I am going to start this off with the past because of Steven Jackson. I want to say thank you for everything that he did for the organization. I can remember being 16 and being at rams park and meeting Steven for the first time. All I had was a 2-3 min conversation with this man and I was sold that he was special. It was something about the way he carried himself that said "I'm no ordinary rookie". I remember going home that evening and telling my dad "he is going be really good". Well looking back on it, that was a serious understatement. He went on to have one of the most successful careers in rams history. Now I know we have hard some rough times recently, but the rams history is one of the most decorated in the NFL, so to be one of the top names on such a legendary lists speaks in volumes. Aside from on field accomplishments, he embodied the epitome if a professional. To leave it all out there week in and week out the way he did regardless of the score, regardless of the record and never complaining is amazing. A quick example before I proceed. In 2009 the rams were on the verge of going 0-16. Jackson played the entire season injured (not hurt, but injured), with a herniated disc. This is a legit injury that would sideline most and no one would complain. But he played every game but one. I will never forget watching him literally put the team on his back and run to a victory, as he bulldoze and fought hard for every yard breaking an insane amount of tackles. He finished that yr with 1,416 yds, 4.4 ypc, seven 100 yd games, and 51 receptions, all this with a herniated disc. Thank you Steven Jackson and i want nothing but a Lombardi trophy for you, the only thing missing from an impressive resume.
Now for the future. I believe that the future of the rams have become very clear to me. Jeff Fisher has always loved size, power, and physicality. But I think something changed by bringing Chris Johnson aboard in Tennessee. I think he fell in love with speed and explosiveness. Since last yr Feb, when he took the job, he has preached getting more explosive. And it has only gotten worse (which means better in this case) this off-season. Let's think about it for a second.
-Brockers is a big man, but only did 21 reps on the bench last yr. But in drills he was one if the top performers in everything. Going into the draft Mike Mayock called him the most "EXPLOSIVE" (theres that E word again) big man in the draft.
-Then he took Janoris Jenkins and Isaiah Pead in the second rd. Jenkins was widely considered by many to be not only the best corner in the draft but one of the most dangerous with players with ball in his hands. And then theres Pead, while he didnt show much in his rookie season, Fisher continuously compared him to Johnson.
-In the fourth he took Givens, who just happened to be one of the fastest players in the entire draft class.
-Seventh rd comes and he is not done. More speed when he drafts Daryl Richardson.
I am convinced Jeff Fisher and Les Snead, who comes from quite the EXPLOSIVE organization himself, are trying to build a new GST. Not to mention Fisher actually said that in his introductory press conference, and again in Les' a few weeks later.
I belive the rams aren't eying anyone more than the most explosive player in the draft Tavon Austin. One thing that keeps jumping out at me this off-season is when Fisher and Snead have talked they mention playmakers on offense. And they keep saying they come in all shapes and "sizes", followed by that means he can be a "big ol lineman or a little explosive playmaker". Seeing as how they are clearing looking to address the lineman issue through free agency, I expect the draft to be dominated by impactful skill players. And there is no more impactful "little explosive playmaker" with "size" questions than Austin. I believe the draft will bring two wide recievers (Austin being one), a ball hawking safety, and a fast and fierce linebacker. You heard it here first folks.
P.S. look for a RB to get drafted as well, possibly LeVeon Bell or Christine Michael
I promise this will be short, sweet, and to the point. I gave "present" question marks in the title rather than future, because I honestly believe the future is in good hands. I think two yrs from now we will be superbowl contenders. But what will happen this yr I don't know. While we had a complete overhaul last yr, this seasons changes will be much more impactful.We loss leaders (Jacksson, Amendola, Mikell). Losing leaders on the youngest team i the NFL is the biggest blow that team can take. But I do believe someone soaked in as much as they could last yr and that's Daryl Richardson. Listen to Steven Jackson when he talks, he always says Daryl and these younger guys. Daryl always gets a special shout out. Then I found out he was like Jackson's son. He went everywhere with him even spending the night sometimes. He followed and soaked up as much knowledge as he can. Also I saw Bradford really step up and get more vocal. But outside of those two, i have no clue. Pead is talented but he seems like a knucklehead. Givens clearly works hard and it shows, but i question his maturity as well. I'm not worried about defensive leaders because Lauranitis and Long will handle that, but the offense could either explode or implode. Should be very interesting either way. Im looking forward to the draft and the preseason. I'm anxious to see where we go from here, until the team chemistry and maturity kicks in after another season or two.