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Thread: Pace update
There was some good news: OT Orlando Pace got drilled in the ribs, and it knocked the wind out of him, but he’s OK. When he walked off the field in obvious discomfort, it looked bad. But it wasn’t.
Re: Pace update
I just made it up. No I'm not here to rip on the Rams.
Sunday Sass (updated) from Philadelphia
By Bernie Miklasz
Think “Bernie Bits” on steroids.
Hope everyone was having a good weekend … well, at least until Sunday at noon, St. Louis, time, when the Philadelphia Eagles began their systematic thrashing of the hapless Rams in a blowout that ended 38-3.
The franchise established a new low. The 35-point loss was the worst loss by a Rams team in a season-opening game.
* There was some good news: OT Orlando Pace got drilled in the ribs, and it knocked the wind out of him, but he’s OK. When he walked off the field in obvious discomfort, it looked bad. But it wasn’t.
* And that’s your good news. One item. OK, maybe a couple of other things: Donnie Jones averaged 48.5 yards on 10 punts. Ten punts? And I thought the young OLB, Quinton Culberson, had an active game. He’s going to be a good player. TE Randy McMichael averaged 15.4 yards on 7 grabs.
* It was early in the second quarter, 14-0 Eagles, and I was just sitting here thinking: is it even possible to start off a season and worse than the Rams have? I mean, seriously. There was HC Scott Linehan’s decision to defer after winning the coin toss. Injuries to Leonard Little and Drew Bennett. False starts. Confusion on the offensive side and wasting two timeouts. Giving up big plays on defense. The weird Torry Holt sideline penalty when an official bumped into him. Marc Bulger’s happy feet. The busted coverages in the secondary.
* This was a false start by the entire team.
* The Eagles outgained the Rams 151 yards to 28 in the first quarter.
* And 331-87 in the first half.
* And 522-166 overall.
* And the Rams converted no third-down plays in 11 attempts. Zero. “It’s terrible,” Bulger said. “As bad as you can get. It’s unacceptable.”
* The Rams’ yards-allowed total (522) was the second-highest against them since the team moved to STL in 1995.
* The 166 yards gained by the Rams offense represented the fifth-lowest total in a game since the Rams moved to STL.
* It was 21-0 nothing after someone named Hank Baskett ran uncovered and untouched to haul in a 90-yard TD catch. Eagles QB Donovan McNabb had the easiest game of his career, completing 21 of 33 yards for 361 yards and three TDs. And he wasn’t sacked. And was barely touched. The dude didn’t have to worry about icing down after the game.
* And don’t forget, McNabb shredded the Rams even though his top two receivers, Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown, were out with injuries.
* Irate Rams fans are gonna dog head coach Scott Linehan, which is warranted, because this was a disgraceful non-effort by his team, and it’s a poor reflection of the HC. But what about the defensive coordinator, Jim Haslett? His unit didn’t show up today. The secondary was a disorganized mess. Young players, like Tye Hill, aren’t getting better. After this one, Haslett deserves as much heat as anyone.
* It’s Tye Hill’s third season. He got scorched early for longball receptions of 47 and 52 yards. By now, shouldn’t Hill be giving at least some indication that he’ll be a good NFL cornerback? The guy has done little in his career. And to think that the Rams passed up a chance to draft QB Jay Cutler to move down and choose Hill. Or they could have drafted CB Antonio Cromartie, who went four picks later, to San Diego.
* Late in the first half … and the Rams still haven’t thrown a ball in Torry Holt’s direction… OK, they finally threw one… to his feet. What’s up with that? Isn’t he supposed to be a central figure in this offense? To hear the Eagles tell it, Holt was nullified by CB Asante Samuel, the big free-agent signing of this past offseason. Holt finished with one catch for 9 yards.
* I was excited about seeing the Al Saunders offense … but there was no there, there. Looked like the Linehan offense from 2006, 2007 — only worse.
* The Rams offense went three-plays-and-out on seven of their 11 possessions.
* Dante Hall has lost his quickness. Or most of it, anyway.
