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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Coats Blog: Time to second-guess preseason approach?

    Time to second-guess preseason approach?
    By Bill Coats
    09/09/2007 6:44 pm

    Does Steven Jackson commit two critical fumbles Sunday if he plays more than a handful of snaps – including no carries – in the preseason? Were the “hits” Jackson took in practice enough to prepare him for regular-season contact?

    Scott Linehan is far from the only coach in the NFL who is determined to protect his marquee back by using him sparingly, if at all, in the exhibition games.

    Still, it’s fair to wonder whether they’re going overboard with this approach. Sure, Jackson came into the regular-season opener fresh and healthy. But he had a subpar day in the 27-13 loss to Carolina: 58 yards on 18 carries (3.2 average) and one catch for 3 yards.

    And then the fumbles . . .

    The first came early in the third quarter with the Rams leading 13-7 and driving for more. The Panthers scored two plays later on a 68-yard strike from QB Jake Delhomme to WR Steve Smith.

    Two plays into the next series, Jackson coughed it up again, this time at the Rams’ 26. The Panthers fumbled away that glittering opportunity, but still, they never trailed again.

    “It was a rough one,” Jackson said. “Tests come, test go. You just have to be able to withstand the storm.”

    Jackson said during the spring that his goal for 2007 was 2,500 total yards from scrimmage. He led the NFL in that category last year, with 2,334.

    “I didn’t intend for my season to start like this,” Jackson said. “But . . . I will not back down.”

    ***

    Quarterback Marc Bulger wasn’t buying into the notion that part of the reason the offense struggled vs. the Panthers was tied to the first team’s relatively brief appearances in the preseason games.

    “We had a chance to win the game, and if a couple of situations don’t happen, we’re sitting here with a different outcome,” he said. “I don’t like to second-guess much about football, because anyone who has played long enough knows that you can play the same exact game and the ball bounces one way or another. . . .

    “The score didn’t indicate it, but for three quarters we were . . . in control of the game. We didn’t finish. They got the momentum and took it from there.”

    ***

    Injury report:

    >>T Orlando Pace came out late in the first half with an injury to his right shoulder. It was termed a sprain; he’ll have an MRI on Monday. Adam Goldberg played reasonably well in relief.

    >>LB Pisa Tinoisamoa went down with a sprained right ankle early in the fourth quarter and was replaced by Chris Draft. Tinoisamoa returned to the game but also will be examined further on Monday.



    What he said:

    >>”In the second half, we just fell apart.” – DE Leonard Little.

    >>”It came down to us executing late, and they out-executed us.” – S Corey Chavous.

    >>”I don’t think one guy should stop our whole offense. We all should’ve picked it up.” – Bulger, on the loss of Pace.

    >>”It was definitely exciting. Playing in a real NFL game is a dream come true.” – rookie DT Adam Carriker.

    All for now . . .


  2. #2
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is offline Moderator Emeritus
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    Re: Coats Blog: Time to second-guess preseason approach?

    Sorry, Marc... but no team that gives up that many big runs on simple running plays to fairly average NFL RBs will ever be "in control" of a close game.

  3. #3
    blood85's Avatar
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    Re: Coats Blog: Time to second-guess preseason approach?

    We sucked bad in that game, started playing like the lambs.

  4. #4
    RamOfDenmark is offline Registered User
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    Re: Coats Blog: Time to second-guess preseason approach?

    I'd have to disagree with Bulger, it was not just a game where a few plays bounced one way or the other - we were outgained 387 yards to 238.

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