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Thread: Eagles Points on us and the game

  1. #1
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    Eagles Points on us and the game

    Opening in St. Louis is interesting. The Rams are a team on the rise, but no one knows exactly where the team is right now. The Eagles made a huge jump from 1999 to 2000, but not all teams get good overnight. Other teams take baby steps and get gradually better.

    One thing we do know is that the Rams have a great young quarterback in Sam Bradford. He started all 16 games last year and did a respectable job. Bradford completed 60 percent of his passes, had more touchdowns than interceptions (18 to 15) and almost led St. Louis to a division title. That's a good rookie year. The pressure now is on Bradford to build on that. He needs to lead the team to more points and more wins.

    The obstacle Bradford faces is that he's not surrounded by elite talent. Steven Jackson is still a Pro Bowl running back. Jackson, Cadillac Williams and Jerious Norwood give the Rams about as good a trio of runners as anyone in the league. The problem is more based on pass catchers. Former Eagle Danny Amendola caught 85 passes last year, but gained just 689 yards. DeSean Jackson almost averaged three times more yards per catch than Amendola. Former Eagle Brandon Gibson is another good possession receiver. Mike Sims-Walker was signed as a free agent to add some size to the receiving corps. He had seven touchdown catches last year in Jacksonville. The Rams wideouts had 10 as a unit. Rookie Lance Kendricks is going to be the tight end. He's an athletic pass catcher who has shown promise this summer.

    The Rams have the runners to pound the football. The normal complement to that is to go play-action and throw the ball downfield. This is where slow, possession types like Amendola and Gibson don't help as much as you'd ideally like. New offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will try to stretch the field when he can. He'll also work in passes to Kendricks. McDaniels showed in New England and Denver that he knows how to manufacture a passing game. He doesn't need speedy receivers to move the ball.

    It seems a bit ironic that the Eagles spent the offseason building up the secondary and now face a set of receivers that is talented, but not exactly explosive. This is like test driving a Ferrari in a crowded parking lot. I'm still excited about finally getting to see the new defense in a real game. Juan Castillo and his guys had a good showing in the preseason, but things will be moving at a much faster pace on Sunday. This is the real deal.

    The secondary won't face any dynamic receivers, but the front seven is going to be in for a tough challenge. The Rams will look to run the ball early and often. They will test the wide nine front and the linebackers. Casey Matthews has a lot to prove this year. I'm sure he's looking forward to Sunday, so that he can show fans and the media what he's capable of. Matthews knows there is a lot of pressure on him, but I think with his background he welcomes that. He's smart enough to know there will be some problems, but he's also confident enough to believe in his ability and that of his teammates.

    I see the real key to shutting down the Rams running attack as getting penetration. Jackson and Williams are both big backs. Get in the backfield and make them slow down or change direction and they become much easier to stop. Let them get up a head of steam and you're in for a long day. Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson can both penetrate and be disruptive players. Jenkins specializes in that. Patterson did the same thing early in his Eagles career, but changed with some scheme adjustments. Now he's able to get back to attacking up the field. I think Patterson may surprise some people with how well he does.

    Lawlor
    Tommy Lawlor, goeagles99 on the Discussion Boards, is an amateur football scout and devoted Eagles fan. He is a finalist for Philadelphia's Most Influential Blogger Award. Vote for him here.

    Back to the secondary for a minute. It will be really interesting to see how Castillo uses his players. Nnamdi Asomugha played a lot in the slot this summer. He also covered tight ends at times. Will he do this on Sunday? Where will Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie line up? Which of the new defensive backs will be first to make his mark on the team? This is the best trio of Eagles corners in a long time, if not ever. They'll benefit from the pressure that I expect Trent Cole, Jason Babin and the defensive line to get on Bradford.

    The Rams will move the ball at times. Bradford and Jackson are too good to shut down all game long. I don't think they'll have great success. One of the key areas to watch is red zone defense. That was a huge weakness last year. I don't just expect some improvement. I expect a lot of improvement.

    The obvious area of focus going into Sunday's opener is the Eagles offensive line. Winston Justice, Jamaal Jackson and apparently Danny Watkins, too, will watch from the sideline. Evan Mathis will be the left guard. Kyle DeVan appears to be the right guard. Todd Herremans shifts out to right tackle and gets a chance to show what he can do on the edge. Rookie Jason Kelce mans the middle. The only player returning from last year in the same spot is Jason Peters at left tackle.

