how far are the Rams from making their own leap from scrap heap to contender? Blaine Grisak, co-editor of Ramblin’ Fan, says this team isn’t far from joining the rest of its division mates and making that very push.
Zoneblitz: The Rams finished 7-9 in probably the toughest division in football. How would you assess the season?
Grisak: Given the circumstance, I think 2013 was overall a good year. When QB Sam Bradford went down against the Panthers early in the year, the season seemed lost, and it looked for a moment like the Rams would be getting two picks in the top 10. However, as young as this team is, they showed some fight and beat tough teams like the Saints, Colts, and Bears and came one-yard away from beating the Super Bowl Champion Seahawks one week after the Bradford injury. With four picks in the top 75 in what has been called the deepest draft in awhile, the Rams can certainly make a jump in 2014.
Zoneblitz: Heading into year three what are your thoughts on the Jeff Fisher/Les Snead combo?
Grisak: I think the Fisher/Snead combo has done a great job with this organization. They took a franchise that was a mess when they took over and have brought it back to respectability. Year three will be a big year for them however. Another 7-9 season and fans will begin to get impatient, the fans want improvement.
Zoneblitz: What are your thoughts on Sam Bradford as the franchise’s QB of the future?
Grisak: I have always been a big Sam Bradford supporter, but 2014 is a boom or bust year for the fourth-year quarterback, despite his coming off of a torn ACL. Fans want results, and they want him to earn that big paycheck that he signed as a rookie. Another disappointing or injury-plagued season and Bradford could be on his way out of St. Louis. I definitely wouldn’t be surprised if the Rams draft an Aaron Murray, Tajh Boyd, or A.J. McCarron to develop behind Bradford and newly signed Shaun Hill.
Zoneblitz: Zac Stacy emerged nicely from the 2013 draft and Tavon Austin showed signs of being a potential star. Jared Cook led the team in catches and receiving yards. So some weapons exist. Particularly in a division with such tough defenses, what pieces do the Rams need to add to take the offense up a notch?
Grisak: They are missing a number one receiver on the outside. Chris Givens could be that guy, but he did have a disappointing 2013, and I don’t think Snead and Fisher can put all their money on Brian Quick all of a sudden becoming a superstar. The Rams could look to draft one of the top receivers in this year’s draft. Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins have been names that have been brought up and either would be a great addition to the offense.
Zoneblitz: Defensively the Rams appear to have some great talent, but were just middle-of-the-pack in yards and points allowed. What’s your assessment of that unit and what has to happen to improve it?
Grisak: I think this unit has the potential and the makings of becoming one of the league’s best defensive units. I think some of the disappointment last season came from the inexperience of their defensive coordinator and young players going through bumps.
The Rams could definitely use some pieces in the secondary, depth at the cornerback position as well a top safety to play next to T.J. McDonald.
They did just bring in Gregg Williams to coach the defense and I think he has been the best addition for team this offseason and will take this defense to their full potential.
Finish reading the exciting interview right here
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