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Thread: NFL Nation: 4 Downs -- NFC West

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    NFL Nation: 4 Downs -- NFC West

    By ESPN.com staff

    Catch us if you can.

    That’s a message the Seattle Seahawks could send out to the rest of the NFC West.

    It is also something the San Francisco ***** might say to the Arizona Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams. But the Cardinals and Rams might have a statement of their own: We’re coming for you.

    By almost everyone’s estimation, the NFC West is the best division in the NFL. It includes a Super Bowl champion in Seattle along with a team in San Francisco that, arguably, came up one play short of reaching its second consecutive Super Bowl.

    It also includes a team in Arizona that won 10 games, one of which was a victory at Seattle -- the Seahawks' only home loss in 2013. And there's a team in St. Louis that won two of its last three games to finish 7-9 while playing most of the season without starting quarterback Sam Bradford.

    So the question heading into 2014 is whether the Cardinals and Rams are in position to catch the Seahawks and *****. Have Arizona and St. Louis closed the gap on what might be the NFL’s two best teams?

    The Cardinals have been active in free agency, signing cornerback Antonio Cromartie, offensive tackle Jared Veldheer, tight end John Carlson, receiver/kick returner Ted Ginn, running back Jonathan Dwyer and offensive lineman Ted Larsen.

    Clearly, the competition in this division keeps getting better.

    The four writers who cover the division for ESPN.com’s NFL Nation -- Terry Blount in Seattle, Bill Williamson in San Francisco, Josh Weinfuss in Arizona and Nick Wagoner in St. Louis -- take a look at where things stand in the NFC West on four key topics. We also polled our Twitter followers to find how they viewed the issues.

    First Down
    The Cardinals have made significant moves in free agency. The Rams, aside from keeping Rodger Saffold, have mostly stood pat. Which is closer to the playoffs?

    Terry Blount: This is a no-brainer for me. The Cardinals are a team on the rise with one of the NFL's best coaches in Bruce Arians. He took a 5-11 team and transformed it to 10-6 in one season. He was 9-3 at Indianapolis in 2012 while filling in for Chuck Pagano. Arizona was 7-2 in its last nine games and won three of the last four, with the only loss being 23-20 to the ***** in the season finale. The Cardinals could become a serious challenger to the two-team stronghold of Seattle and San Francisco. However, I do believe the Rams will have a winning season if they can hold their own in the division games.

    Nick Wagoner: It's hard to evaluate this without seeing what happens in the draft, especially with the Rams having two premium picks. Even then it would be unfair to judge right away. Still, I have to go with the Cardinals. They were trending up at the end of the season and patched a big hole with offensive tackle Jared Veldheer. Losing Karlos Dansby was a blow, but adding cornerback Antonio Cromartie to a talented stable at the position makes them better. The Rams, meanwhile, are clearly counting on a whole lot of in-house improvement and a big draft. Keeping Saffold was important (and lucky), but it seems risky to pin all hopes on a leap to the playoffs on a group of young players all making a jump at the same time.

    Josh Weinfuss: Arizona is the easy answer, and that's not because I cover them. The Cardinals were 10-6 last season and the first team kept out of the postseason. All the Cardinals have done this offseason is fix deficiencies and plug holes. Their offensive line got markedly better with the addition of left tackle Jared Veldheer. Their wide receiver corps and kick return game were solidified with Ted Ginn, and they now have one of the best cornerback tandems in the league with Antonio Cromartie coming on board. General manager Steve Keim looked at what went wrong in 2013 and went to work on fixes. It should put the Cardinals over the playoff hump.

    Bill Williamson: It has to be Arizona. The Cardinals were so close to making the playoffs last season. They would have likely been dangerous in the postseason too. I like the way this franchise is shaping up. It seems like it is well run and well coached. The roster is also getting deep. Carson Palmer will have to be replaced sooner or later, but the Cardinals are on to something. The Rams certainly have some nice pieces and are probably the best fourth-place team in the NFL, but they aren't close to matching what Arizona has going for it.

