The St. Louis Rams 2012 Offense Is Like Gumbo

May 23, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams wide receiver Brian Quick (83) catches a ball during an OTA at ContinuityX Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

I get asked about Brian Scottenheimer's offense a great deal. People wonder what it's going to look like, but the answer is that we just don't know. We do have a few clues, which are more apt to frustrate the concrete sequential answer seeker.

Schotty has roots in the Air Coryell system, the same offensive approach that the St. Louis Rams ran during the GSOT days. His offense with the New York Jets clearly did not resemble that with Mark Sanchez at quarterback. That the tight end was the top receiver in that Jets offense would have been anathema to Mike Martz.

Then you have reports out of this spring's minicamp and OTAs comparing the new offensive approach with the old one, the really old one use by Pat Shurmur oh so long ago. Here's what Sam Bradford said about it:

"It's definitely not the same, but this offense does have some West Coast roots, so I think at the base level, some of the things that this offense does, they are similar to what we did two years ago with Pat's offense," Bradford said.

Don't forget, this team is coached by Jeff Fisher, a head coach who was gradually eased into the passing game by his long-time offensive coordinator the late Mike Heimerdinger. The Rams will be basing much of their offense out of the run, with plenty of play-action passes.

Don't let the West Coast comparison get you down. It doesn't necessarily signal a return to the days of glorified hand-offs to a receiver in the flat and three-yard gains. Pro Football Focus did a study of deep passing trends over the last three years, and there's an interesting stat in there for Rams fans still confused about what kind of offense they'll see on the field this year.

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was tied for the 10th most deep touchdown passes, those with targets at least 20 yards down the field, with 17 touchdowns. It means he knows when to take a shot, and with Bradford being a more accurate and better all-around deep passer than Sanchez, I'd venture a guess that we'll see more of those this season.

Given the questions this team still has among the offensive linemen and wide receivers, the Rams can ill afford to risk Bradford's future by throwing him into a pass-heavy, downfield offense. Remember, Fisher and Schottenheimer are essentially building this offense from the ground up, starting over with Bradford after a disastrous sophomore season. It's not time to take more risks than necessary.

A balanced approach, as viewed from this vantage point, seems like the right one for an offense learning to walk all over again.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Turf Show Times

You must be a member of Turf Show Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Turf Show Times. You should read them.

Join Turf Show Times

You must be a member of Turf Show Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Turf Show Times. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker