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Thread: Bernie: 10 Opinions On The Rams

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    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Bernie: 10 Opinions On The Rams

    Bernie: 10 opinions on the Rams

    1 hour ago BY BERNIE MIKLASZ, Post-Dispatch Sports Columnist

    10 Thoughts on the Rams:

    1. I don't care what the score was at Indianapolis, because few things in sports are more meaningless or a waste of time and money than NFL exhibition games. Even the one important aspect of this junk -- evaluating players, especially young players -- gets lost in the traffic. Bodies in, bodies out, skeletal offenses, conservative defenses, coaches playing it safe. So many players on the field in Sunday's 38-3 loss won't be with the Rams when they open the real season on Sept. 9 at Detroit. So it's difficult to zero in on specifics, but we'll give it a try ...

    2. Sunday's game served a valuable purpose. Well, at least I think it did. After watching the Rams struggle in so many areas, a slap of reality was a good thing. Now maybe everyone, including the media, will calm down and understand that a ton of work must be done to get this team to a respectable level. Sunday, we were reminded of just how bad this roster is. Yes, the Rams have added some talent since last season, but you don't fill so many roster holes in one offseason. Not after going 15-65 over the last five years. Not after screwing up so many drafts. One more time: Jeff Fisher is cleaning up the debris left by three previous regimes. Not one, not two, but three ... in time, Fisher and Snead will be judged for their personnel decisions. But not now.

    3. For the peeps that were going nuts on Twitter and internet forums and all but heading to the Eads Bridge to end it all after watching this game: the Rams went 4-0 last summer. And they opened the preseason by stomping Indianapolis. The Rams were on their way; here we go. Big season up ahead, right? Not exactly. A 2-14 record, with the coach and GM getting fired. The preseason scoreboard means nothing. The roster means just about everything.

    4. The problems that we thought would be problems appear to be problems. Offensive line: same as it ever was, but with an asterisk.* What, you were expecting a second coming of The Hogs? Snead and Fisher didn't make major upgrades to this area over the offseason. And their one major move, signing expensive free-agent center Scott Wells, hasn't gone well so far. He apparently has a knee injury, which the Rams continue to downplay, which of course raises suspicions that there's something more serious. We'll see. But by bringing back the same offensive tackles, and adding Kansas City discard Barry Richardson to the OT mix, the Rams didn't reinforce their pass protection.

    * Now about the asterisk ... I do think this group will, if nothing else, be able to lower their shoulders and pound away with run blocking. I think it can be a physical line, going straight ahead, trying to clear a path for Steven Jackson. The Rams are going to run the football. And the line is more suited for that approach.

    5. The ageless Steven Jackson looked good running the ball. But when the season opens, defenses will have every reason to gang up on SJ 39 again. And it will be that way until the Rams give the defense a reason to believe they can get burned by stacking the box with extra guys to control Jackson. This will be interesting. Fisher wants to run it, and Jackson wants to run it, and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer wants to run it, and the offensive line could be capable of blocking it. But will the 2012 Rams be able to run the ball consistently well when the other side knows what's coming and is hell-bent on stopping it?

    6. QB Sam Bradford was OK. I watched the game late Sunday night after reading reviews of Bradford's play in his two series. Based on the reviews, I was expecting to see the QB come out, soil his pants, look as if he'd just seen the ghost of Marc Bulger, and throw more balls out of the zone than Marc Rzepczynski in the 8th inning at Philadelphia. In reality, Bradford was ... just OK. Not as terrible as I was led to believe. But not exciting, either. The passing game was intentionally vanilla, so it isn't as if we saw the full view of what Bradford will be asked to do this season (besides hand the ball off). Made some decent throws, got into an early rhythm. Made some connections with pressure in his face. But he didn't look as comfortable as I'd like him to be in the pocket. He couldn't hit Steve Smith down the left side on a deeper ball. There's no excuse for letting the play clock expire. One of the biggest questions about Bradford is his deep accuracy. When the Rams get around to protecting him, and the receivers start proving they can get behind a defense, then we can gauge Bradford's accuracy. Sunday the Colts got in his grill two or three times when Bradford took a five-step drop to set up. That's alarming. What's going to happen on the seven-step drops?

    7. The wide receivers: Rookie Brian Quick, the first pick of the 2nd round, was mostly jammed at the line. He couldn't handle the Colts' aggressive press coverage. Welcome to the NFL. From what I could see, Quick didn't seem to maintain speed coming out of his breaks. This game is going to move a lot faster than what Quick saw in college. He'll need time to adjust. The question is, will he be able to adjust -- and if so, how soon? There's a lot of pressure on Quick. Snead and the Rams' people hyped him up after making him a somewhat surprising pick. And when you hype a kid, fans and media immediately expect more from him. So if Quick gets off to a slow start in his rookie season, you'll see the Donnie Avery comparisons thrown at him right away. Is it fair? No. But it is the NFL ... elsewhere: it looks like Austin Pettis, in his second season, has learned how to escape press coverage. He looked good ... if he stays healthy, Steve Smith should be able to help. Might turn out to be a smart signing. But again, it's only preseason.