    Second Down

    The Seahawks and ***** played for the NFC title in January. Any reason to believe either won't return to the postseason?

    Blount: They were the two best teams in the NFL last season, and there's no legitimate reason to think they won't be among the best in 2014. Seattle has lost 10 players who were on the Super Bowl roster, but other than wide receiver Golden Tate, none of them were on the team's priority list to keep. The ***** move into a shiny new stadium. The only question for San Francisco is the precarious relationship between coach Jim Harbaugh and team executives. Who knows what the future holds there, but it shouldn't matter on game day.

    Wagoner: Aside from some debilitating injuries, it's hard to see how either team has taken a major step back. The Seahawks have lost some good players in free agency, but even those players seemingly already had replacements in place. Nobody does a better job of developing talent than Seattle. The Seahawks still have holes to patch on the offensive line and losing receiver Golden Tate is a blow, so there could be some hope the offense will regress. But the defense makes it all go, and it doesn't look like it's going to lose any of its most prized components. As for the Niners, they are the more likely of the two to take a step back, but it's hard to see them taking enough of one to fall out of the postseason. For most of their key free-agent losses they were able to quickly come up with a replacement as good or better than the player lost, and retaining Anquan Boldin says they are looking to make another run at the Super Bowl. Plus, they will have a fully healthy Michael Crabtree ready for the season. Until proven otherwise, these two teams remain the class of the NFC and probably the NFL.

    Weinfuss: The only reason either of them won't make the playoffs in 2014 is because the Cardinals or Rams will take their place. The gap between the top and bottom of the NFC West has closed significantly this offseason, making the West much like the Southeastern Conference in college football; everybody will beat up on each other. It's likely the West, if it's anything like last season, can see three teams in the playoffs -- its champion and the two wild cards. If one of the teams between Seattle and San Francisco were not to make it, it's tough, but I think Seattle might slip. The Seahawks lost a significant part of their defensive line and will be going through a Super Bowl hangover. That's risky to deal with and still make the playoffs. On the other hand, San Francisco will be hungry from losing to Seattle in the NFC Championship Game.

    Williamson: I believe these are the two best teams in the NFL. So it's difficult to fathom that either team won't find its way into the playoffs, barring major injuries. Arizona, though, could create an issue for the Seahawks and *****. The Cardinals are going to win a lot of games, so both Seattle and San Francisco have to be careful or things could get tricky. In the end, I can see all three teams making the playoffs. This is the reason this division is so intriguing and so fun: Every game is critical. There is just not much room for error. Look at the ***** last year. They went 12-4, but a 1-2 start hamstrung them. They could never fully recover despite having a great overall regular season. The same intensity will be a factor in 2014 in the NFC West.

    Third Down

    Will Rams quarterback Sam Bradford come back strong from an ACL injury, and what effect will he have on St. Louis having its coveted breakthrough year?

    Blount: I think Bradford will be fine as far as the ACL goes, but this is a make-or-break year for him in my view. Bradford was playing pretty well before his injury last year, but the verdict still is out whether he can be an elite quarterback. He enters this season with the best supporting cast he's ever had, but playing in this division with teams that emphasize physical defensive play makes it difficult to show improvement.

    Wagoner: All indications from the Rams are that Bradford's rehab is coming along well and he's on schedule to make his return in plenty of time for the start of the regular season. He apparently had a clean tear of the ACL, but he has been rehabbing for a handful of months and should resume throwing soon. Bradford's healthy return means everything to the Rams' chances in 2014. Believe it or not, this is his fifth season in the NFL and, much like the team, this is the time to make some noise. The Rams attempted to open up the offense in the first quarter of 2013 with Bradford to miserable results. They switched to a more run-oriented attack in Week 5 and the offense performed better. Bradford also played better as the run game opened up play-action opportunities in the passing game. It will be interesting to see if the Rams choose to go a bit more balanced with Bradford at the controls or if they continue at the same run-heavy pace they played with backup Kellen Clemens. Either way, Bradford's contract has two years left on it. If he wants a lucrative extension, this is the time to prove he's worth it.

