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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams gladly reply to *****' invitation

    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Tuesday, Oct. 05 2004

    The evening began with ***** linebacker Jamie Winborn trash-talking some of the
    Rams during pregame warmups. It ended with a San Francisco assistant coach
    dropping by the St. Louis locker room, thanking the Rams for not running up the
    score in the second half.

    In between, it was Marshall Faulk left, Marshall Faulk right, with a dose of
    Steven Jackson thrown in for good measure. About the last thing the *****
    expected from St. Louis Sunday night was a running game, but that's what they
    got in a 24-14 Rams victory.

    "I had heard they were getting some heat from their press in that they weren't
    running the ball, but also, up to this game, that had been our strength," *****
    linebacker Jeff Ulbrich said. "I felt like we played the run real well."

    The ***** entered the game ranked fifth in the NFL in run defense, but you
    wouldn't have known it by the way they got pounded by St. Louis. The Rams
    rushed for 174 yards - more than twice the *****' per-game average in rushing
    yards allowed entering the game.
    So even on Monday, a day after the Rams evened their record at 2-2, the
    question remaining in everyone's minds was: Where did all those running plays
    come from?

    "We've always been a little pragmatic about things in the last six years,"
    coach Mike Martz said. "That's kind of how we approach things. You're standing
    there on the sidelines, you look at it, they're playing a real soft Cover 2."

    The ***** were playing their safeties deep, basically inviting the Rams to run
    the football. Martz accepted the invitation.

    "You start handing the ball off, and start rolling pretty good," Martz said.

    So you keep handing it off.

    "And that's what kind of happened," Martz said. "The offensive line took it
    upon themselves to make things happen, and they certainly did. ... It's just
    like in the passing game. If you're hitting them, you keep going. You do
    whatever it takes to win."

    By game's end, the Rams had 36 carries and only 25 pass plays. It doesn't
    happen that way often, but more often than you'd think. In Martz's four-plus
    seasons as head coach, the Rams have had 11 games when they've run more often
    than they've passed. They are 11-0 in such games.

    For an offensive lineman, run blocking beats the heck out of pass blocking, oh,
    50 times a game.

    "It does," offensive tackle Orlando Pace said, laughing. "I was telling Grant
    Williams that (Sunday night). Man, it feels good to get out and actually run
    block. I know the guys on the offensive line really enjoy it. If we can move
    the ball and eat up some of the clock, it's always good."

    Martz also was influenced in his play calling by the work of the offensive line
    last week in practice at Rams Park.

    "In our run drills, our nine-on-seven drills, the offensive line practiced as
    well as I've ever seen a group here practice," Martz said. "It was exciting to
    watch."

    And that was with unproven Scott Tercero working with the first unit at left
    guard in place of the injured Chris Dishman. But Tercero, a sixth-round draft
    pick by the club in 2003, acquitted himself well at Monster Park in his first
    NFL start. "I was real pleased with Scotty," Martz said.

    Nonetheless, it still was unusual to see the Rams run so well against San
    Francisco. The 174 rushing yards was the highest total for the Rams against
    their West Coast rivals since the move to St. Louis in 1995. Over the past two
    seasons, St. Louis had averaged just 55 rushing yards in four games with the
    Niners.

    It was Faulk's fifth 100-yard rushing game against San Francisco, but his first
    since the 2001 Super Bowl season. After Sunday night's 23-carry, 121-yard
    performance, Faulk now has an even 1,000 yards rushing in his career against
    San Francisco, more yards than he has gained against any opponent. But he's
    also played the ***** more often (12 times) than anyone else.

    Faulk doesn't like contentious topics. So when asked if the plan was to run the
    ball more, or if it just evolved that way, he replied: "You'll have to ask Mike
    (Martz)."

    Apparently, it was a little of both on a night when Mad Mike became Pragmatic
    Mike


  2. #2
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Rams gladly reply to *****' invitation

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith
    "You start handing the ball off, and start rolling pretty good," Martz said.

    So you keep handing it off.

    "And that's what kind of happened," Martz said. "The offensive line took it
    upon themselves to make things happen, and they certainly did. ... It's just
    like in the passing game. If you're hitting them, you keep going. You do
    whatever it takes to win."
    I think this sums up Martz's view on his overall gameplan week in and week out pretty well.
    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Four
    Rams Discussion Right at Your Fingertips!



  3. #3
    HUbison's Avatar
    HUbison is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Rams gladly reply to *****' invitation

    Quote Originally Posted by The Big O
    "It does," offensive tackle Orlando Pace said, laughing. "I was telling Grant Williams that (Sunday night). Man, it feels good to get out and actually run block. I know the guys on the offensive line really enjoy it. If we can move the ball and eat up some of the clock, it's always good."
    Orlando, you fool! You primordial vagabond! Have you not read the scrolls of the soothsayer & prophet Waller? Sir Pace, your utterances are a damnable lie, you forked-tongue Cretan.
    "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

  4. #4
    adarian_too's Avatar
    adarian_too is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams invitation ...

    What I am still trying to figure out - and mind you it's been a 36-hour-bender since it first hooked me - is how did games 2 & 3 get in between 1 & 4? Who's messing with the order of the slides?

  5. #5
    adarian_too's Avatar
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    Rams' reply to invitation ...

    It ended with a San Francisco assistant coach dropping by the St. Louis locker room, thanking the Rams for not running up the score in the second half.
    Furthermore, nobody should care whether the mercy-rule was in effect and observed. That assistant should be apologizing for having been on the field in the first place.

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