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Thread: Rams Have Got To Do Better on Both Lines

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    Rams Have Got To Do Better on Both Lines

    Hey Everybody, hope you all have a happy New Year and lose a few brain cells like I plan to.

    Hopefully the New Year brings a new atmosphere to Rams Park with some success.

    Any way here goes.

    So I sat down recently and was bored while on Christmas Leave and decided to watch every Rams game this year and pay special attention to both lines. My main focus was to see what we had going forward and where we really needed to cut bait.

    From watching the games only once when they actually happened I could tell that the pass protection was typically poor more often than not and that the push from the defensive line, specifically the defensive tackles often left a lot to be desired.

    Offensive Line:
    Let me say first off that when I started this I knew that I was going to see a lot of guys being manhandled and driven back into the QB but I had no idea just how consistently I was going to see this. Lets start from the left tackle and work our way across

    LT, Rodger Saffold: Saffold looked like a guy that was making up for his rookie downfalls and trials this season rather than last season. The switch to an offense that requires longer pass protection and the total upgrade in the amount of quality pass rushers was evident as Saffold looked flat out over matched a lot of the time this season. Saffold looks like he is quick enough most of the time to get into position but what he has in quickness he lacks in power as he gets bull-rushed into the quarterback too many times to be consistently relied on. Hell getting bullrushed is a problem this entire offensive line with the exception of Harvey Dahl has been getting all season. Guys flopping down on their ass all game.I think Saffold is a decent player that has the room to get better but should be tried on the right side side rather than the left. Saffold needs a nice off-season strength program so he can work on his ability to stand up pass rushers and not get pushed back into the QB every play.

    LG, Jacob Bell: Jacob Bell is just one of quite a few guys on this line who is getting paid way too much to perform way too little. As most of this line is, the guy looks overmatched way too many times to be consistently relied on. Whether that's in the passing game where he's getting shoved back into Bradford's face or in the running game where he either gets blown up or stood up its just unnacceptable given this guy's contract.Don't get me wrong Jacob Bell is capable as a barely average starter for a mediocre team and the team could do worse but he's not getting paid to be barely average. And that's just what the guy is or has been this season.I think the Rams need to put LG as an area where they want to attempt to get better this offseason. Not to mention I believe Bell's contract is up after this season anyway so this maybe a moot point.

    C, Jason Brown: Brown, Brown, Brown...man where do I begin. This one is kind of personal in a way because after people noted Brown's regression last year I stuck by the guy because I loved him in 2009 and thought he was a great addition. But this year this guy has flat out SUCKED. Even going so far as to getting replaced by a guy who wasn't in training camp and was a Niner castoff. The guy has been getting blown up and manhandled all season. He rarely gets push in the run game instead getting mostly stood up and shed when the runner gets close or just plain knocked on his ass. In the passing game I consistently saw him getting shoved back in the pocket leaving no room for Bradford to step up into, combine that with Saffold and especially Smith getting blown past like a empty Dorito bag in the wind and it's a wonder Sam survived (sorta) this season. Brown is a guy that either needs to be released or somehow brought back as a backup ONLY with a reduced contract which im not sure is possible at this point.Not sure if its age or the overall losing atmosphere at Rams park but you can't even put this one on the line coach because the guy has been getting beat up all season.

    RG, Harvey Dahl: Harvey Dahl in a word, solid. The guy has not been a world beater this season but has played solid in every role whether its run blocking or pass blocking. He gets push in the run and seldomly gets driven back and he is capable of keeping a clean pocket on his side of the pocket most of the time. He hasn't been perfect but has been just about as good as advertised and above all solid. Something this rams offensive line just hasn't been this season. Hopefully he doesn't catch the Rammitis (disease at Rams park that makes all quality players regress after staying too long) next year like Brown, Bell, Leber, Norwood, hell just about every guy we've signed off the street since 08.

