St. Louis Rams: How Big of an Impact Has Brandon Lloyd Had?

Doug ZerjalContributor IINovember 14, 2011

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 13:  Wide receiver Brandon Lloyd #83 of the St. Louis Rams celebrates after scoring a touchdown with Harvey Dahl #62 against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

The Rams acquisition of Brandon Lloyd was intended to provide a spark for a team in downward spiral. The Rams lacked playmakers offensively, and the trade for Lloyd was an attempt to ignite the team and fanbase.

The plan has worked to an extent.

This team was mentioned in the preseason as a possible division champion. With the emergence of the 8-1 49ers, that is now virtually impossible for St. Louis.

Even with that disappointing reality, the Rams' trade for Brandon Lloyd was a great one in three ways.

Firstly, it gave fans some hope that the franchise is committed to winning in the short term. It signified that the front office intends to get better sooner rather than later. Lloyd is one year removed from a career season of 1,448 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.

So far for the Rams, he's scored two touchdowns and is averaging around five receptions a game for just under 64 yards a contest. Those numbers aren't great but at least they are consistent.

Secondly it gave the Rams a legitimate pass-catching threat. Lloyd may not be a true No. 1 receiver in the NFL, but he isn't far off. He is a great piece for the future if he can be re-signed.

Imagine an offense with a healthy Sam Bradford at the controls. Behind him is a top flight back in Steven Jackson, in the slot is a Wes Welker-like receiver in Danny Amendola, on one outside position is Brandon Lloyd, at the other outside position is a 2012 NFL Draft first-round selection like Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State) or Michael Floyd (Notre Dame). That offense is worth the price of admission and can eventually take the Rams to the playoffs.

Lastly, it was a good move to acquire Lloyd to build Bradford's confidence.  Sam Bradford has been bruised and beaten throughout his sophomore campaign. He's taken too many hits this season. One had to worry about his mindset going forward. The acquisition was good for him because it gave him a weapon to use in this injury-plagued season.

Lloyd's future may come down to whether or not the present coaching regime keeps their jobs. With the Cleveland gaffe Sunday, the Rams are now 2-7. A 5-11 or 6-10 finish probably buys Spagnuolo and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels another season. If McDaniels stays, expect the Rams to aggressively try and keep Lloyd.

Count this author as one Rams observer who wants the coaching staff to stay if for no other reason than to watch Bradford, Lloyd and co. play out another season together in St. Louis.