    It is easy to get caught up in the questions regarding this group. They have not taken one snap together in a game. DeVan hasn't so much as played in a preseason game for the Eagles. The shuffling and lack of chemistry are very real issues that the offense will have to deal with.

    I'm fascinated with how Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg will approach this. Conventional wisdom would be to run the ball and let the line jell a bit before testing them. That's not the way that Reid and Mornhinweg think, though. They like to be aggressive. At times, this works brilliantly. Other times, not so much. Justice can remind you of a Sunday night game at the Meadowlands when things were slightly less than awesome.

    I do think Reid will want to attack early on. It won't surprise me in the least if the first play of the game is a downfield pass. The throws to DeSean Jackson have become obvious so maybe this time Jeremy Maclin would be the target with Jackson as a decoy. I don't think Reid will be reckless. He knows this team has the potential to contend for a Super Bowl title. He shouldn't risk Michael Vick's health.

    If you remember back to last year, the Eagles had some good games with a makeshift offensive line. Reid and the coaches built the gameplan around protection. With enough time in the pocket, Vick was able to get the ball to his targets. Protecting Vick means keeping Brent Celek in to block at times. On some plays the receivers will line up close to the formation and chip pass rushers as they release off the ball. The running backs will be called on to help.

    The Rams can get to the quarterback. They had 43 sacks last year. James Hall (10.5 sacks) and Chris Long (8.5 sacks) are the ends. Fred Robbins (six sacks) is the guy up the middle. The Rams also blitzed quite a bit. This will be a major test for Vick and the offense. Last year, the Giants and Vikings showed that blitzing defensive backs was one way to slow Vick down.

    Vick and the coaches made handling the blitz a focal part of the offseason. The results this summer were mixed. Some people talked about the problems in the Steelers game, but those were just bad reads by Vick for the most part. He just had an off-night. The Cleveland game was where there were protection breakdowns and Vick took a pounding. Shifting Herremans to right tackle and adding DeVan should help quite a bit. Many of the problems came from the right side. Herremans and DeVan don't have experience together, but they know the NFL. They've got the skills and the experience.

    I think a great start to the game would be a screen pass. You know the Rams defenders are dying to fly upfield and chase Vick. Let them do that and dump the ball to Shady McCoy. That gives him a chance to get loose and make good things happen. It also lets the offensive linemen get out in space and mash on the back seven. I'm looking forward to seeing Kelce make some great blocks out in space this year. His block on Ronnie Brown's touchdown run in the Browns preseason game was really impressive.

    I do hope McCoy and Brown get 20 combined touches at the least. Those guys make a good one-two punch. Take advantage of them and limit the amount of times Vick has to deal with the blitz. The offense could be inconsistent as the new pieces all come together, but I do think they'll score a fair amount of points. The skill players are great and Vick is an electric quarterback. If the offense can slow down the blitz, the Rams will have a hard time stopping the Eagles.

    Special teams is going to be a mystery. There are no questions about Jackson at punt returner or Jon Dorenbos as the long snapper, but that's it. Place kicker Alex Henery will be in his first NFL game. Ditto for punter Chas Henry. Rookie Dion Lewis will line up as the kickoff returner, but with the new rules and playing in a dome, I'm not expecting him to have any returns. Special teams coach Bobby April likes his young pupils and has faith that they can get the job done. Seeing Henery drill a 50-yard field goal to push the lead to 41-6 is my idea of a good day for the new guys.

    The final score probably won't be anything close to that. The Rams are an up and coming team that thinks they've turned the corner. They expect to win, which is critical for any team trying to get out of the habit of losing. The Eagles also expect to win. Their confidence is backed up by a strong track record. No matter what happens, I'm just happy the season is finally here.

    Let the adventure begin.


    lol I guess it takes all kinds , I lol when they mentioned Jack is not really an elite player , Just thought I would post this from their site """GO RAMS"""
    Last edited by OldRamsfan; -09-09-2011 at 12:04 PM.


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    Re: Eagles Points on us and the game

    Dez if you're reading this, this is the only chance I get to post a quick reply. Even the PMs won't allow me to send. I'm using Google Chrome with an old Windows XP laptop since I'm in college with no upgrades at computer atm but I had no problem posting prior. What do I do?

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    Re: Eagles Points on us and the game

    The obstacle Bradford faces is that he's not surrounded by elite talent. Steven Jackson is still a Pro Bowl running back. Jackson, Cadillac Williams and Jerious Norwood give the Rams about as good a trio of runners as anyone in the league.

