Despite the travel and Turf Show Times being without their lead man for the week, I was able to get together with Sean Wilkinson to talk Los Angles Rams and just what the heck is going on.
Thanks to Sean for his time.
1. No more Jeff Fisher, but it doesn't seem like much has changed for the Rams on the field, is morale better?
That depends on your definition of morale. This Rams team has lost six in a row and 10 of 11 since starting 3-1. I thing everyone associated with the franchise - front office personnel, coaches, players, and fans alike - are pretty defeated at this stage in the season. The players will never admit it, but the demeanor of this team is personified by a sulking Todd Gurley right now.
As for morale, it has gotten markedly better among fans since Jeff Fisher was canned. Prior to his firing, fans were left with no hope of ever ascending out of perpetual mediocrity. At least now, even amid a 4-11 record, fans can look forward with some resemblance of optimism.
2. What's the bright side of 2016 for the Rams on the field?
There are two major bright spots for this team. The first is the never ending dominance of Aaron Donald. The Rams struck gold with Donald and he is one of the reasons the Rams head coaching vacancy is looked at as appealing.
The other bright spot for the Rams has been special teams play. After struggling mightily in 2015, K Greg Zuerlein has bounced back nicely and has only missed three FGs all season. Toss in P Johnny Hekker showing that he's still the best punter in the NFL... and it's easy to see why John Fassel was given the interim head coaching gig.
3. Who disappointed the most in 2016?
The state of the offense. Todd Gurley has fallen flat on his face, Jeff Fisher absolutely mangled the QB situation, and the receivers have been unable to catch much of anything. They're last in the NFL both in scoring and yardage - and it's not even close. 2016 will mark the 4th consecutive season that the Rams have been in the bottom 5 in terms of yardage. With all of the draft capital they've invested (mostly from the RG3 trade), to say that is abysmal would be a severe understatement.
4. Jared Goff, too soon to start the bu...?
I think it's absolutely too soon to be calling Goff the dreaded 'B' word. He was drafted by a Head Coach who has no idea how to run a modern NFL offense and had a supporting cast completely fall apart around him. If the Rams hire a coach who can scheme a competent NFL offense and his struggles continue, that's when I think we'll start mentioning him as a bust.
5. Can the Rams win this last game or did they check out?
As I alluded to earlier, no one will admit it but this team seems absolutely toasted. The combination of the relocation, traveling to London, and having to deal with increased expectations/drama in Los Angeles has worn on them. I'm not saying that they've given up, but they've certainly lost any fire they had after a 3-1 start.