Tuesday, August 3, 2010

2010 Preview: St Louis Rams

2009 Record: 1-15

2009 Rankings:
Total Offense - 29
Run Offense - 20
Pass Offense - 28
Scoring Offense - 32
Total Defense - 29
Run Defense - 27
Pass Defense - 25
Scoring Defense - 31

The only fans outside of Detroit that have had to endure more suffering since 2006 are Rams fans. Despite this, there is still a dedicated core of bloggers out there, including our buddy Will from RamsHerd. If you want some actual info on the Rams, check out his site. If you want to read some jokes and random thoughts, keep reading.

After posting 6 wins over the last 3 seasons, the Rams may finally be in position to turn things around. Playing in the worst division in football doesn't hurt either.

The Rams have a slew of big-name college players that they have acquired over the past few drafts. ILB James Laurinaitis is the undisputed leader of the defense, the only player logging over 100 tackles last season. DE Chris Long continues to underperform, logging only 5 sacks last year. The Rams struggled to pressure the quarterback, putting more pressure on a secondary that most people in St. Louis probably couldn't name 2 members of. The Rams chose not to re-sign FS OJ Atogwe who led the team with 2 INTs and 3 Forced Fumbles. The Rams struggled to create turnovers on defense, totaling only 20 on the season, finishing 29th in the league. The Rams spent 6 picks on defensive players, including value picks George Selvie (South Florida) and Josh Hull (Penn State) in the 7th round. Both are raw prospects that have the potential to develop into solid starters in the league.

If the Rams woes on defense weren't painful enough, fans in St. Louis had to endure one of the league's worst offenses. Now, with #1 overall pick Sam Bradford set to take the helm, there is a spark of hope for the Rams future. This is not to say that the Rams are going to light it up on offense any time soon. Running back Steven Jackson is one of the best in the league, and has the ability to be the sole creator of offense for the team. He racked up over 1400 yards last year despite the Rams horrendous passing game. However, he only found paydirt 4 times.

Donnie Avery led the team in receiving yards (589). None of the Rams other receivers surpassed 350 yards. The Rams did address their shortcomings here in the offseason, bringing in free agent Laurent Robinson and drafting Pitt-killer Mardy Gilyard (Cincinnati). Gilyard has the potential to develop with Sam Bradford into a dangerous combination for the Rams.

For now, the Rams are just hoping for a marginally better performance on offense and defense, along with a healthy Steven Jackson. Fans in St. Louis are still wondering if there's a way to suit up Albert Pujols for the Rams. Careful Rams fans, Cleveland was thinking the same things about LeBron and look where that got them. There's really no empirical reason to think that the Rams will be competitive in the division this year, but even 4 wins would be a vast improvement over their atrocious 2-14 and 1-15 seasons.

Ian's Prediction: 3-13

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