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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    My emails with Matt Sohn of ProFootballWeekly

    Last week, in his column titled "Rookie of the Year Meter," Matt Sohn of ProFootballWeeklylisted Chris Long among defensive rookies who had not lived up to their billing. He also made no mention of Donnie Avery's recent play. I sent him this email, and received the following response:

    Clearly, you have not watched a single Rams game this year.
    Chris Long has been very good, and was in Brad Johnson's grill
    throughout the last game. He certainly has not had trouble adapting to
    the speed of the NFL. If anything, he's had some issues with larger
    OTs, but he's still been effective.

    More importantly, how can you not list Donnie Avery among the
    "on the verge" players. In the last three weeks, he's had a 37 yard TD
    run, a 43 yard catch to set up a game winning FG, and a 42 yard TD
    reception. What? That's not good enough.

    Long's been decent, but considering the expectations heaped upon him, I think he's underachieved. If there was a sure thing to produce big-time among this rookie class immediately, it was him. But you're right, he was solid on Sunday, and he could very well be up there when all is said and done. Regarding Avery, he's without a doubt making serious strides, but two good games isn't enough to warrant inclusion. All the guys ahead of him have been playing well, or at least decently, all season. We'll see how it unfolds in the coming weeks. Long in particular could have a big day vs. Pats this week seeing as how poorly their O-line has looked.

    Appreciate the response.

    Matt Sohn
    Associate editor
    Pro Football Weekly

    Well, after the game that Long and Avery had this week, I felt compelled to revisit the subject. Here is our latest exchange:

    Okay... now can we see some love for the Rams rookies?

    Avery: 6 receptions, 163 yards, 1 TD
    Long: 4 tackles, 2 sacks

    Come on!

    Most definitely. I only caught glimpses of the game, but our NFW West editor gave some awfully high praise. Not quite top 10 yet, but both for sure "On the Verge" tomorrow. Your Rams are going places, if not this season, then next. If Chip's got better football sense than Georgia (let's HOPE he does!), he's got to be locking down Haslett ASAP!

    -Matt

    Just generating some good pub for our young guys!


  2. #2
    Aussie Dave's Avatar
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    Re: My emails with Matt Sohn of ProFootballWeekly

    nice.
    stick it to em all, i'm sick of us getting no love.

  3. #3
    AtlantaRamFan's Avatar
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    Re: My emails with Matt Sohn of ProFootballWeekly

    Any fan of the Rams knows how well Long has been doing, but I'm surprised at people like Matt Sohn. He makes his living following football and yet he has totally forgotten that many top tier Defensive Ends have a hard time their first year. Mario Williams (who looks beastly) didn't get a sack his entire rookie season (I believe) yet look what he's doing now. Long has more sacks than any rookie this year. How can he say he's underachieved when the bar for rookie DE's shouldn't be very high?? It also hurts not getting any love for Avery, but I have a feeling he's not going to slow down any time soon

  4. #4
    TekeRam's Avatar
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    Re: My emails with Matt Sohn of ProFootballWeekly

    Very nice Av. Also good of him to eat that crow after the Pats game. Just a shame we couldn't finish the job.

    Long should finish somewhere around 9 or 10 sacks... hopefully that'll put him in the race for defensive rookie of the year.

    Also, I saw some playbook AFC last week and they were talking about how Glen Dorsey is completely invisible and is getting blown up constantly playing for the Chiefs. Glad we didn't take him or Gholston, as he's not doing anything either.

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    RamOfDenmark is offline Registered User
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    Re: My emails with Matt Sohn of ProFootballWeekly

    Nice going there Av. As you say so directly he clearly has NOT watched any Rams games this year if he thinks Chris Long is underachieving. What did he expect a 15-sack season or what? A couple of defensive touchdowns in his first games? Long has looked exactly as good as we thought he would and calling that underachieving shows you haven't watched the games. He has good stats at this point, but if you watched the games (which this guy clearly hasn't) you would know he's doing more than is reflected in those stats too, good pressure, hurries etc. Long is as good as we hoped and if you expected more I would have to question how many first round DE's you've watched adapt themselves to the NFL...

