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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams and *****....A Rivalry No More

    By Howard Balzer
    Thursday, November 13, 2008

    In the past, there was always a different vibe at Rams Park when it was ***** week. But things are different this season. Both teams have interim coaches. And both teams are struggling.

    Even though former Rams offensive coordinator Mike Martz is now with San Francisco, as is former Rams wide receiver Isaac Bruce, the focus for both teams is simply trying to get a win. Bruce even rejected a request to be the player on the conference call for Rams media.

    Asked if he considers the ***** a big rivalry, coach Jim Haslett said, ďOne teamís 2-7, the other teamís 2-7. Ainít much of a rivalry. I think a rivalryís when 7-2 and 7-2 teams are playing. Weíre going to try to just go out there and play well and win the game. Thatís the most important thing.Ē

    Said quarterback Marc Bulger, ďI know when Mike Martz was here it was a big deal to him, he instilled in the guys that were here that we hated San Francisco. It is kind of awkward seeing him coaching San Francisco now but we are desperate teams now. Watching San Francisco on Monday night, they laid it on the line and obviously we played terrible.

    "If we play like we did and they play like they did, we are in trouble. I think we will come out and play a lot faster and have a lot less mistakes. Try to take care of the ball but it is going to be a dog fight because they have lost six in a row and we are on a three-game slide. Anytime we play them it is a big game but especially this week.Ē

    Haslett, who was a part of the Saints-Rams rivalry when Martz was the Rams' head coach, knows the *****' offense will give his team all it can handle. ďItís the same type of offense we run, so itís very confusing with all the shifts and the motions," he said. "Obviously they have a great running back, Frank Gore, a good set of receivers and (quarterback) Shaun (Hill) is doing a nice job running the show. I thought he did a great job last week against Arizona.

    "Itís kind of strange; I canít get away from the guy. We were going head-to-head as coaches and then going head-to-head as coordinators, now weíre kind of all over the place. Itís a complicated offense and they give you a lot of different looks and you have a lot to prepare for.Ē

    As for Bruce, Bulger said it will be strange playing against him. Said Bulger, ďIt is going to be different. It was weird watching him on Monday with No. 88. I always picture him with 80 and the Ram horns. Once you see him run, I worked with him so much, that stride you can recognize.Ē

    Asked what he appreciated about Bruce, Bulger said, ďJust the way he came to work every day. When you were on the practice field, he went 100 mph. He had one of those gifts; he was able to get out of breaks without breaking stride. You took it for granted when he was here and you miss seeing that every once in awhile.Ē

    JACKSON PRACTICES

    Running back Steven Jackson practiced Wednesday, but Haslett is still undecided on whether he will play Sunday against the *****. Jackson injured his right quadriceps against Dallas on Oct. 19 and has played in just one of three games since. His appearance was brief in the Nov. 2 game against Arizona.

    Haslett said Jackson "worked better today and thatís all I can tell you; weíll see how he is tomorrow and weíll work him tomorrow and then hopefully make a decision. I know itís a lot better, but is it good enough? I donít know yet.

    ďHe needs to go tomorrow and he has to kind of open it up and go. He didnít take a lot of reps today."

    Asked if Jackson went at about two-thirds speed, Haslett said, ďA little bit more than that maybe, but I thought it was a lot better.Ē

    Said quarterback Marc Bulger, ďHe looked good. We are keeping our fingers crossed. I donít want to say that he is 100-percent because only he will know. I donít know if he opened it up or not. There is a difference between practice and game speed. We will keep our fingers crossed until Friday or Saturday.Ē

    HILL BACK FROM ALABAMA

    Cornerback Tye Hill visited Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., Monday to get a second opinion on the knee he injured against Buffalo on Sept. 28.

    It was thought Hill might be able to play against Arizona on Nov. 2, but the knee gave him trouble in practice that week and it had to be drained the day of the game. He hasn't practiced since and has missed five games.

    Haslett said, "Thereís still fluid on the knee, he has a bone bruise and the fluidís going to have to get out of there and heís going to have to keep rehabbing it, hopefully no more than this week and he gets out there and starts playing.

