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  1. #1
    laram0's Avatar
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    The O-Line..The O-Line..The O-Line

    Our O-Line took alot heat this season from everywhere. They can't pass block, they can't run block..etc..etc..

    Our last 5 games of the season were all losses but I'm not so sure it was the O-Lines fault.
    Although there doesn't seem to be an exact science on how to grade the O-Line. I thought the following stats were interesting.

    Stats for the last 5 games:

    Rushing Attempts: 162
    Rushing Yards: 676
    Average Yards per Rush: 4.2

    Drop backs by the QB: 180 (passing plays)
    Quarterback sacked: 8

    Just how desperately we do need O-Line hope for 2009????
    Last edited by laram0; -01-07-2009 at 10:55 AM.


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    Re: The O-Line..The O-Line..The O-Line

    Can you find out how many hits that Bulger took as opposed to just how many sacks? That would be a better statistic than sacks alone in my mind.

    As for your question, still desperately. It's very good that our line started to come together at the end, but we need them to be able to come together at the start of the season. We need a center, period. In fact here's how I would rate our line.

    1. LG - Bell is potentially our best lineman when injuries and levelheadedness is taken into account. He's young, strong, and locked up for a while.
    2. LT - Injuries and age are the two main concerns about Pace, but there's also performance concerns. Maybe not ending this year on IR will get him back to the old Pace next year. We still need a replacement and soon, though.
    3. RT - When he doesn't false start, Barron is actually a pretty solid RT. Yes, he makes drive killing holding penalties from time to time, but not much more than other offensive linemen. Further, he can, and has played LT for us.
    4. RG - We either need a new one, or we need to hire a Psychiatrist. Cogs can be our best or our worst lineman, and generally, he's the latter. He's got a great nasty streak and a desire to punish opposing players, but he can't control himself most of the time and gets stupid penalties.
    5. C - We need one. End of story.

  3. #3
    Ramblin` Ram's Avatar
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    Re: The O-Line..The O-Line..The O-Line

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    Our O-Line took alot heat this season from everywhere. They can't pass block, they can't run block..etc..etc..

    Our last 5 games of the season were all losses but I'm not so sure it was the O-Lines fault.
    Although there doesn't seem to be an exact science on how to grade the O-Line. I thought the following stats were interesting.

    Stats for the last 5 games:

    Rushing Attempts: 162
    Rushing Yards: 676
    Average Yards per Rush: 4.2

    Drop backs by the QB: 180 (passing plays)
    Quarterback sacked: 8

    Just how desparately we do need O-Line hope for 2009????

    good thought provoking post LA.

    i love my linemen and do feel we need an upgrade..however i dont want us to take a OT with the second overall and thats been my view for a while now..
    if we were to pick on a B.P.A basis i believe both Crabtree & Jenkins are above any Tackle in this years draft and maybe theres others!
    i also believe that the OT prospect who will have the better career at LT in the NFL is Jason Smith not Andre whom to me would be better at either RT or OG.
    Jason is likely to be taken mid to late in the first.

    how desperate do we need for `09? well i do think we could get by without any additions,just by the extra time together as a unit they will improve but that would leave us next year needing new blood and maybe it would be better to draft at least one somewhere in the draft due to it being a deep year in O-lineman prospects.

  4. #4
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: The O-Line..The O-Line..The O-Line

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    Can you find out how many hits that Bulger took as opposed to just how many sacks? That would be a better statistic than sacks alone in my mind.
    Again there doesn't seem to be an exact science on how to grade the O-Line as a group nevermind as an individual. QB sacks, hits and hurries aren't always the O-lines fault.

  5. #5
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    Re: The O-Line..The O-Line..The O-Line

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    Again there doesn't seem to be an exact science on how to grade the O-Line as a group nevermind as an individual. QB sacks, hits and hurries aren't always the O-lines fault.
    ahh.... a reference to the nefarious "coverage sack"?
    RnD

    GO RAMS!!

  6. #6
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: The O-Line..The O-Line..The O-Line

    Quote Originally Posted by ramsanddodgers View Post
    ahh.... a reference to the nefarious "coverage sack"?
    Or the WR's don't read the blitz right and cutoff their respective routes. Or the RB misses his blocking assignment...etc..etc..

    NEFARIOUS? You must play alot of word games or have reread the dictionary recently.

    Maybe you're a spelling Bee champ?

    NEFARIOUS: Extremely wicked, vile.

  7. #7
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    Re: The O-Line..The O-Line..The O-Line

    I dunno, I'd call a coverage sack pretty wicked.

    In any case, I agree with you in that O line play is especially hard to grade because it's five guys that all depend upon each other and what the "skill" players do with the ball. You can see the QB throw it into the dirt, or the RB fumble, or the WR drop the pass. Your hardly ever see how well the line does, directly, in any case.

