Michael Thomas/Getty Images
I get that St. Louis fans have been hearing this since 2010 and are sick of it, but that doesn't mean it's not the truth.
The St. Louis Rams are an up-and-coming team, and the forecast for the future should be nothing short of optimistic.
St. Louis opened the season with a discouraging 1-3 record. Rather than imploding, which would have been the inevitable path of a pre-Jeff Fisher Rams team, the 2013 Rams bounced back and finished with a 7-9 record.
The team showed a level of resilience that St. Louis fans have not seen in recent years.
Unlike the 2010 team, a unit that obtained the same record by playing a ridiculously easy schedule, the 2013 team beat four different playoff-caliber teams (Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals).
Three of those wins against playoff-caliber teams came without starting quarterback Sam Bradford.
In 2010, the Rams benefited by playing in the easiest division in the NFL. In 2013, the Rams were handcuffed by playing in the toughest division in league history. Had the Rams played the season in the NFC North or NFC East, the playoffs would have easily been within their grasp.
The Rams have talented young players at practically every position across the board. Once these pups grow up and become veteran football players, the St. Louis Rams will be a frightening franchise.
Steven Gerwel is the longest-tenured Rams Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report and serves as the Rams' game-day correspondent. You can find more of Gerwel's work by visiting his writer profile or by following him on Twitter.