Results 1 to 10 of 10
Like Tree2Likes
  • 2 Post By MFranke

Thread: RamView, 8/13/2011: Rams 33, Colts 10 (Long)

  1. #1
    MFranke's Avatar
    MFranke is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    New Baden IL
    Posts
    313
    Rep Power
    37

    RamView, 8/13/2011: Rams 33, Colts 10 (Long)

    RamView, August 12, 2011
    From Row HH
    (Report and opinions from the game.)
    Preseason Game #1: Rams 33, Colts 10

    Just about everything Rams fans could want from the first preseason team tonight, as the home team rolled up a high-efficiency, low-mistake, virtually injury-free win over the quality-depth-starved Colts. If they were only all this easy...

    Position by position:
    * QB: Red zone offense was one of the Rams' Achilles heels last season, but it's been a strength early in preseason, as Sam Bradford and A.J. Feeley led the offense to 27 points in 5 red zone trips tonight. Bradford (7-12-45, 94.1 PR) picked up right where he left off last season – that is to say, throwing all kinds of dumpoffs and underneath passes. Pat Shurmur would be proud. Bradford looked comfortable in the pocket, got the ball out quickly, threw accurately, and was kept from stringing longer drives together in part by gift field position (two Ram drives started IN the red zone) and a couple of receiver drops. The short passing game may have been the coaches' decision not to show many of their cards yet, which is fine. But at the same time, Bradford folded pocket kings before the flop a couple of times, too. He missed a couple of open opportunities downfield in favor of checkdowns, especially Lance Kendricks streaking into the end zone before the Rams settled for their first FG. But Bradford already has excellent chemistry with the rookie TE. He showed command of the offense and didn't make any glaring mistakes; tonight was a perfectly good warm-up game. Feeley (10-14-100, 91.4) looks markedly better in game situations than he does in practice. He looked comfortable in tonight's offense, anyway, and also showed nice pocket presence and ability to extend plays. Bradford played a quarter-plus; Feeley played a quarter-plus; Thaddeus Lewis (3-5-28, 75.4) played most of the 4th; Taylor Potts closed out the game with handoffs. Lewis showed he has a decent arm and can run out of trouble well. Positive night for the QBs, showing no regression; they can still run last year's offense. They're getting the ball out quickly, which has been an issue in camp. Next let's see them extend their skills to the downfield game.

    * RB: Good night for the running game, even with Steven Jackson cast as the world's largest cheerleader. Cadillac Williams (11-40) is a no-nonsense runner; he just takes the ball and gets upfield. He lunged in for a TD on third-and-goal. Third-and-goal success is another heartening development for the Ram offense. Jerious Norwood (8-37) had the long run of the night, a 17-yarder where the right side of the field parted like the Red Sea. And that's when we saw Norwood still isn't 100%. The Norwood Atlanta drafted would have scored a TD through a hole that big. He's going to prove an excellent addition, though. Keith Toston (11-64) would like us all to know that rumors he won't make the team have been greatly exaggerated. He had a fine night, showing nice spurtability (to quote Clark Kellogg), and some ferocity after contact, which showed nicely on his 5-yard TD run through a couple of arm-tackling Colts. The RBs sent a good message tonight – if Jackson would happen to go down, the team will still have plenty of juice to move the ball on the ground.

    * Receivers: Though he did it mostly with short underneath routes, Lance Kendricks (5-47) proved to be one of the offensive stars of the game. He was Bradford's release valve and the go-to-guy when the Rams needed a first down. He shows some nice moves to get himself open in the short area of the field. His 6-yard TD was a nice play, as he barreled through a couple of defenders at the goal line. All we need to see from Kendricks at this point is more consistent hands, as he dropped a couple. But he still shows tons of potential to be a weapon unlike any the Rams have had in their St. Louis history. He wasn't even moved around much tonight; I believe he did all of his damage aligned as a traditional TE. Starting WRs were Brandon Gibson, Mike Sims-Walker and Danny Amendola. MSW got injured early (groin) and didn't do anything. Gibson (1-5) had a short catch and broke off his pattern on Bradford's one attempt at a deep pass. Mardy Gilyard (2-21) showed some nice shake-n-bake on a 11-yard smoke pass. Danario Alexander (3-43) would have had a top night if not for inconsistent catching. He muffed on a low end zone pass he probably should have come up with in the 2nd, and later couldn't come down with a back-shoulder throw. That throw was tightly defended, but it's the kind of play a big receiver has to make. Austin Pettis (0-0) also missed on a throw like that and didn't really do much. Alexander at least had a couple of medium-length catches and did some determined after-the-catch running. So after one week, little or no separation in the wide receiver roster battle. Joe West (1-11) continues to “pop”, though. He's a pretty slick runner after the catch and was wide open only to have Lewis one-hop a pass to him in the 4th. Early returns are very positive on Hendricks and neutral-to-positive on the wide receivers. We're especially going to need a more wide-open passing game to really see how the WRs shake out.

