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  1. #1
    general counsel Guest

    Red Zone Scoring and short yardage- why the rams will improve

    Several different threads refer to the issues in the red zone. I thought it might be nice to highlight this relevant topic on its own. I also think we should discuss the need to improve on short yardage. its not just a red zone thing.

    here is why we will improve and score more td's and convert more third and shorts, which i think is needed to be more successful than last year.

    1) Better blocking out of the the tight end and fullback spots. Mamliamula will concentrate only on the tight end spot and goodspeed will have had a full year under his belt. IMO, the o line took a lot of heat last year at times when the bigger issue was often no lead blocking at all.
    2) Better interior line blocking. Again, a full year of wohlombaugh at center with mccollom at guard will increase cohesiveness and improve wohlombaughs ability to handle the line calls.
    3) stephen jackson should help in spots, lots of power.
    4) More experience for mark bulger.

    Here is the one tricky consideration-Mad Mikes play calling. Not giving bulger the option to audible hurts at times. Personally, i think he calls too many draw plays around the five to seven yard line. I would like to see more play action in the red zone and on short yardage, but that of course depends in large part on our ability to establish a running game that is a real threat.

    As always, i welcome your comments and consideration

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


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    Re: Red Zone Scoring and short yardage- why the rams will improve

    [QUOTE=general counsel]3) stephen jackson should help in spots, lots of power.

    GA do you think jacson is that much better at goal line situations than faulk
    if the blocking is good either should go in

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    Re: Red Zone Scoring and short yardage- why the rams will improve

    [QUOTE=ramstiles]
    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel
    3) stephen jackson should help in spots, lots of power.

    GA do you think jacson is that much better at goal line situations than faulk
    if the blocking is good either should go in
    Jackson's more of a power lower-the-shoulder-and-drive-through-an-opponent kind of back than Marshall is. That should make him better suited for short yardage or red zone drives because of his ability to knock over defenders.

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    Re: Red Zone Scoring and short yardage- why the rams will improve

    Nice post GC.
    This is a huge area that needs improvment. Of course the obvious is the front line and their ability to block. Hopefully they will be healthy and ready. Manu and Goodspeed have shown they can block, the question is can they do it consistantly?

    The RB's, Faulk in particular need to be healthy. I think Faulk will have to shoulder a bigger load until Jackson is ready to contribute. I wouldn't rule out special plays for Jackson in the Red Zone.

    While I agree with you about the play calling, one thing that worries me is Bulger's reads. I would like to see more roll out options for Marc. This way if his primary or secondary is not open, he can throw it away, or run it. This would cut down on turnovers and force the defense to respect the run. Well that's JMO.
    Last edited by RAMMAN68; -06-17-2004 at 05:28 AM.
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    Re: Red Zone Scoring and short yardage- why the rams will improve

    While Jackson is more of a power type back, Faulk can put his head down in there as well. Monday night, Rams vs Ravens, Faulk lowers his shoulder from the 4 yard line right into the chest of THE Ray Lewis and forces him back into the end zone for a TD. Faulk plays smart and just doesn't use his power, when a cut back untouched usually gets him in. Bulger not locking onto one receiver, and spreading the ball around, will set up better short yardage & red zone production.

    Maineram
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    Re: Red Zone Scoring and short yardage- why the rams will improve

    Some good points posted, I agree with Ramman's view.

    I think that there is no guarentee that the O-Line will be any better. They're older and dinged up a bit.

    Jackson's a rookie. Despite the hoopla, I am not going to put my eggs of hope into Jackson's basket. I've seen too many rookies bust, or underachieve.

    I expect Bulger to be better all the way around, that should help in all situations.

    I think GC highlighted an oft-overlooked facet of redzone play: play calling. In my mind, I am not sure that Martz will improve from last year. But I have to give him credit, he does seem to slowly improve over time. Perhaps he will, but I'm not gonna bet on it.

    Offensively, I think our team looks very strong on paper.

    There's a long way to go before the season ends. There are no shortage of football prophets who excel in foretelling the Ram's future, be it grim or gifted, nor is there a shortage of their disciples who delight in their precious predictions.

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    Re: Red Zone Scoring and short yardage- why the rams will improve

    Quote Originally Posted by CoyBacon
    Jackson's a rookie. Despite the hoopla, I am not going to put my eggs of hope into Jackson's basket. I've seen too many rookies bust, or underachieve.
    But with powerbacks like Jackson, being a rookie is not that big a deal. For example:
    Jerome Bettis --- 4.9ypc (rookie) 4.0ypc (career)
    Mike Alstott --- 3.9ypc (rookie) 3.8ypc (career)
    Jamal Lewis --- 4.4ypc (rookie) 4.7ypc (career)
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Red Zone Scoring and short yardage- why the rams will improve

    I think the O line will get better. Actually coy, they were banged up last year with Wolobaugh having a cast on his left hand. This year they are coming in healthy.

