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Thread: Rams show no signs of hope in this mess ..

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    Rams show no signs of hope in this mess ..

    BY BRYAN BURWELL

    They are playing winning football in old football ghost towns like Detroit and Buffalo and Oakland again. In San Francisco and Seattle and Arizona, too, their teams seem to be showing at least some faint glimmers of a football renaissance. The out-of-town scoreboards offer weekly evidence that even in such traditionally dismal outposts like Cleveland, Carolina, Tennessee and Cincinnati there are revivals in progress.

    But here in St. Louis where football dreams go to die this is what we get.

    No renaissance. No revival. Nothing but a miserable recurrence of the same football nightmare that has haunted this NFL franchise for the last decade.

    On Sunday afternoon the half-empty Edward Jones Dome echoed with the disgruntled voices of a frustrated fan base whose only weapons are boos and sarcasm. While they spent most of the day booing the mistake-riddled performance in this 17-10 loss to the visiting Washington Redskins, the defining moment of the game and this 0-4 season was the rousing sarcastic ovation for the proper execution of ... a fair catch.

    The Rams are heading into the bye week a dispirited and dysfunctional lot. They are a bad team that seems to regress with each week that goes by. This was supposed to be a turnaround year for the franchise, a team that was ready to take the next step to contention for the NFC West title and a playoff berth. This was supposed to be the season where the Rams returned to prominence in this city's sports conversation. Instead, they are in shambles. They beat themselves with penalties and missed assignments.

    And if things don't change dramatically, the only danger the Rams will present this season is to the long-term health of their franchise quarterback and the job security of their head coach and general manager.

    "It's very disappointing, very disappointing," said running back Steven Jackson, who measured his words carefully when someone asked him if he understood why the fans were booing, and basically said he was right there with them. "I definitely understand our fans' frustrations. There were a lot of high expectations around here. I don't think the season is written off quite yet, but ..."

    Jackson is a veteran of this mess now. His hide has gotten thick enduring all the losing. But just like the rest of us, he thought this year would be different. Which is why he took a slow, dramatic pause, then bit down on his lip before finishing his thought.

    "Hell, I'm disappointed too," he said before turning his back to the TV cameras and microphones.

    The Rams have to be better than this. There's no way they should be 0-4. There's no way they should be committing the same dumb mental mistakes week in and week out.

    But they keep doing it and it's the reason they lost again, against a Redskins team that was begging to lose the game, just like the Eagles and Giants did in the first two games of the season.

    How many more games will we have to see where offensive linemen don't know the snap count and ruin scoring drives? How many more times will we have to see professional pass catchers drop balls that are placed perfectly in their hands? How many more times will we have to see outside linebackers overrun plays or worse yet, get overrun on plays by opposing blockers while running backs in the wrong jerseys gash the defense?

    How many more times do we have to watch this offensive line blow their assignments on pass plays and put the man they've been hired and well- compensated to protect (Sam Bradford) in danger of turning into an ordinary battered QB?

    Bradford was sacked seven times on Sunday and pressured no fewer than 10 more times. In the last two weeks, he's been sacked 12 times and been under duress on no fewer than 40 pass plays. And at the end of this game, Bradford was in the treatment room for at least 40 minutes.

    "Quarterbacks have been hit far too long around here," Jackson said.

    Good teams do not drop passes that are right in their hands. Good teams do not turn a red zone possession that began on the Washington 19 into a punt. That's what bad teams do, and the Rams are that sort of bad team right now.

    Washington practically gave this game to the Rams in the fourth quarter when Rex Grossman threw an interception right into the hands of Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis and he returned it 15 yards to the Redskins 19-yard line with the Rams trailing 17-10 and only 5:30 remaining.

    "I thought we were going to score," Bradford said. "(Then) I thought our defense was going to get it back and we were going to go right back down in two-minute drill and score again."

    That's what a good team does in moments like that. It takes that opportunity and goes for the throat. But the Rams are not a good team, at least not now. This is what this bad team did:

    First down incomplete pass.

    Second down penalty. Minus-5 yards.

    Second and 15 sack.

    Third and 25 sack.

    Fourth and 30 punt.

    And that's why the Rams are 0-4 and trending toward much worse unless they start living up to the expectations a lot of people had for them.

    "My expectations for this team were extremely high and they still are extremely high," Bradford said. "I don't want to get it twisted at all. There is an awful lot of football to be played and I think there are a lot of games that this football team can win. But the fact is we are 0-4. And I feel like we should be a lot better team than we were last year. That's the frustrating part because I think we are a better team. From the outside it doesn't look like it ... and we're doing things that don't make us a better team. But I really feel like we are a better team."

