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Thread: Rams want dominant units

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    Rams want dominant units

    By Ian Rapoport
    My story: Using the Giants as inspiration, the Rams are searching for dominant units

    Usually you hear teams, especially the bad ones, looking to build one player at a time. They talk about increasing depth across the board and getting talent everywhere. Well, the Rams might not consider themselves to be rebuilding, but they are definitely doing some renovations.

    Yet, as GM Les Snead told me in his office last week, they have an interesting way of thinking about it. Instead of looking to even out the roster and add skill at positions of need, he’s hoping to create dominant units first. Kind of like the Giants, how they keep re-stocking their already nasty defensive line.

    It’s why St. Louis added Michael Brockers to an already solid defensive line in the first round and why the team added two new cornerbacks to free-agent acquisition Cortland Finnegan in the second round. I know how the Giants do it, but I’d never heard it put quite like Snead, in his first year as GM, did.

    “When you take a player you might not need or he may go to a unit that is already strong, it just makes that unit dominant,” Snead told me. “You gotta start thinking units. Realize we’re young so there’s going (to be growing pains). But when you get units strong, not just spreading out individual talent over the 11, but units become, ‘Wow.’ Quarterbacks got to get the ball off faster and then our DBs are good. Now, we may steal some wins that might not have done if we’d picked just one player at No. 2 or not tried to acquire multiple players.”

    Ok let's take a look at what Les has done

    Free Agency
    Cortland Finnegan
    Kendall Langford


    High Draft Picks
    Michael Brockers
    Janoris Jenkins
    Trumaine Johnson

    Look at how deep our secondary has become

    Left Cornerback
    Cortland Finnegan
    Trumaine Johnson
    Jerome Murphy

    Right Cornerback
    Janoris Jenkins
    Bradley Fletcher
    Josh Gordy

    Strong Safety
    Darian Stewart
    Draig Dahl

    Free Safety
    Quintin Mikell


    D line is built around four young players three where high draft picks.

    Left Defensive End
    Chris Long
    William Hayes

    Left Defensive Tackle
    Michael Brockers
    Trevor Laws

    Right Defensive Tackle
    Kendall Langford
    Darell Scott

    Right Defensive End
    Robert Quinn
    Eugene Sims



    Makes sense we passed on LB and OG EARLY in this draft...
    We added Isaiah Pead when we already have Steven Jackson.

    When I look at the defense it could be very good. I can't recall the last cover sack this front four got. These two units should really be able to play off each other.. With Long and Quinn forcing rushed passes this secondary should make a lot of plays on the ball. With a solid secondary the front four should get more cover sacks.

    I like the concept maybe next year it will be about stacking the LB's and or Receivers.


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    Re: Rams want dominant units

    I think functional units would be a great step forward. Dominant is a terrific goal of course, but improvement is the key. We have a lot of young players and while it looks a lot better on paper, guys have to take the next step on the field.

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    Re: Rams want dominant units

    I understand his concept; better to have a couple of dominent units then a whole team comprised of mediocre talent. Unfortunately, the Rams still have a long way to go to have domanance anywhere in their lineup.

    Too many "if's" (in the form of youth and unproven talent) need to playout into "do's", but a great first start to the new regime. I do like where the defense is going though. I think the improvements on that side of the ball will keep the Rams in some games that last year they would not have been in. I just don't see ANY dominance on the offensive side and that will be their achillis' heel this year. I still see the Rams near the bottom of the league in scoring unless I'm missing something. In the next two drafts, with multiple first round picks, they can go after offense and put it all together.
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

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    Re: Rams want dominant units

    I agree they have to preform, this regime is not going to be satisfied with just functional units. On paper this is the best secondary that we have had in a long time... Yeah the young D line is young and they have to deliver but three of them are top 15 draft picks...

    Next year looking at this way of thinking the Rams may add another DB or DL early to keep building a deep unit.

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    Re: Rams want dominant units

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMFANRAIDERHATER View Post
    I understand his concept; better to have a couple of dominent units then a whole team comprised of mediocre talent. Unfortunately, the Rams still have a long way to go to have domanance anywhere in their lineup.

