Monday, May 14, 2012
2012 NFC West offseason glance: Rams
By Mike Sando
A look at the St. Louis Rams' offseason to this point ...
What went right: The Rams beat out the Miami Dolphins for coach Jeff Fisher and then hired the first general manager's candidate they interviewed, Les Snead. That seemed like a good way to open the offseason. ... The Rams found a willing trade partner and good value for the second overall choice in the 2012 draft. That was critical for their future once the team quickly determined Sam Bradford would remain the franchise quarterback. ... Cornerback Cortland Finnegan, the player St. Louis targeted most strongly in free agency, signed with the team quickly. ... Adding Pro Bowl center Scott Wells from Green Bay should give the offensive line needed leadership and personality. Wells will also make Bradford's job easier, in theory, by handling protection calls. ... The Rams addressed their weak run defense by adding Kendall Langford in free agency and Michael Brockers in the draft. ... St. Louis went from one of the oldest teams to one of the youngest, the logical way to go when rebuilding.
What went wrong: The NFL suspended newly-hired defensive coordinator Gregg Williams for the 2012 season and possibly beyond. The team was counting on Williams to instill the defensive swagger that led Williams astray in New Orleans. ... The Rams emerged from free agency and the draft without clear answers at outside linebacker, a position of obvious need. ... Owner Stan Kroenke has been unable or unwilling to allay fears the team is angling to leverage its way out of its stadium lease. The stadium issue continues to hang over the team, making it tougher, in theory, for fans to buy in fully. ... Moving one home game to London might help the Rams score points with the NFL and in global branding circles, but any coach will tell you eight home games are better than seven. ... Adding an elite offensive playmaker with the sixth overall pick would have been ideal for Bradford, but the Rams didn't see the value.
The bottom line: The Rams had more needs than they could reasonably fill in one offseason. They began to address quite a few of them, however, and they have the draft capital to continue the process over the next two seasons. We'll find out in a hurry how well Snead and the personnel department can draft in the first couple rounds.
Your turn: Any significant omissions here?