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Thread: Fisher says Rams will focus on running game

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    Fisher says Rams will focus on running game

    Fisher says Rams will focus on running game
    2 hours ago • By Jim Thomas

    For most of Jeff Fisher’s 18-plus seasons as an NFL head coach, his teams have been able to run the football and defend the run. Those characteristic were staples of Fisher’s Tennessee Titans teams over the years, which makes the Rams’ disastrous two-game stretch against Dallas and San Francisco all the more frustrating.

    “Frustrating — it is,” Fisher said Friday. “You know, it is. We’ve got work to do.”

    Fisher pointed out that over a five-day period against the Cowboys and the *****, the St. Louis defense defended 75 running plays.

    “And that (takes) quite an effort, quite a toll,” he said. “That’s because we either didn’t do well enough against the run, or we’re not keeping the ball offensively because we’re not running it.”

    Actually, it’s 74 rushes by Dallas and San Francisco. And in those 74 rushes, the Cowboys and ***** gained 412 yards, or 5.6 yards a carry.

    As for the Rams’ offense, it has gained 53 yards on 31 carries in those two games, for an average of 1.7 yards a carry.

    Look no further than those numbers in dissecting the Rams’ shocking two-game collapse.

    OK, you can add third-down conversion rates, too. Four for 30 for the Rams’ offense — for 13.3 percent. Eleven for 26 — or 42.3 percent — for the opposing team’s offense.

    Those rushing numbers and third-down numbers aren’t just a recipe for losing football. They’re a guarantee.

    “So we’ve got a lot of work to do as a staff,” Fisher said. “We’re gonna, fortunately, have some extra time, some extra days to get focused in that area. And that’s going to be our focus. In order to win football games and control the clock, convert third downs, we’ve got to get better running and defending the run.

    “So we’re gonna fix it as I said (Thursday) night. And we’re gonna have to ... adjust our offensive philosophy to I think what’s probably better suited for us right now — and that’s to hand it off. And then everything else spins off of that.”

    You heard it right, despite spending tons of money and draft picks on receiving options such as Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Chris Givens, Brian Quick, and Jared Cook over the past two offseasons, Fisher wants to go back to his comfort zone. Namely, running the football.

    Which is a 180-degree turn from media and fan cries a couple of weeks ago to go more up-tempo and more no-huddle on offense.

    In this day and age, if you have a cutting-edge and highly skilled passing game, you don’t necessarily have to run the football. The Rams, for example, won Super Bowl XXXIV over Fisher’s Tennessee Titans with 29 yards rushing. They got 414 yards passing, however, from Kurt Warner.

    But the current state of the Rams’ passing game looks anything but cutting-edge or highly skilled. So that’s the logic, perhaps, of trying to improve the running game.

    Trouble is, the Rams’ running game has been even worse than the passing game. It’s clear to see that Fisher and the Rams are still looking for answers in the backfield, not only in terms of how they can run more effectively, but also in who’s doing the running.

    The latest example came Thursday, when former second-round draft pick Isaiah Pead was a surprise pregame inactive against San Francisco. After getting 13 touches Sunday in Dallas, Pead didn’t even dress Thursday against the *****. How does that happen?

    “No particular reason,” Fisher said. “We had counted on using Tavon (Austin) out of the backfield much more than we did actually in the game. And that’s pretty much where Isaiah — that was the role that he had last week.”

    In other words, the Rams wanted to give some of those reps Pead got in Dallas to Austin against San Francisco.

    “And then we wanted to see how Daryl (Richardson) was,” Fisher continued.

    After being limited against Atlanta and Dallas because of a foot injury, Richardson was in better shape health-wise for San Francisco, and so Fisher wanted to give him more of the workload.

    “So we’ll evaluate the running back situation based on the types of things we come up with from a run-game need,” Fisher said. “We’re gonna look at it this week, and we’ll definitely have a plan in place when we come back.”

    (The players are off for the next three days, and the team doesn’t practice again until Tuesday.)

    As for Austin, as things turned out, he didn’t get a single carry Thursday. So why was the plan to use him more often in the backfield junked?

    “We got behind,” Fisher said.

    As for Pead, Fisher was asked if he was benched strictly for football issues. Pead has had some off-field issues, and not just the one-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

    “Well, he’s had a couple moments, yeah, over the last couple of weeks,” Fisher said, in a possible reference to showing up late for a team meeting or missing a curfew. “But, I didn’t put him down because of that.”

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    Re: Fisher says Rams will focus on running game

    I hope it works but I think he'd be better served by getting in some pass plays that are designed to beat blitzes and pressure like screen passes and quick slants and stuff like that. Once those teams loosen up on D a little to cover the pass you hit em with some quick runs.

    If he's gonna fall back on ground and pound he probably shoulda passed on Austin and grabbed a big boy back.