    Bradford is not surrounded by elite talent but yet.... The Rams trio of runners are as good as anyone in the league.

    Former Eagle Danny Amendola caught 85 passes last year, but gained just 689 yards.
    I guess he forgot to mention Amendola lead the NFL in all All-Purpose Yards 2,364 again Sam has no elite talent around him.

    It seems a bit ironic that the Eagles spent the offseason building up the secondary and now face a set of receivers that is talented, but not exactly explosive. This is like test driving a Ferrari in a crowded parking lot.
    They still have the weakest LB's and that's where we get to test drive Lance ... and that will be like taking the Hummer out for a test drive on the autobond.

  4. #4
    PA_gal_in_OK Guest

    Re: Eagles Points on us and the game

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    I guess he forgot to mention Amendola lead the NFL in all All-Purpose Yards 2,364 again Sam has no elite talent around him.
    Well if you look at this total and figure per game.... 71.38 yards PER GAME Kick Returns ... 28.25 yards PER GAME Punt Returns... um.... just my opinion, but that doesn't really spell elite... I mean it's not bad but not absolutely wonderful either. Aren't those numbers pretty much average?

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    Re: Eagles Points on us and the game

    I guess they forgot about Amendola being the best slot receiver in the game last year too, and now he's getting coordinated by the guy who MADE Wes Welker. Also, yes, Desean Jackson did average almost 3 times as many yards/catch as Welker. Did he catch all of his balls 3 yards downfield too?

    I just find the contradictions in the whole article to be hillarious. McD can move the ball without explosive receivers... they won't be able to move the ball. He'll try to stretch the field... they don't have players who can stretch the field.

    Also, it's great that they have a bunch of Ferrari's in this "parking lot," but you know what happens to Ferrari's when they get into parking lots? They get busted up when an SUV rams into them. Just so happens we have some real nice SUV's to test out in this parking lot. Let me see them use Nnamdi on Kendricks. Put him on Jax in the slot. That'll be real fun.
    live4ramin likes this.
    I believe!

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    Re: Eagles Points on us and the game

    I don't see what the agruement is. Sam Bradford only has one "elite" talent around him and thats Steven Jackson.

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    Re: Eagles Points on us and the game

    Thought it was funny on how they looked at our team , I understand why from Past years performances , However I think other teams projection of Our Rams will help us (Be underrated is always a good thing )

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    Re: Eagles Points on us and the game

    Quote Originally Posted by PA_gal_in_OK View Post
    Well if you look at this total and figure per game.... 71.38 yards PER GAME Kick Returns ... 28.25 yards PER GAME Punt Returns... um.... just my opinion, but that doesn't really spell elite... I mean it's not bad but not absolutely wonderful either. Aren't those numbers pretty much average?
    I don't think Amendola is elite, either, but his return numbers are solid. You can't break down return numbers per game; he has no influence over how many returns he receives. His averages per return, however, match up pretty favorably with DeSean's. 11.3 on punts & 22.8 on kickoffs for Amendola. 11.6 & 21.6 on kickoffs for Jackson.

    Comparing them, as this blogger did somewhat disparagingly, as WRs is pretty silly since they play very different roles. Avant is their 3rd WR & I believe he had about 50 grabs for 700 yds or so.

    Those numbers also reflect well on the improving depth of The Rams since STs are where most back-ups contribute.

    I think this guy was pretty evenhanded for a fan blogger, actually.Particularly one from Philly. I don't expect an outsider to see the incremental growth like we do. I do think he underestimates the Rams defense somewhat- that's the #3 RZ defense we are talking about & a lot of those sacks came from front four pressure, not blitzes.The Rams are capable of taking advantage of that unsettled O-line. I think you'll see a lot of nickel packages from The Rams like GB used in the playoffs last year with the occasional safety or LB blitzing up the middle. Spags had a lot of extra time this summer to think about this game & you know he wants it badly. It would be an embarrassing shock...and I mean Crying Game level embarrassing shock...for his defense to lay down. There will be no forty burger,imo.

    I'm sure they hope their own worst in the NFL RZ defense- that's right; Philly had the #32 RZ defense in the league last year- has been improved by the superstar CB corps, Cullen Jenkins, etc, but I'd like to see some proof first against an offense that was #6 in RZ possessions last year, has an improved RB & TE & WR group, and a solidified OL.

