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Thread: Bernie: Rams' Coaches deserve Credit For Adjusting

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    Bernie: Rams' Coaches deserve Credit For Adjusting

    Bernie: Rams' coaches deserve credit for adjusting

    34 minutes ago • BY BERNIE MIKLASZ, Post-Dispatch Sports Columnist

    GLENDALE, Ariz. • The famine is over. You wanted turnovers? The Rams gave you turnovers. It was raining interceptions. Footballs became confetti. Rookie cornerback Janoris Jenkins returned two pickoffs for touchdowns. Soft hands on a hard road turned a losing team into a winner.

    In pounding the Arizona Cardinals 31-17, the Rams won a regular-season game away from St. Louis for the first time since Cleveland messed up what would have been the winning chip-shot field goal on Nov. 13, 2011.

    This victory didn’t require prayer, séance, ritual sacrifice, or a rabbit’s foot. This time the Rams feasted on four interceptions thrown by Arizona rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley in his first NFL start.

    “We’ve kept saying it. The ball is going to bounce our way, but we need to create our own luck,” Rams defensive end Chris Long said. “The takeaways come in bundles and I think we had (four) picks today. We’ll keep grinding. We could get the ball out more as far as tackling the running back. But we’ll take those picks.”

    Unlucky Lindley was all the Rams needed to change their fortunes. It helped that Rams coaches made halftime corrections after Lindley picked them apart like Thanksgiving leftovers in the first half, completing 17 of 24 passes to lift the Cardinals to a 17-14 lead.

    The Rams were terrible defensively in the first half, and it continued what we saw last weekend when the NY Jets came into St. Louis to outcoach and outplay the Rams. After making things easy for Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez by having their cornerbacks playing off the line, creating a soft and sweet spot for easy completions, the Rams inexplicably came out with the same faulty strategy against the Cardinals.

    Lindley did get burned by an alert and devious Jenkins for the first pick six, but otherwise the kid QB was virtually flawless over the first two quarters. The Rams made it way too simple for him. Something had to change. And it did. The Rams’ coaches earned their money this week.

    It took them a while, but in the second half Fisher coached like a guy getting paid $7 million a year. The Rams finally decided it would be smart to make a rookie quarterback feel some discomfort.

    The Rams moved an extra body into the box to smother the run and create traffic in the middle passing lanes. The Rams also began blitzing more, and that made Lindley uneasy. The Rams intercepted him three times in the second half, and closed the deal with Jenkins’ second heist cashed in for a touchdown.

    In the first half, Lindley completed 70.8 percent of his throws and had a passer rating of 75.5. In the second half, Lindley completed 50 percent and had a passer rating of 23.6.

    Amazing things happen when the coaches decide to disrupt a quarterback’s rhythm by turning the challenge into something more difficult than a leisurely backyard round of pitch-and-catch.

    Truly amazing things — including a Craig Dahl interception.

    “Our coaches made awesome adjustments in the second half,” Long said. “We stopped the run, which was huge. We didn’t do that enough in the first half. But in the second half when they decided they were going to air it out, we made adjustments and the whole game changed.”

    Being down by three at the half left the Rams feeling quite disgusted. The coaches modified the strategy, and the players took it from there.

    “The way we played in the first half, overall, just wasn’t acceptable,” Long said. “We had one defensive score but otherwise, it was disheartening. But I was really proud of the way we responded.”

    From the start of the second half until the time Greg Zuerlein kicked a field goal for a 31-17 lead with just over five minutes remaining, the Rams’ defense allowed the Cardinals only 55 yards on 20 plays over six possessions. Those Arizona series ended with four punts and two interceptions.

    The aggression of a purposeful and prideful defense was an important factor, as was the improvement in the second-half coaching performance. The Rams moved to 4-6-1 on the season and have a chance to finish well. But in terminating a five-game (0-4-1) winless streak, some important Rams heeded the call:

    • The last time the Rams went on the road, rookies Jenkins and Chris Givens were deactivated (read: suspended) for the game in San Francisco. After getting into more trouble than Cheech and Chong, Jenkins and Givens were businessmen on this trip into the Valley of the Sun. Jenkins was the star of the game, and he extended Arizona’s losing streak to seven games. The increasingly prominent Givens was targeted six times and made five catches for 115 yards.