    I guess his plan is to score 14 points but hold the ball for 50 minutes. There's a reason this guy never won anything in the "newer" NFL.
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    Re: Fisher says Rams will focus on running game

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    [B]

    “So we’re gonna fix it as I said (Thursday) night. And we’re gonna have to ... adjust our offensive philosophy to I think what’s probably better suited for us right now — and that’s to hand it off. And then everything else spins off of that.”

    You heard it right, despite spending tons of money and draft picks on receiving options such as Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Chris Givens, Brian Quick, and Jared Cook over the past two offseasons, Fisher wants to go back to his comfort zone. Namely, running the football.
    I hope he is just saying we need to run the ball better, much better. I just don't see how we can be better suited to run the ball when our best back has turf toe. Pead was not dressed for some lame reason. Stacy has yet to get reps, Cunningham has only got few touches.

    A change in philosophy? I thought we where changing backs this week when Pead was not dressed. I thought we would go with Stacy and Cunningham in the last game.

    DRich is not 100% and Pead is a third down back at best. We need to start Stacy or Cunningham. If these young guys are not ready we may need to go get someone now.

    The O line has not blocked well and Kendrick's missing all the off season has looked lost.

    Bottom line Fisher saying we are adjusting our offensive philosophy is like saying schottenheimer is no longer in charge.
    Last edited by Rambos; -09-28-2013 at 01:00 PM.
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    Re: Fisher says Rams will focus on running game

    .... I'm losing faith in Fisher...
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    Re: Fisher says Rams will focus on running game

    have to run the ball well to stay in games

    opens up the passing game too

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    Re: Fisher says Rams will focus on running game

    I completely agree with the defensive approach and still feel like this team's defense will come together

    But the offensive approach I just do not get...Why try to fit the players into a scheme when you can scheme with the strength of your players?? I like the weapons we have and I really believe sam can become more than just an average QB...I am a firm believer in really giving him the keys to the offense and letting him be the playmaker

    He has shown many flashes of brilliance...I am not abandon the run; I am saying be more of a vertical offense and let the passing game open up holes for the running game make the DBs play back and use more screens to get pead and austin operate in space

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    Re: Fisher says Rams will focus on running game

    Jacksonville is dead last in rush defense, allowing a whopping 167.7 yards per game, so this is probably a good time to try an adjustment in philosophy.

    It'll be interesting to see who gets the carries. Richardson still looks affected by the toe, Cunningham just has no explosion, Pead always seems to be in the doghouse, and Stacy has exactly 1 carry in his career.

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    Re: Fisher says Rams will focus on running game

    They are going to fix it, make adjustments, change the running game philosophy--WTF'raK--HELLO the 2013 season has already started and we are coming to week 4! There is this thing called the PRESEASON and training camp, the whole idea behind those realities is to be ready for the regular season and the Rams are NOT ready! Really!! So what is the plan? Take weeks 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 to become ready?? GREAT PLAN--wonder if I can get my money back from Dirrect TV, there isn't anything worth watching on Sundays

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    Re: Fisher says Rams will focus on running game

    Wow, just wow!!
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    Re: Fisher says Rams will focus on running game

    In a passing league, Fisher said of being able to run: 'Everything spins off of that'

    By Howard Balzer for KSDK Sports

    (KSDK Sports) -- Immersed in all the hand-wringing after another journey Thursday night into the world of inept football, Rams coach Jeff Fisher said it as straight as possible after the game in his 240-word postgame press conference.

    In his opening statement, which constituted 147 of the words he spoke, Fisher said, "Well, obviously as a football team, we have a lot to work out considering what's happened in the last five days and we're going to have to take advantage of some opportunities here through the weekend and early next week and try to get these issues fixed, namely our inability to run the football. We had two less carries than they did at halftime for no yards and that's pretty much the issue we're facing right now because everything spins off of that."

    Take note of those last five words: "Everything spins off of that."

    Rams Nation can be up in arms over the inconsistency of quarterback Sam Bradford ... and the run defense ... and the play of cornerback Cortland Finnegan ... and the allegedly unimaginative play-calling.

    The play-caller and scheme is always blamed after poor offense is played, and while no one is immune from criticism when things are going bad, creativity occurs when the tools are there to be creative with.

    When the running game "produces" 16 yards on 12 attempts in the first half (while the ***** had 89 more yards on two more attempts), there is something rotten, and this isn't Denmark.

    As an aside, fingers are being pointed in numerous directions in New York with the Giants 0-3 and quarterback Eli Manning becoming a turnover machine with a league-most eight interceptions after three weeks and a paltry 70.5 passer rating. Blame it on Eli, right?

    Well, the Giants, who made their mark in previous years with balance and a power running game, are ranked last in the league in rushing with an abysmal 44.3 yards per game with a 2.7-yard average per attempt. As Fisher said, "Everything spins off of that."

