Originally written on Next Impulse Sports  |  Last updated 12/17/14
Editor’s note: Over the course of the summer, Next Impulse Sports will be releasing NFL team previews every Tuesday and Thursday. Check back on Thursday for the Arizona Cardinals Edition and access all NFL team previews here. Today: The St. Louis Rams Last Year: 7-9 (4th place in NFC West) I have a couple of issues with the St. Louis Rams. It’s not that they’re incredibly boring to watch when they have the football, even though they are incredibly boring to watch when they have the football. Nobody wants to see Sam Bradford or Kellen Clemens throwing the ball to Jared Cook, Chris Givens, and Austin Pettis. Sure, Tavon Austin is exciting when he actually has the ball, but that doesn’t happen too much. He caught 38 passes last season. No, my first problem is with head coach Jeff Fisher. Fisher has been coaching for 19 years. In those 19 years, he’s accumulated a .532 winning percentage. That isn’t by any means a bad number, but it is only the 68th best winning percentage in NFL history. In his 19 years, he’s taken his team to the postseason six times. The last time he did so was in 2008. Since 2008, Fisher’s teams haven’t won more than eight games in a season. Yet, for some reason, when Fisher was hired by the Rams prior to the 2012 season, people were stoked. Here’s an example of what was written at the time: Fisher guided his Titans teams to six playoff appearances, and gave them stability and an identity the Rams have lacked since the last days of the Mike Martz era. The Rams face a daunting rebuilding process, but they have made the best possible hire to get back on the winning track.” — Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer While Fisher has brought stability to a franchise that suffered through a 10-38 three-year stretch with Steve Spagnuolo, in his first two seasons with the franchise, Fisher has gone 7-8-1 and 7-9. Fisher’s first year with the team was nothing short of a drastic improvement, taking a 2-14 team and turning it into a seven-win team. And the front office has done a phenomenal job stockpiling draft picks to aid Fisher in his rebuilding process. But, last year’s 7-9 record can hardly be called an improvement. Yes, Fisher has the defense playing at a relatively high level. The offense, on the hand, isn’t playing at a very high level. Sam Bradford is currently one of the most overpaid quarterbacks in the league. Zac Stacy averaged fewer than four yards per carry. Tavon Austin, the Rams’ first-round pick, only managed to catch 38 catches in his first season. As a whole, the offense ranked 27th in passing yards and 19th in rushing yards. I get that the Rams are playing in the NFC West, a division seemingly littered with Super Bowl contenders. But, if Fisher only manages to win seven games again, his seat has got to be getting warmer, right? If the Rams fail to make the playoffs again, which is a likely possibility, Fisher will have only made the postseason six times in 20 seasons as a head coach. So, can we please stop talking about “stability” and “identity when talking about Jeff Fisher? Instead, let’s call him what he is: an experienced NFL coach that has won 53 percent of his games and has gone to the postseason 32 percent of the time. My second and third problem is that the team is incredibly boring to watch when it has the football. I lied. Last Year’s Stud: Robert Quinn My god, this guy might be the most underrated pass rusher in the game, mainly due to my last two problems with the team that he plays for. Quinn posted 19 sacks last season. The game that I got to see him play in, against the Bears, was unreal. Jermon Bushrod, regarded as an above-average left tackle in the league, couldn’t even slow him down. Quinn took over that game. The dude’s a menace. Runner-up: Chris Long Last Year’s Surprise: Alec Ogletree The rookie ended up leading the team in tackles with 117. Runner-up: Jake Long Last Year’s Disappointment: Sam Bradford Bradford was actually putting up pretty solid numbers (14 touchdowns, four interceptions) before suffering a season-ending injury. But, with Bradford missing the second half of the season, his year can only be described as a disappointment. Bradford’s cap number last season was $12,595,000. It’s $17,610,000 for 2014. Runner-up: Tavon Austin He was electric when he got the ball, but that didn’t happen nearly enough. Draft Class Aaron Donald is nasty. The St. Louis Rams might have the best defensive line in the game. That is all. Other notable pick: Michael Sam This Year’s Stud: Aaron Donald Did I mention that he’s nasty? Oh, and he’ll also be lining up next to Robert Quinn and Chris Long. Yikes. Runner-up: Robert Quinn This Year’s Surprise: Tre Mason Running back wasn’t exactly an area of need for the Rams, but, by selecting Mason, the Rams are getting a back who can both catch and run with the ball. He should end up wrestling some carries away from Zac Stacy. Runner-up: Kenny Britt This Year’s Disappointment: Sam Bradford At this point in his career — he’s entering his fifth season — Bradford needs to show something for a full season in order to justify his monster rookie contract. Runner-up: Zac Stacy Fantasy Outlook  Draft early: N/A Good value in the middle rounds: Tavon Austin, Zac Stacy, Jared Cook Don’t draft: Sam Bradford What Vegas Is Saying (LVH Sports Book): 7.5 wins What We’re Saying: 8-8 (3rd place in NFC West) The defense will be fine. The questions for this team involve the offense and whether or not Sam Bradford will (finally) emerge. The bad news for the Rams is that they are forced to play in the NFC West. Because of this, I can’t see them making the playoffs, unless the Seahawks and Niners are hit with significant injuries. If the Rams had the luxury of playing in a division like the AFC South, we might be talking playoffs. But, because they play in the NFC West, another season hovering around .500 seems like the most likely outcome.  Follow Sean Wagner-McGough on Twitter @seanjwagner Article found on: Next Impulse Sports

Jim Harbaugh to Michigan speculation building

Heat lose a key player with McRoberts out for rest of season

Belichick: Ryan is 'buttering me up' with Hall of Fame praise

Marshall: Bears need to gel and do some kumbaya

Ray McDonald investigated for possible sexual assault

Red Sox appear content with rotation despite lack of true ace


Iguodala gets technical for mocking Conley travel

Bo Pelini takes shot at Nebraska during introductory presser

Belichick: Patriots need to play better against the Jets

Rex Ryan doesn't want to get in trouble talking about Revis

Bears Conte willing to shorten lifespan for NFL career

Former NFLer Simeon Rice: I was sexually abused as a child

Wade Miley confident in health, diet after trade from D-Backs

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson lead in 2014 athlete Google searches

Molding the market: All eyes on Max Scherzer

Another "Fire John Idzik' plane flies at Jets practice

Four can't-miss match-ups in NFL's Week 16

Report: Some Browns shunned Manziel during pregame

Making an attempt to understand Celtics' priorities

Gronk makes awkward sausage joke on 'Top Chef'

Walmart ripped for confusing Anthony/Lin doll

RG3 taking sabbatical from social media for rest of season

David Robinson's son to walk-on at Duke next year

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Four can't-miss match-ups in NFL's Week 16

RG3 quits social media for season

Each NFL division’s MVP

5 NFLers who must step up in Week 16

Most impressive college hoops teams

Five reasons why FSU is going to win the CFB Playoff

Boxer admits to dive in Rourke bout

FCC heard about Brady's swearing?

Embracing the hate of the Eagles-Cowboys Rivalry

DeSean Jackson mocks Eagles

Andrew Hawkins defends shirt

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.