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  1. #16
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    Re: Rams expect better defense ..

    I wanna make a bold perdicition this year, I wanna say the rams are top ten defense this year. Ok granted some stuff has to go right. Including the offense being in the top 20 and the main people stay healthy. I saw a mass improvement on the field from their defense last year. Our numbers would of been a heck of a lot better if the offense could do something. With it being the second year in the system I think we will click this year. Anyone else wanna join on this bandwagon I know I am probally a lone man in this but I have major confidence in the rams this year all around on offense and defense.


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    Re: Rams expect better defense ..

    Quote Originally Posted by thickandthin View Post
    we have the pass rush, just no inside penetration.
    Isn't the inside penetration(hee hee) part of the pass rush? Let me rephrase..............We need a pass rush from all participants on the defensive side of the ball!!!!!!!
    I stopped going to the dentist.......I got tired of the cavity searches!

  3. #18
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    Re: Rams expect better defense ..

    We most definately have one of the best and deepest back 7 part of a defense we have have fielded in a while. OJ, Butler, Bartell, Fletcher/Murphy, Lauranatis, Carpenter, Diggs/Vobora. Every projected starter should come back healthy and every back 7 starter has experience in the system except Carpenter. The Front 7 will be the key yo the improvement. Alot of questions if Chris Long plays at the level he did towards the end of the last year what kind of production will you get opposite him. DT by committee there will be a deep rotation that will include DEs moving in the middle. How affective are those guys going to be, what do vets like robbins and Hovan have in the tank. How much more are young DTs like Scott and Ryan improve. We get some good production out of whoever those 3 guys are next to Chris Long and I think we will really improve and have defense in the top half of the league.

  4. #19
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    Re: Rams expect better defense ..

    The only question mark I see is who is the DE opposite of Chris Long.


    We have guys with potential, but not much proven talent, and I'm curious to see who ends up starting at that position.

  5. #20
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    Re: Rams expect better defense ..

    Its James Hall by default who is good for a sack about every 2-3 games. Plenty of young bodies at the position so we'll see who slides into that RE spot after the preseason.

  6. #21
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    Re: Rams expect better defense ..

    Provided the Rams retain Atogwe, the defense should be better to some degree. How much, it's hard to say. I think some people are getting their hopes up a little too much, but perhaps I'm just being more of a pessimist than I usually am. After three very poor seasons, I'm entering into the "I'll believe it when I see it" zone. Examining position by position...

    DE: Chris Long made strides as the year closed out, but he still has improvements to make if he wants to be a top notch pass rusher. On the other side is James Hall, who is adequate but declining with age. I don't know how much the Rams can really count on him. Adeyanju doesn't provide a whole lot in the pass rush department, and I think it's unlikely that our mid and late round 'ends contribute much in this area. Barring a breakout year from Long, I'm not sure the defensive ends on this team combine for more than 16 sacks. I don't see much of an upgrade to this unit.

    DT: The Rams addressed this position by adding Fred Robbins and Chris Hovan, both of whom have slowed down as pass rushers as they've gotten older. There's an argument that they may make slight improvements on numbers from previous years due to them being in Spags' defense, but I don't think you can expect too much more from them than what they've done elsewhere. Clifton Ryan has flashed the ability to make plays behind the line of scrimmage, but rarely are they on the quarterback. I don't believe the Rams have improved their ability to collapse the pocket from the inside, which was a glaring weakness in 2009. Without that component, I expect an inconsistent pass rush at best despite a bit of an upgrade here.

    LB: This is probably the most improved unit on the team, though that will obviously depend on how the new additions actually play on Sundays. But this is the one that's been addressed the most. Laurinaitis is a player in the middle and will continue to get better as he matures and becomes more familiar with the defense. The Rams have added a talented player in Bobby Carpenter, who just couldn't get it together in Dallas' 3-4 scheme. I think he'll be a better fit as a 4-3 weak side linebacker, but I suspect expectations should be tempered towards "solid." On the strong side, Na'il Diggs will likely beat out David Vobora. The Diggs signing, to me, is similar to the Chris Draft signing a couple of seasons ago - a solid veteran, but isn't going to bring drastic results one way or another. I'm not looking forward to seeing him matched up over some of the NFC West tight ends.

    CB: Bartell, when healthy, has demonstrated ability. He had a big year in 2008, which was also a contract year, so I hope that wasn't just a fluke. We're going to need him defending the opposition's best receiver week in and week out, and we'll face some good ones in 2010. Opposite of him, it's going to be a trial by fire. The Rams will likely either start Bradley Fletcher or rookie Jerome Murphy, who is the only meaningful addition to this unit IMO. The fact that he's already competing for a starting job illustrates the hole at the position. It's going to be an adjustment for both of them, and I expect both to have some good and bad moments this season, as the loser of the battle will still see plenty of time as the nickel corner.

    S: Keeping everything in this unit from the year before except its best player doesn't represent an improvement. I'm not as confident in Craig Dahl's ability to replace OJ Atogwe as some others are. I don't view Atogwe as a great player or one of the best in the league, but I think it's clear he's been one of the best on this defense for a while, and if the Rams lose him, it's going to have an effect. If they re-sign him, then they're holding steady from where they were in 2009. At strong safety, Butler is adequate but unspectacular.


    So I think Jim Thomas brings up a good point - while the Rams may improve from their defensive performance last season, it still might not be enough to get them out of the bottom third of the league statistically. The improvement will be great, but they'll need to keep doing it. They need a at least one bonafide pass rusher from the defensive end spot, if not a second. Hopefully Chris Long becomes that guy, and someone else can step up when needed from time to time opposite him. They need someone in the middle of the line to consistently challenge the pocket; I don't think they have that piece right now. The jury is out on the outside linebackers, but there's some hope there. We have no idea what we're getting behind Bartell at cornerback, and I anticipate teams will try to pick on those guys until they show they can handle it. Without sizable improvements to the pass rush, and perhaps without their best defensive back in Atogwe, they're going to have an uphill battle.

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