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Thread: Gordon: Maybe collapse will trigger needed upgrades

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    Gordon: Maybe collapse will trigger needed upgrades

    Gordon: Maybe collapse will trigger needed upgrades
    BY JEFF GORDON | Posted: Monday, January 3, 2011 11:05 am

    Maybe it was for the best that the Rams missed the playoffs in such dreadful fashion.

    Maybe their spectacularly inept offensive “performance” was just what this team needed to take the Next Step and contend for real. The Rams’ failure was vivid and thorough.

    Consider it a cry for help, one heard by everybody unfortunate enough to witness their 16-6 loss Sunday night in Seattle.

    Everybody from owner Stan Kroenke on down saw the obvious: This franchise needs to surround blue-chip quarterback Sam Bradford with better talent and create an offense he can win with.

    Fans want to fire offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. From this corner of cyberspace, we suggest the Rams give Shurmur the weapons and freedom he needs to make the most of Bradford.

    Steve Spagnuolo is a defensive-minded head coach. And his defense was good enough to get this team into the playoffs. The offense . . . well, you saw the game. It was like watching a slow-motion car wreck.

    Spagnuolo must put a LOT of focus on the offensive side of the ball between now and the start of next season season. He needs to step back from his first love, defense, and continue addressing this team’s acute needs on the other side of the ball.

    Many fans want to believe this failure was simply a matter of unimaginative playcalling. That is not the case, although the Rams would presumably run Steven Jackson a lot more against the Seahawks if they got a do-over.

    Was their pass-happy approach the result of overconfidence in Bradford? Or was it a lack of confidence in their ability to run block for Jackson?

    Whatever the case, the approach didn’t work.

    There were lots of plays to be made in the passing game, however, and the Rams missed many of them. Rookie wide receiver Danario Alexander, widely hailed as a franchise savior in the various forums and chat rooms, let two deep balls go through his hands.

    Tight end Daniel Fells couldn’t make a diving catch of a downfield throw at a critical point of the game. Bradford had several passes tipped and was off-target on other throws.

    He threw an interception by gunning the ball to double-covered Brandon Gibson while Danny Amendola had one-on-one coverage on the adjacent route.

    A golden opportunity for a red-zone conversion dissipated after a costly holding call on Laurent Robinson. That was more of an acting job than a real hold, but that just one example of how the Rams reverted back to their bad old ways.

    Had the Rams simply executed three or four critical plays – which were there to be made – they would have won the game and moved onto the playoffs.

    In reality, though, the Rams aren’t THAT close on offense. They were only close in this game because Seattle is terrible.

    The Rams need more talent. They need more positive experience for young talent like Bradford and Alexander. They need a scheme that can attack the whole field. They need a head coach willing to authorize such aggression.

    Some of the conservatism this year was smart, actually. The Rams spared Bradford physical abuse by concentrating on quick passes. The idea was to let him rack up completions while minimizing the usual rookie mistakes.

    The Saints and Chiefs forced Bradford out of his comfort zone. He struggled when forced to expand his game while playing catch-up. He made some major blunders.

    The Seahawks managed to send him down that same unhappy path.

    NBC was kind enough to remind fans that the great Peyton Manning won three games as a rookie and threw 28 interceptions. He got past those growing pains, but many elite quarterback prospects developed bad, career-spoiling habits as first-year starters.

    The Rams avoided that. They got Bradford through a historically successful rookie season.

    Those massive hits Bradford took at the end of Game 16 reminded everybody how the entire season could have looked had the Rams handled their prized QB with such care.

    But none of that makes the loss to Seattle any more palatable. If the offense could have made JUST A COUPLE OF KEY PLAYS, the Rams could have won the game and advanced.

    Its failure to do so was frustrating, even on the road.

    Preparations for next season start Monday morning, after everybody involved spends a few hours not sleeping well (or at all).

    Every member of the football operation needs to burn a DVD of this Sunday night disaster and review it frequently. The embarrassment of mustering just six points in a winner-take-all game should never be forgotten.

