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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Bernie Bytes: No excuse for Rams O-line ..

    BERNIE MIKLASZ | Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 9:06 am

    * The play of the Rams' offensive line in Saturday's flogging by the Minnesota Vikings was an embarrassment to all concerned. I don't care that it was the first preseason game. I don't care that little injuries and bumps and bruises have interrupted the O-line's continuity in training camp. There's no justification for what we saw Saturday. The Rams rolled out Sam Bradford, their $50 million rookie quarterback, and the kid was sacked four times, slammed a few times, and had to flee for his safety. You'd think that the pride would have kicked in up front. Ever since the Rams drafted Bradford, the linemen have heard how Bradford would get punished, and how it would be stupid to play him so early in his career because the Rams wouldn't be able to protect him. Wouldn't an O lineman take that personally? But on Saturday night, those taunts materialized into scenes of truth. Bradford was left exposed. It was alarming. The line validated the critics' skepticism.

    And I was one of the people talking up the positives of this line. I've been genuinely optimistic. The Rams have pumped a lot of money into this group, signing free agent center Jason Brown and free-agent left guard Jacob Bell (Bell didn't play Saturday.) The Rams drafted offensive tackle Jason Smith No. 2 overall last season, and OT Rodger Saffold was the 33rd overall pick this year. And the team can draw from a capable cast at right guard including Hank Fraley, Adam Goldberg and others. This has been an area of priority. And the expectations are high, as they should be.

    Really, please push the pile excuses to the side. Not interested. Missed assignments? How many hours a week does the unit spend in the meeting room? What are they doing in there, playing Madden '11? Inexperience? Well, the rookie at offensive tackle, Saffold, competed hard and managed to stand his ground for the most part against one of the league's top pass rushers, Jared Allen -- though Allen schooled him on a couple of inside moves. That's to be expected. J. Smith has been limited in camp as he's recovered from a fractured toe. But should the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 draft really be dominated by someone named Jayme Mitchell, who doesn't have a regular-season sack since 2007? Smith was brutal Saturday. That added to the discouragement; these starters on the Rams line were bullied by Vikings' second-teamers. Unacceptable. Where was the will to compete?

    This is the one area of the team that cannot, in any way, be blamed on the previous management/coaching regime. GM Billy Devaney put this line together. Steve Spagnuolo decided to retain the line coach, Steve Loney, when he took over in 2009. Loney was a Scott Linehan hire. Loney had some terrific lines in Minnesota. Loney is also well regarded around the NFL. Really, he is. But from this point on, Loney will be under tremendous scrutiny. His line was unprepared to play Saturday, and the result was chaos, with the Vikings chasing Bradford all over the Edward Jones Dome. It doesn't matter that it was a preseason game. I don't care if these folks were playing a pickup game on the street; protecting Bradford must be treated with a higher degree of urgency under any circumstance. If this line can't provide better security than this, it would be insane to play Bradford early in his career.


  2. #2
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: No excuse for Rams O-line ..

    Bernie's right on this one, but luckily they have 3 more games to turn it around.

  3. #3
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: No excuse for Rams O-line ..

    Yeah they have 3 more games until they start counting in the Win-Loss column, but I'm sure that didn't make Bradford feel any better Sunday morning. Regardless of the games counting or not, its risky to let your future QB and large investment take that kind of punishment. If he'd played a full game behind that line, who knows how many times he would have been sacked. He was on pace for what? 8 sacks? Thats unacceptable (as Bernie said) even in a street game.

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    RAMarkable is online now Registered User
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: No excuse for Rams O-line ..

    Somewhere in Baltimore there is a certain reserve QB laughing and chortling to himself.

    And no doubt saying a few prayers for a guy named Sam.

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    Re: Bernie Bytes: No excuse for Rams O-line ..

    I don't care about the pre-season W-L column--however, I do care about seeing improvement; especially with the offensive line. I was incredibly disappointed with them. I know it's soon to be getting upset but quite frankly we need something to get excited about on offense--Bradford is the excitement--knowing that the o-line won't underachieve. Again, I'm hoping that Smith just had a lousy night because he hasn't practiced all that much...


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

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    Re: Bernie Bytes: No excuse for Rams O-line ..

    The O-line was horrendous. When the rookie LT was the top player, something ain't right. The interior was lost. Granted, it was Roger Allen at LG, not Bell. And why in the world did Fraley and Brown keep switching back and forth between C and RG? We paid good money for Brown to be our Center; don't go moving him around!

    But what truly made my stomach churn was watching Jason Smith get worked, and I mean WORKED, over and over and over again. He got shoved backwards. He got beat to the outside. He got beat to the inside. With the exception of a couple of downs, he looked absolutely horrible.

