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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Offensive play by Rams dictates a need for changes

    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    09/23/2007

    After watching the Rams submit to Sundayís 24-3 beating in Tampa, the only reasonable assessment is this:

    This team must blow up its offense and start over again.

    This franchise employs Steven Jackson, Marc Bulger, Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, Randy McMichael, Drew Bennett and rookie hybrid back Brian Leonard. This is an outstanding array of skill players, better than most groups in the NFL.

    And yet the Rams have scored exactly two touchdowns this season, on a pair of Bulger scoring strikes to Holt. They have scored just 32 points in three games, all losses.

    How could this possibly happen?

    Sure, injuries are an issue. Bulger and Bennett are clearly playing hurt. Holt may have lost a step with his gimpy knee. The offensive line has been riddled with injuries, including another major one Sunday as guard Mark Setterstrom went down.

    On the other hand, the Rams did plug in replacement linemen with NFL experience. Itís not like they threw rookies into the fire. Adam Goldberg, Milford Brown and Claude Terrell have played in the league.

    And the Rams havenít faced a murdererís row of opponents, having played Carolina and San Francisco at home and the Buccaneers on the road.

    ē After holding the Rams to 13 points, the Panthers gave up 34 points (including seven on a fumbled kick return) to Houston, at home, the following week.

    ē After holding the Rams to 16 points, the ***** allowed 37 points (including seven by the defense) Sunday at Pittsburgh.

    These defenses do not inspire fear and loathing across the NFL. And yet they, like the Buccaneers, always stopped the Rams when they had to.

    During the first three weeks of the season, the Rams coaching staff has failed to devise a winning game plan. The play-calling hasnít been good enough and the teamís execution has stunk, too.

    The Rams have been especially bad during the second halves of games. That falls directly on the coaches, since whatever adjustments they made were trumped (and then some) by the other staff.

    The players arenít blameless in all this. Jackson, Holt and punt returner Dante Hall coughed up costly fumbles. Bulger has thrown costly interceptions.

    But it falls on the coaches to prepare the team physically, emotionally and tactically. The Rams have fallen short in each area in all three games.

    In this game, the Rams protected the battered Bulger by feeding Steven Jackson the football as much as possible. He ground out 133 yards on his 34 touches, effectively moving the ball through the middle of the field. We canít argue with that part of the plan.

    The Rams forced the Buccaneers to bunch their defense more than they wanted. But once that happened, they didnít do any damage over the top of it. And in the red zone, the Rams looked as lost as ever.

    ďThe score doesn't indicate it,Ē Rams coach Scott Linehan told reporters after this fiasco, ďbut we were right there.Ē

    No you werenít. Your team didnít score a touchdown. At critical points in the game, your team settled for a couple of long field-goal attempts -- which Jeff Wilkins inexplicably missed.

    Your team was absolutely dreadful in the second half. Your defense finally collapsed after realizing that the offense was never, EVER going to score a touchdown in this game.

    Last year, Linehan gave his play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Greg Olson when his team stayed in a rut. That was a major decision.

    Even more drastic action is required this fall. This season is fast getting away.

    This safety-first philosophy isnít working. This offense is passive and predictable. Starting Sunday in Dallas, the Rams must become aggressive and unpredictable.

    Whatís the worst that can happen? Another loss?

    Their game plans must become more daring. Their play-calling must become more imaginative. Their preparations must become far more intense.

    This regime is 8-11 and headed south. If these coaches canít turn this team around, immediately, then upper management will have to step in.

    This team has too much talent to give fans horrifying flashbacks of Tony Banks and June Henley. Who could have ever imagined a team with Holt, Bruce, Jackson and Bulger could play like this?


  2. #2
    Ram Dragoon's Avatar
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    Re: Offensive play by Rams dictates a need for changes

    For my part I been saying that for the last two weeks--open the playbook. Certainly the battered up o-line can excute some plays well. Then expand the book from there. I said bring back the reverses, flanker screens, flea flicker--anything that would keep a defense off balance

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    Re: Offensive play by Rams dictates a need for changes

    The offense has been just that, "Offensive".

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    Re: Offensive play by Rams dictates a need for changes

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Dragoon View Post
    For my part I been saying that for the last two weeks--open the playbook. Certainly the battered up o-line can excute some plays well. Then expand the book from there. I said bring back the reverses, flanker screens, flea flicker--anything that would keep a defense off balance

    Think the OL could keep the defense out of our backfield long enough for these types of plays to develop?:x
    RnD

    GO RAMS!!

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    Re: Offensive play by Rams dictates a need for changes

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood85 View Post
    The offense has been just that, "Offensive".
    Funny. But sad and dead serious.


    Playing in the house of the Cowgirls this Sunday will be tough.

    I hope Linehan calls Mad Mike Martz tomorrow, invites him to have dinner at a fine Detroit restaurant and gets him to scribble some plays on a napkin.

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