With the signing of Jake Long and Jared Cook, the rams have now made a commitment to the future, but more singularly, Sam Bradford. With each of these signings the excuses start evaporating and pressure starts to mount on the Rams as a team to show exactly what they offer to the NFL in performance. Potential is a great thing to have, but with as much potential as the Rams now have expectations start to mount around the franchise. Fans want to see if you can deliver as their hearts pump faster as the Draft, Mini Camps, and eventually the apocalyptic finish, the season, gets here in all of it's glory. Before we get there, we must ask ourselves what exactly these signings and drops mean for Sam, the franchise and even the upcoming draft. Hold on gentlemen, expectations should rise and could we be developing a D word?
First and foremost, we must not forget the loss of the biggest stables in the Rams which is Steven Jackson. I have said myself that in order for this team to be Sam's, Steven Jackson would have to be no longer in a Rams jersey. With that, this is now Sam's team and he has to step up to that calling. As I mentioned above, the excuses will have to leave this forum as his surroundings become better. His production must show in the form of not just stats but in wins, because that's what matters in the end. This became perfectly clear when Joe Flacco, who had stats remarkably similar to Sam's this past season went on to win the Superbowl. I would even venture to say stats mean jack in the grand scheme of things. As our expectations rise with the great signings of Cook and Long, then with another good-great draft that is undeniably expected from fans, our support for the team must be cashed in for wins and a playoff birth. I don't care if we are in arguably the toughest division (yes I said it) in the NFL, this team showed last season we can compete and beat any of them on any given Sunday. Fuck difficulty, the Rams in the playoffs this season is a must in my mind. Screw the low exceptions, expect greatness Ram fans and that all starts with Sam.
Next, we have to discuss the draft. Sure, we could go for a Guard early to "finish" the line but I don't see it happening. As I have mentioned time and time again, there is depth to be had in the second if we do plan on getting a Guard in this years draft. If we are to go a 100% in with Sam, we have to get him more weapons to work with via the draft. That would mean we can't wait to max the investment that they have made on Sam. Austin seems to be the best case scenario for most fans, but I still like Hopkins a bit more due to his size and for me he would be a great get at the 16 spot. There have been some that says getting Cook eliminates the fact that we could get Austin but 3k smashed that logic today on his Mock Draft post:
I would have to agree with this, his versatility is key here, folks. Not only does he give Sam a reliable set of hands he gives this offense something that it has lacked (consistently) for years and that's explosion. Not only would Austin excel in the slot, but he has the ability to line up on the outside and take the top off of the defense. Sure, we already have this in Givens, but right now he is strictly a deep threat. What we would possess in Austin is his ability to do great things in the intermediate games and get yards after the catch. As I sit here, the Front Office seems to think that Givens and Quick can be the two guys on the outside (I still question whether Quick can), but if that does seems to be the consensus, this seems to point toward the draft of Austin even more. Then we have our 22nd pick, which I feel like we will trade back with. If that is in fact the plan the possibilities are endless. I still believe that Fisher will keep a balanced approach, even with the previous additions. Safety and Outside Linebacker seem to be the top two needs. I would say we get Elam or one of the top Outside Linebackers.
Finally, we come to the D word that I spoke of earlier, which is a Dynasty. Sure, it might be a bit early to gauge if this is exactly true, but the proof is in the pudding gentlemen. Look at the Dynasty that is the Patriots and look what they built on their way to their 3 Superbowl's. The blueprint has been set and the Rams are following it, check it out.
An Elite Defense:This is obvious when you look at the Rams with a broad stroke. Although it might not be elite yet, the Rams are building something great on that side of the ball. With anchors like Long and JL, elitehood might closer to our grasp than many might thing. We are missing two important keys, a good Safety and Outside Linebacker which we should get as we get deeper in this off season. This open coming season could be their coming out party with players like Brockers and Jenkins just entering their second seasons and improvement expected.
Franchise Quarterback: There might be an asterisk mark by this one as many have doubted Sam's ability to be that guy, but apparently that isn't a problem for Fisher and crew. He saw the potential of Sam as he looked on the outside while determining which team he wanted to head and would have never come if he doubted Bradford. The pieces are being set around him to put him in the position to succeed, now all Fisher need from Sam is to produce.
Great Offensive Line: This is another work in progress, but what potential this group has to be great. With the addition of Long, this group has a chance of being above average this season and great for years to come. This final addition should be a Guard and while some think we go after it in the draft, the major trump card in that cog is whether Fisher and company think Rok can step into that position and get the job done. Either way, this unit looks to improve on 2 consecutive games without a sack in the last two games of this past season.
Great Coach: Fisher has put the parts to succeed for his team, there is little doubt of that. Now, I'm just looking for a winning season and a playoff birth to solidify it.
Potential is now going to be expected to be cashed in and expectations should adapt. We should expect that this team will make the playoffs and should be pissed if it doesn't happen. This team has proved they can compete and with improvements to the Whiners and Shithawks, we might not have added as many key names but we have countered in a bit way in our needs department. Let the heavy load of excuses off of your shoulders and demand improvement and playoffs for your loyalty for years. Time to cash in that potential for results, gentlemen.
Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed.