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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

    Adam Carriker's climb back up the depth chart
    by VanRam on Aug 31, 2009 3:20 PM CDT in 2009 preseason



    Adam Carriker will have to work hard this season to avoid the dreaded bust label that stalks first round picks like a bad groupie. Though it's still way too early to hang that stone around his neck, 2009 is make or break for the St. Louis Rams defensive tackle and 2007 first round pick.

    For a "make or break" season, 2009 is already off to a rough start for Carriker, whose ankle injury (the same one that dogged him in his first two years at Nebraska and again last season) flared up and made Gary Gibson the current starter at left defensive tackle. The good news is that Gary Gibson looks to have been a nice get for the team, adding depth at a position where they've lacked it recently. The extra motivation for Carriker to fight his way back to the starting job doesn't hurt either.

    But is Carriker really a bust? The fact that injuries have plagued his career since he tore a labrum late in his rookie season feed that impression. You can't be a success if you're not on the field, and being on the field at less than 100% in the NFL doesn't make it any easier for young players to develop into reliable starters.Being moved around the defensive line in his first season didn't help the rookie's development either.

    The sorry state of the Rams run defense hasn't helped perceptions of Carriker either. Carriker might get too much blame for the porous limestone that was the Rams run defense. According to data at Football Outsiders, Carriker has done better than it seems against the run since his rookie year. The chart below looks at rushing plays targeting Carriker over the last two seasons and accounts for the number of stops he made, the number of defeats (total number of plays by a defensive player that prevent the offense from gaining first down yardage on third or fourth down, stop the offense behind the line of scrimmage, or result in a turnover.) and the yards per attempt on those plays.

    Year Plays Stops Defts YPA
    2007 26 23 6 1.5
    2008 23 20 4 2.1

    Carriker's rookie numbers are nice, and his numbers last year could have been a lot worse when factoring in a bum ankle. The Rams problems against the run had much more to do with the team's weak spots at linebacker and strong safety, not to mention the lack of a stronger nose tackle.

    Against the pass Carriker hasn't shown himself to be the force many thought he could be. He did have two sacks (and a safety) in 2007; one of those came while he was lined up at DE. He didn't ge much penetration last year, but that certainly had to do with his ankle and a defense that didn't push tackles send up the field as heavily as others. Under Spagnuolo and Flajole, Carriker is expected to do better in a more aggressive system, where he'll play in the gaps rather than directly over a lineman (for more on that see past editions of the Playbook Projector).

    While it's still too early to call Adam Carriker a bust, he definitely has to prove himself this year. Will he work his way back up to the first team? It's very possible. I would point out that he hasn't been playing since August 7, when he was injured in the scrimmage. Being on the third team means he'll get plenty of reps this week against the Chiefs. Easing him back into the banging and clanging of regular season play probably isn't a bad idea either, first team or not.

    As you watch Carriker attempt to climb his way back to relevancy, keep an eye on how he shoots gaps in action against Kansas City this week, and watch who he gets paired with on the line in the game and in practice. As for the bust label, his ankle might have the final say on that matter.


  2. #2
    dgr828's Avatar
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    Re: Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

    While Adam makes his climb, I'll go out on a limb and say that Carriker will finally find his place in the Rams defensive scheme of things and becomes a contributing factor to its success. With Spags help Adam Carriker will be back in the mix......OR BUST!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
    RamOfDenmark Guest

    Re: Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

    I certainly wouldn't call it "way too early" to start throwing around the 'bust' label, way too early is in his first year after a handful of games. This year will be very decisive. But when you've played a couple of years in the NFL I don't think it's too early to call a spade a spade - when you look at drafts you often wait 3 years before you evaluate them, and that's soon. I don't want to hear about injuries, switching positions and other excuses, it doesn't matter, in the end the bottomline is "Did you produce on the field or not?", and it doesn't matter how good you would have, should have, could have been if you can't stay healthy. It's a shame and it may not be fair but that's just how it is.

