Los Angeles Rams see expectations soar heading into 2018 training camp
The Los Angeles Rams begin training camp this week. Can they rise to the level of expectations everyone seems to be putting on them?
As the Los Angels Rams begin training camp this week, the expectations from fans and the media climb higher than the Hollywood sign. Not since the days of the Greatest Show on Turf have the thoughts of a deep playoff run and a Super Bowl been reasonable preseason expectations.
And yet, here the Rams sit, ready to take on the league in 2018 as a serious contender. Here are some reasons why the expectations are so high.
First, the Rams “won the offseason” when looking at all of their key additions. This makes some fans (like me) a little nervous, because rarely, it seems, does the team that wins the offseason see that pay off.
They brought in Pro-Bowlers like Ndamukong Suh, Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, and Brandon Cooks. The Rams have added the star power to make a deep run. But can all of these personalities play together?
Secondly, the Rams were the top offense in the league last year. It seems like so long ago that they were the worst offense in the league, but it was just 2016 when the team as a whole averaged just 14 points per game.
Last year saw Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, and a slew of receivers put up star numbers. Any offseason additions only built upon this already star-studded roster and winning reputation.
For the Rams part, they have been taking steps to ensure their core stars don’t get away. Last week saw them ink Cooks to a new deal, and this week Gurley signed an extension.
Los Angeles is doing what they can in the down time to keep this team together. Some have suggested Aaron Donald could be next, but only time will tell.
Lastly, the Rams are in that golden zone of their beloved quarterback in Goff still being on his rookie contract. This may be the most important element, as it has allowed the team to be so aggressive in adding stars.
Goff will make a paltry $7.6 million this year on his rookie deal, even as the first overall selection from the 2016 draft. That’s $20 million less than what Kirk Cousins will make with the Minnesota Vikings this year having just signed a free agent deal. That creates a lot of cap space to play with.
The Rams were the surprise team of the league last year. Can they take the next step this year, when the pressure is on in 2018? Fans will find out soon enough, but either way, Los Angeles has to be thrilled over the high expectations heading into camp after last year.