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Bad assumptions - only on offense
Now I know that the defense was the key problem in the game. However you have to take the defense in some ways as a given. There is not enough seasoned cover talent at CB, the safeties don't have good coverage skills (see Arch on Shockey, but I admit Shockey is a monster), and the interior is inconsistent. No matter what Marmie does, I don't think anything can change those three things (this year). However I've been thinking a bit about the offense, and how with the same talent things can be different. It seems people make the same mistakes that I often see in business - taking as fact certain assumptions (I've put the assumptions at the end of the message). I think the Rams offense is one of the best in the league BUT has some flaws. But what happens is that people take the flaws as part of the given, rather than figuring out a way to keep the core of the good and correcting and adjusting for the flaws. My view of the Rams offense is that when it is perfect (as in the GSOT days) it can dominate so much that it can overcome these flaws. But when there are injuries, talent holes (guard, TE) the flaws get magnified. The key isn't putting up points or yards, but winning playoff games. Now don't flame me by misreading that I think the Rams' offense is bad - didn't say that - I just think that Martz and Co. is being either hardheaded or short-sited in fixing the flaws, and making this a Superbowl offense that can control the ball, doesn't put a weak defense in bad positions, and protects the QB. I think you have to adjust to your entire team's situation.
Here are some assumptions that people have thrown at me about the Rams offense:
1. It is a high risk offense, so that turnovers (particularly interceptions) are a fact of life and why the Rams lead the league every year in turnovers. However this often puts the defense in bad situations, and shifts game momentum.
2. The Rams have X zillion plays and X zillion formations/protections (fill in the very large number) so it is hard for players to come in and contribute early (but hey when forced to we can work in someone like Barron - so maybe it doesn't have to be so complicated). It also causes breakdowns in games as players are more apt to worry about assignments than execution.
3. The Rams air attack is built on speed, so they only draft and want smaller fast receivers. Big receivers aren't fast or nimble enough to play in this scheme and get deep. So we don't see the Rams receivers out jumping or muscling DB's for the ball... we depend on the genius of the scheme to get them open. Well Air Coryell had a small receiver named Kellen, and the Giants big receivers sure seemed to get deep and looked plenty fast.
4. The Rams air attack takes time to develop so that sacks are inevitable. Which means that you are willing for your QB to take a beating, while the backups are named Martin and Fitzgerald. Then the assumption is that Martz pulled a rabbit out of the hat with Warner and then Bulger so anyone they have can step in and be an all-pro, so it is okay to subject your QB to the punishment. If you are willing to take that gamble okay.