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Thread: Bernie Bytes: Where Did The Rams Defense Go?

  1. #1
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    Bernie Bytes: Where Did The Rams Defense Go?

    Bernie Bytes: Where did Rams defense go?

    8 hours ago • BY BERNIE MIKLASZ • Post-Dispatch Sports Columnist

    Take 5 on the Rams:

    1. The Rams enter the second half of their schedule having lost three consecutive games to fall to 3-5 on the year. Obviously the team needs to improve in a lot of areas but let’s start with this one:

    Has anybody seen the Rams defense lately?

    Should we file a missing persons report?

    The Rams' defensive numbers during the three-game losing streak were staggeringly bad, especially in defending the pass. And yes, I realize that the Rams faced Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady in two of the three losses. Still …

    During the 0-3 slide, opposing quarterbacks have completed 75 of 104 passes, or 72.1 percent. They have thrown 9 TD passes, with no interceptions. They have averaged 8.15 yards per passing attempt. They’ve been sacked only six times. The opposing quarterbacks have completed 74 percent on third down, and have a third-down passer rating of 140.9. Against the Rams’ red-zone defense Miami, Green Bay and New England quarterbacks completed 12 of 19 passes for 7 TDs and no interceptions.

    The overall passer rating against the Rams in the last three games is 125.0.

    Compare all of this to the first five games of the season …

    The Rams went 3-2 and defense played a big part in the success. In the first five games opposing quarterbacks averaged 6.52 yards per attempt, had 2 TDs and 8 INTs, and a passer rating of 66.6. That’s just an outstanding job against the pass, which makes the deterioration all the more surprising.

    In the first five games the Rams defense allowed an average of 18.8 points and had 15 sacks and nine takeaways.

    In the last three games the Rams have allowed an average of 31.3 points and had six sacks and NO takeaways.

    2. So what are the reasons for the three-game defensive collapse? (A) tougher competition; (B) inconsistent pass rush; (C) very little push or impact by the Rams defensive tackles; (D) pass coverage by linebackers and safeties; (E) and a glaring slump by rookie cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who has been scorched repeatedly.

    3. The lack of pass rush has nudged the coaches into calling more blitzes, and that’s blown up on them. When blitzed over the last three games, Rams opponents have completed 31 of 41 passes for 351 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. That’s a passer rating of 133.3. And all of the blitzing has resulted in only one sack.

    4. The Rams were very good against the run when playing Miami and Green Bay, but New England trampled the St. Louis’ front seven for 152 yards on 28 carries. So that’s another concern to add to the list. San Francisco will certainly try to pound the ball on Sunday.

    5. Good defense is the only shot the Rams have at winning games the rest of the way; this offense won’t win shootouts. The Rams’ (mostly) plodding offense is only capable of scoring so much; that means the defense has to keep games under control, and close. This Rams defense won’t be as talented as the defense we’ll see next year or in subsequent seasons. But head coach Jeff Fisher and his defensive staff came here with a rep for cranking up physical, feisty defenses that disrupted quarterbacks and caused turnovers. We haven’t see much of that over the last three games. The Rams have played soft. They’ll do better. They should do better. But this is not all on the players, either. The coaches need to do a better job.

    BONUS BYTE:

    Some buzzworthy comments from Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. who offered his opinion on Rams quarterback Sam Bradford ... speaking to our pal Mike Sando of ESPN.com, Williamson made it clear that he's unimpressed with Bradford's progress. You can read all of Williamson's comments by visiting the Sando blog, but here are some excerpts:

    • "The Rams got Jeff Fisher, they got these other pieces, all those draft choices, but if Bradford is not a star, none of that matters," Williamson said. "He needs to be the best quarterback in this division and that is not saying much. Tom Brady is not in the NFC West."

    • As for the Rams' problems on the offensive line and their absence of a true outside No. 1 receiver, Williamson said, "There is always an excuse. He has been in the league long enough now where we're tired of hearing that. You're not a prospect any more. This is when you've got to be good."

