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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Call off the CSI team; the Rams' problems are obvious

    Sports Columnist Bernie Miklasz
    By Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    11/13/2008

    The demise of the Rams is no mystery. The team's hideous 5-20 record since the start of the 2007 season is easy to explain. You don't have to bring in a team of forensic investigators to identify the problem.

    As I wrote on a blog at STLtoday.com the other day, this roster is rotting at the core. The chance for success is being weighed down by a huge pile of deadwood. General manager Jay Zygmunt, de facto assistant GM Samir Suleiman and deposed head coaches Mike Martz and Scott Linehan destroyed any realistic hope of winning consistently by constructing a truly horrible roster.

    Recent drafts have been a disaster. Stacks of money have been burned in appalling free-agent signings. And even when the Rams have drafted or located a few good players, they proceed to ruin it by overpaying.

    Sure, some of this is bad luck.

    Players get hurt unexpectedly or grow old overnight. You just can't predict some things.

    But it's staggering to study this roster and see all of the money that's being squandered on a lengthy list of overpaid, underachieving core players.

    The people who should be leading the team are doing just that.

    Yeah, leading the team right into the ditch:

    Marc Bulger: Since signing a six-year, $65 million deal in the summer of 2007, he ranks 34th among NFL quarterbacks in passer rating and in completion percentage.

    Torry Holt: His salary cap figure for 2008 is $7.85 million. This season Holt is 48th in the NFL in receptions, 59th in receiving yards and 118th in average yards after the catch.

    Steven Jackson: He signed a $44.8 million deal (six years) before the season. But after missing all of training camp, Jackson is injured again and ranks only 17th in the NFL in yards rushing. Since the start of the 2007 season, Jackson is 35th in the NFL in average yards per carry, and 27 NFL backs have compiled more runs that gain 10 yards or more.

    Drew Bennett: After signing a six-year, $30 million free-agent deal, Bennett has started one game for the Rams. He has 34 catches and made one grab this year before going on injured reserve. And the Rams chased Isaac Bruce off for this?

    The offensive line: The Rams struggle to run the ball and protect the passer. The front office has invested heavily in this group. On the left side, tackle Orlando Pace received a seven-year, $53 million contract and guard Jacob Bell was lured to St. Louis with a six-year, $36 million contract. On the right side, tackle Alex Barron has allowed five sacks and has been flagged for five penalties this season. His cap figure for '08 is $2.15 million.

    Leonard Little: The defensive end gives his all, but he's older now, and the injuries are more frequent. His cap number for 2008 is $6.44 million.

    Will Witherspoon: The Rams gave him a free-agent deal of six years, $33.6 million before the 2006 season. A good player, but badly miscast as a middle linebacker. In nine games this season, Witherspoon has only 35 unassisted tackles, one sack and two pass defenses. No forced fumbles. No fumble recoveries.

    Pisa Tinoisamoa: There's no question that this outside linebacker is intense and feisty. But what were the Rams thinking, giving the undersized Tinoisamoa a five-year, $25 million contract extension in 2006? Since the start of the 2004 season, Tinoisamoa has forced only one fumble and has six sacks and four interceptions.

    Corey Chavous: Now in his third season as a Ram, the slow strong safety has one interception and one forced fumble in 39 starts. His cap figure for '08 is $3.8 million.

    La'Roi Glover: A good defensive tackle in his day, the aging Glover has a 2008 cap figure of $4.5 million. He has no sacks and 38 tackles in nine games.

    Randy McMichael: The tight end has a cap figure of $3.9 million for '08 and played in four games before going on IR.

    Tye Hill: The team's No. 1 draft pick in 2006 signed a five-year, $10 million deal as a rookie. Because of injuries and poor play, he's started only 21 of a possible 41 games and has made one interception since Nov. 26, 2006.

