This is how it ends, not with a...ahhhhh, whatever.
It's over. The Rams 2013 season is over.
No, it certainly wasn't the season we were hoping for. And no, the injuries that we leave this season worth aren't the ones you'd hope to close a regular season with. But in this week 17 season-ending contest in Seattle, we saw who we are and we got some glimpses of what could be.
The offensive line, especially without Jake Long which pressed Rodger Saffold into tackle service which opened the right guard spot, needs work. They did nothing for Zac Stacy over the course of an entire football game and his 15 carries. For a rookie who nearly reached the 1,000 yard mark, let this be a reminder of how important offensive line play is to running back stats.
That being the case, Kellen Clemens doesn't need to have a uniform on Sundays any longer. If Brian Schottenheimer, should he be recalled into offensive coordinating duties in 2014, ask for Clemens to be a ridealong coach for whomever is quarterbacking the Schottenheimer system, it should be as a QB coach. Or an assistant QB coach. Or a mechanics coach. Or a throw-know-no-show. Whatever. He's done as an NFL QB. Should the Rams opt to retain Sam Bradford's services, they will need to upgrade the backup QB talent. Should they opt to go another route at starting QB, they will need to upgrade the backup QB talent. The end.
Defensively though, we saw fight. This defense don't care. I understand that that irks many who would rather you see the walk before the talk. I would suggest it's a matter of personal preference. For a team that five years ago did neither, being closer to the walk and doing all of the talk is an improvement. A grating one, sure, but an improvement nonetheless. And for a defense whose offense did them no favors, they coped with a disadvantageous situation all season. Robert Quinn all everything.
Look, we didn't finish .500. We didn't make the playoffs. We're entering an offseason with significant questions that have to be answered successfully if we're going to sniff the playoffs in the best division in the NFL. But we're a far cry from the Rams of 2009.
We're not there. But we're closer. It could be worse, folks.