Timing can be everything. I turned thirteen in 2000 and it was that year that I became more than a casual football fan. It was perfectectly timed with the Rams (my hometown team) rise to glory. The Rams high flying passing attack mixed with Marshall Faulk's uncanny ability to make people miss, was constantly being put on display on ESPN highlight reels and plastered all over St. Louis and the surrounding area.
The offense we ran, the Mike Martz "Pass, Pass, Pass, run, Pass, Pass, Pass" Attack, was exciting. It was an offense where anything could happen at any point in time. You couldn't leave the room to use the restroom for fear of missing an Issac Bruce crazy catch, or Torry "Big-Game" Holt blowing the top off of a defense and catching a touchdown pass in stride. It was a beautiful time to be a Rams fan. We were fun to watch, we won games, the noise the Dome produced was a huge advantage to our team and a huge point of pride for our fan base.
I think all of this can be accomplished again. We don't need the crazy passing game Martz ran. We have a head coach who is known for running the football, we have a running back who has proven he can carry the load. While this appears to be a recipe for a run-first team, I would like to entertain the possibility of a return to a passing offense. We have a quarterback with the kind of potential that makes NFL coaches and general managers drool, we have a coordinator who (with some help from Jeff Fisher) could find a good balance of running to keep the defense honest, and airing it out vertically. Schotty comes from Air Coryell roots and if we gain a fast receiver in the draft and a big receiver in free agency (or DX coming around to potential) we could have a good shot at returning that excitement I felt as a budding young football fan back to the city of St. Louis.
If you look at the teams in the NFL who are consistently good the one thing you will notice is that each and every one of them has a quality passer at the helm. A quarterback who can air it out long, or can squeeze the ball into double coverage, or some combination of both. We have an athlete at quarterback who could become that person for the Rams. I am not saying come out of the gate in 2012 firing shots sixty yards down field, but we could begin to work towards that starting now. Draft play-makers and pass protectors, big time receivers and big ugly lineman. Allow Steven Jackson to get a big helping of touches to keep the defense terrified of his big play potential, especially in the first half of the season. Keep a strong run game and let Sam ease into a Brian Schottenheimer "Air Coryell" style offense, just like easing into a hot tub, one toe at a time. Feed him a little of the playbook at a time. Give him a taste this summer, come in running the ball with play action every now and again. Then as you slowly work more passing into the game-plan Sam will grow with the system, as opposed to letting him tumble down into a world of check-downs and sacks.
I think if we were to follow this path, or give it a shot, we could have an offense that excites, that surprises, and an offense that makes the playoffs with an outside shot at a run to the Super Bowl every year. We'd have the chance to return to prominence, to return to relevance, and to return to glory.
Thank you for reading. Please let me know if you think this is a possibility for our future, or let me know if you think I am a moron. Either way, let me know.