When Jeff Fisher and Les Snead took the reigns of the Rams in January of 2012, the team was at the conclusion of the worst five year run in NFL history. Looking at the roster from the final season of this time period is painful. By my count, there are only 10 holdovers from the Spags/Devaney era, and boy have we come a long way since then. Those days are gone now, with squads laden with scrubs, and impact players were few and far between.
For the better part of the past decade, the Rams' front office has been focused on putting together a roster that could compete. They continually tried building for the future and struggled to climb out of futility. During their 2 1/2 years in St Louis, Fisher and Snead have accomplished what the previous 2 regimes couldn't accomplish over the course of nearly 10 years. In that 2 1/2 years, Fisher and Snead have fleeced the Reskins for RGIII, made bold Free Agent signings (both good and bad), and doled out the dough to retain our home-grown talent. They've stripped the roster down to the bare bones and have nearly completed fleshing out a talented roster that's a reflection of their personalities.
We all know Jeff Fisher has always been known for his ferocious defenses, and a run heavy offense. There is no doubting the Rams defense fits that bill, and it will only strengthen with Gregg Williams as defensive coordinator. Pieces still need to be added to complete the secondary - and depth needs to be added - but make no mistake: The defense will have high expectations heading into next season.
After a failed attempt to join the new-age NFL with a wide open pass attack, the Rams quickly settled into an offense that's distinctly Fisher-esque. Zac Stacy emerged as a stud, and the Rams were onto something offensively. In the three games where the offense featured both Stacy and Bradford, the Rams averaged 29 points per game. Bradford had QB Ratings of 105.3, 134.6, and 93.1 while averaging a 65.6 QBR. We all know what happened next, and we were again left wondering what could have been if Sam had been healthy.
With the draft a week away, the Rams front office is tying up loose ends in the draft process, and finalizing their big board. With two first round picks - and 12 picks overall - the Rams have the ammunition to move up or down as they please in the draft to get THEIR guys. Snead has shown a willingness to move around in the past, and I would be surprised if that isn't the case again next week.
This off-season has a different feeling to it... No longer do you hear the word rebuilding among Rams fans. Instead, you hear fans discussing playoffs, the potential for a winning season, and even whispers of a division crown by potentially over-confident fans. But regardless of how you prioritize the Rams needs, how your mock looks, or how the Rams fill them, one thing is for sure: 7 wins just isn't going to cut it anymore.