The process has been arduous for the league’s youngest team, but the St. Louis Rams appear to be rounding into form under head coach Jeff Fisher. There’s no doubt Fisher and general manager Les Snead drafted players that fit the style of play the coach wanted his team to embody, and now it appears this team is finally catching on to that approach.
And what I mean by that is Fisher has always been a coach who prefers a smash-mouth offense with a tough, physical defense that isn’t afraid to mix it up and snag timely turnovers. The past two weeks have really been the epitome of what Fisher has looked for his entire coaching career with the Rams running the ball with consistency and their defense playing a tough bend but don’t break style. This mentality can clearly be seen on both sides of the ball as Fisher himself highlighted to stltoday.com saying:
“The activity down field by the offensive line, finishing plays, it’s good to see. And defensively, the aggressive nature toward the takeaways — the turnovers. It’s been real good for us. So we hope we can continue it.”
This is what was missing from the Rams in the opening four games of the season where the team was trying to be something it’s not yet ready to be. The blueprint for this team to be successful is a powerful rushing attack accompanied by calculated risks taken in the passing with timely shots downfield on offense and a defense that plays within itself and prevents the big play from beating them. Early in the season, the Rams appeared to be forcing the issue a bit too much as the team was looking to stretch the field vertically play after play instead of taking what the defense gave them while the defense was always looking for kill shots and turnovers instead of letting the game come to them.
Fortunately it seems like that is in the past now as the arrival of Zac Stacy on offense and Alec Ogletree’s impressive play defensively have transformed this team into the identity it was meant to have all along. It’s clear Fisher loves what Stacy brings to the table as he discussed the bowling ball with legs saying:
“He’s a strong, powerful runner. He’s got good vision, and he’s got a low center of gravity. He’s got excellent lower body strength. It was good to see.”
When the NFL’s youngest team starts to buy in and realize what it has to do to be successful that can be a scary thing for the remaining opponents on the schedule. These Rams know that they must use physicality to get wins on a consistent basis rather than finesse. That awareness along with Fisher’s always savvy leadership could keep this team on a winning streak longer than most are expecting.