Each week, I contact the editor of the Fansided team blog for the Seahawk’s opponent and ask a few questions about that team. This week it was Justin from over at Ramblin’ Fan, who joined in to answer a few questions:
1) After taking a big step forward last season, the Rams have seemingly taken a big step back this year. What’s been the biggest cause for the struggles the Rams have faced this season.
Injuries have certainly been an issue, but I don’t know if you can blame all of the problems on that. I think the lockout really hurt the Rams more than most teams, because they are so young and they are still trying to learn a complex offense that was brought in by Josh McDaniels. The early-season schedule was brutal, so I think all of those things are factors in the rough start.
2) After having a pretty rough season in 2010, Steven Jackson appears to be having a monster 2011 campaign. Do you think he can keep it up for the rest of the season? What about next season? Is there much tread left of his tires?
SJ39 is an absolute beast when healthy, plain and simple. I don’t know how much longer he can stay at this level, but there’s no reason to think it’s not going to continue for the rest of this season as long as he’s healthy. I really think he’s got a few good years left at least, but injuries have been an issue some in his career and he might be getting to an age where he won’t be able to bounce back so easily anymore.
3) Is seems that most NFL fans expected more from Sam Bradford than we’ve seen so far this season. As someone who follows the Rams closely, has he failed to develop this season, or are just too many problems at WR and on the O-line for him to be successful this season?
The Bradford question is one I get often and it’s a tough one to answer. The guy is super-talented, but I think it’s safe to say he has regressed this season. I don’t know why, but my guess is that it’s a combination of lack of talent at WR and OL and the difficulty of learning another new offense in limited time. I will say that he has been far less accurate this season than last, and I don’t know if you can put that on his teammates. Like I said, he’s a great talent and he’s one of the hardest workers in the league, so I have all the confidence in the world that he is going to be a great NFL quarterback.
4) The Rams defense has struggled this season, especially against the run. What’s been the reason that so many teams have been able to put up some enormous stats against them?
I really haven’t been able to figure out the problems with the run defense. If there’s one thing this team should be able to do on paper, it’s stop the run. They have really struggled with containment on cutback runs all year, and I think the DEs tend to be so focused on rushing the QB that they get out of position upfield. The run defense has been considerably better over the last few weeks, but I think Marshawn Lynch is going to be a great test on Sunday.
5) How hot is the seat under Steve Spagnuolo right now? Are the fans starting to lose faith in the coach yet?
If you would have asked me a few weeks ago, I would have told you the seat was at an all-time smokin’ hot level. However, the team is playing better right now and I think the fans are starting to cut him some slack because of the injuries. The Rams have placed 9 cornerbacks on the injured list this season, and Jackson and Bradford have both missed games. You don’t like to use injuries as an excuse, but I’ve never seen a team hit by the injury bug like this team. For those wondering, the Rams will be without both starting offensive tackles Sunday and their cornerback group will likely include Josh Gordy, Marquis Johnson and Nate Ness. Never heard of them? Don’t worry, neither have we.