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  1. #1
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    On offense, Rams' show is a big dud

    By Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    09/17/2007

    There were no human weapons of mass destruction aimed at Marc Bulger's chest anymore. The mad procession of blitzing cornerbacks, stunting linebackers and snarling defensive linemen who spent most of Sunday afternoon taking turns propelling themselves into Bulger's tender ribs had mercifully come to an end.

    At the end of another awful day at the office, Bulger limped slowly across the near-empty locker room, gingerly weaving between shredded bits of discarded tape, heavy bags of equipment and soiled uniforms and towels. He'd already guzzled some painkillers on the sideline, done the ice bag dance in the training room, then moved on to the soothing waters of a hot shower. All that was left now was the simple task of putting on his street shoes.

    "Eehhhhh," he groaned.

    "Argggggh," he sighed.

    Nearly 90 minutes after the Rams had lost 17-16 to the visiting San Francisco *****, Bulger struggled with the simplest tasks. He could hardly slip into that shoe. He could barely put on his cufflinks. Bulger had been pounded all afternoon by a relentless San Francisco defense that sacked him six times, but also tortured him with countless other direct-hit hurries and near-miss assaults. As the 30-year-old quarterback tried to make his way out of the locker room, he moved with the uneasy motions of an arthritic 60-year-old.

    "I can promise you that on Wednesday, I'll be fine," he said, the grin trying to cover up the grimace.

    Don't bet on it.

    If the first two weeks of this early 2007 season are evidence, then there's no way Bulger can possibly remain in one piece for 14 more games. How do you expect to win games with an offense that seems hellbent on getting its quarterback dismembered and its featured running back stark raving mad over his inexplicable lack of use in the crunch?

    How do you expect to win games with an offense that managed nearly 400 yards of offense, but only came away with one touchdown and 16 measly points?

    Near the end of a game that the Rams could have — and probably should have — seized control of maybe five different times, the enduring images of the day were these two disturbing scenes:

    — A woozy Bulger sitting on the bench with a phalanx of medical folks cluttered around, examining him as if he was a punch-drunk boxer.

    — A seething Jackson storming off the field after another failed fourth-quarter drive, cussing up a storm at the head coach and several other folks on the sidelines because the pass protection stunk and the Pro Bowl tailback had touched the ball only once on the drive.

    Welcome to the Nightmare on Broadway, a recurring horror story filled with rotten pass-blocking, incomprehensible play-calling decisions and Sunday afternoon bouts of amnesia in the coach's booth. It was another game where offensive coordinator Greg Olsen drifted off into a pass-crazy approach (41 pass attempts) that neglected to emphasize Jackson nearly enough (only 21 carries for 60 yards rushing and just three catches for 36 yards).

    It was another game where after scoring a touchdown on the second possession of the game, the Rams offense fell into old and annoying habits. Lots of yardage between the 20-yard lines, little production inside the red zone. Lots of odd play calls. Lots of needless hits on Bulger. Lots of misuse of Jackson, who touched the ball only three times the entire fourth quarter.

    I understand that offenses sometimes take a while to find a rhythm, particularly those like the Rams whose offensive line is in tatters because of injuries. But this is ridiculous. "We have too many offensive weapons to keep coming away with three points, three points, three points," tight end Randy McMichael said. "We gotta get it corrected. If we have to practice (red zone offense) on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, then let's do it."

    There's a reason the Rams made Jackson the face of this franchise. It's the same reason they gave Bulger a sizeable new contract extension. They did all of this because they believed that no matter what sort of adversity came their way, they had the weapons to light up the scoreboard like the good old days of the Greatest Show on Turf.

    Sadly, all we've seen so far is another show entirely.

    As Bulger went limping out the door, he was no longer the star of that former Broadway smash hit. He was the victim of too many smashes and hits as the battered star of the Chuck 'N Duck, and he looked like a man who couldn't wait for this flop to leave Broadway.


  2. #2
    mikhal5569's Avatar
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    Re: On offense, Rams' show is a big dud

    The only thing keeping me from calling for the coaches heads is all the turnovers the players committed. If you take away just half of those turnovers we would still be 2-0. Regardless, not going for it on 4th and 2 is unacceptable. Everyone who knows the Rams knows that a 56 yard kick is simply out of Wilkins range. The players did their job putting us in winnable games twice in a row and the coaches failed to come up with a game plan to win. As far as this fan is concerned, the coaching staff is on their final chance.

