Offense Is the Key to Revamp the St. Louis Rams in 2011 NFL Season

Jonathan WilliamsCorrespondent IJanuary 13, 2011

Sam Bradford calling plays in Seattle where the Rams season died.
Sam Bradford calling plays in Seattle where the Rams season died.Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Pat Shurmur appears to be heading to Cleveland to join the Browns according to speculation across various Twitter feeds.  

True or not, one thing is completely clear in this offseason: The Rams have to change the way they are creating offense.

Watching the team this season was difficult at times because they were predictable. Bad at the run in the last quarter of some games and awful on third down, especially in the fourth quarter.  

This may be a case of a rookie quarterback, Sam Bradford, being too predictable or going to the safe routes rather than being risky.

Either way, it is a coaching flaw that allowed that to carry on. To put it bluntly: Either the head coach Steve Spagnuolo or Shurmur were telling him to not lose the game rather than to win the game.  

Most of the every-day reporters with the Rams and bloggers held that opinion.

For months now, the Rams have struggled to put the hammer down and crush teams. Some of this was due to an often-injured and green receiving corp, some was due to bad management.  

Your rookie quarterback needs to be trusted to try and go for it occasionally.  

If Bradford struggles then you pull him, let him sit for a series and reinforce what you want him to do. You do not need to bench him for the game but maybe give him time to see what he needs to do.

A more aggressive offence allows your defense rest and not feel they have to be 100 percent most of the time in order to save the game. The breakdown by the defense in Seattle comes not just from rookie mistakes, but by key judgement problems in how to allow a frazzled offense get off the hook.

While the Rams have relied too much on Steven Jackson in the lean years, they were underwhelming in how they used him this season. Rarely did he seem to batter defenses; it was like they were trying to save him from injury rather than using his skills.

All of this points to a need to change the flow of how games are handled. Mix up the West Coast offense occasionally.  

Bradford has an arm—use it.  

Spend some money and get a few guys who might catch the ball occasionally.

In the offseason last year, when rumors of Terrell Owens playing for the Rams were floating around, some people did not want him. He was seen as a cancer and a problem unneeded in a harmonious locker room.

It appears, however, he was exactly what the team could have used to get them into the playoffs this year, baggage and all. Maybe it is time to look at a few primadonnas as well as good guys.