I’m pleased with the Rams season. To go 7-9 a year after going 1-15 with a lot of question marks heading into the this season, I didn’t expect seven wins. Most cases, seven wins heading into week 16 doesn’t even have you thinking playoffs, and while a division title at 8-8 would have been nice, regardless of how this season ended, it is just a stepping stone for what is to come.
Look at the all the question marks heading into the season and then the obstacles thrown at the Rams early in the year. First, it became apparent that Sam Bradford was going to be the best option for the Rams at quarterback at the start of the year, but remember the thinking at the time was this team was going nowhere, why not let Bradford get the reps. There is no doubt Bradford proved he’s going to be a star in this league.
“It’s tough to put a grade on the season. I felt like I improved. I felt like the coaches trusted me more at the end of the year,” said Bradford at the team’s final press conference Monday at Rams Park. “I felt like they put a lot more on my plate, which is something that I take a lot of pride in, the fact that I was able to progress in this offense and I was able to handle more things and we were able to do more. We probably did more than actually I would have expected to do, and I take a lot of pride in that. Hopefully that continues.”
Consider the fact that Bradford was playing in front of a rebuilt offensive line that featured inexperienced offensive tackles in Jason Smith and Rodger Saffold. “It’s very comforting as a quarterback knowing that those two guys are going to be here for a long time playing at the level that they’re playing at right now. I thought they did a great job this year. I think they improved as the year went along. I think that was evident. I think by the end of the year, they were playing at a very high level. I feel very comfortable with those two guys protecting me.”
When you look at the receiving corps for the Rams, they were questionable coming into the season, then injuries hit them and depleted Bradford’s options. The Rams lost second year player Donnie Avery and veteran Mark Clayton to injuries. Along the way, they found a budding star in Danny Amendola and when healthy, Danario Alexander was a game changer. This position, if it remains healthy will be very solid for Bradford in the future.
As far as the future, here is what head coach Steve Spagnuolo had to say.
“I think as time goes on here, we’ll all realize that we did some good things. I believe this experience that we went through yesterday will make this team hungry. Because when you get right there and you get a little bit of a taste of it, that just makes you hunger for that particular feeling going forward. I know to a man — I’ve visited with most of the players individually today, I’ll get all the others tomorrow — they all kind of echoed that same thing, so that was good to hear,” said Spagnuolo.
“I know this team committed to a common goal. I know this team did everything it possibly could to achieve that goal…Now in this league, success is defined as wins and losses and championships and we get that. But I am going to hang my hat on that definition of success and our football team.”