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  1. #1
    rNemesis's Avatar
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    HOW CLOSE IS THIS TEAM TO COMPETING?(VERY LONG)Please provide feedback

    First of all let me just say that these last few years have been VERY frustrating and embarassing for me as a RAM FAN and I'm sure you guys are just as disappointed. I have watched my team go from the greatest show on turf to, as a washington post columnist said after the redskins loss, " the most miserable mass on grass". MY main question here is , " How far are the rams from being a decent competitive rock solid team? Its a long way to go; it doesnt happen overnight but it shouldnt take FOREVER either.


    But I am not gonna sit here and talk about that all night. We know what has happened. We know what we've become. 13 straight losses dating back to last season. 3-13 in 2007 and 2-14 in 2008. 5 wins in the last 30 or so games? ( not sure exactly the stats) That is horrible.

    Let's go back year by year as to how we finished record wise.
    In the 1990's we were bad. But so were other teams which are now good today. But if you look at our 90's record to others, you will see that we were bad most of those years. Other teams had bad years too during the 90's but it was only really the lions, bengals, cardinals and saints. That should show you how bad of a team the Rams are. We never finished over 7 wins from 1990 up until 1999, which was our superbowl year. Which now tells me that the Rams have been bad, are now bad, and I hope we dont continue to be bad. But lately one has to believe that that is the penalty for our actions.

    2000- 10-6 DECENT
    2001- 14-2 ( excellent; we beat the pats that season but lost in the SB to the same )
    2002- 7-9 Not bad
    2003- 12-4 excellent
    2004- 8-8 not bad; competitive
    2005- I think we were 7-9 or 6-10 cant remember
    2006- 8-8
    2007- 3-13 horrible
    2008- 2-14 lousy

    I am not surprised at how we have fallen so badly. What I cant seem to understand is how fast we have fallen as such. How come we havent been able to stop the bleeding and bounce back like other teams have seemed to?

    So tell me guys. How far off is this team from competing? Well, I look at the league and I have noticed that most of the other teams have playmakers in a lot of key positions. Why is that? Because they do a great job of DRAFTING PLAYERS THAT FIT INTO THEIR SCHEME WELL. We on the other hand have not done that lately. We have drafted players that have done well IN THEIR SCHEME and so it didnt matter to the previous regime ( Jay ZYgmunt ) if they fit or not the point was they wanted them so much that they drafted them regardless of their college scheme and success. In the era since Martz left, we have drafted the likes of busts ( or so they appear to be) like Tye Hill, Adam Carriker, Claude Wroten, Fakhir Brown, etc. The list goes on and on.

    THIS HAS REALLY HURT THIS ORGANIZATION SO MUCH THAT IT IS REARING ITS UGLY HEAD NOW. Bad drafting has put us in such a talentless hole that it could take years to uproot this mess. THIS IS A CRISIS RIGHT NOW. And the thing about that that scares me is, by that time, all of the other draft picks on the other teams would be veterans at that point. This thing could get real ugly or real better in time, depending on what the current regime ( spags devaney etc.) does. And so far, they have shown that they are competent, sensible football minded people who know talent when they see it and are no-nonsense. So I am confident ( although not sold) that, because of their respective resume's, that they will do well and get the right players in here to turn this thing around.

