Last season, Sam Bradford showed that he could be the franchise quarterback for the St. Louis Rams. He led the Rams to 7 victories, broke a few rookie records along the way to earning the offensive rookie of the year. You can say the Rams winning 7 games was a team effort, and I will agree with you, but Bradford played the biggest role in it.
What made Bradford year more respectable was he did this with the team around him. Hindsight is 20/20, but did anyone think that a team that won six games the last three years, would be as competitive as they were, winning seven games? Say what you want about the Rams, but the supporting cast around Bradford was nothing compared to the other young QBs that have succeed in recent years.
The Rams look nice on defense, but the Rams really upgraded their offense this season. The biggest addiction the Rams added, had to be Josh McDaniels. McDaniels' offense should be a breath of fresh air, compared to the dink and dunk scheme the Rams used Bradford's rookie year. This is the same coach that helped Kyle Orton have a great passing season and Matt Cassel become a starting QB for the Chiefs, Just think what he should be able to do with a talent such as Bradford.
After, the Rams selected Josh McDaniels to be their offensive coordinator, the draft followed. The Rams used their early picks, to give Bradford some weapons: Austin Pettis, Lance Kendricks, and Greg Salas.
Right now, it looks like Lance Kendricks will be a good contributor this season. The Rams will be using two-TE sets often this season, and Kendricks has been starting in camp. Don't be surprised to see him line up, in different spots during games.
If the Rams TEs are healthy, they could be a great foundation for an offense that doesn't have studs at WR. Of course, Billy Bajema will have to do some receiving work this season, and Big Mike, along with Fendi Onobun, will have to improve this season.
The Rams are still confusing at WR, seemingly letting the WRs fight each other for positions on the depth chart. It looks like Danny Amendola should be back, and play well again this season. Then you have players who have huge potential, but stay injured -- players like Danario Alexander and Donnie Avery. There's Brandon Gibson, a player who hasn't been spectacular but is steadily improving and going on his third season in the league. Mardy Gilyard didn't have a good rookie year, but its hard to expect a lot from a rookie. Now, the Rams have two rookies in Salas and Pettis, but its no guarantee that they will make a big impact this season. However, Pettis has looked good in red zone situations, and Salas is looking good in camp. Then the Rams added Mike Sims-Walker, a player said to have number one potential, but injuries have slowed him down.
The Rams might not have a great crop of WRs, but they are pretty deep. They'll most likely rotate players in and out at WR, depending on the situation. However, the Rams WR corps, with rookies Salas and Pettis and veteran Mike Sims-Walker, should be an upgrade over what they had.
Also, the Rams decided to add a lot of good players in the backfield. The Rams already have Steven Jackson and Keith Toston, but during free agency the Rams added Cadillac Williams and Jerious Norwood. Now when the Rams don't have Steven Jackson in the backfield, the RBs should still pose a threat. That's a big difference compared to last year. Having Williams and maybe Toston should keep the defense guessing, and also sprinkle some Norwood, and the Rams should have very productive RBs.
Then you have the Rams offensive line. The Rams are returning two offensive tackles, Rodger Saffold and Jason Smith. It seems like Saffold will become the teams franchise tackle that the Rams hoped Smith would become. Smith is still developing at right tackle. Then you have Jacob Bell, who is an okay run blocker, but a great pass blocker. Jason Smith will be looking to bounce back, from a below average season.
The Rams biggest move in free agency had to be bringing Harvey Dahl to the lineup. Last season, the Rams were left at RG with John Greco and Adam Goldberg. Neither of those players should have been cast into the starting role. Now the Rams have a good player who has been a good player for years. Adding Dahl should help the offensive line big time. Now, its just up to the young tackles to keep improving.
To be honest, it was kind of surprising to see all that the Rams did in free agency. It seems like the Rams are planning on winning the NFC West. Think about it, the last couple seasons, the Rams might have gotten 3 or 4 free agents. This year they got more than 8, and those players can really contribute to the team.
The Rams offense should be more impressive this season. The Rams were ranked 31st in red zone touchdowns, and all these additions should help.
Last season, it became obvious that Sam Bradford needed help, and from the look of things the Rams have done that. This season will most likely be up to Sam Bradford.
The Rams did their part. Now its up to him.