This team has a ways to go before they compete in postseason play, but when league officials talk about the St. Louis Rams the first thing they say is forget about calling them the youngest team in the league. They compliment Coach Fisher for the job he has done turning things around in a very short window, the milestones Steven Jackson has surpassed and those records he has yet to achieve, Sam Bradford’s huge upside once more talent is around him, their ability to win seven games to date with a chance to win eight (the most since 2006), the four straight road victories and the chance of going undefeated in the NFC West.
Coach Fisher’s comments on if the 2012 season was satisfying, “There have been some good things, but we’re playing our final game this weekend, and that’s not what you set out to do. We had a few in the past that we had a chance to win and didn’t. That takes the front page as far as we’re concerned, but we saw – I’ll go through this next week – but we saw tremendous improvement from our rookie class. We got tremendous contribution from the rookies and the second-year players. I think we’ve improved in a lot of areas. We still have a long way to go. It is difficult to win on the road, as team’s experience, but we’ve proved that the last three or four trips we’ve been successful on the road, and that’s important.”
This defensive minded head coach has put together a very good staff of coaches and teachers, but he also understands it’s about players and putting them in position to make plays. The free agent acquisitions of Cortland Finnegan, Jo Lonn Dunbar, Kendall Langford and Scott Wells combined with a very strong rookie class that has produced productive starters in Janoris Jenkins, Michael Brockers, Chris Givens have combined to produce lot of memorable moments that have formed a championship foundation in the near future. Plus, don’t forget the contributions of the rookie specialists in kicker Greg Zuerlein and punter Johnny Hekker.
While the ultimate goal is to win the Super Bowl, the first priority is to win the division each and every season. The Rams have a chance to go undefeated in the division this season, when Coach Fisher was asked the upcoming contest against the Seattle Seahawks he replied, “That we didn’t lose any in the division. In order to compete, in order to be a consistent playoff contender, you have to have success in the division. You have to build yourself for success in the division. I think we’re on the right path – we’re not there yet – but we’re on the right path.”
“I would submit that this is clearly, probably – I contradict myself but – the most difficult game we’re going to play all year. Considering they’ve scored 50, 42 and – whatever they’ve scored – they’re averaging 45 points a game the last three weeks against pretty good defenses. And they’re not giving up points and it’s a tough place to play, so this will be a huge challenge. Probably the biggest challenge for us ” Coach Fisher said.
With Christmas falling on Tuesday, the normal day off for the players in the NFL, the Rams will get back to work Wednesday afternoon in preparation for the last game of the season against the Seahawks in Seattle and the 12 Man.