    RT, Jason Smith: Bust. God you people just don't know how hard it is for me to say that but this guy has looked THE worst out of everyone on this offensive line in my honest opinion. Unless this guy has some sort of stellar offseason revival he needs to go because honestly the guy is not even average, he's been a flat out liability out there when he's been in games. I've seen Smith fall flat on his ass just from back pedalling far too many times to believe, let alone when he's actually facing a bullrush. He gets beat with the speed rush and the bullrush just as consistently and his footwork looks absolutely terrible out there. I remember watching him at the combine and his footwork looked great. By all means I thought we had picked a guy who was a little raw but was going to turn out stellar. So far he looks like a guy who just learned how to play tackle about a year ago. Perhaps its the fact that he's on the right side and isn't used to that side and its back pedalling mechanics but he looks like a...for lack of a better term...fat buffoon out there and if the Rams want to get any better passing the ball they will have to figure out what they want to do with Jason Smith, whether its get him better coaching or get him off the team. Because the guy is a liability, flat out.

    Defensive Line: Now if there's any reason for optimism on the Saint Louis Rams going forward its two pieces that they along the defensive line and those are Robert Quinn and Chris Long. I'll do this like I did the offesnive line and go from the left end spot across to the right.

    RDE, James Hall and Robert Quinn: James Hall is an aging veteran but a solid player all the same. The guy has flashed this year and is an ok option in rotation as both a pass rusher and a run stopper. He has regressed a bit this year but has still played solid enough to not be a liability which is saying something in and of itself with this team. Whether he remains with the Rams beyond this season or not I don't think will be too big of an issue as I think you can find guys like him everywhere but I personally wouldn't mind seeing him brought back in a rotational aspect.

    Robert Quinn is in my opinion a guy had a an above average rookiee campaign but fantastic potential. He is quick and explosive off the edge and once he develops a counter move it will be lights out for the opposing left tackle. Right now Quinn relies too often on his speed to get around the edge and hasn't developed a real inside move to get across the face of the tackle when his speed rush fails. Against the run Quinn needs to really get better. When the play isn't going his way he has the speed to chase it down on the backside and has done so on occasion this season. When the play is going at him though he lacks the strength to stand up blockers and/or shed them to make the play. Quinn will need to work on this in the off season and its a role he has the potential to become adequate at although I don't ever think he'll become too great at it.

    RDT, Justin Bannan: Bannan has been ok as a plug in for defensive tackle. He's had his moments of being a bull who can push the pocket back in other times he's completely disappeared in a crowd of the opposing team's jersey. He's an aging veteran that should only be used in an effective rotation as a backup only. He is not the future for us at this position and an effective backup needs to be found in the draft of free agency.

    LDT, Fred Robbins: Robbins has really disappointed this season. I think its really because of our expectations of the guy after his performance and impact last year but the guy has regressed a lot this year. He's looked slow and weak and routinely gets stood up to play patty cake with the opposing lineman in passing situations and stood when getting ran at. Robbins will likely see his last snap as a Ram Sunday and its probably for the best.

    LDE, Chris Long: Long is honestly one of my favorite players in the league and on this team. Enough has been said about his motor so I wont bother but the effort this guy displays is admirable. Long isn't overly fast or strong but manages to use his ability to beat guys and cause pressure fairly consistently. Long was disappointing me earlier in the season but came on strong later in the season much to my delight. As good as he is in the passing game however. Long really needs work against the run. He gets washed out of the play a lot and is susceptible to play fakes because he tends to be over aggressive when pursuing plays. Hopefully this gets straightened out in the future as I think it will. All in all LDE is a spot I dont think we need to worry about.

    ~~~As they say, "Football is won and lost in the trenches" and I think combined with get Bradford guys that can both catch the ball and do something with the ball once they have it, that fixing this offensive line (again..) and defensive line this offseason has to be near the top of the list. Seems we say this every year and this year is no different.Here's to hoping we get it right this time.Long has emerged this year and to some extent last year as a guy who get to the quarterback and a guy the other team has to constantly account for on passing downs.


