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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Random Thoughts from Week Seven

    Wow, talk about a heart breaker. So many places to look at, letís get started on this one.

    -The two TD part of Sam Bradfordís stat line was nice, but the rest (13/26 for 126 yards) was not. This wasnít a great game for Sam, who looked off on a number of throws and didnít display good timing with his receivers. He made what appeared to be line adjustments that changed the called play into a sideline fade, and it failed all three times they tried it. The Rams did not do a good job finishing drives in the second half, and some of that falls on Samís shoulders.

    -What more can you really say about Jackson? He looked great out there, weaving through traffic to find the running lanes and get positive yardage. He had some nice cutbacks, displayed nice vision, had a great pirouette at one point on a play that ultimately wouldnít convert a third down. Nice individual day for him, passing Dickerson as the all-time leading rusher for the team. Darby looked sharp as a receiver in space, and had some nice gains out of the split backfield set. Not sure if heís the back-up RB this team needs, but he can contribute.

    -The absence of the Ramsí wide receivers in the passing game was evident today. Amendola had a great pick-up on a WR screen, had an easy touchdown grab on a route to the flat, but didnít really stand out the rest of the day besides that. The rest of the unit Ė Gibson, Robinson, and Alexander Ė had a combined four catches for 26 yards. Pedestrian at best. Even if the gameplan was to feature the run against one of the worst run defenses in the league, you need to get better production out of your passing game. The tight ends were pretty quiet as well, save for some penalties on Bajema and Uh-Ohís touchdown reception.

    -I feel a lot better about the left side of the Ramsí offensive line than I do the right side. I thought Jackson consistently had a fair amount of running room when running to the left, and it looked like Saffold was getting some good push at the line. Pass protection wasnít great today but I also donít think it was awful, either. Too many penalties by this unit, though. Three false starts by the line helped end Rams drives today by forcing them to go another five yards for the first, which they couldnít do. Ironically, the 3rd & 6 false start by ďeveryone but the centerĒ is credited in the play by play as being on Brown, the center. The Rams gained seven yards on the following 3rd & 11 play, not enough to convert after the penalty, and that was the last time their offense would see the ball before the final play of the game.

    -I thought the DL played a pretty good game, overall. The Rams had some nice penetration early on by Robbins, though he seemed to disappear after the first drive. James Hall made his presence felt in the backfield, and Chris Long was his typical relentless self, getting a forced fumble sack. C.J. Ah You had a nice day as well, nice to see him making some plays off the bench. That being said, I would have liked to see this unit get off their blocks better in the running game. I know they were gassed in the second half, and thereís only so much you can expect out of them when theyíve been on the field for so long in the hot sun. But the Bucs really ran almost at will in the second half, and part of that has to go to the holes the Rams werenít filling by linemen or linebackers.

    -Speaking of the linebackers, I thought what was a solid first half for this unit turned into an ugly day thanks to some second half performances. The LB coverage on Winslow was okay but not stellar; James Laurinaitis got beat on a third down pass to Winslow. One of the bigger disappoints of the day were the missed tackles, particularly in the second half. It didnít seem like anyone could bring down LeGarrette Blount unless you were a 290+ pound defensive lineman. Diggs and Grant missed some tackles, and Grant even had Blount by the facemask but didnít bring him down with that grab. Weaknesses at the OLB position seemed to stand out in todayís game.

    -Solid game by the secondary, but not good enough when it counted. Iím in the ďRon Bartell is good but not greatĒ camp, and I again thought he had a good but not great day. But I will give him all the credit in the world for not only coming back into the game while injured, but making a fantastic pass break up on a slant route in the end zone. I thought Fletcher had an up and down game; he did not appear to be able to stay with Mike Williams laterally across the field on deep outs or ins, but had a nice break up late in the game on a fly pattern down the sideline. Murphy looked like a rookie today, allowing Sammie Stroughter to get by him for first downs on two different completions, then taking a poor angle on the big Mike Williams catch and run at the end of the game. In fact, Dockery and Dahl deserve criticism for that final big play as well, as all three players were run by. Those are the types of plays that people will remember, even if the unit had a decent day prior to that.

