Yesterday, we took a look at how the defensive line needs to pound the quarterback into submission. On the other side of the ball, that is the exact opposite of what we want to happen during games, and this is the focus of #4.
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Last year, we were treated to a slightly better offensive line than in previous years, at least in pass protection. Whether or not this had to do with the fact that Sam Bradford was mobile where Marc Bulger was a immovable stone is yet to be seen. But with the addition of Harvey Dahl, the Rams have sunk even more money into the front five, and it needs to show this year if they want a chance at taking the division title.
Another issue the Rams had last year was the problem of opening holes for Steven Jackson. I suspect this had to do as much with the line's problems as it had to do with a constant overloaded box, consisting of 8, even 9 defenders. It comes down to a numbers game, and 9 on 5 isn't the best odds.
The Rams announced last week that Jacob Bell was being released after he refused to take a pay cut, since you know, he deserved his contract and all that. He quickly agreed to a restructured deal, saying, "I think we've got a good thing going." Which is good news for Rams fans, considering the fact that all starters from last year (minus Goldberg, for now) seem to be on their way back. Familiarity can go a long way sometimes.
With the improving play of Rodger Saffold, the improvement on the right side with Harvey Dahl, and hopefully a full healthy year from Jason Smith, the Rams offensive line stands to greatly improve in terms of talent.
It's paramount that they do, as Sam Bradford will probably have to wait more time to throw the ball. McDaniels offense doesn't involve only 3-yard slants, I'm told.