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  1. #1
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    Rams' chance fades away

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    09/25/2007

    Tampa Bay loaded the box with eight defenders to stop the run. Rams wide receiver Drew Bennett, at 6 feet 5, was matched up in one-on-one "press" coverage with Tampa Bay cornerback Phillip Buchanon, who is 5-11.

    On first and goal from the Tampa 10, it looked to be the perfect opportunity to run a fade pattern to the back of the end zone. Quarterback Marc Bulger thought so, too, checking out of a running play into a pass.

    Trouble was, Bennett ran to the back of the end zone, but Bulger threw it only 5 yards deep. Buchanon was beaten on the play, but because the pass was thrown well short of Bennett, Buchanon was able to recover and come away with the ball. The interception, with 5 minutes 42 seconds left in the third quarter, snuffed out one of the day's best scoring chances for the Rams, who trailed 10-0 at the time.

    "Obviously, we weren't on the same page," Bulger said. "I thought it was going to be a jump ball (where Bennett turns and comes back for the ball). He thought it was a fade (to the back of the end zone)."

    If so, it was news to coach Scott Linehan.

    "If that's the case, we're not doing a good enough job of coaching it, because it was a fade," Linehan said. "I'm sure Marc would tell you that if he had to do it all over again he'd throw it higher. But again, that's water under the bridge and we've got to work more at it."

    For his part, Bennett said he needed to play pass defense once it became apparent that the ball was underthrown.

    "I've got to protect the throw a little better," Bennett said. "I can't let the guy intercept it in the end zone. That's a big turnover."

    UPON FURTHER REVIEW

    So what's with all those short tosses to Rams wide receivers down the line of scrimmage this season — plays that have gained very little yardage?

    They're called "smokes" or "smokescreens" — and it's a form of audible to check out of a called running play against stacked boxes.

    "I think a few are good because we're looking for 4 yards, just like we are on a run," Rams coach Scott Linehan said. "It's not designed to be an explosive play necessarily. You can't live with them 100 percent, so we've got to find more ways to take advantage of maybe a bad look against the run."

    INJURY UPDATE

    — LG Mark Setterstrom (knee) is out for the season.

    — RB Steven Jackson (groin) is out for at least a week.

    — QB Marc Bulger has two broken ribs but will play Sunday.

    — RG Richie Incognito (ankle) is questionable for Dallas.

    — CB Tye Hill (back, ribs) is expected to be out another two to four weeks.

    — LB Pisa Tinoisamoa (ankle) is probable for Dallas.

    — WR Isaac Bruce (blow to head) should be fine for Dallas.

    — S Jerome Carter (thigh) is day to day.

    THE STAT

    In 21 red-zone plays this season, the Rams' offense has gained 30 yards.

    QUOTABLE

    "This is Week 3. We've got 13 more weeks. It'll be an even longer season if we decide to pack it in right now. But the character of the guys we have on this team, that's not going to happen."

    — FS Oshiomogho Atogwe

    LOOKING AHEAD

    In their first three games, the Rams have faced the NFL's No. 12 (Carolina), No. 23 (Tampa Bay), and No. 31 (San Francisco) offenses. They step up in class Sunday at Texas Stadium, against an unbeaten Dallas team that leads the NFC, and is second to New England, in the NFL in total offense.


  2. #2
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' chance fades away

    So what's with all those short tosses to Rams wide receivers down the line of scrimmage this season — plays that have gained very little yardage?

    They're called "smokes" or "smokescreens" — and it's a form of audible to check out of a called running play against stacked boxes.
    Interesting statement.

    Wasn't there a lot of criticism of Martz that his offense didn't allow the QB to audible out of plays based on reads? IF all those screens were in fact audibles, the idea of an inflexible play call is starting to look a little better, isn't it?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Rams' chance fades away

    What I find interesting about this is that we ran the ball 34 times, passed only 26 times...and if all those "smokescreens" were actually run plays we audibled out of, that means we probably had at least 6 or more called runs. A ground-based offense is one thing, but are we literally looking to the run the ball 2/3 of the time?

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    Re: Rams' chance fades away

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenfleece View Post
    What I find interesting about this is that we ran the ball 34 times, passed only 26 times...and if all those "smokescreens" were actually run plays we audibled out of, that means we probably had at least 6 or more called runs. A ground-based offense is one thing, but are we literally looking to the run the ball 2/3 of the time?
    I don't know what we are trying to do, it seems as though this coaching staff doesn't either,Linehan in his press conference doesn't give the feeling that things are going to change,he comes across to me like he is very confussed with everything,I just don't have a good feeling about him right now.

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