    * Offensive line: With the quick tempo of the passing game, you'd hope the Rams QBs wouldn't get hit much tonight, and they weren't, as the o-line wasn't really challenged much. The only time Bradford even got touched was by Drake Nevis, who beat Jacob Bell inside after throwing Brit Miller to the ground. The line held up a lot better than that most of the game, though, and so did the fullbacks. Miller led-blocked for Cadillac Williams as well tonight as any Rams fullback in recent years. Ben Guidugli really knocked some people around and even got loose for an 12-yard reception on a 3rd-quarter TD drive. Even Schuylar Oordt did some solid run-blocking, and he doesn't even have a reputation for it. The Rams have several good fullbacks in camp, yet none of them may make the final roster. Rodger Saffold and Bell were called out for good run-blocking on radio, and the Rams also ran behind Harvey Dahl with success. There were some surprises on the second unit, which went Renardo Foster at LT, Drew Miller at LG, Hank Fraley C, Quinn Ojinnaka RG and Adam Goldberg RT. Goldberg, of all people, had probably the best block of the night, caving the right side of the line for Norwood's big run. Foster looks improved over last year, which wasn't bad. He played LT and RT during the course of the game and really stonewalled Colts rushers at times. Randall Hunt got some reps with the 2's. Thought I even saw Fraley land a pancake block, and third-teamers like Kevin Hughes didn't even look too bad. There'll be sterner tests than tonight, and they're going to have to prove they can protect the QB longer than they had to on any of tonight's plays, but the early returns on the Rams' 2011 offensive line look promising.

    * Defensive line/LB: Rams Nation, if you haven't worked up much excitement yet for first-round pick Robert Quinn, now would be a good time to start. Though he's not known for his power, Quinn beat a double-team to get a QB pressure that forced a first-half three-and-out, and he came in unblocked and blew up a run for a huge loss in the 2nd. The point about that play is his speed; he was in there as fast as any run-blitzing linebacker or safety. Quinn hasn't played against real competition in over a year and he's already making plays like those on pure athleticism. Imagine where he'll be once he's been coached up. Get excited, Rams fans. Quinn, who lined up at RDE tonight, should become the #3 pass rusher here in no time. Unfortunately, I didn't pick up George Selvie doing much of anything at LDE. Quinn and Selvie both got caught overpursuing on runs Chad Spann cut back for nice gains. But they're young; they'll learn. Someone else to get excited about, surprisingly, is Justin (Race) Bannan. That guy is a rock. The Colts didn't run up the middle successfully tonight, and they won't be the last team to fail at it. Bannan's going to make Fred Robbins even better – his ability to hold his ground will allow Robbins to gamble more and make even more big plays in the backfield. Those two are going to be like twin tornadoes in the middle. Gary Gibson and Daniel Muir were the 2's, making Darell Dorell Scott a 3. Brady Poppinga may not be the starting Sam 'backer yet, but it looks like it's only a matter of time. He's one of the most solid run-defending LBs we've seen around here, and he looks nimble enough in pass coverage. Rookie Jabara Williams needs some work in that area. He got beat downfield for a big gain and was late picking up the TE leaking off the line a couple of times. Josh Hull fared well enough as starting MLB after a slow start but was a liability in coverage. The competition at linebacker is so deep they've got a guy like Zach Diles mopping up at the end of the first preseason game. We'll take more pass pressure – the Rams didn't record a sack – and the scrubs got gashed for a couple of long runs in the final 2:00, but the front seven still had an effective game, with solid tackling up and down the roster.