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    Re: Rams Have Got To Do Better on Both Lines

    LT, Rodger Saffold
    I do agree Saffold has issues dealing with bull rushes but replacing him with someone else like Matt Kalil at LT while moving him at RT is not a good solution where there are more bull rushes at our right. I think the problem stems with Steve Loney's incompetence to teach him the proper techniques to block better. Although Kalil is an upgrade over Saffold, the gap between him and Saffold's athleticism isn't far apart and looking at him to be our 1st or 2nd overall pick isn't making much of an upgrade.

    LG, Jacob Bell
    Agreed, he needs to be replaced and he can at later rounds or FA.

    C, Jason Brown
    If he's willing to restructure his deal, we can move him back to guard where he was originally drafted. He's solid enough to play when relieved of making o-line adjustments. As for that gaping hole at center, we might be lucky enough to get Peter Konz if he falls 2nd or we can land Michael Brewster or Ben Jones.

    RG, Harvey Dahl
    No comment.

    RT, Jason Smith
    Smith was getting his act together towards midseason prior to his injury, again he needs to restructure his deal especially if he's one concussion away from a career ending injury. If you want to blame someone other than our O-line for our initial offensive woes, blame Bradford for holding the ball for more than 4 seconds on a consistent basis during his first 4 games. Back to the concussion, we can find an adequate RT in the later rounds as well

    I think our D-line is one DT away from being an elite group. Robbins is ineffective due to his age and Bannan has done a good job in his role. Spags's system doesn't need any elite DT, just a good run stuffer while the DEs do the job in both the pass rush and run stuff department. Assuming Spags gets fired, we may need to take consideration of DTs in the pass rush deparment but this offseason needs to address our issues at stopping the run especially when we give the likes of DeMarco Murray and Beanie Wells a career day of 250+ yards.



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    Re: Rams Have Got To Do Better on Both Lines

    Bralidore man, I've missed reading your posts. I agree with everything here. Solid post. Lets just hope everyone picks up their game next year. I think Saffold can still be an amazing LT, just needs some refining. Long and Quinn will be scary soon.

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    Re: Rams Have Got To Do Better on Both Lines

    Quote Originally Posted by fliptalianstallion View Post

    Smith was getting his act together towards midseason prior to his injury, again he needs to restructure his deal especially if he's one concussion away from a career ending injury. If you want to blame someone other than our O-line for our initial offensive woes, blame Bradford for holding the ball for more than 4 seconds on a consistent basis during his first 4 games. Back to the concussion, we can find an adequate RT in the later rounds as well



    While I certainly agree that Bradford has had problems holding the ball too long saying he was given 4 seconds in the pocket consistently in the first four games is a joke. Against the Ravens and the Redskins Bradford dealt not only with ridiculous drops but guys simply blowing the entire line up in Bradford's face and no open receivers. I watched the line bit by bit every series of both of those games and can honestly say they were manhandled almost all game with few exceptions. I'll add that Bradford needs to work on his pocket movement and elusiveness however. The line had been thrown its share of the blame but Bradford could have avoided quite a few of the sacks he's taken this year.

    Best believe I watched Bradford in these games too and I still firmly believe this guy is the truth and can make every throw he just needs to work on his pocket presence, receive better pocket protection, and be given a guy he can count on to make plays on the ball for him.
    GROUND DOG 39 likes this.

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    Re: Rams Have Got To Do Better on Both Lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Bralidore(RAMMODE) View Post
    While I certainly agree that Bradford has had problems holding the ball too long saying he was given 4 seconds in the pocket consistently in the first four games is a joke. Against the Ravens and the Redskins Bradford dealt not only with ridiculous drops but guys simply blowing the entire line up in Bradford's face and no open receivers. I watched the line bit by bit every series of both of those games and can honestly say they were manhandled almost all game with few exceptions. I'll add that Bradford needs to work on his pocket movement and elusiveness however. The line had been thrown its share of the blame but Bradford could have avoided quite a few of the sacks he's taken this year.

