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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Gordon: Rams Must Fix Inside Run Game

    Gordon: Rams must fix inside run game

    BY JEFF GORDON
    Tuesday, January 4, 2011 3:18 pm

    As the Rams make the necessary offensive improvements for next season, here is an obvious place to start:

    Run-blocking between the tackles.

    This is probably not high on the ďto-doĒ list of many fans, but this teamís persistent inability to open inside holes for Steven Jackson and others compromised the whole offense.

    Is it the personnel? If so, thatís not a good thing.

    The Rams sunk a lot of money into guard Jacob Bell and center Jason Brown. Veteran Adam Goldberg, the other guard, was supposed to be a pillar as well.

    Is it the scheme? Is this blocking approach a bad fit for Jacksonís running skills? If so, that must change. Jackson is still this teamís best offensive player.

    The scheme must adapt to him, not the other way around. While the Rams have Jackson, they must make the absolute most out of him.

    Consider Sundayís loss. On their very first possession the Rams got to a third-and-one situation.

    With the Seahawks obviously keying on Jackson, the Rams tried a quick hitter to fullback Mike Karney.

    The play went nowhere. The line didnít generate the needed push. The offense exited the field with a three-and-out sequence.

    Fans complained that Karney got the ball instead of Jackson, but using the fullback in this scenario is hardly a radical concept. The chose of runner wasnít the problem Ė the lack of short-yardage blocking was the issue.

    Midway through the second quarter, the Rams had a second-and-four situation. Jackson got back-to-back carries up the middle, gaining three yards on the first and getting hit in the backfield on the third-and-one play.

    Once again, the offense exited the field after a three-and-out sequence.

    Had the Rams converted those short-yardage run plays against Seahawks defense Ė which had been terrible against the run all season Ė their offense would have stayed on the field for a while longer.

    Maybe, just maybe, the Rams could have sustained those drives.

    Maybe, just maybe, the game plan could have revealed itself. Perhaps the run would have set up play-action passing.

    Perhaps more effective passing could have opened up room for the run.

    But these and the other three-and-out sequences prevented the Rams from building any sort of rhythm. That was the root of the offensive failure.

    While the team effectively got mileage from Jackson in the passing game, the Rams didnít get him rolling in the ground game.

    Had they sustained drives, Jackson would have gotten plenty of work Ė as he did the week before when, unfortunately, he gained just 48 yards on his 24 carries.

    To make the most of Jackson next season, the Rams must help him grind out inside yardage. They must give him the opportunity to convert short-yardage situations, wear down defenses and create opportunities for big runs.

    This would balance the offense, help speed Sam Bradfordís development at quarterback and give this team a chance to compete against higher-end NFL competition.


  2. #2
    Keenum's Avatar
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    Re: Gordon: Rams Must Fix Inside Run Game

    I brought that up a few weeks ago. The inside running game has been HORRENDOUS to put it nicely. The O-line has done very little to open up holes for Jackson on the inside. I give him credit for still running hard (go back and watch, some of his most impressive and hard-working runs have been for 2 or 3 yards up the middle with almost zero help), but we all know that Jax should be averaging over four yards a carry easily with his talent.

    I still have WR as my number one priority, and then middle of the O-line after that. I hope the coaches take a good looooooooong look at every play up the middle and find out if it is the scheme or players causing this. I hope it is just the scheme, but I think it's a combination.

  3. #3
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    Re: Gordon: Rams Must Fix Inside Run Game

    Quote Originally Posted by Keenum View Post
    I brought that up a few weeks ago. The inside running game has been HORRENDOUS to put it nicely. The O-line has done very little to open up holes for Jackson on the inside. I give him credit for still running hard (go back and watch, some of his most impressive and hard-working runs have been for 2 or 3 yards up the middle with almost zero help), but we all know that Jax should be averaging over four yards a carry easily with his talent.

    I still have WR as my number one priority, and then middle of the O-line after that. I hope the coaches take a good looooooooong look at every play up the middle and find out if it is the scheme or players causing this. I hope it is just the scheme, but I think it's a combination.
    I agree 100% with you buddy. I seriously think we need to take a long hard look at free agent Guard Carl Nicks. This dude would seriously upgrade our inside of the line and open up some nice holes.

  4. #4
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    Re: Gordon: Rams Must Fix Inside Run Game

    I couldn't agree more with everything said. I also rate the O-Line as the second biggest need. Our Defense definately needs some love too, but unless the three and outs are decreased, we are asking too much of the defense. Lets solve our wide out problem with a big name FA and solve the rest in the draft and a couple of wise and thrifty FA pickups.

  5. #5
    KoaKoi is offline Registered User
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    Re: Gordon: Rams Must Fix Inside Run Game

    i don't think Goldberg should stay as starter at RG. I'm not blaming him by any means... but I think a younger mauler not named Incognito could really help us there. Thought Greco would be the guy with his preseason play last year but coach ain't playing him for some reason we don't know. he must not be who I thought he was!

    Smith seemed to do real well on Run blocking... not sure Goldberg is the right guy to do it with him. i'm think a really solid run blocking RG next to Smith would make a big difference. interested to see what the coaches do here.
    Last edited by KoaKoi; -01-07-2011 at 01:54 AM. Reason: stay as starter, i meant. didn't mean he should be cut.

  6. #6
    GROUND DOG 39's Avatar
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    Re: Gordon: Rams Must Fix Inside Run Game

    Goldberg is a versatile pass blocker and a good player to have on any roster. Provided he is only used as a backup, with OT in mind. As a OG he is a liability at best. Guards as a rule are a little bulkier, and it helps to be on the shorter side. The old adage is low man always wins when blocking.
    Goldberg is 6ft 7" tall, so leverage is always on the defenders side on the inside in short yardage situations.
    Come on Billy-Spags, please, please help this team and put Goldberg back on the bench, behind the 2 young tackles.
    Bell is another one who needs replacing. He doesnt have an excuse. Guard is his best position, the only problem being he is absolute garbage.
    OG is just as big a need as WR is in my book?
    GO RAMS
    Last edited by GROUND DOG 39; -01-08-2011 at 02:20 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Gordon: Rams Must Fix Inside Run Game

    I fully agree with the idea that we need serious attention to the inside run game. Jackson's built to run between the tackles, not the edges. Until we maximize that part of our offense, he will struggle and so will the Rams.

  8. #8
    theodus69 Guest

    Re: Gordon: Rams Must Fix Inside Run Game

    I think Jackson pounding it inside and making stuff happen , gives Bradford the chance for ..say the Warner TD passes ,not the Bulger short before the first down line passes . Open up Bradford to glory not boring!!!!!

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