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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Injuries not only reason

    Steve Korte


    November 02, 2007
    Injuries are not the only reason for sinking of the USS Rams
    Injuries were the iceberg that started the Rams on their Titanic-like descent into the murky depths of the NFL this season. However, it’s not the only reason that Rams went straight to the bottom.
    Here’s five other reasons why the Rams are winless entering their bye weekend:
    1. Drafting too much on potential and not enough on production.
    If you’re going to manage the salary cap the way the Rams manage the salary cap — doling out most of the money to your core stars and spending little on your backups — you need to draft players who are ready to play.
    But, the Rams have taken on more projects than Bob Vila.
    Dominic Byrd, Claude Wroten, Jon Alston, Jimmy Kennedy, Trung Candidate, Jacoby Shepherd, Eric Crouch (as a wide receiver), Travis Scott, Steve Belasari (as a safety) and Anthony Hargrove all are examples.
    The NFL Draft is risky business. Taking players who were productive in college can reduce that risk.
    The Rams have rolled the dice way too often in the middle rounds, especially the third round, on players with either injury histories, character issues or size deficiencies. They’ve focused so much on the stopwatch that they’ve ignored those other red flags.
    2. Letting “Big Grease’’ go.
    Choosing not to re-sign defensive tackle Ryan “Big Grease’’ Pickett after the 2005 season has been a mistake nearly on the same scale of choosing not re-sign middle London Fletcher after the 2001 season.
    Sure, the Rams’ run defense stunk, but it wasn’t Pickett’s fault. He had 115 tackles, the most of any defensive linemen in the NFL, that season.
    The real culprits were Kennedy, linebackers Chris Claiborne and Dexter Coakley and a group of cornerbacks who wanted no part of run support.
    The Green Bay Packers will tell you that Pickett has been worth every penny of the five-year, $15 million contract that he signed with them.
    3. Signing free agents on the down side.
    If you’re going to sign big-ticket free agents, go for younger guys entering their prime like middle linebacker Will Witherspoon.
    While defensive tackle La’Roi Glover and strong safety Corey Chavous are great leaders, their best days in the NFL are behind them.
    4. Not grooming replacements for their stars.
    Every year, Orando Pace, Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt and Leonard Little get a little older, yet there’s no one waiting in the wings to replace them.
    Some of this is due to the Rams’ unwillingness to expend resources in areas where they already have star players, and some of it is due to young players simply not understanding the kind of work ethic it takes to succeed in the NFL.
    You’d think some of the aforementioned players’ habits would rub off on the Rams’ younger players, but it hasn’t happened.
    5. Outsmarting themselves.
    All coaches favor familiarity when making personnel decisions, but Scott Linehan and his staff have taken it to a new level.
    If there was a free agent who grew up in the Pacific Northwest, played his college ball at the University of Louisvile, was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings and then got traded to the Miami Dolphins, the Rams would be falling all over themselves to get him signed.
    The Rams have been working in the shallow end of the NFL’s talent pool by raiding the rosters of the Dolphins and the Vikings.
    Other decisions that fall under this area include keeping four tight ends on the active roster, cutting fullback Madison Hedgecock without a better option on hand, trading third-string Ryan Fitzpatrick to the Cincinnati Bengals so they could keep an extra special teams player on the roster and thinking cornerback Lenny Walls had cover skills.


  2. #2
    ScottD413's Avatar
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    Re: Injuries not only reason

    I couldn't agree more. Especially about not getting good backups for Holt, Bruce, Little, and Pace. These guys are getting older. In fact Pace, Little, and Bruce may be in their last year as Rams

  3. #3
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    Re: Injuries not only reason

    this steve korte cat knows what he's talking about... well said stevie...

  4. #4
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    Re: Injuries not only reason

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottD413 View Post
    I couldn't agree more. Especially about not getting good backups for Holt, Bruce, Little, and Pace. These guys are getting older. In fact Pace, Little, and Bruce may be in their last year as Rams
    We did have a good replacement for Bruce. He is in Philly now. Curtis isnt great but was a sufficiant backupfor Holt and Bruce.
    Just Fix It

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    RamOfDenmark is offline Registered User
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    Re: Injuries not only reason

    Excellent points I agree with each and every one, including that it was a mistake to let Curtis leave. We've all regretted letting Fletcher leave years ago, but just recently we've made the same mistakes again getting rid of Curtis, Pickett, Hedgecock etc. Productive players that are now playing well for other teams.

    People talk a lot about injuries, and with good reason of course, we have seen a lot this year. But injuries are clearly not the only thing wrong with this team. And while you can do little to affect how many injuries occur (sure you can train properly, but mostly it's basically luck) - all of these other things are things that we could have done different, and should have. Therefore these things are the things we should look to improve.

    The personnel decisions especially that we're making do not leave me hopeful for the near-future when Bruce, Holt, Pace etc. all our veteran core players are no longer with this team (or just not productive, which arguably may be happening right now). Who do we have to replace them? We clearly have no real future star WR's waiting in the wings, we have Barron waiting to replace Pace, but it seems very unlikely that he will ever be anywhere as good or anywhere close to it.

    One last point that I would add to the list is coaching mistakes during the games, boneheaded playcalls etc. We've made some bad ones this year, entire gameplans have been downright awful in some games. That's another one of those things that we could actually fix instead of using the injury excuse. I recognise that injuries have been the single biggest reason we've lost every game this year, but it would be more productive to try and improve the things we can instead of focusing on our bad luck in that area.

  6. #6
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    Re: Injuries not only reason

    Quote Originally Posted by RamOfDenmark View Post
    Excellent points I agree with each and every one, including that it was a mistake to let Curtis leave. We've all regretted letting Fletcher leave years ago, but just recently we've made the same mistakes again getting rid of Curtis, Pickett, Hedgecock etc. Productive players that are now playing well for other teams.
    Pickett was a mistake but it does finally look promising with Clifton and Adam.

    Curtis I don't think was that big of a mistake, he hasn't done a whole lot in Philly as the #2 or #1 wr whatever you want to call him. Bennett is a good replacement, it just turns out that his injuries killed him and he hasn't been able to show how good he is. He did have a nice game last week so hopefully there is more of that to come.

    Now I don't understand what is going on with Owens at FB, but Hedgecock wasn't a mistake. I have seen him play in a few Giants games and watched him get pushed around and drop easy passes that hit him right in the hands. My friend who is a Giants fan isn't impressed with Hedgecock at all, and from what I've seen in those Giants games I don't blame him. Yes Jacobs looks good now that he has come back but that's mostly about Jacobs and his line and not really much about Hedgecock.

    Last year maybe people forget but we were trying to replace Hedge with Paul Smith and he did ok but he couldn't stay healthy. So losing Hedge wasn't a mistake, but I do question where Owens has been.
    BRUUUUUUUUCE


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    Re: Injuries not only reason

    Quote Originally Posted by RamOfDenmark View Post
    People talk a lot about injuries, and with good reason of course, we have seen a lot this year. But injuries are clearly not the only thing wrong with this team.
    I'm drawing this quote out for a specific reason, as it seems to mimic what Korte opens up with: "Injuries are not the only reason for sinking of the USS Rams."

    ...well of course they aren't, and I don't think anyone has suggested injuries were the only reason. It sounds as if Korte is creating a straw-man argument to oppose rather than arguing the actual issues and the differences fans have. Obviously injuries aren't the only reason we are where we're are, but I think there's a very legitimate argument that injuries are by far the biggest factor in our decline right now.

    The question Korte should be answering is whether or not they're the biggest factor and whether or not Linehan should have been able to overcome them. That seems to be where the big debate lies.

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    rams 24/7 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Injuries not only reason

    scottD413, orlando pace isn't that old for a LT at age 31

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    rams 24/7 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Injuries not only reason

    leonard little may retire because of the teams lack of succes, injuries or his lack of individual production, but if he comes out of this season with individual succes he may stay
    Last edited by rams 24/7; -11-04-2007 at 05:54 AM.

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    Re: Injuries not only reason

    Quote Originally Posted by rams 24/7 View Post
    leonard little may retire because of the teams lack of succes, injuries or his lack of individual production, but if he comes out of this season with individual succes he may stay
    Do you have a source on this?

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    Re: Injuries not only reason

    There should be a part 2 to this... reasons 6-10.

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    rams 24/7 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Injuries not only reason

    NICK, I don't have any source on the leonard little situation but as a person like me who feels should be on espn pridicting and scouting, I just look at It as something I know, kinda like common sence

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    Re: Injuries not only reason

    Rams 24/7-- It has been reported by family that Pace may retire. Thats where I got that from. Little's contract is almost up and probably wont be resigned because he costs alot and doesnt produce (just my opinion). As for Bruce, also my opinion but I don't see him sticking around as this team rebuilds. He will probably just retire

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Injuries not only reason

    Quote Originally Posted by rams 24/7 View Post
    NICK, I don't have any source on the leonard little situation but as a person like me who feels should be on espn pridicting and scouting, I just look at It as something I know, kinda like common sence
    Then please preface those kinds of statements by saying "I think" or "in my opinion." Otherwise it sounds like you're reporting legitimate news rather than just your feelings on a situation. Saves us from some confusion, thanks.

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    Re: Injuries not only reason

    This goes to exactly what I just said in the Sell the team thread. The problem hasn't necessarily been Georgia, it's her inability to show Shaw and his guys the door when they obviously cannot do a job good enough to keep a winning team.

    Our front office just does not know when to sign and resign and let players go. They make obvious decisions(keep Bulger, take Carriker, get rid of Fisher and Butler), miss obvious decisions(London Fletcher, Curtis(he may be old for his experience, but he can fly), and don't find many bargains/diamonds in the rough. We need a new front office that is ready to retool for the future while we still have all stars to teach the next generation.

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