    “The one thing in the NFL, you have to remain even keel,” Rams running back Steven Jackson said. “When you’re high, you can’t get too high. And on the lows, you can’t get too down on yourself. You have to remain steadfast, you have to remain consistent and be someone that can remain dependable. And I think those young men are learning that right now.”

    • Jackson was, well, Ram Tough for the third consecutive game. He carried 24 times for 139 yards overall, and was in the full bully mode in the second half with 98 yards on 14 carries.

    “He took over today,” Rams quarterback Sam Bradford said. “He was just in one of those modes today. I’ve seen it before. He gets that look in his eye and he’s not going to be stopped.”

    • The Rams’ offensive line, intact with the return of center Scott Wells, was forceful in the run-blocking for Jackson and Daryl Richardson. The Rams averaged 5.1 yards on 34 rushing attempts.

    • Bradford impressed except for one awful play, a poorly thrown interception in the end zone. He displayed outstanding touch on the deep throws; his eight completions averaged an astounding 25.6 yards. And Bradford shook off a nasty hit that caused him to miss one play by returning to complete two passes for 55 yards, including a 37-yard TD strike to tight end Lance Kendricks. Bradford’s passer rating of 106.2 was the second-best against Arizona’s defense this season.

    The Rams are a curious lot. They’re 3-0-1 in games against NFC West rivals and 1-6 in non-division games. They’ve outscored NFC West teams 91-57 and have been outscored 197-114 in the other seven games. Go figure.

    Next up: the division-leading San Francisco *****, who will be at the Edward Jones on Sunday. The Rams should have beaten the ***** in San Francisco, but some highly questionable coaching decisions by Fisher enabled the ***** to scrounge for a 24-24 tie. Then Fisher and crew were badly outcoached by the Jets.

    At Arizona, the Rams’ defense ended their takeaway drought, stopping it at five games, 56 possessions and 277 plays. As an added bonus, Fisher and the staff finally emerged from their coaching slump. The coaches didn’t give this game away, and the defense took the ball away. That was a winning combination.


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    Re: Bernie: Rams' Coaches deserve Credit For Adjusting

    con·de·scend·ing

    adjective \ˌkän-di-ˈsen-diŋ\

    Definition of CONDESCENDING

    : showing or characterized by a patronizing or superior attitude toward others
    con·de·scend·ing·ly \-ˈsen-diŋ-lē\adverb

    Examples of CONDESCENDING

    • Bernie's articles about the Rams' coaching staff are condescending and obnoxious.

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    Re: Bernie: Rams' Coaches deserve Credit For Adjusting

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    con·de·scend·ing

    adjective \ˌkän-di-ˈsen-diŋ\

    Definition of CONDESCENDING

    : showing or characterized by a patronizing or superior attitude toward others
    con·de·scend·ing·ly \-ˈsen-diŋ-lē\adverb

    Examples of CONDESCENDING

    • Bernie's articles about the Rams' coaching staff are condescending and obnoxious.
    Mebbe.....but also accurate; especially with regards to the Jets game. In watching Jax and the Rams pound a pretty decent Cards defense, I kept going back to the Jet game and wondering why we abandoned the run and started passing all over the place.

    If we had continued to roll with the running game we might have been able to pull that game out. But, by throwing it like we did we lost any chance of competing for a victory.

    Also, many here have blamed Schotty for this mistake but I think that Fish needed to get on the horn and tell his OC that he needs to stay committed to the run.

    After watching the Arizona game it may well be that Jeff Fisher had a little talk with Mr. Schotty this past week.

    WHAT SAY YE?

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    Re: Bernie: Rams' Coaches deserve Credit For Adjusting

    If Jeff Fisher wants to take issue with Schott's playcalling, that's fine.

    When Bernie "Mr. Hindsight" Miklasz does it, it just comes accross as comical.

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    Re: Bernie: Rams' Coaches deserve Credit For Adjusting

    I don't think Bernie calling out Fisher is unwarranted- and that's coming from a guy who loves Fisher. I think Jeff Fisher this year has been a mixed bag; certainly more good than bad but also has confounded me at times. He rightly deserves credit for yesterday's defensive adjustments in a game that looked anything but promising at halftime. He also deserves credit for the two successful fake punts vs. SF and instilling an overall confidence in this bunch. He deserves credit for marked improvement this season and for what looks like a solid draft class and added picks in the coming seasons.

    He rightly deserves blame for the delay of game penalty which cost us a game winning field goal vs. SF and an earlier timeout which allowed SF to get the ball back and march down the field. And not having these guys ready to play the Jets at home was inexcusable. And he bears some responsibility for the slew of penaties we've gotten this season as well.
    live4ramin and macrammer like this.

