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Rams defense is bringin' the heat ..
BY ROGER HENSLEY | Posted: Wednesday, October 6, 2010 1:23 pm
QUESTION: What do you think has been the key(s) to the Rams defensive turnaround this season?
In no particular order: (1) Fred Robbins is the anchor that’s been missing in the middle of the defensive line; (2) James Hall has 4 sacks, more than Jared Allen or Julius Peppers; (3) Chris Long has 7 quarterback knockdowns or hurries, which places him high on the list of league leaders; (4) MLB James Laurinaitis is no longer being suckered by misdirection plays and is playing the best ball of his young career; (5) as a set of starting corners Ron Bartell and Bradley Fletcher are allowing a low percentage of completions based on the number of passes attempted against them; (6) creative blitz schemes from head coach Steve Spagnuolo and coordinator Ken Flajole; (7) the Rams offense is more competitive and capable so the STL defense isn’t always placed in terrible situations.
The improvement has come in layers. Up front, DT Fred Robbins has had a big impact in run defense while also providing an occasional inside push. DE James Hall is singlehandedly trying to answer the question: Can the Rams get a pass rush with their front four? At linebacker, James Laurinaitis has upgraded his play from his rookie season and has been noticeably better in coverage. And in a defensive scheme that puts a lot of pressure on its cornerbacks, Ron Bartell and Bradley Fletcher are getting it done.
Fred Robbins has been strong at DT, both against the run and getting penetration. Na’il Diggs has solidified the linebacker corps. CBs Bradley Fletcher and Ron Bartell have been solid. Most of all, they’ve been able to force teams into FGs instead of TDs with an excellent third-down percentage.
Personnel! Adding Fred Robbins to the middle of the defensive line was huge. Getting Bradley Fletcher back at cornerback was huge. Getting Ron Bartell healthy was large as well. Rookies George Selvie and Eugene Sims have added pass rushing skill at defensive end. The growth of youngsters James Laurinaitis and Chris Long has helped immensely. The Rams are more physical at the corners, stronger at the point of the attack and more capable of generating a pass rush with their front four.
KEVIN WHEELER (Host of “Sports Open Line” on KMOX)
There are several key areas of improvement but in my eyes – cliche alert! – it starts up front. Consistent pressure from Chris Long, James Hall’s all-around game, Fred Robbins’ veteran presence (and solid performance), Gary Gibson’s toughness and George Selvie’s emerging pass-rush skills have all played a role in making the defense more of a force.
Their collective play has made blitzes more effective, it has left the linebackers in position to make clean tackles and it’s taken the pressure off the secondary as well. It’s also important to note that James Laurinaitis has gotten even better in his second year and that top corners Ron Bartell and Bradley Fletcher are healthy and playing well. The whole unit has shown improvement, and that includes the coaching staff’s creativity and aggressiveness, but everything works better when the guys up front are getting the job done.
-10-07-2010 #2Mooselini Guest
Re: Rams defense is bringin' the heat ..
Our defense is playing great. Getting last season under their belt, these guys are playing really well together. I really like this sign.
I'm not going to worry about those kinds of stats. Stats don't tell the whole story. These guys broke it down very well.
Re: Rams defense is bringin' the heat ..
For the most part the Rams are staying healthy. Chris Long can be concidered an Iron Man. Though the Rams are missing key valuable parts on the defense due to injuries, such as Chamberlin and Dahl, they've been able to fill in the holes with the consistant play of Laurinaitis, Bartell and Atogwe.
Surprisingly,James Hall and Fred Robbins have been major contributors in jump starting the Rams less the average defense.
The Rams defense is looking good , though their opponets so far have been mostly mediocre or less, its a step up from last year thus far.
The Rams will need keep bringing the heat in Detroit.[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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