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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is online now Moderator Emeritus
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    Can The Defense Really Improve From Within?

    One question that has to be on the minds of Rams fans everywhere is: will the defense improve?

    Certainly, there will be some new faces on the defense in 2007. James Hall and Chris Draft have already been signed, and could both be opening day starters. The Rams will also likely take a defender in the first round of the draft, and will expect that player to be a factor as a rookie.

    All that said, if the defense is going to improve, it must do so, to a large extent, from within. Given the number of young players on the roster, including Victor Adeyanju, Claude Wroten, Brandon Chillar, Tye Hill, Ron Bartell, O.J. Atogwe and Jon Alston, there seems to be significant room to do so. But the question has to be asked: how much can players who have been in the league from one to three years really improve?

    The answer: though there are no guarantees, defensive players can, and often do, improve significantly during, or even after, their first three years in the league. Don’t believe me? Consider this:

    Assume you are starting the year with these key defenders:

    1) a DE who has registered only 5.5 sacks in his first 24 games over two seasons.
    2) a DT who had only 44 tackles and 3 sacks as a rookie.
    3) a LB who has averaged less than 50 tackles over his first two years.
    4) a LB who has only played in 36 games, and registered 36 tackles, in his first three years.
    5) a CB coming off a rookie year in which he played 10 games and had 2 interceptions.
    6) a CB coming off a rookie year in which he played in only 7 games and had no interceptions.
    7) a SS who, over his first two years, averaged 25 tackles and forced only one turnover.

    A bunch of bums, right? Draft busts who will never amount to much, right?

    Well, of course, you’d be wrong. The players who’s somewhat inauspicious starts I’ve described are 1) Michael Strahan, 2) Richard Seymour, 3) Julian Peterson, 4) Mike Vrabel, 5) DeAngelo Hall, 6) Deltha O’Neal and 7) Chris Hope.

    So, does that mean that all of the Rams’ young players are going to become Pro Bowl players? Obviously, the answer is no. But, to presume that none of them will blossom into top notch defensive players is also extraordinarily presumptuous.

    Some may be lumps of coal, but there may be a diamond or two in the bunch as well. Only time will tell.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -03-21-2007 at 05:09 PM.


  2. #2
    CRAZYHORNS's Avatar
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    Re: Can The Defense Really Improve From Within?

    Good job AV,

    I have a question for you.

    If the Rams draft a DT or DE should we fans expect this rookie to be a factor this season (Is this a realistic expectation) ??

    I only could come up with a few defensive lineman in the last decade who may have had a good rookie season.

    Kearse
    Dwight Freeny?
    Not sure but I thought Rodgers had a pretty good rookie year.

    If you consider all the DL's drafted in the top(1-15) of the 1st round the Rams realistic expectation should be......hopefullly this player will develop into a good player but probably will not be a factor this year.

    GO RAMS

  3. #3
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Can The Defense Really Improve From Within?

    I think if you do the research, you'll find that there are far more examples of DEs who hit the league with a bang (particularly as pass rushers) than there are DTs who hit their stride as rookies. In fact, the vast majority of the Defensive Rookies of the Year over the last 15-20 years were either a DEs or LBs.

  4. #4
    marccat's Avatar
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    Re: Can The Defense Really Improve From Within?

    Luv your take bra! I got those we can do it with homecookin' blues BAD. I just feel a good buzz about this team. If we can just stay healthy I know we got YA YA'S to beat any team out there. Linehan constantly impresses with his ability to get the most out of a man and it comes down to trust and knowing your teammate is where he's supose to be and the magic starts. And dudes are flyin' all over the field gettin' SUM, and making the Rams look like a force that will not quit, and son, thats heart and guts and what football is ALL about dont cha know! IF ONLY

  5. #5
    timsum1283's Avatar
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    Re: Can The Defense Really Improve From Within?

    wow you really hit me with some knowledge. If two or three of these young players can end up like the other seven, this defense may actually be feared.

  6. #6
    blood85's Avatar
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    Re: Can The Defense Really Improve From Within?

    Let's hope we find those "diamonds" very soon.

  7. #7
    MSG
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    Re: Can The Defense Really Improve From Within?

    AvengerRam, that was an excellent piece of research. Certainly does brighten my outlook. Question: How many players have similar statistics in their first two years and have had marginal to bust careers? I'm trying to get a sense of whether you're citing rare exceptions that in all probability are difficult to duplicate or are these reasonable expectations fans can have.

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