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Thread: Bernie Bytes: No Excuse For Rams' Defense

  1. #1
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    Bernie Bytes: No Excuse For Rams' Defense

    Bernie Bytes: No excuse for Rams' defense

    6 hours ago ē BY BERNIE MIKLASZ, Post-Dispatch Sports Columnist

    Take Five:

    1. The Rams have roster issues and problems. The history of horrible drafts (before 2012) and misguided free-agent signings created voids that will take a while to fill. GM Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher are off to a pretty good start in reshaping the roster, but the project will take time.

    That said, I donít think thereís much of an excuse for the Ramsí defense to be playing as poorly as it has over the last five games.

    Since Oct. 14, when the Rams began a winless stretch of 0-4-1, their defense ranks 29th among 32 teams in points allowed per game (28.6.) The passer rating against the defense over the last five games is a league-worst 120.8. Theyíve given up a 72.7 percent completion percentage, which is also the worst in the league over the last five games.

    As we told you yesterday, the numbers on third downs over the last five games are hideous; the Rams defense has allowed a 76.6 percent completion rate, 10.11 yards per attempt, and a passer rating of 136.4. All three figures are the worst in the league over five games, and the third-down conversion rate (44.6 percent) against the Rams ranks 29th.

    Of course, the Rams havenít forced a turnover in the last five games. And for the season theyíre tied for 30th in the NFL with only nine.

    Hereís the concerning thing: the Rams have invested heavily in this defense.

    Letís take a quick look at the starters:

    Defensive Line: Three No. 1 draft picks in Chris Long, Robert Quinn and Michael Brockers and a premium free-agent signing in Kendall Langford. The Rams reinvested in Long with a five-year, $60 million contract extension. Langford signed a four-year deal for $24 million last offseason. Quinn signed a rookie deal of 4 years, $9.4 million.

    Linebackers: MLB James Laurinaitis was the 35th overall draft pick in 2009, and earlier this season the Rams gave him a contract extension of 6 years, $42 million. Jo-Lonn Dunbar signed a free-agent deal last offseason (2 years, $3 million). Rocky McIntosh was signed to a one-year contract for $700,000.

    Cornerbacks: Cortland Finnegan was the top priority of the teamís free-agent pursuit last offseason and cashed in for a five-year deal worth $50 million. Rookie Janoris Jenkins was the 39th overall pick in the 2012 draft and signed for 4 years, $4.9 million. The Rams used third-round draft choices on Bradley Fletcher (2009) and Trumaine Johnson (2012.) Fletcher signed for 4 years and $2.6 million; Johnson 4 years and $3 million.

    Safeties: Quintin Mikell was the teamís big free-agent prize before the 2011 season; he signed for 4 years $27 million. And Craig Dahl is on a three-year deal worth $3.6 million.

    In the last five games the Rams have been hit for 11 touchdown passes and they havenít made an interception. So the DBs arenít making plays.

    Long and Quinn bring the heat; few NFL teams have better pass-rush tandems. Brockers is just getting started in his career and has looked good. Langford is fine, but not making as much impact as hoped.

    At linebacker, the play of Laurinaitis has fallen off this season in part because heís struggling in a new defensive system. Dunbar has played well; no complaints there.

    Through 10 games the Rams donít have a lot to show, in terms of results, for all of these premium draft picks and big contracts.

    2. Gary Pinkel makes a lot of money. Heís one of the highest-paid coaches in college football. Heís the leader of the program. The coach is the voice of the program, the face of the program. Pinkel suspended the teamís best player, DT Sheldon Richardson, for the Syracuse game. Pinkel has restored Richardson to the roster for Saturdayís game at Texas A&M.

    Pinkel wouldnít explain his decision, his thinking, when appearing before the media for his regular Monday appointment. According to media reports, Pinkel was dismissive of questions. I guess the coach is in one of his huffy moods. Hereís the deal: no one expects Pinkel to rip his players or reveal sensitive information. But is it too much to ask him to be a gentleman by providing an answer? Just something that would explain his thinking? Is that so unreasonable?

