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  1. #1
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    No offense, but Rams have to stop hoping and start doing

    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    09/21/2007

    Back in the not-so-distant past, Rams-Buccaneers showdowns were special.

    The Rams would pit their famously explosive offense against Tampa Bay’s talented and innovative defense. The Buccaneers would mock the Rams for being a “finesse” team, prompting the guys at the Earth City complex to redouble their efforts.

    Entertaining wars ensued. We saw some of the best football we’re ever going to see in this market.

    The floundering Rams could sure use some of that fire now.

    This season, they started well in their two home games against conference rivals. But both times the Rams committed costly second-half turnovers, then failed to regain their edge on their home field.

    “You get to week 14, 15 16, we’ll probably look back to these first two weeks and be really frustrated,” quarterback Marc Bulger said. “Hopefully it doesn’t come back to haunt us.”

    Remember when the Rams offense exuded confidence? Remember when they irritated opponents with their swagger?

    Remember when this team shrugged off its turnovers and got right back on the attack? It appears those days are long gone.

    For two weeks running, the Rams coaching staff has asserted that it had control of games, only to let it slip away. I disagree; the Rams gained an edge in both home games, but they hardly had control.

    Control is a two- or three-touchdown lead. Control is forcing the other side to throw out its playbook and improvise under duress. Control is forcing the other guys to chase you around the field.

    We saw what “control” looked like when the Rams had a perennial postseason contender. We haven’t seen a whole lot of it during Scott Linehan’s regime, which is now 8-10 and still struggling to create a strong identity.

    When the Rams were very good, they dared teams to blitz them. They welcomed that pressure, because they believed they had quick-strike plays to counter that tactic. They believed they could turn those quick-strike plays into scores.

    When injuries hit the unit, they found ways to keep moving the ball. They suffered some implosions along the way, but only because the team kept pushing instead of scaling back its game plan.

    But “Mad Mike” Martz is gone and so are the thousands of plays he designed from week to week to week. Long gone is the arrogance that made Martz a feared tactician and this team a dreaded opponent.

    Long gone is Kurt Warner, the fearless gunner. To this day, Warner believes he is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL and he harbors no doubts of his ability to put points on the board.

    Long gone is Marshall Faulk, one of the toughest competitors St. Louis has ever seen. His leadership was invaluable, especially when injuries forced the Air Martz offense to make adjustments on the fly.

    Such comparisons may seem unfair to Linehan, but the man has been given ample weaponry. Bulger, Torry Holt, Steven Jackson, Isaac Bruce, Randy McMichael, Drew Bennett, Brian Leonard -– how many teams have a better collection of skill players?

    Yet the production of this group continues to discourage Rams Nation. At their best, these Rams are merely efficient under Linehan. At their worst, they are befuddled and spiritless.

    Their injury-riddled offensive line broke down against the *****, allowing Bulger to take one of the worst physical beatings in Rams history.

    I was happy to see Jackson throw a fit near the end of that dreadful 17-16 loss to the *****. It was great to see some emotion from an offense that fizzled, again, during the second half.

    Linehan hopes his offensive line will jell now that Adam Goldberg is starting at right tackle and the other four blockers have had another week to work together. He hopes to establish his ground attack against a Tampa Bay defense that isn’t nearly as physical as it was during the Warren Sapp Era.

    He hopes the team will finally break plays for big yardage AND touchdowns. He hopes to finally locate the right formula in the red zone, where the Rams have done way too much tip-toeing.

    But the Rams are running out of time. They have to stop hoping and start doing. They must regain their aggressive personality and start taking it to teams.

    And it has to start now.


  2. #2
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: No offense, but Rams have to stop hoping and start doing

    ...The Rams are running out of time. They have to stop hoping and start doing.

