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  1. #1
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    4 Things I Just Don't Understand About This Year

    There are a lot of things this year that I don't like, but at least understand. Here are 4 things I just don't understand:

    1. Why has Jon Alston been "redshirted"?
    Yeah, I get the whole "missed most of the Summer" excuse, but its now three months later, and he hasn't played a down. The guy was drafted because of his great physical tools and because he is supposedly a very good football player. How is he expected to develop if he's not even on the active roster? Its not like the defense or special teams are doing so well that he just can't crack the lineup. Reminds me of last year when Atogwe was on the shelf until late in the season. Now, he's a starter who, though prone to error, has shown some promise. Wouldn't Atogwe be further along if he played more last year? Can't the same be said about Alston?

    2. What happened to the 3-4?
    We heard during the offseason that Haslett was going to mix in the 3-4 on defense. Has that happened even once? Why not? Given how bad the defense has been, can anyone say that a front 7 set with Little, Adeyanju or Wroten and Kennedy on the D Line and Pisa, Spoon, Chillar and Coakley at LB would have been worse? Why not give it a try?

    3. Why are we not more committed to the run?
    The Rams have had (1) a top-notch workhorse type RB (not to mention a quality backup big-back in Davis), (2) a defense that needs to be kept off the field, and (3) few games in which they were so far behind early that they had to throw. Nonetheless, the Rams throw the ball over 60% of their total plays. Why?

    4. Where have the trick plays gone?
    The Rams ran a double reverse last week. That was the first time all year that I can recall a trick play being called. Why not throw a few in from time to time. Hasn't this team needed a spark?
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -12-15-2006 at 03:38 PM.


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    Re: 4 Things I Just Don't Understand About This Year

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    There are a lot of things this year that I don't like, but at least understand. Here are 10 things I just don't understand:

    1. Why has Jon Alston been "redshirted"?
    Yeah, I get the whole "missed most of the Summer" excuse, but its now three months later, and he hasn't played a down. The guy was drafted because of his great physical tools and because he is supposedly a very good football player. How is he expected to develop if he's not even on the active roster? Its not like the defense or special teams are doing so well that he just can't crack the lineup. Reminds me of last year when Atogwe was on the shelf until late in the season. Now, he's a starter who, though prone to error, has shown some promise. Wouldn't Atogwe be further along if he played more last year? Can't the same be said about Alston?

    2. What happened to the 3-4?
    We heard during the offseason that Haslett was going to mix in the 3-4 on defense. Has that happened even once? Why not? Given how bad the defense has been, can anyone say that a front 7 set with Little, Adeyanju or Wroten and Kennedy on the D Line and Pisa, Spoon, Chillar and Coakley at LB would have been worse? Why not give it a try?

    3. Why are we not more committed to the run?
    The Rams have had (1) a top-notch workhorse type RB (not to mention a quality backup big-back in Davis), (2) a defense that needs to be kept off the field, and (3) few games in which they were so far behind early that they had to throw. Nonetheless, the Rams throw the ball over 60% of their total plays. Why?

    4. Where have the trick plays gone?
    The Rams ran a double reverse last week. That was the first time all year that I can recall a trick play being called. Why not throw a few in from time to time. Hasn't this team needed a spark?

    Some good questions.

    1. Why has Jon Alston been "redshirted"? - That's a really good question. Unless he has some medical issues we don't know about, he definately should be getting some playing time in now.

    2. What happened to the 3-4? - I think our coaches are afraid to try the 3-4. If we can't stop the run or get a pass rush with the 4-3, I think the coaches are concerned with having 1 less player at the point of attack. Still, at this point, why not try it.

    3. Why are we not more committed to the run? - Actually, I think we start each game committied to the run. However, after falling behind quickly, or not having immediate success, we do seem to forget that we have a very talented RB.

    4. Where have the trick plays gone? - OMG!! Trick plays!?!?! We can't even execute our standard plays half the time.
    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!

  3. #3
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    Re: 4 Things I Just Don't Understand About This Year

    1. Why has Jon Alston been "redshirted"?
    Yeah, I get the whole "missed most of the Summer" excuse, but its now three months later, and he hasn't played a down. The guy was drafted because of his great physical tools and because he is supposedly a very good football player. How is he expected to develop if he's not even on the active roster? Its not like the defense or special teams are doing so well that he just can't crack the lineup. Reminds me of last year when Atogwe was on the shelf until late in the season. Now, he's a starter who, though prone to error, has shown some promise. Wouldn't Atogwe be further along if he played more last year? Can't the same be said about Alston?
    What is the deal, he can't even plays some ST?