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    Re: On offense, Rams' show is a big dud

    — A seething Jackson storming off the field after another failed fourth-quarter drive, cussing up a storm at the head coach and several other folks on the sidelines because the pass protection stunk and the Pro Bowl tailback had touched the ball only once on the drive.
    Very interesting right there. Especially considering the debate that raged on here as to if he was really yelling at the coaches or not. If this is what indeed happened I don't blame him a bit. I'd be yelling at everybody I saw after that let down.

  4. #4
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    Re: On offense, Rams' show is a big dud

    Quote Originally Posted by mikhal5569 View Post
    The only thing keeping me from calling for the coaches heads is all the turnovers the players committed. If you take away just half of those turnovers we would still be 2-0. Regardless, not going for it on 4th and 2 is unacceptable. Everyone who knows the Rams knows that a 56 yard kick is simply out of Wilkins range. The players did their job putting us in winnable games twice in a row and the coaches failed to come up with a game plan to win. As far as this fan is concerned, the coaching staff is on their final chance.
    I don't know what to think of the coaching staff right now, when I watch Linehan at the press conference I feel like he is just overwhelmed right now,most new coaches are handed a bad situation with the understanding that there job is to make it better,he was handed a good team and expected to take it to the next level right away and has failed in a big way.I don't think he is a bad coach but maybe he was handed the keys to a car that he can't drive.I see alot of talent and potential greatness being wasted and it bugs the hell out of me.

  5. #5
    Guam rammer's Avatar
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    Re: On offense, Rams' show is a big dud

    The only thing i can actually hold against Linehans head is the game deciding field goal. That was dumb but we shouldnt have been in that situation in the 1st place!!! Was it the coach who punched the ball loose from Holts hand in a potential scoring drive? Was it the coach who muffed the kick? did the coach drop those easy passes to move the chains. and was it the coach who got somewhat 18 carries for only 60 something yards? Look at the tape!!! Bulger got slammed because of alot of missed blocks and Jax was guilty for missing a couple too. But Linehan stuck with the passing because Bulger was sizzling and Jax was being toasted. Linehan got bashed last week because the passing game just wasnt there so his balls were in question. He stretches the field this week and gets bashed again for not putting the ball in Jax hands during a crutial time of the game. We lost this game because the players couldnt hold the knife the right way and didnt know where to stick it. And if our line can't block for Bulger , what makes you think they'd be able to block for a measly 2 yrds?

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    jkramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: On offense, Rams' show is a big dud

    Quote Originally Posted by Guam rammer View Post
    The only thing i can actually hold against Linehans head is the game deciding field goal. That was dumb but we shouldnt have been in that situation in the 1st place!!! Was it the coach who punched the ball loose from Holts hand in a potential scoring drive? Was it the coach who muffed the kick? did the coach drop those easy passes to move the chains. and was it the coach who got somewhat 18 carries for only 60 something yards? Look at the tape!!! Bulger got slammed because of alot of missed blocks and Jax was guilty for missing a couple too. But Linehan stuck with the passing because Bulger was sizzling and Jax was being toasted. Linehan got bashed last week because the passing game just wasnt there so his balls were in question. He stretches the field this week and gets bashed again for not putting the ball in Jax hands during a crutial time of the game. We lost this game because the players couldnt hold the knife the right way and didnt know where to stick it. And if our line can't block for Bulger , what makes you think they'd be able to block for a measly 2 yrds?
    I'm not sure everyone is putting 100% of the blame on Linehan because there is plenty of blame to go around as you have mentioned some of it.But like it or not it starts with the coach, it's goes with the job.the best way to get around this is to win football games and then the blame game goes away.

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    Re: On offense, Rams' show is a big dud

    Who was playing FB for this game? I wonder if his decision to try a field goal on 4th and 2 and not going for it has to do with not having a legitimate FB?

    Linehan=idiot
    We will create such an onslaught against humanity that our enemies will take generations before ever thinking of attacking us again.
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