2010 St. Louis Rams Season Preview

At this point, the only place the St. Louis Rams can go is up. Over the past three seasons, this team has gone from three wins to two wins to one win, so unless they're looking to go 0-16. With that said, the 2010 St. Louis Rams Team Preview predicts they are facing long road back up the NFL hierarchy.

At this time, the team is built on potential. With the No. 1 overall pick, Sam Bradford, the Rams finally have a young quarterback that they can build around. Couple that with elite prospects at the left tackle and middle linebacker positions, and St. Louis fans can find a lot to get excited about.

With the addition of first overall pick, Bradford, the Rams hope to finally have a quarterback they can count on. A lot of whether or not he will start this year depends on how the team wants to handle his development, long term. Still, with a $50 million dollar investment in him, it's assumed that Bradford will take the field sooner rather than later.

Further, the Rams are expecting 2009 first-round pick, Jason Smith, to move into the left tackle spot full-time. In college, Baylor was an effective spread-offense blocker and really established a reputation as an efficient pass-blocker. While he still needs to improve his drive-blocking, he will shoulder a lot of the load in protecting the Rams' new prized quarterback.

Last season, the team ran a lot of three-wide, single back sets, and as a result they ranked 14th in percentage of offensive plays in which they utilized the shotgun. Expect for more of the same in 2010, as Bradford became very familiar with running the shotgun during his time in college.

For the most part the Rams played a pretty simple 4-3 defense in 2009. They rushed four defenders nearly 65 percent of the time, one of the highest percentages in the league. One of the reasons that there wasn't much variety in the defensive schemes was because first-year head coach, Steve Spagnuilo, knew that he didn't have the talent for much more than that.

According to most 2010 St. Louis Rams Season Preview articles, experts expect anywhere from four to six wins from this team during the 2010 NFL Season.
2010 St. Louis Rams Coaching Staff & ChangesSt. Louis Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo vowed to change the culture of the Rams organization heading into 2010 after enduring the one-win season from a year ago. This includes removing all individual photos at the Rams facility to represent a more team-dynamic and team-first philosophy as the Rams face the uphill climb in the NFC West Division. Spagnuolo wasn't alone last season in the first year at his position, as the coordinators were in their first years as well. Pat Shumur will coach the offense and try and get more productivity and bring along top draft selection Sam Bradford. On the defnsive side of the equation, Ken Flajole will run the scheme, as the Rams ranked 29th in total defense last year. Both coordinators and the head coach have their work cut out for them, but things look to be improving.2010 St. Louis Rams Key Free Agency Acquisitions & LossesAcquistions
QB - A.J. Feeley from Carolina Panthers
LB - Na'il Diggs from Carolina Panthers
DT - Fred Robbins from New York Giants
CB - Kevin Dockery from New York Giants
LB - Bobby Carpenter traded from Dallas Cowboys

LB - Paris Lenon to Arizona Cardinals
DE - Leonard Little to Free Agency
QB - Kyle Boller to Oakland Raiders
QB - Marc Bulger to Free Agency
DE - Adam Carriker traded to Washington Redskins
OT - Alex Barron traded to Dallas Cowboys
2010 St. Louis Rams NFL Draft Round 1: Pick 1 - QB, Sam Bradford (Oklahoma)
Round 2: Pick 33 - OT, Rodger Saffold (Indiana)
Round 3: Pick 65 - DB, Jerome Murphy (South Florida)
Round 4: Pick 99 - WR, Mardy Gilyard (Cincinnati)
Round 5: Pick 132 - TE, Michael Hoomanawanui (Illinois)
Round 5: Pick 149 - DE, Hall Davis (Louisiana - Lafayette)
Round 6: Pick 170 - TE, Fendi Onobun (Arizona)
Round 6: Pick 189 - DE, Eugene Sims (West Texas A&M)
Round 7: Pick 211- DB, Marquis Johnson (Alabama)
Round 7: Pick 226 - DE, George Selvie (South Florida)
Round 7: Pick 254 - LB, Josh Hull (Penn State)
2010 St. Louis Rams QuarterbacksOffensively, the Rams can't possibly any worse this season than they were last. Despite trotting out three different quarterbacks in Marc Bulger, Kyle Boller and Keith Null, St. Louis constantly got the same ineffective result with the air attack. Bulger, above all else, appeared to be severely limited as a result of the pounding he's taken over the past few years. Null seemed overmatched in nearly every outing. And Boller, well Boller continued to live up to the disappointing reputation he established throughout his career as a quarterback that just could not stop giving the ball away.

