Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
    RamWraith is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Age
    44
    Posts
    8,230
    Rep Power
    61

    Slow Starts Plague St. Louis Defense

    Thursday, December 1, 2005

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    It took perhaps the worst half of football the Rams defense has played all year to light the type of fire to correct the many problems that have plagued it this year.

    As the Rams trudged to the locker room after being manhandled by Houston last week, the emotions started to fly. Veterans spoke up in what one player would later refer to as a “heart to heart” discussion in the locker room.

    Even for as much as the defense has struggled this year, a team with the record of the Texans wasn’t supposed to be doing whatever it wanted, not even with the Rams’ 29th ranked defense on the field.

    “We have a lot of young guys that haven’t really played this game and haven’t really played at the level that’s expected here so for our veterans to come in and continue to challenge guys and not only challenge the young guys, but challenge the older guys, I think is good for the team,” receiver Torry Holt said. “I think we came out in the second half and responded well to that.”

    Of course, the Rams would prefer to start the game they way they finished it against Houston. After the Texans ran wild for 24 points and 237 yards in the first half, they were held to three points and 175 yards in the second half. It was no coincidence that the Rams were able to put together a stunning comeback with the defense finally able to get off the field.

    “We came out in the second half and started playing like we are capable of playing,” free safety Mike Furrey said. “We are not going to put that behind us. We are going to keep building on that. Obviously, we would like to have a better first half, but we put ourselves in that position and we came out fighting like dogs in the second half and got a victory.”

    Those victories would be much less elusive if the defense could perform more consistently, particularly in the first half. Consider that in various games this season; the Rams have trailed in the first half by scores of 21-6 (against San Francisco), 10-0 (against Tennessee), 27-7 (against the Giants), 14-0 (against New Orleans) and the 24-3 deficit from last week against Houston.

    Making matters worse, the Rams have been unable to find an answer to the problem, something that has been ongoing for the past two seasons.

    “I don’t know,” Furrey said. “It’s been like that for a couple years since I’ve been here. We start slow. If we get out early we get out and kind of ride that, but I don’t know what it is. We come out some games, it’s not like we are flat or anything. Maybe the other team is executing and we’re not getting in the right position. We are giving up some big plays and penalties here and there and we are down.”

    Not executing would be the beginning. The Rams have had moments of downright confusion this season with players out of position time and again. Combine that with poorly timed penalties and confusing blitz schemes (or lack thereof) and teams have been able to attack the Rams early and often. More often than not, St. Louis finds itself in a hole that is then difficult to work out of because not only must the defense find a way to solve its myriad problems, but the offense has to try to be nearly perfect.

    Somehow, though, the Rams defense will sometimes find a way to play its best after falling behind.

    “It does seem like that,” defensive tackle Ryan Pickett said. “Unfortunately we can’t be that way. We have to play our best ball out of the gate.”

    When a reporter suggested to Pickett that perhaps the Rams should put a deficit on the scoreboard before the game starts so the defense could pretend to already be in the hole, he didn’t necessarily think it was a bad idea.

    “That might work,” Pickett said. “We need to try something to get it working. I have never even thought about it.”

    Interim coach Joe Vitt might have a more realistic option for how the defense can get off to a better start.

    “I think you just keep working like we’re working in practice,” Vitt said. “The key right now is to start this game the way we finished the last game. We have a good taste in our mouth right now. We had a solid second half of football last week. We just want to start the game the same way this week.”

    If they don’t the Rams will have plenty of problems getting back into the game. Washington is an old school team coached by Joe Gibbs and loves to run the ball and salt away the clock. If the Redskins get a big lead early, it will be extremely difficult for the Rams to get back in it.

    “We cannot do that with this Washington team,” Pickett said. “I think their defense is too good. They play time of possession ball. They are going to get the ball and just run it and run it. We can’t afford to get behind this game.”

    TIME CHANGE: The NFL announced Thursday that the Rams’ Dec. 18th game against Philadelphia at the Edward Jones Dome has been changed from a 3:15 p.m. start to a noon start.

    The game will still be televised on Fox.

