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  1. #16
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    Re: Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    61(total) tackles and 3 interceptions in 16 games in 2000 is much better than 64 tackles and 1 interception in 12 games?
    In my opinion, yes. I'd prefer my defensive back to get fewer tackles and more interceptions than more tackles and fewer interceptions, especially when you consider the probable reason Herring had fewer tackles as a Raven was because of the strength of Baltimore's front seven compared to Cincy's front seven.


    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    A good defense, Baltimore and Cincinnati in this case,
    Cincinnati is a good defense? 11th out of 16th in the AFC in yards allowed (19th out of 32nd in the entire league), 26th in the league in run defense, 21st in points allowed per game? Does this below average campaign also fit into your definition of good production like Herring's numbers do?


    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    The "list" seems to be filled with re-treads and poor player evaluations in my opinion.
    I imagine that's what happens when you have so much money devoted to the offensive side of the ball and other holes that need filled - you can't go out and acquire the best FA player at that position, especially when someone like Kim Herring is already on the roster taking up a decent amount of money (the Rams freed up nearly $2M in cap space by cutting him) like he was going into 2003.

    Prior to the 2003 draft, the Rams had Herring and were courting Sehorn to play safety. At #12, there was no safety on the board who warranted such a high pick. In the second round, the Rams watched as Eugene Wilson and Ken Hamlin were selected right before they picked up Pisa Tinoisamoa, which was hardly a bad pick.

    Like it or not, Aeneas being a Pro Bowl player for the 2003 season probably made the Rams feel like safety wasn't as big a priority as it might have been, hence trying to grab Shivers in the fifth round of the 2004 draft rather than spending a first rounder on Sean Taylor, who was selected over 20 slots higher than the Rams.

    I guess I'm just not seeing how this situation could have been treated very differently. The Rams have not had the cap space to make big free agent acquisitions (heck, they didn't even have the cap space to keep their own players!), and haven't been in place in the draft to take a difference maker with a first or second pick.


    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    So, I should speculate after a decision has been made?
    In my opinion, it's a bit early to speculate and criticize an organization for something that's classified as a "rumbling" being mentioned in passing on a message board.

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  2. #17
    moklerman Guest

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

    In my opinion, yes. I'd prefer my defensive back to get fewer tackles and more interceptions
    If we were talking one statistic at the sacrifice of another I would agree but his 1 interception in 12 games wasn't glaringly different than his 3 in 16 as far as I'm concerned.

    And you're right, compared to a team like Baltimore the Bengals don't compare but relative to the Rams they are both good defenses. Anotherwords, they both know what they're doing more than the Rams do which was my point in referecing teams that were better on that side of the ball.

    you can't go out and acquire the best FA player at that position
    Exactly my point. If you know you don't have the money to get the player to fill the position and you still scheme the defense so that the position is still heavily relied upon, then the scheme is bad.
    Like it or not, Aeneas being a Pro Bowl player for the 2003 season probably made the Rams feel like safety wasn't as big a priority as it might have been
    I agree that that's how fans might feel but I'm critical of a front office/staff that might be content or lack the foresight to anticipate exactly what wound up happening with Aeneas. Believe me, I thought it was a stroke of genius/luck to have him play so well in a new position but I hold the powers that be to a higher standard when it comes to preplanning and that's where the Rams seem to often fall short. I don't spend nearly the time, nor do I have the access to resources to plan out contingencies that I would if I was part of the Rams organization but I expect the people being paid thousands (millions?) of dollars to do just that.

    Aeneas was a pro bowler. Great. He got hurt and what was the result? A carousel of players brought in to band-aid the situation and winding up with a defense getting throttled when it mattered. The safety situation is a microchasm of the entire roster in a lot of regards and I think it deserves criticism.
    I guess I'm just not seeing how this situation could have been treated very differently. The Rams have not had the cap space to make big free agent acquisitions (heck, they didn't even have the cap space to keep their own players!), and haven't been in place in the draft to take a difference maker with a first or second pick.
    You said it yourself, it's going to take a big free agent acquisition or high draft pick to fill the spot. Lot's of money for a player that can't even be found. Is that the scheme you want the defense to revolve around? Why do so many other teams in the league seem to find adequate help at the safety position?

