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  1. #1
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    Expect a tougher Rams team

    Expect a tougher Rams team
    By Roger Hensley


    QUESTION: Now that St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo has his coaching staff in place, looking over all the hires what kind of personality do you expect the Rams to have in coming years?

    JIM THOMAS
    There’s no doubt that teams reflect the personality of their head coach. In Steve Spagnuolo, the Rams have an intense, high-energy, driven personality. As for the rest of the staff, it’s way too early to tell. As is the case with a bunch of new players, when you have 20 new coaches assembled together for the first time, it takes a while to jell.

    BERNIE MIKLASZ
    In some respects, the assistants are irrelevant. Don’t get me wrong; they can have a lot of impact. Just look at what offensive coordinator Mike Martz did for the 1999 Rams, and what defensive coordinator Lovie Smith did for the 2001 Rams. But if the head coach is a dud, or overwhelmed, he can have the greatest assistants in the NFL and it won’t matter much. Not only do head coaches lead players, but they lead the other coaches, too. They set the example, the tone, the direction. They put a philosophy in place and the assistants coach accordingly. On the surface it appears that Spagnuolo has done a fine job in assembling his first staff; in particular I hear wonderful things about offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. And that’s important, because I fully expect Spagnuolo to have a major hand in running his own defense. But the best thing Spagnuolo can do is emerge as a strong leader who gives this team — and his coaches — a winning personality.

    BRYAN BURWELL
    While offensively Spags says he won’t put labels on it, Marc Bulger tells me it clearly is the West Coast offense. It’s the same offense he ran during the 2007 pro bowl working with Pat Shurmur and the Eagles staff. Defensively, it will be an aggressive defense with bigger players and, ultimately, it will be a pressure-the-quarterback reliant attack that Spags made so successful in New York.

    JEFF GORDON
    The head coach is all business, so long-suffering Rams fans can only hope the team — and the whole organization — takes the same persona. Spagnuolo is not theatrical, like a Jon Gruden. He is not a lump, either, like Scott Linehan. Spagnuolo looks like he will keep things simple and work very hard. As this point, with the Rams going back to square one, that is the approach everybody at Rams Park should take.

    KATHLEEN NELSON
    Given the Rams’ stated chain of command, the team personality will reflect the personality of Spagnuolo and Billy Devaney more than the assistants. Those two have been front and center and will stay that way. The personalities of assistants tend to mesh, not clash, with the head coach. Which just reinforces that the team is a reflection of Devaney and Spagnuolo, as opposed to assistant coaches.

    KEVIN WHEELER (Host of “Sports Open Line” on KMOX)
    I expect a more authoritative style of leadership from Spagnuolo. Not authoritarian, but authoritative. Scott Linehan was plenty smart but he didn’t “command the room” with regard to his players and fellow coaches. Spagnoulo will.

    Spags knows he’s good at what he does and you could see his personality come through with the way the Giants played defense. The Rams will react the same way. They may not win right away - heck they may not win at all under Spagnuolo, you just never know - but fans can expect a noticeable change beginning with Game 1 of the preseason.

    A team that spent the last few years doubting itself will ultimately tranform itself into an assertive team brimming with confidence. Whether wins come along with that remains to be seen.

    "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

  2. #2
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    Re: Expect a tougher Rams team

    It's nice to read some positive and insightful commentary from folks who have done some research and are relatively closer to the situation. Hub, thanks for compiling this. I am glad to read that Spagnuolo will inject some inspired toughness into our players. We have some real talent on our team and it needs to be cultivated and brought onto the field. I truly look forward to the coming FA period and draft followed by a better, more competitive season.

    Go Rams!

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    Re: Expect a tougher Rams team

    Quote Originally Posted by mde8352gorams View Post
    Hub, thanks for compiling this.
    Oh, no thanks to me. All credit to Roger Hensley.
    "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

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    Re: Expect a tougher Rams team

    I agree with Gordon on keeping things simple & working VERY hard.
    Hard work will pay dividends in the long haul of a season.

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    Re: Expect a tougher Rams team

    At least for the msot part the Rams have only one dirrection to go and that is up. But I do think Spag will introduce an element that has been missing with the Rams and thats passion

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    Re: Expect a tougher Rams team

    Nice read. Excellent observations.

    TOUGHER RAMS! GO RAMS IN 2009!!!


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    Re: Expect a tougher Rams team

    Good post! Go 09 Rams!!!