    Now lets talk about positions of impact or positions of need and how we drafted recently to accommodate those needs. around 2006 or 2007 I think CB was one of our biggest needs, so our first round pick was Tye hill. About the biggest underachiever at the position that I have seen. So that was a waste. Then we needed to get pressure on the QB so we drafted Chris Long. All this guy has done since he was here was rack up tackles....downfield mostly, but with all out heart and motor. BUT WHERES THE SACKS? People are wondering if this guy was only being hyped up because of Howie Long, his dad who was a great athlete on defense in his day, or if he is a work in progress to someday become one of the best pure 4-3 sack artists in the game. Well he needs to step up because this is what I am very frustrated about right now. We have had terrible drafting from day one and so we went with the safe pick in Chris Long and I would be doomed to eternal hell to know that that should not have been our best pick. People were also saying that year about how we should have got Glenn Dorsey or Vernon Gholston, who both appear to be busts. I wonder how those people feel now; they must feel ashamed. Also Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco were there, but honestly now lets be real. If we got Ryan, then we would have had no one to protect him and hold him upright ( except for Pace, who is no longer with the team). But yet still, the Falcons picked him up and now he is a STAR. THAT FRUSTRATES THE HELL OUT OF ME!!!! WHY CANT WE SEEM TO DRAFT THE RIGHT PLAYERS??!! I AM TIRED OF THIS MAN!!! We also got Avery, who had a stellar roookie year but is now struggling. A puzzling one to say the least but all I can say is that receivers like Desean Jackson were there.

    At the end of 2008 it was decided ( and quite obvious) that we had no pass protection. So we drafted a left tackle ( who is now playing right tackle because of the messed up O line situation) and rightfuly so because we didnt want to mess up Sanchez's rep under center. It would have gotten him killed. But yet the critics say" why didnt the RAmS draft Mark Sanchez"?. I often even wonder if The Dolphins picked up Jake Long because they knew Chris Long wouldnt help them, plus he was a hell of a tackle coming out of college. WHY CANT WE GET A HELL OF A TACKLE COMING OUT OF COLLEGE ( OR ANY POSITION FOR THAT MATTER) What people dont realize is that Mark has a hell of an O-line in front of him ( mangold, woody, faneca, etc.) pro bowl caliber linemen. So of course he would have all day to throw. so now HE looks good and HE's straight for now. THAT FRUSTRATES ME. IT JUST FRUSTRATES ME THAT WE CANT DRAFT THE TYPE OF PLAYERS NEEDED TO MAKE THE TEAM SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE OF OUR INEPTITUDE!!!!!! And to be honest, I am not even a huge fan of Jason smith yet because he is playing out of position so I dont even see his so called " huge" upside. He better learn this game quickly or else I wont be the only one who is frustrated. But andre smith is doing well for the bengals, michael oher is doing well for the ravens , why cant jason smith do well for us? I like the promise of Bradley Fletcher and WE ALL LOVE James Laurinitis, but what about the other draft picks ? ARE they going to be draft busts too? ( scott, null, ogbonnaya, brooks foster)

    Lets talk about what it takes for a team to be a good team. What does it take? lets break it down ( this is my opinion)

    QB- This needs to be a franchise QB who can adjust to defenses on the fly, make smart, accurate throws, and scramble around and make things happen when things dont go right. Or it can be someone who is just efficient and just manages the game ( playing not to lose the game for their team) BUT I WOULD GO WITH A GUY LIKE PEYTON MANNING OR MATT RYAN.

    WR- You need at least one deep threat ( plaxico, TO, steve smith, andre johnson. ochocinco, etc.) and one or two good posession receivers ( toomer, houshmanzadeh, welker, etc. ) to keep moving the chains.

    O line - from center to guards to tackles. The center has to be the staple of the line and anchor things. I think we have found that in Jason Brown. Guards have to get good push in the run game and protect the QB. Tackles ( especially LT) have to protect the QB's blindside and right edge from the bull rush associated with the games best pass rushers.

    TE- has to be able to block in the pass and run game and be a good receiver when you need a play here and there( Dallas Clark, Owen Daniels, Heath Miller, Antonio Gates , etc. )

    RB- Nowadays you need at least two ( three is super ideal like what the Giants did with jacobs, bradshaw, and ward) backs to eat up the defense. A good power back who can bruise through the tackles or bounce it outside, and a change of pace speed back who can relieve the first back JUST AS EFFECTIVELY. move the chains. But if you only have one its not too too bad its just that you better hope he dont get injured.

    FB- has become obsolete but is still being used. Not much to say here, this is not a need.

