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  1. #1
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    The Lesson of Chris Long

    The biggest silver lining of yesterday's loss was the play of Chris Long. I think he is on the verge of becoming a true star in this league, and certainly is starting to live up to his draft status.

    The lesson here is, as much as we think about the draft and free agency as the ways to improve the roster, sometimes development from within is overlooked.

    Some players on this team may have little upside beyond what they've shown us thus far. Others could show the kind of improvement that Long has demonstrated from year 1 to today.

    I'd say that the following players have the most untapped "upside potential"

    Mike Hoomanwanui
    Danario Alexander (if he can stay healthy)
    Darrell Scott
    George Selvie
    Jerome Murphy

    Other players who have played well, but probably have not yet peaked are:

    Sam Bradford (obviously)
    Danny Amendola
    Rodger Saffold
    Jason Smith
    James Laurenaitis
    Bradley Fletcher

    Then, you have the players who, in my opinion, are probably as good as they will ever be. The young players (less than 4 years in league) who fit that category are:

    Kenneth Darby
    Keith Tolston
    Laurent Robinson
    Brandon Gibson
    Daniel Fells
    Donnie Avery
    John Greco
    Larry Grant
    Craig Dahl

    The bottom line is that the Rams need to carefully assess where the fat is in the roster, and where the diamonds are.


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    Re: The Lesson of Chris Long

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    The biggest silver lining of yesterday's loss was the play of Chris Long. I think he is on the verge of becoming a true star in this league, and certainly is starting to live up to his draft status.

    I'd say that the following players have the most untapped "upside potential"

    Mike Hoomanwanui
    Danario Alexander (if he can stay healthy)
    Darrell Scott
    George Selvie
    Jerome Murphy

    Other players who have played well, but probably have not yet peaked are:

    Sam Bradford (obviously)
    Danny Amendola
    Rodger Saffold
    Jason Smith
    James Laurenaitis
    Bradley Fletcher

    Then, you have the players who, in my opinion, are probably as good as they will ever be. The young players (less than 4 years in league) who fit that category are:

    Kenneth Darby
    Keith Tolston
    Laurent Robinson
    Brandon Gibson
    Daniel Fells
    Donnie Avery
    John Greco
    Larry Grant
    Craig Dahl

    The bottom line is that the Rams need to carefully assess where the fat is in the roster, and where the diamonds are.
    Long was a monster yesterday. He is already elite in my opinion. He plays the run well, can drop into coverage, has a magnitude of pass rush moves, and is a dominant disrupter. He leads the NFL in pressures and is inches away from probably having 15 sacks.

    C.J. Ah You needs to be noted also. He's not getting a ton of reps, but he is also turning into a playmaker of sorts. I see him in the backfield often.

    George Selvie has a chance to be a special player if he works hard. He is one of the fastest DE's I've ever seen. Did anybody notice him run down Troy Smith from behind yesterday? He's done that a couple times this year. He needs to develop some pass rush moves to be more complete.

    Our D-line as a whole is quite impressive. They are getting to the QB and has anyone noticed how difficult it is for teams to run up the middle on us?

    Amendola shouldn't even be referred to as a a "poor mans" Wes Welker anymore. Looks like an equivalent player to me. Welker's numbers were inflated by the presence of Moss. I always thought he was overrated.

    Brandon Gibson made some mistakes yesterday, but he's still a tough nosed wideout, and he has 15 catches in the past two games. I think he has potential to be quite effective with a better receiver across from him. I wonder how he would be looking across from Clayton?

    I don't know about Robinson. He looked so good last year, but you couldn't even tell he was on the field yesterday. Until the last drive when he made two big catches. I think he is still hurting, but I doubt we have time to wait on him to catch up.

    Dahl is a very effective tackler. Would like to see him in a nickle linebacker role.

    Darby is a nice 3rd down back. Why the coaches did not use him to run outside against S.F. yesterday was a poor move IMO. He has the quickness to get outside, which has been a weakness for S.F.

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    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: The Lesson of Chris Long

    C.J. Ah You needs to be noted also. He's not getting a ton of reps, but he is also turning into a playmaker of sorts. I see him in the backfield often.
    C.J. has been a good contributer in a limited role, but I'm not sure he has all that much upside.

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsInfiniti View Post
    Brandon Gibson made some mistakes yesterday, but he's still a tough nosed wideout, and he has 15 catches in the past two games. I think he has potential to be quite effective with a better receiver across from him. I wonder how he would be looking across from Clayton?
    Gibson gets very little separation, and provides almost nothing after the catch. Bradford makes him look better than he is. The Rams need better guys out there.

