St. Louis Rams Need Big Defensive Season As Sam Bradford, Offense Regroup

The St. Louis Rams aren't going to score a lot of points in 2012. I think they've built their offseason around making that fact clear to people. Their big acquisition at wide receiver was Giants Steve Smith, they drafted two projects and a backup running back to shore up the skill positions, and they didn't exactly solve all those offensive line problems, much as signing Scott Wells will help. The offense won't be a disappointment so long as Sam Bradford appears to make some progress in his third season. The defense, though--well, I'm sorry for Chris Long and company, but they have actual expectations to deal with.

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The Rams have spent the last two years building up a defense that looks young and positively competent going into 2012. On the line, Chris Long's had two excellent seasons in a row and Robert Quinn and Michael Brockers look like long-term building blocks. At linebacker James Laurinaitis appeared at times to have been airlifted in from a much better team, with a real coaching staff. And in the secondary, where the Rams were a terrible combination of injured and awful last year, they've added Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins.

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A lot of resources have gone into the defense, and it'll be up to them to take some pressure off an offense that won't be ready to stand up for itself at the start of the 2012 season. But I guess that's exactly how Jeff Fisher would want it.

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