Mailbag: Will the St. Louis Rams youngsters take the team to the next level?


Mailbag: Will the Rams’ young team be able to perform well enough to put the Rams in the spotlight and ultimately the playoffs? – Tyler, Phoenix

The Rams’ team age cannot and should not, play a factor in the whether or not the team makes the playoffs. Coach Fisher has adamantly for years said that the team’s age won’t be a factor, and he expects big things from the group of youngsters.

I can’t help but agree. The oldest starters on the team are 33-year-old Scott Wells, then 29-year-olds Jake and Chris Long. The team’s roster is jam-packed with youth, and Jeff Fisher and Les Snead wouldn’t have it any other way.

If you take a look at the roster in its entirety (even if it’s just the off season), the Rams have made the necessary moves to sneak into the post-season this year. While we all know that the NFC West has made its claim as  the best division in the league, the Rams can slip in.

With the addition of this year’s drafted rookies: Greg Robinson, Aaron Donald, Lamarcus Joyner, Tre Mason, Maurice Alexander, E.J. Gaines, Garrett Gilbert, Mitchell Van Dyk, Christian Bryant, Michael Sam, Demetrius Rhaney; it’s easy to see that the Rams are building a physical team to combat the physicality and explosiveness of the NFC West.

Combine this year’s new recruits with last year’s rookies, and this young Rams roster is looking more and more like a contender. The deciding factor will of course be how well Sam Bradford can lead this team. The Bradford haters aside, I think Bradford (despite the knee surgery), will blow out of the gates this year and put up substantial numbers, especially now that they have found a team identity in the old school ground-and-pound.

Jake Long (when healthy, not if), Greg Robinson, Scott Wells, Roger Saffold, and Joe Barksdale will be a force to reckon with while running back duo Zac Stacy and Tre Mason will wear down the defense with their bruising running style.

Also, the onus of this offense will ultimately reside with Brian Schottenheimer. He will be tasked with finding ways to not impede this offense and allow them to showcase its talents.

I believe the Rams will make the playoffs for the first time in over a decade in 2014.

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Related: Our cover32 senior editors agree that the Rams are a major dark horse sleeper to make the playoffs in 2014.

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