    I don't know about Robinson. He looked so good last year, but you couldn't even tell he was on the field yesterday. Until the last drive when he made two big catches. I think he is still hurting, but I doubt we have time to wait on him to catch up.
    Again, no separation. None. Zip. Zero.

    Darby is a nice 3rd down back. Why the coaches did not use him to run outside against S.F. yesterday was a poor move IMO. He has the quickness to get outside, which has been a weakness for S.F.
    Again, now that the Rams have built solid interior lines and found their QB, they need some better skill players. Darby is just a guy.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -11-15-2010 at 01:06 PM.

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    Re: The Lesson of Chris Long

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    C.J. has been a good contributer in a limited role, but I'm not sure he has all that much upside.



    Gibson gets very little separation, and provides almost nothing after the catch. Bradford makes him look better than he is. The Rams need better guys out there.



    Again, no separation. None. Zip. Zero.



    Again, now that the Rams have built solid interior lines and found their QB, they need some better skill players. Darby is just a guy.
    Don't want to turn this into an argument, but Super Bowl winning teams have alot "just a guy" players that fill out the roster. You need this hardnosed types to succeed, even if they are not flashy and do not put up big numbers ...

    As for Gibson, his YAC average is better than superstar WR's such as Andre Johnson and Roddy White. He runs the routes he is asked, and gets open, and catches most the balls thrown his way. He cannot control being constrained by the system. He may always be an average WR, but he has intangibles that give him an opportunity to be better than that. He hasn't been put in a great situation to succeed.

    SEPARATION - Why does everyone always assume the WR is not getting "separation" when in many cases the play call or system is constraining this? Hard to get "separation" on 5-10 yard routes when there are 8 men in the box ...

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    Re: The Lesson of Chris Long

    I would like to see Darby be given more of a shot to claim the secondary role before we go too high in the draft looking for our number 2.

    He has only been handed the ball 27 times this season. That is just 3 rushes a game. It is almost impossible to develop any kind of a rhythm or timing with the line with those few reps. I mean how many times to do we see Jackson rack up two or three no gainers before he busts a big one.

    I know with the score always close it is impossible to do this but we really need to hand Darby the keys to the car for at least a quarter or two.

    I'm in no way trying to say they are equal but...

    Darby's career rushing average is 4.4 per carry and Jackson's is 4.3
    Darby's career receiving average is 7.7 and Jackson's is 8.2

    I have no clue if Darby's numbers would go up or drop if given more reps but I sure would like to find out.

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    Re: The Lesson of Chris Long

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambunctious View Post
    I would like to see Darby be given more of a shot to claim the secondary role before we go too high in the draft looking for our number 2.

    He has only been handed the ball 27 times this season. That is just 3 rushes a game. It is almost impossible to develop any kind of a rhythm or timing with the line with those few reps. I mean how many times to do we see Jackson rack up two or three no gainers before he busts a big one.

    I know with the score always close it is impossible to do this but we really need to hand Darby the keys to the car for at least a quarter or two.

    I'm in no way trying to say they are equal but...

    Darby's career rushing average is 4.4 per carry and Jackson's is 4.3
    Darby's career receiving average is 7.7 and Jackson's is 8.2

    I have no clue if Darby's numbers would go up or drop if given more reps but I sure would like to find out.
    Darby has skills that could have given the 49'ers fits, and they completely ignored him in the gameplan ...

    I wonder if they worry about upsetting Jackson by giving reps to other backs?

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    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: The Lesson of Chris Long

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsInfiniti View Post
    As for Gibson, his YAC average is better than superstar WR's such as Andre Johnson and Roddy White.
    Please spare me. Gibson has 87 yac on the year. His average (3.3) is slightly higher than Johnson (3.2) and White (3.2), but he's also running shorter patterns. If Gibson could get open 20+ yards down the field, I wouldn't worry about his yac. But he can't, so don't compare him to Johnson or White.

    As a team, the Rams are second to last in yards per passing attempt (5.8). If that's not evidence that the Rams' WRs (1) are not getting separation down the field, and (2) are not getting much after the catch, I don't know what is.

    Gibson is fine as a possession WR. But, if you ask me, our current #1 (Amendola) and #2 (Gibson) WRs should be next year's #3 and #4, at most.

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    Re: The Lesson of Chris Long

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsInfiniti View Post
    Darby has skills that could have given the 49'ers fits, and they completely ignored him in the gameplan ...

