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  1. #1
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    It Ain't Pretty, But There Are Reasons To Keep Watching Rams

    It ain't pretty, but there are reasons to keep watching Rams
    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    10/14/2009



    The Rams have been outscored 146-34 this season. They have lost 32 of 37 games and 15 in a row.

    These are mind-blowing numbers. We are witnessing sustained failure of historic proportions.

    It is difficult to be THIS BAD in a league dedicated to maintaining parity, but the Rams have become exceptional losers. Week after week, they discover new ways to succumb.

    Believe it or not, though, the football operation appears to be adding potential building blocks, one by one.

    Second-round draft pick James Laurinaitis appears to be a worthy foundation on which to rebuild the defense. He is piling up tackles week after week and his pass coverage is improving, as he proved Sunday by picking off Vikings quarterback Brett Favre.

    Just five weeks into his NFL career, Laurinaitis is emerging as a leader too.

    “As long as the guys keep the heart that they have, we’re going to be all right,” he told reporters after the Rams lost to the Vikings 38-10 Sunday. “When we’re out there on the goal line stand, you have a lot of guys out there with a lot of heart, who just truly love playing this game and really want to get things corrected and win.”

    General manager Billy Devaney and Steve Spagnuolo keep milling the practice squad and the bottom half of the roster, auditioning new players on a weekly basis.

    Wide receiver/kick returner Danny Amendola appears to be a nice addition. He has produced one home-run return (which, of course, was negated by penalty) and nearly popped several other big gains.

    More impressively, he has emerged as a viable third receiver within a few weeks of his in-season arrival. His quick feet add some life to a generally moribund unit.

    If the pint-sized Amendola can improve his ball security and avoid getting squashed, he will earn a place in this group moving forward.

    The same can be said for tight end Daniel Fells. Sunday’s red zone fumble was a shame, since it overshadowed his emergence as a viable offensive option.

    Fells and Kyle Boller developed a love connection. It will be interesting to see if Marc Bulger bonds with him Sunday at Jacksonville.

    The Rams accumulated some interesting depth on the defensive line, with 25-year-old LaJuan Ramsey making a mark at defensive tackle.

    While it is a shame that journeyman run-stuffer Gary Gibson suffered a season-ending injury, the team was overloaded at that position. Perhaps rookie Darell Scott can step in the breach and build on his solid preseason showing.

    Rookie cornerback Bradley Fletcher has gotten burned here and there, but he is showing some potential to play the “press” coverage favored by this coaching staff. A munchkin he is not.

    If 24-year-old safety Craig Dahl can stay healthy, he could become an asset, too. He has made some standout plays while filling in for the injured James Butler.

    Of course, these free agents and lower-round picks can’t turn the program around alone. Second-year receivers Donnie Avery and Keenan Burton will get all the reps they can handle this season, so this is their chance to establish themselves as consistent offensive threats.

    They need to take full advantage of it. The Rams have no receiver depth, so failure is not an option.

    The Rams also need defensive end Chris Long and tackle Jason Smith to become major impact players ASAP. Pretty good is not good enough for second overall draft picks.

    Long and Smith are earning Pro Bowl money, so they must become Pro Bowl-caliber players -– period.

    Their first step will be to earn and keep starting jobs. Then they must become difference-makers, players for whom other teams must prepare.

    There is still time for that. Fans want to write off the last two drafts as no better than the previous fiascos, but it is too soon for that -– even with the Rams sitting dead last in the NFL at 0-5.

    The next 11 games should be spent finding more players to move forward with. The Rams have lopped off many veterans during the course of this 37-game free fall and further deletions are forthcoming.

    We know what the team's problems are. But which young players can be part of the solution? And how much better can those key young players become?

    That question will keep us watching the Rams this season, no matter how gruesome some of the remaining games may become.


  2. #2
    RAMFANRAIDERHATER's Avatar
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    Re: It Ain't Pretty, But There Are Reasons To Keep Watching Rams

    There's only one really good reason for me to keep watching the Rams.


    They're my team.
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

  3. #3
    OldSchoolRamFan's Avatar
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    Re: It Ain't Pretty, But There Are Reasons To Keep Watching Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMFANRAIDERHATER View Post
    There's only one really good reason for me to keep watching the Rams.


    They're my team.
    AMEN, and enough said!!
    Steve

    What you see is what you get, but what you see depends on where you stand.

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    Re: It Ain't Pretty, But There Are Reasons To Keep Watching Rams

    Those all bring up interesting points, but I watch Rams football because it is Rams football!

    GO RAMS
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Devaney, if you care about this team... fire the offensive coordinator!!!!

  5. #5
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    Re: It Ain't Pretty, But There Are Reasons To Keep Watching Rams

    It's a swift kick in the bean bag to be a fan when your team can't get it going. I personally like the rebuilding process though. I just know that one Sunday soon, everything is going to fall into place, something will click correctly and we will see a turnaround of epic proportions.
    Then we can all say we watched the once lowly Rams blow up into the next NFL Cinderella story. Exciting stuff!

  6. #6
    MOM's Avatar
    MOM
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    Re: It Ain't Pretty, But There Are Reasons To Keep Watching Rams

    The Rams are who I basically grew up loving, so a change is not forthcoming in this lifetime! If memory serves me correctly, the Colts in 1999 started out 0-3, and once they got the first win, they didn't look back and won 13 in a row. It CAN happen, they proved it can happen. Once the Rams get a taste of it, anything is possible. LET'S GO GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by MOM; -10-14-2009 at 08:11 PM.
    [SIGPIC]http://www.stickershoppe.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/MLRPANCmini.jpg[/SIGPIC]This is for Randy! GO BRM!

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    Re: It Ain't Pretty, But There Are Reasons To Keep Watching Rams

    We may be watching some of our future players that will bring us up from the abyss but I agree with you all # 1 reason I'm a fan.
    :ramlogo:

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    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: It Ain't Pretty, But There Are Reasons To Keep Watching Rams

    We know what the team's problems are. But which young players can be part of the solution? And how much better can those key young players become?

    That question will keep us watching the Rams this season, no matter how gruesome some of the remaining games may become.
    They don't make a Rams game so gruesome I won't watch. Guess I'm a glutton for punishment.

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