    * Secondary: With half the secondary sitting the game out injured, it potentially looked like it would be a very, very long night for the Rams, but those fears never really came to pass. It didn't hurt that the Colts have pretty bad QBs behind Peyton Manning. Curtis Painter badly overthrew a receiver and hit Quintin Mikell in the numbers for an interception that set up the Rams' first TD. To the Rams' credit, they had all options covered and made Painter force the throw. Mikell left the game early with a minor elbow injury. Chris Brooks tipped a pass to Craig Dahl, who cashed in with another long return to set up a score. Jermale Hines had the Rams' third INT late in the game. Taj Smith had beaten everyone downfield for the Colts but Dan Orlovsky's bomb was off a good five yards. Sure, gift interceptions shouldn't be a cause for celebration, but it's nice to see them all being caught for a change. Then again, notable INT-blower Ron Bartell sat out the game. Smith had beaten Tim Atchison for a 44-yard TD earlier in the game in what looked like a significantly missed assignment. Atchison did defend an end zone fade route well to force a Colt FG in the 1st. The Colts tried to take shots deep on the Rams' hastily-assembled secondary, but guys like Dionte Dinkins and Jeremy McGee had the routes covered and broke up the play. The most disappointing DB tonight could have been Justin King. Yes, a starter. King pretty much gave up the Colts' first FG, blowing a tackle that let the TE get away for a first down, and then getting burned deep by Pierre Garcon for 41 yards. The good news: he'll normally be a dime back at best this year, and on the night the secondary covered well as a unit anyway.

    * Special teams: Josh Brown's been here three years but finally got jaws in Rams Nation to drop tonight, jacking a 60-yard FG at the end of the first half and later adding a 53-yarder. I don't know where that came from, but I hope it hangs around a season or two. The Rams' kickoff game was also very effective. Brown knocked just about everything 7-8 yards deep in the end zone. The Colts helped out there by failing to field a lot of kickoffs cleanly. Tom McMahon tried a variety of kicks to see what works best with the new 35-yard-line rule and got very effective results out of the old bouncing knuckleball kick. That's a deep kick now as well as being hard to field, and good special teams should be able to pin offenses deep with that tactic a lot of the time. Donnie Jones had an effective game punting, as usual, and brought a tear to this graybeard's eye with a couple of traditional coffin corner kick attempts late in the game, pinning Indy around their 10 a couple of times. Gilyard handled most of the kick and punt returns. He muffed one kickoff for a touchback but looked like a breakaway threat a couple of times on punts. It'll be interesting to see which of those duties, if any, Danny Amendola returns to. Darian Stewart made an impressive tackle on punt coverage, and Hines, Jonathan Nelson and Chris Chamberlain also made nice stops on returns.

    * Coaching/discipline: The biggest question tonight's going to be the motive behind all the short passing. Was Josh McDaniels holding the reins on the passing game, or were the QBs not looking down the field enough? I'll have to cop out here and say it was both. Bradford definitely had chances. From watching last week's scrimmage, though, I'd guess first emphasis tonight was getting the ball out quickly. With that being successful, look for the passing game to expand its horizons next week. It's not like the offense lacked flair; there were plenty of 4-receiver and shotgun formations. There weren't trick plays, but there was a tricky call in the up-handoff to Brit Miller to convert a 4th-and-1 early in the 2nd. Also like the aggressive attitude shown in going for it there, and in even attempting the 60-yarder at the end of the half, though I won't fault Colts fans for thinking it may have bordered on too aggressive for preseason. The Rams didn't sack the QB tonight but they also did surprisingly little blitzing. Seems like they were blitz-crazy last preseason.

    * Waiver bait: A bad sequence at the end of the game saw Darren Evans gash the Ram defense twice for 41 yards. Safety John Dempsey blew a downfield tackle badly on one. DT John Henderson left probably the biggest hole the Rams left all night to give Evans launching room on another. Van Stumon got 7 carries but got little going in the running game, 15 yards.

