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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    It's the defense, stupid: Why can't the Rams get it?

    By Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Monday, Sep. 10 2007

    It was another day of suffering for the Rams defense. It was an afternoon of
    big plays, bruises and rug burns. These people have taken more punches than
    Leon Spinks and are as helpless as a golf ball on a tee, waiting to be struck
    by Tiger Woods.

    In Carolina's 27-13 season-opening victory at the NFL's worst stadium, Jim
    Haslett's defense allowed 186 yards rushing on 38 carries, or 4.9 yards per
    attempt. Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme torched the secondary for three
    touchdowns and a 125.7 passer rating. The Rams defense played a solid first
    half, then disintegrated.

    No, I'm not blaming everything on the defense. The Rams' game plan must have
    been written in Sanskrit because few of the play calls made sense. Quarterback
    Marc Bulger and running back Steven Jackson had terrible games. Perhaps Jackson
    will better understand that to be considered great, you have to do more than
    have one big season. You have to do more than promote yourself. You have to do
    more than take cheap shots at Marshall Faulk in interviews. And you have to
    avoid fumbling.

    But Bulger and Jackson are stars, and they'll get better. When will we be able
    to say this about the defense? How many times must we witness these beatdowns
    before someone in charge realizes that a new approach is needed?

    You can't stop the run with a small, soft front seven. The fact is, there isn't
    one player on the entire Rams defense who gives the other team's coaches a fear
    of running the football. Sure, No. 1 draft pick Adam Carriker will eventually
    develop that presence, but right now there isn't one Rams defender who scares
    anyone.

    And the players still can't line up properly, and I'm tired of the excuses. "I
    definitely did some things wrong," safety Corey Chavous said. "And I'm sure
    that there are some other guys who need to be more disciplined. And everyone
    needs to do their responsibilities. That's how you stop the run. If one guy
    messes up, that messes everybody else up."

    How many more times are we going to hear this bunk about "gap discipline" and
    "run fits?" It's as redundant as an Adam Sandler acting performance. Either the
    intelligence level is lacking among these defensive players, or Haslett is a
    lousy teacher. Or maybe it's both. Why can't Haslett get his men to be where
    they're supposed to be? That's on him.

    And if Haslett is one of the bosses at Rams Park who believes you can win with
    an undersized defense, then he's part of the problem. Guys like me who have
    defended Haslett are being proven wrong, because this looks like a Marmie
    defense. And we don't have Uncle Larry Marmie or Mad Mike Martz to kick around
    anymore, do we?

    Not that everything is Haslett's fault. I found it ironic that the Rams' major
    offseason purchase didn't play Sunday. Wide receiver Drew Bennett, the $30
    million free agent, was in street clothes because of injury. Bulger, the $65
    million QB, averaged an astoundingly low 3.97 yards per attempt and missed open
    receivers. The Rams signed an expensive tight end (Randy McMichael) and didn't
    utilize him as a receiver until late in the game. And Jackson, who lost two
    costly fumbles, is in line for the next fat contract.

    For some inexplicable reason, this franchise continues to invest large sums of
    money on the offense and ignore or mismanage its most significant problem. When
    the Rams do opt to pump money into the defense, they either sign non-impact
    players or deploy talented players (Will Witherspoon) at the wrong position.

    It's only one game, yes, but it was the Same Old Sorry Rams defense. And
    running backs and QBs who have the Rams on their 2007 schedule are circling the
    date with joyous anticipation.


  2. #2
    Goldenfleece's Avatar
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    Re: It's the defense, stupid: Why can't the Rams get it?

    The one thing that really bothered me about the defense was the outside runs. If we're sacrificing speed for size, you'd think our outside linebackers and safeties would be running down those plays. After all, a backer ought to be able to run toward the side of the field faster than a pulling guard.

  3. #3
    Dr5150 Guest

    Re: It's the defense, stupid: Why can't the Rams get it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenfleece View Post
    The one thing that really bothered me about the defense was the outside runs. If we're sacrificing speed for size, you'd think our outside linebackers and safeties would be running down those plays. After all, a backer ought to be able to run toward the side of the field faster than a pulling guard.

    I was ALWAYS taught from day one, outside containment, "NO ONE gets outside" . Pretty simple uh. Every defencive scheme has a player dedicated to the flats. I say do your job or find someone that will. :\

  4. #4
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    Re: It's the defense, stupid: Why can't the Rams get it?

    Look at the lack of O and time of possession due to our poor game plan and then tell me the D had a chance.

    I think the D stopped a score after a jackson fumble.

    The o was far worse then the D. IMO

  5. #5
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    Re: It's the defense, stupid: Why can't the Rams get it?

    I agree the O was worse than the D but the D wasn't even average. Bad containment, over pursuit, horrible tackling and poor conditioning. The Rams D was fine for the first half but in the second half the defense came out flat and seemed to be worn out very quickly. Witherspoon blew several run plays by losing containment and over pursuing the plays.

    I was impressed by Tye Hill. Except for one play when Steve Smith did a little push off to gain separation, I thought he had a solid game. Smith is a pro-bowler and the key to their entire offense - why wasn't Hill given more help?

    The conditioning was the biggest problem for me. EARLY in the third quarter they seemed defeated and worn out.

