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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is online now Superbowl MVP
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    About All The Rams Have Left Is Their Composure

    About all the Rams have left is their composure

    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    10/28/2009

    So far, anyway, the Rams have handled relentless adversity in a professional manner.

    They don’t have their star running back spewing insults via Twitter and barking homophobic taunts at media types, as the Chiefs have.

    They haven’t rendered their head coach a lame duck and forced him to surrender play-calling responsibilities, as the Redskins have.

    They haven’t had the head coach accused of assaulting one of his assistant coaches, as the Raiders have.

    They haven’t had the wife of a deposed general manager insulting current management on local radio shows, as the Titans have.

    All in all, the Rams have maintained their composure through their 0-7 start. But that doesn’t mean the players are happy about it -– or that they are immune to the immense frustration that builds while a team loses 17 games in a row and 34 out of 39 overall.

    “This has been a brutal stretch the last 2 ˝ years,” said defensive tackle Clifton Ryan, who has been along for every bit of this suffering. “We have to keep believing in ourselves, believing in the coaching staff and believing in the philosophy they are putting in place.”

    Of course, that is easier said than done. The Rams need a breakthrough performance to keep from moving closer to the disarray we’re seeing elsewhere.

    The Rams need to beat the 1-5 Lions. They just do.

    Yes, the Lions are better than the Rams right now. Yes, they are hosting the Rams on Sunday. They are favored to beat Steve Spagnuolo’s battered team –- and rightfully so.

    Former Rams coach Scott Linehan is probably staying up nights devising some newer and slightly less vanilla offensive plays to beat his old team. Detroit’s first-year offensive coordinator wants this game big-time.

    “This is not a game we can take lightly,” said Ryan, a Michigan native who has heard all the Lions jokes while visiting his family between seasons. “Everybody wants to downgrade the Lions . . . there are some talented players on the Lions. They competed with the Saints for two and a half, three quarters.”

    But some how, some way, the Rams have to win this game. They just do.

    Losing takes a heavy mental and psychological toll. So does the mounting casualty list, which got longer with the demise of cornerback Bradley Fletcher -– who could be sidelined well into next season with a massive knee injury.

    Fletcher was just starting to arrive as the physical cornerback the Rams need to play “press” coverage in this defense. Now he faces two surgeries and a long and difficult comeback to regain his full speed and mobility.

    This was a huge loss, just as the demise of top receiver Laurent Robinson punched a hole in the offense.

    Long-snapper Chris Massey suffered a season-ending knee injury Sunday. Potential fourth receiver Brooks Foster got wiped out during training camp. Defensive tackles Adam Carriker and Gary Gibson suffered season-ending injuries, too, as did special teamer Eric Bassey.

    Guard Richie Incognito could miss a few games with a foot injury. Cornerback Ron Bartell and receiver Donnie Avery have played through nagging injuries. Tackle Jason Smith and safety James Butler have missed time, too.

    One bad thing after another has happened to this team. Just as good teams tend to make their own breaks, bad teams find ways to fail.

    You saw the cumulative effect of all that Sunday, when the Rams lost their edge in the fourth quarter of that 42-6 loss to the Colts. After reviewing game video, Spagnuolo believed the collapse was confined to a short stretch of the final quarter.

    “It was probably three minutes of not quite the intensity that we had,” Spagnuolo told reporters at his Monday media briefing. “I don’t know why that is, but that has not been this team. For six games and three and a half quarters, that has not been this team. I’m banking on these guys to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

    That’s hard to do in the midst of a prolonged losing streak. So the Rams must ACTUALLY WIN A GAME to keep their spirits up.

    Almost beating the Redskins was a step. Forcing the Jaguars into overtime was another step. But near-victories aren’t the same as real ones.

    Week after week, month after month the Rams have worked to make things better. Now the team needs to see that progress reflected on the scoreboard at game’s end.


  2. #2
    NJ Ramsfan1 is offline Registered User
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    Re: About All The Rams Have Left Is Their Composure

    It's true: There is no substitute for victory. Eventually a team must see the fruits of its labor pay off or what's the point? They become in danger of giving in to human nature and caving, abandoning the principles and the system the coaches have been trying to instill. With a running 17 game losing streak, morale will only get worse.

    There are no more "almosts", there are no more "moral victories", and no more "nice efforts". We must win NOW.

  3. #3
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: About All The Rams Have Left Is Their Composure

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    It's true: There is no substitute for victory. Eventually a team must see the fruits of its labor pay off or what's the point? They become in danger of giving in to human nature and caving, abandoning the principles and the system the coaches have been trying to instill. With a running 17 game losing streak, morale will only get worse.

    There are no more "almosts", there are no more "moral victories", and no more "nice efforts". We must win NOW.
    As individuals the players have to fight that giving up feeling. Spags has already made alot of player changes and will make a ton more. He has to unless this team starts winning all of a sudden. I for one wouldn't give the headcoach a reason to cut me loose. Lack of effort will be magnified in the coaches mind. The players have to keep believing in what Spags is selling.

    GO RAMS!

  4. #4
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    Re: About All The Rams Have Left Is Their Composure

    Yea but we have the best bunch of boy scouts money can buy.

  5. #5
    eldfan's Avatar
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    Re: About All The Rams Have Left Is Their Composure

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    It's true: There is no substitute for victory. Eventually a team must see the fruits of its labor pay off or what's the point? They become in danger of giving in to human nature and caving, abandoning the principles and the system the coaches have been trying to instill. With a running 17 game losing streak, morale will only get worse.

    There are no more "almosts", there are no more "moral victories", and no more "nice efforts". We must win NOW.
    I would agree my thoughts exactly.


    laram0 As individuals the players have to fight that giving up feeling. Spags has already made alot of player changes and will make a ton more. He has to unless this team starts winning all of a sudden. I for one wouldn't give the headcoach a reason to cut me loose. Lack of effort will be magnified in the coaches mind. The players have to keep believing in what Spags is selling.

    GO RAMS!

    He may have to make some more changes but if the players are running his systems and the losses keeps growing and most important we keep getting our hats handed to us, than that’s on hm in some ways. It will be hard to keep telling the player to stay on the ship and the ship is taking on water and going down by the head.
    Last edited by eldfan; -10-29-2009 at 10:36 PM.
    :ramlogo:

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    Re: About All The Rams Have Left Is Their Composure

    I must commend the rams (ESPECIALLY STEVEN JACKSON) for hanging tough. They aren't flipping out, they aren't losing their composure and Spags is trying his hardest to find a right fit for our team. Though I was thoroughly pissed and alomst refused to watch the rams play after they traded one of my favorite defensive players (witherspoon), I'm still hanging in there just like my boys are.

    But, a "good game," "maybe next time," "you gave it your best," and "we'll see what we can do next game" just ain't gonna do it


    W

    W


    W

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    we need a win bad....really bad

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