  3. #18
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    You said it yourself, it's going to take a big free agent acquisition or high draft pick to fill the spot.
    Um, that's not what I said at all - what I said was simply that the Rams weren't capable of bringing in a big free agent or stud rookie. I don't recall saying that I thought it would require that kind of player to fill the spot, but instead merely said the Rams can't go out and get one of those players, which is why they pursue some of the guys you've mentioned. While I think it's going to require a better talent than Kim Herring and Jason Sehorn to fill the role, I don't think it's going to require Sean Taylor or Brian Dawkins.

    For the handful of times you can show where the free safety has cost us big, I'm sure you're ignoring the vast number of unheralded times where a free safety for the Rams has been in the right place for us. That kind of stuff doesn't get the air time as, say, Sehorn missing on Steve Smith in the playoffs, but you'd be mistaken to ignore it as part of your argument.

    I don't think it's going to require an elite player to make the defense work, because I think you're overvaluing the role of the safety on this team - in my opinion, if we improve the front seven then the free safety won't have as many tackles or be as active in run support.

    Yesterday, you claimed the Rams put more responsibility/pressure on the safety position than a team like the Ravens, and support that by citing both Kim Herring's stats and the statement that Baltimore's safeties have around 20 fewer tackles than our's do to support it.

    To address Herring's increase in tackles, I would suggest that's because of a weakness in the Rams' front seven more than any kind of scheme issue - 2002 was the year Herring saw an increase in tackles, and was also the season we fielded the horrible trio of Duncan, Polley, and Davis/Thomas.

    To address the difference in tackles between Ram safeties and Raven safeties, your figure is incorrect - Will Demps (83) and Ed Reed (78) achieved only nine fewer tackles than Adam Archuleta (83) and our combined FS's (87 combined for Williams, Edwards, Lassiter, Lucas, McBride). Baltimore's front seven is by far much stronger than our's, but in 2004, the difference in tackles by safeties was marginal - 170 to 161. If you're using the notion that the Ravens put less emphasis on their safeties because their safeties are making far fewer tackles, the stats aren't supporting it for last season.

    I think it's going to require a decent to good player, and I think a guy like Antuan Edwards, had he stayed around and actually spent a summer working with the D, would have been fine back there. But again, because of the cap situation and Edwards' desire to test the market, the Rams have been unable to sign him - just another unfortunate situation that's created problems at safety for us, not anything related to the scheme.
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  4. #19
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    Re: Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    You guys have managed two full pages in a debate with Kim Herring as a pivotal character....that's pretty impressive fellas. You guys are bringing up some good questions here.

    1. Do the Rams expect too much from their FS?
    2. If so, why has it happened under two very different DCs (Lovie & Marmie)
    3. How do we fix it?
    4. Does it only appear this way because of shortcomings elsewhere (front 7, corners)?

    Why is the FS position the red-headed step-child anyway? It's like that's where old corners go before they retire...Aeneas, Marco Coleman, Jason Sehorn, McQuarters, Vincent, Rod Woodson, etc.).

    Good questions guys. Keep it comin', I'm intrigued.
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  5. #20
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    Quote Originally Posted by NickSeiler
    To address the difference in tackles between Ram safeties and Raven safeties, your figure is incorrect - Will Demps (83) and Ed Reed (78) achieved only nine fewer tackles than Adam Archuleta (83) and our combined FS's (87 combined for Williams, Edwards, Lassiter, Lucas, McBride). Baltimore's front seven is by far much stronger than our's, but in 2004, the difference in tackles by safeties was marginal - 170 to 161. If you're using the notion that the Ravens put less emphasis on their safeties because their safeties are making far fewer tackles, the stats aren't supporting it for last season.
    A correction. I included Todd McBride in with our rotation of free safeties because I assumed that's why we signed him, but looking at KFFL, it seems he was actually signed to play corner in dime packages while Travis Fisher was trying to come back from injury. So his one tackle can be removed from the total, making it 169 tackles by our safeties compaired to 161 tackles by Raven safeties in 2004.

