BernieM wrote:
Marmie wasn't the most exciting choice as DC; Martz should have hired Dick Jauron instead.

But two things:

1. People around the NFL respect Marmie, recognizing that he didn't have much talent to work with in Arizona. They saw on film that he got his guys to play hard.

2. I commented on this BEFORE the season and it holds true now. I don't see how Marmie can be faulted at this point because he inherited a defense that has no run stoppers at DT, and undersized crew of LBs, and one legitimate NFL cornerback in J. Butler. (I don't count A. Williams because he plays safety and will likely stay there). The defense he inherited lost Wistrom and Young and then lost T. Fisher.

Marmie has to make it better the best that he can. But in the last seven games of 04', including the playoff game, this defense gave up an average of 5.4 yards per rush. And it hasn't been any better the first two games this season. That's a fatal flaw. Better personnel is the only real solution. I want to see if Marmie will get his guys to play hard every week. First week, yes. Second week, disappointing.

Cheers,
Bernie

BernieM wrote:
About Pace ...

Pace's game was beneath his usual standards, which is to say he wasn't great, but he graded out highest among the Rams' linemen. (which isn't saying a lot). It's interesting because after reading the initial flurry of Pace-hostile posts here, I expected to go watch the tapes and see him beaten all day, manhandled, blowing assignments, etc.

In that context I was surprised by his performance, because it wasn't nearly as bad as advertised here. On the biggest play of the game I expected to see him getting bulled over or beaten straight up, and it didn't happen that way. Brady Smith got a terrific jump on the ball, and Pace had to scurry to get his feet moving. He managed to push Smith out a bit, but not enough. Smith didn't get a full-on clean shot on the QB but he made a fantastic play, swiping the ball loose. That said, it was Pace's responsibility and in scoring that play, Smith obviously got the win. Bulger could have helped by sliding to his left, but didn't. He couldn't step up, because the Falcons got inside penetration, as they did all day in overhwheling the Gs and C. Bulger, however, stood in place. Pace didn't quite steer his guy out of harm's way. Smith won.

Pace had a holding penalty that didn't have consequences because the Rams went on to score a TD. One time he had Kearney who surged and dived to get a piece of Bulger, but only after another Falcon got there first. Pace made some terrific blocks in that game, including a blitz pickup on a 23-yard completion to Holt. But I don't see the need to get into all that detail, because I'm not looking to convert anyone here. Believe as you wish.

For whatever Pace's flaws were, I don't see why people jump to the conclusion that missing camp was the reason. He's in terrific shape. The whole line sucked; the rest of the guys were in camp....so why didn't they play better? If camp is the reason why a guy plays good or bad, then why did those who were in camp the entire time play so poorly? If "cohesion" was bad in this game -- because Pace missed camp -- then why was the "cohesion" so excellent in the first game, when Pace went into it with about four practices under his belt? By the time he took the field with Atlanta, he had about 8 or 9 practices -- and many meetings -- with his linemates. So how could the cohesion be worse than the first week considering that he had two weeks of preparation for the second game compared to less than a week for the first game? It doesn't make much sense.

Cheers,
Bernie

BernieM wrote:
Yes, I agree with you two.... the defense seemed shocked that Vick would run so much in this game (imagine that). Marmie didn't have them prepped for it. Either that, or they played an undisciplined game.

Cheers,
Bernie

BernieM wrote:
I forgot to add one thing...

I thought the blocking scheme was unusual for this game. On a lot of running plays, the line took wider splits. I guess they assumed that the run blitzes would come from the outside, when most of them came from the inside. Pace was blocking down a lot -- pushing to his right -- which allowed Smith to come free, or take on a TE, and the Rams don't have a TE who can block in space. I really question the strategy.

Cheers,
Bernie


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BernieM wrote:
Responses:

Actually many of you write quite well. Doesn't mean I agree with what you say, but I respect a person's talent in communicating.

More on Pace: Can't have it both ways, fellas. Can't say missing training camp is why he had a below-standard game when the people who had all of training camp were arguably the worst players in a Rams uniform on Sunday in ATL. Sorry.

SLUBLUE: Thanks for your opinion. And I think that I'm right to defend Pace, just as I would defend any free man's right to seek a desired contract under a collective-bargaining agreement. Especially in the NFL, where everyone is getting rich, and owners pick up their franchises and move halfway across the nation for bigger profits. This isn't the NHL, where there are clear, devastating financial problems.

And I also think I criticize Martz when warranted; but I've come to understand how people have selective memories on what I write based on their agendas. And I have also come to understand that to some of you, nothing short of me demanding that Martz be castrated would meet your criteria for "criticism." You all can hate. I'll stick to constructive, warranted criticism.

Cheers,
Bernie

On St. Louis Cardinals:
BernieM wrote:
The 1985 team was polluted with drug users and as much as I like Hanifan personally, he lost control of the team. Things were so bad in there that players actually had cash and watches stolen by another player during practice. A change had to be made. Stallings if nothing else, cleaned that place up.

Cheers,
Bernie

BernieM wrote:
DV....hard to say about him. He was so emotionally spent after the 1999 season. But I think he would have returned if he lost that Super Bowl....and dang, that was a close call. That game really went against the Rams in the second half. If Fisher's offensive coaches had called a better game -- pound the Rams on the ground all day instead of waiting for the 2nd half -- Tennessee wins, I believe. Just my opinion.

Cheers,
Bernie

On Gordon trade:
BernieM wrote:
The Rams had the Dolphins cornered.

I would have been happy had they just gotten some protection....another pick thrown in if he reached certain performance levels.

They were really out to lunch, not asking for that.

If you felt so strongly about Miami's offensive line, then I'm not sure why you would ask me to comment on LG's performance, because anyone who knows football could see what happened on Sunday night. And no intelligent football fan would blame the RB -- other than to agree that he needs to try and be more assertive, because the big holes aren't there.

Cheers,
Bernie