* Imagine how bad it would have been had the Eagles turned Brian Westbrook loose. He had 21 touches in the game, but wasn’t the focus of the offense.
* Please: start playing the rookie WR, Keenan Burton. The Rams need some speed on the perimeter.
* Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News was here, and he’s the best draft-expert scribe out there. So given how dreadful the Rams are, I asked the Goose a pertinent question: who will be the first pick in the 2009 NFL draft? Goose said that among the seniors Georgia Tech DE Michael Johnson is the best player. But Gosselin’s early ratings don’t include any college underclassmen.
* Marc Bulger simply does not throw with any authority… none whatsoever … he doesn’t step into any of this throws. Everything is unloaded off the back foot, or when he’s shuffling his feet. Bulger just can’t get set to fire and deliver. Not with any firmness. I say this with no malice, but Bulger still has not recovered from last year’s savage beating. He’s just messed up. It’s sad to watch a shaky Bulger complete only 6 of 15 in the first half. His final line of 14 for 26 for 158 yards and no TDs or INTs seems drab, but it was much worse than that. Bulger was really a whisper out there. Four sacks punished him anew.
* This rookie DeSean Jackson, the Eagles’ 2nd-round draft pick … the Rams’ draft people thought he was too small, and rather one-dimensional. I don’t know; he looks like a baller to me. He caught 6 passes for 106 yards and returned 8 punts for 97 yards, including a 60-yarder. One of the catches went for 47 yards. The Rams drafted Donnie Avery instead of Jackson. “That was in the back of my mind,” Jackson said after the game. “I wanted to get something done against them.” Consider it done.
* When Philadelphia glided down the field, going 9 plays and 56 yards to make it 28-0 with 5:45 remaining in the third quarter, I was thinking that basically this was the NFL version of SEMO at Mizzou. “It was about as bad as you can get beat in an NFL game,” Bulger said.
* Post-Dispatch Rams beatwriter Jim Thomas was having flashbacks in the press box at Lincoln Field; this one reminded him of covering some of those Missouri football teams in the mid-1980. Not quite the Norman Conquest, but …
* The KC Chiefs don’t have much talent; they’re rebuilding. But as I type this, the Chiefs are giving New England all that the Patriots can handle. That game is a dogfight. And here’s the difference between the Chiefs and the Rams: at least the KC players want to play for, and will play hard for, their head coach, Herm Edwards. I still want to see some evidence that Rams players will play for Linehan.
* Lots of rain in Philly on Saturday. It poured for hours. But even though there was a college football game (UConn vs. Temple) at Lincoln Financial on Saturday, the field was in remarkably good shape. Wasn’t chewed up at all. Surprising. It’s a beautiful, sunny day here.
* Self-indulgent personal note: I flew to Baltimore on Saturday to see my Mom before driving up tp Philly on Sunday morning. We went dinner, of course, and the steamed crabs at Obrycki’s on East Pratt Street in downtown Baltimore were simply fantastic.
* A couple of fans e-mailed to ask if Rams managing partner Chip Rosenbloom would be at Sunday’s game. The answer is: no. Chip and his sister Lucia Rodriguez will be in the house Sunday when the Rams play the NY Giants in the home opener at The Ed. Chip tells me that he or his sister will be at every home game. And he said he’s feeling “optmistic” about the season. Nothing has changed on the sales front. Chip does not want to sell but has said all along that if the right offer came from the right party, he would consider it. If and when he sells, Rosenbloom would like to place the team in the hands of an owner determined to keep the team in St. Louis. Because of the long-term uncertainty of the Rams’ ownership situation, Rams president John Shaw resigned from the NFL’s Labor Committee. But this wasn’t a big deal; Shaw has slowly been withdrawing from daily operations as a Rams’ exec. Most of his time is spent assisting Chip and Lucia on an incredibly difficult and complex task of settling the estate of their late mother, Georgia Frontiere.
* SEMO received $250,000 to take that 52-3 beating from Mizzou on Saturday at Faurot Field. I like the way Dave Matter put it in the Columbia Tribune: that payday amounted roughly to $35,000 per touchdown. I don’t understand how Mizzou really benefits from a game like this, but I suppose it’s good to get the backup players, the less experienced players, some work.