    The Rams need to work 24/7 to make sure it never happens again.


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    Re: Gordon: Maybe collapse will trigger needed upgrades

    "The Rams need more talent. They need more positive experience for young talent like Bradford and Alexander. They need a scheme that can attack the whole field. They need a head coach willing to authorize such aggression.

    Some of the conservatism this year was smart, actually. The Rams spared Bradford physical abuse by concentrating on quick passes. The idea was to let him rack up completions while minimizing the usual rookie mistakes."

    Anyone who is not in denial will see this as "the gospel truth". Been saying this for months now.

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    Re: Gordon: Maybe collapse will trigger needed upgrades

    Labeling last night's debacle 'a collapse" is inaccurate. A collapse means a team normally adept at something becomes completely unable to do so in a big spot. Truth be told, the rams offense didn't collapse: it's been poor all year. A weak schedule masked some very critical deficiencies which unfortunately came home to roost last night.

    This article really doesn't tell me anything I haven't already been saying for months: We need playmakers on offense. Last year's draft focused on getting a franchise QB, upgrading the o-line and filling several other holes. I had absolutely no problem with the approach the Rams took towards the 2010 draft. But now it is time to address the huge deficiencies we have on the offensive side of the ball and give Sam Bradford the pieces with which he can work his magic.

    I have no doubt whatsoever that the Rams' coaches and front office people understand we need major offensive upgrades. No one with a brain in their head would assume we're in great shape offensively because we threw up 36 on Denver or won 7 games against a weak schedule. This league is driven by two types of players: franchise QB's and game changers. We have the QB: now let's get the playmakers. Devaney and company understand this-believe me.

    This article also exposes the absolute foolishness of those calling for Spags/Shurmur's heads. Conservative offense was an absolute necessity this season with a rookie QB and a skeleton crew for a receiving corps. The coaches should be given a badge of honor for the job they did with a subpar offense and winning 7 games a year after we were the league laughingstock- not the scorn of impulsive, delusional "fans".

    This isn't to say the coaches don't have to improve. To the contrary, there is much to improve upon- playcalling, time management and in game decisions. But their offensive approach was dictated by their personnel. As the Rams inject more talent, the offense will diversify.

    I am confident the Rams are moving in the right direction and will continue to do so.

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    Re: Gordon: Maybe collapse will trigger needed upgrades

    Quote Originally Posted by ManofGod View Post
    "The Rams need more talent. They need more positive experience for young talent like Bradford and Alexander. They need a scheme that can attack the whole field. They need a head coach willing to authorize such aggression.

    Some of the conservatism this year was smart, actually. The Rams spared Bradford physical abuse by concentrating on quick passes. The idea was to let him rack up completions while minimizing the usual rookie mistakes."

    Anyone who is not in denial will see this as "the gospel truth". Been saying this for months now.
    Amen, brother...amen.

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    Re: Gordon: Maybe collapse will trigger needed upgrades

    Juuuuuuuuuuuulio Jones please.

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    Re: Gordon: Maybe collapse will trigger needed upgrades

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    Labeling last night's debacle 'a collapse" is inaccurate. A collapse means a team normally adept at something becomes completely unable to do so in a big spot. Truth be told, the rams offense didn't collapse: it's been poor all year. A weak schedule masked some very critical deficiencies which unfortunately came home to roost last night.

    This article really doesn't tell me anything I haven't already been saying for months: We need playmakers on offense. Last year's draft focused on getting a franchise QB, upgrading the o-line and filling several other holes. I had absolutely no problem with the approach the Rams took towards the 2010 draft. But now it is time to address the huge deficiencies we have on the offensive side of the ball and give Sam Bradford the pieces with which he can work his magic.

    I have no doubt whatsoever that the Rams' coaches and front office people understand we need major offensive upgrades. No one with a brain in their head would assume we're in great shape offensively because we threw up 36 on Denver or won 7 games against a weak schedule. This league is driven by two types of players: franchise QB's and game changers. We have the QB: now let's get the playmakers. Devaney and company understand this-believe me.