With the new season come a host of new quarterbacks with one of them being Sam Bradford, the overall number one pick from the 2010 NFL Draft. It is unknown whether or not St. Louis will let Bradford start or get his legs under him before taking the field. Since Bradford is still unsigned at the time of this writing, lack of reps in training camp may make that decision for the Rams. A.J. Feeley is also a new addition to the QB squad for the Rams. Coming from the Carolina Panthers and previously the Philadelphia Eagles, Feeley has been a serviceable QB at times, something the 2010 St. Louis Rams could benefit from. Whoever starts, it will likely be an improvement over the 2009 season.

2010 St. Louis Rams Quarterback Depth Chart
QB - Sam Bradford
QB - A.J. Feeley
2010 St. Louis Rams Running BacksAll things considered, the team's running back, Steven Jackson, had a somewhat effective season. Despite being the main focus of every defense the team played against, Jackson led the team in receptions and yards. It's also worth mentioning that despite refusing to shut it down at the end of the season last year, Jackson will come into 2010 healthy and ready to start over with what he is hoping to be a vastly improved Rams team.

Projected 2010 St. Louis Rams Running Back Depth Chart
RB - Steven Jackson
RB - Kenneth Darby
2010 St. Louis Rams Wide ReceiversFor better or worse, the wide receiver position is a very competitive one for the Rams. Many expect Donnie Avery to step up and show that he can play injury free, and for his part, he did change his diet and offseason regiment to add weight and strength. Laurent Robinson was on pace for 88 receptions before his injury last year, and could be a very strong weapon for the receiving unit. Expect Mardy Gilyard, Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson to find time in the Rams' rotation at various points throughout the year too.

The tight end position presents a lot of unknowns for the Rams because Daniel Fellis has yet to practice during the offseason. Following the departure of Randy McMichael, expect Billy Bajema and Darcy Johnson to compete for the part of blocking tight end. Both have impressive size, but Johnson has more speed and is better equipped for the passing game. Michael Hoomanawanui didn't get much playing time in college, but he has shown good hands and the ability to get down field in a hurry during the offseason.

Projected 2010 St. Louis Rams Wide Receiver Depth Chart
WR - Laurent Robinson
WR - Donnie Avery
WR - Brandon Gibson
WR - Mardy Gilyard

Projected 2010 St. Louis Rams Tight End Depth Chart
TE - Daniel Fells
TE - Billy Bajema 2010 St. Louis Rams Offensive LineWhile many assume that the offensive line that was arguably the worst in league last year can't get any worse, that remains to be seen with this group. Once again, health is an issue with the offseason work ending with at least five linemen on the sideline with: Smith (toe), Bell (knee), Lewis (knee), Setterstrom (triceps) and Allen (knee). Rodger Saffold is predicted by most 2010 St. Louis Rams Preview pages to be starting in the right tackle position, after being the first pick of the second round in the 2010 draft.

Projected 2010 St. Louis Rams Starting Offensive Line
LT - Jason Smith
LG - Jacob Bell
C - Jason Brown
RG - John Greco
RT - Rodger Saffold2010 St. Louis Rams Defensive LineMost are hoping that this will be the breakout year for Chris Long. Most of his rookie season was spent adjusting from a 3-4 college defense to a 4-3, and then last season, he had to learn yet another system. In the latter half of his 2009 campaign, Long proved to be far more efficient and effective against the run and pass-rush production. Beyond Long, the team is also expecting big things from Hall, Adeyanju and Ah You. It will be interesting to see how the newly drafted Rams rookies (all taken after the fourth round) will adjust to the professional ranks.

Projected 2010 St. Louis Rams Starting Defensive Line
DE - Chris Long
DT - Fred Robbins
DT - Clifton Ryan
- James Hall2010 St. Louis Rams LinebackersThe Rams expect that they have filled their major weakness at the outside linebacker spots with the additions of Bobby Carpenter and Na'il Diggs. Carpenter will likely be placed on the weak side where he will be able to defend tight ends and running backs in the passing game. Diggs will no doubt be solid against the run, despite having heavy mileage on his NFL tires. James Laurinaitis was a force as a rookie last year, and should be even more productive in his second season.

Projected 2010 St. Louis Rams Starting Linebackers
SLB - David Vobora
- James Laurinaitis
WLB - Na'il Diggs
2010 St. Louis Rams SecondaryThe secondary for the Rams is a sore spot in this 2010 St. Louis Ram Season Preview. Last year, every one who played decent eventually went out with injuries. Free agent signings failed to produce adding up to one of the worst secondaries in the league. St. Louis will look to improve upon that this year, however if they're going to do so, it will take some great play, and luck with staying healthy. For the most part, their secondary is made up of players you've never heard of with the lone exception maybe being Oshiomogho Atogwe.

Projected 2010 St. Louis Rams Starting Seconday
CB - Ron Bartell
CB - Bradley Fletcher
SS - James Butler
FS - Oshiomogho Atogwe

2010 St. Louis Rams Preview