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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    The goal: no more disasters for Rams

    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Wednesday, Sep. 01 2004

    OAKLAND, Calif. - Speaking for the defense, and the team's defensive leaders,
    Tyoka Jackson promised it wouldn't happen again. There would be no more
    debacles like the 24-7 pratfall in Kansas City on Aug. 23.

    And it didn't happen. The Rams came out four days later with an impressive
    defensive effort in a 28-3 victory over Washington.

    "We had a players-only (meeting) in our defensive room," Jackson said. "Aeneas
    (Williams) and Leonard (Little) made it be known how we're going to play this
    year. And it wasn't like (Kansas City)."

    Players-only meetings during the season are rare enough; players-only meetings
    in the preseason are almost unheard of. But Jackson and other defensive
    veterans felt the meeting was necessary to make sure evenings like Aug. 23
    don't occur again. At the meeting, the importance of getting mentally prepared
    to play - preseason or not - was stressed.

    "For some guys, it's tougher to get excited than others," Jackson said. "But
    like Aeneas said, whatever you do to get yourself ready, do it. If you like to
    jump around and scream, do that. If you like to put your headphones on, do
    that.

    "Because there's just not enough Sundays, and enough games, to go out there and
    play like we played against Kansas City. You only get so many opportunities."

    With that in mind, tonight marks the Rams' last opportunity to polish up their
    game in the preseason. And it's the last opportunity for numerous bubble
    players to impress the coaching staff.

    Momentum, even at this time of the year, can be important for a football team.
    The Rams would like nothing better than to finish the exhibition season 2-2
    with a victory over the Oakland Raiders at Network Associates Coliseum - aka
    the Black Hole. Kickoff is 9 p.m. St. Louis time.

    "Getting the Washington win was very important, because I think it's tough
    going through the whole preseason with no wins," offensive guard Adam Timmerman
    said. "And it was just more fun. You could tell. Guys seemed like they were
    having fun."

    Quarterback Marc Bulger said, "I know last week, it was definitely a different
    feeling coming in here (to work) after the game. You just have that momentum. A
    win would be nice. It's not going to be the end of the world if we don't. But
    for the younger guys, and even for some of the older guys, it's nice just to
    have that feeling going into the regular season."

    Plus, it will be an even longer flight back to St. Louis if the Rams don't play
    well.

    "You don't get home until 6 the next day," Bulger said. "That's the only bad
    part. But you can study and review stuff, and build all that team camaraderie
    we talk about."

    Bulger made those last remarks with a touch of sarcasm. How much camaraderie,
    after all, can you build at 4 a.m.? Sleeping might be a better way to pass the
    time - for those capable of sleeping on planes.

    But with final roster cuts coming by Sunday afternoon, bubble players may have
    a hard time sleeping anyway. The Rams must cut 12 players to reach their
    regular-season roster limit of 53, then cut one more when offensive tackle
    Orlando Pace reports. Pace remained absent Wednesday.

    "It's very competitive in a couple areas," coach Mike Martz said. "There's no
    question about it. That's why some of these guys will play a great deal and try
    to define themselves for the season."

    In particular, the Rams still are heavy on the defensive line, offensive line
    and the secondary. With extra evaluation in mind, Martz plans to pull the
    regulars earlier in this game than he did in the Washington contest.

    "We're going to take a good look at as many players as we can, put them in
    difficult situations and see who can make a play for you," Martz said. "They
    may not, or they may. We'll see.

    "Some guys, we just don't have enough information on them to know whether or
    not they belong on this roster. So this will be heavily scrutinized. We will
    make an effort on both sides of the ball and special teams to get guys in
    position where they have to be counted on to make a play, and we'll see what
    happens."

    And then they move on to the real deal, the Sept. 12 season opener against
    Arizona.

    "You don't want to say you want to get the preseason over with," Bulger said.
    "But I think we're more anxious for the season to start and start making them
    count. . . . I think we're ready to get going."


  2. #2
    adarian_too's Avatar
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    Re: The goal: no more disasters for Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Wednesday, Sep. 01 2004

    OAKLAND, Calif. - Speaking for the defense, and the team's defensive leaders,
    Tyoka Jackson promised it wouldn't happen again. There would be no more
    debacles like the 24-7 pratfall in Kansas City on Aug. 23.

    And it didn't happen. The Rams came out four days later with an impressive
    defensive effort in a 28-3 victory over Washington.

    "We had a players-only (meeting) in our defensive room," Jackson said. "Because there's just not enough Sundays, and enough games, to go out there and play like we played against Kansas City. You only get so many opportunities. We let it be known how we're going to play this
    year. And it wasn't like (Kansas City)."

    Players-only meetings during the season are rare enough; players-only meetings in the preseason are almost unheard of. But Jackson and other defensive veterans felt the meeting was necessary to make sure evenings like Aug. 23 don't occur again. At the meeting, the importance of getting mentally prepared to play - preseason or not - was stressed.
    Well, it does seem as though Jackson's and others' words had the desired effect. Now if it can only be sustained ... because Lordy-Lord, Tracy Lord, surely knows that 20 more games after pre-season is a long marathon.

    With that in mind, tonight marks the Rams' last opportunity to polish up their game in the preseason. The Rams would like nothing better than to finish the exhibition season 2-2 with a victory over the Oakland Raiders at Network Associates Coliseum - aka the Black Hole. Kickoff is 9 p.m. St. Louis time [???Wednesday Night???].
    Did I miss the game already? ... before passing out even? What'd I miss that Thomas saw Sept 1?

  3. #3
    ZigZagRam's Avatar
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    Re: The goal: no more disasters for Rams

    "We had a players-only (meeting) in our defensive room," Jackson said. "Aeneas
    (Williams) and Leonard (Little) made it be known how we're going to play this
    year. And it wasn't like (Kansas City)."
    This works 20 times better than a coach spouting off mumbo-jumbo. Nice to see Little getting involved even with the known situation looming above his head.

  4. #4
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    Re: The goal: no more disasters for Rams

    Hopefully, the embarassment will stay in the preseason and we can all move along.
    DJRamFan
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  5. #5
    adarian_too's Avatar
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    Re: The goal: no more disasters for Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by ZigZagRam
    This works 20 times better than a coach spouting off mumbo-jumbo.
    Dedicated players can make any coach look good.

  6. #6
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: The goal: no more disasters for Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by A2
    Dedicated players can make any coach look good.
    Absolutely. I'd heard that Aeneas and Tyoka were capable of this, but I'm a little surprised hearing about Little in the middle of this.
    But with final roster cuts coming by Sunday afternoon, bubble players may have a hard time sleeping anyway. The Rams must cut 12 players to reach their regular-season roster limit of 53, then cut one more when offensive tackle Orlando Pace reports.
    That fat punk better sign before Sunday. I can't even imagine some poor kid learning that he has made the final 53 on Sunday just to be cut later when tub-o-fun finally shows up to work. If Jabba the Hutt doesn't sign his tender before the final cut, I am going to explode.
    "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

  7. #7
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    Re: The goal: no more disasters for Rams

    Easy HU, we all knew Pace is going to play Game 1.......

    Rolaids.....and decaf. Lot's of decaf.....lol

  8. #8
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    Re: The goal: no more disasters for Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan
    Easy HU, we all knew Pace is going to play Game 1.......

    Rolaids.....and decaf. Lot's of decaf.....lol
    You're right, Tx. I gotta breath. In with the good air, out with the bad air...happy thoughts, happy thoughts.
    "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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