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If I were running the St. Louis Rams—and let me be clear, I'm not—this would have been my sit down talk with Rams' offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer before the season started:
"Brian, you know we were 2-14 last year, right? We're coming off of the worst 5-year stretch in the history of the NFL, so we're basically starting at ground zero here. What I'm trying to tell you is, nobody expects you to lead this team to the Super Bowl this season, okay.
Now Brian, we spent the No. 1 overall pick on Sam Bradford back in 2010. We think Bradford is going to be special. We think he's going to be so good that we traded 'the RG3 pick' to the Redskins last year. The thing is, Bradford has taken a beating since we drafted him, mainly because we drafted Jason Smith—who was supposed to be our franchise left tackle—the year before we drafted Sam.
So Brian, what I'm basically saying is, our O Line is awful. They're just flat out terrible. We signed Scott Wells as a free agent and Harvey Dahl is pretty good, but other than that, we have a bunch of question marks up and down this offensive line. Even if we stay 100 percent healthy—which is not going to happen—you're going to have to keep extra blockers in there to help protect Sam.
So Brian, here are my goals for our 'non Super Bowl winning offense' in 2012:
1) Protect Sam Bradford
2) Protect Sam Bradford
3) Protect Sam Bradford
Brian, I don't care how you do it, just protect Sam Bradford. Keep a fullback in to block. Keep an extra tight end in to block. Play six offensive lineman at the same time. Ask the cheerleaders to help block. Get the vendors to try to trip somebody. Run the ball on every single play—literally—if that is what it takes to keep Sam Bradford healthy.
Because we're not going to win the Super Bowl this year, but with all these extra picks coming, we're going to be really, really good in a couple of years, assuming Bradford isn't afraid of his own shadow by that point. So keep him healthy.
One more thing...try to play that Quick kid we drafted No. 33 overall out of Appalachian State. Because, you know, Sam needs all the help he can get. "
That's what I would say, if I were running the Rams. But I'm not.
As always, thanks for reading.