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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Raising concerns over Rams' run defense ..

    Jun 10, 2011 5:00 am
    By Mike Sando

    Joe from Phoenix raises concerns about the St. Louis Rams' run defense. He sees other NFC West teams beefing up their ground games while the Rams appear largely unchanged on defense when it comes to stopping the run.

    Mike Sando: The free-agent signing period was huge for the Rams in this department last offseason. It could be again. Defensive tackle Fred Robbins' addition from the New York Giants in free agency stands as one of the best moves in the division last offseason. The Rams could have a shot at another Giants lineman if Barry Cofield hits the market.

    Cofield has missed only one game in five NFL seasons. He realizes his future with the Giants could be in question after the team used a second-round draft choice for Marvin Austin. Cofield wants a long-term deal. He is 27 years old and would presumably work well with Robbins and fit well within the Rams' defensive scheme. Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo was the Giants' defensive coordinator for the 2007 and 2008 seasons. Cofield, who entered the NFL in 2006, started 30 games during that two-year span.

    The question would be whether the Rams would value Cofield enough to give him what the Giants might not be willing to give him. The Rams' need for a defensive tackle is greater than the Giants' need for one, so that could come into play.

    The Scouts Inc. report on Cofield says he "plays with good leverage in the run game" but isn't a dynamic player with any one outstanding attribute.

    The Rams could have gone after a defensive tackle in the first round of the draft, but pass-rush help is harder to find. It's tough to fault the team for selecting Robert Quinn in the first round based on the scouting reports.

    Shoring up the run defense has to be a priority this offseason.

    The Rams allowed 4.48 yards per rushing attempt last season, 22nd in the NFL. They ranked 17th in rushing yards allowed per game. Darren McFadden (145), Michael Turner (131) and Jamaal Charles (126) topped 100 yards rushing against the Rams last season. The Rams allowed 133.6 yards rushing per game in September, 76.2 in October, 118.3 in November and 134.6 after that point.

    St. Louis faces Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs, Ray Rice, Peyton Hillis, Rashard Mendenhall and Cedric Benson outside the division in 2011, plus two NFC West dates with Frank Gore. The Cardinals and Seahawks have also taken steps to improve their ground games. It is Seattle's No. 1 priority this offseason.

    The chart ranks rushing totals for the Rams' 2010 opponents in descending order.

    2010 St. Louis Rams Run Defense
    Date Opponent Rushing Yards Allowed

    Dec. 19 Kansas City Chiefs 210
    Sept. 19 Oakland Raiders 173
    Jan. 2 Seattle Seahawks 141
    Nov. 21 Atlanta Falcons 138
    Dec. 12 New Orleans Saints 132
    Oct. 24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 124
    Nov. 28 Denver Broncos 119
    Sept. 26 Washington Redskins 116
    Sept. 12 Arizona Cardinals 112
    Dec. 5 Arizona Cardinals 105
    Nov. 14 San Francisco ***** 98
    Oct. 10 Detroit Lions 89
    Dec. 26 San Francisco ***** 85
    Oct. 17 San Diego Chargers 79
    Oct. 3 Seattle Seahawks 64
    Oct. 31 Carolina Panthers 25

    No question that Barry would be a good addition at a position of need .. Will he price himself out of the picture? That is what remains to be seen ..

  2. #2
    ZiaRam is offline Registered User
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    Re: Raising concerns over Rams' run defense ..

    I think we need him for that other line spot. Can you imagine Hall, Robbins, Cofield, Long and Quinn rushing in as a Strong side LB or somewhere else on the line extra like Spags used to do with a extra end that Super Bowl season with the Giants? Pass rushing nightmare! I could see him being a Ram more than Plex because he has the experience of Spags Defense system.

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    RAMarkable is online now Registered User
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    Re: Raising concerns over Rams' run defense ..

    I realizethat it is all in the past now, but we passed on Steven Paea and Marvin
    Austin also to draft a hybrid TE in the 2nd round. While I have hope that that will ultimately work out,articles like this are troubling to say the least.
    The author is correct that our fellow members in the NFC West are actively beefing up their ground games. This includes Seattle who acquired 2 O linemen along with Marshawn Lynch and Arizona who drafted Ryan Williams in the 2nd round.
    Factor in that the Whiners also drafted two O lineman last year and that Harbaugh wants to build a power running-type team,and it becomes obvious that we had better show up with our chin straps buckled.

    The NFC West could well be transforming itself to more of a power football type division; not unlike the AFC North has been known to be.


  4. #4
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    Re: Raising concerns over Rams' run defense ..

    This stat surprised me quite a bit. We struggled towards the end of the season on a consistent basis. I think these average Joes at OLB are not getting the job done as well as some of the DL play.?

  5. #5
    TekeRam's Avatar
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    Re: Raising concerns over Rams' run defense ..

    It does kinda seem that the rest of the division is going to start to try playing "Manning-ball" with us doesn't it. Theonly way to beat Sam Bradford is to not let him into the game. Of course it won't help when he scored 35 points with 15 minutes of TOP...

    In all seriousness though, we need upgrades throughout our defense because last year our offense let teams stay in the game, which let them keep pounding the rock. This year, hopefully Sam will keep the offense rumbling down field, and so our pass defense will require a lot of work. No rest for Spags!
    I believe!

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