St. Louis Rams 2010-2011 Season Preview

A Look Back – The Greatest Show on Turf is certainly dead. The 2009 St. Louis Rams were a disgrace to the NFL, as they really couldn’t get anything going either offensively or defensively and were largely overmatched every single week. Expectations weren’t very high last year, and they aren’t all that high this year either. Still, HC Steve Spagnuolo is going to have to get his act together at some point, or he’ll be yet another in the long line of coaches on miserable teams that ultimately find themselves out of work.

Key Addition – QB Sam Bradford – No offense to RB Steven Jackson, but this franchise really needed a fresh new face again. The city of St. Louis really didn’t have anyone to identify with and grow with, and Bradford can be that guy. The University of Oklahoma will sorely miss Bradford, who led the team to one of the top offenses in the land and threw for over 5,000 yards in his Heisman Trophy campaign of 2008. No, he won’t work miracles in the Gateway to the West right away, but just as Matt Stafford has no pressure on him in Detroit, Bradford can grow with this team and the city can stand right behind him in doing so.

St Louis Rams NFL Cheerleaders

Key Loss – QB Marc Bulger – Simply put, Bulger had to go! He was one of the better quarterbacks that this franchise had ever known, but that doesn’t mean he was really capable of leading this team anywhere near the playoffs once again. There’s a reason that Spagnuolo basically put him out of his misery last season and tossed the quarterbacking job around.

2010 Will Be a Success if… – Bradford takes some baby steps in the right direction. Not leaps and bounds, but just a few steps. No one thinks the Rams are winning more than 4-5 games all season long, so all eyes will be on Bradford to see how he progresses. The top pick in this year’s NFL Draft will probably throw at least 20 picks, but if he has some moments of brilliance and proves he can be amazing, St. Louis fans should be ecstatic.

The Crucial Game – Any game that is a potential winner for the Rams is important, but that opening game of the season against the Arizona Cardinals is one that should be circled. St. Louis has the potential to win that game, particularly with the Cards going a new direction now that QB Kurt Warner has retired. A victory is paramount to get off on the right foot in the Rams 2010 season opener.

Predictions – This is still going to be a very long year for the Rams. Bradford will take his lumps and the team will lose plenty of games. Finishing with more than one win away from the Edward Jones Dome would be a triumph. Without a doubt, the Rams should ultimately score more than their league worst 10.9 PPG from a year ago, and if that happens, perhaps they will get up to the benchmark of respectability. They are nowhere near making an impact as their very long Super Bowl odds have them at +15,000.

2010 St. Louis Rams Regular Season Schedule

9/12 vs. ARI
9/19 @ OAK
9/26 vs. WAS
10/3 vs. SEA
10/10 @ DET
10/17 vs. SD
10/24 @ TB
10/31 vs. CAR
Bye
11/14 @ SF
11/21 vs. ATL
11/28 @ DEN
12/5 @ ARI
12/12 @ NO
12/19 vs. KC
12/26 vs. SF
1/2 @ SEA

 

Winners

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy is perfect for them and they got him exactly where he should go.

Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Berry is exactly what they needed. They might have been able to trade down a few spots and still pick him, but Berry is exactly what they needed.

Seattle Seahawks: Russell Okung probably shouldn’t have fallen to Seattle, so great for them to pick him up. Earl Thomas is another great pick at 14. The Seahawks probably did the best of anyone on Day 1.

San Francisco 49ers: Getting two offensive linemen, Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati, in the first round complete remakes their offensive line in just one day. I’m guessing they traded up for Iupati because they thought the Steelers were going to grab him.

Miami Dolphins: I like what they did trading down. And I like Jared Odrick. They grabbed some extra picks and still got a huge piece in the first round.

New York Jets: Kyle Wilson is going to learn from the best and, in a year or two, beat out an All-Star corner for a job.

Indianapolis Colts: Jerry Hughes is an incredible value at 31.