    NOW FOR DEFENSE.

    DT- you need a run stuffing, pass threatening bull rushing nose tackle who can clog up the middle on runs and push the pocket on pass plays.

    DE- you need guys who can rush the passer. Plain and simple. and rush with authority.

    LB- you need guys who can support the run and not get fooled so much by the pass when it comes as well. Smart, instinctive and reading the offense and snuffing out plays.

    CB- you need at least one shutdown corner to take away the oppponents best receiver and then the other ones just have to be decent enough to stay with the other receivers who are usually not as good.

    S- You need that help over the top, but a good ED REED here makes a world of a difference.

    Now finally, lets look at our team. What can we do in the offseason to at least make this team a decent team to win some games? Let me give you my honest opinions. The theme is we want to keep the good and GET RID OF THE BAD . IMHO, The offense needs major upgrade, whereas the defense is only a few playmakers away.

    Bulger is damaged goods, he's got to go, although I dont think he was that good of a QB to begin with. Jackson is fine he can stay once he stays healthy, which is now a major concern for us when you talk about backup running backs filling in for him. The backup running back situation seems to be a disarray because Gado, who looked pretty good in the preseason, has not even seen the field this season. Makes you wonder about the trust our staff has in these guys. Cant be much if they dont play them.

    The offensive line? NEEDS MAJOR OVERHAULIN. Jacob Bell has got to go, Not sure about cogs, he seems to be good once he keeps his head in the game, if he continues he has to go too. Brown stays, Jason smith obviously has to earn a spot and ALex barron am not so sure about. Here you have a LT who has the prototype frame to play the position, but has been a major disapointment. Not sure what to say about this guy. Adam Goldberg not so sure about, heard Greco has alot of upside. Kind of iffy O-line but just get the line SHORED UP PLEASE!! PROTECT OUR QB! Randy Mcmichael is ok, daniel fells is showing some great promise, not so sure about Klopfenstein. We are definitely lacking playmakers at WR, all we have is avery and robinson, who are still unproven. Burton is also playing well and I heard about the amendola kid; seems to have made a great impact.

    Now for the defense. We have no pass rush or ability to cover receivers. Leonard little wont be around much longer, and Chris Long has yet to show us whether he belongs at DE or should be playing SLB. Gary Gibson has shown much promise filling in for Carriker, who I dont even know will be successful or not on this team yet alone this league. Hollis thomas was a good FA pickup, and I heard about the Lajuan Ramsey fella; heard that he broke up some plays in the backfield and swarmed the QB. Clifton ryan provides good depth at NT.

    THE BACKERS. James Laur. is a beast, Glad weve got him, but everytime I see Rey Maualuga play makes me wonder whether we should have got him or not instead. Dont know what will happen to WILL witherspoon, seems to get beat real easily. David Vobora is definitely NOT playing like Mr Irrelevant. Not sure what will happen to Larry Grant, but it seems like we are thin at this position as well. I like our safeties in James Butler and OJ hogging up the centerfield. Also Craig Dahl played well in Butlers's absence. I like that.

    The bottom LINE IS THIS: I hope we make some sense out of this draft and draft hard nosed, smart, instinctive players who will fit our scheme abnd be successful? NO need to bring in players who look good in college but dont fit our scheme but we try to use them anyway ...NO NO NO NO!!!! YOU NEED a 4-3 end? bring in a 4-3 end that is a beast then!! dont bring in a 3-4 OLB and try to plug him in.... NO NO NO NO no thats not what we need moving forward because that is KILLING this team. I say we should go DT/DE FIRST, then look at CB. We have so many needs its too much to fill with one draft.

    And plus theres the salary cap situation, something which probably wont be here next year but it isnt official yet. I am not sure what our situation is like but I know it cant be pretty because we have no money to sign some FA to help us. HOW MUCH LONGER IS IT GONNA TAKE??