    Yes, I certainly HOPE this begins on Sunday! Go Rams! :bash:

  3. #3
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    Re: No offense, but Rams have to stop hoping and start doing

    I cant argue with this story he's 100% right. We have way to much fire power to suck on offense. It's the scheme not the players, we should be scoring points and a lot of them. Injuries aside we still have a collection of several very very good skill players at key offensive positions. Bulger one of the top 5 qb's in the league. Jackson a top 5 rb in the league. Holt top 5 wr in the league. Bruce is aging but stillcan bring it as Walt Harris found out last week. Bennett for a third wr that could start on a lot of teams in the NFL I'm sure the Eagles would like to have him right now. Mcmichael has to be a top10 tight end very good at blocking and is a very good reciever. We need to score points, no more we wili, or we'll try to get it done. Take chances down the field why play so close to the vest, we are not Baltimore or Oakland where we have to nurse the ball down the field. Grow some guts coaches and attack your opponent!
    Just Fix It

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    Re: No offense, but Rams have to stop hoping and start doing

    Unleash the power, Go Rams!

  5. #5
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    Re: No offense, but Rams have to stop hoping and start doing

    Quote Originally Posted by rammiser View Post
    I cant argue with this story he's 100% right. We have way to much fire power to suck on offense. It's the scheme not the players, we should be scoring points and a lot of them. Injuries aside we still have a collection of several very very good skill players at key offensive positions. Bulger one of the top 5 qb's in the league. Jackson a top 5 rb in the league. Holt top 5 wr in the league. Bruce is aging but stillcan bring it as Walt Harris found out last week. Bennett for a third wr that could start on a lot of teams in the NFL I'm sure the Eagles would like to have him right now. Mcmichael has to be a top10 tight end very good at blocking and is a very good reciever. We need to score points, no more we wili, or we'll try to get it done. Take chances down the field why play so close to the vest, we are not Baltimore or Oakland where we have to nurse the ball down the field. Grow some guts coaches and attack your opponent!
    While I agree that the playcalling has been subpar, at times it's been horrible, but I think it's simplistic to blame it all on the scheme. Holt fumbled, Hall fumbled, Jackson fumbled twice, the scheme can't fumble.

    It's hard to throw down field when you're on your back. It's not just the scheme, it's a combination of things.
    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam
    What next, NFL gay players kissing on the mouth. To me it is S.O.S.: simply/obscene/sickening. Rest assured I will never cheer for a known homo player

  6. #6
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    Re: No offense, but Rams have to stop hoping and start doing

    Quote Originally Posted by ramsbruce View Post
    While I agree that the playcalling has been subpar, at times it's been horrible, but I think it's simplistic to blame it all on the scheme. Holt fumbled, Hall fumbled, Jackson fumbled twice, the scheme can't fumble.

    It's hard to throw down field when you're on your back. It's not just the scheme, it's a combination of things.
    I guess its simplistic, but do you remember how we used to respond to turnovers? I remember where we would turn it over and it wouldnt affect us we would just march down the field and score because we knew we could. Now we turn it over and we retreat into a shell and play close to the vest and hope something breaks our way. This group on offense is not less talented than the GSOT group. I mean we still have Holt and Bruce a little older but just as effective. We have a better TE. We have Bennett who is a mixture of Proehl and Hakim. He has speed and good hands and adds hiegth to red zone situations, something we have never had. Jackson while not the leader Faulk was, is skill wise as of last year giving us huge boosts on offense. He is yet to get on track but the talent is there. So if it isnt the scheme is it just the turnovers? Why does this offense seem so bland. Linehans offense in Minnesota wasnt bland. We have far more talent than they ever did so what is the problem??? We seem to be lacking something,fire,intensity although I thought the defense showed it last week, the offense looked bored. Lets quit worrying we will turn it over and start playing dangerousley, at 0-2 what do we really have to lose. The way we've played the last two weeks we dont look like a playoff team so lets get it going. I just hate to see this much talent get wasted!
    Just Fix It

  7. #7
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    Re: No offense, but Rams have to stop hoping and start doing

    Quote Originally Posted by rammiser View Post
    This group on offense is not less talented than the GSOT group.
    I disagree completely. The only position that we are better at is TE. I'm taking the younger Bruce and younger Holt over the older versions. Faulk over Jackson. Hakim/Proehl over Bennett since I haven't seen Bennett do anything yet, and even though I love Bulger, I would take the old Warner.