    * Upon further review: The game was exceptionally cleanly-played for a preseason game. Peter Morelli and crew didn't throw a flag the entire first half and only called three or four penalties the whole game, just one on the Colts, and there's not much to pick at. There could have been DPI on the back-shoulder throw to Pettis that was broken up, but Na'il Diggs dodged a DPI the Rams easily could have gotten. They credited Alexander with a TD catch until booth review canceled it, but I wouldn't say that was an easy call on the field. Cadillac's TD was a much-easier call, I can't explain the delay for that one. Still a very good job overall for the first preseason game.

    * Cheers: Very light crowd, probably in the mid 30s. Noise levels got up there a handful of times but nothing too disruptive. Best moment of the night was the loud boo upon Adam Vinatieri's introduction. If you listened on radio, you should have been able to hear me boo the Colts' time out with 10 seconds left in the game down 23. Jim Caldwell deserves to be suspended for that. Then again, there were about five of us left in the stands by that point. I was reminded not to blow off the economic impact of these games by the large number of Colts fans in the stands. Those are some good fans, by the way. They know Peyton Manning's not playing. They know their team's won something like 4 of their last 30 preseason games. And they still made the 4-5 hour drive to show up at the game. Halftime entertainment? Pee-wee football, of course. The Rams worked hard this offseason to improve the gameday experience by improving the team, which is where improvement will have to come, because the Dome's pretty much the same. I'll try to look harder next week, but I don't think anything's changed indoors since last year.

    * Who’s next?: Tennessee comes in next Saturday night, without Jeff Fisher for the first time in over a decade, and suddenly I'm getting wistful for little Elvis' Super Bowl XXXIV-revenge-driven, aggro approach to preseason games against the Rams in the past, with fake punts and game-planned blitz packages and deep throws with big leads. Regrettably, odds are strong that the Rams defense won't be tested by Chris Johnson, who's holding out. But they'll welcome back old nemesis Matt Hasselbeck, who's faced this defense many times and should be better equipped to attack mismatches than the likes of Dan Orlovsky. The Rams D needs to improve its ability to contain mobile QBs. They've been bad at it under Steve Spagnuolo and obviously need solutions for Michael Vick on Opening Day. It'll be interesting to see how they handle not only Hasselbeck, who they've made look mobile in the past, but also very mobile rookie QB Jake Locker. On the offensive side, it's going to be all about taking the next step. The ball needs to keep coming out quickly, and next week, we need to see it start getting downfield. Among other things, it'll be necessary to advance the competition at WR, which is more crowded right now than a Tour de France peleton. Who will break away from the pack next week? Stay tuned.

    -- Mike
    Game stats from nfl.com
    live4ramin and MauiRam like this.


  2. #2
    Nick's Avatar
    Nick is online now Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Age
    32
    Posts
    19,806
    Rep Power
    154

    Re: RamView, 8/13/2011: Rams 33, Colts 10 (Long)

    Great review, Mike! Always love your input and analysis.

  3. #3
    live4ramin's Avatar
    live4ramin is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    The Missouri Low Country
    Posts
    1,408
    Rep Power
    26

    Re: RamView, 8/13/2011: Rams 33, Colts 10 (Long)

    Suprised by Toston who responds to better blocking. But I'm excited about Norwood, with his incredible speed and smooth, upright running style. The true "change-of-pace" back.
    "The horror"

  4. #4
    Bralidore(RAMMODE) Guest

    Re: RamView, 8/13/2011: Rams 33, Colts 10 (Long)

    Think King got a bad rep tonite.

    1) The blown tackle was a blown tackle and he should have made that play. No excuses there.

    2) That reception from Garcon was just a case of the QB throwing the guy open. Justin King was with Garcon step for step and the QB just threw the ball to the guy's back shoulder and Garcon made a really sick catch (reminiscient of Clayton's grab vs. Arizona last year).

    Garcon remained catchless the rest of the night.

  5. #5
    TheBritishRam's Avatar
    TheBritishRam is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Oxford
    Age
    26
    Posts
    1,166
    Rep Power
    31

    Re: RamView, 8/13/2011: Rams 33, Colts 10 (Long)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bralidore(RAMMODE) View Post
    Think King got a bad rep tonite.

    1) The blown tackle was a blown tackle and he should have made that play. No excuses there.

