ST. LOUIS -- James Laurinaitis was optimistic as he joined the St. Louis Rams in 2009, though they were coming off a two-win season. This summer, he truly believes he's part of a team poised to turn the corner.
"Oh absolutely. Absolutely," the middle linebacker said after the first full-squad training camp practice Thursday night. "I was genuinely excited last year, same thing this year.
"The difference is I think this year's team is more talented on paper, and hopefully that translates to the record."
Laurinaitis also thought it was Super Bowl or bust in July 2012 when the Rams were coming off another 2-14 record and rebuilding under new coach Jeff Fisher, who stressed from the beginning that players should anticipate success.
They've set the foundation, going 7-8-1 and staying competitive in most games last year. They've got the comfort of familiarity, there appears to be a much better supporting cast for quarterback Sam Bradford, and there's more speed across the board.