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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    If you smack these Rams, they hit back

    By Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Monday, Sep. 26 2005

    This is weird, strange and downright disorienting. It's like arriving at a
    Halle Berry film festival but the only thing they're playing are Star Jones
    highlights from "The View." It's like going to a Metallica concert and Pat
    Boone comes out singing "Tutti Frutti." We're looking around the National
    Football League as we approach the quarter turn of the 2005 season, and all I
    can say is, "Who are these people?"

    Get a load of your runnin', gunnin' Rams, formerly known as the most
    squeezeably soft bunch of offensive pretty boys in professional football.
    They're starting to act like some knuckle-dragging football Neanderthals. The
    old book on the Rams was, slug 'em in the mouth and they'll eventually vanish.
    Well, somebody better remind these new-look Rams about their old reputation,
    because I could have sworn that every time the Tennessee Titans puffed up to
    start a fight Sunday, the Rams counterpunched with some very out of character
    muscle flexing.

    Steven Jackson was dropping his shoulders and plowing into flinching defensive
    backs as he turned the corner with frightening power and breathless
    elusiveness. Rookie offensive tackle Alex Barron was running all over the place
    with the ill-tempered disposition of a blitzing linebacker, rag-dolling anyone
    in a Titans jersey. There were scuffles and skirmishes and all sorts of
    extracurriculars going on before and after the whistle was blown. And if the
    Rams weren't always instigating it, let's just say they seemed more than
    willing to finish it.

    "There is a toughness there that exists for this football team that is
    developing," said Mike Martz at his Monday afternoon press briefing that was a
    continuation of this peculiar alternate universe kind of stuff. He wasn't
    raving about Marc Bulger's 75 percent completion percentage or any other
    high-octane details of a 31-27 victory. Old Mr. Fast and Furious preferred
    admiring something altogether foreign to his team's flashy reputation.

    Toughness. The man who loves to light up the scoreboard with a bold and
    arrogant indifference to old-school convention has turned into a crooked-nosed
    lover of football's more basic instincts. Martz wants to talk about the
    intrinsic beauty of perfectly executed, smash-mouthed collisions by his rugged
    new linebackers, Chris Claiborne and Dexter Coakley. He wants to rave about the
    contagious aggression that seems to be spreading all over his team, and the
    rather nasty, borderline uncivilized attitude that has somehow turned his fancy
    boys into nasty men.

    We are beginning to see the product of Martz's two-year offseason shopping
    sprees, where via free agency and the draft, the Rams have added more
    aggressive players on both sides of the ball. "I've watched a lot of game tape
    on the Rams over the past two years," said CBS analyst and former NFL defensive
    back Solomon Wilcotts, "and I'd have to say their linebackers and defensive
    backs in the past were some of the worst tacklers I've ever seen in the NFL.
    That's changed in a hurry. What you see now are point-of-collision hits where
    runners are going down as soon as they're hit at the line of scrimmage. It's a
    radical change from last year."

    The radical change seems to be flowing over to the offense, too, with Barron's
    surprising debut on Sunday providing an attitude injection to the offense. He
    immediately made it clear that the old expressway to Marc Bulger's spine around
    the right edge of the offensive line has a physical, athletic, 6-foot-7,
    320-pound roadblock in the way.

    "When he came through minicamp, I was concerned about the toughness," said
    Martz. "I just didn't see it. But since the day he stepped into this facility
    in training camp, he's been remarkably different than what I remembered.
    Everything that he's done, he's exhibited the toughness and that physical part
    of the game that I didn't know if he had."

    For the first time in ages, with all these new faces and nasty attitudes, the
    Rams really appear to be on the verge of shedding their flashy but ever-so-soft
    image as high-tech gunslingers and replacing it with the more substantial
    impression of a tough-as-nails, physical force.


  2. #2
    evil disco man's Avatar
    evil disco man is offline Pro Bowl Ram
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    Re: If you smack these Rams, they hit back

    Just wait until Incognito gets in the mix.

    You ain't seen nothin' yet.

  3. #3
    adarian_too's Avatar
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    Re: If you smack these Rams, they hit back

    There may be some good hittin' going on, and a couple of the DTs definitely are looking stouter, but it still pains me to see Rams' WRs looking for the nearest hole to crawl into after they catch the ball ...

    couple that with OldMcDonaldBoughttheFarm looking to run away from contact every PR and I'm not convinced all the Rams have got the attitude memo just yet ...

  4. #4
    ZigZagRam's Avatar
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    Re: If you smack these Rams, they hit back

    ...it still pains me to see Rams' WRs looking for the nearest hole to crawl into after they catch the ball ...
    Yeah and fumbling or getting injured for a few yards after the catch for small 5'11" receivers would be so wise! This is a stupid complaint. Always has been.

  5. #5
    HUbison's Avatar
    HUbison is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: If you smack these Rams, they hit back

    couple that with OldMcDonaldBoughttheFarm looking to run away from contact every PR and I'm not convinced all the Rams have got the attitude memo just yet ...
    At 4.8 per return, McD is currently tied for 23rd in the league, and honestly I didn't think he was that high. And for the record, this week we face the #4 PR in the league, Chad Morton at 11.4 per return.
    "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

  6. #6
    adarian_too's Avatar
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    Re: If you smack these Rams, they hit back

    Quote Originally Posted by ZigZagRam
    Yeah and fumbling or getting injured for a few yards after the catch for small 5'11" receivers would be so wise!
    Taking a dive has neither stopped Bruce from fumbling or getting injured. And its not a knock on Bruce. In fact, you can't prove that fighting for a few extra yards or clocking a DB in return is more detrimental to a WR's health. That's what's stupid. The assumption that giving a hit by a 5'11" WR to a 5'9" DB is somehow going to always be worse for the WR.

    Go ahead. Run to live to fight another day. You know what the difference was with Faulk this game? No dancing. No finesse. He stuck his nose into the 1st hole he saw. I'll take his occasional fumble in exchange for that kind of leadership and attitude. I'll take Bruce's for that matter.

    Take a seat waterboy. Leave the football to men.

  7. #7
    adarian_too's Avatar
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    Re: If you smack these Rams, they hit back

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    At 4.8 per return, McD is currently tied for 23rd in the league, and honestly I didn't think he was that high.
    Just goes to show how deceiving numbers can be. Half that average probably is just from him getting knocked forward by a defender circling him ...

  8. #8
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    Re: If you smack these Rams, they hit back

    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Disco Man
    Just wait until Incognito gets in the mix.

    You ain't seen nothin' yet.


    Exactly!!! Get him signed FO!.................MM you can help this situation out too!

  9. #9
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    Re: If you smack these Rams, they hit back

    It looks like our offensive line will have more attitude sooner than later. Its good to hear that Incognito is on the mend and may actually get into the mix in the second half of the season!

  10. #10
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    Re: If you smack these Rams, they hit back

    Yes the meaning of RAM FOOTBALL coming back home to Tear hell out of our adversaries.

    My heart beats crazy and my blood runs wild

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