    • Williamson is not sure if Bradford will be the Rams' long-term foundation piece at QB: "I just don't think it's a slam dunk that Bradford is clearly the answer," Williamson said. "After watching him his rookie year, you said, 'OK, he's the guy.' I feel that way about Ryan Tannehill and Russell Wilson. I felt that way that way about Bradford. This season, for the first time, I'm thinking maybe he is always going to be the 18th-best quarterback in the league."

    Thanks for reading ...

    — Bernie


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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Where Did The Rams Defense Go?

    interesting comments from a non clan member on our QB.......A little harsh i would say but some points do resonate with me. I still think he will develop into a QB better then he is today.....Never hear dof this guy but then again don't keep up with talking heads......

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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Where Did The Rams Defense Go?

    As fans, we sometimes let our enthusiasm and hopes cloud our minds as to the current state of our team. Intolerant people on the board call it "negativity". I call it "reality". The bottom line is that the Rams are a mediocre football team. Yes, there has been improvement. Yes, there is reason for hope. Yes, I like the moves they made in the off season. And yes, there is a different "feel" this season as opposed to years past. But we are not yet a good team. Good teams don't get blown out 45-7 to anyone. That we have hung in there most games is a tribute to the tenacious mentality instilled by our coaching staff.

    Our offense still stinks. You watch the Rams and sometimes wince at their (lack of) productivity with the football and their inability to finish drives in the red zone. I don't agree with Williamson's entire assessment about Bradford, but I DO agree with his sentiment that Bradford should be the best QB in this division. And he should consistently demonstrate this regardless of circumstances around him.

    The defense has holes. Yes there are good pieces- Long, Quinn, Laurinaitis, Finnegan, Dunbar. But there are too many breakdowns and often no cohesion. The secondary is weak. Too many missed reads and tackles. Run defense is good one game and stinks the next. Can't happen. After a 9 sack effort against Arizona on National TV, the pass rush has precipitously fallen off. More is needed here.

    We should get a few more wins against some of the poor teams on the remianing schedule, but I'm afraid we are not yet ready to start beating real good football teams. Forget playoffs, barring something unforseen. Let's see how they fare against SF this week- and if they can prove me wrong.
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Where Did The Rams Defense Go?

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    As fans, we sometimes let our enthusiasm and hopes cloud our minds as to the current state of our team. Intolerant people on the board call it "negativity". I call it "reality". The bottom line is that the Rams are a mediocre football team. Yes, there has been improvement. Yes, there is reason for hope. Yes, I like the moves they made in the off season. And yes, there is a different "feel" this season as opposed to years past. But we are not yet a good team. Good teams don't get blown out 45-7 to anyone. That we have hung in there most games is a tribute to the tenacious mentality instilled by our coaching staff.

    Our offense still stinks. You watch the Rams and sometimes wince at their (lack of) productivity with the football and their inability to finish drives in the red zone. I don't agree with Williamson's entire assessment about Bradford, but I DO agree with his sentiment that Bradford should be the best QB in this division. And he should consistently demonstrate this regardless of circumstances around him.

    The defense has holes. Yes there are good pieces- Long, Quinn, Laurinaitis, Finnegan, Dunbar. But there are too many breakdowns and often no cohesion. The secondary is weak. Too many missed reads and tackles. Run defense is good one game and stinks the next. Can't happen. After a 9 sack effort against Arizona on National TV, the pass rush has precipitously fallen off. More is needed here.

    We should get a few more wins against some of the poor teams on the remianing schedule, but I'm afraid we are not yet ready to start beating real good football teams. Forget playoffs, barring something unforseen. Let's see how they fare against SF this week- and if they can prove me wrong.
    I agree will almost everything you stated except "Good teams don't get blown out 45-7 to anyone."

    The whiners are a good team and at HOME they got blown out by the Giants it happens. I'm not saying we are a good team at this point, still have a long ways to go.

