The NFL 2015 preseason opens for the Rams in 2 weeks. The Rams will be taking on the much improved (but still not very good) Oakland Raiders in Oakland, CA. Now, I could really care less about the outcome of this game or any other preseason game, but it does get us one step closer to the regular season and it makes us take a hard look at our upcoming season.
For at least a decade the Rams have been in some kind of strange rebuilding time warp. Year after year Rams fans look for a reason that this year will be different. This year… will all the money sunk into the offensive line pay off? This year… will our quarterback earn his salary? Most importantly, this year will the Rams become a post season team? Or is this simply another painful season we’re going to write off as yet another rebuilding effort?
I think there’s good and bad news here. I’ll come right out with it.. this is going to be another tough season for the Rams. I do not see a playoff appearance for the Rams. At least not this year, but (and here’s the good news) I really believe we’ll be there soon. Here are the 5 main reasons 2015 will be another rebuilding year for the Rams:
1 The Rams picked Frank Cignetti as their 2015 Offensive Coordinator. I could stop here and we’d have to agree that if the Rams planned to be a playoff team in 2015, Frank would not be the offensive coordinator. Frank has been our QB coach since 2012. How good have our QBs been? Not good. Not to mention Frank hasn’t called plays since 2011 at Rutgers. Frank Cignetti has never called plays in the NFL. He simply is not the right guy for a playoff bound NFL team
2 The Rams have received a lot of praise for drafting RB Todd Gurley, but Gurley won’t be 100% entering the 2015 season. He is nearly recovered from a knee injury. Who knows how much time it will take him to feel confident about what his knee can withstand? Plus, as a rookie running back he’s going to need a little time to get acclimated to the blazing speed of the NFL. I expect good things from him in the back half of the season.
3 New QB Nick Foles is another strong pickup for the Rams, but it will take him a good year to get his feet wet with the Rams. He was good in Philly, but not a superstar and not someone who will throw a team on his shoulders and heave them into the post season.
4 Once again the Rams have placed a huge focus on rebuilding the offensive line. If we actually drafted the right personnel and if they stay healthy (only time will tell), it will also take a good year until they’re polished enough to take on the NFL’s elite defensive lines.
5 The Rams currently have no idea where they’ll be hanging their hats next year. LA? ST Louis? LA… St Louis? It a huge distraction for the players. My personal sense is a move to LA could be a huge catalyst for the RAMs. If the move goes through, I could see Rams Owner Kroenke becoming truly committed to the Rams success (not to mention dramatically increasing the value of the team).
(Don’t kill me. I’m just calling it the way I see it.) Ok, on the flip side… what happens if the Rams stay in St Louis? There are still good things in store for the Rams. Everything is falling in place. Points 1-4 above have nothing to do with location. If the Rams come to terms with the Edward Jones stadium management in a way that communicates stability to the team, the entire move stigma simply falls to the wayside and we’re once again focused on winning in St Louis.