* What really impressed was the crowd of 62,305 at Faurot. That’s a helluva turnout for a nothing game.
* Coach Gary Pinkel’s decision to burn freshman QB Blaine Gabbert’s potential redshirt season makes sense only if Gabbert sees enough meaningful playing time this season in a way that gets him ready to take over as the starter in a calm, assured way in 2009. I trust Pinkel. He handled the Brad Smith / Chase Daniel transition very well in 2005, giving Daniel enough clock to get him fully prepared for ‘2006.
* Nevada is up next for the Tigers and that one isn’t a practice game. Nevada isn’t bad. Saturday Texas Tech led Nevada by only 14-9 at the half before winning 35-19. Nevada had the edge in yards, 488-421. And heralded Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell completed only 19 of 46 passes with two INTs. One minus for Nevada: it lost RB Luke Lippington, the WAC’s leading returning rusher, to a season-ending knee inury.
* I don’t know who Travorus Bess is, and he isn’t listed on the Eastern Illinois depth chart. But he rushed for 183 yards on 15 carries Saturday against Illinois. The Illini had way too much offense, way too much Juice Williams, to be threatened in the game. But the Illinois defense has been staggeringly bad against the run in the first two games. The tackling has been poor. Ron Zook and staff have a lot of corrections to make before Big Ten play begins.
* Wow: looking at next weekend’s schedule, I was stunned to see that Kansas actually has a real non-conference football game against a real opponent, playing at South Florida. How in the world did the KU athletic director and coach Mark Mangino allow that to happen?
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Blog Comments: Rules of the Road
If you hurry Bernie, I think there’s an earlier flight you can catch at 3:00ET out of Philly Int’l.
1:02 pm September 7th, 2008
It is the third period with five minutes to go. The Rams have a new nickname: “The Greatest Slow On Earth”
What a debacle! At this rate, Mr. Linehan will be gone by week eight, if not sooner.
It will be a looongg long year.
2:15 pm September 7th, 2008
2:46 pm September 7th, 2008
This team is not ready to play football, on the offense, defense, and special teams. This team is just ready to be on a football field with another NFL team. This team has not improved one little bit. I would not let Lineham ride the team plane back to St. Louis,and put Haslett on notice. It is ok to lose, but to look like you do not belong on the feild, is something else. The preparation for this game just does not exist. Not a one of their 1st and 2nd round picks have a positive impact. SHAMEFUL
2:48 pm September 7th, 2008
Bernie, you talk about Kansas’ pre confernece schedule, what about the Tigerettes…Buffalo, Neveda and a SEMO, who is that? Too bad Alden didn’t keep Georgia on the schedule, then you might have a point…lol…
2:55 pm September 7th, 2008
linehan’s decision to kick off instead of recieve the opening kickoff was an attempt to set the tone of the game with his defense..mission accomplished…the team was not ready for prime time and showed they cannot play with the big dogs.talentwise,coachingwise or heartwise…i have a feeling its not gonna be easy to sell my season tickets to even the opposing team this year..(just kiddin jackson)
2:57 pm September 7th, 2008
Being this miserale will only alienate the fan base and help set up NFL approval for a move to LA
3:14 pm September 7th, 2008
Nevada could be a trap game thank god the Tigers have them at Home
3:16 pm September 7th, 2008
Fire Linehan he has no leadership skills and send Haslett out the door end this charade. Too bad Mizzou or KU didn7t schedule the rams for an easy W.
3:21 pm September 7th, 2008
I’ve made fun of Mizzou’s schedule already … besides, Illinois for an opener is a pretty tough game.
— Bernie Miklasz
4:27 pm September 7th, 2008
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You've read him in the Post-Dispatch since 1989. You can argue with him online in Bernie’s Press Box forum. And now, you can get more of columnist Bernie Miklasz's opinions in "Bernie’s Extra Points" blog. He'll post quick-hit commentaries here at random times and from random venues, so check back often for his latest.
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