One of the 1999 Greatest Show on Turf’s best assets was having the option of spreading the ball around to some really talented players. (Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, Marshall Faulk, Az-Zahir Hakim Ricky Proehl, Ernie Conwell, Robert Holcomb, Amp Lee and so on) When opposing defenses tried to nullify one guy, Kurt Warner simply went to someone else. For a while, opposing defenses really were forced to pick their poison trying to defend the St. Louis Rams. It appears Jeff Fisher may have taken notes judging from this year’s draft harvest.
Sam Bradford is an extremely intense competitor. Those of you (Rams fans) who have attended games at the Edward Jones Dome and stood along the ‘gauntlet’ as the players entered prior to games have no doubt seen that look of intensity on his face when entering. Additionally he’s a quick study. How frustrating must the last few years have been for him? If you think back and realize how much better the Rams were just when Danny Amendola was healthy and on the field, it is remarkable. Amendola and Steven Jackson were the backbone of the Rams’ offense. Sure, there were other occasional contributors, but the only guy that scared anyone was maybe Chris Givens. Not a lot of options for Bradford.
Fast forward to this year, same offensive scheme (for the first time in his pro career), and some honest to God talent to utilize around him — I’d guess Sam’s pretty excited about now.
Recently Jerry Jones made the news as he does often, by saying he desires more input from Tony Romo regarding offensive game planning and installing/calling plays. Way to go Jerry! At least you’re consistent in undermining your head coaches.
The Rams appear to be embracing a similar role for Sam. However, this is coming from the coaching staff, not the owner/general manager. Bradford will be encouraged to take over the offense now that he’s had some experience. Couple that with a large infusion of talented new skill players on offense, and this team may make a mega-leap in scoring. It is certainly not impossible.
No huddle, spread, pro-style, hybrid, all that good stuff should be forthcoming this year. Sammy will have increased freedom to mix and match as the season unfolds. I hope and pray Jake Long will be healthy in time for the regular season along with Roger Saffold. The Rams could really surprise people this year. No – I’m not making predictions, but last year I wasn’t expecting the Rams to do as well as they did. They just didn’t have the horsepower on offense – not even on paper. This year 10 wins doesn’t sound completely out of the question (keep in mind the Rams barely missed SWEEPING the vaunted NFC West last year).
I’m not saying the Rams are going to win 10 games. Rather, if they did win ten, I wouldn’t be totally shocked. Ten wins would have sounded preposterous to me at the outset of last year. Ten wins would have sounded outrageously optimistic to me back at the beginning of the 1999 season too. The 2013 roster is at least the best the Rams looked on paper in a while. So? Y’know, you just never know.