    That's a lot of cash for five wins in the last 25 games. Rams owner Chip Rosenbloom is a filmmaker, so he will understand when I tell him that he's basically funding the NFL version of Ishtar, Heaven's Gate and Howard the Duck.
    Last edited by HUbison; -11-13-2008 at 10:17 AM.


  2. #2
    zingers16 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Call off the CSI team; the Rams' problems are obvious

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post

    Marc Bulger: Since signing a six-year, $65 million deal in the summer of 2007, he ranks 34th among NFL quarterbacks in passer rating and in completion percentage.
    I think he will have more confidence with a better line but it is extremely disheartening to see hime ranked 34th when there are only 32 teams meaning some backup QBs are better.

  3. #3
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Call off the CSI team; the Rams' problems are obvious

    It's extremely frustrating that we can't get out of this funk we are in.

    We need football people in the front office. We need people that have a proven track record of bringing in draft picks and/or free agents that actually make an impact on their respective team. The ability to recognize talent is lacking big time in our franchise.

    Jim Haslett or whoever needs to steal Bill Belichek's little black book on evaluating talent. It doesn't stop there we need copies of Belichek's coaching techniques.
    Last edited by laram0; -11-13-2008 at 09:51 AM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Call off the CSI team; the Rams' problems are obvious

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    Sports Columnist Bernie Miklasz
    By Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    11/13/2008

    Marc Bulger: Since signing a six-year, $65 million deal in the summer of 2007, he ranks 34th among NFL quarterbacks in passer rating and in completion percentage.

    Drew Bennett: After signing a six-year, $30 million free-agent deal, Bennett has started one game for the Rams. He has 34 catches and made one grab this year before going on injured reserve. And the Rams chased Isaac Bruce off for this?

    .
    This is sad Bulger it's only 32 teams. Bennett or Bruce enough said.
    :ramlogo:

  5. #5
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Call off the CSI team; the Rams' problems are obvious

    The one asset Jay Zygmunt brings to this organization is his cap management skills......and NOW even that Zygmunt is screwing up.

    I swear this guy sleeps in Whiners pajamas hugging a Joe Montana teddy bear.
    "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

  6. #6
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Call off the CSI team; the Rams' problems are obvious

    Don't you love how Bernie writes an article telling us things we already know as if they are some great revelation?

  7. #7
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Call off the CSI team; the Rams' problems are obvious

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Don't you love how Bernie writes an article telling us things we already know as if they are some great revelation?
    But you just know the Litterbox sycophants are eating it up.
    "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

  8. #8
    Truth's Avatar
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    Re: Call off the CSI team; the Rams' problems are obvious

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    The one asset Jay Zygmunt brings to this organization is his cap management skills......and NOW even that Zygmunt is screwing up.

    I swear this guy sleeps in Whiners pajamas hugging a Joe Montana teddy bear.
    Sorry HUB, your wrong here. Ziggy is still a wizard at managing the cap. UNFORTUNATELY, he is an absolute disaster at evaluating the value of individual players.

    As for what he sleeps in...probably NFL feet pajamas with all the team logos except the Rams.

    Our front office reeks of panic. They have no coherent plan to improve the team, lack the ability to sniff out real talent, jump too quickly to sign other teams cast-offs, and rely too heavily on the remaining skills of aging veteran FAs. Be afraid...be very afraid.
    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!

  9. #9
    Azul e Oro is offline Registered User
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    Re: Call off the CSI team; the Rams' problems are obvious

    Normally I think he's a pompous gasbag but Phil Simms made an excellent observation on the latest Inside The NFL. The topic was the success that the Ravens & Falcons were having with their young QBs ,Flacco & Ryan. A team needs a clear plan from its braintrust to make them successful. The Rams don't.

    As observed by AV here & may others , that is hardly news but true,nonetheless. Even if this team were completely injury-free, what is their personality?

    We have a power back who doesn't get consistent yards behind an O-line that run blocks ok.

    A QB who is a rhythm passer who doesn't have the arm to reach the small speedy receivers deep with any consistency or an OC/coaching staff who can teach them to run screens or use the middle of the field.

