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Thread: Current Rams team is hopeless
Current Rams team is hopeless
By Bernie Miklasz
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Tuesday, Sep. 23 2008
Not until Sunday, when I had a chance to sit back and watch parts of every NFL
game, did I truly realize just how horrific the Rams are.
Look, I knew the Rams were bad. After years of terrible drafting, appalling
personnel misjudgments and paying small fortunes to players who go in the tank,
the Rams lack talent and playmakers.
But there are more than a few incomplete and undermanned teams in the NFL. So
what's the difference between the Rams and the others? I see other teams
playing with verve and vigor. I see other teams straining and fighting and
buzzing around, trying desperately to make something happen.
Sunday, I saw a poor team, the Miami Dolphins, go into New England and destroy
the Patriots in large part because of a creative coaching staff that went in
with a crazy, fun and let-it-rip game plan that clearly energized the players.
And the Rams?
They're lifeless, helpless, hopeless.
Instead of being listed as underdogs each Sunday, just mark them down as "DOA."
This is the worst team in the history of NFL football in St. Louis.
These 2007-08 Rams of Scott Linehan are more dreadful than the Bob
Hollway-coached Cardinal teams of 1971-72, more discouraging than the Bud
Wilkinson teams of 1978-79. The 1998 Rams went 4-12 and were dull on offense,
but they generally played hard for Dick Vermeil and lost six games by a
touchdown or less. The 1985 Cardinals were a soap opera and a crushing
disappointment at 5-11. That squad was plagued by nasty internal issues,
including drug use and locker-room thefts. But at least the '85 Cardinals
started the season by going 3-1 and showing a pulse. The players on the 2008
Rams team aren't stealing from each other; many of them are just stealing a
paycheck each week.
These Rams are being dominated on both sides of the ball. They aren't remotely
competitive, having been outscored 116-29 in the first three games. They are
31st among the 32 NFL teams in scoring points, and 32nd at preventing them.
Their defense is giving up the most yards in the league. And after the big
signing of alleged franchise back Steven Jackson, the Rams are dead last in the
NFL in yards per rush (3.1) and have had only one running play go for 10 yards
or longer. When this offense reaches the red zone, it's cause for as much
celebration as Lindbergh reaching Paris.
The Rams' current losing streak has stretched to an ugly seven games, and they
have lost these beatings by an average score of 37-14. They're 3-16 in the last
19 games; the average score of the defeats is 31-13. They are 7-23 in the last
30 games, by an average of 16 points. And this is in a league where about half
the games are decided by a touchdown or less.
And if you're expecting Linehan and staff to find a way to get the players
emotionally revved to slay dragons the way the Dolphin coaches did at New
England, well, forget about it.
"Something's vanishing from our competitive state of mind on the field and I
take total responsibility for that, trying to find out what it is, what buttons
we need to push, what lineups that can get it done," Linehan said Monday at
Rams Park. "After three games, I don't know that I have any better answer for
you ... ''
Linehan has no answers.
Uh, so why is Linehan still here?
What is the point of alienating and infuriating customers by keeping him
That's business. What about the humanistic side?
The owner-chairman, Chip Rosenbloom, likes Linehan personally. And Rosenbloom
also respects his late mother's wishes to give Linehan a third season.
(An aside: I can only imagine how hard John Shaw and Jay Zygmunt are lobbying
the owner to stay the course and keep the coach they hired. If this team played
nearly as hard as the executives lobbied, they'd be 3-0.)
If Rosenbloom steps back for a moment and really thinks about this, he'll do
the merciful thing and put an end to the suffering. Because this is sad, and
the depression will only deepen. Linehan is drowning. His wife, understandably
distraught, was crying in Seattle at the end of Sunday's 37-13 loss.
What is the benefit, the value, of continuing to allow this coach to endure
Why continue to torture Linehan? The coach won't be able to turn this around;
his demise is inevitable.
So why prolong the misery?
Bad St. Louis football
Bernie Miklasz ranks his contenders for the worst years in St. Louis pro football:
The current version of the Rams has lost 16 of the past 19 under coach Scott Linehan by an average margin of 31-13. Going back to last season, they have lost seven in a row by an average score of 37-14.
The St. Louis Cardinals, picked by some to go to the Super Bowl, crashed to a 5-11 record, finished next-to-last in points scored, and were marked by drug controversy. Coach Jim Hanifan was fired.
The Bob Hollway Era lasted just two years (8-18-2). The '72 team finished last in the NFC in total offense and defense. Hollway was replaced by Don Coryell, who dramatically elevated the franchise.
Re: Current Rams team is hopelessThis is the worst team in the history of NFL football in St. Louis
Re: Current Rams team is hopeless"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
Re: Current Rams team is hopeless
Let's see how they fare against the Fins.
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