- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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The fourth and final post examining the likelihood of a positive trend carrying over from last season, this one for the St. Louis Rams.
The trend: The Rams are in a different position than their division rivals. They've hired a new staff in part because they didn't have much going right when the 2011 season ended. They're trying to start fresh. Rather than force a single trend as something the Rams want to continue in 2012, I'll offer thoughts on a few possibilities.
A few things to consider: Cornerback Josh Gordy seemed to play well late in the year. The team will be looking for defensive end Robert Quinn to build on his five-sack rookie season as Quinn transitions to the starting lineup. Running back Steven Jackson finished strong over the final four games after an unproductive three-game stretch, something the Rams will obviously want to continue as they try to make Sam Bradford's life easier.
It's tough, in some cases, to know what the new coaching staff thinks of players such as Gordy or even safety Darian Stewart, who made a few impact plays as well.
Kellen Clemens' strong finish to the season also comes to mind. The Rams won't be asking him to start in the absence of injury, but Clemens' familiarity with coordinator Brian Schottenheimer from their New York Jets days makes him a potentially valuable resource for Bradford. His role might become more important even as his public profile diminishes.