    I think comparing this group to the GSOT is unfair because it's not that close. If you have GSOT expectations now, you will be let down because there will only be one GSOT.

    As for the Vikings offense, from what I remember they had a pretty good O line and along with his scrambling helped keep Culpepper upright. Our O line started to come together at the end of last year and now this year it's been decimated, and like I said you can't throw down field from your back.
    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam
    What next, NFL gay players kissing on the mouth. To me it is S.O.S.: simply/obscene/sickening. Rest assured I will never cheer for a known homo player

  8. #8
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    Re: No offense, but Rams have to stop hoping and start doing

    Quote Originally Posted by ramsbruce View Post
    I disagree completely. The only position that we are better at is TE. I'm taking the younger Bruce and younger Holt over the older versions. Faulk over Jackson. Hakim/Proehl over Bennett since I haven't seen Bennett do anything yet, and even though I love Bulger, I would take the old Warner.

    I think comparing this group to the GSOT is unfair because it's not that close. If you have GSOT expectations now, you will be let down because there will only be one GSOT.

    As for the Vikings offense, from what I remember they had a pretty good O line and along with his scrambling helped keep Culpepper upright. Our O line started to come together at the end of last year and now this year it's been decimated, and like I said you can't throw down field from your back.

    I think you completely missed my point. I wasnt really comparing them. Ok how about I put it this way how many teams in the NFL have a collection of better offensive players than the Rams? I'll give my comparison.

    Rams vs Colts.

    Holt vs Harrison-adv Holt
    Manning v Bulger- adv Manning
    Bruce v Wayne- adv Wayne
    Bennett v Gonzales- adv Bennett
    Mcmichael v Clark- wash
    Addai v Jackson- adv Jackson.

    Rams v Pats

    Brady v Bulger-adv Brady
    Moss v Holt- wash
    Bruce v Welker adv Bruce
    Bennett vs Stallworth adv Bennett
    McMichael vs Watson adv Mcmichael
    Maroney vs Jackson-adv Jax

    Rams vs Bengals

    Holt vs Johnson-I like Holt we'll call it a wash
    Palmer v Bulger-wash
    whosyourmama v Bruce- I take bruce
    Perry v Bennett-adv Bennett
    Jackson vs Rudy-adv Jax
    Mcmichael vs Kelley-adv Mcmichael

    Rams v Cowboys

    Bulger v Romo-adv Bulger
    Holt vs TO-wash
    Bruce v Crayton-Bruce
    Bennett v Hurd-adv Bennett
    Mcmichael v Witten-adv Witten
    Jax v Barber/Jones-adv Jackson

    Rams v Saints

    Brees v Bulger-adv Brees
    Holt v Colston-adv Holt
    Bruce v Henderson-adv Bruce
    Bennett v Copper-adv Bennett
    Mcmichael v Johnson-adv McMichael
    Jax v Bush/McAllister-adv Jackson

    Rams v Chargers

    Bulger v Rivers-adv Bulger
    Holt v Jackson-adv Holt
    Bruce v Davis-adv Bruce
    Bennett v Floyd-adv Bennett
    McMichael v Gates-adv Gates
    Jax v Tomlinson-adv LT

    Those are just some examples. Yes I know our O-line has issues but Bulger still managed to light up SF for 368 yds and a touch. The o-line cant be the excuse all year. If it is then the season is over already, because there arent any FA's that we can bring in to make the RT positin any better. Go through those examples we have a collection of some of the best offensive players in the league and we're averaging 14.5points a game? Maybe I'm seeing through homer glasses but the offensive performance so far is unacceptable even with a dinged up o-line. As a fan I'm not accepting it and neither should our coaches and players. Every team has injuries the good ones overcome them. Your right maybe the GSOT comparison isnt fair but look around the league there isnt many teams with a better collection of offensive studs like the Rams have. The same corners that held Fitzgerald and Boldin to 42 yds gave up over 200yds to Holt and Bruce. Bruce might be 35 but he's still better than most of the NFL's 2nd wr's!
    Just Fix It

  9. #9
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    Re: No offense, but Rams have to stop hoping and start doing

    Quote Originally Posted by rammiser View Post
    I think you completely missed my point. I wasnt really comparing them. Ok how about I put it this way how many teams in the NFL have a collection of better offensive players than the Rams? I'll give my comparison.