    2) That reception from Garcon was just a case of the QB throwing the guy open. Justin King was with Garcon step for step and the QB just threw the ball to the guy's back shoulder and Garcon made a really sick catch (reminiscient of Clayton's grab vs. Arizona last year).

    Garcon remained catchless the rest of the night.
    Yeah, King wasn't burned on that big pass play - it was a great throw and great catch by Garcon. Not sure any other CB on the roster could have done anything about that.

  6. #6
    Ram Dragoon's Avatar
    Ram Dragoon is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    1,320
    Rep Power
    16

    Re: RamView, 8/13/2011: Rams 33, Colts 10 (Long)

    Good game as far as Preseason goes, though a lot of good teams fell short of the mark like Green Bay and etc. I am waiting on games 2 and 3 to really see what there is to pin ones hopes on. However, anyone notice the Rams speed on defense?--The Cards/Hawks/49whinners had better because they get to see it twice each--HUGE improvement for the Rams "D".

  7. #7
    shower beers's Avatar
    shower beers is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    3,050
    Rep Power
    59

    Re: RamView, 8/13/2011: Rams 33, Colts 10 (Long)

    Great read as always, thanks!

    Really excited to read about Kendricks and Quinn already. Sounds like they're coming along pretty quickly. Wish I would have been able to catch the game, but direct tv with sunday ticket will change that soon.

  8. #8
    MFranke's Avatar
    MFranke is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    New Baden IL
    Posts
    313
    Rep Power
    37

    Re: RamView, 8/13/2011: Rams 33, Colts 10 (Long)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bralidore(RAMMODE) View Post
    Think King got a bad rep tonite.

    1) The blown tackle was a blown tackle and he should have made that play. No excuses there.

    2) That reception from Garcon was just a case of the QB throwing the guy open. Justin King was with Garcon step for step and the QB just threw the ball to the guy's back shoulder and Garcon made a really sick catch (reminiscient of Clayton's grab vs. Arizona last year).

    Garcon remained catchless the rest of the night.
    Thanks - I don't know why that play didn't look closer to me, but it was closer than I originally thought.
    --Mike

  9. #9
    Azul e Oro is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    CALIFORNIA
    Posts
    2,423
    Rep Power
    72

    Re: RamView, 8/13/2011: Rams 33, Colts 10 (Long)

    Quote Originally Posted by MFranke View Post
    Thanks - I don't know why that play didn't look closer to me, but it was closer than I originally thought.
    --Mike
    I think there was a subtle push by Garcon to get the separation as well.Just a great play all around by Indy. Clayton-esque came to mind immediately for me ,too.

    The only other quibble/question I had was about Selvie. They announced Ah You as the starter at RDE but I think GS was in there. Did a good job,too. Just a decent push but got his hands up & disrupted the throwing lane for that swing pass on the very first play.Can't always get a sack,right? The very best only get a few out of hundreds of rushes in a season & that technique/awareness is good to see from a young guy,imo. Tipped balls absolutely killed The Rams vs The Hags last year,imo. Just to show how well these DLers seem to be getting coached in both aspects of their job, he demonstrated great run stuffing technique on the next play, torpedoing under his blocker & making a shoestring tackle on Addai at the LOS.

  10. #10
    MFranke's Avatar
    MFranke is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    New Baden IL
    Posts
    313
    Rep Power
    37

    Re: RamView, 8/13/2011: Rams 33, Colts 10 (Long)

    I think I got caught looking the other way, I was focusing on Long at the beginning. I'm recalling Selvie at left end when Quinn came in at right end.
    --Mike

Similar Threads

  1. RamView scrimmage report, 8/7/2011 (Long)
    By MFranke in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: -08-08-2011, 12:05 PM
  2. RamView training camp report, 7/30/2011 (Long)
    By MFranke in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: -07-31-2011, 12:19 PM
  3. RamView, 10/25/2009: Colts 42, Rams 6 (Long)
    By MFranke in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: -10-26-2009, 06:21 PM
  4. RamView, 8/10/2006: Rams 19, Colts 17 (Long)
    By MFranke in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: -08-11-2006, 03:12 PM
  5. RamView, 10/17/2005: Colts 45, Rams 28 (Long)
    By MFranke in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: -10-19-2005, 10:25 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •