And How The Seahawks Will Stop Them
In our final installment of the KNOW YOUR ENEMY series looking at the top 5 offensive weapons for each of the Seattle Seahawks‘ rivals in the NFC West, we take a look at the St. Louis Rams.
It’s hard to fathom that the Rams were battling the Seahawks for a playoff berth only two seasons ago, because last year they fell down to earth with a pronounced thud, winning only 2 games.
This year, there is hope that the many young players on offense can gel and get the team back to respectability under new Head coach Jeff Fisher.
1. Steven Jackson
Over his eight seasons with the Rams, Running Back Steven Jackson has developed into the most consistent, and impressive player on the roster.
At 6’2” and 248 lbs., Jackson can plow through players with his muscular body while having great elusiveness. Jackson has 3 Pro Bowls and 2 All-Pro selections under his belt, and was the NFC rushing leader in 2009.
He is also the Rams’ all-time leading rusher with 9,093 yards, and is known as one of the best backs in the entire league. He has never played in a playoff game, and he runs with an intent and hunger that shows he won’t stop until he gets to the post-season.
The Seahawks will have to take Jackson down as a team, hoping that the front can bottle up the middle and the linebackers can chase him down.
Expect to see Strong Safety Kam Chancellor move up into the box to help defend the run until the Rams prove they can consistently move the ball through the air.
2. Sam Bradford
Quarterback Sam Bradford had a strong rookie campaign for St. Louis, throwing for 3512 yards, and 18 touchdowns. He fell off last year due to injury and only got into 10 games, throwing for just 6 touchdowns.
Many people feel that Bradford simply needs more weapons around him, as a lot of the Rams’ receivers over the past two years have left much to be desired.
This is a player who was drafted first overall in 2010, and won the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. He holds the NFL’s record for most completions by a rookie (354), and most completed passes without an interception (169).
The Seahawks will hope to have Bruce Irvin become a pass rushing specialist and knock Bradford down when he gets through the line.
They have to be hoping even harder that DL Chris Clemons is back to help wreak havoc with Irvin upon the young QB.
3. Danny Amendola
The Rams have been rather thin at Receiver over the last few seasons, but WR Danny Amendola has been a nice surprise. He was injured early last year on October 6 and was never able to get back on the field due to a season-ending triceps injury.
When he has been in the lineup, he has shown himself to be a shifty, reliable slot receiver in the mold of the New England Patriots’ Wes Welker.
Amendola had 85 receptions for the Rams in 2010, and became a favorite target of Quarterback Sam Bradford. The Seahawks will have to keep an eye on the elusive little player, and will look to do so with CB Marcus Trufant or CB Roy Lewis following him in the slot.
4. Lance Kendricks
Tight End Lance Kendricks was a rookie that was expected to come in and really help the Rams as a 2nd round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
However, he was prone to dropping the ball and had lapses and never really had the season he wanted to in his first in the NFL.
Now, with a full offseason and a healthy Sam Bradford throwing him the ball, expect him to realize his potential as a big-bodied TE. New Rams Offensive Coordinator Brain Schottenheimer’s offenses use the Tight End in many different ways, so expect there to be more demand on Kendricks this season.
5. Brian Quick
The Rams have so little dynamism after Steven Jackson on their offense, that rookie Wide Receiver Brain Quick could definitely provide a spark for the team.
Quick was taken with the 33rd overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
He has reportedly looked good in the offseason camps, and was a two-time FCS All-American First Team selection in college with Appalachian State. He was a highly coveted WR coming out of college who uses his big body and physical ability to make plays down the field.
He was dominant at the FCS level, and the Rams hope he can continue that in the NFL.