St. Louis Rams: Champs or Chumps—Resurgence or Disaster Waiting to Happen?
Wow—once again the Rams drop the ball on getting a real No. 2 back, and this time to a division rival. Well I suppose that is an improvement over letting a hometown favorite from one of the top-tier teams in the league get past you in a trade. Last time it was Normandy High School standout, Laurence Maroney, whom the Patriots traded to the Broncos without as much as a peep from the Rams.
Now once again they have let a veteran running back capable of carrying the load in the case of an unforeseen absence of their official war-daddy, Steven Jackson, get away. This time they missed out on the man referred to when he came into the league as Beast Mode. Marshawn Lynch, formerly a member of the overcrowded backfield of the Buffalo Bills slid undetected right past the Rams General Manager Bill Devanney to go to their division rival and a team that they finally were starting to get the upper-hand on, the Seahawks. Yes, they defeated the Seahawks this weekend, but you have to believe that their lack of a decent ground game had something to do with that. I refuse to believe that Seattle had anything more to offer than St. Louis in a trade, and I am most certain that the Rams can afford to take on the contract or offer a new deal for that matter.
I feel so sorry for Steven Jackson. That dude is getting rode into the dirt like a teenager does their first car. What really makes this even more sad is that the Rams were beginning to show growth and improvement. Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur was actually beginning to be creative in his play calling. Head Coach Steve Spagnolo was starting to sound less like a college friend of the beat writers that was a legend on campus and more like a man of direction. All of this could be for nothing if/when Steven Jackson gets injured and you have to play the second half of the season with below average backups and pedestrians that you picked up off the street.
I honestly believe that injuries and the schedule will play a huge factor in halting the Rams' growth and the resurgence that I have seen over the first quarter of this season. The cheap front office that is running this organization with a tightwad seems to take pleasure in making things as difficult as possible. Instead of supplementing a roster that is close to being not only competitive amongst the rest of the losers in the NFC West but competitive with the better teams in the rest of the league they choose repeatedly to do nothing. This roster needs to be infused with the added support they will need to beat some of the better teams in the top half of the league.
The fans are beginning to come out, the players are gaining confidence, but with a single injury it could all be over. After this week's close call of not having a starting running back capable of handling the basic duties of a running game, much less adding some explosion to the offense, it is easy to see how thin this team is at a crucial position.. The loss of one player could easily destroy everything that was beginning to grow within this organization.
Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams is beginning to become the official name of this team. Well, I prefer to call him "Marc Bulger Jr." He and the rest of the team have begun to get the spotlight blared in their faces at 100 watts of full exposure, and that is a great thing. Experts are saying the Rams may win the NFC West, believing that they may be a lock for the playoffs. Well, that could possibly happen, but without a healthy starting running back and a healthy No. 1 wide-receiver, it's going to be difficult. Without a No. 2 running back that can carry the load I don't see it happening at all, and I don't see the playoffs either.
Injuries happen, and that is a simple fact that people have to deal with, but when you have a General manager and front office that continually pass on the few opportunities that a team gets to make a move that can shore up the teams depth and provide valuable insurance to positions that are detrimental to the success of your team it hurts the whole movement that has begun. In this league you have to make the moves that can benefit your team whenever possible. It is not every year that a team can win their division or make the playoffs, there are too many variables that can end a run of this nature. Needs have to be addressed whenever possible and when they are not there will be a build up of negative variables that go against an organizations success. The rams are finally shedding some of the variables that have ceased their ability to compete and more needs must be addressed. Negative variables must be eliminated and this is done by beginning with options that take the pressure off by increasing the number of variables on the positive side, variables of winning. If you are not increasing the positive factors, that are the reasons why your team can and will win you are hindering the effort.
The complaints that I have currently with this team right now mainly focus on General Manager Bill Devanney. Pat Shurmur and Steve Spagnuolo will receive a stay of execution for now, as they have made strides to at least do their jobs better, but they can always be placed back on the suicide watch. Bill Devanney is different though, I mean, the guy just won't make a move. We obviously need a No. 1 receiver, but he does nothing; we obviously need a No. 2 running back, but again he does nothing. It's like everyone else at the table is playing with Monopoly Money and this guys is playing with bill money from his pocket. One things for sure, the Rams are a team with the ability to make some noise in the NFC this season. The Rams have many positive factors that give them advantages in being successful, but the question that is more important is do their negative variables outweigh their positive variables, because these are the things that will lead to the Rams not winning the NFC West and not making the playoffs this season.
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