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  1. #1
    eldfan's Avatar
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    Are the Rams really making progress?

    Are the Rams really making progress?

    Columnist Jeff Gordon

    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    11/04/2009

    Steve Spagnuolo stood on the Rams practice field on a sunny Tuesday afternoon, two days removed from his first NFL head coaching victory.

    He allowed himself to reflect -– for just a brief moment -– on the first half of this 1-7 season and see progress.

    “There were some struggles, there were some good things, but we have built something,” Spagnuolo told reporters. “We talked this morning on the foundation we wanted to build. There is some trust, there is mutual respect, there is unity in the team. I think more than anything, we take that away.

    “It was a rough road, let’s face it, we had seven losses. But to see what the guys did -– I’m not talking about on the field -– what they did as people and what they did together, that probably sticks in my head more than anything.”

    Fans can’t see this sort of progress. Neither can prospective buyers of the franchise, analyzing the situation from afar.

    The players can feel it and insist that it is real. They can point to their collective effort and their unity.

    They can cite the team spirit that spilled out after the team FINALLY won a game, outlasting the Lions on Sunday in Detroit.

    The Rams note that they don’t feature the locker room drama seen in other struggling teams, like the cross-state Chiefs. Their star player, Steven Jackson, has matured into the ultimate team player when the franchise needed him the most.

    But those of us on the outside can only accept this premise of progress on faith, if at all.

    Is this team really making progress? Are Spagnuolo, his assistant coaches, general manager Billy Devaney and the rest of the football operatives really setting the foundation for future success?

    Are these the right men to lead the attempted turnaround? Are they really up to this enormous task?

    This is the great mystery as the Rams scatter to enjoy their bye weekend. We can’t answer these questions until much later, after the football operation fills in the new framework with more playmakers and sturdier depth.

    This team has lost a lot of talent since the end of last season, including Torry Holt, Orlando Pace, Pisa Tinoisamoa and Will Witherspoon -– leaders who went on to play big roles on other teams.

    This team has run off a bunch of mid- and low-level players, too, like Drew Bennett, Trent Green, Corey Chavous, La’Roi Glover, Tye Hill, Chris Draft, Quinton Culberson, Nick Leckey, Claude Wroten, Todd Johnson, Antonio Pittman, Joe Klopfenstein, Dominique Byrd, Brian Leonard, Derek Stanley, Dane Looker, Anthony Becht, Jason Craft, Fakhir Brown . . . the roll call goes on and on.

    This team has taken some serious injuries hits, losing potential building blocks like Laurent Robinson, Bradley Fletcher, Brooks Foster and Adam Carriker to significant injuries.

    Along the way, the team has added some useful young players who could help, guys like Brandon Gibson, Danny Amendola, Craig Dahl, LaJuan Ramsey and Daniel Fells.

    The result of the wholesale change is a younger, less talented but (presumably) hungrier group that could grow together. The trick will be facilitating that growth during the remaining eight games, adding only fringe players (like new cornerback Danny Gorrer) on the fly.

    “We’ve got enough talent here,” Spagnuolo said. “We’ve got guys that want to work at it, we’ve got guys that can make plays. We’ve just got to keep plugging away. We are going to play some good football teams here and hopefully we will be playing some good football, too.”

    Reinforcements will arrive during the offseason, with the addition of veteran free agents, another wave of draft picks, the return of injured players and the arrival of new faces through every other means possible.

    Between now and then, the Rams must keep making progress. They must find new ways to win games, rather than invent new ways to lose.

    For the first eight games, they learned from their mistakes. For the last eight games, they need to learn more from success.

    Their mood is good today. But the mood must be even better on Jan. 3 to keep this regime moving forward.

    :ramlogo:

  2. #2
    macrammer's Avatar
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    Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

    Is it me or does everyone look to spin the complete and utter disarray of the organization called the Rams. This team is horrible and going nowhere fast. St Louis post dispatch, please start calling it like it is. If it smells like it, tastes like it then guess what, no surprise, it is it! worst team in football two years running showing no promise.

  3. #3
    LA Rammer's Avatar
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    Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

    you keep the ball on the ground and i'm convinced we can rally around sjax and we will play good football
    LA RAMMER

    It's Jim not Chris
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HNgqQVHI_8

  4. #4
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    Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

    Quote Originally Posted by macrammer View Post
    Is it me or does everyone look to spin the complete and utter disarray of the organization called the Rams. This team is horrible and going nowhere fast. St Louis post dispatch, please start calling it like it is. If it smells like it, tastes like it then guess what, no surprise, it is it! worst team in football two years running showing no promise.
    You seem to have got the Rams confused with the Cleveland Browns

  5. #5
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    Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

    I think this team has made progress, the offensive line has made progress, Bulger has more time than he had at the beginning of the year and they are opening holes better for Jax to run through. The defense is playing better although it doesn't always show on the scoreboard. The biggest thing I see is the attitude, you don't see guys giving up like last year and that's encouraging. Let's face it, the win against the Lions was good for this teams morale but in the big picture the Lions aren't a very a good team and if not for the efforts of Jackson who knows how that game could have ended up. Spags has these guys playing with the correct mentality, now it's Devaney's job to get him more talent.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  6. #6
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    Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