    As someone else here said the other day I also believe in giving all players a clean slate at the beginning of the season and give them a chance to prove themselves. Hill, Barron, Carriker & yes, Bulger are all players that I have been very frustrated with, but they all have a clean slate in my view when this season starts. So shut up with the excuses and let's see Carriker play some football!

    P.S Would love to see the running stats above worked out for the rest of our D-line, it seems weird that teams would only get 2 yards or less running at Carriker. When you look at how awful our run defense has been that either means those stats are BS or someone else on the line is giving 10 yards a carry or something crazy like that and I sure would like to see who.

  4. #4
    NJ Ramsfan1 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

    I agree with this article on all points. This is indeed a big year for Carriker. While he is not yet considered a bust, he has a long way to go to justify being selected as high as he was and will BECOME a bust if he doesn't. The Rams can ill afford this. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say the Rams in the last 20 years have done a horrible job drafting impact defensive linemen, especially interior linemen. Who was the last good tackle we had for any length of time? Mike Fanning?!

    Seriously, Carriker, Long and anyone else the Rams select to anchor that D-line need to play to potential.

  5. #5
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Adam Carriker will have to work hard this season to avoid the dreaded bust label

    it's still way too early to hang that stone around his neck

    2009 is make or break

    But is Carriker really a bust?

    The fact that injuries have plagued his career since he tore a labrum late in his rookie season feed that impression.

    You can't be a success if you're not on the field

    Carriker might get too much blame

    Against the pass Carriker hasn't shown himself to be the force many thought he could be.

    it's still too early to call Adam Carriker a bust

    he definitely has to prove himself

    As for the bust label, his ankle might have the final say on that matter.
    Way to make up your mind there, VanRam.

    Is he a bust, or is it too early?
    Has his play been better than most think, or worse?
    Is it the injuries, or are the injuries his fault?

    What exactly are you saying?


    Here's how I see it: Carriker, along with every other player on the Rams, has to prove his worth this year (this statement can be repeated on September 1 each year from now on).

  6. #6
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    Re: Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

    He won't do it. It really isn't his fault, he's just in the wrong scheme or position or he's either to big to play outside and not the right body inside. Injuries or whatever the circumstances, he's just not worth the slot he was picked in. Get rid of him too.

  7. #7
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    Re: Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

    Jim Thomas chat just had this:

    Someone asked him
    How would you fill in these blanks?

    I'd be suprised, but not shocked, if ____ were cut.

    Adam Carriker was his answer. Ouch.

    To defend Adam I think his body just can't handle the extra weight of playing DT.
    Last edited by RebelYell; -09-01-2009 at 03:47 PM.

  8. #8
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

    Cut Carriker? Wow. That's pretty absurd, if you ask me.

    Even if you don't want him on the team, certainly he'd have more trade value than Tye Hill, so cutting him makes no sense at all.

    I say we keep Carriker and see what he can do in Spags' defense. If you think the book has been written on AC, let me give you a little statistical analysis of two players' first two seasons:

    Player #1: Adam Carriker
    Games Played: 31
    Games Started: 25
    Total Tackles: 53
    Total Sacks: 2.0

    Player #2: ???
    Games Played: 20
    Games Started: 1
    Total Tackles: 41
    Total Sacks: 1.0

    Who is Player #2?

    Justin Tuck.

    Does that mean that Adam Carriker will be as good as Justin Tuck?

    No. But it does mean that even Justin Tuck wasn't Justin Tuck after two years in this league.

  9. #9
    RebelYell's Avatar
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    Re: Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

    The difference being that Tuck was playing behind pro-bowler Strahan and Carriker was starting at a completely different position. Jim Thomas didn't predict he would be cut, he just said he wouldn't be shocked if he were cut. He has said previously that Spags wants the best players and Carriker hasn't played like one of the best. Linehan and Haslett did him no favors by playing him at NT. If the Rams cut/trade Hill for being injured and over priced as a backup, who's to say they don't come to the same conclusion with Adam?

  10. #10
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

    If the Rams cut Adam Carriker I'll conclude every post for the following week with the words "but what the Hell do I know?"

  11. #11
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    Re: Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

    Get ready to conclude AV.

  12. #12
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

    Not gonna happen.

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