    Also keep in mind that I only profiled tackles by FS Demps and SS Reed for the Ravens, but worked in tackles by all safeties who played for the Rams. If you look at other Raven safeties who made tackles, you have to look at a guy like Chad Williams, a back-up who made 28 tackles, giving Raven safeties more tackles than Ram safeties last season. It should be noted that Williams saw time as a nickel cornerback for the Ravens during the latter part of the season, but one can counter that by noting that Aeneas Williams was often moved to nickel corner in similar situations.

    But if we do look at all safeties on both rosters, it appears Raven safeties may have accumulated more tackles than Ram safeties. Even if we just look at free safeties, tackles made by Ravens FS Will Demps is not far off at all from tackles made by our combined free safeties from 2004. Interesting, and quite contradictory to an argument that Ram safeties are relied upon more because they make more tackles.

    Now, obviously this is a snapshot of last season only. But if we're debating whether or not our current scheme is causing us to rely heavily on safeties, then the most recent stats seem to be the best applicable information. These stats don't show a huge disparity in tackles by safeties between the Rams and the team Mok brought up as his example of "a good defense... that is productive and even dominant without relying on their safety to produce a huge number of tackles" - the Ravens.


    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    You guys have managed two full pages in a debate with Kim Herring as a pivotal character....that's pretty impressive fellas.
    Or sad, depending on how you look at it. :redface:


    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    4. Does it only appear this way because of shortcomings elsewhere (front 7, corners)?
    That's pretty much where I'm coming from on this debate. The shorthand version of the debate seems to be this - earlier, Mok cited tackles as being proof that we rely more on our safeties than a team like the Ravens despite there being a marginal single-digit difference (if not a lead in the Ravens favor) in tackles, but I would contend that it's weakness in our front seven - not a reliance on the safety position - that's causing our safeties to make tackles. When runners can regularly find holes and penetrate into the secondary, you're going to have your DBs making tackles to stop them. I would imagine a strengthened front seven who are better at stopping the run would coincide with a general decrease in tackles by our safeties, except perhaps our strong safety, who seemingly plays close to the line as a fourth linebacker quite often. But it makes sense to me that if runners aren't able to penetrate into the secondary, players in the secondary aren't going to have as many tackles.


    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    Why is the FS position the red-headed step-child anyway? It's like that's where old corners go before they retire...Aeneas, Marco Coleman, Jason Sehorn, McQuarters, Vincent, Rod Woodson, etc.).
    Well, older corners seem like a natural fit because they recognize coverages and have experience playing the pass but no longer have the speed required to play cornerback. You could consider it the graveyard of older cornerbacks, but mentally they're probably very prepared to play that position in terms of being able to read and react without having to depend on elite speed.
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  6. #21
    sbramfan Guest

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

    The problem has been getting players who were on good defenses, that turn out to be only good when playing in a good defense. Probably a bit of the "Hartwell" scenario". The guy could be great, but could also look better than he actaully is because of a solid supporting team defense.

    Whereas Rich Coady and the Rams' defense all look worse, because as a whole, they make each other worse, not better. Jamie Duncan was the perfect example of this. On his own, he couldn't stand on his own 2 feet, but withing Tampa's D, with their front 4, etc..., he probably looked pretty damn good.

    So you just hope the addition of Claiborne and Coakley will start to make everyone look better. Claiborne could turn out to be the opposite of this, because he came from a bad "D", and his stats were OK.

  7. #22
    moklerman Guest

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

    Okay, let's forget the examples. Kim Herring was just a tangent that isn't really the focal point of what I'm getting at. I admit, I just looked at his stat's as a starter and that diminishes the point.

    However, if Nick is arguing the scheme is fine, all the Rams have to do is replace the LB's, maybe a couple D-lineman, a safety or two and one of the cornerbacks, then I still argue that there is, and has been something wrong with the scheme. Does everyone else feel that the safety position has been performing well and just been unjustly focused upon in a couple of instances?