  2. #2
    01d 0rd3r's Avatar
    01d 0rd3r is offline Registered User
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    Re: HOW CLOSE IS THIS TEAM TO COMPETING?(VERY LONG)Please provide feedback

    Good post we need a major overhaul in most areas in this team. I still think Chris long was a good pick he is just working harder every year, remeber mario williams took two years to develop and now he is a beast. Robinson can be a deep threat if he can stay healthy fo a season. As much as i like Bulger it is obvious that he needs to ship out, if not only for the age issue, but drafting a rookie qb is not the answer to this problem. Rookie qb's would crack under our o-line. Ya previous regimes have meesed us up but i trust spags to dig us out.

  3. #3
    btimsah Guest

    Re: HOW CLOSE IS THIS TEAM TO COMPETING?(VERY LONG)Please provide feedback

    Great post.

    The Martz/Vermiel era came to and end and with it the players and scheme slowly died out. But, in denial the front office ignored that reality. Bulger was created by (and during) the Martz era and now that, that era is dead - so is he. But again, they pay him a huge contract only to get one of the worst qb's in the league. Now, Kyle Boller looks good compared to him. It's sad.

    After Martz the Rams were just patching this team together year after year, in hopes that they could somehow regain that "GSOT". Doing so, has only made the team worse and worse. They lacked the fortitude to make the tough calls on our roster. They would claim we're "solid" at certain positions and then go into the regular season only to watch these supposed solid players turn out to suck.

    No position's show this more than cornerback, quarterback and middle linebacker. Every year we see the same crap, the same excuses and then the same breakdowns and losses. Now we have such a bad team it can be difficult to make talent evaluations. They did finally address the Middle linebacker spot, but there's still work to be done. Bulger MUST be gone for next year! Not another year, please for all that is holy. Stop living in denial and just accept that he's gone.

    We need to stop settling for average players and go (unapologetically) for the best ones.

    Look at the moves Minnesota has made to better their team. Hutchinson? People here ridiculed them for paying that kind of money. Peterson.. on and on. I see other teams make these big moves that solves big problems on their rosters. Then I see the Rams. Continually living in a dream world that we are SET and fine at various positions.

    Yeah, we're set - if you don't want to win. That's my opinion.

  4. #4
    CT_RamsFan's Avatar
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    Re: HOW CLOSE IS THIS TEAM TO COMPETING?(VERY LONG)Please provide feedback

    good post/free bump, I agree Bulger needs to go he is scared to death out there,and forces to many passes.

  5. #5
    mde8352gorams's Avatar
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    Re: HOW CLOSE IS THIS TEAM TO COMPETING?(VERY LONG)Please provide feedback

    Very good post. You make the point I've realized for a long time, our drafts have really stunk. Plus our FA's outside of Jason Brown this year have been equally bad. We're now paying the price for this ineptitude. We're probably stuck with Bulger for another year or more due to his contract and the cap consequences. This gives us the time to find a a QB of the future to groom for a period until Bulger is cut or traded. Incidentally, Klopfenstein (TE) is no longer on the team.

    I agree with the FO and coaching staff's plan to shore up the lines both defense and offense first then move to the skill positions such as WR and QB. Although we'll have to do them together with lines being the priority. I hope we can accelerate the process with some nifty draft picks and FA acquisitions. I am sure we'll get there. In the meantime....

    Go Rams!

  6. #6
    RebelYell's Avatar
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    Re: HOW CLOSE IS THIS TEAM TO COMPETING?(VERY LONG)Please provide feedback

    Competing or Competitive? I remember a reporter getting blasted for mixing those two up.

  7. #7
    laram0's Avatar
    laram0 is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: HOW CLOSE IS THIS TEAM TO COMPETING?(VERY LONG)Please provide feedback

    Actually....The Green Bay game we stunk for approx. the first 10 minutes and the last 10 minutes. The 40 minutes in the middle our RAMS competed and gave us a glimmer of hope.

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