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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Defense Has Work to Do Against the Run

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    08/11/2008

    MEQUON, Wis. — Had Saturday's contest in Nashville been a regular season affair, it would have gone down as a day of infamy. Or very close to that for the St. Louis run defense.

    Before all was said and done in the Rams' 34-13 loss to Tennessee, the Titans had rushed for 340 yards.

    In 71 years of Rams regular season football, the team has given up more rushing yards on only one occasion. On Nov. 25, 1951, the Los Angeles Rams gave up 352 yards rushing in a 31-21 loss at Washington.

    "It wasn't anything the Titans did," defensive tackle Clifton Ryan said. "It was just what we didn't do as far as run fits, closing off gaps, and wrapping up and making the tackles. … It was just little nuances."


    About 340 yards worth of nuance.

    "That's unacceptable," coach Scott Linehan said of the Titans' rushing total. "What happens is, you might play two runs good, but you give up a long run and that's what kills us. That's hindered us before — the long play in the run game. We can certainly utilize that as motivation that we've got work to do there."

    It didn't matter who the Titans ran at the St. Louis defense in Saturday's preseason opener at LP Field. From the obvious to the obscure, they all seemed to find running room. Vince Young, LenDale White, Chris Johnson, Chris Henry, Ingle Martin and Quinton Ganther all had at least one run of 10 yards-plus.

    And it could have been worse. With a second-and-goal on the St. Louis 6 at the 2-minute warning, Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher called a quarterback kneel-down on three consecutive plays.

    All told, the Titans had 10 runs of 10 yards or more, and those carries accounted for 255 yards. Or 14 more yards than the entire Rams offense produced.

    Granted, many of the Rams defenders on the field in the second half won't make the final 53-man roster in September. But it was still an embarrassing performance by the St. Louis defense.

    "It doesn't matter who's in there or in what part of the game," Linehan said. "It's going to be tough for us to win if we give up that many yards rushing to anybody."

    All three remaining opponents on the Rams' preseason schedule are known as physical, power-running teams just like Tennessee. This coming Saturday, San Diego visits the Edward Jones Dome, followed by visiting Baltimore on Aug. 23, and then a trip to Kansas City on Aug. 28.

    "Which is going to be good for us," Linehan said. "We're going to have a heck of a challenge based on what happened (at Tennessee) as far as the running stats going against a team that's going to try to run the ball. I promise you, this next team (San Diego) is going to try to run the ball."

    And if Ganther can rush for 115 yards, two touchdowns and 14.4 yards per carry, the Rams can only hope that LaDainian Tomlinson, who frequently doesn't play in the preseason, takes the night off for the Chargers.

    "We're going to get it fixed this week in practice," Ryan insisted. "I think you're going to see a vast improvement in our run defense from this week to the next."

    Linehan feels the improvement has to begin up front with the defensive line.

    "We've got to pick up that part of our production," Linehan said. "I think our D-line's certainly got the ability to play well. We've got good personnel there."

    According to unofficial statistics, neither of the Rams' most recent first-round draft picks — defensive end Chris Long and defensive tackle Adam Carriker — had a tackle Saturday night.

    "It's not because they're not trying," Linehan said. "They're giving great effort. But it's production that counts, and they know it, and they'll get a lot better."

    With veterans Will Witherspoon (shoulder) and Chris Draft (back) sitting out Saturday's game, the team's depth at linebacker was exposed for the worse against Tennessee.

    "I think the rookie linebackers looked like rookies," Linehan said. (He did say, however, that Chris Chamberlain showed good coverage ability.)

    "Bottom line for linebackers is you've got to be lined up right," Linehan added. "You've got to get the right fit, and then you've got to get the guy tackled. We didn't do that. We didn't do a good enough job of that in this game."


  2. #2
    moloch41's Avatar
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    Re: Defense Has Work to Do Against the Run

    Re: Defense Has Work to Do Against the Run


    Really- I hadn't noticed...