  6. #6
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    Re: It's the defense, stupid: Why can't the Rams get it?

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell View Post
    I was impressed by Tye Hill. Except for one play when Steve Smith did a little push off to gain separation, I thought he had a solid game. Smith is a pro-bowler and the key to their entire offense - why wasn't Hill given more help?
    That touchdown was just a great play call by the Panthers OC. It was designed to suck our safeties in on an overloaded slot, isolating Hill on a pro-bowler doing what he does best.

    The conditioning was the biggest problem for me. EARLY in the third quarter they seemed defeated and worn out.
    IMO, I agree with Rambos, The D didn't really wear down until LATE in the third quarter after the Rams second 3-n-out and second 2-n-fumble.

    Except for the special teams, the whole team owns equal portions of this poor season opener.

  7. #7
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    Re: It's the defense, stupid: Why can't the Rams get it?

    The D looked bad allowing the Panthers to drive down field on their first possession. They seemed to settle down the rest of the first half.

    The O looked good on it's first drive, then disappeared; which put the D in a bad situation. The D did cause two turnovers, and made some stops; but were on the field way too long.

    They better put in some extra time this week and get it together; I do not want to see this again next week.
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

  8. #8
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    Re: It's the defense, stupid: Why can't the Rams get it?

    I do need to give Chillar a prop, it seemed he was the only player on D who was active. I think Hill did a good job covering Smith, he just didn't have any help.
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

  9. #9
    BigGameMN Guest

    Re: It's the defense, stupid: Why can't the Rams get it?

    I'm so fed up with the defense. It's not surprising though when you consider we have no good safeties, only 1 good corner, 3 undersized LB's with one playing out of position, and only 1 good lineman plus a rookie with upside.

  10. #10
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    Re: It's the defense, stupid: Why can't the Rams get it?

    As far as the Rams are concerned, " the best defense is a good offense". The only way the Rams have any success this year is through offense. I think the defense is serviceable. They're not going to win games without the offense keeping them off the field as much as possible.

    There might be the slightest bit of talent on the defense, but not a true leader among them.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Maybe not now, but soon.

  11. #11
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    Re: It's the defense, stupid: Why can't the Rams get it?

    Witherspoon is worthless. They want him in the middle so he can run from sideline to sideline and that is just what he does. He dosen't tackle anyone, but he shure does run.
    Tell me when it's over,

  12. #12
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    Re: It's the defense, stupid: Why can't the Rams get it?

    You know what live4ramin? I'm really dissapointed with all of the LB's with the exception of the one guy that everyone wants to replace. It appears Pisa can't stay healthy and where is Spoon? Aren't MLB's supposed to be the QB's of the defense? And yet I hardly see him on the screen of my T.V.

    You know anywhere we can trade two decent WLB's for one MLB?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Maybe not now, but soon.

  13. #13
    Truth's Avatar
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    Re: It's the defense, stupid: Why can't the Rams get it?

    At this point (only 1 game into the season; take a deep breath) there is only one word to discribe The Rams from top to bottom. That word is BAD. Whatever the reason. There's plenty of blame to go around. Coaches, players and the front office can share in this shame.

    I see poor game planning, poor play calling and even poorer execution on the field.

    We still have a marginal defensive line (I'm trying to be kind). I can't really be sure of anything behind them because the line is so porous that everybody is needed for run support. I think if we got a "shut-down" corner, he might look terrible in our defense.

    I really like Carriker. However, I do not believe that you use a relatively decent 1st round spot to pick up a project. Would you draft a QB in the mid to upper 1st round to turn him into a receiver?

    At this point (this is not to say that we can't turn this around) I see a team that lacks discipline on both sides of the ball. They really look lost much of the time. I certainly don't want to hear of SJ taking anymore shots at Faulk in interviews until he has the resume to do it.

    OK. I feel better now. I just needed to vent a bit.

    THANKS FOR LISTENING (reading).
    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!

  14. #14
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: It's the defense, stupid: Why can't the Rams get it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Truth View Post
    I really like Carriker. However, I do not believe that you use a relatively decent 1st round spot to pick up a project. Would you draft a QB in the mid to upper 1st round to turn him into a receiver?
    The Jaguars did.

    Really though, I don't think it's as much of a project as it seems. Carriker played some DT in college and was also use to two-gapping when he played as a 3-4 defensive end. It's not as if he's doing things he's never done before. He probably did them more than you'd think at Nebraska.
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  15. #15
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    Re: It's the defense, stupid: Why can't the Rams get it?

    Carriker will do fine as our nose tackle, because he has the mindset and the desire for it. He also has the strength.

    As for the rest of the defense, yes, the outside runs are the worst part of yesterday. For a cover twoish kind of defense that we have, the linebackers are the key. On the surface we have a fairly good set of them, but the problem is that they just can't tackle! Look at the Indy game from Thursday, their second year guy, Keaiho, or whatever his name is, read screen, pushed his way through the lineman, and tackled the runner(I don't think it was addai, but it could have been) through the lineman's legs. I can't see any of our guys doing that. The backers just simply need to use their quickness and actually break down and tackle in the open field for a change. Some safety help couldn't hurt either...

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