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  1. #1
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    Rams vs. Bengals: Rams Observations

    Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

    Thoughts and observations from the Rams' exhibition game against the Bengals on Thursday night:

    Defense capitalizes. The Rams appeared much more active and alert defensively than they did last week. Rookie James Laurinaitis pounced on an unforced fumble early in the game. Chris Long or Jonathan Wade probably would have recovered if Laurinaitis had not. Later, Laurinaitis made Bengals guard Nate Livings whiff badly as the rookie swarmed toward running back Cedric Benson. Ball-hawking safety Oshiomogho Atogwe forced a fumble, setting up James Butler's touchdown return. Butler later missed badly in run support, letting Benson get into the secondary. James Hall pressured effectively up the middle. Victor Adeyanju seemed to play well.

    Asterisk duly noted. Former ***** starter J.T. O'Sullivan was in the lineup at quarterback for the Bengals. Carson Palmer did not play.

    Mixed reviews at receiver. Laurent Robinson continued to show he can be effective on quick slants, a staple of the West Coast offense. Robinson also had a rough start. He dropped the ball on third down to kill the Rams' first drive. His illegal block also negated a first-down conversion on a running play. Keenan Burton worked underneath to catch a short pass. The Rams used a dink-and-dunk approach to the passing game. There weren't many chances to make plays downfield.

    Horrible special teams. The Bengals' return specialists found far too much room to run, gaining 104 yards on four punt returns. The Rams even had trouble executing an extra point, with Richie Incognito committing a false-start penalty on one of them. That was one of four special-teams penalties against the Rams. Josh Brown, a very good long-range kicker, missed from 50 and 51 yards. Quincy Butler fumbled after fielding a punt.

    Butler steps up on 'D'. The cornerback continues to make a push for a roster spot. He made a tackle for loss in the flat, then picked off a Jordan Palmer pass on the next play. Butler turned his head early in the route while covering Chris Henry, allowing him to play the ball. Butler was one of the lesser-known players who stood out when I visited Rams training camp. He did fumble after fielding a punt, but that was the least of the Rams' worries on special teams.

    Jason Brown sighting. Watching free-agent addition Jason Brown isn't particularly exciting. He's not a nimble, active center making plays in the run game 10 or 15 yards downfield. What Brown does seem to do is prevent immediate trouble up the middle. That is my initial impression of him and that is an improvement for the Rams.

    Jason Smith update. The rookie tackle played both sides for the Rams. I didn't notice him as much this week and that's probably a good thing. Smith did not seem to miss badly on blocks. He plays to the whistle, seeks out defenders late in plays and helps up teammates. He remains a work in progress, but he clearly wants it.

    I've watched the first three-plus quarters of this game. The Rams finally did throw deep, with Brock Berlin looking unsuccessfully for Tim Carter along the left sideline. Smith tied up his man and didn't let him get to the quarterback.


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    Re: Rams vs. Bengals: Rams Observations

    Not exactly a gleeming review. I didn't have a chance to catch the game as NFL network chose to replay it at 2 in the morning, but it's good to see the defense is making plays.

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    Re: Rams vs. Bengals: Rams Observations

    Not gleaming, certainly, but then again, we didn't play anywhere close to a flawless night. Robinson's clearly the number 2 guy after Avery, and rightly so.

    Great to see the Rams Defense actually winning the game for us with touchdowns, turnovers and sacks. We'll see what they do against a real offense(or at least a real QB) come week 1.

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    Re: Rams vs. Bengals: Rams Observations

    Did anyone notice all the arm tackles, going high & being dragged for a couple more yards I was really hoping for a new attitude on defense I can handle losing but poor tackling sends me to the moon

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    Re: Rams vs. Bengals: Rams Observations

    One player that favorably impressed me last night was Samkon Gado - not only because of his touchdowns either - rather the way he always seemed to move the pile forward even on his shorter gains. Don't know if this was an illusion, but he seems to have good power and instincts. I haven't had a chance to watch the game again though, maybe I'll revise my opinion after closer inspection. Anyone else see his performance through the same eyes?

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    Re: Rams vs. Bengals: Rams Observations

    So both good and bad in this game, but with more good from where there was bad last week, right?
    Defense improved, Gado played a heck of a game, Boller was better, Jason Smith got better, etc...
    It may be a slow process, but as long as we continue to get better, wins will come in time.

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    Re: Rams vs. Bengals: Rams Observations

    It was an okay game. Boller played better. Which is a good thing. It sucks having Bulger sidelined because we need to see what we can bring.

    Laurinaitis is a great player. He always seems to be near the ball. That's a good thing to see and I hope he can improve.

    Jason Smith is working hard. I saw a few times where he picked up his team mates. That's a great attitude. I hope he starts on the right side come week one.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Devaney, if you care about this team... fire the offensive coordinator!!!!

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    Re: Rams vs. Bengals: Rams Observations

    according to Paul Keels and Anthony Muņoz Bengals defense is one of the best in the preseason, holding the patsys to 6 points. For us to go in their and score in the redzone is encouraging. Gado gives us a "carry the pile element" which will increase redzone opportunities.
    LA RAMMER

    It's Jim not Chris
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HNgqQVHI_8

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    Re: Rams vs. Bengals: Rams Observations

    another important stat, we didn't give up a sack! our defense got 6!

    kudos to offensive line!
    LA RAMMER

    It's Jim not Chris
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HNgqQVHI_8

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    Re: Rams vs. Bengals: Rams Observations

    After watching the last few years all I cared about last night was seeing the intensity and enthusiasm in which everyone showed on both sides of the ball...so I'm happy

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    Re: Rams vs. Bengals: Rams Observations

    Best news. No one got hurt. End of story, its preseason.

    Getting excited about the defense is meaningless to me given the level of competition we played against. I think what we saw in the falcons game, against a playoff caliber first team offense, is what i am worried about on the defensive side of the ball.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


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    Re: Rams vs. Bengals: Rams Observations

    I agree General c, but I believe their was some improvements from last year.
    Baby steps- Realisiticly, Im happy with whats going on.
    Go Rams

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    Re: Rams vs. Bengals: Rams Observations

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    One player that favorably impressed me last night was Samkon Gado - not only because of his touchdowns either - rather the way he always seemed to move the pile forward even on his shorter gains. Don't know if this was an illusion, but he seems to have good power and instincts. I haven't had a chance to watch the game again though, maybe I'll revise my opinion after closer inspection. Anyone else see his performance through the same eyes?
    I was at the game, and Gado looked to be the best back we had out there last night. He did seem to get more through the pile than S-Jax. I'm not sure if Steven is being told to hold back, but he was not that impressive.

    ---------------------------

    Side note. Can Gado get a different number? 38 looks a lot like 39 from where I was standing. I couldn't for the life of me figure out where that second wind for Jackson came from until the Bengals' announcers told me it was Gado.

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    Re: Rams vs. Bengals: Rams Observations

    Did anyone notice all the arm tackles, going high & being dragged for a couple more yards I was really hoping for a new attitude on defense I can handle losing but poor tackling sends me to the moon
    Did you watch the game, our D was in there back feild all night! hoping for a new attitude on defense Please the Rams D is night and Day from last year IMO. Not perfect but still night and Day.

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