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  1. #1
    RAMFANRAIDERHATER's Avatar
    RAMFANRAIDERHATER is offline Registered User
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    The problem is pretty simple, really

    Wow, I can't believe some of the stuff I'm reading in here after the loss yesterday. "Our WR's are the problem", "Jackson isn't getting it done", "Bulger is it", "Linehan doesn't understand the rivalry with the Whiners...." The problem is simple fellow Ram fans. The offensive and defensive lines. Plain and simple.

    The offensive line is losing the battle in the trenches, partly because we weren't that good to begin with, and now that we've already lost two starters, it'll probably get worse. No blocking, missed assignments = sacks, negative running plays and hurried throws. Look, our "playmakers" are some of the best in the business. Bulger has proven that he's as accurate as anybody wearing a football jersey. Holt, Bruce and Curtis are one of the top trios in the NFL. Jackson is a load, and although not MF, he's in the top 10, potentially.

    The defensive line is pretty much the same problem. Not enough consistent penetration or disruption of the passing game unless we blitz, which unfortunately puts pressure on DB's that are average at best. Also, our guys are undersized and get pushed around by bigger O-lines. All great teams have one thing in common, great lines. The big boys in the trenches are always the key to every game. Watch any game and see who owns the 2-3 yard zone at the line. They are the ones that win consistently. Until the Rams improve the O & D lines, expect some pretty mediocre years, no matter how great our "playmakers" are. I believe we're heading in the right direction, as Incognito and Barron should be solid for years to come. But we need more. Until they give Bulger some time to check his receivers, the passing game will struggle. And if the passing game continues to struggle, it will begin to look like sharks at a feeding frenzy. If other teams can pressure Bulger by rushing only four, they'll have us right where they want us. Obviously, we can't "fix" the line this year. It is what it is. Linehan will have to adjust his game plan accordingly and hope for the best. IMO he'll need to use more two-back sets and he MUST get his TE's and RB's to block. Otherwise, expect Bulger to spend some time on IR. :x

    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

  2. #2
    rammiser's Avatar
    rammiser is offline Registered User
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    Re: The problem is pretty simple, really

    I could not agree more great post.
    Just Fix It

  3. #3
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    Re: The problem is pretty simple, really

    I agree for the most part. I must say though the middle of the field is not being worked enough. That is my credo and Im sticking with it.
    LET'S GO DODGERS

  4. #4
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    Re: The problem is pretty simple, really

    There's truth to your premises, RFRH, but I'm not all convinced that it is that "plain and simple".

    In terms of the OL, I think we had a much better chance with McCollum at center. Now, as you said, it is what it is and we just have to make the best out of it. On the defensive side, it looks like the DL will solidify sooner and stronger than the OL (as for their size, I think the DL is rather average and not undersized).

    What I'm waiting for and hoping for is the TIMING aspects of the game, either side of the ball. And yes, I agree, the timining of a pass pattern or a screen or what-have-you is also inherent in the ability of the OL to do their job well.

    I was just reading Coach Linehan's comments on the obvious difficulties his team is going through and that, the timing, is one theory I believe in -- for now. We need to get that act together!

    Sure, the OL/DL are football fundamentals and ours are not exactly at their finest. But, again, I see a good part of the problem hanging on the TIMING issue of the plays, some that, vanilla or not, may be too new to attain full dexterity and high performance on behalf of the team as it stands now. That preseason exercize was simply not sufficient to prepare us properly.

    Let's hope for another big punch from the defense in general next Vs. Arizona, like the surprising, gun-ho attack in game 1.
    Last edited by RealRam; -09-19-2006 at 03:47 PM. Reason: Typo

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    WhinerFan is offline Registered User
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    Re: The problem is pretty simple, really

    The largest difference in San Francisco's offense has been line play, and it would benefit St. Louis to take a look. SF has a total of six former day-one draft picks on the roster as OL, including three first-rounders and two very early second-rounders. The other, Adam Snyder, was traded up for in the third round (and was the reason the left side of SF's line surrendered no sacks).

    Bulger is not mobile, and Jackson is not small enough to squeeze through very small holes, although they are both very good players.
    Last edited by WhinerFan; -09-19-2006 at 10:55 AM.

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    Re: The problem is pretty simple, really

    I've already distributed some rep to the author of this post because I think it's a great post. As I've said elsewhere, 1-1 cannot have been unexpected after two games of the season. If the objections are more a question of style over substance (i.e yes we won a game but it was an ugly win) then I would refer those who are disappointed to take even greater notice of Linehan and Haslett's comments after the Bronco game.

