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Rams defense shows progress at scrimmage ..
BY KATHLEEN NELSON
Monday, August 8, 2011 12:25 am
With so much focus on the offense being installed by new coordinator Josh McDaniels, the progress of the Rams' defense has taken a back seat. The team's scrimmage Sunday at Lindenwood University gave the defense a chance to measure its progress.
By and large, the defense played with a bounce in its step. Several plays either were whistled dead or the defensive player backed off when he could have sacked the quarterback. In addition, linebackers Chris Chamberlain and Jabara Williams intercepted passes, the latter returned for a touchdown.
"There were probably a couple, at least two or three, instances out there where we would have sacked the quarterback, because we are staying off them," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "And (defensive end) Chris Long really wanted to get mad at me one time. ... I think the first group did a pretty good job. I'm sure we have some things to iron out, but so far, so good."
Linebacker James Laurinaitis acknowledged that the defense could be ahead of the offense on the learning curve but offered an apology more than an explanation.
"It's easier for us to be ahead," Laurinaitis said. "You have to line up properly and everything, but a lot of defense is running and playing with speed and going to the football. A lot of the offense relies on timing. And then there's a new coordinator and scheme. But there's been some practices that the offense, for a couple periods, got the better of us."
Such was the case Sunday during a series of red-zone plays, when quarterback Sam Bradford carved up the second unit, scoring touchdowns on three of four plays.
"We need to get better on the goal line on defense," Spagnuolo said. "And some of that red zone needs to be ironed out, but we're getting there."
The linebackers and defensive backfield played the bulk of the scrimmage without interchangeable parts, but the defensive line substituted freely.
"We have a couple new guys, but for the most part our communication has been great, considering the lockout and everybody being on their own," Laurinaitis said. "The way that our defense has been talking to each other, the way we've been running to the football and our effort have been good. "
QUINN plays WITH STARTERS
Defensive end Robert Quinn, the Rams' first-round draft choice, started the scrimmage on the second unit but played with the starters in the last few sessions Sunday. Quinn has shown steady progress since arriving at camp last week with a tweaked knee. He initially was placed on the Non-Football Injury list but has seen his workload increase over the last nine days.
"It's all the same, ones or twos. I'm still learning and trying to be the best," Quinn said. "I think the coaches are trying to test where I'm at and see if I can play up to the starters."
After each session Sunday, Quinn said, he conferred with veteran defensive end James Hall.
"Every time we go to the sideline, I get a little tip from him," Quinn said. "I've got a lot to learn from him. He's trying to make me better and help me learn to prepare."
BIG CROWD AT SCRIMMAGE
The scrimmage was expected to last about two hours but ended after an hour and 20 minutes. The team skipped individual drills and walk-throughs. Despite the heat and early hour, fans filled most of the 7,450 seats at Hunter Stadium and spilled onto the grass.
Spagnuolo called the turnout "terrific. I want them to know that we really appreciate them coming out. Pretty humid day on a Sunday."
The Rams emerged from the scrimmage relatively unscathed. Cornerback Chris Smith, a rookie free agent from Northern Illinois, injured his knee, though Spagnuolo indicated that the injury did not appear serious.
Cornerback Ron Bartell was held out of the scrimmage because of soreness in his thigh. Others sitting out Sunday because of previous injuries were wide receivers Donnie Avery (hamstring), Jalil Carter (hamstring), Danario Alexander (knee) and Greg Salas (knee); tight ends Fendi Onobun (groin) and Michael Hoomanawanui (concussion); and defensive tackle Jermelle Cudjo (back).
The Rams have today off but will practice at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at Rams Park. The session is free and open to the public
-08-08-2011 #2Registered User
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Re: Rams defense shows progress at scrimmage ..
Strange that there's still been no official word, as far as I know, about Murphy's ankle.
Re: Rams defense shows progress at scrimmage ..
Someone correct me if I am wrong, but this time of year, don't we always hear about defenses being more ready than offenses? Just the nature of the beast if I remember correctly.This space for rent...
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