    Much the same could be said for Avery, with the chances he has got so far he has made the most of them and looks very explosive.

    On this board we're usually the first to call out those of our players who don't perform, but this year we have zero legitimate complaints with our top 2 picks. I have to say this guy has not watched the games.

  6. #6
    RamsInfiniti's Avatar
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    Re: My emails with Matt Sohn of ProFootballWeekly

    Avery missed the first two games of the season. So lets compare his numbers to the other top two receivers:

    D. Jackson 32 Rec., 505 Yds, 1 TD, 6 Car, 50 Yards, 0 TD
    E. Royal 30 Rec., 392 Yds, 2 TD, 3 Car, 15 Yards, 0 TD
    D. Avery 20 Rec., 337 Yds, 2 TD, 5 Car, 48 Yards, 1 TD

    But here's the kicker:

    D. Jackson Plays over 35 yards gained - 2
    E. Royal Plays over 35 yards gained - 0
    D. Avery Plays over 35 yards gained - 5

    Avery is second in the ENTIRE NFL for plays over 40 yards gained, with 4 ....

    So, well, there you have it ....
    Last edited by RamsInfiniti; -10-28-2008 at 11:22 AM.

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    Re: My emails with Matt Sohn of ProFootballWeekly

    Those emails, are an exact example of people's biased opnions. Avery most definetly in hindsight is a number 1 pick. Not a high number 1 pick but a 1 nevertheless. How is 6 rec and 163 yards, not a top 10 performance. I don't care if he played for another team. That's stellar. The difference by the way in our game last week of loosing and winning is Steven Jackson.

    I think all The SJ haters can stop hating and reallize he's a polarizing player, who had we had him we would have won that game.

  8. #8
    RamsInfiniti's Avatar
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    Re: My emails with Matt Sohn of ProFootballWeekly

    Quote Originally Posted by jjigga3000 View Post
    Those emails, are an exact example of people's biased opnions. Avery most definetly in hindsight is a number 1 pick. Not a high number 1 pick but a 1 nevertheless. How is 6 rec and 163 yards, not a top 10 performance. I don't care if he played for another team. That's stellar. The difference by the way in our game last week of loosing and winning is Steven Jackson.

    I think all The SJ haters can stop hating and reallize he's a polarizing player, who had we had him we would have won that game.
    S.J. is an ELITE player in this league. He is a devastating runner, has soft hands, and can break free at any time. He already has 3 50+ yard plays this year, and two came on pass receptions ...

    He is a game changer in every aspect ...

  9. #9
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: My emails with Matt Sohn of ProFootballWeekly

    Um... guys...

    This thread is NOT about Steven Jackson!


  10. #10
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    Re: My emails with Matt Sohn of ProFootballWeekly

    Go get 'em Av. Way to stick it to those biased guys.

    We know there are high expectations for Chris Long because of his dad. But Chris even said that he doesn't want to be compared to his dad. So to say that there are high expectations because of his dad is strictly a media point of view, not the Rams or Long himself.

  11. #11
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: My emails with Matt Sohn of ProFootballWeekly

    Right now, Long is on a pace for 57 tackles and 9 sacks.

    Mario Williams, as a rookie, had 47 tackles and 4.5 sacks.

    Does that mean Long is or will be better than Williams? No. But I fail to see how anyone can argue that Long has been a disappointment thus far.

  12. #12
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: My emails with Matt Sohn of ProFootballWeekly

    Tell me my e-mails didn't make an impact!