    -Not a whole lot to say about special teams. Bajema had a block in the back penalty that negated a 35-yard return by Amendola. Danny had another nice kick return, he really has good vision to find the open lanes on the return unit. One other note Iíd make about special teams is that I didnít feel like the Rams were helped much by Donnie Jones in the second half. On the final two drives, Jones could have perhaps helped the team by pinning Tampa back deep in their own field position, but punts of 27 and 23 yards didnít cut it, as the Bucs started at their own 18 and 19 yard lines respectively.

    -Well, now the coaching. Look, I know this isnít a wide open aggressive offense and may never be under the current coaching staff. I know the personnel is a bit limited, especially at receiver where the Rams have lost two of their top targets in Avery and Clayton. We get it. But this team consistently looks like theyíre content trying to sit on a first half lead for 30 minutes in the second half, as if two quarters of work is enough to get the job done in this league. The defense has improved from last year, but not enough to warrant that kind of approach. It nearly cost the Rams against the Chargers, and ultimately cost them here today. I liked some of the creativity I saw out of the playcalling in the first half Ė the play-action fake to Karney on 3rd & 2 where Bradford hit an open Jackson in the flat, the reverse to Amendola, the way Darby was used. But in the second half, the turtleís head went back into its shell and Shurmur did not come up with anything to help an offense that was having problems executing. Weíve seen this too many times before, and itís really becoming a concern. Defensively, I was satisfied with the way the Rams gave the Bucs a number of different looks to try and confuse the young quarterback. I didnít sense that there was as much blitzing this time around, and perhaps thatís in part due to the improved ability of the defensive line to generate pressure. I would have liked to see some better second half adjustments in terms of combating the run, but again, I understand a lot of that probably had to do with the defense being worn down and the offense not helping them out. This staff has to find a way to be able to keep their foot on the gas offensively in the second half. Otherwise, theyíd better petition the league to go to an 18-game two-quarter format from here on out.

    -Next up on the schedule is the Carolina Panthers, who got their first win today against the San Francisco *****. This will be a home game for the Rams, so you'd like to think they'll be better than they were today. But again, it's going to depend on whether or not the Rams play for two quarters or four.


  2. #2
    RamsInfiniti's Avatar
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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Seven

    Cannot argue with anything here. Some glaring issues led to this loss:

    Complete inability to bring down Blount
    Dropped INT's by Atogwe and J. Lau
    INT that hit Fletcher in the back
    Overall poor play by Bradford
    Conservatism by the coaching staff, not sure who the source is

  3. #3
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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Seven

    Very well put. I know our WR corps is pretty dismal, but we really need to take some shots down field. When you have man-to-man single coverage all game, you just have to take your shots.

    Shurmur calls run on first down on almost every set of downs. It seems like he just doesn't want to face second and long situations and craves the safety of having SJAX run up the middle on first down for positive yards. Not like that is all bad, but Shurmur just takes it too far. The run up the middle on third down was far too conservative. Yes, it is possible you MIGHT catch them with their pants down, but overwhelmingly likely you will just punt the ball in a situation like that. WE NEEDED THAT FIRST DOWN TO WIN.

    We really shouldn't have to tolerate such poor coaching and playcalling, we have enough problems with injuries and lack of depth.

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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Seven

    I'd like to know where the Sam Bradford is a very accurate QB stuff comes from.

    It must be his college reputation, because I've yet to see him have a complete game where I thought he was very accurate.

  5. #5
    RamsInfiniti's Avatar
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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Seven

    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    I'd like to know where the Sam Bradford is a very accurate QB stuff comes from.

    It must be his college reputation, because I've yet to see him have a complete game where I thought he was very accurate.
    I feel the same way, but it is forbidden that anybody say anything bad about the golden child. His accuracy has been mediocre at best ....

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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Seven

    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    I'd like to know where the Sam Bradford is a very accurate QB stuff comes from.

    It must be his college reputation, because I've yet to see him have a complete game where I thought he was very accurate.
    I've been of the (mostly private) opinion that he needs to reduce power on some (most?) of his throws, but I have been hesitant to voice that since I thought somebody would diagnose and fix that on the coaching staff.