    I wonder if they worry about upsetting Jackson by giving reps to other backs?
    Is it my imagination or did Jackson have two big runs to put the Rams up 17-10 and then a huge catch to help tie the game at 20?

    Jackson's in there because he's the best RB the Rams have by far.

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    Re: The Lesson of Chris Long

    Long is becoming a very good player week in, week out. Multi-dimensional aswell.
    Great leader, who's going to be a much better player than say, a Grant Wistrom.
    The Rams actually made the best decision in the draft that season, who would have guess.
    I reckon Long would be a superb OLB in the 3-4 defense.
    Superb athlete for his size, who's only just realizing his huge potential.

  10. #10
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    Re: The Lesson of Chris Long

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Please spare me. Gibson has 87 yac on the year. His average (3.3) is slightly higher than Johnson (3.2) and White (3.2), but he's also running shorter patterns. If Gibson could get open 20+ yards down the field, I wouldn't worry about his yac. But he can't, so don't compare him to Johnson or White.

    As a team, the Rams are second to last in yards per passing attempt (5.8). If that's not evidence that the Rams' WRs (1) are not getting separation down the field, and (2) are not getting much after the catch, I don't know what is.

    Gibson is fine as a possession WR. But, if you ask me, our current #1 (Amendola) and #2 (Gibson) WRs should be next year's #3 and #4, at most.
    I simply provided you numbers to prove you wrong. Gibson gets as much YAC as any other receiver. He runs the routes he's told. You have little or no evidence as to Gibson's ability to get open 20+ yards down field. It's rare he, or any other receiver for that matter, is asked to run those routes in this offense. There are very few 7 step drops called ...

    Sam's YPA is low because the DPaC is low, around 4.25 after this last game. This has been discussed previously, and well, the average pass downfield is 4.25 yards for the Rams, last in the league. The ball comes out quickly in this offense. The plays where is doesn't are typically roll outs to the right, which probably only have one receiving option because the other side is cut off ...

  11. #11
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    Re: The Lesson of Chris Long

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Is it my imagination or did Jackson have two big runs to put the Rams up 17-10 and then a huge catch to help tie the game at 20?

    Jackson's in there because he's the best RB the Rams have by far.
    He had 26, 13, and 9 yard runs. He also had 17 additional carries for 32 yards, most of these runs up the middle against a stacked box. You cannot run up the middle on the 49'ers. His big gain was off tackle ....

    What kinds of RB's have had success against the 49'ers? RB's that can stretch the corner, and Darby can do this ...

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    Re: The Lesson of Chris Long

    Avery is the player that the rams are missing plain and simple this season. You have Avery stretching the defense vertical With his speed allows everyone else chances.

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    Re: The Lesson of Chris Long

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsInfiniti View Post
    I simply provided you numbers to prove you wrong. Gibson gets as much YAC as any other receiver.
    No you didn't, and no he doesn't.

    You have to look at the whole picture. Gibson has only 26 receptions. As a result, even one long run would tend to raise his average significantly.

    Johnson and White have 52 and 70 receptions, respectively. So their averages will not be impacted nearly as much by one or two long plays.

    Gibson has 87 total yac on the year. That is not, by any stretch, "as much YAC as any other receiver." Johnson has 165 yards (not to mention a much higher ypc than Gibson), while White has 227 total yac.

    Gibson is nothing special and, getting back to my original topic, does not strike me as a player who will suddenly become a playmaker.

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    Re: The Lesson of Chris Long

    What about Gilyard have you given up on him?

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    Re: The Lesson of Chris Long

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    No you didn't, and no he doesn't.

    You have to look at the whole picture. Gibson has only 26 receptions. As a result, even one long run would tend to raise his average significantly.

    Johnson and White have 52 and 70 receptions, respectively. So their averages will not be impacted nearly as much by one or two long plays.

    Gibson has 87 total yac on the year. That is not, by any stretch, "as much YAC as any other receiver." Johnson has 165 yards (not to mention a much higher ypc than Gibson), while White has 227 total yac.

    Gibson is nothing special and, getting back to my original topic, does not strike me as a player who will suddenly become a playmaker.
    My argument was clearly based on a per catch average. And I proved the point I needed to prove ....

    Johnson has been targeted 83 times, and White 105. Gibson has only targeted 44 times, so it is to be expected that his overall YAC is lower ....

    His average YAC is not ....

    Gibson has the size, agility, and toughness to be a quality NFL wide receiver. He has 60 catches in his first 16 games and to write him off as already hitting his ceiling is a little silly, particularly considering Sam seems to be using him as his go to guy the past few games ....

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