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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
    RamWraith is offline Registered User
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    Rams desperately need spark to beat resurgent Niners

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH


    Let the record show that five straight losses is enough. Well beyond enough for the Rams.

    "We're sick of losing," offensive guard Adam Timmerman said.

    Without a victory since Oct. 8 in Green Bay, their backs have been against the wall for so long, they may be stuck to the paint.

    "We've got to do something to get off get some paint thinner or something," wide receiver Torry Holt said.
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    Holt's response has been to look at even more film than normal in preparation for Sunday's game against rival San Francisco.

    Coach Scott Linehan's response was to back off early in the week, apparently canceling many of the team meetings after a thoroughly discouraging 15-0 loss at Carolina.

    "I think the best thing was coach giving everybody some space from each other Monday and Tuesday," Holt said. "Because everybody was frustrated. Everybody was boiling."

    It was a time, Holt said, for self-evaluation by players and coaches alike.

    "To see what it is that we want to do, and how we need to improve, to get back to a winning level," Holt said. "We're going to see if it carries over. It has to, or we're going to be up (a) creek."

    Simply by the law of averages, the Rams have to win a game sometime with sooner being the preferred course over later.

    "Without a doubt," Holt said. "I think we're going to win this weekend's game. I think we're going to go out and play hard, and play together as a football team."

    Easier said than done against San Francisco. Over the past year and a half, the Rams haven't been able to beat the ***** when they were crummy. From the start of the 2005 season through October of 2006, the ***** won only six of 23 games. Three of those six victories were against the Rams.

    And now, suddenly, the ***** have designs on being good. San Francisco (5-5) enters Sunday's contest with a better record than the Rams (4-6), and momentum. The ***** have won their past three games, allowing only 30 points total in triumphs over Minnesota, Detroit and Seattle.

    Young Alex Smith is settling in at quarterback, and Frank Gore is taking over at running back behind a big offensive line headed by 10-time Pro Bowler Larry Allen. On pace for an NFL record for points allowed through seven games, the *****' defense has righted itself by simplifying things and making a couple of lineup changes.

    "They still have some blitzes, but I think they've identified what their personnel is good at," quarterback Marc Bulger said. "They're playing with confidence. When you start doing that, it seems like guys speed up."

    Meanwhile, the Rams aren't brimming with confidence these days. Or much energy. They've started very slowly in each of their past four losses, almost as if afflicted with an incurable malaise.

    "I think some enthusiasm goes a long way," Timmerman said. "Being fired up and excited to play. And being back at home, hopefully, we'll get the thing fired up."

    The Rams, who have played at home only once since Oct. 15, play their next three contests in the dome.

    After the shutout loss to Carolina, Linehan said the team looked flat and lacked energy. Some players, perhaps out of frustration, questioned that assessment in the locker room after the game. Timmerman agrees with the head coach.

    "The missing ingredient, I think, has been the enthusiasm," Timmerman said. "We need a spark to get going. You just can't play football flat. It's not possible. We need somebody to give a speech or something."

    In years past, players such as linebacker London Fletcher or defensive lineman Tyoka Jackson could be counted on to say something to get the adrenaline flowing. Even someone such as the hyper Anthony Hargrove might say or do something to keep the team loose and relaxed.

    But right now, something's missing.

    "Like I've said before, you can't bottle it up, but we've got to find it," Linehan said. "There's got to be a spark, and guys know that someone's going to have to make things happen, too. It starts with me to get the team prepared better. ... The responsibility is not on the players, it's on me."

    But Linehan adds that the players must take "ownership" of the situation as well. At some point, frustration or even anger at the team's play should be replaced by pride.

    "When you lose games, whether you lose five in a row or you lose one, I think you get challenged," Linehan said. "Your pride's got to be something to motivate you. ... It's got to hurt your pride enough to where you've got to change how you're doing things."

    If not, then the Rams will be up that creek Holt mentioned. Without a paddle.


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
    laram0 is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Rams desperately need spark to beat resurgent Niners

    Somebody on our team needs to take the bull by the horns!!! Holt, Timmerman, Linehan, I really don't care who it is. It's good to read that the Rams are sick and tired of this downward spiral. IMO it's Bulger time....He's the guy, I knows it's way out of his character... He needs to get angry and fire up this team....!!!!

  3. #3
    Rams4Life28 Guest

    Re: Rams desperately need spark to beat resurgent Niners

    I agree. We need somebody to pull this team back up. We are capable of playing great football. Were just in a long losing streak.

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