    Weinfuss: Short answer, yes, Bradford will come back strong. Just look at how he started in 2013. He was on pace for a massive year statistically before he got hurt. If he can pick up where he left off, Bradford will return with a bang and show he's still one of the better quarterbacks in the league. As we've seen, a top-tier quarterback can be the difference between sitting idle in the standings and having a breakthrough year. With the talent that surrounds the Rams, with tight end Jared Cook, running back Zac Stacy and wide receivers Tavon Austin, Chris Givens and Austin Pettis, among others, Bradford may singlehandedly help close the gap between the Rams and the top of the NFC West.

    Williamson: I have to be honest: I'm not a big Sam Bradford guy. I think he's just OK. Just OK doesn't cut it in this division, especially considering the defenses he has to play six times a season in the NFC West. He's serviceable, but he's not the answer. Given the state of this division, I cannot envision a scenario where Bradford is the reason the Rams become the class of the NFC West. I think they can get by with Bradford for the short term, but the Rams are going to have to start thinking about the future at this position much earlier than expected when Bradford was the No. 1 overall pick of the 2010 draft.


    Fourth Down

    If you had to start a team with either Seahawks QB Russell Wilson or ***** QB Colin Kaepernick, whom would you choose?

    Blount: You must be kidding. Give me Wilson every time, every day in every situation. Yes, Kaepernick is 5 inches taller than Wilson. Is there really anyone left who thinks Wilson's lack of height matters? Wilson also is at his best in pressure situations. He lives for it. And he is a more polished person on the field, and off it, than Kaepernick. That's not an observation. It's a fact. But this isn't a rip on Kaepernick. You would be hard-pressed to find any 25-year-old as polished as Wilson. The ***** can win a Super Bowl with Kaepernick, and probably will soon. But if I'm starting a team, whether it is in football or almost any other life endeavor, I'll take Wilson without a doubt.

    Wagoner: Wilson. For those of us covering other teams in the division, it's hard not to admire what he brings to the table. He presents himself as the consummate professional, and even opponents praise him for his work habits, intelligence and ability. He's already got the Super Bowl ring, and it's easy to see how he could add a few more. He's not all the way there in terms of his potential either, and it's probably safe to assume he's just going to keep getting better as his career goes along. That's nothing against Kaepernick, who is a unique talent in his own right, but there aren't many young quarterbacks in the league worth choosing over Wilson.

    Weinfuss: Russell Wilson would be my pick, mainly because of his poise and maturity behind center. Colin Kaepernick is undoubtedly talented, but I get the sense he still has a lot of growing to do as a quarterback. He's tough to bring down, especially in the open field, but when he's pressured in the pocket, Kaepernick seems to panic and I wouldn't want that in a quarterback. I also think Wilson, despite his physical stature, is built to last. He's heady enough to stay out of harm's way, and his poise in the huddle will go a long way in leading a team.

    Williamson: I'd take Kaepernick. I know it's a tough sell right now, since Wilson's team has beaten Kaepernick and the ***** three of the past four times they've met, including the NFC title game, and the fact that Wilson has won a Super Bowl. I respect the value of Super Bowl wins and believe quarterback is the most critical position in sports. I'm sure I will smell like a homer with the Kaepernick pick. But moving forward, I just think Kaepernick has a higher ceiling. I think he can take over games more than Wilson can at a higher rate. Players built like Kaepernick and as athletic as Kaepernick just don't exist. He is special. He works extremely hard at his craft and is well coached. I'd take him, and I wouldn't look back. This isn't a knock on Wilson. He is proven and is going to be great. But if I'm starting a team, I'm taking Kaepernick, and I bet more general managers would agree than would disagree.


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    Re: NFL Nation: 4 Downs -- NFC West

    Of the cellar teams of the NFC WEST, Rams/Cards, the Rams have more pieces then holes as the Cards. Yet that's not the whole story with the Cards ending up with a better record and a shot at the playoffs in 2013.

    Honestly when talking about the 49whinners and Squawks, the Rams SHOULD be in that conversation. The 2012 season proves the Rams would have/could have contended in 2013. Giving up a game against the Cards, not even in the two games against the 49whinners, and only defeating the cards and giving the Squawks a scare, there is little reason to mention the Rams--brutal but honest assessment.

