St. Louis Coach: Team's Intensity Waned
St. Louis Rams coach: Team's intensity waned
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
He chose his words carefully, but first-year Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo made it clear after Sunday's 42-6 loss to Indianapolis that he felt his team suffered a letdown in the fourth quarter.
That was a significant departure for Spagnuolo, who had stressed all season that the Rams always had fought to the finish despite the mounting losses.
After Monday's film review of the game, Spagnuolo modified his opinion.
"I felt that ... maybe it was a whole quarter that we (lacked) intensity," he said. "But when I went back and looked at it, that's not the case. It was probably three minutes of not quite the intensity that we had had."
Still, even three minutes of less-than-full effort didn't sit well with Spagnuolo. "For six games and 3 1/2 quarters, that has not been this team," he said. "I'm banking on these guys making sure that doesn't happen again."
SMITH BACK TO RIGHT?
With guard Richie Incognito out for at least a week because of a foot injury, the tackle rotation of Alex Barron, Adam Goldberg and rookie Jason Smith that the Rams unveiled this past weekend is on hold.
Goldberg is expected to fill in for Incognito at right guard Sunday in Detroit, meaning that Smith probably will start at right tackle and Barron at left tackle. Smith saw time at both tackle spots vs. the Colts.
The three-man approach was an unusual ploy for a regular-season game, but Spagnuolo said he "was OK with it." Specifically, he wanted to get Smith, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, some snaps on the left side.
"We just decided that he was going to get them," Spagnuolo said. "Adam and Alex were playing pretty good; we didn't want to make a change there. Jason has played both, so we slipped him into both areas. He'll get more and more as we go forward."
COLTS GALLOP PAST
Had he known that quarterback Peyton Manning would throw for "only" 235 yards Sunday, "I would've said, 'We've got a decent chance,'" Spagnuolo said.
But the Colts offset Manning's subpar passing total by gashing the Rams for a season-high 156 rushing yards. Indianapolis came into the Edward Jones Dome averaging 78.8 yards per game on the ground, the fourth-worst mark in the league.
"It does bother us, because we want to stop the run first," Spagnuolo said. "There were some things that we certainly, definitely could've done better."
Linebacker David Vobora will return to the practice field Wednesday, his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances completed.
Vobora had been starting on the strong side, but there is no guarantee he'll reclaim that spot this week. "I want to see where he's at; you're talking about a month off," Spagnuolo said.
Paris Lenon filled in at strongside linebacker the first three games after Vobora was suspended. Following last week's trade of weakside starter Will Witherspoon, Larry Grant took over on the strong side and Lenon was on the weak side vs. Indianapolis.
Neither got much work though, as the Rams deployed their dime package — six defensive backs, four linemen and middle linebacker James Laurinaitis — much of the way Sunday.
Donnie Jones dropped four of his five punts inside the Colts' 20-yard line, including two inside the 5. ... Steven Jackson's 95 rushing yards in the third quarter was a career-high for a single period. ... After Sunday's game at Ford Field, the Rams have a bye week.
Re: St. Louis Coach: Team's Intensity Waned
Yeah, it would be hard to find the right words.
"Hey, guys, I didn't feel like you were playing as well as you ought to in the fourth...I mean not to say you that you were playing well before. Okay, I'm sure you guys are doing your best--not to say you guys aren't capable of actually competing, unlike today, so maybe you're not doing your best, but I'm sure you've been trying...just not for those three minutes in the fourth quarter when you were down 42-6. Come on, guys, let's show a little pride when we lose. Now who wants donuts?"
Re: St. Louis Coach: Team's Intensity Waned
i think its fair to say that Spags isn`t the kind of coach to use the media to send a messege to his players..rather choosing to tell his players and staff directly behind closed doors...i haven`t a problem with that.