It’s been a two-year process for the St. Louis Rams, but it appears now that the team is prepared to head into the 2013 season with a dynamic offense. It isn’t that the Rams didn’t have a squad capable of putting up enough points to win games previously, but their offense certainly wasn’t keeping opponents up nights leading up to a game. Now that General Manager Les Snead has fully engineered his personnel overhaul that began last offseason, this year promises to be an exciting one.
Even though the team turned the page on a near decade of leadership by letting go of stalwart running back Steven Jackson this offseason, the offense may actually get stronger as a result. Clearly other additions play into that equation as well like bringing in Pro Bowler left tackle Jake Long to protect Sam Bradford’s blindside and tight end Jared Cook to stretch defenses down the seam. These will be vital pieces to getting this offense to a level that strikes fear into opponents on a weekly basis.
Oh, and did I forget to mention Tavon Austin?
The do-it-all speedster out of West Virginia figures to have a hand in several areas offensively as a slot receiver and even in the backfield on some packages. His impact will be wide-reaching as defenses will be forced to account for him at all times and perhaps even assign two defenders to him on any given play. Add motion and potential misdirection into the mix and things take a nightmarish turn for opposing defenders.
Perhaps the most intriguing position is the tight end spot where Cook will assimilate quickly due to his familiarity with Head Coach Jeff Fisher from their days together with the Tennessee Titans, but Lance Kendricks also figures into the mix as a member of a two-headed monster at the position. Kendricks has been underwhelming thus far in his career, but the addition of Cook seems like less of an indictment and more of a complementary part for the offense. These two could become the Midwest’s version of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez of the New England Patriots. It may seem like a stretch, but the team modeling itself after the Pats is a real possibility.
If the injury bug can avoid the offensive line this season, there is no reason to think that the Rams won’t eclipse their measly 299 total points scored from 2012 by week 14 of this season. Bradford has the weaponry at his disposal and his protection saw a serious upgrade as well. The excuses are running out for the former number one overall pick, and this season is his time to shine. Look for this Rams to take one giant leap forward in 2013 on the offensive side of the football.