    As the post points out its Bradford's make-it-or-break-it....so too is it Fisher's. Another subpar result at the end of 2014 and I suspect Fisher likely will be gone. Too many other teams have turned it around in a shorter span of time--yet another brutal fact.

    Now can and will the Rams challenge for top spot in 2014? They should. There are still FA players, though maybe not a fit for the Rams, yet. There is the draft, and the Rams have some choice picks with lots of possibilities, and there is acquisition of those players who didn't make other squads after preseason. Very few teams that are cellar dwellers that are in such a strong position as the Rams. Fortunately for some of those teams they have lots of salary cap room.

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    Re: NFL Nation: 4 Downs -- NFC West

    Jeff Fisher is known for being slow to taking teams. As he just needs to get the chemistry right. From coaching staff to the players and also the front office. Just the right chemistry!
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    Re: NFL Nation: 4 Downs -- NFC West

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Dragoon View Post

    As the post points out its Bradford's make-it-or-break-it....so too is it Fisher's. Another subpar result at the end of 2014 and I suspect Fisher likely will be gone. Too many other teams have turned it around in a shorter span of time--yet another brutal fact.
    Boy do we disagree to the inth degree... Even if Fish and the Rams have a losing season and less than 7 victories, No Way in the Hot Springs accross the River Styx do the Rams let Fish go and I highly doubt Bradford goes till his contract expires! Even if he plays sub par to what you might want or desire or expect. I think Rams Management and Ownership is all in with Fish and Co. and Fish and Snead believe in Bradford it is just as simple as this. imho

    You might not like the youth of our team but I think the organization does and believes it will take time to develope and I think they are more than willing to give Fish and Slingin' Sammy time to make it happen. Such is what I see from the team and its reps.
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    Re: NFL Nation: 4 Downs -- NFC West

    I would agree with everything you said there Randart but add one caveat, that if Bradford struggles and doesn't appear to be the leader needed we could see a late 1st or 2nd spent on his replacement. That's especially true if we don't draft somebody before the 4th or 5th round this year.
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    Re: NFL Nation: 4 Downs -- NFC West

    Agreed Mikey, and I saw a recent draft of 5 rounds at Walter I believe it was Charlie's Draft and it had us taking AJ Mac in the 3rd or 4th I loved that pic up nice insurance for Hill as well as Sammy!

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    Re: NFL Nation: 4 Downs -- NFC West

    The only solid takeaways from this are that Bill Williamson smells and has no vision.

    1st down: There's name recognition with AZ's two big FA pick-ups but neither is a slam-dunk, imo. Cromartie is a top talent at his best but he's probably peaked as he hits 30.Neither know nor care what AZ paid him but I'll bet it looks like spilled financial milk worth crying over within a year or two, a la Finnegan. Veldheer is a good player when healthy but a triceps tear for an LT is no joke. We'll see. As for the rest of the AZ FA list, all journeymen or career disappointments, imo.

    A lot closer to a stalemate, in other words. I think The Cards are hoping their geezers hold it together just as much as STL is hoping for their kiddies to pull it together.

    2nd down: Both teams lost key players and have others who are either injured or, like AZ, teetering on the edge of their dotage. Both QBs are riding the wave of stout defense and strong run games & showed that they could not keep their teams performing at a dominant level when those units got beat up/underperformed. Likely to make the playoffs, yes, but the big show.....

    3rd down: Imo, a 16 game season will make Bradford the difference maker. His numbers would have shot him into the top ten, if not top five, in productivity last year if he hadn't been hurt. The question is whether he'll stay healthy with that injury-plagued OL and whether the young pass-catchers will develop.

