ST. LOUIS (FootballStL) -- It's impossible to fix everything in one offseason. Every rational football person realizes that. You can't bring in new, young stars at 15 different positions overnight.
So, by that token, you have to excuse new head coach Jeff Fisher and new GM Les Snead for having some roster deficiencies.
But in last night's 20-19 loss in Dallas...the one area the Rams hardly addressed in the offseason, the one area everyone with an opinion has worried about, the one area that could be argued is as important to this team as any -- the offensive line -- looked every bit as bad as fans in this city had feared.
QB Sam Bradford was sacked twice, while his backup Kellen Clemens was dropped twice more. And maybe the worst part about it all? Bradford looked as jumpy in the pocket as he did last season when his offensive line wasn't protecting him and it seemed he was expecting to get hit.
6-17 for 64 yards and a 47.2 QB rating doesn't inspire much confidence going forward. Preseason, regular season or otherwise.
Here's the bottom line. When Jeff Fisher was trying to figure out which job he was going to take this offseason (Rams or Dolphins) there were a lot of factors at play. Sure, Stan Kroenke was a big part of the decision. So were a lot of other things.
But I have no doubt in my mind the fact the Rams had a former #1 overall pick at quarterback was huge for him. The Dolphins didn't have anything. In fact, they had to go out and draft Ryan Tannehill from Texas A&M to fill their QB opening.
And now, here we are about 8 months later and Bradford -- one of the prime reasons Fisher accepted the job here -- is not being adequately protected. That's not a good sign. Especially when just about everyone saw this coming.
The NFL is a quarterback driven league. Check out the last several Super Bowl champions. All of them have elite (or close to it) quarterbacks. New York Giants? Eli Manning. Green Bay Packers? Aaron Rodgers. New Orleans Saints? Drew Brees. Pittsburgh Steelers? Ben Roethlisberger. Indianapolis Colts? Peyton Manning. New England Patriots? Tom Brady.
Sam Bradford has the raw talent to be as good as any of those guys. But only if he gets the protection he needs. Yes, the Rams went out and signed free agent center Scott Wells. But they elected to stick with Jason Smith at right tackle (who's already lost his starting job to Barry Richardson) and they didn't do anything at left guard either.
Meanwhile, they used a first round pick on a defensive tackle, 3 second round picks on a wide receiver, cornerback and running back and didn't address the offensive line until the 5th round (Rokevious Watkins). This isn't to criticize the selections they made. On the contrary, the players they took early on look like they have bright futures.
But one look at that Rams/Cowboys game from last night tells you this offensive line is absolutely something to be concerned about as we move closer and closer into the regular season.
Sam Bradford has got to stay on his feet. Otherwise it could be another very long season in St. Louis this fall. And it could get Bradford hurt again, too, in the process.