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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams Team Report

    11/6/2005

    By Jim Thomas
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch


    Home victories over New Orleans and Jacksonville have given the Rams a chance to work themselves back into the playoff picture over the second half of the season. Coming out of the bye week, QB Marc Bulger (shoulder), WR Torry Holt (knee), and DE Leonard Little (death in the family) all are expected back in the lineup for this week's NFC West showdown with Seattle. To be a legitimate NFC contender, the Rams must show they can do better on the road, where they were 1-3 over the first half of the season. They must also cut down on turnovers, where they are minus 9 for the year. . . .

    The status of WR Isaac Bruce (turf toe) remains questionable. Bruce suffered the dislocated toe back on September 25 against Tennessee. He hasn't come close to practice since, although he has done some individual work over the past couple of weeks. Turf toe injuries can linger if players try to come back to quickly. They can be especially tricky for wide receivers, particularly a receiver like Bruce, whose ability to start and stop, cut, and change directions is a key part of his game. . . .

    The recent injury situation in the secondary has forced rookie CB Ron Bartell onto the field as the team's nickel back, and Bartell has played surprisingly well, showing a competitiveness and an ability to stick with more experienced receivers. At 6-1, 208, Bartell has the kind of size that is sorely lacking among Rams cornerbacks.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Play at the free safety position has improved dramatically since converted WR Mike Furrey took over three games ago. Furrey has displayed good range, and made generally good decisions in zone coverage. He hasn't shied away from contact, although his tackling technique still needs work. Most of all, Furrey needs to work on taking proper angles to the ballcarrier. He has missed a couple of tackles for this reason, both of which led to touchdown runs. But Furrey has brought much-needed playmaking ability to a defense, which has struggled to come up with takeaways since the start of the 2004 season. Furrey's days have a wide receiver have helped -- not just because of his good hands, but also because of his ability to do something after the takeaway. He has four takeaways in the past three games, one of which came on special teams.

    SEE A DIFFERENT GAME: Since becoming interim head coach, Joe Vitt has turned up the intensity on defense. Against New Orleans, for example, the team blitzed Saints QB Aaron Brooks 27 times, more than twice the Rams' per-game average for the season. Vitt, normally the team's linebackers coach, has used a variety of blitzers as well, sending SS Adam Archuleta off the edge, and even 5-8 Corey Ivy from the slot position. Even when not blitzing, the Rams have used more multiple fronts in an attempt to confuse opposing QBs and blockers. The less passive approach has met with good reviews from the players, who have responded with more aggressive play.


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    Haterade's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Team Report

    SEE A DIFFERENT GAME: Since becoming interim head coach, Joe Vitt has turned up the intensity on defense. Against New Orleans, for example, the team blitzed Saints QB Aaron Brooks 27 times, more than twice the Rams' per-game average for the season. Vitt, normally the team's linebackers coach, has used a variety of blitzers as well, sending SS Adam Archuleta off the edge, and even 5-8 Corey Ivy from the slot position. Even when not blitzing, the Rams have used more multiple fronts in an attempt to confuse opposing QBs and blockers. The less passive approach has met with good reviews from the players, who have responded with more aggressive play.
    This could be the game changer. In games that have hinder the Seahawks' offense, all have relied on blitzing from every position. While this hasn't prevented the Seahawks from winning their games, it has definitely hampered their ability to show multiple looks down the field.

    If the Rams' defense has truly turned the corner, the next thing would be for the Rams to get their personal healthy.
    ____________________________________________
    "Go for Broke" 442nd Japanese-American Battalion

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