    Too many "if's" (in the form of youth and unproven talent) need to playout into "do's", but a great first start to the new regime. I do like where the defense is going though. I think the improvements on that side of the ball will keep the Rams in some games that last year they would not have been in. I just don't see ANY dominance on the offensive side and that will be their achillis' heel this year. I still see the Rams near the bottom of the league in scoring unless I'm missing something. In the next two drafts, with multiple first round picks, they can go after offense and put it all together.
    I doubt very much Sam Bradford would agree with you RFRH.? I believe our QB is a good one, so the Rams offense being near the bottom of the league in scoring. Well, it just doesn't make sense to me.?

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    Re: Rams want dominant units

    Until we actually see dramatically improved offensive line play on the field, rather than in discussion on these boards and elsewhere, there is no reason to believe that we are going to improve in any material way scoring wise. Offensive line play has been our achiles heel for a long time and while i appreciate the cause for optimism around here (and i share that optimism for improvement), i am still a skeptic on the offensive line and i think that unit, more than any other, holds the key to the degree of our improvement this year. Sammy can not throw from flat on his ass and jackson can not run through a brick wall. A healthy Saffold and Smith will be a really good start and key point for us to improve scoring wise in any material way. I still have faith in both of those guys, but they have to show it to me on the field in an actual game.

    I understand all the arguments regarding change in scheme and play calling helping the offensive line and i generally agree with those lines of reasoning, but i still need to see it manifest itself on the field and we are still really scary when it comes to offensive line depth.

    ramming speed to all

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    Re: Rams want dominant units

    And maybe they believe the wr unit will be dominant with amendola, salas, and the 2 draft picks. Pettis is in the mix too but who knows.

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    Re: Rams want dominant units

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    Until we actually see dramatically improved offensive line play on the field, rather than in discussion on these boards and elsewhere, there is no reason to believe that we are going to improve in any material way scoring wise. Offensive line play has been our achiles heel for a long time and while i appreciate the cause for optimism around here (and i share that optimism for improvement), i am still a skeptic on the offensive line and i think that unit, more than any other, holds the key to the degree of our improvement this year. Sammy can not throw from flat on his ass and jackson can not run through a brick wall. A healthy Saffold and Smith will be a really good start and key point for us to improve scoring wise in any material way. I still have faith in both of those guys, but they have to show it to me on the field in an actual game.

    I understand all the arguments regarding change in scheme and play calling helping the offensive line and i generally agree with those lines of reasoning, but i still need to see it manifest itself on the field and we are still really scary when it comes to offensive line depth.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel
    I totally agree the O-Line is a big key to good offensive football. I just feel that Fisher's smart enough to make sure the tackles are not put in beyond their comfort zone. The two tackles were different players just two years ago in Shurmurs conservative WCO. An offense that I believe will be similar to what Fisher will use this year. I very much doubt Fisher will allow Sam Bradford to be pummelled, like last year. Anyway, I believe the Rams NOW have the TALENT to keep a defense honest. Another reason to believe in a big improvement for the offense.
    Last edited by GROUND DOG 39; -05-18-2012 at 05:57 PM.

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    Re: Rams want dominant units

    i like the approach of building strong units. when we have spread it out in the past if that player flops then the whole unit didn't improve atall. teams will pass on us at their peril and i don't see running on us as the cakewalk it has been in the past with bigger and younger DT`s in place.

    the O-line doesn't look like a strong unit on paper..or atleast not as strong as it could be but definately stronger i feel than last year.
    taking a look at the best O-lines in the league..when those teams aquired those players how many thought really that they were bringing in studs at the time? the Green Bay line,Giants,Saints,Tampa,Falcons,Pats...not many high draft picks on any of those lines.
    they mainly became great lines because they have/had coaches who could recognize diamonds in the rough and how to cut and polish them up. we have those kind of coaches now. Steve Loney was trying to work his way through quick sand with the injuries but he should never have been our O-line coach to begin with.

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    Re: Rams want dominant units

    Quote Originally Posted by GROUND DOG 39 View Post
    Anyway, I believe the Rams NOW have the TALENT to keep a defense honest. Another reason to believe in a big improvement for the offense.
    that`s a good point. when the defense is stout the offense doesn't have to chase games as often.meaning the offense can keep the opposing D guessing..when we 20 points down before half time,it don't take a rocket scientist to know that an offense is gonna have to go gun-ho if they want to try and get back in the game.