    So, yes, the sacks, hits, etc aren't a true measure, but it's still a measure. If the line isn't blocking and giving enough time in the pocket, then it's still on them to some degree. And I stand by my statement that I think we need at least two new starting members of the line, and center and a right guard. Now, those could come from what we already have, but at the least I think we need a free agent, probably center, and then a high draft pick tackle.

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    Re: The O-Line..The O-Line..The O-Line

    SJ came back for those last 5 games which kept guys from pinning back their ears & coming every down & the caliber of opposition dropped off considerably in general.

    I think it's fair to say the o-line played better but would it have been as noticeable against better opposition?

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    Re: The O-Line..The O-Line..The O-Line

    LT-Pace has a year or 2 left and he can be solid. Pace is a good guy and I think he will restructure if he doesn't choose to retire.

    LG- if Bell can get his weight issues in order I know he will play better than he did lat year.

    C- Rhomberg IMO is a solid reserve center. We really need a starter here. A good starter here really helps out Bell who played excellent next to Kevin Mawae. I am confident the Rams will go after a good young center in FA. Last year the top lineman on DeVaneys list was suprisingly the excellent center Jeff Faine the former Saints center and current Bucs center. Suprising considering guys like Fannecca and Bell were hooter options at the time. This year I think we will go after Jason Brown of the Ravens. I think Devaney will rather go with the young guy over 30+ year olds Birk and Saturday.

    RG- I think Cogs has to go he was arguably our worst starter and he even got more penalties than Barron. Grecco looked good when he was given the oppurunity. IMO he should have been starting midseason, we would know alot more about him. If we don't feal comfortable with him starting there will be plenty decent priced options in FA, but if we land a good Center Grecco will look better and the need for another starter will decrease.

    RT- Barron extremely inconsistant and stupid. He has potential, but isn't showing it. We definately need an upgrade here. This position will most likely be filled by the tackle we draft 2nd overall. I'm not completely sold on Andre Smith yet, so I believe Oher, Eugene Monroe, and Jason Smith are still verry much in the running for being our second overall pick and LTOF.

  10. #10
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    Re: The O-Line..The O-Line..The O-Line

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    I dunno, I'd call a coverage sack pretty wicked.

    In any case, I agree with you in that O line play is especially hard to grade because it's five guys that all depend upon each other and what the "skill" players do with the ball. You can see the QB throw it into the dirt, or the RB fumble, or the WR drop the pass. Your hardly ever see how well the line does, directly, in any case.

    So, yes, the sacks, hits, etc aren't a true measure, but it's still a measure. If the line isn't blocking and giving enough time in the pocket, then it's still on them to some degree. And I stand by my statement that I think we need at least two new starting members of the line, and center and a right guard. Now, those could come from what we already have, but at the least I think we need a free agent, probably center, and then a high draft pick tackle.
    I agree that we have issues with our O-Line. Especially the center position.

    ----BUT----

    Do we use our 1st pick in the draft on the O-line or look at defense again?

    Devaney is afterall interviewing defensive guys for the most part to fill our headcoaching vacancy.

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    Re: The O-Line..The O-Line..The O-Line

    Hmm. I do agree we need o-line help. I liked Bell when he was in Tennesse, but when he came over here, he didn't really produce much. Yes we need some center help, Romberg is a solid back-up. I hope we draft a young center in the third-fourth round.
    Michael Oher is sounding better to me than Smith recently.

    Well, we'll all see what happens when the time comes for us to draft.

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    Re: The O-Line..The O-Line..The O-Line

    [quote=laram0;266355]
    Our last 5 games of the season were all losses but I'm not so sure it was the O-Lines fault. quote]

    well i won't speak as to whether those last 5 losses are the OL's fault or not, BUT I find it remarkable that within the very span you note the OL played better in, are some of the closest games the Rams played all year. 4 out of the last 5 games were decided by 4 points or less. those same 4 games are the 4 closest games the Rams had all season and didn't win.

    So, the Rams OL played better and all of a sudden the games were close and not a typical 30+ point blowout...? coincidence? no chance.

    I say the OL still needs help for 2009. When they were competitive, the Rams were able to stay in games and were often within one scoring possession of a victory. but that's only 4 games out of 5, which leaves 9 other big losses unaccounted for. Rams needed line help last year and grabbed Bell along with a couple rookies. That didn't fix it, so I believe the need that existed the last couple years, still persists to 2009.

  13. #13
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    Re: The O-Line..The O-Line..The O-Line

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    Do we use our 1st pick in the draft on the O-line or look at defense again?

    Devaney is afterall interviewing defensive guys for the most part to fill our headcoaching vacancy.
    I think the problem lies n the fact that despite the fact that Pace is one of the best OT's to play in recent memory and remains steadfast on the field, he is old and oft injured. With little other than Adam Goldberg behind him, we need to lock up somebody for the future. Potentially the best player available to us will be Andre Smith, OT, Alabama, unless character issues get the better of him. It's more insurance than it is drafting a player to start immediately.

