NFC West Preview: St. Louis Rams
The next team I will be looking at in the NFC West will be the St. Louis Rams. I will highlight the key players on both sides of the ball who I feel will need to have great seasons for the Rams to be successful.
St. Louis Rams:
Offensive Coordinator: Pat Shurmur
QB(Quarterback): Sam Bradford
He will be entering his first season in the NFL as the quarterback for the Rams. Hopefully he can stay healthy this season. He will learn a lot of valuable lessons this season with the Rams in a rebuilding mode. He doesn't have any true talent around him to help him out other than running back Steven Jackson.
RB (Running Back): Steven Jackson
No team depends on one player as much as the Rams depend on this guy. He is the focal point of the whole offense. I expect Jackson to get around 1300 to 1400 yards rushing with around 7 touchdowns. Hopefully Jackson can stay healthy and help Bradford out.
LT (Left Tackle): Jason Smith
Jason Smith is going to be playing a big role this season. The Rams offensive line isn't that great. That is why the Rams selected him 2nd overall in the 1st round in 2009. If he can stay healthy he'll become a Pro Bowler! Watch out for him. He has that mean streak and a good blocking technique.
WR (Wide Receiver): Mark Clayton
The Rams traded for Mark Clayton who played for Baltimore last season. Rams are hoping Clayton can help out Bradford and give him a wide receiving threat to throw to. After two weeks Bradford has been looking toward Clayton. In week one Clayton had 10 receptions for 119 yards, then in week two he had 2 catches for 24 yards with 2 touchdowns. Clayton's career high in touchdowns is five, I think he will surpass that this season with around 6-7 touchdowns.
Defensive Coordinator: Ken Flajole
RDE (Right Defensive End): Chris Long
Long had a solid season last year for the Rams with 5 sacks and 33 solo tackles. He was selected in the 2008 draft 2nd overall in the 1st round. Plays with excellent tenacity and leverage. He will be a solid all around player in the future. However, I don't know if he has it in him to be that elite defensive end.
SS (Strong Safety): James Butler
James Butler is coming off last season in which he recorded three interceptions. He neither makes nor surrenders the big play. Solid all around safety but nothing flashy.
Overall I think the Rams will do better then last season but will still struggle. The Rams are a rebuilding team. Hopefully Bradford gets some experience under his belt. I think the Rams will finish last in the NFC West with a record of 3 wins and 13 losses.