In what is arguably the most difficult division in the NFL, the St. Louis Rams are hoping to make a splash in the NFC West.
The Rams were 4-1-1 in division play last season, a better mark then the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks had, but just 7-8-1 overall. This year, some believe the Rams can make the jump into the postseason.
For the Rams to ascend they will need better and more consistent play from quarterback Sam Bradford and to do that they’ve outfitted him with some help. Tavon Austin, the rookie wide receiver from West Virginia, is one significant addition. Austin tells the NFL Network that he’s already clicking with Bradford.
“He looked for me a lot at practice," Austin said, according to NFL.com. "He definitely believes in me and I definitely feel good about myself. He kind of talked to me, let me know the things I'm doing good, the things I'm doing bad as far as landmarks, if I should have kept the corner high or should I bend it off. I definitely believe he got a lot of trust in me and I got trust in him.
"I can say I'm one of his new toys. Me and Jared (Cook) and Stedman (Bailey) probably one of the new toys that came to the family. I just hope that my number gets called a lot and then at the end of the season he can really say I was one of his toys."
It’s a big year for Bradford. If he uses his “toys” successfully perhaps he’ll be viewed in a new light after the season. If so, the Rams just might be in the playoffs.
Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs
Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune
JAN 20 Tony Villiotti
Following Monday's announcement of those declaring for the Draft, a look at the numbers.
JAN 19 Jeff Fedotin
Chiefs' special teams coordinator has unique football mind.
JAN 16 Tony Villiotti
Are certain positions more reliant on early round picks?