The St. Louis Rams are not rebuilding, at least not if you ask Jeff Fisher and Les Snead. They see the Rams a little further along in the process than that. Fisher has made that point in the past, and Snead expanded on those thoughts in a piece from Ian Rapoport of NFL.com on Tuesday.
That thinking influenced their draft strategy this year. Rather than draft a player to fill every need at every position, Snead and Fisher went about strengthening key units that can make the Rams a more competitive team this season, giving a group of young players the confidence that comes from winning football games.
Those units were obviously the defensive line and the secondary, where free agent additions and early draft picks loaded both units up on talent.
"All of the sudden you've got a strong DL and a strong defensive backfield," said Snead, in his first year as Rams GM after 13 years in Atlanta. "Realize we're young so there's going to be (growing pains), but when you get units strong -- not just spreading out individual talent over the 11 -- units become, 'Wow.' The quarterback's got to get the ball off faster and then our DBs are good. We may steal some wins that we might not have done."
Fisher said the same thing last week when asked why the team selected DT Michael Brockers.
"We felt like we needed to upgrade the defensive tackle position - that was a priority of ours. Having the opportunity to draft Michael, we came away with a very good player. We feel like we need to stop the run, we need to rush the passer, close the pocket - he's going to give us a chance to do that."
Two strong units like that could present a real problem in a division that features Kevin Kolb and whatever combination of quarterbacks Pete Carroll plans to use in Seattle.