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  1. #1
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    Battered Rams are eager to show they're not that bad

    Battered Rams are eager to show they're not that bad
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Thursday, Aug. 26 2004

    Sixteen days from now, the Rams will be doing this for real. So it's time. Time for the first-string offense to score a touchdown. It has yet to do so this preseason.

    Time for the defense to come up with a turnover. It has yet to do so this preseason - first-string, second-string, or any-string.

    Time for the Rams to start sharpening their focus and honing their craft. Because the Sept. 12 regular-season opener against Arizona is right around the corner.

    "At this point, we need to come together as a team," coach Mike Martz said. "We've spent a lot of time here looking at these players."

    As individuals. But tonight against the visiting Washington Redskins, Martz says: "I want the (starters) to be sharp. When the first group's in there, I just want them to compete, and be sharp, and perform well."

    In other words, do everything they didn't do in Monday's 24-7 embarrassment at Kansas City. What went wrong against the Chiefs? A lot, according to Martz:

    "We made an inordinate amount of mental mistakes. ...

    "We didn't play with the enthusiasm and the pizzazz that we would expect us to. ...

    "We were disjointed. The calls didn't come in right. It looked like our first day of practice."

    Which is no way to be less than three weeks from opening day.

    "So we have to iron it out quick," offensive guard Chris Dishman said. "And I think we will."

    There's plenty to be ironed out, especially on offense in terms of pass protection, blitz pickup, and hot reads. On Monday, Kansas City blitzed 11 times in the first half. The Chiefs sent seven pass rushers three times, and six pass rushers on four occasions. On three blitzes, they sent both safeties at quarterback Marc Bulger.

    "Washington is going to come in with a similar defense," to Kansas City, Bulger said. "With a lot of pressure, and it will be another good test."

    It's a test the Rams' offense failed against Kansas City - and not just the offensive line.

    "We as an offense, as a whole, probably could've given it a better effort," running back Marshall Faulk said. "But we didn't. Thank God, it's the preseason and we get to work on it."

    Because of a quirky preseason schedule, the Rams get to work on it right away. Just four days after the Chiefs debacle, the Redskins come calling at 7 tonight at the Edward Jones Dome.

    Most NFL players need a day or two just to recover from the normal aches and pains of a game. This week, Rams players had Tuesday off, then had lighter than normal practices Wednesday and Thursday. And now, another game.

    "It'll be tough for them," Martz said.

    Most of the starters played the entire first half against Kansas City; and they'll be asked to do the same against Washington. But many of the team's skill position players were in for only one series against Chicago in the preseason opener Aug. 12. So they need the work.

    "We have faith in each other in the locker room right now, and we are not panicking by any stretch of the imagination," Bulger said. "We need to get better, and we know that will come. We are going to work to get it done sooner rather than later."

    Martz spent only two hours last week game-planning the Chiefs, a fraction of what he would do for a regular-season game. Given the short work week, it's doubtful he did more for Washington.

    The Rams didn't even watch the Kansas City game film as a team, although some players did so Tuesday on their own. There was simply no time. Instead, position coaches left comments on grade sheets for the players to examine. All things considered, maybe that was a good thing. Why dwell on a nightmare?

    "Winning is a habit," defensive lineman Tyoka Jackson said after the Chiefs game. "Good habits are formed on the practice field and in preseason games. And losing and bad habits are formed the same way.

    "We can't afford to play like that. That's just not who we are. ... We won't put on a performance like that again in front of our fans. That's unacceptable. It won't happen again."

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  2. #2
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    Re: Battered Rams are eager to show they're not that bad

    Martz.Smartz...**rtz..

    This is football. I do not want pizzaz. I want to see grit and determination.

    One more reason why MM grates on me. He will be our bane.

  3. #3
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    Re: Battered Rams are eager to show they're not that bad

    we need to come together as a team," coach Mike Martz said. "We've spent a lot of time here looking at these players."
    We made an inordinate amount of mental mistakes
    "We didn't play with the enthusiasm and the pizzazz that we would expect us to
    "We were disjointed. The calls didn't come in right. It looked like our first day of practice.
    "So we have to iron it out quick," offensive guard Chris Dishman said. "And I think we will."
    "We as an offense, as a whole, probably could've given it a better effort," running back Marshall Faulk said. "But we didn't. Thank God, it's the preseason and we get to work on it."
    "We have faith in each other in the locker room right now, and we are not panicking by any stretch of the imagination," Bulger said. "We need to get better, and we know that will come. We are going to work to get it done sooner rather than later."
    "We can't afford to play like that. That's just not who we are. ... We won't put on a performance like that again in front of our fans. That's unacceptable. It won't happen again."
    I've seen way too many "they"s and "them"s during this preseason. It's good to see the quotes becoming "we". It makes a difference.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  4. #4
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    Re: Battered Rams are eager to show they're not that bad

    good, now fix it.
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    jjsram is offline Registered User
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    Re: Battered Rams are eager to show they're not that bad

    All those Martz comments about the KC game and here I thought he didn't care about pre-season games; silly me.

  6. #6
    elAcky Guest

    Re: Battered Rams are eager to show they're not that bad

    This is football. I do not want pizzaz. I want to see grit and determination.
    thats exactly what i would like to see on defense against he skins.... no more of this pussy footing zone BS ..... doubt we'll get it though

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    Re: Battered Rams are eager to show they're not that bad

    Quote Originally Posted by NickSeiler(Cole)
    "We can't afford to play like that. That's just not who we are. ... We won't put on a performance like that again in front of our fans. That's unacceptable. It won't happen again."
    I said it on the duplicate thread so I'll echo it hear too ...

    "Last year I questioned his endorsement as a captain. This year a statement like this serves to satisfy me that he knows something about invective. The next question will be whether he can translate that sendiment into a cult following. Is this all he will have to say to inspire the troops into lock step? We will see what we will see."

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    Re: Battered Rams are eager to show they're not that bad

    We won't put on a performance like that again in front of our fans. That's unacceptable. It won't happen again."
    It *@#*'n better not! :ramlogo:
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

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