    Referring to the games he's missed, Haslett said, "He needs to get on the field. Heís missed already four games this year (actually five); he missed eight games last year. Heís missing too much time.Ē

    PROTECTING THE FOOTBALL

    Running back Kenneth Darby fumbled twice against the Jets, which earned him a benching in the second half. When he didn't fumble, Darby showed some spark, with runs of 13 and 14 yards.

    During the team's running after practice Wednesday, Darby was holding a football.

    Asked if Darby fumbled during practice, Haslett said, ďHe didnít fumble. I saw him holding the ball when he was running his sprints. That was good. I like the kid. The kidís actually a pretty good running back. I thought the limited time he was in there he did pretty well running, but he has to hold onto the ball.Ē

    Was it Darby's idea to do that or yours, Haslett was asked. ďNo," he said. "That wasnít mine, it was the running backs coach (Art Valero).Ē

    INJURY REPORT

    Defensive end Eric Moore (neck) did not practice Wednesday and is not expected to play Sunday against the *****. Moore did not play last week against the Jets. ... Running back Travis Minor, who missed last week's game against the Jets because of a concussion, practiced Wednesday and will play Sunday against San Francisco. ... Cornerback Ron Bartell practiced Wednesday with the flu and was held out of one of the final team segments because he was worn down. ... Defensive tackle Adam Carriker was playing well until injuring an ankle against Dallas Oct. 19. He has played the last two games, but on a limited basis and not at a high level. Carriker had full participation in practice Wednesday and it is expected he will play more against San Francisco.

    THE QUOTE

    Haslett on how he handles his anger after bad losses: "I really donít change one way or the other, win or lose; Iím kind of always the same. If we won 14 in a row, Iíd probably be the same as I am right now. If weíd lost 14 Iíd be the same, Iíd probably be ticked off that weíre losing and Iím not happy about it, but I donít think you coach through anger. Thatís not the way you coach. You coach as a teacher and if Iím going to teach and Iím mad at a class or something for something they did, Iím not going to be up on the board screaming and yelling at them, you still have to go out and do your job, teaching them, trying to do your best, they are what they are.

    You have to coach them and try to put them in the right spots and know their strengths and know their weaknesses and try to take advantage of it. For me to be upset, yeah youíre upset that you lost the game, but angry, I donít know about that.Ē
    -- Coach Jim Haslett on how he handles his anger after losses.


  2. #2
    shower beers's Avatar
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    Re: Rams and *****....A Rivalry No More

    Wow, that bit about Martz hating the ***** is kind of funny...

  3. #3
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    Re: Rams and *****....A Rivalry No More

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    By Howard Balzer
    Thursday, November 13, 2008


    Asked if he considers the ***** a big rivalry, coach Jim Haslett said, ďOne teamís 2-7, the other teamís 2-7. Ainít much of a rivalry. I think a rivalryís when 7-2 and 7-2 teams are playing. Weíre going to try to just go out there and play well and win the game. Thatís the most important thing.Ē
    Won/loss records only come into play as far as the intensity of the rivalry goes for a particular game. Sure if the RAMS and Whiners were both 7-2 and playing for the division title things might get a little uglier than normal. We have had several rivalry games with the Whiners when they were on top of the division and we were struggling and vice versa.

    So we are both 2-7....still a big rivalry game in my mind.

  4. #4
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    Re: Rams and *****....A Rivalry No More

    its the toilet bowl... everyone knows thats the biggest rivalry in the NFL

  5. #5
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    Re: Rams and *****....A Rivalry No More

    I'm doin' my annual "Buy a ***** Cap & Burn It" routine....

  6. #6
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Rams and *****....A Rivalry No More

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam1 View Post
    I'm doin' my annual "Buy a ***** Cap & Burn It" routine....
    We need pictures of that.....

    Awesome!!!

  7. #7
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    Re: Rams and *****....A Rivalry No More

    Here in California...the whiner vs Rams rivalry will remain alive and well forever.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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