James Laurinaitis was optimistic as he joined the St. Louis Rams in 2009, when they were coming off a two-win season.
This summer, he truly believes he's part of a team poised to turn the corner. The middle linebacker and perennial leading tackler also thought it was Super Bowl or bust in July 2012 when the Rams were coming off another 2-14 record and rebuilding under new coach Jeff Fisher. They've set the foundation, going 7-8-1 and staying competitive in most games.
They've got the comfort of familiarity, there appears to be a much better supporting cast for quarterback Sam Bradford, and there's more speed across the board. After the first full-squad workout Thursday night, Laurinaitis said there's no reason this team can't realistically reach for the sky.