Rams fans should be most encouraged by the hiring of Jeff Fisher as his pursuit of the job pertains to Sam Bradford. Fisher would've never taken the job if he didn't think Bradford is a true franchise quarterback.
That's what it takes to win in this league. You have to have "The Man," which is what Bradford was drafted to become and appeared to be on his way toward doing that in his rookie season, before falling into a sophomore slump last season.
Fisher has long been one of the best coaches in the league. If you fear one member of the Rams this week, fear him, because the man can flat coach football.
He's an excellent evaluator of talent, and he's firm in his commitment to the process of developing young talent. The late Steve McNair is the perfect example of that commitment.
Early in his career, McNair was an interception machine. "Dare McNair" was a phrase that mocked McNair as the weakness in the Titans offense. That's how you beat the Titans, McNair's critics said. You stop Eddie George and dare McNair to beat you. One day, he started doing that, and he carried the Titans to within a yard of a Super Bowl win.
Fisher never wavered in his commitment to McNair, whom the franchise made the third pick of the 1995 draft. It wasn't until McNair's fourth season that he began to show promise.
Bradford was the first overall pick of the 2010 draft. He threw more touchdown passes as a rookie, 18, than he's thrown since, 12, but Fisher is committed to Bradford being the centerpiece of the Rams' offense going forward, which raises this question: When will Bradford have that breakthrough game?
Will it be this week, against the Packers?
Here are 10 things the Packers have to do to beat the Rams.
1. Light it up—Should the Packers score points as they did last week in Houston, it's highly unlikely the Rams could keep pace.
2. Deny big plays—The Rams are 29th in the league in red zone scoring efficiency.
3. Get into the red zone—The Packers lead the league with a whopping 14-2 touchdown-to-field-goal red zone ratio.
4. Stop Steven Jackson—Fisher believes football is still first and foremost a running game.
5. Avoid a letdown—It's about time the Packers get over .500 and stay there.
6. Take the crowd out of the game—Forget that. The Cardinals have already done it.
7. Block Robert Quinn—He's got six sacks.
8. Ignore last year's game—The Rams are a different team with a new coach, new scheme and new energy.
9. Achieve balance—It's what's worked in providing pass protection for Aaron Rodgers.
10. Beware special teams tricks—Fisher likes to use them, too. Additional coverage - Oct. 18