    We are not a team that can turn up and blithely expect to win. No-one who is preaching patience is ignorant to the faults of this team or entirely happy with it's play but we are trying very hard to look at the situation objectively.

  7. #7
    Milan's Avatar
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    Re: The problem is pretty simple, really

    I don't think that the D-Line is the problem, our D-line has been pretty solid and Little's been putting pressure on in both games.

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    WhinerFan is offline Registered User
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    Re: The problem is pretty simple, really

    Quote Originally Posted by Milan View Post
    I don't think that the D-Line is the problem, our D-line has been pretty solid and Little's been putting pressure on in both games.
    Do you think that surrendering 127 yards rushing with zero sacks is solid D-Line play?

    When Little put on pressure, how many times was Alex Smith hurried? . . . Sacked?
    Last edited by WhinerFan; -09-19-2006 at 09:09 AM.

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    Re: The problem is pretty simple, really

    Sorry, double post.

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    shortman1984 is offline Registered User
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    Re: The problem is pretty simple, really

    I aggree about the offensive line..Im not really worried about the defense. Usually when we only give up 20 points we win..Plain and simple...But really this problem didnt happen untill we had to rearrange the line around when McCollum got hurt... I think that messed it up. I mean the Line was good in Game one so that does affect stuff...but even thought the line was good in game one we still didnt score a TD. So i dont know if you can blame that part on the O-line... I think it is more of not being use to the system....

  11. #11
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    Re: The problem is pretty simple, really

    Wait...dont we still have Pace and Barron?? Doesnt everyone like what they see out of Incognito? Is Timmerman swiss cheese? I believe Stuessie is a former pro bowler and Goldberg has legitimate NFL experience. I realize McCullom is lost but I think after a couple games Incog will round into a more than adequate replacement. Im not buying the "we werent that good to begin with" garbage...esp since we have a RB who is AVERAGING over 100 yds per game. This team is 8th in the NFL in rushing yds per game.


    Little Manning got decked EIGHT TIMES on Sunday and led his team back to a win...ON THE ROAD! SF had 2 key guys out on their line and a QB who has a HANDFUL of NFL games for experience. Bulger (QB rating of 77 even WITHOUT throwing a pick) simply isnt getting it done.
    "You people point your 'f'in' finger and say theres the bad guy....what that make you....good?" Tony Montana

  12. #12
    tanus is offline Registered User
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    Re: The problem is pretty simple, really

    Quote Originally Posted by WhinerFan View Post
    The largest difference in San Francisco's offense has been line play, and it would benefit St. Louis to take a look. SF has a total of six former day-one draft picks on the roster as OL, including three first-rounders and two very early second-rounders. The other, Adam Snyder, was traded up for in the third round (and was the reason the left side of SF's line surrendered no sacks).

    Bulger is not mobile, and Davis is not small enough to squeeze through very small holes, although they are both very good players.
    its steven jackson, not davis. hard to really take you seriously when you cant even get the starting rb correct.

  13. #13
    WhinerFan is offline Registered User
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    Re: The problem is pretty simple, really

    I apollogize, really. No sarcasm. I was posting on another site about Vernon Davis' dropped passes.

    I will edit my post.

    I do think, however, (being a fan of both teams) that my analysis was straight-forward.
    Last edited by WhinerFan; -09-19-2006 at 10:57 AM.

  14. #14
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: The problem is pretty simple, really

    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo Ram Fan View Post
    Wait...dont we still have Pace and Barron?? Doesnt everyone like what they see out of Incognito? Is Timmerman swiss cheese? I believe Stuessie is a former pro bowler and Goldberg has legitimate NFL experience. I realize McCullom is lost but I think after a couple games Incog will round into a more than adequate replacement. Im not buying the "we werent that good to begin with" garbage...esp since we have a RB who is AVERAGING over 100 yds per game. This team is 8th in the NFL in rushing yds per game.
    Pace is fine, but whether or not we "still have" him remains to be seen. We didn't have him for half of the Niners game and may not have him in the near future because of his injury.

    We have Barron, but he's still developing so let's not overrate him at this point. In two games he's already allowed one sack and has been called for a false start. Incognito has played two games as a pro and has looked solid, but like Barron still has a long way to go.

    Timmerman is really nothing more than an adequate starter at this point, IMO. He's getting by on smarts more than strength or physical ability, and I don't think he's consistently winning battles for us.

