The St. Louis Rams have been the youngest team in the league for the past two seasons. It is something you would expect out of a team that is looking to rebuild and get back on track.
When head coach Jeff Fisher was brought into the organization, many predicted this would be a three-year project. We are now heading into the third year and it looks like it may be another season of rebuilding.
There are more questions than ever on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Sam Bradford is heading into his fifth season and third year under coach Fisher, but coming of an ACL injury, many are not sure Bradford will ever be the franchise quarterback. The front office has worked on getting him a solid offensive line and many weapons on offense.
The o-line did a decent job last season, but this year they look like they may be back to square one. Offensive tackle Rodger Saffold recently notified the team he will be heading into free agency. In addition the Rams are still in need at the guard position. Although the line did a good job last year, there were still lots of injuries and moving around on the line. It is highly likely the Rams will be looking to pick up a couple of hogs in this year’s draft to start rebuilding the line.
On defense, the Rams have a strong front seven that might finally have a break out season. The secondary is the area on defense that is in question. Many believed the Rams had a solid one-two punch at corner last season with Janoris Jenkins and Cortland Finnegan, but those two fell short of expectations. Jenkins had a few flashes of brilliance, but his performance came nowhere near that of his rookie season.
Finnegan, on the other hand, laid an egg. He was no longer a shut down corner as he kept getting beat by receivers, and was never able to shake the injury bug as he finished the season on the IR. Trumaine Johnson, who filled in for Finnegan, showed he can hold his own, but it is yet to be seen if he is a long-term solution.
There are a lot of attractive names out there in free agency like Alterraun Verner, Aqib Talib and Brent Grimes, but it is yet to be seen if the St. Louis Rams want to make another hefty commitment to another cornerback after coming up short with Finnegan.
The other area for concern is at the safety position. Last year’s draft class at safety was deep and the Rams found a gem in former USC safety T.J. McDonald. He was having a solid season before being injured mid-season. McDonald did return, but you could see the time off left some rust on him. Rodney McLeod the other safety, put up solid numbers finishing with 79 tackles and 4 turnovers, but he is better suited as a backup.
From all the rumors that are starting to swirl around, it seems as if Fisher is once again looking to build up the defense with proven players, but is putting his faith at upgrading the offense through the draft. This may be a formula that works, but it is yet to be seen. The Seattle Seahawks showed last season that defense does win championships, but they did have a solid cast on offense. Unless the Rams young receivers surprise everyone, it will be another anemic year on offense for the St. Louis Rams.