The Los Angeles Rams expect to improve this upcoming season. Particularly after a 4-12 season. Most NFL circles predict that the Rams will be better than their 4-12 season but how much better exactly?

The Rams brand has taken a hit over the past decade due to the incessant losing. They have not had a winning season dating back to the 2003 season.

That is a big reason why many are hesitant to buy into the Rams. The franchise has not shown the ability to turn the tide after countless years of losing so why believe they can do it now?

That is one of the biggest reasons why the Rams will be arguably the biggest surprise to the league this year. They have set the table to improve in every aspect of football.

The Rams brought in head coach Sean McVay to lead the charge in steering this franchise in the right direction. McVay in turn put together a staff with many years of coaching experience in between each individual.

The most notable new additions are offensive coordinator Matt Lafleur and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. Lafleur was the former quarterbacks coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

Atlanta Falcons

Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 threw 38 touchdowns to just seven interceptions in his most recent season under Lafleur’s development. Source: Tom Pennington/Getty Images North America via Zimbio.

Lafleur held a major role in Matt Ryan’s MVP season which ended with a Super Bowl berth. The Rams are hoping a similar situation will also take place in Los Angeles between Lafleur and starting quarterback Jared Goff.

The Rams are also hoping the same cause and effect relationship takes place on defense with Phillips. Phillips was formerly the defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos who have been a top five defense for the past two years. One of those years being a Super Bowl season.

The Rams have always had talent on defense but were never able to fully tap into its potential. The Rams hope that this will soon change with Phillips’ presence and his new defensive schemes.

Phillips and Lafleur represent championship/winning pedigree that this team so desperately needs. The culture within this team’s locker room has not been a winning one for quite some time.

The new faces within the organization are surely beginning to change that. It all must translate into wins but with this staff it seems likely that will happen.

The Rams have subtly been improving their team throughout the offseason which would put them in better position to win next year. However, the expectations for this team league wide are still lacking.

That is why a vast improvement on last year’s performance could lead to the Rams being the most surprising team of 2017. If the Rams fail to perform or if they are worse than their 4-12 season, they could be a big surprise for the wrong reasons.

Only time will tell how this team will perform on the field. Hopefully with less pressure on their shoulders, this team will exceed expectations. Judging from the standard that has been set, it should not be too difficult to accomplish.

Brendan Abban is a staff writer for the Los Angeles Rams on Endzonescore and hosts the KBR Sports podcast. Follow him on Twitter @BAbban24 or email him via [email protected]




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