    It's going to be an uphill battle for The Rams but they've played pretty well against equally explosive offensive teams & taken steps to improve in those areas that caused them to fall short against them. I'm sure Philly feels they have as well but Vick, Maclin, and Jackson will have to take maximum advantage of any mistakes by The Rams to make this anything less than a nailbiter,imo. Personally, I think they will be a little rusty/out of sync. Actually, by the end of the season, I think Vick will have had the same collapse that Favre experienced with The Vikes. I hope it starts on Sunday.
    Last edited by Azul e Oro; -09-09-2011 at 03:18 PM.

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    Re: Eagles Points on us and the game

    How do you become elite? What is true definition? Do you need elite players to win n NFL? I think you are fine with strong sound fundamentally laden players. Do not make stupid mistakes keep penalties to a minimum etc. The Rams seem to me to be a team that looks to be on the brink of fundamentally sound (turnovers, penalties) football with great potential all around and really no other true elite player at this point other then SJ39. AT THIS POINT. Somebody will grow into this "eliteness" (Bradford, JLau, Kendricks, ??)


    But, I see the cohesiveness and broader talent base then in years past as our recipe for playoff this year. I know for the first time in a number of years I am truly excited for the season to start and what it may bring to all of us Ram fans. And if we do what I think we can with out the plethora of "elite" labeled players, then all the more satisfying and a testameent to the coaching and FO staff. Now, lets go grab a snack (love that line)

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    Re: Eagles Points on us and the game

    Quote Originally Posted by PA_gal_in_OK View Post
    Well if you look at this total and figure per game.... 71.38 yards PER GAME Kick Returns ... 28.25 yards PER GAME Punt Returns... um.... just my opinion, but that doesn't really spell elite... I mean it's not bad but not absolutely wonderful either. Aren't those numbers pretty much average?
    Ranks 17 all time in the NFL... I would say yeah that's elite.

    17. Danny Amendola (25) 2,364 2010 STL

    His numbers are right with these guys...

    12. Marshall Faulk+ (26) 2,429 1999 STL

    23. Steven Jackson (23) 2,334 2006 STL

    40. Eric Dickerson+ (24) 2,244 1984 RAM

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    Re: Eagles Points on us and the game

    Quote Originally Posted by macrammer View Post
    How do you become elite? What is true definition? Do you need elite players to win n NFL? I think you are fine with strong sound fundamentally laden players. Do not make stupid mistakes keep penalties to a minimum etc. The Rams seem to me to be a team that looks to be on the brink of fundamentally sound (turnovers, penalties) football with great potential all around and really no other true elite player at this point other then SJ39. AT THIS POINT. Somebody will grow into this "eliteness" (Bradford, JLau, Kendricks, ??)


    But, I see the cohesiveness and broader talent base then in years past as our recipe for playoff this year. I know for the first time in a number of years I am truly excited for the season to start and what it may bring to all of us Ram fans. And if we do what I think we can with out the plethora of "elite" labeled players, then all the more satisfying and a testameent to the coaching and FO staff. Now, lets go grab a snack (love that line)
    I still dont see how we will win without an elite receiver...

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    Re: Eagles Points on us and the game

    Quote Originally Posted by rNemesis View Post
    I still dont see how we will win without an elite receiver...
    We may have one. We just do not now it .....yet. Torry holt as rookie in 1999. We did not know he was to become elite. Kendricks could, one of the drafted rooks could, amendola is knocking on door, Clayton seems to be pretty good. Let's see who steps up.

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    Re: Eagles Points on us and the game

    I feel the need to express a few points , The NFL are full of the best players in the world , some are better than others and yes some even raise above those levels , But over the years and being a fan of our Rams and of football , The teams that have had good seasons have come from teams that played together as a team on a consent basis , Yes some have and do have elite players , I feel since the management change in Our team , I believe that we have a solid team in many ways that most don't see , Like the internal works of our team .

    We have made great steps in the right directions to creating a team that has character and heart and skill . I feel we have a great shot at winning this game , It not going to be easy No NFL game is , But I think so many from around the NFL look at our past and automatically see doom , Being positive creates positive result with the right direction , We have both Let the future begin

  14. #14
    PA_gal_in_OK Guest

    Re: Eagles Points on us and the game

    From my understanding Tommy is also a scout and not just a blogger. If he thinks the Eagles are going to lose, he comes right out and says it. He doesn't sugar coat it to what fans want to hear. I've always trusted his opinions through the years, before he even started blogging.

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