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    Re: Red Zone Scoring and short yardage- why the rams will improve

    Quote Originally Posted by maineram
    Bulger not locking onto one receiver, and spreading the ball around, will set up better short yardage & red zone production.
    Bulger technically didn't lock onto receivers. Yea, Holt had a MONSTER year but Bulger did spread the ball around pretty good. He didn't hit the RB as much, and didn't throw to the TE but could you blame him? Faulk hurt half the year, and the TE's were lost. He did spread the ball out to the WR's though. If Bruce dosen't get hurt, he has another 1,000 yard season.

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    Re: Red Zone Scoring and short yardage- why the rams will improve

    [QUOTE=HUbison]But with powerbacks like Jackson, being a rookie is not that big a deal.QUOTE]

    Well, we know those are proven "powerbacks".

    I'm not sure I'd call Jackson a powerback.

    And he is not proven.

    I bet you could find some projected college "powerbacks" who were busts.

    So, Jackson is still an unproven commodity.

    It's fun to imagine and fantasize about our prospects, especially the offense. I just can't see stars in my eyes this early in the season... but it is fun to imagine.

    If Bulger does improve, if Jackson is a stud, if the OL does click, and if the TE / FB situation does improve noticeably, our offense could easily be a SB calibre offense. And, none, absolutely none, of those scenarios above are pie-in-the-sky, pollyana, or rose-colored-glasses hopes, rather they are reasonable hopes and expectations.

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    Re: Red Zone Scoring and short yardage- why the rams will improve

    TX, Bulger didn't have the mental awareness under pressure to look at more than his first two options. Time & time again a back or tight end was open underneath, waving thier arms for the ball, and Bulger never saw them, or just couldn't get them the ball. I believe he never saw them due to his somewhat state of panic just to get rid of the ball. Inexperience played a big part in that, but how much will he improve on that this year is up in the air at this point. It's called tunnel vision, and Bulger had that a lot last year. Yes many receivers got the ball last year, but that doesn't mean the right person got the ball based on the coverage and situation. He needs to use/see the whole field this year and the red zone offense will explode.

    Maineram
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    Re: Red Zone Scoring and short yardage- why the rams will improve

    If faulk is healthy I don't see him having a problem getting in the end zone from 4 or 5 yards the O line just has to do a reasonable job that includes mano and goodspeed we need the fullback to block well down at the line faulk can power run if he has to

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    Re: Red Zone Scoring and short yardage- why the rams will improve

    Rams red zone scoring and short yardage should be better this season because of the addition of Jackson,..which will make the Rams usage of Faulk more unpredictable and effective.But all this is successful only if Timmerman,McCollum,and Wohlabaugh or their replacements consistantly win the line of scrimmage especially in run blocking. :ramlogo:

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    Re: Red Zone Scoring and short yardage- why the rams will improve

    Eveyone seems to think Jackson has just got to be given the ball at the 5 yard line and he will run in

    Is it that easy ?

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    Re: Red Zone Scoring and short yardage- why the rams will improve

    Quote Originally Posted by ramstiles
    Eveyone seems to think Jackson has just got to be given the ball at the 5 yard line and he will run in

    Is it that easy ?
    Like I said earlier, Jackson's more of a power lower-the-shoulder-and-drive-through-an-opponent kind of back than Marshall is. That should make him better suited for short yardage or red zone drives because of his ability to knock over defenders.

    While it's not just a matter of plugging him in for instant success, a back of his type with more physical skills should have more success in short yardage situations such as in the red zone.

    Of course, as some have mentioned, it won't mean a whole lot if the Rams can't get good lead blocks from their fullback or tight end, which I think was one of if not the primary problem last year. If Manu becomes a better blocker and is more focused on what he's doing as a tight end, therefore allowing him to be a better option in those situations, I think the red zone efficiency will improve. People seem to have this misconception that Marc Bulger was a big problem in the red zone last season. I don't think that was the case at all. The Rams miss Ernie Conwell and James Hodgins more than they could have possibly known. This offense would have been much much better had we spent the money to keep both of those two, IMO.
    Last edited by Nick; -06-18-2004 at 12:33 PM.

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