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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Special Teams Have Been Special

    By Howard Balzer


    Wednesday, October 22, 2008




    Somewhat lost amid the consecutive wins by the Rams over Washington and Dallas has been the play of the Rams' special teams.


    As Rams coach Jim Haslett said Monday, "The special teams have been outstanding. Iím going to say that again because you kind of forget them."


    We don't forget when they're bad, but they can be taken for granted when they are good. The Rams' overall play has been better than good the last two games. And it has been highlighted by the kicking of Josh Brown and Donnie Jones.


    Jones, of course, has been outstanding since last season. This year, he is averaging 51.6 yards on 34 punts with a net of 41.2. He's had just one touchback and dropped nine inside the 20. There have been a few good returns, but that is to be expected when averaging nearly six punts per game
    As for Brown, the Rams knew they were getting one of the league's best kickers, and he is living up to expectations. Most notable is his proficiency on kickoffs.


    Against Dallas, Brown had two touchbacks and four other kickoffs reached the end zone. The only glitch was a kickoff out of the bounds near the end of the first half, and that followed a 52-yard field goal. In 25 kickoffs, Brown has five touchbacks and 14 have made it to the end zone. At home, 10 of 14 kickoffs have reached the end zone.


    Meanwhile, as good as Jeff Wilkins was, especially on long field goals, Brown is proving to be his equal. Over his last five seasons, Wilkins made an astounding 18 of 21 field-goal attempts from 50 or more yards. In three of those seasons, he had four successful 50-plus field goals and he had three in two others.


    This season, Brown already has four field goals from 50 yards or more and has missed two, one of which was from 54 yards Sunday that didn't miss by much to the right. He has made kicks from 51, 52 and 54 (twice) yards, while missing from 51 and 54.


    Meanwhile, the return game has looked better the last two games with Dante Hall looking like a different player than he did the first four games of the season. Hall has picked up his game after a discussion with Haslett, and taking notice of the competition with Donnie Avery healthy and the addition to the roster of Derek Stanley.


  2. #2
    Ramblin` Ram's Avatar
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    Re: Special Teams Have Been Special

    defending Punt returns has been whats impressed me most...not saying that Jones & Browns legs dont..just that i knew they would but on Punts as soon as the punt return dude gets it,he`s having nowhere to run...getting Gary Stills onboard was one of Linny`s better moves...its lifted the whole S.T`s play to quite an acceptable standard..long may it continue!

  3. #3
    Mooselini's Avatar
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    Re: Special Teams Have Been Special

    Indeed it has been special. It's a fun team to watch again.

    Everything is improving under the Haz and I hope it only gets better from here.

  4. #4
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    Re: Special Teams Have Been Special

    i was jumping up and down when they kicked off to Dante one time thinking he was going to run it all the way back, especially since he's the only one that scored for us last year vs the cowboys..

  5. #5
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    Re: Special Teams Have Been Special

    It actually takes some blocking for X to get going though... He can only do so much ya know... I'm predicting 2 big returns for Dante this Sunday

  6. #6
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    Re: Special Teams Have Been Special

    Gary Stills............most underrated man on the roster
    "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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    RAMarkable is offline Registered User
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    Re: Special Teams Have Been Special

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Gary Stills............most underrated man on the roster
    Agreed. And with honorable mention to Todd Johnson; another Special teams terror.

    WHAT SAY YE?

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