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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    St. Louis Rams look good in practice, but not on Sundays

    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    12/09/2008

    If one thing has confounded Rams coach Jim Haslett more than anything in this 2-11 season, it's his players' penchant for performing smoothly during the week, then falling flat on Sunday.

    "We practice good Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday," Haslett said "We need to take it to Sunday. It's a little different. Obviously, you don't have a live pass rush and all that stuff.

    "But I like the way our guys prepare. They do a good job, they're into it, they study, they go out there and work" at practice.

    Not only do the Rams stumble on game day, their biggest missteps often come early. In Sunday's 34-10 loss at Arizona, they fell behind 14-0 in the first 11 minutes.


    Previously, the Rams had been crushed beneath first-half deficits of 40-0, 35-3, 27-6, 21-0, 24-3 and 24-7. They've been outscored 247-97 in first halves for the season.

    INJURIES ARE MINIMAL

    For the second successive week, the Rams apparently came out of a game with no serious injuries. Cornerback Fakhir Brown twisted an ankle and will be day-to-day, and special-teams ace Gary Stills is scheduled for an MRI exam on his knee today.

    Kicker Josh Brown tweaked a groin muscle in practice Thursday and "he felt it in the game," Haslett said. "I don't think it had anything to do with" Brown's missed 42-yard field goal in the first half, he added. Brown drilled a 51-yarder later.

    BARRON IS REINSTATED

    Barring further indiscretions, Alex Barron will be back as the starting right tackle Sunday, when the Rams take on Seattle at the Edward Jones Dome. "He paid his debt to society," Haslett quipped.

    Because he was late for a team meeting Friday, Barron's streak of 47 consecutive starts ended vs. the Cardinals. Adam Goldberg played almost all the first half and third quarter before Barron was sent in.

    ROOKIE MISTAKES

    The Teen Squad youthful wide receivers Donnie Avery, Keenan Burton and Derek Stanley continue to suffer growing pains. Avery, the team's second-round draft practice in April, missed a hot read Sunday and mangled another route.

    "That's what goes with being young," quarterback Marc Bulger said. "I told him that he's going to make mistakes; nobody is exempt from them."

    After 13 games, Haslett seems less forgiving. "You'd think we'd be over it by now," he said. "Obviously, we're not."

    JOIN THE CROWD

    The Rams took their turn at the trendy "wildcat formation," a variation of the old single wing in which the ball is hiked directly to the ball-carrier. The Dolphins dusted if off first, and several other teams have followed suit.

    With Bulger flanked out wide, running back Steven Jackson twice took snaps from center Brett Romberg vs. the Cardinals. The results were unimpressive: 1 yard on the first carry, 2 on the next.

    TAKE A KNEE

    Trailing 20-7 with 54 seconds remaining in the first half and two timeouts left, the Rams took over at their 22-yard line. A swing pass from Bulger to Jackson lost 5 yards on first down. Bulger took a knee on the next two snaps, and the half came to an end.

    Why not take a shot or two down field? Although he got his numbers mixed up some, Haslett explained:

    "Because your chances of scoring back at the 11-yard line are about 3 percent. We thought coming out at halftime, we had the ball (to start the second half), why risk another turnover or something happening putting us back even more?

    "Forty-second seconds and one time out to go 87 yards, I don't think your chances are very good."

    TOP TACKLER

    Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa collected a team-high 11 tackles Sunday, pushing his season total to 114, the most among the Rams. ... A large number of tickets remain for Sunday's home game vs. the Seahawks. If they aren't sold by the league-mandated deadline of noon Thursday 72 hours before kickoff the game won't be televised locally. ... The Rams have claimed cornerback Quincy Butler off waivers from the Dallas Cowboys.


  2. #2
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    Re: St. Louis Rams look good in practice, but not on Sundays

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    12/09/2008

    "We practice good Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday," Haslett said "We need to take it to Sunday. It's a little different. Obviously, you don't have a live pass rush and all that stuff.

    .
    Could it be also that the talent we face in practice is not as good as what we see on Sundays.
    :ramlogo:

  3. #3
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: St. Louis Rams look good in practice, but not on Sundays

    BINGO! We have a winner. Right on target (as usual) Mr. Eldfan. Evaluating an nfl based on how they look in practice is about as meaningful as judging preseason results.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  4. #4
    NY RAMFAN's Avatar
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    Re: St. Louis Rams look good in practice, but not on Sundays

    So... if I understand this correctly we only suck on sunday, let's have Mr. Godell make us play any day but Sunday . . .

  5. #5
    NJ Ramsfan1 is offline Registered User
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    Re: St. Louis Rams look good in practice, but not on Sundays

    My coaches always told us "You play like you practice. If you execute in practice and remember what you've been taught, you'll be able to perform in the game".

    So much for coaching idioms- the Rams have even managed to screw THIS up.

  6. #6
    Truth's Avatar
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    Re: St. Louis Rams look good in practice, but not on Sundays

    If we could just find a way to play ourselves every Sunday. Hmmmm..........
    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!

  7. #7
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    Re: St. Louis Rams look good in practice, but not on Sundays

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    My coaches always told us "You play like you practice. If you execute in practice and remember what you've been taught, you'll be able to perform in the game".

    So much for coaching idioms- the Rams have even managed to screw THIS up.
    If the players are looking good during practice then the DC and OC are the the culprits? The play calling on both sides of the ball are made by these 2 guys respectively. The DC and OC are terrrible chess players!!! Bottom line.

    No one is going to convince me that our team is lacking in talent. We maybe lacking in intensity and playcalling but those 2 might go hand in hand.

  8. #8
    GolfnRAMFAN is offline Registered User
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    Re: St. Louis Rams look good in practice, but not on Sundays

    General, that is exactly right. People who get hyped over preseason or practice are insane. Look at the Lions, 4-0 in the preseason, 0-13 when it counts. I think that all teams look good in practice, they are professionals. How many coaches do you hear say after the game, "We had a bad week of practice, but we sure are glad to get out of here with a 34-7 victory." I think right now, we are just trying to find anything that we do well!

  9. #9
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    Re: St. Louis Rams look good in practice, but not on Sundays

    We are practicing against each other. A bad defense practicing with a bad offense. Of course it will look good.

    We need to change that next season. Coaching? Players? who knows. Something will change.

  10. #10
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    Re: St. Louis Rams look good in practice, but not on Sundays

    Haslett said there isn't a live pass rush in practice, well....THATS one of the things we need to practice on...u kidding me? no wonder we look impeccable mon-sat..!

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