Back on August 8th, I posted my first ClanRam article titled "D" Fense. The article was focused on Jim Haslett the new DC for our Rams. Well this is a follow-up or comparison/grade of how Haslett is doing through 7 games this season.
With all the additions/subtractions of our defensive unit going into the 2006 season. How have we faired vs. the well below average defense of the 2005 season?
First of all the Rams are 4-3 this season after 7 games and last season we were 3-4. So obviously we are doing something better. Is it the defense that has made the difference?
2006/2005 Season Key Defensive Numbers,
Total Net Yards allowed
Net Rushing Yards Allowed
Net Passing Yards Allowed
So basically this seasons defensive unit is allowing an average of 8 1/2 less net yards per game. The areas that stand out the most in my opinion are the increase in turnovers but more surprisingly the sacks have gone down. The sacks numbers really surprised me. Sure seems like Haslett has the D blitzing alot more than we did last year?
The other area of big improvement is the points allowed. This season the Rams are allowing an average of 23.7 points per game vs 31.6 last season.
I'm not so sure that the improvement in points allowed is a credit to the defense though?
So far this season the Rams have turned the ball over 6 times compared to 18 times at this point last season. That certainly has a direct effect on points allowed. What I'm leading to, has HC Scott Linehans focus on protecting the ball on offense has helped our defense more than anything else?
The first 5 games of this season the Rams forced 15 turnovers and we were enjoying a 4-1 record. In the last 2 games only 1 turnover has been forced and we lost both games. So really our defense is just as pourous as last season with the turnovers saving our rearends. Let's face it the Rams forced a key fumble vs. Green Bay at the end of the game. I don't call that one luck but the fumble old friend Kurt Warner handed us was extremely lucky.
After the loss to the Chargers last Sunday, ClanRam members brought up Hasletts name. Though lightly, Members are starting to wonder about Haslett?
It's the first time this season that Haslett has been mentioned in a sort of negative approach during this season by the Clan. It's because of the Clans curiosity that I've focused this article on Mr. Haslett's success or lack there of.
Here's some disturbing sections of an article I read on Wednesday Nov. 1st written by Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"What Haslett can't stand are missed tackles and missed gap assignments. And plenty of that occurred Sunday." ( dejavu-- Sound like Joe Vitt?)
"The swift but "UNDERSIZED" St. Louis defense is not ideally suited to handle power running teams such as San Diego. If you give truth serum to Haslett and Linehan, they would concede as much. In that sense San Diego was a bad matchup for the Rams".
"Trouble is Kansas City comes to town with a similar offensive philosophy"
All in all it kind of looks like our "Cinderella" story is fading away. Have we been flying under the radar for a reason ? Sure seems so.
I'll let the rest of you form your own opinions on how Haslett's doing so far but I can say that I'm not happy. If it weren't for Linehan's demands on protecting the ball where would we be?
If I had to give Haslett a grade through the first 7 games of this season it would be a D.
:r :r :r :r
Re: "D" Fense-II
Very interesting comparison. Clearly our defense isn't doing much better this year. What really worries me is the number of rushing yards given up, I thought last year was bad in that regard, but it's only gotten worse. I just checked how our rushing defense compared to the rest of the league, we're #27 in yards allowed on the ground per game. On the whole we don't look good on defense, only the turnovers have saved us from being downright abysmal so far. I still trust Haslett though, when you look at his record he has had success on defense a number of years, so logically you have to conclude that maybe we just don't have the talent on defense to be a whole lot better than we are.
Re: "D" Fense-II
Like John Kerry said, "If you work out with the team and practice hard, you can become a great player, if you don't you end up stuck on the Ram's defense."
Re: "D" Fense-II
I think we need a shutdown corner and two 340 pound tackles to clog up the middle. We also need someone to show atogwe how to take proper angles to the ball. one of the things that I noticed is that we are not blitzing nearly as much on 3rd and long.