    I hope it's just a matter of knocking off rust, but the Smith I saw on Saturday did not even look starter worthy.
    "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

  7. #7
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: No excuse for Rams O-line ..

    It may be his toe, but Smith is known for his athleticism and footwork. Yet, he got burned by the Viking's second and third team DEs. Unacceptable. He would get bullied and shoved around like a little kid in a sandbox.


    Rodger Saffold was decent, and looked pretty good for a rookie LT. Had some mistakes, but performed alot better than his teammate at RT.


    Adam Goldberg and Roger Allen are not good guards. Especially Allen. Allen is sluggish, slow, not that strong, and is just not aware of blitzes, schemes, etc.


    Brown looked mediocre last night, and he was getting pushed back on a few occasions. And not by Pat Williams.


    Fraley performed above average. Stayed his ground, and did a decent job.



    Our o-line has got to improve. Jacob Bell coming back might give them a little upgrade, but everyone has to improve, or else Bradford should not be starting this year.

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    Re: Bernie Bytes: No excuse for Rams O-line ..

    I'm not going to lie I'm a little worried about the Oline but...

    The Vikings have one of the top, if not the top, defensive line units in the league. The analysts were even saying that the 2 to 4 players they will have to cut to get down to size could be starters on other teams.

    So I'm not excusing the bad play by the Rams but to keep it in perspective the Vikings Dline will man handle a lot of teams this year.... imho.

  9. #9
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: No excuse for Rams O-line ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambunctious View Post
    I'm not going to lie I'm a little worried about the Oline but...

    The Vikings have one of the top, if not the top, defensive line units in the league. The analysts were even saying that the 2 to 4 players they will have to cut to get down to size could be starters on other teams.

    So I'm not excusing the bad play by the Rams but to keep it in perspective the Vikings Dline will man handle a lot of teams this year.... imho.

    True, but did we even see that line for more than one drive? These were second and third stringers ... mainly third! For the first time in my life, Bernie got one right. Our line is atrocious. Smith got drafted second overall AND got paid BIG to play LT, now he's failing miserably at RT .... C'mon son, pick it up, huh?
    If a team won their division seven straight times, that would be a NFL record. Now add on that team did it with seven different QB's in seven straight years,that record is unbeatable. To do that feat, you must of had a great Defense. Jack Youngblood was the captain of that defense.

  10. #10
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: No excuse for Rams O-line ..

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    It may be his toe, but Smith is known for his athleticism and footwork. Yet, he got burned by the Viking's second and third team DEs. Unacceptable. He would get bullied and shoved around like a little kid in a sandbox.
    I was wondering the same thing about his toe. You can't push off on a bum toe. That said, if the toe's his excuse, he shouldn't be playing. If the toe is still really bothering him he needs to rest it - not make it worse. Man I hope we can find a serviceable OT off the waiver wire soon. As much of a liability as Barron was, he was better than Troutweener and Young. I wonder if Dallas would take back Carpenter and give us Barron back if we threw in the Trout and a tuna sandwich? All in all - Saturday's game was not an auspicious outing for the Rams' O-line ..

  11. #11
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: No excuse for Rams O-line ..

    Bernie nailed this one. You'd think that a sense of pride would, at sometime, kick in and those guys would stand up and put up a fight. You know the word on the street is that the Rams O line is their biggest weakness. They've been called out, and that was the resulting effort?

    Wow. ...just wow.
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

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    Azul e Oro is offline Registered User
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: No excuse for Rams O-line ..

    Nobody's happy to see the young OTs' growing pains leaving dings on Sam but I wonder how The Vikes feel about their first and second string OL's performance; multiple pre-snap penalties, giving up sacks to stonecold rookies like Cudjo and Selvie, no sustained drives.

    Good thing Bernie doesn't cover The Vikes; he might have had an aneurysm over all that....on the other hand, I might throw a five into the pot to buy him a bus ticket to Minneapolis.

  13. #13
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: No excuse for Rams O-line ..

    Alex Barron anyone?

  14. #14
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: No excuse for Rams O-line ..

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    Alex Barron anyone?
    I was a fan of keeping Barron staying here if for anything insurance. Instead we sent him packing and i never saw that guy even with the penalties he committed ever block as bad as Smith did Saturday night. As I stated on numerous occasions Barron may have been a little slow witted but the guy wasnt a horrible o-lineman. For a team with the o-line problems we had he would have been a solid backup for us or the way Smith is playing even a starter.
    Just Fix It

  15. #15
    eldfan's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: No excuse for Rams O-line ..

    Iím starting to be concern about Jason Smith, I had concern when the rams drafted him seem to me he was to much of a project a formal TE. But I hope he finds himself.
    :ramlogo:

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