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  1. #1
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    Rams strive for improved run defense

    Associated Press

    ST. LOUIS - When St. Louis opens the season at San Francisco on Sunday, defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy will be looking to erase a memory from last season.

    The Atlanta Falcons rolled up an astonishing 327 yards on 40 carries, an average of 8.2 yards per attempt, in eliminating the Rams from the playoffs in January.

    Kennedy shudders when thinking about it. Last year, St. Louis allowed 17 runs of 20 or more yards, the most in the league.

    An improved run defense ranks among the Rams' top goals.

    "We've got a new attitude," said Kennedy, the Rams' first-round pick in 2003. "We want to stop the run."

    It all starts up front with the defensive line. Kennedy is set to start inside with Ryan "Big Grease" Pickett. They will be flanked on the outside by pass rushers Leonard Little and Anthony Hargrove.

    Pickett has been one of the team's best for stopping runs since his 2001 arrival as a first-round pick. However, he is listed as questionable for the game, although he said he expects to play.

    The 330-pound defensive tackle injured his back Aug. 6, trying to lift and "toss" center Andy McCollum, who is listed at 300 pounds.

    "It was just an awkward motion. I was trying to throw a lineman and the back kind of just collapsed," said Pickett. He had 81 tackles and two sacks last year while drawing most of the blocking attention in the middle.

    McCollum remembered the play.

    "That was in that scrimmage at Washington University," McCollum said. "We were fighting a little bit after the play. It was a little heated argument."

    Pickett remains in some pain, but wants to play against the *****. He, too, wants to wash the sour taste left after last year when the Rams defense finished 29th, last against the run.

    The players are familiar with the system installed last season by defensive coordinator Larry Marmie. That should help them improve.

    "There's no guessing," Pickett said. "This year, everyone pretty much knows what they have to do and where they have to be. We're all holding each other accountable to be in our spots."

    Receiver Torry Holt described what he would like to see from the defense against opponents.

    "We need to knock them in the mouth and get some three-and-outs," Holt said.

    The addition of two new linebackers - Chris Claiborne and Dexter Coakley - will help the run defense. There are other new faces on the defense. Newcomer Michael Hawthorne is playing free safety. DeJuan Groce is at cornerback in place of the injured Jerametrius Butler.

  2. #2
    maineram Guest

    Re: Rams strive for improved run defense

    This quote from Torry says it all.

    "We need to knock them in the mouth and get some three-and-outs," Holt said.

    Let's hope that the members on defense feel, and do, the same. This could be another real special year if the defense comes to play, every single play. And it deffinately starts up front with the BIG GUYS.

    Maineram -

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Glenrothes, SCOTLAND
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    Re: Rams strive for improved run defense

    you got to love the Attitude


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