St. Louis Rams Post-Game Roundtable: Disaster Strikes in Cleveland!

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Welcome to the third and final preseason edition of RamblinFan’s St. Louis Rams Post-Game Roundtable, where co-editors Nathan Kearns (@nkearns12) and Blaine Grisak (@bxgrisak1993), and staff-writer (and co-editor at LASportsHub) Anthony Khoury (@askmeabouthelaw), usually gather ’round to weigh in on five of the most pressing issues to arise from the Rams’ most recent game. Except that, this week, with co-editor Nathan Kearns on vacation, we welcome staff writer Mark Warren (@MarkWarren_39) to the Roundtable as a guest contributor. Thanks to Mark for taking the time to join us this week!

As if the title of this Roundtable didn’t give it away, we will cover the Rams’ ‘unsatisfying’ 33-14 ‘win’ in Cleveland against the Browns. So let’s jump right in…

1. I guess the first question on everyone’s minds is about the Rams’ prospects for the season minus Sam Bradford–who re-tore his surgically-repaired ACL against the Browns in the Rams’ 33-14 win in Cleveland. Do you think the Rams still have any chance to fulfill the enormous promise that they entered the preseason with?

Aug 23, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (8) is helped off the field after getting injury in the first quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony K.: This is a tough one to swallow for me–I hadn’t been this excited during the preseason for just about 10 years. That’s a long time. Having been a Rams fan for about 27 years now, I’ve seen it all–the highs, the lows, and everything in between–but this one really hurts. Actually, I vividly remember watching highlights on TV of Rodney Harrison taking out Trent Green‘s knee during the 1999 preseason, and I remember how devastated I was at the time because we finally had some hope going into a season, and it apparently vanished in the blink of an eye. So, I decided to go out for golf during the Rams’ opening game against the Baltimore Ravens…and boy, was I surprised when we got back to the clubhouse and saw the highlights of Kurt Warner slinging the ball around! And just like that, my hope had been restored! But I digress (as usual)…

Shaun Hill is NOT Kurt Warner. Zac Stacy (as much as I love him) is NOT Marshall Faulk. Kenny Britt and Brian Quick are NOT Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt. BUT, that’s ok, because they don’t need to be. Hill is a veteran and has always been a solid NFL quarterback, and this Rams team is built around the young and hungry defense, and a ‘ground and pound’ running game. Do the Rams have as much potential without Sam Bradford–my instinct is to say ‘no’, but if you ask around the league, many people would actually tell you that Hill is a better quarterback than Bradford–and the numbers tend to support that assertion. In any case, I’ve invested too much into these Rams to just give up now, so I’m all in, and I’m betting that this team will surprise a few people…

Blaine G.: So disappointing to see Sam tear his ACL and my heart goes out to him. The guy put in all the work to get back at 100%, and I can’t even imagine being in his situation right now. Don’t get me wrong, Shaun Hill is one of the best backup quarterbacks in the NFL, but I don’t think he can bring the same things that Sam could. I see this team finishing with 6-7 wins at the end of the year.

Mark W.: We were all saddened to see Bradford go down again after fighting so hard to rehab himself. Bradford’s career so far has been vastly underwhelming considering his rare talent. I have always been a Bradford supporter, but at some point the team has to consider how long they want to be held hostage by a big money quarterback who can’t stay on the field. That being said, this team entered the preseason with expectations to win nine or ten games. I think that mark is a bit out of reach for a football team with a backup quarterback at this point. Keep in mind the Rams will play the third toughest schedule of any team in the NFL this season.