    8. Janoris Jenkins can play. The Rams weren't kidding about their rookie CB. Even on one play where he bit on a fake, which is usually lights out for cornerbacks, Jenkins recovered so quickly he was able to nearly make a play on the ball.

    9. RB Isaiah Pead will be fine. Rookie nerves. Not unusual.

    10. Impossible for me to evaluate the Rams defense. Two simple reasons: (1) Fisher and the defensive staff clearly used a bland approach in this game, which makes sense. Why reveal your blitzes? Their tactics will be much more aggressive when the real games get underway. (2) too many scrubs on the field who won't be there on Sept. 9. I thought the respective coaching staffs had different agendas Sunday. Fisher kept it basic and just wanted to get a look at what he has. The Colts' rookie head coach (Chuck Pagano) and staff had a more ambitious approach, which is fine. But the difference did give an advantage to one side. That's no excuse. The Rams were terrible.

    -Bernie Miklasz


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    Re: Bernie: 10 Opinions On The Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    2. Sunday's game served a valuable purpose. Well, at least I think it did. After watching the Rams struggle in so many areas, a slap of reality was a good thing. Now maybe everyone, including the media, will calm down and understand that a ton of work must be done to get this team to a respectable level. Sunday, we were reminded of just how bad this roster is. Yes, the Rams have added some talent since last season, but you don't fill so many roster holes in one offseason. Not after going 15-65 over the last five years. Not after screwing up so many drafts. One more time: Jeff Fisher is cleaning up the debris left by three previous regimes. Not one, not two, but three ... in time, Fisher and Snead will be judged for their personnel decisions. But not now.

    -Bernie Miklasz
    This is the point everybody needs to keep in mind. 15-65 doesn't go away over night. Patience.
    Last edited by mh-i; -08-13-2012 at 01:50 PM.
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    Re: Bernie: 10 Opinions On The Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    And their one major move, signing expensive free-agent center Scott Wells, hasn't gone well so far. He apparently has a knee injury, which the Rams continue to downplay, which of course raises suspicions that there's something more serious.
    This part of the article tells you everything you need to know about Bernie the Drama Queen. I, for one, am not interested in his medical opinions or his conspiracy theories.

    I seriously doubt that the Rams' medical staff overlooked a major issue with Wells. It should come as no surprise that they are easing him back into the lineup after a clean-up procedure on his knee.

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    Re: Bernie: 10 Opinions On The Rams

    All excellent points.

    It hurts to say, but I'm nervous that we may never see the one big upgrade to the offensive line this year.

    4 1st or 2nd year WRs, and it's no surprise to me that our second year receivers looked better.

    Jackson carried the ball, what 5 times and Sam threw 9 times? How many throws did Luck make?

    Hard to evaluate a defense that allowed 38 points playing what seemed like scrubs most of the time.

    It looked to me like the coaches each had different goals in mind here. Fisher wanted to evaluate his roster and Pagano wanted to showcase Luck.

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    Re: Bernie: 10 Opinions On The Rams

    This article offers pretty fair assessment of what we saw yesterday. Whether his speculation of Scott Wells is accurate or not means very little. I do agree the problems we thought we'd have are still there as they relate to the offensive line. I found his article overlooked the deficiency at outside linebacker.

    Regardless, Jeff Fisher will have a lot to comment on and work on for the next 2 weeks of training camp and while I was among the many optimists hoping we may have found a shortcut to respectability, yesterday was a sobering reminder, there are no shortcuts in the NFL. I still look forward to a season that will have good moments and bad ones. The important thing is that we are headed in the right direction with the coaching staff and front office people now in place.

    Go Rams!

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    Re: Bernie: 10 Opinions On The Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    This part of the article tells you everything you need to know about Bernie the Drama Queen. I, for one, am not interested in his medical opinions or his conspiracy theories.

    I seriously doubt that the Rams' medical staff overlooked a major issue with Wells. It should come as no surprise that they are easing him back into the lineup after a clean-up procedure on his knee.
    I think the Scott Wells story would basically be a non-issue had the Rams not said in mid-June that he'd be ready for camp (source), which clearly he wasn't.

    I don't know about Bernie's implication of a more serious injury than the Rams are letting on, but we know from their previous statement that the recovery from the scope has taken longer than they expected, and I think it's reasonable to be concerned about that.

    One of the most important factors in fielding an effective offensive line is cohesion. Wells is a veteran, but he still needs time to get comfortable in this offense, with the guys on either side of him, and the new set of hands under his butt.
    Last edited by Nick; -08-13-2012 at 07:23 PM.
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    Re: Bernie: 10 Opinions On The Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I think the Scott Wells story would basically be a non-issue had the Rams not said in mid-June that he'd be ready for camp (source), which clearly he wasn't.

    I don't know about Bernie's implication of a more serious injury than the Rams are letting on, but we know from their previous statement that the recovery from the scope has taken longer than they expected, and I think it's reasonable to be concerned about that.

    One of the most important factors in fielding an effective offensive line is cohesion. Wells is a veteran, but he still needs time to get comfortable in this offense, with the guys on either side of him, and the new set of hands under his butt.
    I remember about a week ago I posted on the forum saying he'd be about 3 weeks.. Looking pretty realistic right now. Hopefully he can get out there and have some time to gel with the other guys.


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