    Best believe I watched Bradford in these games too and I still firmly believe this guy is the truth and can make every throw he just needs to work on his pocket presence, receive better pocket protection, and be given a guy he can count on to make plays on the ball for him.
    And while Bradford and the O-line hold their fair share of blame, we should also put a chunk of blame on our receivers too for lack of making consistent separation or route running along with the ridiculous amount of drops they made the first 4 games of the season. Though I can't really blame them, it seems McDaniels has been trying to force a rectangular peg into a circular hole. Losing Amendola was huge for the most part seeing how safe he kept Bradford and made converting 3rd downs like bread and butter.

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    Re: Rams Have Got To Do Better on Both Lines

    Great analysis of both lines and a totally agree with you. It's time for some Rams' fans to take off the blinders and realize the Rams are getting a terrible return on the money invested in the OL and it's definitely in need of a talent upgrade. Because the OL didn't look this awful under Shurmurball hardly means that it's all due to "new OC, new system." Shurmurball hasn't been some kind of big success anyway in his two years as an OC and now first year as HC.

    Adam Goldberg should not have been an upgrade over Jason Smith and the same for Wragge over Brown. The amount of cap space wasted on Smith and Brown and the return is abysmal. Same goes for Jacob Bell who thankfully is about to be UFA. I hold out some hope for Saffold, especially if he goes on a HGH training regiment this off-season to get a LOT stronger to where he can handle the DE brawlers in the NFC who overwhelmed him this year.

    2 new DT's would be great since right now the roster consists of backup-caliber players rotating in/out and all being being weak at the point of attack.

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    Re: Rams Have Got To Do Better on Both Lines

    This is a great post! Don't get too happy this weekend your gonna need those cells down the road...

    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Bralidore(RAMMODE) View Post
    Hey Everybody, hope you all have a happy New Year and lose a few brain cells like I plan to.

    Hopefully the New Year brings a new atmosphere to Rams Park with some success.

    Any way here goes.

    So I sat down recently and was bored while on Christmas Leave and decided to watch every Rams game this year and pay special attention to both lines. My main focus was to see what we had going forward and where we really needed to cut bait.

    From watching the games only once when they actually happened I could tell that the pass protection was typically poor more often than not and that the push from the defensive line, specifically the defensive tackles often left a lot to be desired.

    Offensive Line:
    Let me say first off that when I started this I knew that I was going to see a lot of guys being manhandled and driven back into the QB but I had no idea just how consistently I was going to see this. Lets start from the left tackle and work our way across

    LT, Rodger Saffold: Saffold looked like a guy that was making up for his rookie downfalls and trials this season rather than last season. The switch to an offense that requires longer pass protection and the total upgrade in the amount of quality pass rushers was evident as Saffold looked flat out over matched a lot of the time this season. Saffold looks like he is quick enough most of the time to get into position but what he has in quickness he lacks in power as he gets bull-rushed into the quarterback too many times to be consistently relied on. Hell getting bullrushed is a problem this entire offensive line with the exception of Harvey Dahl has been getting all season. Guys flopping down on their ass all game.I think Saffold is a decent player that has the room to get better but should be tried on the right side side rather than the left. Saffold needs a nice off-season strength program so he can work on his ability to stand up pass rushers and not get pushed back into the QB every play.

    LG, Jacob Bell: Jacob Bell is just one of quite a few guys on this line who is getting paid way too much to perform way too little. As most of this line is, the guy looks overmatched way too many times to be consistently relied on. Whether that's in the passing game where he's getting shoved back into Bradford's face or in the running game where he either gets blown up or stood up its just unnacceptable given this guy's contract.Don't get me wrong Jacob Bell is capable as a barely average starter for a mediocre team and the team could do worse but he's not getting paid to be barely average. And that's just what the guy is or has been this season.I think the Rams need to put LG as an area where they want to attempt to get better this offseason. Not to mention I believe Bell's contract is up after this season anyway so this maybe a moot point.