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    thatguy is offline Registered User
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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Seven

    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    I'd like to know where the Sam Bradford is a very accurate QB stuff comes from.

    It must be his college reputation, because I've yet to see him have a complete game where I thought he was very accurate.
    He is a rookie he need more time to understand the speed of the game. And he needs time to develop more chemistry with the WR's. QB's that have the best accuracy aren't going to be throwing 63% in their rookie year

  8. #8
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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Seven

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsInfiniti View Post
    I feel the same way, but it is forbidden that anybody say anything bad about the golden child. His accuracy has been mediocre at best ....
    bloody hell, the guy is a rookie in his 7th career game! Get some perspective!

  9. #9
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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Seven

    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk247 View Post
    bloody hell, the guy is a rookie in his 7th career game! Get some perspective!
    So crucify the young coaching staff, but give the Golden Boy a pass? I'm not ready to settle for mediocracy, and neither is Bradford ....

    I doubt he's satisfied with his play ....

    He is as responsible as anyone ...

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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Seven

    i havent criticised the coaching staff, ive said its pretty much on everyone except Steven Jackson and maybe Chris Long.

    I just think a lot of people are expecting way too much of this team though. We won one game last year, we already have three wins. Some expected us to only get 3 wins all season!

  11. #11
    SavageRam's Avatar
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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Seven

    How long have we seen this team come out flat in the second half? Since 9/07?

    The two times the Rams did look good after halftime this year they dominated their opponents (Redskins 30-16 and Seahawks 20-3). Here's a startling stat; in the other five games this year, the Rams have been outscored in the second half 66 to 13!

    IMO, this nauseating trend is beyond becoming a concerned at this point. These stale second half offensive performances have got to stop now or heads need to start rolling.

    I started to really feel sorry for what the Rams defense had to endure in the second half today... with the heat... and pulling all the offense's weight... the offense should give half their paycheck over to the defense this week.

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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Seven

    Quote Originally Posted by swatter555 View Post
    Shurmur calls run on first down on almost every set of downs.
    Except that in the 3rd and 4th quarters of this game we threw 4 times on 1st down and rushed 5 times. A majority yes barely... almost every set not even close.

  13. #13
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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Seven

    First of all: Execellent game summary! you might want to submit this for publication somewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    -Well, now the coaching. Look, I know this isnít a wide open aggressive offense and may never be under the current coaching staff. I know the personnel is a bit limited, especially at receiver where the Rams have lost two of their top targets in Avery and Clayton. We get it. But this team consistently looks like theyíre content trying to sit on a first half lead for 30 minutes in the second half, as if two quarters of work is enough to get the job done in this league. The defense has improved from last year, but not enough to warrant that kind of approach.
    Nick, do you honestly think that this is a deliberate approach to the second half by the coaching staff or is it something in the way of player execution that they have not yet been able to correct?




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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Seven

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambunctious View Post
    Except that in the 3rd and 4th quarters of this game we threw 4 times on 1st down and rushed 5 times. A majority yes barely... almost every set not even close.
    Can you post the game log then to back up that assertion? I recalled a first on 15 pass and the final play of the game. That doesn't really refute what I was saying about calling run on 1st down too much.

    Look, I am not for passing the ball every down, but zero points in the second half speaks for itself. We didn't even attempt a FG. In addition, as noted by the announcers, a majority of the passes were simply extensions of the run game. If you look at pass attempts beyond say 5 yards, you will see what I am saying about being too conservative. How many passes were attempted beyond 10 yards? Maybe 5? How many beyond 15? Maybe 1? That is just hide in your shell conservative.

    Maybe Shurmur is confronting the obvious lack of talent at the WR position, but the front office passed on many possible trades and now we are stuck. Still, we need to at least attempt to stretch the field and maybe get lucky in the process.

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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Seven

    One Major Problem:

    Our offensive tackles.

    Yes they look good at times, but on a lot of plays, it is very evident, even to those who don't pay attention to the linemen, that Smith and Saffold are lacking in strength and are being bullied backwards right into Bradford, making Bradford have to rush his throws.


    Just throwing that out there.

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