    Rams vs Colts.

    Holt vs Harrison-adv Holt
    Manning v Bulger- adv Manning
    Bruce v Wayne- adv Wayne
    Bennett v Gonzales- adv Bennett
    Mcmichael v Clark- wash
    Addai v Jackson- adv Jackson.

    Rams v Pats

    Brady v Bulger-adv Brady
    Moss v Holt- wash
    Bruce v Welker adv Bruce
    Bennett vs Stallworth adv Bennett
    McMichael vs Watson adv Mcmichael
    Maroney vs Jackson-adv Jax

    Rams vs Bengals

    Holt vs Johnson-I like Holt we'll call it a wash
    Palmer v Bulger-wash
    whosyourmama v Bruce- I take bruce
    Perry v Bennett-adv Bennett
    Jackson vs Rudy-adv Jax
    Mcmichael vs Kelley-adv Mcmichael

    Rams v Cowboys

    Bulger v Romo-adv Bulger
    Holt vs TO-wash
    Bruce v Crayton-Bruce
    Bennett v Hurd-adv Bennett
    Mcmichael v Witten-adv Witten
    Jax v Barber/Jones-adv Jackson

    Rams v Saints

    Brees v Bulger-adv Brees
    Holt v Colston-adv Holt
    Bruce v Henderson-adv Bruce
    Bennett v Copper-adv Bennett
    Mcmichael v Johnson-adv McMichael
    Jax v Bush/McAllister-adv Jackson

    Rams v Chargers

    Bulger v Rivers-adv Bulger
    Holt v Jackson-adv Holt
    Bruce v Davis-adv Bruce
    Bennett v Floyd-adv Bennett
    McMichael v Gates-adv Gates
    Jax v Tomlinson-adv LT

    Those are just some examples. Yes I know our O-line has issues but Bulger still managed to light up SF for 368 yds and a touch. The o-line cant be the excuse all year. If it is then the season is over already, because there arent any FA's that we can bring in to make the RT positin any better. Go through those examples we have a collection of some of the best offensive players in the league and we're averaging 14.5points a game? Maybe I'm seeing through homer glasses but the offensive performance so far is unacceptable even with a dinged up o-line. As a fan I'm not accepting it and neither should our coaches and players. Every team has injuries the good ones overcome them. Your right maybe the GSOT comparison isnt fair but look around the league there isnt many teams with a better collection of offensive studs like the Rams have. The same corners that held Fitzgerald and Boldin to 42 yds gave up over 200yds to Holt and Bruce. Bruce might be 35 but he's still better than most of the NFL's 2nd wr's!

    You don't have to sell me on Bruce, he's my man.

    The O Line can't be the excuse all year but with one week of practice together (now two weeks), it's not an excuse, it's fact for now unfortunately.

    I'm with you on most of the skill postions, (I will take Bulger over Brees though) but again, and you know as well as I do when Bulger gets time he can complete almost anything. But if the O Line and Jackson or whomever is in there to help block don't do a decent/good job it doesn't matter who we have at the skill positions because if Bulger is on his back or running for his life we aren't going to score, and I don't think that just flinging the ball up for grabs is the solution. It will put our defense in horrible positions and they aren't good enough to overcome multiple turnovers yet. When I saw how the O Line and Jackson were blocking against the whiners I was shocked we were even in the game. If we tried an "Air Martz" attack instead of what we did last week I don't see us even being in the position to try for the go ahead FG.
    Last edited by ramsbruce; -09-22-2007 at 03:55 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam
    What next, NFL gay players kissing on the mouth. To me it is S.O.S.: simply/obscene/sickening. Rest assured I will never cheer for a known homo player

  10. #10
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    Re: No offense, but Rams have to stop hoping and start doing

    I think we've got some serious confidence issues on offense, among other things. Part of it is the fumbles, part of it the offensive line. But it feels like we're playing scared.