    C, Jason Brown: Brown, Brown, Brown...man where do I begin. This one is kind of personal in a way because after people noted Brown's regression last year I stuck by the guy because I loved him in 2009 and thought he was a great addition. But this year this guy has flat out SUCKED. Even going so far as to getting replaced by a guy who wasn't in training camp and was a Niner castoff. The guy has been getting blown up and manhandled all season. He rarely gets push in the run game instead getting mostly stood up and shed when the runner gets close or just plain knocked on his ass. In the passing game I consistently saw him getting shoved back in the pocket leaving no room for Bradford to step up into, combine that with Saffold and especially Smith getting blown past like a empty Dorito bag in the wind and it's a wonder Sam survived (sorta) this season. Brown is a guy that either needs to be released or somehow brought back as a backup ONLY with a reduced contract which im not sure is possible at this point.Not sure if its age or the overall losing atmosphere at Rams park but you can't even put this one on the line coach because the guy has been getting beat up all season.

    RG, Harvey Dahl: Harvey Dahl in a word, solid. The guy has not been a world beater this season but has played solid in every role whether its run blocking or pass blocking. He gets push in the run and seldomly gets driven back and he is capable of keeping a clean pocket on his side of the pocket most of the time. He hasn't been perfect but has been just about as good as advertised and above all solid. Something this rams offensive line just hasn't been this season. Hopefully he doesn't catch the Rammitis (disease at Rams park that makes all quality players regress after staying too long) next year like Brown, Bell, Leber, Norwood, hell just about every guy we've signed off the street since 08.

    RT, Jason Smith: Bust. God you people just don't know how hard it is for me to say that but this guy has looked THE worst out of everyone on this offensive line in my honest opinion. Unless this guy has some sort of stellar offseason revival he needs to go because honestly the guy is not even average, he's been a flat out liability out there when he's been in games. I've seen Smith fall flat on his ass just from back pedalling far too many times to believe, let alone when he's actually facing a bullrush. He gets beat with the speed rush and the bullrush just as consistently and his footwork looks absolutely terrible out there. I remember watching him at the combine and his footwork looked great. By all means I thought we had picked a guy who was a little raw but was going to turn out stellar. So far he looks like a guy who just learned how to play tackle about a year ago. Perhaps its the fact that he's on the right side and isn't used to that side and its back pedalling mechanics but he looks like a...for lack of a better term...fat buffoon out there and if the Rams want to get any better passing the ball they will have to figure out what they want to do with Jason Smith, whether its get him better coaching or get him off the team. Because the guy is a liability, flat out.
    I always wonder what fans are watching or paying attention too when they watch the game... sometimes I wonder if they even watched the game before they comment on the players. As soon as you stated you watched the games and had an eye on the lines, I was hooked. I read this twice more concerned on what you thought about the O lines play.

    I agree with your findings and would say you cut them all a break speaking about the O line here, as you didn't even critic them for all those pre snap penalties. I also watched all the games again looking just for pass plays where Bradford had a clean pocket and or could step up into a pocket, There are plays that it happened but not often. I don't want to turn this into Bradford's play dropped due to the lines play. I just wanted to see how the ball came out and was it on target, I didn't even care if the pass was caught. I came away with I'm not worried about Sam. I'm really worried about the O line.

    I posted this mock draft a few days ago trying to figure out how we can fix the O line...

    Off-Season

    Restructure Jason Smith's Contract


    Sign wide receiver Marques Colston
    Re-sign wide receivers Lloyd and Amendola


    Rd. 1 Matt Kalil LT USC: The offensive line should be anchored with Matt Kalil. He is the younger brother of Ryan Kalil who blocked well for Panthers and Rookie Cam Newton this year. Ryan was named to his third pro bowl. It's hard for Ram fans to keep drafting O linemen that can't miss, but with Matt Kalil playing at a high level runs in the family.


    Rd. 2 Peter Konz C Wisconsin: The Rams continue to build the offense line with youth by adding Peter Konz to the mix. The Rams are building a line that will protect Bradford for a decade and play as a unit for years to come. Peter will be making the transition to the NFL with a familiar face as his former teammate Lance Kindricks will be lining up with him once again. Projected as a late first round the Rams get him on the second day with the second pick of the second round.


