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Thread: QB with nervous feet
-09-15-2008 #1Registered User
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QB with nervous feet
I have seen numerous comments in other threads about the O line and Bulger. Some saying it is all Bulger's fault for not being nimble enough to avoid pressure or not fast enough in getting rid of the ball. In others all the blame falls on the O line. Here are my thoughts.
Virtually all of the time when a QB gets nervous feet it is due to continuous protection breakdowns by the O line. A QB has a right to expect a 3 to 5 second window in which to run through his check downs. The Rams O line has been consitantly unable to provide that protection for several years. Key word, YEARS. Not one quarter. Not one game. Not one season. YEARS! The offense as a whole is going to be unable to produce if the O line can't, or wont, do its job.
Someone in one of the other threads invoked the name of Jim Everret. The biggest thing I remember about the Jim Everret years was him having to run for his life down after down after down.
During the height of the Warner years 99, 2000, 2001 he was able to count on the 3 to 5 seconds from his O line most of the time. It was after the O line began to fail that Warner was getting creamed.
Now some of this issue can be blamed on injuries. I know "Injuries is never a legitimate excuse, every team has them." But if you look at the best teams in the league, Colts, Patriots, Steelers, Giants. They have very, very, very, few injuries to the O line starters. Their O lines are rock solid, and the QBs have faith and confidence in them. This translates into not worrying about the rush coming, and into finding the receivers and backs. In other words making the plays, not running for their lives.
Once a QB developes nervous feet it is very hard to get their confidence back. It takes a long time behind a O line they feel they can trust. And while there are certain linesmen (Pace) that do their jobs and do it well, most of the current line is a sieve. Constant break downs in protection, constant penalties negating posative plays. You would think that nearly the enitre line were rookies, instead of 3 to 5 year vets. This week no false starts, but lots of other penalties. Last week 6 different players false starting.
Right now the O line is my biggest concern and is the place that needs the most attention. Yes I know the rest of the team isn't doing that well either. But you have to start somewhere.
First. STOP SHUFFLING THEM AROUND TO COVER AN INJURY!!!!!!! This severely disrupts the cohesion of the line as a whole. I do not care is sub player A is better at left guard than right tackle. When the O line has been practicing over and over with players in certain positions that is where they are needed. There is far less adjusting to do mentally if you only have one player moved than several players moved. The entire concept of practicing is to become so familiar with your position that you no longer have to think about how to play it. Every time to shuffle them around their brains get in the way of playing.
Second. Hold them accountable for their mistakes. If they blow a play, dock their pay. If they commit a penalty, dock their pay. I am not talking about if they honestly get beat by another player, but if they miss their assignment, run the wrong play, then make them pay. This will start to impact the paycheck warriors who are going through the motions to get their paycheck and either make them earn it, or weed them out.
It is no secret that certain players make the same mistakes over and over and over. It is time to step up or sit down. Stop making excuses for them and either shape up or bench them. Regardless of how much they are paid.
Now I know that sound like it should be applied to Bulger too, but his issues are mainly coming from the lack of effort from the O line. If you fix that, most his problems will go away. If not, then apply all the above to him too.
Third. I do not care if it is only the second game of the season and that it may not be politic or economical to can coaches at this time, but even if you are going to write off the season and focus on rebuilding, it is time to start pruning the tree. Linehan has lost control of the team. They are not even putting an effort out anymore. Players on the side line laughing while they are getting stomped are not supporting their team mates. Bad attitude. Wrong attitude. If I were the head coach I would have been in his face and telling him to shape up or head to the locker room. There is nothing funny about getting our heads handed to us in our own house on a day dedicated to the memory of our late owner.
I am not a fair weather fan, I still walk around in my Rams hat and shirt and coat. But does not mean I am not going to speak up and tell them they stink and need to clean house. Nor does it mean that I am going to torment myself by watching them give up each week. I rarely get to watch them anyway since I can't afford the Sunday Ticket on Satelite and live in Ohio an hour away from Cleveland. (Yeah I get FORCE fed Browns, Steelers, and Bengals each week). So I will just read the mess on the news on Monday and hope that someone in the Rams organization wakes up.
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