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St. Louis Rams’ 5 Biggest Red Flags Heading into 2014

St. Louis Rams’ 5 Biggest Red Flags Heading into 2014

St. Louis Rams
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The third year under head coach Jeff Fisher is expected to be the season that the St. Louis Rams finally begin to compete and make waves in the cutthroat NFC West. Though the division is inarguably the NFL’s best, the Rams have been able to slay some giants in the recent past. By overcoming these five potential red flags in 2014, the sky’s the limit for this roster packed with promising youth.

5. Lack of Veterans in Secondary

St. Louis Rams
Getty Images

5. Lack of Veterans in Secondary

St. Louis Rams
Getty Images

After releasing Cortland Finnegan in the offseason, the Rams will likely have a rookie starting at one safety spot (Lamarcus Joyner), a second-year guy at the other safety position (T.J. McDonald) and two third-year corners in Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson as the base defense. Though all of these guys have tremendous potential, their collective lack of seasoning could prove to be problematic along the way.

4. Another New Starting RB

St. Louis Rams
Getty Images

4. Another New Starting RB

St. Louis Rams
Getty Images

Zac Stacy was a bulldozer from Week 6 on for the Rams last season, but word out of OTAs has rookie Tre Mason pushing him hard for the starting role in the backfield. While both guys will likely see their fair share of carries, this revolving door doesn’t exactly help anyone’s confidence for a consistent workload. A bruiser like Stacy would probably fair better with 20-25 carries per game than splitting the totes with Mason.

3. Sam Bradford Living Up to the Hype

St. Louis Rams
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

3. Sam Bradford Living Up to the Hype

St. Louis Rams
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Entering his fourth season after being selected No. 1 overall and handed an asinine amount of money, Sam Bradford has yet to even crack the mediocre level on the league-wide QB hierarchy. Coming off of a torn ACL, he will be facing serious questions entering the most highly priced season of that aforementioned albatross of a rookie deal. This is a make-or-break year, and the pressure could prove too much for the signal caller.

2. Jake Long’s Health

St. Louis Rams
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

2. Jake Long’s Health

St. Louis Rams
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

After an ACL tear of his own late in the 2013 campaign, Bradford’s blindside protector Jake Long will be trying to make a quick rehab and get back to top form by Week 1. His play was relatively lackluster a year ago, and the Rams need him to live up to his big-money deal in order to win games this coming season. If he doesn’t return to Pro Bowl form, this team could be looking to shed his substantial salary next offseason.

1. Lack of Discipline

St. Louis Rams
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

1. Lack of Discipline

St. Louis Rams
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Fisher loves his teams to play through the whistle and with an edge, but the penalty-prone Rams have taken that a step too far most of the time. The team garnered the third-most flags in the league a year ago and took several undisciplined personal foul penalties which show a severe lack of focus. Fisher needs to keep the reigns on this squad this season or their lack of restraint could ultimately be his undoing.

Anthony Blake is a Senior Writer/Copy Editor for Rant Sports. You Can Follow Him on Twitter, on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.