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  1. #1
    eldfan's Avatar
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    At least Rams are earning some respect

    At least Rams are earning some respect

    Sports Columnist Bernie Miklasz
    [More columns]By Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    11/16/2009

    The Rams appear to be making progress. It just depends on how you choose to measure them. Are they winning games? No. And Sunday's 28-23 loss to the New Orleans Saints dropped the home team to 1-8 on the season. If your gauge is checking the standings, then rage on. You won't be happy with the Rams.

    And I'm not saying you should be pleased. But I suppose I'm taking a real-world view of the season. During training camp, all you had to do was look at the laughably skeletal roster and see the flames of salary-cap hell to realize that the Rams were in for a brutal beatdown in 2009. And no short cuts, Scotch tape or spin could fix it.

    For realists, this was most certainly going to be a season of suffering. And it is. But as the season goes on, I'm finding a few things to like.

    I've had fun watching most of the Rams' recent games. Sunday's upset bid against the undefeated Saints was an enjoyable event. And the local TV ratings for Rams games have been strong, so I suspect that others share my sentiment. The Rams have actually provided some entertainment as of late, and that's a change.

    I realize that's inadequate for the angry and disillusioned among us. Again, no problem. If the only thing that matters to you is victory, then stock up on the Tums and swallow them a whole roll at a time, because your stomach is going to be burning for a while. The Rams still have a long way to go.

    This franchise is in the reconstruction mode, and the Rams are building one block at a time. But they seem to be improving.

    "Based on what happened out there today, I'd say yeah," Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "I'd like to watch the film first. I'm sure there are enough things in there that will be disappointing, that we could have done better. But I'm hoping and I'm quite certain there will be a lot of things that we'll say, 'Hey, we've gotten better here, we've gotten there.' I just think the character in that locker room is what allows what happened today to happen."

    Honest, I thought the Rams were going to lose Sunday's game by three touchdowns or more. I didn't see how they could match up with the swashbuckling Saints, who lead the NFL in points and yards and interceptions. I thought it would be about 40-10 in the fourth quarter, and we'd get a chance to see former Mizzou quarterback Chase Daniel get some clock for the Saints.

    Against those Las Vegas odds, the Rams made a game out of it. They had the ball on the New Orleans 37-yard line in the final minute with a chance to win.

    And if the Rams had a quarterback capable of calmly directing a two-minute offense and making the big plays necessary to pull out an improbable triumph, they probably would have snatched the thing. Instead, Marc Bulger kept wasting precious time with inexplicable dump-off throws to Steven Jackson. And so the Saints survived and won. But I think they were surprised that they had a duel on their hands.

    "Credit St. Louis," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "I thought they played, and are playing, better football. I told Steve (Spagnuolo) after the game that they are playing with a ton of energy."

    With Jackson (131 yards rushing) bowling the Saints over, the Rams played to a 14-14 standoff in the first half. They promptly gave up a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half, but recovered from that lightning strike. The Rams later fell behind 28-17 and picked themselves up again.

    "It looked like we were going to start to pull away," Saints linebacker Scott Shanle said. "But the Rams hung in there. They made some plays when they had to, and you've got to give them credit for fighting all the way to the end."

    It helped that the Rams have upgraded at wide receiver. Rookie Brandon Gibson had an impressive day, with seven catches for 93 yards. Gibson made defenders miss, broke tackles and had plenty of yards after the catch which is rare in these parts.

    Gibson, acquired from Philadelphia in the Will Witherspoon trade, may be a piece for the future. And second-year wideout Donnie Avery showcased his talent by hooking up with Bulger for two TD passes. I just want to see signs of progress, and Gibson and Avery offered it at wide receiver.

    The Rams' defense gave up huge plays a 55-yard run by Reggie Bush, a 41-yard gallop by wideout Robert Meachem but the potent Saints offense scored only seven points in the second half. And we're talking about a New Orleans attack that went into the game leading the NFL in second-half points, 153.

    "We've stayed together and we've kept fighting hard, and that's a credit to our head coach," rookie middle linebacker James Laurinaitis said. "He's really kept this team together."

    The Rams are losing, but at least they are losing with heart.

    (Go ahead and insert your cyncial response right here.)

    Trying hard doesn't warrant a celebratory parade. But if nothing else, the Rams are doing what they can to salvage some respect.

    :ramlogo:

  2. #2
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    Re: At least Rams are earning some respect

    It helped that the Rams have upgraded at wide receiver. Rookie Brandon Gibson had an impressive day, with seven catches for 93 yards. Gibson made defenders miss, broke tackles and had plenty of yards after the catch which is rare in these parts.

    Gibson, acquired from Philadelphia in the Will Witherspoon trade, may be a piece for the future. And second-year wideout Donnie Avery showcased his talent by hooking up with Bulger for two TD passes. I just want to see signs of progress, and Gibson and Avery offered it at wide receiver.


    I like the sound of this! >8)
    RnD

    GO RAMS!!

  3. #3
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    Re: At least Rams are earning some respect

    If you're unsure of our progression as a team, I hope you watched the Browns tonight.


    Case closed.

  4. #4
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    Re: At least Rams are earning some respect

    Quote Originally Posted by shower beers View Post
    If you're unsure of our progression as a team, I hope you watched the Browns tonight.


    Case closed.
    Yeah the Browns organization is ugly all the way down to the janitor! Excellent point Beers, the Rams game was a real, professional, competitive game. This is something we have been waiting for quite some time. I am really looking forward to the Cardinals matchup!
    "The disappointment of losing is huge!"

    Jack Youngblood

  5. #5
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    Re: At least Rams are earning some respect

    Quote Originally Posted by shower beers View Post
    If you're unsure of our progression as a team, I hope you watched the Browns tonight.


    Case closed.
    I feel sorry for their fans...that Monday night performance was horrendous.
    As for our Rams ... I have to admit I thought the Saints were going to crush us. Playoff hopeful teams BEWARE Rams are going to play spoiler for the rest of the year GO Rams!!! ( RAM IT !!! LOL )

  6. #6
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    Re: At least Rams are earning some respect

    For the first time I heard an ESPN announcer say something positive about the Rams. Chris Berman said, "The Rams played 'em tough!"
    I was over-joyed.

  7. #7
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    Re: At least Rams are earning some respect

    Quote Originally Posted by shower beers View Post
    If you're unsure of our progression as a team, I hope you watched the Browns tonight.


    Case closed.
    If fans haven't noticed progression of the Rams, they aren't watching them either.
    RamsFan16

  8. #8
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    Re: At least Rams are earning some respect

    As a Giants fan, I can tell you guys that you are so lucky to have Spags.
    You held the Saints to 28 points with a bunch of unknown players on defense. Meanwhile, the same Giants defense Spags was coaching last season gave up that many points to the Saints in a half! Damn I miss him!

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