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    Fisher is still in the process of finding out what he has (and does not have).

    Patience Grasshopper(s). ;-)
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

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    Re: Bernie: Rams' Coaches deserve Credit For Adjusting

    Methinks Fisher KNOWS what he has and is just making do untill he gets the roster stocked with HIS guys


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    Re: Bernie: Rams' Coaches deserve Credit For Adjusting

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    I don't think Bernie calling out Fisher is unwarranted- and that's coming from a guy who loves Fisher. I think Jeff Fisher this year has been a mixed bag; certainly more good than bad but also has confounded me at times. He rightly deserves credit for yesterday's defensive adjustments in a game that looked anything but promising at halftime. He also deserves credit for the two successful fake punts vs. SF and instilling an overall confidence in this bunch. He deserves credit for marked improvement this season and for what looks like a solid draft class and added picks in the coming seasons.

    He rightly deserves blame for the delay of game penalty which cost us a game winning field goal vs. SF and an earlier timeout which allowed SF to get the ball back and march down the field. And not having these guys ready to play the Jets at home was inexcusable. And he bears some responsibility for the slew of penaties we've gotten this season as well.
    NJ,

    Spot on.... I do not see any issues with Bernie calling out Fisher. I have shook my head a number of times this year over his decisions but still see more good then bad. I personally have witnessed many sideline coaching staffs call timeout when the players on field were oblivious to the play clock. Against the whiners, the lack of foresight by the coaching staff in such a crucial moment is inexcusable.

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    Re: Bernie: Rams' Coaches deserve Credit For Adjusting

    Who is Bernie to "call out" anyone? He's never played for, coached, managed, scouted for, or owned a football team at any level.

    Anyone can be this guy:

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    Re: Bernie: Rams' Coaches deserve Credit For Adjusting

    [QUOTE=AvengerRam;445648]Who is Bernie to "call out" anyone? He's never played for, coached, managed, scouted for, or owned a football team at any level.

    QUOTE]

    True of just about any journalist covering sports across the nation.....

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    Re: Bernie: Rams' Coaches deserve Credit For Adjusting

    True of just about any journalist covering sports across the nation.....
    Not entirely true, but also not the point.

    The point is, Bernie can report on his observations without coming accross as if he's saying "maybe one day Jeff Fisher will live up to MY standards." His tone is not an accident, its a schtick. He did the same thing with Tony LaRussa who, last time I checked, was pretty successful as an MLB manager.

    I, personally, have no use for that type of "journalism."

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    Re: Bernie: Rams' Coaches deserve Credit For Adjusting

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Not entirely true, but also not the point.

    The point is, Bernie can report on his observations without coming accross as if he's saying "maybe one day Jeff Fisher will live up to MY standards." His tone is not an accident, its a schtick. He did the same thing with Tony LaRussa who, last time I checked, was pretty successful as an MLB manager.

    I, personally, have no use for that type of "journalism."
    yes, you have made your point ad nauseum on the Bernie lack of respect thing. I think there might be just a few of us that don't always write off everything he says. While the entire embodiement of his rhetoric may not resonate 100% to me, there are ususally grains of something that I certainly can relate to. In this case, IMO, he is not too far off.
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    Re: Bernie: Rams' Coaches deserve Credit For Adjusting

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    If Jeff Fisher wants to take issue with Schott's playcalling, that's fine.

    When Bernie "Mr. Hindsight" Miklasz does it, it just comes accross as comical.

    You're the big momma dog around here. If BM's oppinion bothers or threatens you or us that much then ban his usless articles. If it weren't for Bernie those of us around here would just get PR man, Jim Thomas sent out with the company line.
    "The horror"

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    Re: Bernie: Rams' Coaches deserve Credit For Adjusting

    Quote Originally Posted by live4ramin View Post
    You're the big momma dog around here. If BM's oppinion bothers or threatens you or us that much then ban his usless articles. If it weren't for Bernie those of us around here would just get PR man, Jim Thomas sent out with the company line.
    I see no reason to ban Bernie's articles.

    I will, however, exercise my right to critique them.

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    Re: Bernie: Rams' Coaches deserve Credit For Adjusting

    Isn't allowing the post and then automaticlly subjecting it to your criticism also a bit /kan-di-sen-ding/?
    "The horror"

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