    3. John Mozeliak says (again) that Rafael Furcal is good to go, the elbow is healed, no worries. OK, great. But how is Furcalís back? Is he going to hold up, or will he need another injection to deal with the back pain? Will the elbow ligament remain intact when Furcal makes hard throws? Will Furcal be able to hit better than he did over his final three-plus months last season?

    4. But as many off you have noted, and I thank you Ö it makes sense for Mozeliak to create the perception of stability and comfort at shortstop. If Mozeliak is eyeing someone more substantial than a pedestrian middle infielder to fill the Furcal-insurance role, he weakens the teamís position by coming across as desperate. If Mozeliak plays it cool, chances are heíll have a better chance to get something done and at a more reasonable price. But I canít predict his line of pursuit.

    5. Good luck to St. Louis U. in the game against Kansas in Kansas City tonight. The Billikens looked great in routing Texas A&M, and the matchup with KU presents a terrific early-season opportunity for SLU to reinforce the credibility that the program established last season. Rick Majerus was really excited when he scheduled SLU for this tournament in Kansas City. Majerus was thrilled by the level of competition and exposure the event would provide for his program. I wish he could be there to coach it through.

    Thanks for reading . . .

    ó Bernie


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    Bernie Bytes: No Excuse For Rams' Defense

    STFU Bernie ... His articles are pointless...

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    Re: Bernie Bytes: No Excuse For Rams' Defense

    Gary Pinkel makes a lot of money. He’s one of the highest-paid coaches in college football. He’s the leader of the program. The coach is the voice of the program, the face of the program. Pinkel suspended the team’s best player, DT Sheldon Richardson, for the Syracuse game. Pinkel has restored Richardson to the roster for Saturday’s game at Texas A&M.

    Pinkel wouldn’t explain his decision, his thinking, when appearing before the media for his regular Monday appointment. According to media reports, Pinkel was dismissive of questions. I guess the coach is in one of his huffy moods. Here’s the deal: no one expects Pinkel to rip his players or reveal sensitive information. But is it too much to ask him to be a gentleman by providing an answer? Just something that would explain his thinking? Is that so unreasonable?
    So if he was not one of the better paid coaches in college than it would be OK to not provide an answer?

    If he wants to keep it in-house, that's his right. Bernie, you are an idiot.
    Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

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    Re: Bernie Bytes: No Excuse For Rams' Defense

    Its all well and good to look at a 5 game window, but for the year as a whole, the Rams are 11th in yards/game allowed. I'm pretty sure that those salaries that Bernie listed are paid for the whole year, not for just 5 games.

    What Bernie could have said is that the Rams defense, after getting off to a very good start, has generally performed poorly over the past five weeks. It will be interesting to see how the defense plays in the last six games.

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    Re: Bernie Bytes: No Excuse For Rams' Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    What Bernie could have said is that the Rams defense, after getting off to a very good start, has generally performed poorly over the past five weeks. It will be interesting to see how the defense plays in the last six games.
    Now why would he go and say something intelligent like that?

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    Re: Bernie Bytes: No Excuse For Rams' Defense

    It's nice that someone thoughtful always throws out the carrion for you guys to feed on.
    "The horror"

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    Re: Bernie Bytes: No Excuse For Rams' Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by live4ramin View Post
    It's nice that someone thoughtful always throws out the carrion for you guys to feed on.
    I always like the Kansas song, "Carrion my Wayward Son."
    live4ramin likes this.

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    Re: Bernie Bytes: No Excuse For Rams' Defense

    I actually think that Bernie makes sense from time to time

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    Re: Bernie Bytes: No Excuse For Rams' Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by macrammer View Post
    I actually think that Bernie makes sense from time to time
    Blind squirrel...

    Acorn...
    Bar-bq likes this.

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    Re: Bernie Bytes: No Excuse For Rams' Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by macrammer View Post
    I actually think that Bernie makes sense from time to time
    He's like the short fat smelly kid that everyone picks on in grade school because he always say outlandish stuff and everyone would rather pick on someone than get picked on....and then when he finally moves to a different town everyone realizes that kid actually made some sense.

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