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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Little likes look of new Rams

    By Jeff Gordon
    ONLINE SPORTS COLUMNIST
    06/15/2007


    Leonard Little believes in these Rams. Just ask him.

    "I think the upper management and the coaching staff have made some great moves to bring some guys in that we really, really needed," Little told reporters after the Rams ended their three-day mini-camp at Rams Park Thursday. "James Hall, Dante Hall, people like that can really help the team. They made some real significant moves to help the team."

    The Rams' offseason moves on offense have drawn more praise than their defensive upgrades. Tight end Randy McMichael and receiver Drew Bennett were nice signings for that side of the ball, particularly for red zone situations.

    Kick returner Dante Hall ought to give the offense a lot better field position than the assortment of '06 kickoff and punt returners did. If nothing else, he will inspire opponents to kick the ball away from him to avoid the long return.

    But Chris Draft was a sturdy free-agent addition at linebacker and first-round draft pick Adam Carriker looks capable of becoming a strong run-stopping defensive tackle.

    Little likes what he sees from the former Nebraska star so far.

    "He is what he is," Little said. "He is a big strong guy. He has to work little on the techniques. We've got to help him out. He should be fine. He comes from a great program. We've got a great (line) coach. Coach (Brian) Baker knows how to coach him and lead him in the right direction."

    "He really doesn’t say anything. He comes out and works hard every day and tries to get better. That is the way old-school guys are. He really doesn’t talk much. He knows what he is doing."

    So right there, Carriker offers an upgrade over the departed Jimmy Kennedy – a former first-round pick who never played or practiced with that sort of urgency.

    Perhaps the biggest defensive addition, though, was former Lions defensive end James Hall. Rams coach Scott Linehan believed his ’06 team did a decent job pressuring the quarterback overall, but the team didn’t get much pressure off the right edge.

    Anthony Hargrove didn’t realize his considerable potential for the new coaching staff. His lack of focus and personal discipline led to his mid-season departure to Buffalo. He wasted a tremendous opportunity in St. Louis.

    Brandon Green was a "high-motor" defensive end, but he was physically mismatched against bigger offensive tackles. Try as he might, he couldn’t provide consistent pressure.

    Hard-working Victor Adeyanju did a solid job against the run, but he wasn’t drafted for his pass-rushing skills. Claude Wroten emerged nicely as a rookie, playing both end and tackle, but it appears he is better suited to play inside.

    Combined, the Rams' right defensive ends earned just two sacks last season. This was a defensive void that existed since Grant Wistrom, then Bryce Fisher left for the Seahawks via free agency.

    Linehan was pleasantly surprised the Rams were able to land Hall for just a fifth-round pick, since there wasn’t much opportunity to upgrade the roster through free agency or, as it turned out, the NFL Draft.

    Back in 2004, Hall had 11.5 sacks for the Lions. Last year he earned five sacks in just seven games before suffering a season-ending injury.

    If he can stay healthy here – the big if in Hall’s career so far – he ought to make life easier for Little on the other side of the line.

    Last season Little earned 13 sacks, but faced constant double-teaming. This season opponents will have to account for Hall when he is on the field.

    “There was a point last year where James was leading the NFL in sacks,” Little noted. “James has been double-teamed himself. It’s going to be real interesting to see how teams are going to block us in pass (situations).”

    As for the defense overall...

    "This is the second year in the new system," Little said. "We know a lot more. We know where we’re suppose to be on certain plays. That will really help us out. The linebackers and defensive linemen know where they are supposed to be."

    Like, on the ball carrier – and in the face of the quarterback.


  2. #2
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    Re: Little likes look of new Rams

    It's hard not to be optimistic about the 2007 Rams when my friend Leonard Little himself sees this type of promising outlook! And yes, I'd say he knows what he's talking about...

    A couple of days ago I mentioned Adam Carriker being a good listener.

    "He [AC] really doesn’t say anything. He comes out and works hard every day and tries to get better. That is the way old-school guys are. He really doesn’t talk much. He knows what he is doing." -- L. Little
    ...And learning from Kennedy's mistakes:

    So right there, Carriker offers an upgrade over the departed Jimmy Kennedy – a former first-round pick who never played or practiced with that sort of urgency. -- J. Gordon

    All in all, the Rams are looking GREAT. I'm sure just about every other fan from every other NFL team has the same wishful thinking that some of us do for the Rams this year but, again, objectively speaking, I believe we are building a strong herd of determined, hungry, powerful Rams.

    I believe! :bash:

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    Re: Little likes look of new Rams

    Last season Little earned 13 sacks, but faced constant double-teaming. This season opponents will have to account for Hall when he is on the field.

    “There was a point last year where James was leading the NFL in sacks,” Little noted. “James has been double-teamed himself. It’s going to be real interesting to see how teams are going to block us in pass (situations).”
    Hall could have big year, I don't think teams will double him over Little.

    There was a point last year where James was leading the NFL in sacks
    I did not know that..

    Little really seems high on Hall, for him to know such a stat. I bet Little can't wait until teams have too think about Hall, AC and Glover and not just him.

    If the O can get us in the lead early we can bring it. Also Wroten will have a few sacks this year I'm sure.

  4. #4
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    Re: Little likes look of new Rams

    this is all very encouraging to hear,,I believe we will be much improved and to hear the guys talk about the positive changes that were made is also very good to hear, but remember it's early and these guys are running around in shorts,big differnce when all the pads go on.

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    Re: Little likes look of new Rams

    but remember it's early and these guys are running around in shorts,big differnce when all the pads go on.
    I think AC will just get bigger, in pads.

    "He is what he is," Little said. "He is a big strong guy.

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    Re: Little likes look of new Rams

    nice to get the early take from Little, and talkin' up our D is dbl nice!!

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    Re: Little likes look of new Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by marccat View Post
    nice to get the early take from Little, and talkin' up our D is dbl nice!!
    Awesome read. LL has me all fired up is it September 9th yet?



    :r

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