    In 12 NFL seasons, Todd Steussie is a two-time Pro Bowler. He went in 1997 and 1998. Since then he's been picked up by the Panthers and the Bucs and stuck in neither place. In three seasons with Carolina he committed a whopping 31 penalties and allowed 22 sacks. In two seasons at Tampa on a weak line, he had only five starts. A player's selection to the Pro Bowl eight years ago is not a strong indictment of how he's playing today.

    I don't think the line is horrible, but it's not that good either. It wasn't all that great last year, and we came into this season making only one replacement. We have one elite player in Pace, two inexperienced guys still finding their way in Barron and Incognito, one exceptionally long in the tooth veteran at RG in Timmerman, a center who likely is done for his career in McCollum, a fill in guard in Steussie who hasn't played at an elite level in nearly a decade, and a guy in Goldberg whose best attribute is that he has actually played in a game despite the fact that he was going to be cut by Minnesota before we traded for him.

    We have some solid/adequate guys, one elite guy, some guys that show potential for the future, but for the here and now, we don't have a lot. Especially if Pace is out longer than we think. We hope guys like Barron and Incognito can beat the learning curve because we need them to, but I really don't think they've dominated thus far.

    We do have a RB who is averaging over 100 yards per game, but I wonder how many of those yards are coming after contact or on cutback runs rather than from the actual ability of the line to move people in front of Jackson. Simply saying we have a 100-yard rusher isn't proof positive that we have a good offensive line, because actually watching the first two games would seem to indicate that Jackson is working pretty hard for those yards.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo Ram Fan View Post
    Little Manning got decked EIGHT TIMES on Sunday and led his team back to a win...ON THE ROAD! SF had 2 key guys out on their line and a QB who has a HANDFUL of NFL games for experience. Bulger (QB rating of 77 even WITHOUT throwing a pick) simply isnt getting it done.
    Interesting what happens when you take a closer look, though. Five of Manning's eight sacks came in the first half. Over the third and fourth quarters and overtime he was sacked a total of three times. Meanwhile, half of Bulger's six sacks came in the fourth quarter alone.

    This doesn't even begin to address the differences in defensive philosophy between the two teams, as somehow I doubt Philadelphia with a 17-point lead was playing Eli Manning the same way San Fransisco was playing Marc Bulger with a 7-point lead going into the fourth quarter.

  15. #15
    RAMFANRAIDERHATER's Avatar
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    Re: The problem is pretty simple, really

    Wait...dont we still have Pace and Barron?? Doesnt everyone like what they see out of Incognito? Is Timmerman swiss cheese? I believe Stuessie is a former pro bowler and Goldberg has legitimate NFL experience. I realize McCullom is lost but I think after a couple games Incog will round into a more than adequate replacement. Im not buying the "we werent that good to begin with" garbage...esp since we have a RB who is AVERAGING over 100 yds per game. This team is 8th in the NFL in rushing yds per game.
    I DO like what I see from Incognito and Barron, and said so in my initial post. That's why I think we're headed in the right direction. However, whenever the names Timmerman, McCollum, Stuessie, & Goldberg are mentioned, there is almost always the word "former" somewhere in the sentence. ...like in, "former" pro bowler. What we need, are "current" , or "potential" pro-bowlers. Hell, we had Joe Willie Namath as a QB once, and he was a "former" Superbowl winner, but what did he do for us? Of course, I'm saying that tongue-in-cheek, but you get my drift. Those guys are on the downside of a great career, but they are on the downside. The starting group of O-linemen were "servicable", as I said, but any injuries would be significant, and we saw that after Pace went out.

    I didn't say that all our woes are because of the lines. I suggested that poor line play is the root cause of our problems. That is where it all starts. Yes, our timing has been off, but you have to expect that with a new system. But if we had really solid O-line play, don't you think the "timing" issue would be a little quicker in coming around? If Bulger is not running (and I use that term loosely) around for his life, I'm pretty sure he'd be finding receivers a bit easier and we wouldn't be talking about his timing. Yes, Jackson has two 100-yard games, but run-blocking is a breeze compared to pass-blocking. So that alone doesn't mean we have an outstanding O-line, as someone else mentioned here.

    but even thought the line was good in game one we still didnt score a TD. So i dont know if you can blame that part on the O-line... I think it is more of not being use to the system....
    I will agree that the new system plays a part in the problems the Rams are trying to solve, but I wouldn't say we were "good". We couldn't punch in the ball from inside the freakin' five yard line! ...three times! A "good" line with lesser "playmakers" would have driven them back a couple of yards at a time and punched it in, or given Bulger an extra second to find the open man.
    Last edited by RAMFANRAIDERHATER; -09-19-2006 at 02:30 PM.
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

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