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Foundation formula: Next steps for the rebuilding Rams

The St. Louis Rams rebuilding project has so far focused on getting better up front on both sides of the ball. The Rams used the second overall pick in the 2009 draft to take OT Jason Smith and their second round pick to get a much needed MLB in James Laurinaitis, a year after taking DE Chris Long. They used free agency to sign one of the league's bigger centers in Jason Brown, a guy in the upper tier of players at that position.

The offensive line still has some weak points (looking at you Alex Barron), but it improvement is to be expected next season as Smith gets experienced and the group starts to gel. The defensive line still needs talent, but I want to focus on the offense for this post. (because to me the offense is such a huge weakness of this team)

Behind that line, the Rams have one of the league's better running backs in Steven Jackson. For all the abuse he's taken as the lone working component of this terrible offense, he still has a few good years left, though a solid backup remains a team need.

What's next? The most logical next move is to get a franchise QB, the "long-term quarterback" Lions head coach Jim Schwartz mentioned in the PD article today. Some questions to ask ourselves before you order your Matt Stafford Rams jersey:

  • Is there a QB in the 2010 draft worth a top first round pick? It's a big investment; how do the Rams avoid the next Ryan Leaf or Tony Banks for that matter?
  • What's the right recipe for a rebuilding team? With a decent line and a good RB do you need to worry about a QB at this point?
  • Or, is having a solid OL and a good RB the perfect recipe for bringing in a rookie QB, a la Matt Ryan?
  • Or, do you go the more traditional route of starting a veteran and letting the rookie spend the year as an understudy? Does Bulger have a season left, would a good WR matter for him at this point?