The St. Louis Rams are once again setting out on a path of reconstruction, this time under the guidance of long time NFL Head Coach Jeff Fisher. That’s a good thing. Fisher brings a sense of stability to the franchise and he’s got a long term type of credibility desperately need by the Rams. He’s also got a few pieces to work with and build on. Looking ahead, we can see a solid future for the St. Louis Rams.
Fisher will have to get quarterback Sam Bradford back on track. The young gun slinger had a singular rookie season but regressed in 2011 due to little help along the offensive line and a cast of surrounding players that was inadequate at best. Fisher added some experience on the line with center Scott Wells and it’s hoped that coaching can beef up the rest of the line. As far as giving Bradford something to work with, Steven Jackson is an excellent beginning, though he’s probably getting a little too long in the tooth to carry the whole load. A 2nd Round Draft choice was used on Isaih Pead in the hopes that he can spell Jackson effectively. The receivers will be young, with rookies Brian Quick and Chris Givens expected to assume starting positions. It would also be nice if Steve Smith could regain some of his former prowess.
Fisher will gut the defense, creating a new entity. Chris Long is signed to a long term contract and he’ll anchor the line in combination with James Hall and #1 Draft Choice Michael Brockers the tackle out of LSU. The Rams added Jo-Lon Dunbar of the Saints to team up with James Laurinaitis at linebacker. Fisher also tabbed his roots to bring in Cortland Finnegan to handle a cornerback spot. It didn’t help that Gregg Williams, who signed as defensive Coordinator, got himself suspended but between Fisher and a few experienced assistants, the Rams should be in good shape schematically.
Can the St. Louis Rams get better immediately? Yes. Can they win the NFC West in 2012? Probably not since the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers have a head start. But St. Louis is in good hands and could make things interesting. If the Rams can’t win the division they could very well have a say in who does.