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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Hadley has more to say

    INTERIOR WARRIORS: I've mentioned on several occasions that both Adam Timmerman and Andy McCollum offer stability inside for the St. Louis Rams based on the ability to perform at a high level in addition to playing with pain and admirable endurance.

    I offer these numbers to support the fact that Timmerman and McCollum epitomize the word: Stamina.

    Since 1996, exactly 13 active NFL players (non-kickers) have appeared in every game through 2004. Both Timmerman and McCollum are among those 13 active players.

    Timmerman has started all but one game since 1996 (143 games). There are exactly four active NFL players (non-kickers) to best that mark. Derrick Brooks, Brett Favre, Kevin Mawae and Will Shields have started every game (144 games) since 1996.

    McCollum has started 119 games since 1996. There are exactly eight active NFL players (non-kickers) to have started more games during the timeframe. Obviously Timmerman, the aforementioned four players along with Brent Alexander (142), Kevin Carter (141) and Dewayne Washington (140) have started more games than McCollum since 1996.

    Games played, games started and success of the offense units that Timmerman and McCollum have played with... I suspect prove as a sound foundation for my stance.

    BTW, for those that question McCollum's discipline, consider he wasn't penalized for a false start this season and was penalized for holding just once (called twice). In fact, during his career, he's been nailed for holding just nine times in 155 games (which equates into once a season). According to my notes based on discussion with opposing coaches, scouts and front-office personnel, McCollum received excellent grades in 2001 and 2002. This year, he was generally considered the most consistent player on the offensive line.

    MY BALL: I've mentioned several times that the Rams have forced the issue defensively since Mike Martz assumed the reins of the organization in 2000.

    The Rams have ranked among the best in several defensive categories despite permitting points during the last five seasons.

    I've also noted that the numbers don't always coincide with Lovie Smith's three-year tenure.

    Here are some of the numbers developed as the foundation of my analysis...

    Since 2000, the Rams lead the NFL with nine opponent fumbles recovered and returned for touchdown. That noted, five of the nine fumbles recovered by the Rams defenders and returned for touchdowns came in the 2000 and 2004 seasons.

    Since 2000, the Rams rank sixth in the NFL in fumbles forced (just three shy of the vaunted Ravens defense).

    During the Martz era, over the last five seasons, the Rams rank seventh in the NFL in sacks (actually 11 more than the Ravens).

    Combining the 2000 and 2004 seasons, the Rams averaged 42.5 sacks.

    From 2001-2003, the Rams averaged 41.7 sacks per season.




    DOWNWARDLY MOVEMENT: There is no question that the Rams defense was woeful this season and at times downright pathetic. I've stated on several occasions that the defense was deteriorating under Lovie Smith over the last two seasons.

    That noted, it's certainly not meant as a slap at Smith.

    Simply stated, this team has lost a boatload of talent since 2000 (when Martz took control).

    Before getting to the numbers, as a refresher, here is a list of players this defense has lost since the end of the 1999 season to injury, retirement, trade or free agency:


    DEFENSIVE LINE: Kevin Carter, D'Marco Farr, Jay Williams, Grant Wistrom, Brian Young and Jeff Zgonina.


    LINEBACKERS: Charlie Clemons, Todd Collins, Mark Fields, London Fletcher and Michael Jones.


    SECONDARY: Dre' Bly, Billy Jenkins, Keith Lyle, Todd Lyght, Dexter McCleon and Aeneas Williams (assuming he will retire).



    I suspect even the most harsh Rams critic would admit... those 17 players comprise an impressive group and tough replacements for Martz and his defensive coaches over a short five-year span.

    Again, each of those 17 defensive players listed above have been lost since Martz became head coach.

    Former defensive coordinator Lovie Smith did a superb job of molding the talent in 2001 during the Rams run to the Super Bowl. That noted, 11 players, which started four or more games in 2001 are no longer donning the Rams uniform (again assuming Aeneas Williams will retire).

    Smith was able to mask the talent drain however the numbers proved this unit was heading south after the 2001 season and began free-falling in the second half of the 2003 season.

    During the regular season in 2001, the Rams allowed opposing offenses 27 touchdowns.

    In 2002, the defense permitted 30 touchdowns, in 2003 the number heightened to 32. Last season, the Rams defense allowed 37 touchdowns.

    In 2001, during the regular season, the Rams allowed 279.4 yards per game.

    In 2002, the Rams allowed 314.1 yards per game, the total moved slightly north to 315.8 ypg in 2003.

    Last year, the defense permitted 334.6 ypg.

    In 2001, the Rams ranked fifth in the NFL permitting just 4.7 yards per play.

    In 2002, the Rams fell to 22nd in the NFL allowing 5.32 yard per play. In 2003, the Rams were 20th in the NFL giving up 5.24 yards per play.

    Last season, the Rams were 20th in the NFL allowing 5.32 yards per play.

    Again, the purpose of this exercise is simply to highlight how the numbers began weakening after the 2001 season. This is no meant to insinuate that Smith was doing a poor job however the numbers certainly support my contention that the problem didn't begin in 2004 or with current defensive coordinator Larry Marmie.

    Further evidence can be found in a few other numbers.

    While much has been written about the fact that the Rams allowed 397 yards to Atlanta in the playoff loss. Don't overlook the fact that the 2003 Rams defense allowed 365 yards (IN REGULATION) to the Carolina Panthers (at the EDJ Dome).

