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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Rams First Half Report Card

    The Rams have reached the halfway point in the season, and will enjoy a week off before moving on to a tough second half schedule.

    In the meantime, here are my grades for the first half of the Rams' season:

    Quarterbacks: A-
    This is, of course, Sam Bradford's grade, as he's taken every snap in the first eight games. That alone is a victory, given his injury last year at Oklahoma. Its hard to imagine any rookie QB, playing with the WRs the Rams have been able to put (and keep) on the field, playing much better than Sam has. The minus is merely my recognition that there is still room for improvement, as would be expected from a first year player.

    Running Backs: B+
    Steven Jackson has been a workhorse, playing through multiple injuries and remaining a steady force on the offense. The backups, Kenneth Darby and Keith Tolston, have had a few good moments, and certainly have not been the liability that some feared.

    Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: B-
    This was a tough grade to give. The Rams have had major injury problems at these positions, forcing several players to step up. I've been happy with the contributions of Mark Clayton, Danny Amendola, Brandon Gibson and (in his one real opportunity) Danario Alexander. I've been a bit disappointed with Laurent Robinson and Mardy Gilyard. At TE, injuries have resulted in a lack of continuity.

    Offensive Line: B
    The line has been steady, if unspectacular. I'd like to see Bradford have a bit more time for longer passes (though I'm not sure the Rams have the receivers to run the patterns), and a bit more consistency in the run blocking. Still, this is a young line and I see a bright future.

    Defensive Line: A
    The highest grade has to go to this group. The play of Chris Long, Fred Robbins and James Hall in particular has transformed the defense from average, at best, to (dare I say it) feared. Nice situational contributions from Gary Gibson, George Selvie and C.J. Ah You as well.

    Linebackers: B
    This grade may surprise some, but its a mixed bag. Na'il Diggs and Larry Grant have been fairly average overall, while James Laurinaitis has been exceptional. To me, that averages out to a B grade.

    Defensive Backs: B
    Count the number of big plays the Rams have given up in the passing game. Not many, are there? There have been some lapses in coverage, but overall this unit has played well despite a number of nagging injuries. Brad Fletcher has been a steadying force coming off a severe injury as a rookie.

    Special Teams: B-
    Donnie Jones has done a great job, and the coverage (apart from a big return in Detroit) has been fairly good. The Rams' kick returners, on the other hand, has done little. Josh Brown has been good, but not great.

    Coaching: B+
    The offensive playcalling has been better than some believe, though the Rams have had some unfortunate dry spells on offense that result, to some extent, from predictability. The defensive schemes have been solid, apart from an underuse of the blitz in Oakland. Overall, with the personnel and injuries the Rams have had, the coaches deserve a lot of credit for being highly competitive in 7 of 8 games.

    Front Office: A-
    You have to give the front office credit for keeping the roster stocked despite a lack of available talent. Mark Clayton, Brian Kehl, Danario Alexander and Michael Lewis are all acquisitions made since September 1 that have or likely will contribute this year. I also believe the front office made the right call in refusing to overpay for Vincent Jackson. The minus is for passing on LeGarrette Blount, though perhaps that's a bit of unfair hindsight.

    Rookie Class: A-
    A rookie class that immediately provides two high quality starters at key positions (Bradford, Saffold) and three other players who have contributed (Murphy, Hoomanawanui, Selvie) has to be considered a success. Hoping for some contributions from Gilyard and Onobun (if his back injury is not serious) in the second half of the season.

    Overall Grade: B+
    Some may look at a 4-4 record following a 3-29 record over two years and simply say "that's an A+ in my book." I think its great that we can reasonably expect even more from this team, so I'm thrilled to give them a B+ for the first half.

  2. #2
    sjacksonrules's Avatar
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    Re: Rams First Half Report Card

    Good breakdown avenger. I would have to agree with most of the grades if not all. I can't wait to see what we can do the second half of the season seeing as we have more road games in the second half.

  3. #3
    hawaiianpunch's Avatar
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    Re: Rams First Half Report Card

    i would have to give the offensive play calling a C+ at best, but spags has done a good job encouraging the team, and they have responded. Players i noticed respond well to good coaching, spags is doing a great job, considering our team is the youngest in the NFL. good ratings here AV. Nice job.

  4. #4
    clarasDK's Avatar
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    Re: Rams First Half Report Card

    With the hindsight glasses on I would have loved to have taken Mike Williams. Then we would have had our qb and wr combo for years. Seems that the bucs have found gold with him and blount.

    But very good analysis.

  5. #5
    ramsfantyler111 Guest

    Re: Rams First Half Report Card

    Yea def woulda wished we picked Blount he is a animal and steven jackson is one of the best and i love him just he soon to be 30 hopefully not a big dropoff because we have no rbs and need r draft picks for a good WR

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