    2. What happened to the 3-4?
    We heard during the offseason that Haslett was going to mix in the 3-4 on defense. Has that happened even once? Why not? Given how bad the defense has been, can anyone say that a front 7 set with Little, Adeyanju or Wroten and Kennedy on the D Line and Pisa, Spoon, Chillar and Coakley at LB would have been worse? Why not give it a try?
    Kennedy, I would think is not good even to take on two guys. Still would like to see it.

    Why are we not more committed to the run?
    I'm happy with the running game, O-line not at its best and D can't stop anyone, hard to play from behind and keep running the ball, but we have done ok.

    Where have the trick plays gone?

    Martz took them. We have seen the last double reverse, flip pass back to the QB in the end zone from the 3 yard line.

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    Re: 4 Things I Just Don't Understand About This Year

    I agree on the first 3, I've been thinking along the same lines.

    Let's try out some young guys, Alston being one of them, the worst we'll do is evaluate our talent and improve our draft position. My opinion is exactly the same with regards to the 3-4 defense, it may not work (my chief concern would be people running it down our throats by pancaking Kennedy every down, but that's only a little worse than now), but really why not try it out at this point. Playing conservative with all our veterans on the field as if we're in the playoff hunt would not be my mentality were I the coach, I'd rather admit this year was a failure, try out some things that will help us next year and prepare like a madman to avoid repeating this.

    As for the trick plays, I can't say I've missed them that much this year. I'd rather fix the mistakes we're making and try to play good, fundamentally sound football. But as far as your comment on the trick plays is also an indictment of the predictable playcalling this year I do agree. Without resorting to actual trick plays like HB passes, reverses and the like I feel that we could still mix it up and be a lot more unpredictable than we are right now with our playcalling. You have to play to score on offense, don't play to not turn the ball over, play to score. If it results in a few more interceptions, so be it, we don't have to go back to Mad Mike style, but I think we could find a happy medium in between that and our current Dull Scott philosophy.

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    Re: 4 Things I Just Don't Understand About This Year

    Here's another thing I don't understand. Wasn't part of Linehan's offensive strategy was to throw in the no huddle every now and then to keep the defense off balance. Now I haven't been able to watch all the games but the only time I have seen the no huddle is when we are behind.
    Sprtsmac :football:

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    Re: 4 Things I Just Don't Understand About This Year

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    There are a lot of things this year that I don't like, but at least understand. Here are 10 things I just don't understand:

    1. Why has Jon Alston been "redshirted"?
    Yeah, I get the whole "missed most of the Summer" excuse, but its now three months later, and he hasn't played a down. The guy was drafted because of his great physical tools and because he is supposedly a very good football player. How is he expected to develop if he's not even on the active roster? Its not like the defense or special teams are doing so well that he just can't crack the lineup. Reminds me of last year when Atogwe was on the shelf until late in the season. Now, he's a starter who, though prone to error, has shown some promise. Wouldn't Atogwe be further along if he played more last year? Can't the same be said about Alston?
    I know that Atogwe was benched because he made a mistake in special teams coverage, and martz benched him for it and never looked at him again. But Alston should be playing, and tried at both LB and SS

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    2. What happened to the 3-4?
    We heard during the offseason that Haslett was going to mix in the 3-4 on defense. Has that happened even once? Why not? Given how bad the defense has been, can anyone say that a front 7 set with Little, Adeyanju or Wroten and Kennedy on the D Line and Pisa, Spoon, Chillar and Coakley at LB would have been worse? Why not give it a try?
    I would like to see the 3-4. but the team is simply too small. Pisa, Spoon and Coakley would get destroyed in a 3-4 where they would have to take on blockers, so i think that would be why.

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    3. Why are we not more committed to the run?
    The Rams have had (1) a top-notch workhorse type RB (not to mention a quality backup big-back in Davis), (2) a defense that needs to be kept off the field, and (3) few games in which they were so far behind early that they had to throw. Nonetheless, the Rams throw the ball over 60% of their total plays. Why?
    This i dont get. Feed Jackson the ball. No one can stop him, so why not give it to him. Works with San Diego, and look how much it helps thier passing game.

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    4. Where have the trick plays gone?
    The Rams ran a double reverse last week. That was the first time all year that I can recall a trick play being called. Why not throw a few in from time to time. Hasn't this team needed a spark?
    cant have trick plays when they cant run basic plays properly

  7. #7
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    Re: 4 Things I Just Don't Understand About This Year

    Quote Originally Posted by sprtsmac View Post
    Here's another thing I don't understand. Wasn't part of Linehan's offensive strategy was to throw in the no huddle every now and then to keep the defense off balance. Now I haven't been able to watch all the games but the only time I have seen the no huddle is when we are behind.
    We get false starts when we line up properly at home, how could Barron cope in a no huddle?