    A lot of what we do in the draft will depend on what direction we move in in free agency. For instance- do we sign a Right Tackle like Jordan Gross? If so, Barron becomes our 3rd Tackle and swing-man. But again, Barron is only under contract for one more year and the need for a new Left Tackle again materializes.

    With a guy like Smith, it may well come down to a serious case of "lack of a better option" at number 2 overall. Arguably our greatest needs outside of OT are Center, MLB, Fullback and Strong Safety. There has not been a player in any of those positions drafted in the top 2 for more than 20 years. S Bernie Blades went #3 in 1988 and that's about as close as it's ever come. A skill position player like Michael Crabtree could come in mighty handy, but only if Bulger has time to throw the ball. In the last 5 games, Bulger was still getting sacked on 4.4% of all his dropbacks.

    For what it's worth, Bulger attempted a total of 440 passes this season, dropping back 478 times for a total of 38 sacks. That's 7.95% of dropbacks where Bulger was getting sacked. Through 11 games, the OL was on pace to allow Bulger to be sacked on 10.06% of his dropbacks.

    In 2007, Despite incurring 11 more sacks, Rams QBs were sacked on 8.1% of their dropbacks- A small increase in performance this season, largeley atributable to the cohesion the OL achieved through the last 5 games. By comparison, Tennessee's Kerry Collins was sacked just 8 times on 423 dropbacks. 1.9% of his attempts and led the Titans to the #1 seed in the AFC.

    Now, what's also interesting is that C Nick Leckey was starting up until week 11. It's interesting how the cohesion of the OL increased after his benching. Now, I'm not saying it was all Leckey's fault. John Greco was also introduced to the rotation and Orlando Pace and Jacob Bell returned for the final few games. Now, what this all points toward is that given time to develop some Cohesion, the Rams OL kept us in most of our games toward the end of the season.

    Which brings our attention right back to two things. The playcalling on offense, which was pretty much terrible, and more notably, a defense who could not secure victories with clutch 4th quarter stands. Much of this falls on the shoulders of the players, but this offseason it appears that, as mentioned above, the number 2 overall pick is not the ideal spot to address the needs we have. Arguably the best defensive players available considering the Rams needs are CB Malcolm Jenkins, MLBs Rey Maualuga and James Laurinitis and S Taylor Mays.

    With the exception of Jenkins, I can't see any of the above being a target at number 2 overall just due to the nature of the draft itself and what history has shown us in terms of where players at those positions are generally taken. Again, what happens here is largely dependent on what we do in free agency. Guys like Sean Jones, Bart Scott and Channing Crowder could all be potential targets to start at SS or MLB.

    Fortunately for us, there appears to be a lot of quality players that project to be available at the top of rounds 2 and 3 to fill those holes. The ones that immediately spring to mind are Pittsburgh's Scott McKillop and Clemson's Michael Hamlin. On the offensive side, California C Alex Mack may be the best thing since cheese. Once again, it appears that sheerly because of who is likely to be available, OL may be the best bet at number 2 for lack of a better option- unless the team is blown away by Jenkins. I don't see a Quarterback in round one.

    Add to this the fact that a guy like Smith has the versatility to potentially start inside at Right Guard or opposite Pace if Barron is to go down, allowing us to further secure the OL, and the selection looks even more likely. Jon Ogden spent a year at Guard before moving outside for the Ravens Superbowl team of 2000. But even then, (and this may be a better scenario) he mightn't be needed at either of those positions. The Rams have a wealth of players in at guard, with Jacob Bell the most likely to return to start at LG. That leaves incumbent Incognito, Scheuning, Greco and Setterstrom to challenge for the starting spot.

    In all, I don't think it's as much a case of improving the OL for this season as it is solidifying it for future seasons. In all honesty, I wouldn't mind a defensive player if we can secure an OT in free agency, but there just doesn't appear to be a market for the type of player we'd be chasing at number 2 overall, unless the team falls in love with the Buckeyes' top prospect.

  14. #14
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    Re: The O-Line..The O-Line..The O-Line

    The O-line played better to close out the season. I'd hate to think that such a finish would make us forget the often very poor play this team has had to endure from this unit over the last half decade. I believe the 2006 O-line finished strongly as well, come to think of it. I think we can take away some positives from the end of the year improvement, but it shouldn't prevent us from taking steps to make this a consistently good area of the team. I still see at least two if not three positions that need new long-term answers.

  15. #15
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    Re: The O-Line..The O-Line..The O-Line

    To make a long story short. We need a better O-line. They started to show some consistency the last 5 games but.....we still lost..... the last 5 games.

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