    Ram Tough
    Rookies Long and Avery keying St. Louis' turnaround
    By Matt Sohn
    Oct. 28, 2008
    Here come the Rams' rookies. Yeah, you'll have to scroll down beneath the top 10 to find their names, but DE Chris Long and WR Donnie Avery are shooting up the rookie charts at roughly the same pace their once-moribund club is resurrecting a season that appeared destined for doormat status just a few weeks ago. Coincidence? Doubtful. Although they wound up just shy on the final scoreboard, 23-16, Jim Haslett's crew outgained New England and likely would have won if it hadn't shot itself in the foot, committing nine penalties to the Patriots' zero.
    Long owned the left side of the Pats' line, which is manned by a trio of 2007 Pro Bowlers, if you include C Dan Koppen. After taking awhile to get acclimated to the NFL, Howie's kid was the consummate force in Sunday's contest, planting Matt Cassel on his backside twice and helping to hold New England's sixth-ranked rushing attack to 98 yards. While many inside the organization heavily favored taking DT Glenn Dorsey in the second slot back in April, Dorsey's inability to do much of anything on Kansas City has only strengthened the opinion of those who gave the edge to Long.
    After a knee injury contributed to Avery getting off to a slow start, his recent emergence has given rise to the notion that maybe the Rams knew what they were doing after all when they made him the highest drafted receiver in the class of 2008.
    New England's secondary had no answer for Avery's speed, as he gashed the Pats for 163 yards and a touchdown on six receptions. Coupled with the Eagles' DeSean Jackson and the Broncos' Eddie Royal, Avery's emerging play has cemented the idea that speed and quickness can overcome lack of size in today's pass-happy NFL. Each stands shorter than six feet, and has an average weight of just 178 pounds.
    1. Titans RB Chris Johnson (first round, 24th overall)
    Week Eight stats: 19 carries for 77 yards and one touchdown; four receptions for 19 yards
    Season stats: 122 carries for 626 yards and four touchdowns; 18 receptions for 92 yards and one touchdown
    Last week's ranking: 1
    For as many problems as the Colts have been experiencing defending the run, they performed admirably in Monday night's loss to Johnson's Titans. Johnson was bottled up most of the evening after crossing the line of scrimmage. Key word, “most.” Toward the end, the “D” wore down, and Johnson's late 16-yard TD scamper off right tackle was equal parts brilliant running, punishing blocking and defensive fatigue.
    2. Bears RB Matt Forté (2-44)
    Week Eight stats: On bye
    Season stats: 147 carries for 515 yards and four touchdowns; 29 receptions for 223 yards and two touchdowns
    Last week's ranking: 2
    We're giving Forté the benefit of the doubt after he hadn't been all that special leading up to the bye. With the lowly Lions awaiting in Week Nine, a well-rested Forté better explode for some big-time runs to keep his lofty ranking next week.
    3. Broncos OT Ryan Clady (1-12)
    Last week's ranking: 3
    Losers of three of their last four, the Broncos and their regressing offense had some kinks to work out on their bye week. Clady's one of the few players who need not look himself in the mirror and ask himself where he had been falling short.
    4. Falcons QB Matt Ryan (1-3)
    Week Eight stats: 23-of-44 for 277 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions
    Season stats: 116-of-205 for 1,441 yards, seven touchdowns, five interceptions
    Last week's ranking: 4
    Passing for 277 yards and two impressive TDs to WR Roddy White, Ryan kept the
    Falcons in the game against Asante Samuel, Lito Sheppard and Philly's swarming
    defense. His two interceptions were costly, but if not for a blown call by the
    referees late in the game, Ryan would have had a shot at leading Atlanta to
    another surprising road victory.
    5. Eagles WR DeSean Jackson (2-49)
    Week Eight stats: Three receptions for 72 yards
    Season stats: 32 receptions for 505 yards and one touchdown
    Last week's ranking: 5
    Jackson did all his damage in the second quarter in helping Philly emerge victorious in the Battle of the Birds. All three of his receptions covered at least 22 yards, and two of them helped set up both of the Eagles' first-half scores.
    6. Broncos WR Eddie Royal (2-42)
    Week Eight stats: On bye
    Season stats: 39 receptions for 392 yards and two touchdowns
    Last week's ranking: 7
    As if the Broncos' roster wasn't already oversaturated with standout offensive rookies, it could be welcoming RB Ryan Torain into the mix next week for the first time. After spending the first eight weeks of his rookie campaign rehabbing a dislocated elbow, Torain potentially could emerge as the top running back on a club known for churning out quality backs. Here's guessing he has picked the brains of Clady and Royal for advice on how to make a splashy entrance.
    7. Patriots ILB Jerod Mayo (1-10)
    Week Eight stats: Six tackles
    Season stats: 48 tackles, one tackle for loss
    Last week's ranking: 8
    The Pats finally awoke their long-slumbering pass rush in Sunday's triumph over the Rams, yet Mayo was mostly a bystander in the effort. For as quickly as Mayo flows to the action, it's surprising Bill Belichick has kept him at home so often.
    8. Redskins S Chris Horton (7-249)
    Week Eight stats: Inactive
    Season stats: 37 tackles; three interceptions, three tackles for loss
    Last week's ranking: 6
    Horton picked a good game to miss with a sprained ankle. Detroit has a way of making seemingly significant injuries look irrelevant.
    9. Texans RB Steve Slaton (3-89)
    Week Eight stats: 15 carries for 53 yards and one touchdown; two receptions for 13 yards
    Season stats: 104 carries for 476 yards and five touchdowns; 22 receptions for 125 yards and one touchdown
    Last week's ranking: 9
    Ironically, Slaton's three best games yardage-wise, combining rushing and receiving, came in three of the Texans' four losses to start the season. In the midst of Houston's three-game winning streak, Slaton has been averaging just 72 yards from scrimmage. What does it mean? Probably nothing. But intriguing, nonetheless.
    10. Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (1-13)
    Week Eight stats: Eight carries for 10 yards; one reception for zero yards
    Season stats: 96 carries for 362 yards and five touchdowns; four receptions for 12 yards
    Last week's ranking: 10
    Stewart couldn't get anything going against a Cardinals front that suffocated him every time he was fed the ball. Luckily for him and the Panthers, backfield mate DeAngelo Williams answered the call, gashing 'Zona for 108 yards on 17 carries.
    On the verge (listed alphabetically)