    INJURY REPORT: The Rams’ injury report had just one revision Thursday, a revision that didn’t reveal much new.

    Right tackle Alex Barron was downgraded to out from doubtful after undergoing surgery on his thumb Thursday afternoon.

    “He had it this afternoon,” Vitt said. “I think they put a couple of rods in his thumb and had to reattach the tendons. They are going to keep him over night.”

    Barron joins quarterback Marc Bulger (shoulder) as out this week. Strong safety Adam Archuleta (concussion), quarterback Jamie Martin (concussion), tackle Blaine Saipaia (concussion) and cornerback Travis Fisher (groin) are questionable.

    Fisher and Martin missed at least part of Thursday’s practice. The good news, though, was that Saipaia participated in the majority of the workout. Saipaia even did some limited contact drills and appears to be improving. Archuleta participated in most of the practice for the second day in a row and his status also seems to be improving.

    “I think they both have increased their reps every day so they are getting better,” Vitt said. “Those are tough situations when you talk about concussions so we’ll have to wait and see.”

    Cornerback DeJuan Groce (concussion) and left tackle Orlando Pace (hamstring/hip flexor) are probable. Groce continued to participate in everything and looks to be knocking some rust off. Pace, on the other hand, worked on the sideline with some conditioning and stretching drills.

    “We’ll test him out a little bit tomorrow,” Vitt said of Pace. “He’s walking better, he’s painless right now. We’ll have to test it tomorrow.”

    For Washington, receiver James Thrash is officially out for this weekend because of a hamstring injury.


  2. #2
    txramsfan's Avatar
    txramsfan is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, MO
    Age
    50
    Posts
    7,266
    Rep Power
    65

    Re: Slow Starts Plague St. Louis Defense

    Those victories would be much less elusive if the defense could perform more consistently, particularly in the first half. Consider that in various games this season; the Rams have trailed in the first half by scores of 21-6 (against San Francisco), 10-0 (against Tennessee), 27-7 (against the Giants), 14-0 (against New Orleans) and the 24-3 deficit from last week against Houston.


    This would kill any offense. Especially the 27-7 deficit against the playoff caliber Giants. As we all saw last year, get behind big in a playoff game on the road and it's an uphill battle.

    This defense has to step up and play hard from the opening kickoff this week, especially with a banged up O line.

  3. #3
    RAMMAN68's Avatar
    RAMMAN68 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Escondido, CA
    Age
    46
    Posts
    2,714
    Rep Power
    15

    Re: Slow Starts Plague St. Louis Defense

    I think you just keep working like we’re working in practice,” Vitt said. “The key right now is to start this game the way we finished the last game. We have a good taste in our mouth right now. We had a solid second half of football last week. We just want to start the game the same way this week.”
    How about coming out aggressive, not letting the opposing team get into any kind of rhythm. When was the last time the D came out in the first quarter blitzing?
    If they stay passive, they will continue to to get gashed early.:clanram:
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

  4. #4
    bruce_wannabe Guest

    Re: Slow Starts Plague St. Louis Defense

    idk why, but i think the rams defense will come out firing this weekend

  5. #5
    talkstoangels61's Avatar
    talkstoangels61 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Illinois
    Age
    53
    Posts
    954
    Rep Power
    11

    Re: Slow Starts Plague St. Louis Defense

    They'd better

  6. #6
    RamsFan16's Avatar
    RamsFan16 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Age
    25
    Posts
    5,072
    Rep Power
    39

    Re: Slow Starts Plague St. Louis Defense

    This is nothing new. Our defense always starts slow and then has to work double overtime to try to get there stuff back together. If we had a defensive coordinator that would actually learn the aspect of playing against an NFL offense not a bottom of the bottle College Offense. In the NFL with the Cardinals he was ranked 28th in 2001, 29th in 2002 and 26th in 2003. Now comes into St. Louis and now has with St. Louis been ranked 28th overall and 17th overall. And going on 29th overall. Had we hung onto Lovie Smith this wouldn't have been a problem. The Bottomline is like we all know Marmie must go. But I have a feeling that if Martz is back next year Marmie be to because Martz and Marmie are close friends.
    RamsFan16

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
  •