  11. #11
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    Re: No offense, but Rams have to stop hoping and start doing

    Quote Originally Posted by ramsbruce View Post
    You don't have to sell me on Bruce, he's my man.

    The O Line can't be the excuse all year but with one week of practice together (now two weeks), it's not an excuse, it's fact for now unfortunately.

    I'm with you on most of the skill postions, (I will take Bulger over Brees though) but again, and you know as well as I do when Bulger gets time he can complete almost anything. But if the O Line and Jackson or whomever is in there to help block don't do a decent/good job it doesn't matter who we have at the skill positions because if Bulger is on his back or running for his life we aren't going to score, and I don't think that just flinging the ball up for grabs is the solution. It will put our defense in horrible positions and they aren't good enough to overcome multiple turnovers yet. When I saw how the O Line and Jackson were blocking against the whiners I was shocked we were even in the game. If we tried an "Air Martz" attack instead of what we did last week I don't see us even being in the position to try for the go ahead FG.

    I see your points and I know your right about the o-line i just hate it that our talent on offense is possibly losing another year and we havnt looked good. I know most of it is the o-line, and I'm just frustrated I guess like most of you are too. I hope your right that now with some practice time the o-line will begin to gel and help this team get it together. Two home games and 2 losses makes the road very tough now.
    Just Fix It

  12. #12
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    Re: No offense, but Rams have to stop hoping and start doing

    i myself just don't know what is up! We have the most high powered O in the league still, and we can't win squattttttttt.
    Liehan is gonna have to open in up to the quick slants and short routes or Bulger is gonna be broke in half!!!!!!!!!!
    I stopped going to the dentist.......I got tired of the cavity searches!

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    Re: No offense, but Rams have to stop hoping and start doing

    Fact is the Rams just didn't pick up O-line players off the street. These guys where brought in, taught the system and fought for starting possitions on the offense, but fell short hense second string status. Or that is so in a perfect world since it implies even the rash of injuries would mean the Rams o-line still would make the team effective.

    Who can argue the Rams O-line hasn't jelled? They haven't. OK granted the line hasn't come together yet, so then what. It comes down to play calling. I am sure there is something this present line can do well other then let Bulger eat turf. That being the case what combos of run/pass work with this line that can keep an opposing defense off balance? In two games I haven't seen the coaching staff answer that question.

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    Re: No offense, but Rams have to stop hoping and start doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Dragoon View Post
    Fact is the Rams just didn't pick up O-line players off the street.
    Name some.
    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam
    What next, NFL gay players kissing on the mouth. To me it is S.O.S.: simply/obscene/sickening. Rest assured I will never cheer for a known homo player

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    Re: No offense, but Rams have to stop hoping and start doing

    Quote Originally Posted by rammiser View Post
    I see your points and I know your right about the o-line i just hate it that our talent on offense is possibly losing another year and we havnt looked good. I know most of it is the o-line, and I'm just frustrated I guess like most of you are too. I hope your right that now with some practice time the o-line will begin to gel and help this team get it together. Two home games and 2 losses makes the road very tough now.
    I understand the frustration. Hopefully with Cogs coming back that will help some (although how rusty is he now). Just imagine last week if Bulger got some decent blocking and we got a run game going, we would have seen the offense that we are expecting with the talent we have.

    If the O Line can tighten up, and we can have some better playcalling ie: some screens to slow down the blitz, and some time for deeper routes, things will fall into place. :l
    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam
    What next, NFL gay players kissing on the mouth. To me it is S.O.S.: simply/obscene/sickening. Rest assured I will never cheer for a known homo player

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