    I happen to marvel at how teams that usually look like crap, have rb's running through gigantic holes, wr's roaming the secondary wide open...wiiiide open and a general inability to slow anyone down isn't the scheme. Injuries happen to every team. Player movement happens to every team. The Rams have marginal/poor defenses most years and bad special teams every year. They are doing something wrong. I think it's their scheme(s).

    If I'm wrong, then the scouting/personnel departments of the Rams are so atrocious they should all be fired on the spot.

  8. #23
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    Re: Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    Does everyone else feel that the safety position has been performing well and just been unjustly focused upon in a couple of instances
    No, I think that Edwards was ok compaired to what we didn't have due to AW's injury.
    Hopefully there will be a good FS available after June 1st. The Rams really need to address this position during the draft, and look for someone who will contribute next year. Unlike the Shivers expirement, take one in the first three rounds.
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  9. #24
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    Quote Originally Posted by sbramfan
    Jamie Duncan was the perfect example of this. On his own, he couldn't stand on his own 2 feet, but withing Tampa's D, with their front 4, etc..., he probably looked pretty damn good.
    Good point.


    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    However, if Nick is arguing the scheme is fine, all the Rams have to do is replace the LB's, maybe a couple D-lineman, a safety or two and one of the cornerbacks, then I still argue that there is, and has been something wrong with the scheme.
    I think that if this scheme is going to work - and who knows, it may not - then we need upgrades up front, which is what the Rams have done with the addition of Claiborne and Coakley. I think a solid to good free safety, like Edwards for example, could function well in a Rams defense that's stronger up front. Don't forget that Antuan Edwards joined the team after being claimed off waivers during the second week of November - he didn't have the luxury of a full offseason camp to get acquainted with his responsibilities and the defensive playbook.

    The real question at this point in terms of the upgrades we've made so far is whether or not Claiborne and Coakley are the answers we're looking for or if, like Sehorn or Lassiter, they're just cheaper alternatives that aren't going to help. If the scheme is so demanding that it requires studs at these positions, then I think you're right Mok - there's a problem with the scheme. But I don't think we can say for sure whether or not that's the case at this point, because the only thing we've seen of Marmie's scheme thus far has been what he tried to do with Lovie's players, and while it might sound like a great idea to ask Marmie to coach the same defense Lovie ran so we can best utilize our personnel, it's not exactly the most realistic idea when you factor in their experiences and different philosophies.
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  10. #25
    moklerman Guest

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

    because the only thing we've seen of Marmie's scheme thus far has been what he tried to do with Lovie's players,
    That's not entirely true since he has had DC coaching experience elsewhere. I will concede that he might have been handcuffed by the penny-pinching Bidwell's and a lack of talent but I'm very disappointed with the results so far with the Rams. Not really surprised, but disappointed.
    it's not exactly the most realistic idea when you factor in their experiences and different philosophies.
    I agree 100% and refer back to the argument of why was he hired in the first place? If you have to turn you defensive lineup upside down to bring in a coach with a new philosophy it doesn't seem very wise.

    It also leads me back to my inital argument. Is the scheme good or bad? It seems there are quite a few changes that have to be made just to give Marmie's defense a chance to succeed. If there isn't any cap space, limited FA possibilities and a history of questionable drafting practices, how good is the scheme if the components can't be attained to run it properly?

  11. #26
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    Re: Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    Am I the only one who thinks this thread reads like a transcript of PTI?

  12. #27
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Read....(I did not know some of this...)

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    That's not entirely true since he has had DC coaching experience elsewhere.
    Then let me clarify what I meant - the only thing we've seen of Marmie's scheme thus far with the Rams has been what he tried to do with Lovie's players.


    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    I agree 100% and refer back to the argument of why was he hired in the first place? If you have to turn you defensive lineup upside down to bring in a coach with a new philosophy it doesn't seem very wise.
    I agree with that.


    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    If there isn't any cap space, limited FA possibilities and a history of questionable drafting practices, how good is the scheme if the components can't be attained to run it properly?
    It shouldn't be a question of how good the scheme is in this scenario then, but whether or not we're able to run it or if it's worth the change. If we don't have the cap space or there aren't good FA's available to fit the scheme, we shouldn't be questioning the scheme itself but rather if it's worth making a change or implimenting in the first place.
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