    Quote Originally Posted by macrammer View Post
    Is it me or does everyone look to spin the complete and utter disarray of the organization called the Rams. This team is horrible and going nowhere fast. St Louis post dispatch, please start calling it like it is. If it smells like it, tastes like it then guess what, no surprise, it is it! worst team in football two years running showing no promise.
    We are better then the.
    Browns
    raiders
    chiefs
    lions
    redskins
    buccaneers
    And those are just my opinion, if you want what the "experts" on nfl.com think that would be.
    Chiefs
    Lions
    Browns
    Bucs

    So your worst team argument is invalid.

  7. #7
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

    Quote Originally Posted by macrammer View Post
    Is it me or does everyone look to spin the complete and utter disarray of the organization called the Rams. This team is horrible and going nowhere fast. St Louis post dispatch, please start calling it like it is. If it smells like it, tastes like it then guess what, no surprise, it is it! worst team in football two years running showing no promise.
    It's you pal ..

  8. #8
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    Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

    This team is horrible at the moment, one of the least talented in the league.
    Devaney and Spags would never admit it, but this season and next season were sacrificed for the future of the organisation. Hence, getting rid of the older, higher paid, arguably better players for these cheaper, younger, Id call stop gap types until the right players are brought in for their system.
    The new Rams brass are trying to build something that will last, like what N.England, Indy and Pitt, Baltimore have built.
    To anwser the question about progress being made, Ill be honest, I dont know. But for the first time since Vermiel, I feel the organisation has a blueprint, with leaders brave enough to not waver from their plan.

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    Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

    Quote Originally Posted by GROUND DOG 39 View Post
    To anwser the question about progress being made, Ill be honest, I dont know. But for the first time since Vermiel, I feel the organisation has a blueprint, with leaders brave enough to not waver from their plan.
    The nitty gritty here IMO, is whether or not Billy and Spags will prove to be good enough talent evaluators to acquire some really good players with which to replenish our depleted roster. Next year's draft and the free agency period will go a long way in answering that question.

    The team is playing hard for Spags, and the locker room appears to be in harmony for the first time in a long time.

    When a drain gets clogged up, one can try various remedies (plunging, Drano, etc), but if there's really something stuck in there, someone must roll up their sleeves, get out the roto rooter, and muck the whole thing out. It appears that this is what Billy and Spags are doing, and it's been long overdue ..
    Last edited by MauiRam; -11-05-2009 at 05:06 PM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

    Spot on fellas. One thing I'm noticing is that unlike Miami and Atlanta who have had sort of quick-silver turn around stories without the noticeable expulsion that we've seen, the Rams are really getting down to the nitty gritty.
    It gives me hope that maybe we'll see some home grown talent similar to what Pittsburgh does.

  11. #11
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    Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

    My sentiments exactly, talent evaluating is similar to a game of poker. Somewhere along the line we'll need a bit of luck, or a lot I should say. This is the part that worries me?

  12. #12
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    Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

    Oh, i stand corrected. i was looking at the point differential between points scored and allowed as well as the 3 and 21 record past 1.5 seasons.

    I thought 144 was simply horrendous and no other organization is even close to that. I believe we are on a record pace for that dubious distinction.

  13. #13
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    Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

    Quote Originally Posted by macrammer View Post
    Oh, i stand corrected. i was looking at the point differential between points scored and allowed as well as the 3 and 21 record past 1.5 seasons.

    I thought 144 was simply horrendous and no other organization is even close to that. I believe we are on a record pace for that dubious distinction.
    144 PA is horrendous, However does that necessarily mean that we are the worst team? No, if we were the worst team we would be 0-16 by the end of the season. Last time i checked that is impossible.

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    Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

    They are STARTING OVER !! It needed to be done, period. I believe the right people are in place to turn this thing around. It took 10 years to wreck it, it will take more than a few years to FIX IT !!! Is it painful football to watch, absolutely. We are just starting to collect the pieces. Hold on for the painful ride or let go !!!

    Maineram -
    and out of the ashes rise ...The Breakfast Club !

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    Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

    Quote Originally Posted by maineram View Post
    They are STARTING OVER !! It needed to be done, period. I believe the right people are in place to turn this thing around. It took 10 years to wreck it, it will take more than a few years to FIX IT !!! Is it painful football to watch, absolutely. We are just starting to collect the pieces. Hold on for the painful ride or let go !!!

    Maineram -
    Well put!!! This is going to take awhile to fix, so enjoy the games as best you can. I love to watch the Rams on Sun but if they lose it in no way affects the rest of my week. It's considered to be entertainment and I look at it as such, I think a few people on here might want to go have a beer or seek some female companionship so they can chill out and get a new perspective on life.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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