This preview will cover five players who can impact 2013s success both in a negative and positive way depending on their play. Certain players are excluded, for example there will be no rookies. This series will be about players that has at least one year of experience and can either take a step forward or backwards. The entire offseason is based on judging and labeling rookies that have yet to play a down. I will not continue, lets lay it to rest and focus on the other guys with camp so close. The players that at least have something to base their preview off of. Another player to be excluded will be Sam Bradford. He has received enough coverage and I think we all get the point.
Links To Top Five Covered:
And here we are, the final of the five guys who could have the biggest impacts on this years team. Who saw this last guy coming? None other than the amazing Brian Schottenheimer.
No, Schotty Boy is NOT a player, but he is a Ram. And as a Ram he has a role. And honestly his role may be by far the most important than anyone else. It sounds simple, but it can definitely prove to be ridiculously hard.
His role, is CREATIVITY.
How many people knew that B Schott was a coaching asst for the Rams in 97'? In fact it was his first job. He has been all around, from STL, to KC, to college for Syracuse and USC, back to the pros for Washington, San Diego, New York, and now back here in STL. So in all those travels you would expect a guy to have learned a few tricks here and there.
It doesn't hurt that his dad is the successful Marty Schottenheimer.
Marty both coached and played in the NFL. As a coach he had a 200-161-1 record. And he coached some players into dominance.
So with all this in B Schott's background, you would think that over the years he has put together enough creative plays, to build an NFL sized playbook of nothing but creative juiciness.
Allow me to break it down. His greatest success has always come from the defense. He has never shown the ability as a a coordinator to move the ball, and pick up yards in chunks. The best offense he coached had Brett Favre running the show.
In 2009 and 2010 the defense was ranked 1 and 2, respectively. Both years saw his team go deep in the playoffs. But it was certainly not because of a potent offensive attack.
Am I saying he is a bad coach, no, not at all. But this is a big season for him. This isn't a make or break year for Sam Bradford, it's a make or break year for B Schott. He has a lot of young, eager, fresh, talent to work with. If ever there was a time to show how creative you can be in moving the ball, in the words of Van Halen, it's right now.
This is what I had to say about B Schott in my post of the five cans, in which I answered Bate's five "can" questions
Can Tavon Austin Win The Offensive Rookie Of The Year Award?
Answer: Can Brian Schottenheimer prove to be creative enough to use Austin the way he is meant to be used?
Let's be honest; old Schotty Boy has never been known as a creative, offensive mastermind. He has always been known as a run first, "pound-it-out", traditional offense type of guy. He has never really shown/proven his creative juices. Granted, he has never really had a weapon like Tavon Austin.
If he can prove to be creative "enough", Austin getting the OROY award may just be the beginning, as old Schotty Boy may play call himself right into a head coaching job.
But this thing is a lot bigger than Tavon Austin. A lot of players' success depends heavily on Schotty. To be frank, every player on the offensive side of the ball.
Shcotty has in his possession 3 RB's, 2 TE's, and 5 WR's, and all 10 players has what it takes to be slotted No. 1 on the depth chart at their respected position.
This will be a season to let the creative juices flow, and spread the wealth. I said a few weeks ago in my Bradford is Elite post, that I don't believe we will have a 1000 yard receiver, because with so many weapons the ball will spread too much for one player to dominate. Also spreading it out is simply just more Sam's game. Then Kevin Demoff said this a few days ago,
"I think you could see this offense resemble an offense like the Saints, where you have four or five players catch 40 to 50 balls, but nobody who catches 70 or 80." Demoff went on to say, "I'm not saying that we are the Saints' offense, we need to improve to become that, but more that style where anybody can be a threat on any play."
Demoff continued, "The goal this year is for Sam to be able to throw to the "open" player, and I expect that we will get meaningful contributions from all five receivers, the two tight ends, and the running backs. ... That is where we are evolving, letting the down, distance, scheme, and coverage dictate who becomes the targeted player."
None of this happens unless B Schott shows his stuff. He has never proven to be a bad OC, but he has never proven to be a creative one neither.
Unlike the defense, because I believe even with the hiring of Tim Walton, the defense will still be a committee approach where Fisher and McGinnis will still have their fingers all over it, but B Schott will be on his own. He will be reliable for bringing it all together. No one on this team has more on his plate than Schotty. If this offense ends the season ranked in the lower half in PPG and yards, then I think it will be evident that B Schott is a mediocre OC. But if he gets the ball rolling and transforms the offense into a top 14 unit, in both PPG and yards (can't say anything better than 14 considering the youth and inexperience), he will be well on his way to showing he is more than a vanilla coach, but instead one of the better, greater, young minds (39) in the game.