Losers

St Louis Rams: It’s too easy for a quarterback to end up as a bust and they get too much money as the number one pick. Sam Bradford is a very good prospect, but not an elite one which is what you want with a number one overall QB. St Louis should have traded this pick and grabbed either Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen later on in the draft.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Trade your first round draft pick to someone who is going to use it to draft first round talent.

Undecided

Denver Broncos: I love that they traded down, but Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas probably could have been picked up lower down.

Having said that, I’m a Tebow believer. He will be the best quarterback to come out of this draft because he has the right kind of determination and attention to detail to put in countless hours to fix his throwing mechanics and he has the demeanor of a winner on-field.

If the Broncos knew that someone was going to grab Tebow before them, then trading up to grab him was a good move.

 

The general consensus is that the St Louis Rams will pick Sam Bradford with their number one pick in the draft. All of the denials coming out of St Louis were generally regarded as predictable smoke coming from their management.

St Louis Rams Cheerleader

Now news comes that the Rams are scheduling a private workout with Colt McCoy after McCoy’s pro-day improving the odds of the Rams picking Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy with the first pick.

Currently you can some pretty good money betting on Suh (+170) if he does end up as the first pick.

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Today’s denial by St Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo that they are pursuing Donovan McNabb shouldn’t do a thing to stop speculation that he’s leaving. After all, until he actually gets McNabb, the only smart thing to do is deny any rumors.

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If he gets McNabb, then great. But if he fails, then he’s just destroyed his relationship with his current QBs while getting nothing back.

McNabb’s been rumored to be heading to St Louis, Minnesota, Arizona, San Francisco, Buffalo, Washington and probably everywhere else but I can’t be bothered to keep researching.

St Louis seems to be the front-runner based on how often their name is mentioned in relation to McNabb, but I can’t see McNabb signing an extension there.

I think Minnesota is probably the best fit for both player and team although if Arizona can replace Boldin and Urban they’d also be a good fit.

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Who should the Rams pick?

The St Louis Rams have a lot of holes to fill, but most expect them to pick either a quarterback or defensive tackle.

St Louis Rams Cheerleader

St Louis Rams Cheerleader


Everyone seems to have an opinion on who the Rams should pick and this blogger is no different.

At quarterback Sam Bradford seems like the most likely pick. He is the most NFL-ready of the QBs and that’s important for the Rams who can’t afford to wait a few years for a quarterback to develop.

At defensive end there are two candidates, Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy. Suh is the consensus number one pick, but either would help. McCoy might be the right choice depending on what kind of defense they want to have in the coming seasons.

The final option is to trade down for multiple lower picks. The top draft pick should get you someone who can dominate at his position. If they don’t think any of the above can dominate, then they should trade down and pick up several good players to fill up their roster with solid players.

The St Louis Rams certainly have a lot of needs. They have the worst odds to win the Super Bowl at +20000 and if they could score an extra serviceable prospect it could help them compete much sooner.

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Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is the consensus number one draft pick, but another tackle Gerald McCoy could steal his thunder and be number one. The St Louis Rams hold the number one pick and will get their pick of the two.

I totally can't think of anything clever and sexist to say about this picture involving the word Rams.

I totally can't think of anything clever and sexist to say about this picture involving the word Rams.

Suh is a more complete player. He can stop the pass. He can stop the run. He collapses pockets and beats double teams.

But McCoy can completely disrupt an opponent’s backfield and it makes sense for teams that run the right system to pick him ahead of Suh.

The St Louis Rams have the number one pick this year and a pass rusher like McCoy would suddenly make the Rams solid secondary look a whole lot better.

With a little more pressure on opposing quarterbacks, you’ll start to see some more interceptions from a Rams secondary that isn’t athletic enough to create those opportunities on its own.

Another concern about Suh is his injury history. He’s already had a couple of knee surgeries. Life in the trenches is only going to put more stress on those knees. Suh will definitely give whoever picks him a few good years, but McCoy is going to be productive for much longer.

As much as I like Suh and think he’s a more versatile player, McCoy fills a need for the Rams better than Suh.

Whoever they pick, the St Louis Rams are going to need more help. No team has longer odds to win the Super Bowl than St Louis who are at +20000.

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