    This article also exposes the absolute foolishness of those calling for Spags/Shurmur's heads. Conservative offense was an absolute necessity this season with a rookie QB and a skeleton crew for a receiving corps. The coaches should be given a badge of honor for the job they did with a subpar offense and winning 7 games a year after we were the league laughingstock- not the scorn of impulsive, delusional "fans".

    This isn't to say the coaches don't have to improve. To the contrary, there is much to improve upon- playcalling, time management and in game decisions. But their offensive approach was dictated by their personnel. As the Rams inject more talent, the offense will diversify.

    I am confident the Rams are moving in the right direction and will continue to do so.
    This my friend was 100% spot on and was a beauty to read. Rep points isn't enough for you!

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    Re: Gordon: Maybe collapse will trigger needed upgrades

    This year's plan seemed to be draft the cornerstone, and keep him upright by drafting Saffold to compliment him, and catering to his initial strengths. In this sense, we were successful.

    Now, with a year of experience under his belt, it's time to arm him with the product needed to succeed. I'm sure the WR corp. is number one on the list, but it should also include opening up the playbook to stretch the defense. It's just as important to call the right plays as who is running them. I think a bit of an overlooked idea is that of trust, or confidence.

    The coaching staff kept things on a tight leash because they knew who they had, just like we did. They know we still have a long way to go, and kept the game within the player's parameters. Asking them to do something they were incapable of would have been disaster. I'm sure the game plan was adjusted when all the injuries occurred, also.

    If I had to make a wager on our offense next year, I think we will see a dramatic difference in how we operate. Clayton will almost certainly be back, based on quotes from both parties, and Avery will be healthy again. I think this, along with the earned experience from Bradford, will give the coaching staff the confidence they were looking for to let it rip.

    We just have to wait a really, really long time for next year!

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    Re: Gordon: Maybe collapse will trigger needed upgrades

    1-15 to 7-9..better days came. There are even better days coming!!!!

    Things could be worse alot worse.
    ramsanddodgers likes this.

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    Re: Gordon: Maybe collapse will trigger needed upgrades

    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
    [B][SIZE="3"]Maybe their spectacularly inept offensive “performance” was just what this team needed to take the next step and contend for real. The Rams’ failure was vivid and thorough.

    Consider it a cry for help, one heard by everybody unfortunate enough to witness their 16-6 loss Sunday night in Seattle.

    Everybody from owner Stan Kroenke on down saw the obvious: This franchise needs to surround blue-chip quarterback Sam Bradford with better talent and create an offense he can win with.
    Can anyone forget this spectacle? And if anyone thinks the replacement of Murmur with Gosh-lets-draft-a-QB-in-the-1st-Rd-who-doesn't-have-1st-Rd-talent was the answer ... well, let's leave that alone.

    That will always be Spatula's defining moment. One game, one win, one turnaround. He didn't have it in him then and nothing about the off-season inspired confidence. A brutal schedule that invoke conspiracy theories of the Rams' loss to the Pats in the SB.

    When they didn't go out and get a blue-chip WR to help Bradford out, it was an ominous read from that moment on. Couple that with a Bradford injury the 1st game, an injury so severe only Brad and Janet know for sure. And well, a rush defense that has to put to rest the notion that Spatsnola ain't no defensive coordinator as well as HC once and for all.

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    Re: Gordon: Maybe collapse will trigger needed upgrades

    pretty funny (read: sad) looking through the above posts, we were down because of the loss but had so much excitement for this season, thought the dark days were finally behind us...
    THOLTFAN81 likes this.

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    Re: Gordon: Maybe collapse will trigger needed upgrades

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    1-15 to 7-9..better days came. There are even better days coming!!!!

    Things could be worse alot worse.
    THIS IS THE VOICE FROM THE FUTURE!!!!

    Oh contraire, mon fraire....what you witnessed tonight is just the tip of the iceberg. A monumental collapse is headed your way.

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