    Add your own examples of our multiple personality disordered Rams here.

    I have never been a coach but even I can see what good teams are trying to do strategically in any given game.Not so with The Rams.We rely on individual performance and sheer luck for success.

    Even our bad luck with injuries is made worse by poor planning.Players miscast & misused all over the field.We all know the examples; Leonard,Spoon,Carriker,etc.

    Move TC to a place where the fields are artificial.Both Avery & Fakhir's early health issues were directly related to that blunder/lack of forethought.

    Sigh...

  10. #10
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    Re: Call off the CSI team; the Rams' problems are obvious

    Ugh... the truth may have been known to me already but reading it hurts like a knife in my back. I wish Chip would hire a competent FO staff that is from football and not some wallstreet office.

  11. #11
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Call off the CSI team; the Rams' problems are obvious

    Quote Originally Posted by itsguud View Post
    Ugh... the truth may have been known to me already but reading it hurts like a knife in my back. I wish Chip would hire a competent FO staff that is from football and not some wallstreet office.
    All in good time. Nothing was going to happen during the season anyway. Though January will be a cold dormant period on the field for the Rams, it should be quite the boiler room off the field.
    "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

  12. #12
    Bar-bq's Avatar
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    Re: Call off the CSI team; the Rams' problems are obvious

    I think what's more telling is that there are NO offensive linemen on this list. Yes, it's nothing new. But it doesn't help that all this money has been invested in offensive skill positions, without first addressing the big uglies.

  13. #13
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Call off the CSI team; the Rams' problems are obvious

    I've never been a big Bernie fan, but at the same time, I never liked how some people just picked on and took shots at the guy. But after reading this article, I think I understand it.

    Bernie lambastes the organization for a roster that's "rotting at the core," yet in his post-game article a few weeks ago after the Dallas win, he talked about how the Rams had talent and Haslett was finally tapping into it after Linehan could not. Bernie said then that Bulger, Jackson, and Holt -- whom he now refers to as "overpaid" and "underachieving" -- were "reinvigorated."

    Go back and read his write-up here. Simply put, the guy makes it up as he goes along, changing directions like a weather vane depending on which way the wind is blowing.

  14. #14
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Call off the CSI team; the Rams' problems are obvious

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I've never been a big Bernie fan, but at the same time, I never liked how some people just picked on and took shots at the guy. But after reading this article, I think I understand it.

    Bernie lambastes the organization for a roster that's "rotting at the core," yet in his post-game article a few weeks ago after the Dallas win, he talked about how the Rams had talent and Haslett was finally tapping into it after Linehan could not. Bernie said then that Bulger, Jackson, and Holt -- whom he now refers to as "overpaid" and "underachieving" -- were "reinvigorated."

    Go back and read his write-up here. Simply put, the guy makes it up as he goes along, changing directions like a weather vane depending on which way the wind is blowing.
    Oh, Nick... I knew that some day you'd come around!
    Bernie proves, on a day to day basis, that sportswriter is far and away the easiest job on the planet.

  15. #15
    BernieM's Avatar
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    Re: Call off the CSI team; the Rams' problems are obvious

    Why do I have to be consistent? Isn't it possible that guys like Bulger, Pace, Little and Holt were in the prime of their careers two weeks ago and now are well past their prime?

    I think we need to hold the Rams to a higher standard. When they sign a guy, they should be able, through actuarial table and ouija boards, to know exactly how long the player will be at their peak. If not, I have the right to criticize them, even if it means contradicting myself.

    Oh... and did you see how I got a shot in against Samir Suleiman? Not that I hold a grudge or anything.

    As for my job being easy, you don't know what you are talking about. I spend minutes a day in the grueling task of writing down thoughts off the top of my head. Then I have to go on the radio and chat about sports. Its hard work. I'm like a modern day coal miner.

    Well, gotta go. Nap time.

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