    I agree our offensive stinks but I think it has more to do with our poor running game then anything else. We have just one rushing TD by a running back, ONE! It amazes me this it's not talked about more here on the board to be honest. We all know SJ is on his way out, but Richardson is here to stay but he has yet to score. Pead may start to get some touches, we need TDs and he may be the one to get them.

    I think you may be wrong about the secondary, they have been torched the last two games but a lot of teams get ripped by Aaron and Brady. The rules are so in favor of the offense sometimes there is nothing you could do to stop them, if they got it going. Jenkins has had three bad games he needs to play much better. Brockers has played well IMO. Long has played OK, not great and needs to be a difference maker and he has not.

    One thing about football is you never know, on paper looks like another beat down Sunday. Last year we beat a good Saints team so you never know, that's why they play the games.

    It's going to be a good test against the run Sunday, can Brockers be a factor against this dominating running game the whiners have. If they gash us on the ground then they will also make a lot plays in the air. We have to stop the run and force third and long to have a shot.

    This is the team we have to build our roster to beat so it should be interesting to see where they try and expose our team.
    Last edited by Rambos; -11-07-2012 at 12:17 PM.
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Where Did The Rams Defense Go?

    As for the Rams' problems on the offensive line and their absence of a true outside No. 1 receiver, Williamson said, "There is always an excuse. He has been in the league long enough now where we're tired of hearing that. You're not a prospect any more. This is when you've got to be good."
    Ugh. I swear, reading this is like watching some bratty little kid that doesn't want to hear what his parents are saying. "La, la, la, I can't hear you! La, la, la."

    Williamson may be "tired of hearing it", but that doesn't diminish that the Rams have ZERO continuity on their O-line, ZERO consistency from their WR corps, and THREE different Offenses in the past 3 seasons.

    I don't care how good your stirring stick is, you can't make chicken salad out of chicken sh......well, you know.
    "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

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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Where Did The Rams Defense Go?

    [QUOTE ]
    "The Rams got Jeff Fisher, they got these other pieces, all those draft choices, but if Bradford is not a star, none of that matters," Williamson said. "He needs to be the best quarterback in this division and that is not saying much. Tom Brady is not in the NFC West."

    • As for the Rams' problems on the offensive line and their absence of a true outside No. 1 receiver, Williamson said, "There is always an excuse. He has been in the league long enough now where we're tired of hearing that. You're not a prospect any more. This is when you've got to be good."[/QUOTE]

    When building a race car from the ground up, there are quite a few interdependent parts. You could make the statement that a winning car is the sum of its parts. Great engine, superb suspension, world class driver etc. etc. Fortunately race car components can be replenished as needed with cash at will. If a tire is injured, you can replace it with a new one. If the suspension fails during a race, depending on how long it takes to remove/reinstall the failed component, you may still have a good chance of winning. It isn't necessary to "draft" tires, or engine parts, or drivers, or sign them in free agency.

    The Rams are the sum of their collective parts right now, including the coaching staff, front office/owner, and players. Clearly there are some parts that need upgrading. Right now, the Rams of late have been operating on two very "spare" tires, (O-line/receivers). Since they couldn't go out and buy brand new ones, they've had to make do with the occasional flat/quick patch scenario, (sack, dropped pass, wrong route, etc.). But that's no excuse, Sam's had three different OCs and 23 different O-linemen in 3 years, but no matter, his time is up. Either he's a star by now or he isn't.

    I think Mr Williamson needs to experience a few flat tires on his vehicle .. as such, even a star driver like ole Matty might not arrive on time .. No excuses though .. Right?
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Where Did The Rams Defense Go?

    If by spare tire you mean those goofy looking doughnut tires, then absolutely we have had some spare tires. You're only supposed to go 60 miles on those. I think we've hit a thousand.
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Where Did The Rams Defense Go?

    quote "The Rams got Jeff Fisher, they got these other pieces, all those draft choices, but if Bradford is not a star, none of that matters,"

    I disagree with that I still believe Bradford can become a star but even if he doesn't the Rams have a opportunity to became a very good team down the road with the right draft picks ie SF.
    :ramlogo:

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