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Thread: Rams Keep Upbeat Mood
Rams Keep Upbeat Mood
Rams keep upbeat mood
BY JIM THOMAS
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
In the wreckage of that 28-0 fiasco in Seattle, the challenge for coach Steve Spagnuolo was channeling his team's misguided passion into productive, effective play rather than the undisciplined mess that was on display at Qwest Field.
He talked about it with the team Monday.
"It's something that each individual has got to deal with on their own," Spagnuolo said. "And I think you do it throughout the week. I mean, you don't get, obviously, the game atmosphere in the middle of practice. You don't get that kind of intensity.
"But in your mind, you've got to slow things down. What you've got to do is when a play happens in practice, from snap to whistle you're passionate. And when that whistle blows, it's time to move onto the next play. You've got to be a professional about it."
Hopefully, Richie Incognito — and others — were listening.
On Wednesday, the first practice day of the week, Spagnuolo told the squad to put the blinders on. Don't worry about what's being said or written. Don't worry about what's already happened. Just think about Washington.
"Take it one day at a time," he said. "I know it sounds like a cliché."
Spagnuolo didn't overreact to one (very) bad outing. Yes there were a couple of roster changes. But it doesn't look like there will be any lineup changes for the Redskins. He still believes in what the Rams are doing. They've just got to do it better — a lot better — Sunday at FedEx Field.
"If you believe in what you're doing, you don't bail out on it," Spagnuolo said.
During the week, the team seemed to respond to that approach.
"I really appreciate it and respect him for it," defensive tackle Clifton Ryan said. "He looked at it like this: 'That's one out of 16.' We did some good things. We did some not so good things. We corrected 'em. And we're looking forward to Washington, an opponent that he knows quite well from his years in Philly and his years in New York."
Despite the storm of criticism on the outside, Spagnuolo wants to keep things calm and focused inside the walls of Rams Park.
"When people are down on you, you can't get too low on yourself," running back Steven Jackson said. "You've got to be even keel. Everyone in this locker room knows the hard work that we put in, and the hard work we're going to continue to put in. All that matters is that everyone in this organization sticks together. And when we start winning, we'll welcome the bandwagon-ers back."
Before the Rams start taking reservations for that bandwagon, it would be nice to win a game. Just one. As much as Spagnuolo is trying to distance this team from the past, the facts are what they are. Namely, the Rams haven't won a regular-season contest since Oct. 19 of last year. That's 11 months ago. To change a losing culture, you have to start winning sometime.
When the Rams played at Washington last year, they were 0-4 with Jim Haslett making his debut as interim head coach in place of the fired Scott Linehan. The Redskins were 4-1 and the talk of the league under new head coach Jim Zorn.
"Last year we were on the verge of being on the high horse, had just come off of beating Philly and Dallas, and turn around and lose to the Rams," Redskins running back Clinton Portis said. "We pretty much dominated that game. ... They stuck around, and we gave 'em hope. They played hard, and they beat us."
The Rams got seven points in that contest on a 75-yard scoop-and-score of a Washington fumble by Oshiomogho Atogwe. Josh Brown kicked a game-winning 49-yard field goal as time expired in a 19-17 triumph.
The Rams had lost eight in a row at the time, a streak spanning the end of the '07 season and the start of '08. This time around, the Rams have lost 11 straight dating back to a Game 6 victory over Dallas in '08. But because of what happened last season, they probably won't sneak up on the Redskins this time.
Besides, the Redskins aren't anywhere near that "high horse" this season after losing their opener 23-17 to the New York Giants. Fans in the nation's capital are wondering why the featured back (Portis) isn't getting more work; why the quarterback (Jason Campbell) can't play better; what can be done to eliminate stupid penalties; why the pass rush was so ineffective; and why the team can't do better on third down.
Which all sounds familiar.
Re: Rams Keep Upbeat Mood
No lineup changes? Seriously, why is Victor Adeyanju not playing?
-09-19-2009 #3Mooselini Guest
Re: Rams Keep Upbeat Mood
I know these guys are saying that they fixed their mistakes. But the biggest mistakes we made can only happen during a game. Those stupid penalties will hurt us again.
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