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    Re: Expect a tougher Rams team

    In a lot of ways, Spags brings in exactly what is sorely needed by this team. A strong defensive mind, heart, and toughness. There were plenty of games last year that if we had the mental toughness to deal with being behind in a game, we absolutely could have come back and won. At other times we had a lead but then didn't have the physical toughness to keep it going. We wore down in the fourth. I fully expect to not see either of those issues next year. Yes, we'll lose a fair number of games, but I bet we'll fight to the end in each one, which is all I can ask from the team at this point.

    Oh, and stealing some of the better coaches in the NFC to be coordinators help too.

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    Re: Expect a tougher Rams team

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    In a lot of ways, Spags brings in exactly what is sorely needed by this team. A strong defensive mind, heart, and toughness. There were plenty of games last year that if we had the mental toughness to deal with being behind in a game, we absolutely could have come back and won. At other times we had a lead but then didn't have the physical toughness to keep it going. We wore down in the fourth. I fully expect to not see either of those issues next year. Yes, we'll lose a fair number of games, but I bet we'll fight to the end in each one, which is all I can ask from the team at this point.

    Oh, and stealing some of the better coaches in the NFC to be coordinators help too.
    Exactly Teke.

    Examples:

    Week 4- Rams 14-6 lead at the half against the Bills. Rams lost 31-14.

    Week 8- Rams 16-13 lead with 12:28 left in the game against the Patriots.
    Rams lost 23-16.

    Week 13- Rams 9-7 lead with 1:55 left in the 1st half against the Dolphins. Rams lost 16-12.

    Week 15- Rams 20-13 lead with 11:09 left in the game against the Seahawks.
    Rams lost 23-20.

    Week 16- Rams lead 16-3 with 11:40 left in the game against the Whiners. Rams lost 17-16.

    Week 17- Rams lead 27-24 with 6:42 left in the game against the Falcons. Rams lost 31-27.


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    Re: Expect a tougher Rams team

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    Exactly Teke.

    Examples:

    Week 4- Rams 14-6 lead at the half against the Bills. Rams lost 31-14.

    Week 8- Rams 16-13 lead with 12:28 left in the game against the Patriots.
    Rams lost 23-16.

    Week 13- Rams 9-7 lead with 1:55 left in the 1st half against the Dolphins. Rams lost 16-12.

    Week 15- Rams 20-13 lead with 11:09 left in the game against the Seahawks.
    Rams lost 23-20.

    Week 16- Rams lead 16-3 with 11:40 left in the game against the Whiners. Rams lost 17-16.

    Week 17- Rams lead 27-24 with 6:42 left in the game against the Falcons. Rams lost 31-27.



    That is so true, I had forgotten how well the Rams defense was coming around the last few weeks of the season. In the first half of those games especially week 14, 15, 16 and 17 the defense was flying and the offence was starting to show some signs of brilliance they were using Holt the proper way seeing he could not burn anybody on go routes anymore and he is so explosive on cuts and a pure route runner. They were finally starting to throw him some slants, digs, corner, comebacks and out routes that they could get him the ball. I remember being so proud of them at how well they were playing in the fist half and seeing some flashes, and in the second half they would come out flat and blow it. Like the Miami, Patriots, Niners and Falcons games they just blew it. I remember being so frustrated so hearing that Spags will make them more mentally tough is definetly a sigh of relief.

    I personally do not think that Rams are that far off from being a playoff team again definetly a couple of missing players a good draft and F.A period and we could be right back into things. This is the Nfl now things can change that quickly.

    You never know what can happen that is why you play the games.
    -John Madden

    Go Rams 09

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    Re: Expect a tougher Rams team

    Quote Originally Posted by laram
    Week 4- Rams 14-6 lead at the half against the Bills. Rams lost 31-14.

    Week 8- Rams 16-13 lead with 12:28 left in the game against the Patriots.
    Rams lost 23-16.

    Week 13- Rams 9-7 lead with 1:55 left in the 1st half against the Dolphins. Rams lost 16-12.

    Week 15- Rams 20-13 lead with 11:09 left in the game against the Seahawks.
    Rams lost 23-20.

    Week 16- Rams lead 16-3 with 11:40 left in the game against the Whiners. Rams lost 17-16.

    Week 17- Rams lead 27-24 with 6:42 left in the game against the Falcons. Rams lost 31-27.
    Great post, la. So close to being an 8-8 team. If mental toughness is the difference, I'd say they've at least put the right men in charge to instill it.
    "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

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    Re: Expect a tougher Rams team

    After all the crap we went through the last few years,it is nice to hear some positive words.

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    Re: Expect a tougher Rams team

    Quote Originally Posted by blood85 View Post
    After all the crap we went through the last few years,it is nice to hear some positive words.
    True That!

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