    4th down: I wouldn't want to build a team around either of them. They fit the strengths of the team and those strengths could well be on the wane with age catching up to keys like Gore and Justin Smith, Boldin, and FA defections this off-season like Whitner, Tate, Red Bryant, et al.
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    Re: NFL Nation: 4 Downs -- NFC West

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Dragoon View Post
    As the post points out its Bradford's make-it-or-break-it....so too is it Fisher's. Another subpar result at the end of 2014 and I suspect Fisher likely will be gone. Too many other teams have turned it around in a shorter span of time--yet another brutal fact.
    Do you somehow think the topic of how soon we would be able to contend wasn’t addressed in the initial meetings between Stan and Fish? If so, can you see Jeff Fisher trying to blow smoke up Stan’s behind regarding how quickly he would turn the team around? My take is that the conversation went in the opposite direction entirely.

    Two things:

    It is no secret that Silent Stan greatly admired the template inaugurated by Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick. Bob gave the last say to one football man: Billy B. No drama, no backstabbing, just build the team piece by piece. A team constructed for the long haul.

    I believe Jeff Fisher and Stan are dreaming the same dream and very much on the same page. As I’ve stated before, Jeff Fisher IMHO, chose the Rams because of Stan Kroenke period. Sammy B. may have been icing on the cake, but Jeff having been through the many trials and tribulations of a meddling owner, knew Stan would be the best fit. Stating that he chose the Rams largely because of Bradford was the politically correct answer. Think about it - what was he going to say? Stephen Ross is a control freak? A rich jerk?

    Quote Originally Posted by JPPT1974 View Post
    As he just needs to get the chemistry right. From coaching staff to the players and also the front office. Just the right chemistry!
    Bingo! This phrases exactly why IMO, why Jeff and Stan are on the same page. It so happens the Rams’ fate at the moment is being part and parcel of the best division in the entire league. Therefore, one could reasonably assume making the playoffs will obviously be harder given the interdivisional competition. By keeping their “eyes on the prize” i.e. building a strong foundation and adding to it consistently every year, the Rams appear to be on track. “Build it and they will come,” would refer in this case not to people, but wins - wins that will keep on coming.

    One need only to look at Dallas and Jerry Jones, or the Redskins and Snyder to see what happens with the “quick fix” strategy. Every now and then an NFL team will catch lightening in a bottle, make that quick turnaround, and become a winner. The Rams certainly did in 1999. It didn’t last very long though because there was anything but great chemistry throughout the organization. I’ll just leave it at that.
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    Re: NFL Nation: 4 Downs -- NFC West

    Not looking for a quick fix...its just an uneasy feeling. There are some facts that are disturbing. How many fans posting here where happy with the Rams defense in 2013; more to the point how many where happy with the offense? Already the DC position has changed, for the better. I don't believe the Ram's are using to the fullest all the potential of the squad.

    Yes Bradford was hurt early in the season, but that doesn't excuse not having a solid number 2 QB. Yet worst the Rams didn't have a running game until nearly 1/4 of the season was gone. Certainly the Rams took away victories from teams who on paper they should have lost to, but lost games to teams who they should have beaten.

    Can anyone say with a straight face that the Rams where in either of the 2 games against the 49whinners? If so you where watching a different game then I was watching. Fact, the Rams did scare the Squawks at home but had their heads handed to them in Seattle....Hell the Cards where able to make a trip to Seattle and won a game. This is all apples-to-apples.

    Someone please explain to me how the Cards after a near total implosion in 2012, finishes 10-6 and the Rams after more division victories in 2012 finishes 7-9? Seriously I'd like to hear some theories. What did the Cards do right besides getting a new QB that the Rams didn't do right?

    I am not trying to defend my notion that Fisher is or will be on the hot seat for another subpar 2014 should that happen. All I am saying is that of all businesses in this country, the NFL is results orientated and success is measured in Wins and losses. Point of fact is I like the fact the Rams are not run like Dallas or Washington with knee-jerk personal changes. Yet at some point there has to be positive results.

    Now if Fisher is serious and is willing to pass up top potential WRs both in FA and the draft, I concede two possibilities, one there is something I don't know about and has the WR talent need for the Rams covered or second he might be hiding his true intentions and has in mind several possibilities. But I am forced to be concerned he and his OC might be making a mistake.