    Rams WR Donnie Avery (second round, 33rd overall)
    Chargers CB Antoine Cason (1-27)
    Ravens QB Joe Flacco (1-18)
    Chiefs CB Brandon Flowers (2-35)
    Panthers S Charles Godfrey (3-67)
    Cardinals RB Tim Hightower (5-149)
    Cowboys RB Felix Jones (1-22)
    Falcons MLB Curtis Lofton (2-37)
    Rams DE Chris Long (1-2)
    Giants S Kenny Phillips (1-31)

  13. #13
    KoaKoi is offline Registered User
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    Re: My emails with Matt Sohn of ProFootballWeekly

    hahahah, well we'd be lying if we did AV... way to go man - rep comin your way

  14. #14
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    Re: My emails with Matt Sohn of ProFootballWeekly

    Well honestly I can't disagree with Matt, I mean Avery was hurt at first, and Long has just come on in the last 2 games and regardless of anything the Rams are not doing as well as some of the other teams with impressive rookies (ex. Tennesse). As the Rams win more, the rookies will get more love provided that they are still playing well.

  15. #15
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: My emails with Matt Sohn of ProFootballWeekly

    Quote Originally Posted by ManofGod View Post
    Well honestly I can't disagree with Matt, I mean Avery was hurt at first, and Long has just come on in the last 2 games and regardless of anything the Rams are not doing as well as some of the other teams with impressive rookies (ex. Tennesse). As the Rams win more, the rookies will get more love provided that they are still playing well.
    You missed the point. What you read above is the article he posted AFTER my emails.

    Last week, he didn't even give Avery an honorable mention and listed Long among disappointing defensive rookies.

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