Rams need to clean up their offense, ASAP ..
BY JEFF GORDO Tuesday, August 23, 2011 4:00 pm
The Rams executed some oustanding offensive plays Saturday night against the Tennessee Titans, starting with Sam Bradford’s 83-yard TD bomb to Brandon Gibson on the first offensive snap of the game.
“We wanted to show that we weren’t scared to come out and take shots early in the game,” Bradford said. “Back them off a little bit. It was a great way to start the game.”
Alas, the Rams couldn’t sustain that break-neck tempo. Offensive continuity became a major problem.
The Rams failed to sustain any sort of running game with Steven Jackson and Cadillac Williams. They struggled to pick up blitzes and Bradford never really got in sync with his receivers.
So Week 3 of the preseason presents a huge opportunity to make the necessary fixes. Ram starters will play much of the game against Kansas City before playing more sparingly in Week 4.
It’s time to get the offense into gear. That need was still evident during a less-than-crisp practice Tuesday afternoon at steamy Rams Park.
“We just have to be more consistent,” Bradford said. “I think we did some good things at times, but it just seemed like rarely did we ever string multiple plays together. In order to be a good offense in this league, you have to be consistent, you have to able to put good plays together.
“We just have to get into our rhythm.”
After playing nearly mistake-free football in their preseason opener against an admittedly compliant Colts squad, the Rams struggled with sloppiness through much of the Titans game.
“Obviously we made mistakes,” Bradford said. “We saw those, we’re going to get those corrected.
“At the same we did a lot of good things. We had good plays, but it seemed like they only came one or two plays at a time. If you are going to put together scoring drives, you have to put together eight, 10, 12 plays in a row.”
That will be a primary objective against the Chiefs.
“I would really like to see our offense come out and establish a rhythm early,” Bradford said. “I would like to see us put together a couple of scoring drives, a couple of 10-play drives. I would like to see us get in a rhythm and stay in that rhythm.”
On the plus side, Bradford has a LOT more weapons to choose from. Even with tight end Michael Hoomanawanui sidelined for a few weeks with a calf strain and poor Danario Alexander playing with a balky knee, the Rams are way more versatile than a year ago.
Incumbents Danny Amendola and Gibson are having great camps. "Compared to last year, when I first met him, I think (Gibson) has matured a lot," Bradford said. "He has actually taken more of a leadership role in the wide receiver group this year. He has been very dependable. He does his job all the time and he runs great routes. I've been very impressed."
Donnie Avery is back and up to full speed after recovering from his serious knee injury. Rookies Austin Pettis and Greg Salas are coming along at wide receiver.
Mardy Gilyard is dramatically improved from his dismal rookie season and newcomer Mike Sims-Walker is starting to build chemistry with his quarterback.
“It’s been great working with him,” Bradford said. “I feel like especially this week, he’s been healthy, we’ve had two good practices, I had a lot of time with him . . . we’re starting to become more on the same page.”
Fans saw the Rams run out of more formations Saturday, getting a glimpse of what life in Josh McDaniels’ offense will look like. He uses some of the spread offense principles the University of Oklahoma used with Bradford at the helm.
“Being able to spread the field and throw so many different formations out of a lot of different personnel groups is something that is going to give our offense an advantage this season,” Bradford said.
That is, of course, if they run their plays well. That is at the top of the Rams' “to-do” list for Friday night’s Governor’s Cup game in Kansas City.