I'm as unhappy with the current state of our team as everyone else is. I've openly critized our coaching (ClanRam posts) staff for our failures. I just feel like our guys aren't fired up enough, aren't coached up enough, aren't giving it there all, whether it be physically or mentally or both.
After watching several press conferences one thing is constant. Spags, McDaniels and Flajole all reiterate the same thing. Our guys are paying attention, giving it their all and through repetition are going to get better. Spags reminds us that we need to stay the course. That there's nothing wrong with the fundamentals, assignments and plays that the guys are learning. We just need to get better at what we are doing. That will come with repetition and unfortunately repetition = time.
I know, here we go again! There's that word "TIME"! We've all been waiting too long already. It hurts and it's very frustrating. I'm with you.....I'm sick of all the losing. I'm sick of being teased. (7-9) last season and just missed the playoffs. I feel like our team has thrown a pie in my face! After going (7-9) my expectations of improvement were at a very high level only to have the rug pulled out from under me!
After further review should I be surprised by this let down? Should I have seen this coming? I'm thinking yes but I'll let you be the judge. I mean look at all the changes, some more critical than others:
Injuries have forced a ton of changes especially on the defensive side of the ball and has weakened our special teams a bit. How many DB's have we lost? Is it like 7? Starters to boot! Brought in 2 new LB's, Leber and Poppinga. Sure they're veterans but still have to learn Flajole's defense. Actually I'm not as disappointed with our defense as I am with our offense. Forget about the yards allowed, the game is won by the team with the most points. When you look at our defensive ranking we are next to the bottom in the league for the points allowed category. However if you take away the 3 TD's allowed by our offense we jump right up into the middle of the pack. Actually 12th in the league for points allowed per game. That's better than average.
I mentioned special teams taking a bit of a hit....one word...AMENDOLA. Not having his sure hands returning punts and kickoffs have hurt us. (Salas and Pettis need to get their act together NOW!)
OFFENSE: Here's where we have taken major and I mean major steps backwards. Of course losing Amendola for the season and Steven Jackson (Injured again) missing a few games haven't helped. Really though the issues here are with our QB and receivers (You too Mr Kendricks) or are they? Our rookie QB took last seasons West Coast offense and ran with it. Seemed like he grasped it right away. Not only him but the rest of our offensive unit as well. So the Cleveland Browns were so impressed with the job Pat Shurmur did with our rookie QB they hired him to be their Headcoach. Major void for us! The powers to be decide to bring in an OC that would open up our attack and get away from the somewhat successful dink and dunk that Bradford was used to.
They certainly brought in a guy with a proven track record with young QB's. Welcome to the club Mr. Josh McDaniels. I was very excited about this hiring. This guy was going to be a big help in getting us to the next level in 2011. "WRONG" For whatever reason, Bradford, our receivers and our O-line haven't grasped it yet. 4 pretty good preseason games had us all believing that we were on the right track. 4 ugly games into the regular season and we are all disappointed and down right upset. Is that fair?
Afterall Bradford is in his 2nd NFL season and is being forced to learn is 2nd offensive playbook, entirely. Let's not forget that everyone else on our offense is facing the same learning curve. "LOOK, WE HAVE NO CHOICE" but to give it time.
We can point the finger at catchable dropped passes by our receivers. How many have there been? 10? Well how about Bradford's less than 50% completion passing?
Even if our receivers catch those dropped passes Bradford would still be below his 60% completions from last season. How about the fumbles lost by Bradford that were returned for TD's? Bradford hasn't grasped this offense like he did last season, period.
The good news is that there are still 12 games to go this season and things are going to get better. When? Game 5, 6, 7, 8....I'm not sure but I trust what the coaches are telling us. Repetition, repetition, repetition....and there's nothing better than live NFL regular season games to sharpen our skills. So again if you're a real Die-Hard RAMS fan you'll just have to accept that "WE HAVE NO CHOICE" but to wait until next season.
Better days are coming and I firmly believe that!
:helmet: GO RAMS! :helmet: