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    Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    The following was clipped from ESPN ...Whispers...

    Posted on 3/23/05

    After finally managing to solve their biggest offseason problem the last few years by agreeing to a long-term deal with Pro Bowl OLT Orlando Pace, the Rams continue to have their fair share of concerns. If we had to tab one woe that appears to stick out more than the rest, it would be the team’s shaky situation at the safety position, which one source has proclaimed the “not- so-great experiment.”

    As things now stand, the Rams plan to start at the safety spots two players who are being converted to new positions, with SS Adam Archuleta being switched to free safety and weak-side LB Pisa Tinoisamoa being transferred to strong safety. The way we hear it, there are many Rams Park onlookers who believe the plan is destined to go up in smoke, particularly in the case of Archuleta, who was hampered by back problems much of last season and has never been known for his pass-coverage abilities.

    I GUESS THIS COULD HAPPEN STILL, BUT who are these INSIDERS??? - Kyle Turley??

    The Rams’ depth at safety was also dealt a blow when UFA Rich Coady signed with Atlanta.

    I'D SAY ATLANTA WAS DEALT THE BLOW.....

    The Rams subsequently signed free agent Michael Stone from Arizona, but he did little to distinguish himself in four seasons as a backup safety with the Cardinals and is primarily being counted on to improve the Rams’ pathetic special teams.

    IF YOU GET A SPECIAL TEAMS STUD WHO CAN PLAY A LITTLE SAFETY - I THINK THE RAMS DID GREAT.

    Don’t be surprised if the Rams decide on a “safety first” approach in the draft and end up moving Tinoisamoa back to his familiar WLB role. Should that happen, Dexter Coakley, one of two key free-agent additions at linebacker along with Chris Claiborne, would go from starting on the weak side to the strong side, where he would probably replace second-year pro Brandon Chillar, since it remains unlikely the team will re-sign inconsistent incumbent SLB Tommy Polley.

    THIS IS ABOUT ALL I AGREE WITH....EXCEPT THE SAFETY FIRST PART.....

    ENJOY - ARF


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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    I agree with you, ARF. There's maybe one or two safeties that are worth a first round pick, only one in my opinion that's worth a pick at #19. I think we would be better served with a "safety second" approach.
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    Re: Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    The Rams’ depth at safety was also dealt a blow when UFA Rich Coady signed with Atlanta.
    I've been wondering about this move. Coady has reached infamous status with Rams' fans but Atlanta knows what they're doing on defense. I don't understand how a team that plays good defense would sign a player that is so (apparently) horrible?

    It seems that all the safeties that have come to the Rams have struggled. Kim Herring was a pro-bowler for Baltimore and was quickly picked up once he was released by the Rams. Jason Sehorn was a crap shoot but he had played at a pro bowl level in the past. Aeneas Williams even looked pedestrian when he switched positions to try and help out. Is this just a long line of bad luck with players or is the scheme(s) to blame? Maybe it's getting players that don't fit the scheme?

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    Kim Herring was a pro-bowler for Baltimore and was quickly picked up once he was released by the Rams.
    Quickly picked up, yes. But what has he done since? Nothing - his first year in Cincy was nearly identical to his 2001 season for the Rams. And that's after being reunited with the same guy who ran the Baltimore defense when he was a Pro Bowler (Marvin Lewis).


    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    Jason Sehorn was a crap shoot but he had played at a pro bowl level in the past.
    His decline was well noted before he ever signed with St. Louis.


    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    Aeneas Williams even looked pedestrian when he switched positions to try and help out.
    In 2003 during his first year rotating in at FS, Aeneas recorded 75 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, four interceptions, and one defensive touchdown. While he did shuffle between corner and safety during this year, he still produced. He was limited in 2004 because of injuries to both his own body and to other players that caused him to see more time at corner, where his declining skills were more apparent.

    Let's not forget that Aeneas Williams was 35 when he tried to make the conversion to FS and was 36 last season. You won't find many defensive backs that age playing at a high level, I don't think.

    So to conclude, I wouldn't blame the scheme for this, personally.
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    Re: Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    I've been wondering about this move. Coady has reached infamous status with Rams' fans but Atlanta knows what they're doing on defense. I don't understand how a team that plays good defense would sign a player that is so (apparently) horrible?

    It seems that all the safeties that have come to the Rams have struggled. Kim Herring was a pro-bowler for Baltimore and was quickly picked up once he was released by the Rams. Jason Sehorn was a crap shoot but he had played at a pro bowl level in the past. Aeneas Williams even looked pedestrian when he switched positions to try and help out. Is this just a long line of bad luck with players or is the scheme(s) to blame? Maybe it's getting players that don't fit the scheme?
    Good question, Mok. Personally, I think Herring too more heat than he should have as a Ram. The best season he's ever had in his entire career was 2002 as a Ram. And his 2001 season was as good as any season he had in Baltimore. Herring was something of a pariah, why...I don't know exactly. Aeneas and Sehorn have both succomb to age (haven't we all) and had to move there. Aeneas' injury a couple of years ago didn't help any either. And as far as Coady...well, here's a stat something that speaks to the futility of Mr. Coady --- his two best seasons as a professional were the past two seasons in St. Louis.

    I think FS has been an after-thought for this defense and we're expecting too much from those that we're putting out there.
    "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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    Re: Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick
    Let's not forget that Aeneas Williams was 35 when he tried to make the conversion to FS and was 36 last season. You won't find many defensive backs that age playing at a high level, I don't think.
    In fact, you won't find ANY defensive backs that age playing at all! Aeneas is currently the oldest defensive player on any NFL roster.
    "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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    Re: Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    Quote Originally Posted by NickSeiler
    Let's not forget that Aeneas Williams was 35 when he tried to make the conversion to FS and was 36 last season. You won't find many defensive backs that age playing at a high level, I don't think.
    Let's also not forget the year Aeneas Williams made the switch, he was named to the pro-bowl, at that FS position. Age and injury put the brakes on that particular experiment, an experiment that worked. Let's hope the planned experiments for next year work out as well.

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    Re: Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    I've been wondering about this move. Coady has reached infamous status with Rams' fans but Atlanta knows what they're doing on defense. I don't understand how a team that plays good defense would sign a player that is so (apparently) horrible?

    It seems that all the safeties that have come to the Rams have struggled. Kim Herring was a pro-bowler for Baltimore and was quickly picked up once he was released by the Rams. Jason Sehorn was a crap shoot but he had played at a pro bowl level in the past. Aeneas Williams even looked pedestrian when he switched positions to try and help out. Is this just a long line of bad luck with players or is the scheme(s) to blame? Maybe it's getting players that don't fit the scheme?
    their gonna use him on special ed teams
    My heart beats crazy and my blood runs wild

  9. #9
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    Re: Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    The Rams’ depth at safety was also dealt a blow when UFA Rich Coady signed with Atlanta.

    I'D SAY ATLANTA WAS DEALT THE BLOW.....
    Ain't that the truth.

    As for Aeneas, I've heard rumblings that he's training to make a comeback for one more year. I'd gladly take him back for the veteran's minimum if it moves Archuleta out of the FS spot on passing downs.

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    Re: Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    So basically, the Rams problems boil down to bad luck and bad personnel pickups at the safety position. I guess that's possible and coincidences are bound to happen, but I wonder whether it's a pattern that's developing or just a series of unfortunate events?

    You gotta give Aeneas credit for being able to even try to come back and start at 35/36 but as an organization how smart is it to rely, in any way, on that possibility?

    Kim Herring, coming off of injury, replicated in 12 games for Cincinnati last year what he did in Baltimore during his pro-bowl days so I would think that he had a pretty good year. His stat's actually bring me back to the argument of scheme vs. personnel. If you look at his pro-bowl numbers in Baltimore and compare them to his numbers while with the Rams, it's apparent the Rams put a lot of responsibility/pressure on the safety position. Baltimore is arguably the best defense in the league each year yet, their safety has around 20 less tackles/assists than the Rams'.

    You might argue that Lovie's (Tampa Bay's) scheme is more reliant on the safety position, a la John Lynch, and that's why the stat's are increased. If that's the case, then the staff better make sure they choose the right type of player for that spot.

    Another argument might be the ineffectiveness of the front-line players such as the DL, LB's, etc. In that case, I think it's the scheme again. You should tailor you defense to the players on hand. Our defense was obviously set up and developed to function a certain way by Lovie while he was here. Like the offense, it's a high risk, high reward system with very specific personnel. Asking those guys to work outside of the cover-2 was a disaster waiting to happen. You can't play smash-mouth football on defense when you have a bunch of speed guys.

    Will the D move in the right direction now that Marmie is starting to bring in "his" guys? I'm very skeptical based on his history.

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    viper's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    Is this just a long line of bad luck with players or is the scheme(s) to blame? Maybe it's getting players that don't fit the scheme?
    Definitely a valid question, Mok. The answer is probably a little of both. Special teams is an area that you have to ask the same question. Bobby April is a bust here and Buffalo is no. 1 the next year? What's up with that? Scheme is worth consideration indeed. I think it comes down to a philosphy of offense first and a lack of focus and priority on defense and special teams. Although, I think Cody was a poor safety. He couldn't cover anybody to save his life and was up and down in run support.

    Hopefully, the glaring deficiencies in both categories have made believers out of Martz and the FO. They seem to be addressing those areas this offseason. Let's hope that trend continues in the draft and after June 1st.

    Go Rams!!! :ramlogo:

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    Kim Herring, coming off of injury, replicated in 12 games for Cincinnati last year what he did in Baltimore during his pro-bowl days so I would think that he had a pretty good year.
    First, when did Kim Herring ever go to the Pro Bowl? Earlier I didn't think much of it when you mentioned it, but when you made this comment about him matching his Pro Bowl season production last year in Cincy, I did some more investigating and can't find him on any Pro Bowl roster in his career. Furthermore, in 12 games in Cincy, he had 62 tackles, one interception, and one forced fumble. You think that's a pretty good year? It certainly doesn't match his best year in Baltimore, nor his best year in St. Louis. So I'm still not seeing your point, or what you're basing any of these claims on.


    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    You gotta give Aeneas credit for being able to even try to come back and start at 35/36 but as an organization how smart is it to rely, in any way, on that possibility?
    How were they relying on Aeneas? They brought in Sehorn and drafted Shivers to try and get another body rotating in at free safety. Look at how many guys they signed in 2004 to play the position - Tom Knight, Justin Lucas, Antuan Edwards. Where do you see the Rams relying on Aeneas? If anything they were doing quite a bit to try and find someone to split time with him so they WEREN'T relying on him.
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    Re: Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    First, when did Kim Herring ever go to the Pro Bowl?
    I was pretty sure that Herring went to the Pro Bowl his last year in Baltimore. I could be wrong about that but I recall being pleased with the prospect when the Rams got him back then.
    Furthermore, in 12 games in Cincy, he had 62 tackles, one interception, and one forced fumble. You think that's a pretty good year?
    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/3909/career
    I'm not going to retype everything but to answer your question, yes I think he had a good year. If you'll notice, he did in 12 games with Cincinnatti what it has generally taken him 16 games with Baltimore/St. Louis.
    How were they relying on Aeneas?
    You may have misread what I typed about Aeneas. I was referencing the earlier point about him making a comeback this year at 35/36. I don't think I said anything about when he was actually playing. My point is that if they're even remotely considering him as a starter then they aren't really trying to solve the problem.

    As far as all the other names you mentioned, it sort of brings us full circle to the overall problem. With the addition of those names the Rams have had about...9 guys at safety over the last few years? Plus they're going to add a couple more this year. What's the problem? Personnel evalution? Unrealistic expectations from the position? I just find it hard to believe that after so many different attempts that the problem lies in the ability of the athlete(s).

  14. #14
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    Re: Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/3909/career
    I'm not going to retype everything but to answer your question, yes I think he had a good year. If you'll notice, he did in 12 games with Cincinnatti what it has generally taken him 16 games with Baltimore/St. Louis.
    In 2000 and 2002 with Baltimore and St. Louis, he had much better stats than what he did with Cincy in 2004. The only similarity I'm seeing is number of tackles. I'm not sure you're going to find many people who think 60+ tackles and one interception is a good year for a starting safety, or comparible to the years he had in 2000 and 2002 for the Ravens and Rams, respectively.


    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    I was referencing the earlier point about him making a comeback this year at 35/36.
    He's 37, and I think it would be premature to even speculate about whether the Rams are depending on Aeneas to make a comeback. First, they've moved Archuleta to free safety and they had a contract offer on the table to Antuan Edwards for three years, so obviously they're exploring other options. But we don't even know if Aeneas is going to return, let alone if the Rams are going to sign him and start him. Perhaps we should wait and cross that bridge when we get to it instead of criticizing the organization on a hypothetical rumor.


    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    I just find it hard to believe that after so many different attempts that the problem lies in the ability of the athlete(s).
    Well, we can run down the list again. Many of them had injury problems (Williams in '04, Knight, Lassiter, Sehorn), Shivers didn't pick up the defense, Herring was decent but had a number of factors working against him (broken arm in early 2003, high cap number). With only so much cap space, the Rams can't exactly go out and pick and choose from who to get. The FA market for free safeties this year was horrible, and outside a few choices, the upcoming draft class isn't great.

    It sounds as if the inability to secure a solid starting free safety is the combination of a number of things - poor market, the cap, unforeseeable injuries - but I'm not sure I would put scheme or coaching, especially considering that in 2002 Herring played moderately well, and in 2003, Aeneas Williams was a Pro Bowler at the ripe old age of 36.
    Last edited by Nick; -03-27-2005 at 04:44 AM.
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  15. #15
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    Re: Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    In 2000 and 2002 with Baltimore and St. Louis, he had much better stats
    61(total) tackles and 3 interceptions in 16 games in 2000 is much better than 64 tackles and 1 interception in 12 games? On a per game average, he had his best statistical(tackles) year as a pro in 2004. Remember, I'm basing my evaluation of him on his production as a Raven. Using them as a standard of good overall defense, and assuming that if they (Lewis) were happy enough with his production, then he had a good year last year, especially coming off of an injury.

    That's what I'm talking about when I argue the scheme is out of whack in some way. A good defense, Baltimore and Cincinnati in this case, is productive and even dominant without relying on their safety to produce a huge number of tackles. Obviously, those teams have a different philosophy on defense(than the Rams) but when you take the argument a step further and acknowledge that the Rams are what they are, and because of that depend on the safety, it doesn't make sense to me that they don't have more resources dedicated to the position.

    It seems apparent from the multiple occassions over the last few years, particularly in big games, where the safety has been out on an island, truly the "safety" against a big play, and been so horribly out of position or having taken the wrong angle that the Rams should have identified the importance of this position on the defense by now. Williams seems to be the lone bright spot but I don't agree that the Rams had intended for him to solidify the position for any length of time. I would say that he was just another stop-gap. Sehorn...'nuff said. Edwards seemed workable but hardly a dominant player the defense apparently needs at the position. Herring is a decent starter as well but, apparently not the type of safety the Rams need. The "list" seems to be filled with re-treads and poor player evaluations in my opinion.
    He's 37, and I think it would be premature to even speculate about whether the Rams
    So, I should speculate after a decision has been made?
    instead of criticizing the organization on a hypothetical rumor.
    I agree that criticizing the team for something they haven't done is unfair but I didn't criticize them for doing it. That's what the big "if" part of my statement was about. "If" they are considering squeezing another year out of AW as the starter, playing out of his natural position, having a whole offseason to find a solution, then they desere a lot of criticism. Just for the consideration.

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