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Sam Bradford is the primary beneficiary of all the positive changes in St. Louis.
Jeff Fisher, Scott Wells, Isaiah Pead and Brain Quick all add up to one happy Sam Bradford.
Fisher provides the leadership the young quarterback needs. Wells takes over responsibility of protections. Pead helps the ground game take pressure off the air attack. Quick gives him a true No. 1 target.
On top of all of that, Bradford will finally receive personal instruction from a quarterback coach. Josh McDaniels performed those duties as a side job when he was offensive coordinator. Now Frank Cignetti can give Bradford his full attention.
"I've said all along, I think Cig's great, especially for the fundamentals of playing the position," Bradford said according to Ryan Van Bibber of the Turf Show Times. "Every day he comes to me with an emphasis of the day, whether it's pass game-footwork, run game-footwork, play action fakes, boots, off the run game. And just to have someone who's constantly reminding to do the little things is very helpful as a quarterback."
All of those pieces are important to a team. In a quarterback-driven league, their biggest value lies in how they impact Bradford. The Rams need their former No. 1 overall draft pick to excel if they want to see success as a whole.
Bradford quickly flashed his NFL potential in 2010 when he won the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award. He did that on a much less talented team under an inexperienced head coach.
Last season looks like a sophomore slump. Statistically speaking, it was exactly that. Like most of his team, however, Bradford's season was plagued by injuries. He was never healthy enough to find that same rhythm from his rookie year.
Being thrust into a completely new system with no offseason didn't help either.
"If he can stay healthy" seems to be a baseline disclaimer with nearly every player on the Rams roster. Last year was absolutely brutal for St. Louis health wise and it made for a brutal final product as well.
How the Rams hold up in 2012 will reveal if this team was unlucky or injury prone.
Better fortune will allow a young but talented squad to develop into a contender. Its upside is even higher than that.