    What I would most like to do is that by week 10 of the 2014 season is bring up this post and complete apologize for being wrong. I'd love nothing more then to be wrong at this point. Going into the start of last season I was too confident that the Rams actually had a playoff contending team, even though what I saw coming out of preseason troubled me greatly.

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    Re: NFL Nation: 4 Downs -- NFC West

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Dragoon View Post
    Not looking for a quick fix...its just an uneasy feeling. There are some facts that are disturbing. How many fans posting here where happy with the Rams defense in 2013; more to the point how many where happy with the offense? Already the DC position has changed, for the better. I don't believe the Ram's are using to the fullest all the potential of the squad.

    Yes Bradford was hurt early in the season, but that doesn't excuse not having a solid number 2 QB. Yet worst the Rams didn't have a running game until nearly 1/4 of the season was gone. Certainly the Rams took away victories from teams who on paper they should have lost to, but lost games to teams who they should have beaten.

    Can anyone say with a straight face that the Rams where in either of the 2 games against the 49whinners? If so you where watching a different game then I was watching. Fact, the Rams did scare the Squawks at home but had their heads handed to them in Seattle....Hell the Cards where able to make a trip to Seattle and won a game. This is all apples-to-apples.

    Someone please explain to me how the Cards after a near total implosion in 2012, finishes 10-6 and the Rams after more division victories in 2012 finishes 7-9? Seriously I'd like to hear some theories. What did the Cards do right besides getting a new QB that the Rams didn't do right?

    I am not trying to defend my notion that Fisher is or will be on the hot seat for another subpar 2014 should that happen. All I am saying is that of all businesses in this country, the NFL is results orientated and success is measured in Wins and losses. Point of fact is I like the fact the Rams are not run like Dallas or Washington with knee-jerk personal changes. Yet at some point there has to be positive results.

    Now if Fisher is serious and is willing to pass up top potential WRs both in FA and the draft, I concede two possibilities, one there is something I don't know about and has the WR talent need for the Rams covered or second he might be hiding his true intentions and has in mind several possibilities. But I am forced to be concerned he and his OC might be making a mistake.

    What I would most like to do is that by week 10 of the 2014 season is bring up this post and complete apologize for being wrong. I'd love nothing more then to be wrong at this point. Going into the start of last season I was too confident that the Rams actually had a playoff contending team, even though what I saw coming out of preseason troubled me greatly.
    Don't you think both units improved quite a bit overall over the season, especially considering the injuries ? I think there's room for criticism of some personnel decisions like 2nd QB and letting guys like Mikell go. I also share your concern about potential not being brought out. So hard to tell, though, when key players go down & collective/individual mistakes obscure progress.

    We'll have to hope to see the late '13 season Ram run game and defense with Sam under center vs The NFCW to really see where the Rams are in 2014. AZ turned it around by staying healthy, esp on the OL, The Rams didn't.
    There are still enough holes on this roster for passing on a top WR to mean nothing except the value was better at other positions of need. Plenty of excellent WRs come later in the draft every year.
    I think the results have already been positive, if slower than any of us would like but I seriously doubt most of the blame can be laid fairly at Fisher's doorstep. Or do you think the 2010 Rams would have finished 7-9 if Sam had gone down in week 7 ?
    Last edited by Azul e Oro; -04-14-2014 at 01:29 AM.
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    Re: NFL Nation: 4 Downs -- NFC West

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Dragoon View Post
    Not looking for a quick fix...its just an uneasy feeling. There are some facts that are disturbing. How many fans posting here where happy with the Rams defense in 2013; more to the point how many where happy with the offense?
    We are all happy when we win, (even if it's ugly), and not happy when we lose. It pretty much comes down to that ..


    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Dragoon View Post
    Already the DC position has changed, for the better. I don't believe the Ram's are using to the fullest all the potential of the squad.
    You are entitled to your opinion as a fan, just like the rest of us - that said, we as fans will never be party to the plethora of extenuating circumstances which engender the many decisions a coaching staff must make throughout an NFL season.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Dragoon View Post
    Can anyone say with a straight face that the Rams where in either of the 2 games against the 49whinners? If so you where watching a different game then I was watching. Fact, the Rams did scare the Squawks at home but had their heads handed to them in Seattle....Hell the Cards where able to make a trip to Seattle and won a game. This is all apples-to-apples.

