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Thread: Rams Report Card: Coaches, Both Lines Fail

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    Rams Report Card: Coaches, Both Lines Fail

    Rams Report Card: Coaches, both lines fail

    By JEFF GORDON
    Sunday, November 27, 2011

    Here are the grades for the St. Louis Rams after their 23-20 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at the Edward Jones Dome:

    QUARTERBACK: Sam Bradford was just OK under tough circumstances, completing 17 of 31 passes for 203 yards and a touchdown. He suffered a couple of sacks –including a blindside hit that forced him to lose a fumble – but overall he did well scrambling away from pressure and getting rid of the ball. He hit four different targets for gains of 22 or more yards. His TD pass to Brandon Lloyd was a strike. He also had a few huge misses, including one pass otuside toward Lloyd and one down the middle to Lance Kendricks. A couple of untimely drops derailed the offense, as did the line's inability to establish a consistent ground attack. GRADE: C-minus.

    RUNNING BACK: The makeshift offensive line didn’t open a whole lot for Steven Jackson, who needed 20 touches (17 carries, three catches) to accumulate 78 yards. Jerious Norwood (five carries, 22 yards) showed some life as his back-up. Jackson threw some notable blocks in pass protection. GRADE: C-plus.

    RECEIVERS: Bradford targeted Lloyd and Gibson 17 times and got just seven completions. Gibson has battled some lower-body injuries, so there is some explanation for his lack of explosiveness coming out of cuts. Multiple times Gibson failed to get to and/or hang on to passes the Rams just had to have. On the plus side, rookie Austin Pettis stretched out for 35-yard reception. Lloyd adjusted nicely to a deep ball to make a snag at the Arizona 3 and ran a great route for the TD catch.GRADE: C.

    TIGHT ENDS: Kendricks spit up a costly fumble in the third quarter, leading to a go-ahead Arizona touchdown. He bounced back and made a nice 24-yard catch on the Rams’fourth-quarter TD drive. But Kendricks couldn’t free himself on a critical third-and-one play later in the quarter . . . and the Rams never got the ball back. He needs to become a bigger factor in this offense. GRADE: D.

    OFFENSIVE LINE: Injuries and wholesale failure prompted a new look. From left to right, the Rams startedAdam Goldberg, Jacob Bell,Tony Wragge, Jason Brown andHarvey Dahl. The results were not stellar. Penalties and poor pass blocking dogged this makeshift until all afternoon. Cardinals defensive end Sam Acho blew in unblocked to sack Bradford and force a first-quarter red zone fumble. At the end of the first half, a false start penalty on Brown and another Bradford sack derailed the Rams after they reached the Arizona 3-yard line. The unwillingness of the Rams to run in a third-and-one scenario late – or go for it on fourth and one – spoke volumes about the state of this depleted unit.GRADE: F.

    DEFENSIVE LINE: The Rams allowed 268 yards rushing – two hundred sixty-eight! – on 7.1 yards a crack. That made you appreciate sidelined defensive tackle Justin Bannan, who has been reasonably stout at the point of attack. Defensive end Chris Long and Robert Quinn each earned sacks, but both came with quarterback John Skelton scrambling forward. This team’s most devastating sack was delivered by Darian Stewart on a safety blitz. Long had a long day trying to stop the run at end. In the end, when the Rams needed to get ball back, their defensive front capitulated. The Rams perished in the trenches during this game. GRADE: F.

    LINEBACKERS: The good news: James Laurinaitis tracked down an interception when Skelton lobbed a horrible pass into the middle of the field. Also,Brady Poppinga forced and recovered aBeanie Wells fumble. The bad news: Time after time, the linebackers got gobbled up by the Arizona ground game. GRADE: D.

    SECONDARY: Cornerback Rod Hoodpicked off another errant Skelton pass and the Rams held Arizona to 114 yards passing. But most of that “success” was Skelton missing target after target with his scattershot form. This injury-riddled group only lost track of Larry Fitzgerald once.GRADE: B.

    SPECIAL TEAMS: Nick Millerrejoined the Rams and gave them a quick 7-0 lead with an electrifying 88-yard punt return. But then this unit taketh away, with Donnie Jones failing to execute a directional punt with his team trailing 13-10. Jones kicked right down the middle to Patrick Peterson, who responded with a relatively easy 80-yard TD return. Since Peterson burned the Rams with a TD return the last time these teams played, this mishap was stunning. Is it really that hard to kick a football out of bounds?GRADE: C.

