May 23, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams tackle Rodger Saffold (76) walks off the field during an OTA at ContinuityX Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
Sam Bradford has a full offseason to prepare and a dedicated quarterbacks coach. But if the St. Louis Rams and their quarterback are going to be successful in 2012, they will also need a big jump in production from their offensive tackles, particularly Rodger Saffold who protects Bradford's blind side.
Saffold missed minicamp and OTAs this spring while he recovers from a torn pectoral muscle. Head coach Jeff Fisher said that he expects Saffold to be ready to go for training camp. He also expects a big year from the Indiana product in his third NFL season. Fisher gave an update on Saffold at Wednesday's minicamp:
"Not only in the weight room but in the individual stuff, he's doing really well," Fisher said. "We're just holding back the contact. He's very, very close to being cleared - definitely for camp. He's very athletic, smart. He's going to get the job done out there. There's no doubt."
According to Pro Football Focus, Saffold allowed 11 sacks, four QB hits and 17 hurries last season, the most of any lineman on the team. Also compromising his effectiveness was a team-high ten penalties.
He had nine penalties the year before that, his rookie season, but allowed only three sacks. He was credited with 11 hits and 27 hurries though.
St. Louis is banking on a new offensive system and offensive line coach Paul Boudreau, who had a solid track record for getting the most out his linemen in Atlanta.