    P.S.

    Is Haslett getting fiery yet?

  3. #3
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    Re: Defense Has Work to Do Against the Run

    "We're going to get it fixed this week in practice," Ryan insisted. "I think you're going to see a vast improvement in our run defense from this week to the next."
    Wow, after giving up only 340 yards on the ground, that's a bold statement.

  4. #4
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    Re: Defense Has Work to Do Against the Run

    "That's unacceptable," coach Scott Linehan said of the Titans' rushing total. "What happens is, you might play two runs good, but you give up a long run and that's what kills us. That's hindered us before — the long play in the run game."

    Wow. Thanks for that Scott. This guy is a clown.

    Seriuosly, he has been saying the same stuff week in and week out for 2+ years now. WE KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM IS SCOTT! DO YOUR JOB AND FIX IT!!!

  5. #5
    btimsah Guest

    Re: Defense Has Work to Do Against the Run

    Quote Originally Posted by moloch41 View Post
    Re: Defense Has Work to Do Against the Run


    Really- I hadn't noticed...

    P.S.

    Is Haslett getting fiery yet?
    lol, you crack me up. Keep up the sense of humor, if this defense doesn't improve were gonna need it.

  6. #6
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    Re: Defense Has Work to Do Against the Run

    All we can do is trust the players. I think we do have a much better squad, we just need to see it. When Witherspoon comes back, there will be some improvement.

    Lets just hope the awareness improves BIG TIME.

  7. #7
    LA Rammer's Avatar
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    Re: Defense Has Work to Do Against the Run

    good test coming up vs. Chargers. Maybe LT will be allowed to rush a few. Sproles should also provide some gage to see if indeed any improvement has been made.
    LA RAMMER

    It's Jim not Chris
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HNgqQVHI_8

  8. #8
    btimsah Guest

    Re: Defense Has Work to Do Against the Run

    Quote Originally Posted by LA Rammer View Post
    good test coming up vs. Chargers. Maybe LT will be allowed to rush a few. Sproles should also provide some gage to see if indeed any improvement has been made.
    If I'm Haslett (Fiery..) I'm not sure I don't just go to the 4-6 with this bunch and let our corners figure it out on islands. I mean.. can't be worse than this soft defense we run where we get killed by long runs, long passes and they can also pick us apart. We don't focus on any one thing and with bad personel you have to focus on something. What is our defenses calling card?? Giving up big plays.


  9. #9
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Defense Has Work to Do Against the Run

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    08/11/2008

    MEQUON, Wisc.

    Granted, many of the Rams defenders on the field in the second half won't make the final 53-man roster in September. But it was still an embarrassing performance by the St. Louis defense.
    That says it all for me. Adious amigos.

  10. #10
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    Re: Defense Has Work to Do Against the Run

    And that 1951 team defeated Paul Brown's Cleveland Browns for the NFL Championship at The Coliseum. Hmmm...nah.

  11. #11
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    Re: Defense Has Work to Do Against the Run

    Is there a genious gap or a lack of heart gap on the Rams "D"??

    No one who has ever played defense, ever accepts being ran against! Its a statement either way--if you can run against a defense, it means you dominated them; where as if you stop the offense's running game, you own them. That is heart, to either own them or dominate them. Want to inspire the defense--have them wear PINK workout jearsies in practise!

    hasslet has been in the game long enough to know how to put a stop to the run. You format your defense to encourage your opponent to call a running play--spread zone--and come with the run blitz. Or you just plan motivate your your defensive squad. After the 2nd quarter, honestly I would have CUT a player off the team, "saying your done with professional football" during the game.

  12. #12
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    Re: Defense Has Work to Do Against the Run

    Quote Originally Posted by btimsah View Post
    What is our defenses calling card?? Giving up big plays.
    Your right. Under Haslett, giving up big plays has happened way too often.

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