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Fisher & Bradford Guide Rams
- Updated: July 13, 2012
Despite winning just 15 games since 2007, theSPORTSfeast still finds reasons to get excited about football in St. Louis.
Yes, we know this team has been awful, disappointing, embarrassing and the butt of countless jokes in the NFL for most of the past 5 seasons.
Yes, we know there have been serious talks about this team packing up and heading to LA.
Yes, we know the team will be playing one game in London this year, did not draft Justin Blackmon, and ranked at the bottom of the NFL in numerous stat categories last year.
Yes, we know it has not been pleasant to be a Rams fan for quite some time now…after all, we ourselves are Rams fans and have experienced all of the disappointment and embarrassment just as you have.
But, despite all of this, believe it or not, there are still reasons to be a Rams fan, still reasons to get excited about the upcoming season, and still reasons to head out to the dome to see NFL football in 2012.
Reason #1: Jeff Fisher
Let’s start with the biggest offseason acquisition that the team made, because this is where, and in our opinion, why the team will begin to have success. New head coach Jeff Fisher is reason #1 to continue to support and have optimism about the St. Louis Rams. The Rams have not had an established, experienced head coach who commands respect and knows what it takes to win football games since Dick Vermeil left. No disrespect to the other guys who have coached this football team, but the Rams are in much better hands with Fisher. The team will be more disciplined and more prepared under the new HC, because that’s just who Jeff Fisher is. Younger players should develop into solid NFL players quicker under Fisher, and veterans will respect him because he’s been a winner in this league before. Jeff Fisher knows what it takes to be successful in the NFL, and his hiring by the Rams was the best decision they could have made this offseason. theSPORTSfeast believes this decision will pay immediate dividends on the football field in 2012.
Reason #2: Sam Bradford
In our opinion, the Rams still have the most talented quarterback in their division. Many people forget about just how good Sam Bradford is and can be because of what he has had to work with. We won’t say that Bradford has, or will, put up the best numbers of any QB in the division this year, but will say
that he is the most talented and has the highest ceiling of any QB in the division. With that being said, as soon as the Rams can establish a good offensive line and develop some receivers, Bradford will be talked about as one of the better quarterbacks not just in the division, but in the entire NFL. Jeff Fisher had options when deciding which team to coach and there is no doubt that Sam Bradford being the quarterback of this team had some influence on his decision. To win in this league you must have a good quarterback, and Coach Fisher realizes that. Sam Bradford will be a winning quarterback in the NFL under Coach Fisher. The team has already worked to get Bradford more weapons to throw to by signing WR Steve Smith and drafting WR Brian Quick. We believe you will see a different Sam Bradford in 2012 than in past years. He should be healthy and will have more to work with. Watch for Bradford to take some huge steps forward in his development into a winning NFL QB in 2012.
Reason #3: Defense
The St. Louis Rams defense will be a huge asset to the team in 2012. Chris Long, James Laurinaitis, and Robert Quinn will be joined by Michael Brockers (Draft), Jenoris Jenkins (Draft), and Courtland Finnegan (Free Agency) to form a defense that will flourish under Coach Fisher. While we believe the offense will improve, we think it will be the defense that keeps this team in games in 2012. A team that ranked 31st against the run shouldn’t, and won’t rank that low in 2012. There shouldn’t, and won’t be, games where DeMarco Murray runs for 256 yards. The offense shouldn’t have as many short drives, which will allow the defense to stay off of the field for more than 3 plays at a time. The Rams still have work to do, but this defense, and this entire team, as it stands today is a vast improvement over the 2011 version.
Reason #4: Division and Schedule
The NFC West is a great place for the Rams to be right now. The division had only one winning team a year ago (San Francisco). While the 49ers are a team that will be difficult to beat in 2012, we believe the Rams can, and will, win games against Seattle and Arizona. The Rams did not win a single division game last year, but that should change in 2012. 2011’s schedule was brutal for the Rams who played the Eagles, Giants, Ravens, Packers, Cowboys, Saints, and Steelers in addition to two division games against the 49ers. While the schedule won’t be easy this season, it will most definitely be more lenient than last
year. The toughest stretch of the 2012 season will be Oct 21-Nov 18 th when the team plays Green Bay, New England, San Francisco, and the New York Jets (with a Bye week in between those games). There are winnable games on this schedule, and while we will save our exact predictions for later, we will say that we are confident in this team exceeding the 2 wins it got in 2011 (Big statement, we know!).
So, Rams fans, while it may be difficult, don’t give up on this franchise. Despite all of the losses and talks of moving, there are brighter days ahead. Support this team while you can, and show the owners why St. Louis is a good place for the Rams, because if NFL football does leave St. Louis, it may never return.
Photo courtesy of Hawk Eyes