    Rd. 3 LaMichael James, RB: Oregon: SJax has been a one man show for too long. When most NFL teams are using two RB the Rams are still riding SJax too much. The Rams passed on Darren Sproles in free agency. They could draft his clone, 5'9, 185 pounds James is not an every down back but would be a much needed change of pace back. James was the NCAA leader in rushing yards per game each of the last two years, he would be a nice play-maker for the Rams. Rushed for over 1500 yards his first 3 years... The knock is he's to small.. heard that before.

    Rd. 4 Ladarius Green, TE La.-Lafayette: Kindricks has shown he has huge upside but behind Kindricks, Billy Bajema, Stephen Spach and the often injured Hoomanawanui does not inspire. At 6-6 Green brings size and play making abilities. Led all tight ends nationally in receiving yardage 794, receiving yards-per-game (79.4), receiving yards-per-catch (18.0), games with 80 yards or more receiving (7) and receiving touchdowns (7) … Made a catch of 20 yards or longer in all but one game he played, despite being double-teamed on over 90% of his routes . Stats from CBSsports.



    QB: Bradford
    RB: Jackson / James
    FB: Miller
    WR: Colston / Lloyd / Amendola / Salas / Pettis
    TE: Kendricks / Ladarius Green
    LT: Kalil
    LG: Smith
    C: Konz
    RG: Dahl
    RT: Saffold



    ~~~As they say, "Football is won and lost in the trenches" and I think combined with get Bradford guys that can both catch the ball and do something with the ball once they have it, that fixing this offensive line (again..)
    "Football is won and lost in the trenches" this is a fact! Most fans don't pay attention to the lines when they are playing well... it's almost like the players are not even there. The Rams O line is so bad that's all I can see when I watch the games. False starts, guys getting blown up, guys whiffing on block's (Te included). When i see a clean pocket or a hole open up I'm almost shocked it happened.

    I don't know what the Rams will do in the draft this year and I don't care if they take WR first CB second, LB third. As long as they address the O line and get the players some how some way. Until we get the O line fixed we will continue to lose.

    If you don't think SJax is a HOF RB wait to you see our next RB run behind this O line, You will be calling him a BUST. Not sure how SJax does it. Billy has not found a RB that can come in and help SJax, in three years. I'm starting to think no RB can come in and produce running behind this line except a really special back like SJax.

    Great Post thanks for taking the time to look at the Lines...
    Last edited by Rambos; -12-31-2011 at 01:19 PM.

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    Re: Rams Have Got To Do Better on Both Lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    "Football is won and lost in the trenches" this is a fact! Most fans don't pay attention to the lines when they are playing well... it's almost like the players are not even there. The Rams O line is so bad that's all I can see when I watch the games.
    Joe Thomas and Jake Long play for the Browns and Dolphins respectively, they're elite tackles and they sure are winning games consistently.

    We need a playmaker at the receiving position, I'd rather get Blackmon and find a reliable linemen in the later rounds or FA.

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    Re: Rams Have Got To Do Better on Both Lines

    Quote Originally Posted by fliptalianstallion View Post
    Joe Thomas and Jake Long play for the Browns and Dolphins respectively, they're elite tackles and they sure are winning games consistently.

    We need a playmaker at the receiving position, I'd rather get Blackmon and find a reliable linemen in the later rounds or FA.
    I'd actually agree here. While I think the Rams have got to do SOMETHING about this line I'd rather see us pick up playmakers at the skill positions in the first round and look for lineman later in the draft or in free agency, hell maybe even develop a few ourselves so we dont have the highest paid line in the league while being the least productive one at the same time.

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    Re: Rams Have Got To Do Better on Both Lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Bralidore(RAMMODE) View Post
    I'd actually agree here. While I think the Rams have got to do SOMETHING about this line I'd rather see us pick up playmakers at the skill positions in the first round and look for lineman later in the draft or in free agency, hell maybe even develop a few ourselves so we dont have the highest paid line in the league while being the least productive one at the same time.
    And lets not forget that good receiver play also makes it easier on our line so that they don't have to deal with blitzes constantly.

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