    Edit: ah i see i misread what you said..tho i agree with you i misread it as the improvement to our D rather than our O.

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    Re: Rams want dominant units

    "It’s why St. Louis added Michael Brockers to an already solid defensive line in the first round and why the team added two new cornerbacks to free-agent acquisition Cortland Finnegan in the second round."

    1. Solid defensive line? Yes we have cornerstone De's, but Quinn is still learning to stop the run game. Our DT's last year were horrible. Do solid defensive lines give up 250+ yards to Demarco Murrey? Or let Beanie Wells have a career day on us? We got rid of our DT's from last year for a reason.

    2. Our CB situation last year was destroyed by injuries, We drafted new bllod and grabbed Finnegan in FA because although we have a couple good quality corners, injuries were justto fequent. And getting the two CB's in the draft gives us two corner who can one day be our #1 and #2 once Finnegan retires. Fletcher and Murphy will add outstanding depth who wont have to play 100% of the time and in the part time rolls they play will hopefully avoid more injury.

    They drafted those 3 because we needed to upgrade our defense.
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    Re: Rams want dominant units

    Quote Originally Posted by Tampa_Ram View Post
    "It’s why St. Louis added Michael Brockers to an already solid defensive line in the first round and why the team added two new cornerbacks to free-agent acquisition Cortland Finnegan in the second round."

    1. Solid defensive line? Yes we have cornerstone De's, but Quinn is still learning to stop the run game. Our DT's last year were horrible. Do solid defensive lines give up 250+ yards to Demarco Murrey? Or let Beanie Wells have a career day on us? We got rid of our DT's from last year for a reason.

    2. Our CB situation last year was destroyed by injuries, We drafted new bllod and grabbed Finnegan in FA because although we have a couple good quality corners, injuries were justto fequent. And getting the two CB's in the draft gives us two corner who can one day be our #1 and #2 once Finnegan retires. Fletcher and Murphy will add outstanding depth who wont have to play 100% of the time and in the part time rolls they play will hopefully avoid more injury.

    They drafted those 3 because we needed to upgrade our defense.
    I agree he may have been overstating the D-line... as Solid.

    On the CB I think you maybe understating the depth of the secondary IMO.

    Cortland Finnegan is only 28 he has more then a year or two in him we signed him for five years at 50 mil. As you put it one day the rookies we just drafted will be one and two... Day one Janoris Jenkins is going to be a starter... and we do have two CB that where slated to be starters. When we are in the "nickel" package, we now have three 3 solid CB. We will see Jenkins, Finnegan and Trumaine Johnson on the field at the same time.

    IMO the secondary went from the weakest due to injuries to the deepest and best unit we have.

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    Re: Rams want dominant units

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    I agree he may have been overstating the D-line... as Solid.

    On the CB I think you maybe understating the depth of the secondary IMO.

    Cortland Finnegan is only 28 he has more then a year or two in him we signed him for five years at 50 mil. As you put it one day the rookies we just drafted will be one and two... Day one Janoris Jenkins is going to be a starter... and we do have two CB that where slated to be starters. When we are in the "nickel" package, we now have three 3 solid CB. We will see Jenkins, Finnegan and Trumaine Johnson on the field at the same time.

    IMO the secondary went from the weakest due to injuries to the deepest and best unit we have.
    Maybe i didn't explain as well and i drank to much tonight lol. The depth of the secondary is great. I agree that our secondary has become arguably the best unit we have.

    I know Jenkins will start from day one, i meant more of him replacing Finnegan eventually, well down the road, and hopefully taking over his role. Fletcher or Murphy or whoever we might draft in the future will then become the third when in the Nickel.

    I was more referring to us drafting CB's to a unit that has an injury history. Adding Finnegan/Jenkins/Johnson to an already good cb core(when healthy) makes them the best unit we have. but if we didnt draft Jenkins/Johnson and take Finnegan in FA then our CB unit would be a major concern due to the past injuries.
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    Re: Rams want dominant units

    Maybe i didn't explain as well and i drank to much tonight lol.
    I got to work this weekend sucks for me lol.
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    Re: Rams want dominant units

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    I got to work this weekend sucks for me lol.
    lol that does suck. I'll drink my next shot for you. One of the few benefits of being unemployed currently.
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