Do you hear that sound? That's the sound of the return of the NFL season. This year, the Rams actually have expectations! They have been picked by many to make the playoffs for the first time in a long time, and they also finally have the best of something, the best defensive line in the NFL.
There's a lot of excitement brewing for the Rams this season. There's plenty to be excited and plenty of story lines to watch during training camp.
To celebrate training camp finally being here, here are five things to watch.
1. The quarterback's recovery
Love it or hate it, the Rams decided not to draft Johnny Manziel or another quarterback to compete with Sam Bradford. While this could have rubbed fans the wrong way the way, it's time to leave the past and head towards the future. No one knows when we will see Bradford in action again, but we should be able to catch a glimpse of him during the preseason.
As many of you know, Bradford was on pace to set his career records if he hadn't gotten injured by the Carolina Panthers, but he didn't play, so the what-ifs didn't matter. All that matters is that if Bradford can play solid this season, the Rams could finally be playing meaningful football in December.
2. The legend of Kenny Britt
Before OTA's, expectations were mild for Kenny Britt. Yeah, he was expected to win an outside receiver job, but lately those expectations are higher. Footage leaked of Britt going deep ... then you have his performance on the field which was impressive. Britt is the biggest question of the team, he could become Batman during the season, or he could become the Joker, no one knows but everyone wants to find out. Also it's been years since the Rams have had a receiver eclipse 700 yards, save the Rams, Britt, revive your career.
3. The big 2014 draft class
The Rams drafted 11 players in May during the draft. That's a lot of players; sadly, not all of them will make the team. However, there are a handful of players that will have a big impact on the Rams this season. Offensive guard Greg Robinson and defensive tackle Aaron Donald will have big roles this season and for years to come. Lamarcus Joynerwill be the Rams nickel back, and he can also play some snaps at safety if the team needs him too. Let us not forget about Tre Mason who should be the backup running back this season, oh, and don't forget that the Rams will run a lot this season.
There will also be other rookies who will be interesting to keep an eye on this season. You have the most popular rookie with the media in Michael Sam and a young player in the secondary that I'm really excited about, safety Maurice Alexander. It's going to be interesting to watch how the rookies are developing.
4. The development of the second year players
The Rams weren't afraid to play their rookies last season, four out of the seven draft picks started for the team (yes, I count a slot receiver as a starter). First-rounders Tavon Austin and Alec Ogletree were starters, but so were 3rd round safety T.J. McDonald and 5th round running back Zac Stacy.
These four players will be counted on as starters this season and the other three players should provide good depth for the team. Oh yeah, keep your eyes on receiver Stedman Bailey, he won't be able to play in the first four games due to a suspension, but he does have amazing upside.
5. The Gregg Williams factor
One of the biggest additions to the team was the fact that the Rams were able to bring back defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. The leader of "Bountygate" was briefly a part of the Rams coaching staff, but it would have been impossible for him to coach the Rams while serving a year-long suspension.
It's been a long time since 2012 ... old wounds have healed and he's been forgiven. The hope is that Williams will bring the intensity that the Rams need to get the defense where it should be. Will Williams take the Rams defensive to the next level? Maybe. If he can have his cornerbacks not play 10 yards off the opposing receiver, he's already an upgrade over Tim Walton.