    BTW, the Rams allowed the Falcons an average of 6.8 yards per offensive play in the postseason loss at the Georgia Dome. FYI, the previous season in postseason play, the Rams allowed, at the EDJ Dome, Carolina to gain... that's right... 6.8 yards per play.

    The last eight games of the 2003 season, the Rams allowed an average of 329.3 yards per game, 137.9 yards per game rushing, and 34 plays of 20 or more yards.

    In the last eight games of the 2004 season, the Rams allowed an average of 307.6 yards per game, 140.5 yards per game rushing, and 23 plays of 20 or more yards.

    Simply stated, the defense needs to improve in 2005. The effort and production of the 2004 unit is unacceptable. That noted, it was the culmination of personnel losses, younger players maturing and injuries. Whether the defensive coordinator was named Smith or Marmie... the numbers were horrid.

    That noted, with minimal losses on the two-deep, healthy season(s) for Adam Archuleta, Travis Fisher, and Pisa Tinoisamoa, continued advancement of the young and talented defensive linemen combined with a quality free-agent or two and sprinkle of draft picks, and the second season in Marmie's system... there is every reason to believe that upwardly movement in just around the corner.

    Regardless, the note of personnel losses, combined with stats, prove my contention that the Rams defense has gone through a three-year transformation, and not just a disappointing 2004 season.


    I will attempt to provide additional statistical research to support my points sometime later today... if time permits.


  2. #2
    elAcky Guest

    Re: Hadley has more to say

    Since 1996, exactly 13 active NFL players (non-kickers) have appeared in every game through 2004. Both Timmerman and McCollum are among those 13 active players.
    Timmerman has started all but one game since 1996 (143 games). There are exactly four active NFL players (non-kickers) to best that mark. Derrick Brooks, Brett Favre, Kevin Mawae and Will Shields have started every game (144 games) since 1996.
    maybe its me being thick.. but is he saying that 13 players have played everygame in 2004 or everygame since 1996.if the late the second paragraph doesn;t make sense

    BTW, for those that question McCollum's discipline, consider he wasn't penalized for a false start this season and was penalized for holding just once (called twice).
    diifficult to false start if you are a centre

  3. #3
    ZigZagRam's Avatar
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    Re: Hadley has more to say

    diifficult to false start if you are a centre
    Difficult to do, but it happens.

  4. #4
    AugustaRamFan Guest

    Re: Hadley has more to say

    This will require a second read, I get the point about the data, the D was heading south under Lovie. The difference was that under Lovie a lot more turnovers were forced. For some reason, under Mammie, the turnovers were almost nonexistent.

    I would agree that the defense did not play much better under Lovie, except for turnovers. Lovie's D seemed to always (yes.. about always) come up with a big turnover to turn a loss into a win or change momentum at a key point in a game. Mammie's D could not generate turnovers consistently. The D became painful to watch. Under Lovie, the D would bend and bend and then snap back to create a turnover or stop key 3rd down plays. Under Mammie, the D bent, bent, bent and them snapped into a bazillion little shards or glass.

    I ask why? I did see the ball hit the turf many times in 2004, but there rarely seemed a Ram around to recover it. Lovie was able to get that "swarm to the ball" mentality going, something that Mammie could not do.

    I still do not know what Mammie did that was positive.

    So begins the beginning of the end of the Mammie era.....

  5. #5
    ZigZagRam's Avatar
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    Re: Hadley has more to say

    Maybe it's about time we throw this soft defense out the window. Let's give Marmie a chance to bring in his style of defender (not the undersized Lovie defenders) and see what happens in 2005.

  6. #6
    AugustaRamFan Guest

    Re: Hadley has more to say

    Is that the same style of defense that did so well when Mammie was in AZ?

    I am not sure ai want to see that style in STL.

  7. #7
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    Re: Hadley has more to say

    If I remember correctly, Marmie's defense when we played at Arizona gave the Rams fits. The defense under Lovie started going downhill around game 11 in 2003. The Rams started giving backup RB's Pro Bowl status, they couldn't create a turnover anymore, and couldn't stop anyone.

    Yes, they had turnovers but that statistic is misleading. The D created alot of turnovers early in the season but tailed off remarkably at the end.

  8. #8
    ZigZagRam's Avatar
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    Re: Hadley has more to say

    Is that the same style of defense that did so well when Mammie was in AZ?
    Two words: Bill Bidwell

  9. #9
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Hadley has more to say

    Here's a sad truth. This season was Marmie's best ever. You heard me right, this defense is his CAREER highlight. His 2nd best team was the '01 Cards (22nd in points allowed & 27th in yards allowed). This year we were 25th in points allowed & 17th in yards allowed. When Marmie does something great, then I'll believe he's capable of doing something great. As of yet, we have nothing to show how "great" he is, except for the word of Martz.

    BTW, this year w/o Marmie, the Cards D ranked 12th in points allowed and 12th yards allowed. Both 10 & 15 spots higher than their best performance under Marmie.

    I hope I'm wrong, and he can turn our defense around, but I've seen NOTHING that would make me believe that.
    "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

  10. #10
    txramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: Hadley has more to say

    Dennis Green also finally forced Bidwell into signing some free agents on defense.

  11. #11
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Hadley has more to say

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan
    Dennis Green also finally forced Bidwell into signing some free agents on defense.
    Ohalete and Macklin did a fine job filling in the holes left by Jackson & Barrett. And with Berry having his break-out year, their defense did look better this year.

    I only hope that we can find a DE that will have a break-out year, and then maybe our defense will go from bottom of the heap to middle of the pack like Berry did for the Cards.
    "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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