    Someone please explain to me how the Cards after a near total implosion in 2012, finishes 10-6 and the Rams after more division victories in 2012 finishes 7-9? Seriously I'd like to hear some theories. What did the Cards do right besides getting a new QB that the Rams didn't do right?
    Comparisons to other teams I believe to be pointless. There are so many variables that occur during the course of an NFL season for all the teams. Injuries, backup talent, guys who are sick, or hurt but play anyway; how a particular player's absence can influence play calling on either side of the ball - just to name a few.

    I think we can compare perceived overall roster strengths. So if you are asking do I think the Ram's roster is as good as Seattle's currently, the answer would be no.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Dragoon View Post
    I am not trying to defend my notion that Fisher is or will be on the hot seat for another subpar 2014 should that happen. All I am saying is that of all businesses in this country, the NFL is results orientated and success is measured in Wins and losses. Point of fact is I like the fact the Rams are not run like Dallas or Washington with knee-jerk personal changes. Yet at some point there has to be positive results.
    Yes - agreed, at some point there must be more wins than losses, then playoff wins and so on. I am of the opinion that Fisher told Stan the bad news from the get go. If we are still having this go around after the 2015 season ends, then perhaps Jeff's chair will acquire some sizzle.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Dragoon View Post
    Now if Fisher is serious and is willing to pass up top potential WRs both in FA and the draft, I concede two possibilities, one there is something I don't know about and has the WR talent need for the Rams covered or second he might be hiding his true intentions and has in mind several possibilities. But I am forced to be concerned he and his OC might be making a mistake.
    I would substitute O-line talent for WR, but that's just my opinion. Regardless, it will be very difficult to predict what the Rams do in the first couple of rounds, since the 2014 draft is considered by multiple pundits to be the deepest in many years. I hope the "pundits" are right!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Dragoon View Post
    What I would most like to do is that by week 10 of the 2014 season is bring up this post and complete apologize for being wrong. I'd love nothing more then to be wrong at this point. Going into the start of last season I was too confident that the Rams actually had a playoff contending team, even though what I saw coming out of preseason troubled me greatly.
    Everybody's happy when we are winning. This draft should help out greatly in that department ..
    ram3057 and Randart like this.

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    Re: NFL Nation: 4 Downs -- NFC West

    Fisher should be able to get the Rams into the playoffs in his third season. If Bradford is healthy for the entire season then anything short of the playoffs is unacceptable IMO.

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    Re: NFL Nation: 4 Downs -- NFC West

    Quote Originally Posted by Azul e Oro View Post
    The only solid takeaways from this are that Bill Williamson smells and has no vision.
    I gotta put more time into reading this, and the responses, but this I completely agree with. If it didn't tell you that Williamson covers the 49whiners, there is no doubt by his responses. My question would be if he was a reporter or a super-fan of the 49whiners. Man, NO objectivity from that guy whatsoever.


    gap

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    Re: NFL Nation: 4 Downs -- NFC West

    Ironically, I like that we're being downplayed. I feel we're best when the expectations are lower. That makes the surprise that much more pleasant. We must improve to 9-11 wins based on our draft positions for the past few years I think. Be patient, we're going the right way with our coaching staff and front office.

    Go Rams!
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    Quote Originally Posted by mde8352gorams View Post
    Ironically, I like that we're being downplayed. I feel we're best when the expectations are lower. That makes the surprise that much more pleasant. We must improve to 9-11 wins based on our draft positions for the past few years I think. Be patient, we're going the right way with our coaching staff and front office. Go Rams!
    It's going to be tough to do better than 7-9. I see us beating Seattle, Arizona, Minnesota, Oakland, and NY Giants, at home, losing to SF, Dallas and Denver. Then beating Tampa and Washington on the road but losing to Philly, KC, and San Diego, and our three division opponents.
    ZGare

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