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  1. #1

    Smile Picking Rams, but Cardinals tempting (NFC West Preview)

    By Clark Judge CBS Sportsline

    The only certainty in the NFC West is the San Francisco *****. They're dead last and staying there for at least another season.

    That's not an indictment of new coach Mike Nolan. The club simply doesn't have the players he and his coaching staff need to resuscitate a 2-14 patient. So the ***** finish fourth. Now what?

    Torry Holt and the Rams look like the most dangerous crew in a jumbled division. (AP)
    Well, based on what I saw Monday night, I still like the Rams. I know, they lost defensive back Jerametrius Butler for the season, and their defense leaked like the S.S. Minnow in a preseason loss to San Diego. But these guys showed signs of brilliance Monday night, and the last time Mike Martz had a non-winning season, he followed with a division title.

    Make them the favorite in a photo finish with Arizona.

    The Cardinals could make their first trip to the playoffs since 1998 -- and maybe they should, given the condition of this division -- but I don't know if Kurt Warner can last 16 games. Heck, 12 games. If he plays three-quarters of the season, they have a shot, but Warner hasn't played more than nine games in any year since 2001.

    Then there's defending division champ Seattle, but for every player they kept -- and there were key re-signings of Matt Hasselbeck, Walter Jones and Shaun Alexander -- they lost another to free-agency. I'm afraid the outlook is as gloomy as the weather in January.

    Mike Martz bashers, you better sit this one out.

    St. Louis Rams
    Most significant additions: LB Chris Claiborne, LB Dexter Coakley, DB Michael Hawthorne, T Rex Tucker, TE Roland Williams, special teams coach Bob Ligashesky.

    Predicted Order of Finish
    1. Rams
    2. Cardinals
    3. Seahawks
    4. *****

    Most significant subtractions: QB Chris Chandler, S Rich Coady, DE Bryce Fisher, G Matt Lehr, T Kyle Turley.

    Biggest offseason move: Overhauling their linebackers with the acquisitions of Coakley and Claiborne.

    Will make the playoffs if ... they figure out how to play special teams.

    Won't make the playoffs if ... they don't improve the league's 29th-ranked rush defense.

    Rookie to watch: First-round draft pick Alex Barron is the fourth tackle, so you'd better forget him until next year. Watch fourth-round pick Jerome Carter instead. The first rookie to sign, he made an impact in offseason workouts and looks like a born leader at strong safety.

    Overview: The Rams flexed their muscle for national TV last Monday, and I was impressed. I saw them against San Diego; I saw them against Detroit. "This is the team we are," Martz said after demolishing the Lions. He'd better hope so. I like what I see in running back Steven Jackson, and quarterback Marc Bulger looks accurate, poised and confident. "We're deep," said Martz. "This could be a special team."

    Last edited by STLRAMSFAN; -09-01-2005 at 08:39 PM.

  2. #2
    Tony Soprano Guest

    Re: Picking Rams, but Cardinals tempting (NFC West Preview)

    He lasered in on this point, correctly:

    "Won't make the playoffs if ... they don't improve the league's 29th-ranked rush defense."

    Can Chris Chandler be considered a significant subtraction?

    Many of these media predictions are high on the Cardinals (he has them making the playoffs)..., but, they are souring on the Seahawks.

    Thanks for the post

  3. #3
    RamsFan16 Guest

    Re: Picking Rams, but Cardinals tempting (NFC West Preview)

    Thanks man. I read this before to. Maybe there are some reporters that don't dislike!

  4. #4

    Re: Picking Rams, but Cardinals tempting (NFC West Preview)

    We really didn’t lose much this year and your right on Chandler in fact the only player that we lost to another team that you could call a player is Fisher. We have people at that position that can play just as good if not better. Tyoka is one person I am high on but is not an ever-down DL. He doesn’t get talked about much but he seems to do good things when in there.


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