2009 St. Louis Rams Season Preview
2009 St. Louis Rams preview from MadduxSports.com. The NFC West could be one of the best divisions or one of the very worst's. There are a lot of unanswered questions for all 4 teams so having an expert like Maddux that can forecast winners with their NFL spread picks can mean a very profitable football season for the client. So what are you waiting for?
2009 St. Louis Rams Predictions
By Adam Barone
The Rams seem to be heading in all sorts of directions, and things aren’t really looking good for the near future. Former Giants’ defensive coordinator and new Rams’ head coach Steve Spagnuolo will have his work cut out for him. The days of “the greatest show on turf” are long gone, as Orlando Pace and Torry Holt were both let go in the offseason.
The centerpiece of the team is obviously Steven Jackson, and Spagnuolo would be wise to give him the ball as much as possible. Rookie tackle Jason Smith out of Baylor will likely be another key cog in years to come, blocking for Jackson and protecting Mark Bulger. Bulger’s days are probably numbered after two sub-par seasons, but his replacement isn’t on the roster yet. Kyle Boller was signed as a backup, but his “ability is limited.” That’s a nice way to say a not-so-nice thing. He does still have a great arm, and the Rams have plenty of speed on the outside, so who knows? Maybe some nicer things will need to be said about him soon.
The receivers, though fast, are very young and not the least bit exciting. Donnie Avery headlines the group after a 53 catch/674 yard season. Randy McMichael could be in for a big season, with new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur running a west coast scheme. He’ll need the receivers to spread the field on the outside in order for him to have space to catch the ball though.
Ken Fajole comes to the Rams from the Panthers, and will work with Spagnuolo to try to build a quality unit around second round pick and former Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis. The addition of Laurinaitis will send Will Witherspoon to the outside, and the loss of Pisa Tinoisamoa will leave a hole on the other side. Second year defensive end Chris Long brings high expectations after the team used a first round pick on him last season. Long had just four sacks in 2008. Strong safety James Butler comes in from Spagnuolo’s former unit with the Giants, so he should help make for an easy transition to the new system.
The problems on defense could come with the pass rush and depth on all three levels. Long needs to develop quickly, and Leonard Little is over the hill. There’s not much at tackle other than Adam Carriker, a converted end, and the secondary is young other than stud safety Oshiomogho Atogwe.
Josh Brown made 31 of 36 field goals in 2008, and the team will look to him this season to remain consistent. Spagnuolo and his staff will have to find someone to return kicks.
Don’t expect the Rams to make the playoffs any time soon. Even in an NFL where every year can be anyone’s year, it won’t be the Rams’ year until they get a lot more depth and more playmakers on offense. A good quarterback would help too. They could be in competition for the 2010 No. 1 pick.