    Bradford and Jackson are the most powerful voices in that locker room and they're the voices that are starting to show frustration and disbelief for their 0-4 circumstances. The biggest dilemma that has to be solved over the course of the next two weeks is how to protect Bradford better and wake up this mistake-prone offense. You can't expect your franchise QB to take this sort of beating every week.

    "We have to figure it out," Bradford said. "We can say 'run three step,' you can say ' 'run quick game' you can say 'get the ball out of your hand quicker,' but at some point you have to be able to throw the ball down the field, and in order to do that you have to have time to read out the routes because they take time to develop. So hopefully during this bye week we have hopefully two weeks to figure it out before our next game."

    But as Jackson says, the answer to what ails this team is not Xs and Os or rah-rah speeches. It's about accountability. "It's about going out and doing it," Jackson said. "At some point talk is cheap. At some point, talk gets old. We're all professionals and guys need to be held accountable."

    And over the bye week that accountability needs to be assessed thoroughly. If you're not catching, blocking or tackling, then someone else needs to be put in the lineup who can and will.


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    Re: Rams show no signs of hope in this mess ..

    I think this is all shaping up to be the Rams moving to L.A. and everyone can bark all they want at me , but I have been saying this for over a year and it will not shock me one bit if they are the team that goes to L.A. I think they did not adress alot of the issues that have been plagueing them for a long time including but not specifically the o line and the recievers who still stink, but it appears they are leaving the team to a qb learning curve while blowing up the location to move.The biggest crime is that if they are in fact moved to L.A. Steven Jackson will be almost out of gas when the wheels finally get put back on the road, a real waste of talent.
    Last edited by MelloStang; -10-03-2011 at 05:11 PM.

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    Re: Rams show no signs of hope in this mess ..

    THats the question I ALWAYS ask myself as Burwell eluded to: HOW MUCH LONGER????!!! I just dont get how we are the WORST team in the league.

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    Re: Rams show no signs of hope in this mess ..

    after last season they were supposed to be better and yet they are the pits of not only the division but the league , and that is why i think its the powers that be helping this team to a dismal record a bad showing by the attendance and then a move to L. a.and then things will turn around, if you recall they stunk and moved to st louis and then were 5 and 1 right out the gate with rich brooks.

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    Re: Rams show no signs of hope in this mess ..

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    But as Jackson says, the answer to what ails this team is not Xs and Os or rah-rah speeches. It's about accountability. "It's about going out and doing it," Jackson said. "At some point talk is cheap. At some point, talk gets old. We're all professionals and guys need to be held accountable."

    Doesn't SJax understand that his teammates feelings might get hurt if coaches hold them responsible for bad play? Geez.

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    Re: Rams show no signs of hope in this mess ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Fettmaster View Post
    Doesn't SJax understand that his teammates feelings might get hurt if coaches hold them responsible for bad play? Geez.

    SJ is now on the list that hurt this team this year... he old and is missing too many games. If he is the teams super star then we really need to get younger at RB.

    After 4 games he has 124 yards rushing, yeah I know he was hurt but that's the problem he's not getting any younger.

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    Re: Rams show no signs of hope in this mess ..

    hes hurt because the line isnt that good , he is a freak and if he leaves the rams watch the numbers on a better team , sadly he is wasting his small window of whats left on a team that will not improve during his career, i think its best for both to part ways the rams need youth and he needs one last chance, i have been a rams fan for a long long time and this isnt the 99 team by any stretch, do not expect a sudden turn around.

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    NJ Ramsfan1 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams show no signs of hope in this mess ..

    Quote Originally Posted by rNemesis View Post
    THats the question I ALWAYS ask myself as Burwell eluded to: HOW MUCH LONGER????!!! I just dont get how we are the WORST team in the league.

    And that's the question that lingers in my head as well and is the subject of all nightmares. It's really more than any fan should have to endure- one step forward, two steps back over and over again for YEARS. Look at Cinci- their francshise QB up and retires and they're playing competitively. Look at Carolina- many said Cam Newton isn't an NFL caliber player. Look at Kansas City- a team with a horrid injury situation. Look at everyone else in our division- all teams which have been dismissed as lousy. And each of them have wins and are doing a better job than we are. This is why there's been so much negativity and rage this week. It simply has to stop.
    macrammer likes this.

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    Re: Rams show no signs of hope in this mess ..

    1. Moving to L.A. isn't going to make our team any better. The Fans in L.A. didn't support a bad team then and they won't in the future.

    2. Steven Jacksons injuries year after year have nothing to do with our O-Line. He got hurt in the open field against the Eagles this season.

    Frustrated!

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    Re: Rams show no signs of hope in this mess ..

    Moving to La will do 2 things . It will get them more revenue and a bigger fanbase, both of those help a team, with proper ownership. Being in Stlouis wich is a baseball city doesnt help turn anything around or lure potential free agents there. Not too many people wanna play in St louis but alot of them wanna be in LA.

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