By Jay Skurski
The St. Louis Rams come to Buffalo on Sunday fresh off a victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
I spoke with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Kathleen Nelson about how the Rams have given the 49ers such trouble this season, as well as how quarterback Sam Bradford is adjusting to having his third offensive coordinator in three seasons.
We also talked about the Rams' style under new head coach Jeff Fisher, the health of receiver Danny Amendola, and just where St. Louis might be vulnerable against the Bills. The 10-minute conversation can be heard in full at the bottom of this post, following some highlights.
Question: Where is quarterback Sam Bradford in his development?
Kathleen Nelson: "He's on his third offensive coordinator in three seasons. He's always got a learning curve, but he's progressing. He doesn't have the big, flashy, dramatic touchdown drives that you see from the rookies this year, but he's been able -- especially the last couple weeks -- to launch drives, to use his feet to sustain drives, to find the deep threat. He's become a little more versatile. … I think he doesn't get the credit he deserves for stepping up."
Q: How have the Rams had such success against San Francisco?
KN: "I think it's because the 49ers' strength on offense tends to be the running game with Frank Gore. He's their go-to guy, and Jeff Fisher likes that smash mouth kind of stuff. I think he's built a defense to stop that kind of a running game. … It was like a tug of war, nobody really making much ground either way. It wasn't always pretty, it was a struggle."
Q: If you were an offensive coordinator, where would you attack the Rams’ defense?
KD: "The safeties are considered the Achilles heel of the defense. Both their starting safeties, Craig Dahl and Quintin Mikell are pretty strong against the run and pretty decent tacklers, but sometimes when you get them out in space in coverage, things seem to break down. That hasn't happened as much recently as it did early in the season or last year. But if I was an offensive coordinator, those are probably the guys I’d try to attack."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Kathleen Nelson