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    Re: 4 Things I Just Don't Understand About This Year

    Where's the other 6?

    1. Why has Jon Alston been "redshirted"?
    I posted a thread earlier in the week about this very same subject. I guess now that Pisa is out he will get his shot, but hopefully Haslett realizes that he is a SS, not a LB.

    2. What happened to the 3-4?
    Very good point; I see the Chargers games on a regular basis and they do a very good job up front putting pressure on the QB, and shutting down the run. Just look at what a converted DE to LB (Marriroid) has done so far.
    Move L.L back to OLB? Could give him more opportunities to get to the QB and not get double teamed so much. This would also free up others like Pisa, or Spoon to blitz.
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    Re: 4 Things I Just Don't Understand About This Year

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    1. Why has Jon Alston been "redshirted"?
    Honestly I think our injuries along the offensive line as well as the secondary have hindered our ability to put guys on the active roster who are third on the depth chart at their position as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    2. What happened to the 3-4?
    We can't even control the line with four defensive lineman on the field, so I don't think we'll have much success with three of them down. This is an undersized linebacker group that makes plays best when they're able to run free and go unblocked to the ballcarrier. Removing a lineman isn't going to help them do that, IMO. I don't really blame Haslett for not mixing in more 3-4 looks at this point.


    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    3. Why are we not more committed to the run?
    It's hard to say exactly, but I doubt that our inability to consistently gain yardage in the running game is helping us all that much.


    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    4. Where have the trick plays gone?
    Dunno. Maybe Linehan isn't a big trick play kind of guy? Maybe he hasn't spent time on trick plays because he's still trying to find real plays that work well? Hard to say.
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    Re: 4 Things I Just Don't Understand About This Year

    The Rams can't consistently gain yardage in the running game? Steven Jackson has the same ypc avg. as Larry Johnson and Stephen Davis is averaging 4.9 ypc.

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    Re: 4 Things I Just Don't Understand About This Year

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    The Rams can't consistently gain yardage in the running game?
    I say that because, watching the Rams play, there are a number of running plays that seem to go for either no gain or a short gain of a few yards. My general impression of the running game this season is that it's been inconsistent in its ability to regularly get chunks of yards on each carry.

    Look back at the first half of the Bears game. Jackson finished the half having rushed 13 times for 64 yards (4.9 ypc), which is pretty good. But consider that over half of those yards were gained on two carries. Take those out and he's 11 for 28 and a 2.5 yard average. I don't view that as good consistency in the running game.
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    Re: 4 Things I Just Don't Understand About This Year

    Here's what I see:

    The Rams rank 14th in the NFL in yards per carry.
    The Rams rank 30th in the NFL in rushing attempts per game.
    The Rams are tied for third to last in allowing sacks.

    That tells me they should be running the ball more.

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    Re: 4 Things I Just Don't Understand About This Year

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Here's what I see:

    The Rams rank 14th in the NFL in yards per carry.
    The Rams rank 30th in the NFL in rushing attempts per game.
    The Rams are tied for third to last in allowing sacks.

    That tells me they should be running the ball more.
    Well I never disagreed that they should try running more. I simply understand that an inability to consistently gain yardage combined with a defense that's 30th in the league in points allowed makes it hard to depend on the run as much as you'd like, especially in the second half.

    Since the bye week, five of the Rams' seven games have featured double digit run attempts for Jackson in the first half followed by single digit attempts in the second half. That seems to suggest a coach that incorporates the run in the first half, but as the game draws towards a close and points have to be scored quickly for the team to remain in contention, he goes away from the run.

    Should the Rams be running the ball more? Definitely. And I think they would run the ball more if they were able to be more successful on a regular basis when they do run combined with better efficiency from the defense in keeping the game as close as possible.
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    Re: 4 Things I Just Don't Understand About This Year

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Well I never disagreed that they should try running more. I simply understand that an inability to consistently gain yardage combined with a defense that's 30th in the league in points allowed makes it hard to depend on the run as much as you'd like, especially in the second half.

    Since the bye week, five of the Rams' seven games have featured double digit run attempts for Jackson in the first half followed by single digit attempts in the second half. That seems to suggest a coach that incorporates the run in the first half, but as the game draws towards a close and points have to be scored quickly for the team to remain in contention, he goes away from the run.

    Should the Rams be running the ball more? Definitely. And I think they would run the ball more if they were able to be more successful on a regular basis when they do run combined with better efficiency from the defense in keeping the game as close as possible.
    I think you also must take into account some of the defense's they faced this year. That can have a big affect on a patch work O-line. Remember how the rams were turning out back to back to back 1000+ yard rushers in the 80's? Yes Dickerson was a beast, but Bell, White, ......., it was the dominance of the O-line.
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