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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Predictable attack leads to predictable outcome

    By Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Monday, Sep. 24 2007

    TAMPA, FLA. As a furious squall turned Raymond James Stadium into a soggy
    quagmire late Sunday afternoon, there was another tempest brewing inside the
    visitors' locker room. The Rams were trying to convince a room full of media
    inquisitors and maybe themselves that their football season had not just
    washed away. In every corner of this cramped losers locker room, grim-faced
    players kept searching for all the right words to explain the mess and minimize
    the disaster.

    But really now, how do you find the right words for this?

    Tampa Bay 24, St. Louis 3.

    "It's like the bad luck truck is in the neighborhood right now," Dante Hall
    said.

    "We're still a good team," Drew Bennett said. "We just have to prove it."

    The Rams are 0-3 this morning, and the only thing they have proved so far is
    that they are what their record says they are. They keep looking for words that
    can make 0-3 sound palatable, but you can't put a pretty bow on it and convince
    a world full of doubters that your winless season is closer to prosperity than
    total calamity.

    But that didn't stop them from trying. When the grim-faced Scott Linehan
    marched into the corridor to face the media, the embattled second-year head
    coach began preaching his positive (did someone say delusional?) mantra. "As
    far as the game, the score doesn't indicate it, but we were right there,"
    Linehan said. "It may not look like it, but I feel very good about how we
    planned this football game. We stayed with it, even when it is easy to get away
    from it. We just have to be better finishers."

    Linehan keeps preaching that his team particularly his offense is ever so
    close to a harmonic convergence . But it's hard to sell that one to angry Rams
    fans who think his offense is underachieving.

    This so-called high-powered offense scored three points against the Bucs.

    Three points!!!!

    The Rams have become the biggest mystery of this early NFL season. Several NFL
    personnel types were in that Tampa Bay press box on Sunday and they can't
    understand what's happening, either. "Everyone keeps talking about New Orleans
    being the biggest surprise (winless team) in the league," one scout said.
    "Well, I think it's the Rams, because the Rams are so much more of a complete
    team than the Saints. They have a better defense, and they definitely have a
    better offense. There are a lot of weapons in that huddle."

    So why does an offense that has so much firepower and so many past and present
    Pro Bowl players continue to fail whenever it gets within 25 to 30 yards of the
    end zone? A big part of the problem with their lack of productivity continues
    to be play calling and game planning.

    Offensive coordinator Greg Olson approached this game with the same annoying
    predictability and passivity that failed him against Carolina and San
    Francisco. For a change, Olson did remember that Steven Jackson was still
    gainfully employed by the Rams, but then he forgot about everyone else in the
    huddle. He's either pass crazy or run obsessed, but rarely blends the two
    effectively. Sunday, part of that may have come from Linehan, who said he
    decided to eschew many deep routes or attacking the middle of the field out of
    fear that Bulger would get slaughtered by the Bucs' furious pass rush.

    But the Bucs don't exactly have a furious rush anymore.

    So why did Olson keep calling those unproductive quick outs and useless wide
    receiver screens whenever Tampa Bay stacked up eight men in the box? He has to
    know they simply won't work. Bubble screens work with shifty, elusive pass
    catchers or big, strong game-breakers who toss off defensive backs like lint.
    The Rams receivers are excellent route runners with great hands who rarely pick
    up any yards after the catch, which probably explains why they averaged an
    anemic 7.9 yards per catch against the Bucs.

    But the heart of the Rams' offensive woes happen the minute this team moves
    within sniffing distance of the red zone, and much of it has to do with
    unsophisticated game plans that run out of the same basic formations and
    produce far too many predictable outcomes.

    There are no style points given in the NFL. There are no "attaboys" and hearty
    backslaps given for a good effort. The only thing that matters in this league
    is production, and right now, the only thing Linehan's offense is producing is
    frustration.


  2. #2
    Goldenfleece's Avatar
    Goldenfleece is offline Registered User
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    Re: Predictable attack leads to predictable outcome

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    So why did Olson keep calling those unproductive quick outs and useless wide
    receiver screens whenever Tampa Bay stacked up eight men in the box? He has to
    know they simply won't work. Bubble screens work with shifty, elusive pass
    catchers or big, strong game-breakers who toss off defensive backs like lint.
    The Rams receivers are excellent route runners with great hands who rarely pick
    up any yards after the catch, which probably explains why they averaged an
    anemic 7.9 yards per catch against the Bucs.
    I think this is one of our big problems on offense right now. We are not playing to our receivers' strengths. Let's see some deep outs, posts, maybe some crossing routes. Forget the screen unless you're going to a runningback or possibly McMichael lined up wide.

  3. #3
    onslaught11 Guest

    Re: Predictable attack leads to predictable outcome

    Talk about predictable. Stop trying to throw to Drew Bennett on 3rd down or near the endzone. Even I knew when the Rams were going to throw to Bennett. I saw we were near the endzone, they are going to throw it to Bennett. Incomplete, he was double covered. Throw again to him, interception. This play calling is making me puke.:l

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