The Rams finished up the 2011 season a disappointing 2-14. A lot of moves have been made in the off season to try and get the team back on track. (See http://www.ramsgab.com/2012/07/12/2012-off-season-improvements/) Rams fans everywhere would love to have some kind of reasonable expectation for the year to come, but there are so many variables it’s impossible to say. What will we get from a dynamic new head coach, a healing (once star rookie) quarterback, a slew of roster changes, and several unproven newly acquired offensive weapons? (If you know let me know and we will both go to Vegas.)
In 2010 another NFC team went 2-14. It was the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers fired head coach John Fox and brought in veteran defensive coach Ron Rivera as the team’s new Head coach (interesting to note that both Rivera and Jeff Fisher played on the 1985 Super Bowl Winning Chicago Bears team). In the 2011 off season the team made a lot of on field personnel changes including their veteran kicker (sound familiar?). Their first draft pick was used picking up QB sensation and Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton. Newton had an exhilarating season breaking rookie passing records (a lot of similarities to recent Rams history). Unfortunately, these exciting games only translated to a year ending record of 6-10.
So, where does that leave us? The Rams have a much more experienced new head coach and a skilled, but perhaps slightly less dynamic young quarterback. The Panthers replaced their number 1 running back going into 2011 (Stewart to Williams) and had a super star WR on their roster (Smith). Our number 1 RB Steven Jackson should remain just that in 2012 and we would jump up and down for joy if one of our receivers was recognized as a super star by year’s end. So, simply looking at this comparison, a 6-10 season for the Rams doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable. The problem is that 6-10 still stinks. I can’t speak for other Rams fans, but if we get less than 7 wins no amount of exhilarating play will be enough for me.
After all is said and done we will have to wait and see how things play out. Go Rams!!!