    COACHING: The Rams’ offensive game plan showed some imagination. The coaches tried to work around the line deficiencies, but the exotic stuff mostly failed. An early flea-flicker call almost paid off, but Lloyd’s would-be TD pass sailed just out of Gibson’s reach. Jackson took the snap in the“wildcat” formation on a third-and-nine play on the first possession . . . and lost a yard as the Cardinals poured in to bury him. By the end of the game, the Rams were out of offensive and defensive answers. Confronted with a late third-and-one situation, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels opted to pass the ball rather than rely on his line to open a running seam. The Cardinals might have interfered with Kendricks on thes resulting play, but the Rams didn’t get the flag. On fourth and one on the Rams 36, head Steve Spagnuolo opted to punt the ball back to Arizona. He was hoping for a defensive stop that never came. (That was wishful thinking, given Arizona’s second-half success on the ground.) The Cardinals ran out the clock to secure the three-point victory. Given the difficulty of remaining Rams games, this loss might have been the last straw for this regime.GRADE: F.


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    Re: Rams Report Card: Coaches, Both Lines Fail

    lol.... hahaah

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    Re: Rams Report Card: Coaches, Both Lines Fail

    I couldn't believe that the team would still kick to Patrick Peterson after last time

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    Re: Rams Report Card: Coaches, Both Lines Fail

    how do you give jackson a c minus? The guy had absolutely no running room, had 45 yards at half, did a great job picking up the blitz all day, caught what we threw to him, and watched helplessly as he got no blocking of any kind and few touches in the second half. He has another excellent game. He can only carry the ball, he cant block for himself.

    ramming speed to all

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    Re: Rams Report Card: Coaches, Both Lines Fail

    Basically it works like this:

    If we win, everyone gets As or Bs

    If we lose, everyone gets Cs, Ds or Fs

    I've also just noticed that the DL and Secondary rankings actually should be renamed "Run Defence" and "Pass Defence".

    He pretty much overlooks the fact that the DL put some good pressure on Skelton all day, and seems to have ranked the DL solely off the run D. At the same time, he seems to have completely missed the fact that a large chunk of the rushing yards seemed to have come from missed tackles in the secondary. I think Darrien Stewart accounted for at least 50 yards on his own with two missed tackles, so i think giving the secondary a B is ridiculously generous.

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    Re: Rams Report Card: Coaches, Both Lines Fail

    Darian Stewart has been playing great from no where on a team full of disasters his play has stood out

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    Re: Rams Report Card: Coaches, Both Lines Fail

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    OFFENSIVE LINE:The unwillingness of the Rams to run in a third-and-one scenario late – or go for it on fourth and one – spoke volumes about the state of this depleted unit.GRADE: F.
    Maybe the coaching staff was remembering the last time they tried to do that against Arizona.

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    Re: Rams Report Card: Coaches, Both Lines Fail

    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk247 View Post
    At the same time, he seems to have completely missed the fact that a large chunk of the rushing yards seemed to have come from missed tackles in the secondary. .
    Are you kidding? Doesn't the secondary only have a chance to miss a tackle if the D-line and linebackers are no shows defending the run in the first place? Wells had 3 runs of 50 yards or more. That's a complete failure by the line and and linebackers. Once is a fluke. Twice is a problem. 3 times is a complete and utter failure. F's all the way around.

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    Re: Rams Report Card: Coaches, Both Lines Fail

    I'll take Darian Stewart's missed tackles. Considering what he has given this teams secondary he reminds me a 'little' of a small Toby Wright with his aggression during game play.

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    Re: Rams Report Card: Coaches, Both Lines Fail

    Quote Originally Posted by mh-i View Post
    Are you kidding? Doesn't the secondary only have a chance to miss a tackle if the D-line and linebackers are no shows defending the run in the first place? Wells had 3 runs of 50 yards or more. That's a complete failure by the line and and linebackers. Once is a fluke. Twice is a problem. 3 times is a complete and utter failure. F's all the way around.
    I didn't say the secondary should be blamed alone, the linebackers and DL do deserve criticism. But by giving them a B it suggests they have a good game, but you can't ignore the fact that the secondary missed some tackles that contributed to Wells' big day. DBs have to tackle too.

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    Re: Rams Report Card: Coaches, Both Lines Fail

    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk247 View Post
    I couldn't believe that the team would still kick to Patrick Peterson after last time
    It was a mistake on Donnie Jones' part. He mis-kicked the ball.

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