Rams get high marks for offseason efforts

May, 22, 2014
May 22
5:00
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EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Earlier today, I provided an offseason wrap-up in which we went through the best, most surprising and riskiest moves the team made in the past few months.

Those moves were limited mostly to player comings and goings and a few things the Rams didn't do. Later on Thursday, NFL Insider Mike Sando, with the help of Bill Polian, Louis Riddick, Field Yates and Matt Williamson, offered a letter grade for each team's offseason.

Sando & Co. had grades ranging from A-minus to a single D-plus. Topping the list is a team that hasn't won much in the regular season, let alone the offseason, over the past decade: the St. Louis Rams.

The Rams were one of five teams to receive an A-minus from the panel, which praised them for their patience and their drafting acumen but also touched on something that I didn't get into in the offseason wrap because it didn't qualify as a roster move: the hiring of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

Around Rams Park, there are plenty who believe Williams' addition was the most important move the team made all offseason. The hope is that his creativity with blitz packages will alleviate some of the pressure on a young secondary which struggled mightily in 2013. Beyond that, Williams should bring a more aggressive coverage style which should better take advantage of the skills of the corners, at least in theory.

As for the draft, it certainly looks good on paper but as with any draft, it's best to wait and see before jumping to any conclusions about how it can change a team's course, especially in the first year.

And though it's nice to get positive reviews for things that happen off the field, the Rams can't take much solace in the fact that of the five teams to garner A-minus grades, two of the others were San Francisco and Seattle.

In other words, while the Rams were doing everything possible to play catchup in the NFC West division, the powers that be appear to have done plenty to maintain their advantage.

Nick Wagoner

ESPN St. Louis Rams reporter

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