There are still plenty of unanswered questions for the St. Louis Rams coming off of a tough loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the regular season’s final weekend. The franchise is in better shape than it has been in nearly a decade and is poised to take the next step up the ladder of NFL hierarchy. Here are some of the pressing issues still facing this team coming off of their 7-8-1 2012 campaign.
STEVEN JACKSON’S STATUS
Steven Jackson has a clause in his contract that allows him to void the deal at the conclusion of this contract year and become a free agent. That was mainly put in place due to the Rams’ recent putrid history, but now that they are on the right track, what will the running back do in 2013? This question remains a hotly debated issue around the franchise and there really isn’t a right and wrong answer. S-Jax will be 30 years old next season and that is seen as the kiss of death for running backs league-wide. He will be coming off of his eighth consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season, but is that enough to warrant his hefty price tag next year? Only time will tell.
SAM BRADFORD’S WEAPONS
Even though the Rams have added several wide receivers and tight ends in recent drafts, the team still struggles to get production out of the passing game. Perhaps that is more due to the lack of continuity along the offensive line than either Sam Bradford or his receivers, but something has to change going forward. The team must invest heavily in the line this offseason and make sure that Bradford has adequate time to survey the field and find open targets if they want to take that next step as an offense.
Janoris Jenkins has been a bright spot in the secondary this year, but aside from him, the unit has been underwhelming to say the least. Adding a top flight safety would really provide a much needed boost to the Rams’ defense and give this team the talent at all three levels to succeed. They have plenty of playmakers on the defensive side and now all they are lacking is that hard-hitting presence to make opposing receivers think twice before coming over the middle.
Don’t be surprised if Jeff Fisher has the Rams looking like a serious contender in the NFC next year. The team has already proven that it can compete with the elites in the conference and that bodes very well for the future of this franchise.
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