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  1. #1
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    Poor tackling dooms Rams' run defense

    By Bill Coats
    Sunday, Dec. 04 2005

    The Rams, who have a quirky way of making who's-he running backs look like Hall
    of Famers, were at it again Sunday.

    Much like New Orleans' Aaron Stecker, Carolina's Nick Goings and Green Bay's
    Najeh Davenport last year, Washington's Rock Cartwright ran through the Rams'
    defenders like Jim Brown in his prime. Cartwright, a fourth-year pro from
    Kansas State who had rushed for 68 yards all season, gashed the Rams for a
    career-high 118 yards on just nine carries.

    And he wasn't even the Redskins' leading rusher in their 24-9 victory at the
    Edward Jones Dome. That distinction went to Clinton Portis, who rolled up 136
    yards on 27 tries and scored two touchdowns.

    "We stuck with our bread and butter," Portis said. "The offensive line got an
    opportunity to fire off the ball, and it opened up lanes for us."

    That was a familiar refrain for the beleaguered Rams defenders, who have been
    vulnerable to the run for most of the season. This time it was worse than
    usual, though: They yielded 257 yards, which Rams publicists reported was the
    highest regular-season total by an opponent since the team moved to St. Louis
    in 1995, a span of 171 games.

    "Once again, we shoot ourselves in the foot - missed assignments, missed
    alignments, things like that," defensive tackle Ryan Pickett said. "It's very
    frustrating, especially when you watch film and you see the breakdowns. It's
    just one person out of their place or one missed tackle. We work hard to try to
    stop the run. And then to have breakdowns ... it's hard to win like that."

    After holding their first three opponents to double-figure rushing totals, the
    Rams have given up an average of 162.5 yards per game since. They went into
    Sunday's contest ranked 27th vs. the run and likely will drop another spot or

    Despite their woes, they hadn't seen two ballcarriers top 100 yards against
    them. In fact, that hadn't happened to a Rams defense in a regular-season game
    in 25 years (Detroit's Billy Sims and Dexter Bussey).

    "When two backs go over 100 yards, you have to take it personally," defensive
    end Leonard Little said. "It's really frustrating. People count on me to be the
    leader of this defense, and I have to go out there and make more plays."

    The Redskins dialed up 40 running plays, compared with only 22 passes.

    Rams interim head coach Joe Vitt cited missed assignments and poor tackling.
    "If you look at teams in the National Football League with good run defense,
    they have good tacklers," Vitt said. "We have to get better tacklers."

  2. #2
    Marshall1 Guest

    Re: Poor tackling dooms Rams' run defense

    I always said it, championship's are built with a good defense, I will stand by my quote. I missed seeing the game but I can see what happened, defense.
    What about our new linebacker, Clairborn? Has he made it to a game yet? I am just so frustrated right now, not with the players, with the front office.


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