    Good NFL defenses will stop one-dimensional offenses. And the Rams are as one-dimensional as ever after having 14 seasons with Marshall Faulk and Steven Jackson.

    Play-action is useless, and opponents can take away a lot of the passing game, especially an inexperienced one, when there is no threat from the ground attack. The pass rush then comes in waves, and the green running backs also display their problems in pass protection.

    When Fisher was asked Thursday night how the running game will be "fixed," he snapped, "We're going to get it fixed. That's all I'm going to tell you. We'll get it fixed."

    Perhaps the most stunning comment after the game came when Bradford was asked why it was so difficult to run the ball. He said, "You know I'm not sure, to be honest. That's something that we're going to have to look at. Obviously, they have a good front, but last year we were able to successfully run the ball against them. It's pretty much the same guys in the same scheme."

    Really? The "same guys?" Has he forgotten SJ39 already? In the first ***** game, Jackson had 101 yards on 29 carries with one touchdown, plus two receptions for 26 yards. The ***** did a better job in the second game, one that turned on a wayward backward pass by Colin Kaepernick that was recovered by Janoris Jenkins for a touchdown.
    Jackson had only 48 yards in that game on 21 attempts, but added 69 yards on five receptions. Most important, his presence had to be respected by the *****.

    It's apparent there was a stunning miscalculation with the decision to let Jackson leave and then go forward with a committee approach led by Daryl Richardson. He had 12 carries for 16 yards with a long of four in the first half and didn't play a snap in the second half. Benny Cunningham finished with six yards on four attempts, including the long jaunt of the night, seven yards, late in the fourth quarter. Prior to that, Cunningham had minus-one yard on three runs.

    Zac Stacy was active, but had no touches. Isaiah Pead was inactive, and said afterward, "I have to make better decisions." That leads to the assumption that he did something off the field that warranted his benching after missing the opener because of a league suspension.

    Everyone, including Fisher, hailed the leadership of Jackson, but now there are no veterans in the running back or receiver room or even tight end room to exert leadership.

    How do you fix that?

    Simply Noting

    *After recovering a fumble on San Francisco's first possession of the third quarter, and trailing 14-3, the Rams took over at the ***** 44-yard line and proceeded to go three-and-out with three incomplete passes.

    In the quarter, Bradford completed 1-of-10 passes for 17 yards, and that gain was a short pass and run by Cunningham. The Rams totaled seven yards in the quarter on 13 plays.

    *At one point in the second quarter, the Rams had converted 3-of-6 third-down plays. They failed on their last 11, including the "we surrender" kneeldowns at the end of the game. In the last two games, the Rams have been successful on 4-of-30 third-down plays.

    *In the last three games, the Rams have been outscored by a combined 55-6 at halftime.

    ****** running back Frank Gore rushed for 153 yards on 20 attempts with runs of 17, 18, 27 and 34 yards. In the first half, the ***** ran 27 plays for 201 yards and six of those plays gained 158.

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    Re: Fisher says Rams will focus on running game

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Jacksonville is dead last in rush defense, allowing a whopping 167.7 yards per game, so this is probably a good time to try an adjustment in philosophy.

    It'll be interesting to see who gets the carries. Richardson still looks affected by the toe, Cunningham just has no explosion, Pead always seems to be in the doghouse, and Stacy has exactly 1 carry in his career.
    On the Flip side of that-- Jacksoville's run game is usually great; but this year MJD hasnt been a factor at all.
    If MJD comes alive vs the Rams then we know we are in real trouble.

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    Re: Fisher says Rams will focus on running game

    Quote Originally Posted by punahou View Post
    On the Flip side of that-- Jacksoville's run game is usually great; but this year MJD hasnt been a factor at all.
    If MJD comes alive vs the Rams then we know we are in real trouble.
    uh oh....another player that needs to play well again...and going to play against the rams...

    trouble brewing again...
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    Re: Fisher says Rams will focus on running game

    For some years now, I (and a few others in the clan) have been screaming about fixing the lines first. NOTHING will get fixed on offense until the line can block (run and pass). If Fisher and his coaches don't have a good plan to accomplish that, fixing the running game, even with a stud in the backfield, is virtually impossible. Whatever skills Bradford might have will remain undiscovered, or worse, destroyed without a good O-line.
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    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!

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    Re: Fisher says Rams will focus on running game

    Quote Originally Posted by punahou View Post
    On the Flip side of that-- Jacksoville's run game is usually great; but this year MJD hasnt been a factor at all. If MJD comes alive vs the Rams then we know we are in real trouble.
    Beware the struggling player going up against the Rams.

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    Re: Fisher says Rams will focus on running game

    None of the Rams running backs are any good. How are they going to run the ball? Pead is a bust and Richardson was the 2nd to last player drafted. That makes him more irrelevant than the last guy drafted. They have no inside guy or outside guy. Give me a break.

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