Jackson, successful run game has helped make Sam Bradford’s transition smoother
The Rams are coming off their bye after eight games in the season and are sitting in first place at 4-4. The season has been thrilling, infuriating and exciting. The Rams have been better than we expected and so let’s take a look at the Rams report card. Because the Rams go to one of those new schools where they do not give out letter grades, but instead gives out suns, rainbows, rainclouds and other things. Let’s take a look at the offense.
Quarterback – Sam Bradford has been better than anyone could have ever expected. He has not had the same wide receivers from week to week and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur has put more and more of the offense on the kid’s shoulders.
Running back – Steven Jackson was the Rams best player coming in and even though he has had to deal with a groin and finger injury this season, he hasn’t missed much. Jackson is a leader on the Rams and the best player, just as was expected before the season. I’ve said it before, but Rams fans should be honored that we get to watch Steven Jackson week in and week out. The Rams are still missing a quality back up running back, but with Jackson taking all of the work load, they have not needed the position desperately yet.
Wide Receiver – The Rams have put 3 WRs on IR already this season. Mark Clayton was a huge surprise before his injury as he had built a connection with Sam Bradford at offseason workouts at Oklahoma. Danario Alexander came off the practice squad to a huge debut, but soon was injured again. Mardy Gilyard is badly needed but he has been brought along slowly as injuries have slowed his development. Brandon Gibson has shown flashes, but needs to become more consistent. Danny Amendola has been a pleasant surprise as Sam Bradford’s favorite target so far.
Offensive Line – The Rams offensive line finally found some continuity over the first 7 games with the same starting 5 for the first time in a few seasons. Young tackles Saffold and Smith have had some growing pains, but the Rams running to the right side behind Jason Smith has been very successful. The offensive line has still been too susceptible to the penalties, especially false starts.
Tight Ends – The Rams tight ends are a combination of potential and solid experience. Because of the injury problems at WR, the tight ends have become more important. Illinois Mike has had some nagging injuries, but when he has been on the field he has been a great target for Bradford. Billy Bajema is a hard worker and has picked up some huge 3rd downs for the Rams. Daniel Fells has been solid and has used his athleticism well.