Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16
Like Tree6Likes

Thread: St. Louis Rams: Prime Sleeper Team For 2012 ..

  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
    MauiRam is offline Pro Bowl Ram
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Maui, Hi.
    Age
    70
    Posts
    4,919
    Rep Power
    79

    St. Louis Rams: Prime Sleeper Team For 2012 ..

    Justin Henry
    July 04, 2012 9:35 am


    St. Louis Rams (2011 record: 2-14)

    What went wrong? Sam Bradford did enough in 2010 to earn Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, leading the down-and-out Rams to a 7-9 record.

    In fact, had the Rams beaten the Seahawks in the last game of the season, St. Louis would have claimed the NFC West, but it wasn’t meant to be.

    A year later, and the offense went from scoring 18.1 points a game to bottoming out at 12.1, the worst in the league.

    The biggest shake-up on offense was the exit of offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, who took the head coaching job in Cleveland. Filling Shurmur’s shoes was the exuberant, if polarizing, Josh McDaniels.

    McDaniels may have been the air traffic controller for the Patriots’ record-setting offense in 2007, and the guiding light for Matt Cassel in 2008 after Tom Brady tore his ACL, but that’s about the end of the line for his positive accomplishments. After a tumultuous and controversial run as Denver’s head coach, McDaniels was brought to St. Louis to do for Bradford what he’d done for Brady and Cassel previously as coordinator.

    The difference in one year was clear: Bradford played ten games in 2011, winning just one. His completion percentage sank from 60% to 53.5%. Bradford may have been without his diminutive speedster Danny Amendola, who played only one game due to a triceps injury, but he gained one-time receiving champion Brandon Lloyd. Lloyd, despite playing just eleven games, was the only receiver with more than two touchdown receptions.

    It was the defense, however, that had the biggest collapse. After allowing a mediocre 20.5 points per game in 2010, that number bottomed out to a league-worst 25.4 PPG last season. Across the board, sacks, interceptions, and forced fumbles all decreased, and the run defense went from allowing 113 yards a game in 2010 to 152 in 2011.

    What have they done to fix it? Head coach Steve Spagnuolo was expectedly canned after the season finale. After all, when you’re a defensive guru that learned from the late Jim Johnson, and installed the ‘magnificent eleven’ that ruined the Patriots' perfect season, expectations for your defense tend to be high.

    Replacing Spagnuolo is Jeff Fisher, who in his sixteen full seasons as Oilers/Titans head coach, led his team into the top eight in points allowed four times, and the top seven in yards allowed five times. There were some bad years in the mid 2000s, but one could argue his Titans teams were wrought with injuries.

    To that end, Fisher changed his practice approach, and de-emphasized the amount of contact in those practices. With an eye on maintaining a healthy roster, Fisher values continuity week to week, even though it didn’t translate to playoff success in the latter portion of his Titans’ run.

    Immediately, Fisher’s focus has been on revamping the pitiful defense. With the 14th pick in the Draft, the Rams chose LSU’s Michael Brockers, who is a mountain of a man capable of forcibly stopping the run. Not only does this pick provide much needed clogging in the middle of the line, but the extra blockers needed to keep Brockers from breaking through will free up Chris Long to build on his 13-sack season of a year ago. To add to the defensive line upgrades, Fisher brought in former Titan comrade William Hayes, who’s been a go-to starter since 2008.

    The Rams had four other selections within the first 65 picks, and two of them were used on corners: Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson. While both may blossom into key components of an improved defense, the real catch-of-the-day was Fisher bringing in another familiar face: the brash and abrasive Cortland Finnegan.

    The Rams' defense didn’t pack much oomph outside of Long, as well as James Laurinaitis’ reliable tackling, last season. Finnegan’s approach of pronounced swagger with frustratingly-tight coverage adds a significant edge to a defense that surely needed one.

    With the exit of McDaniels, Sam Bradford will now answer to new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who comes off a six-season tenure with the New York Jets. Schottenheimer’s biggest weakness has been when his teams abandoned the run for long stretches(2008, when Brett Favre wore himself out, last season forcing Mark Sanchez to throw 57% of the time). With Steven Jackson and second-round pick Isaiah Pead in the backfield, plus a healthy Amendola to dump off to, Schottenheimer shouldn’t have to wear out Bradford’s arm or psyche out.

    2012 outlook: It’s going to take a lot to catch the San Francisco ***** and their stonewall defense, and Jeff Fisher’s version of Rome won’t be built in a day. By fixing the problems on defense with players he trusts, it’ll give Bradford the peace of mind in knowing that he doesn’t have to rush his way into regaining the lead. A slower, more conservative offense will serve him well in his third season, especially as he bounces back from a high ankle sprain.

    Bottom line: to bring out the best in Bradford, Fisher needs the defense to keep the games from getting out of hand. With considerable attention paid to improving the D as a whole, if they hold up their end, Bradford can manage the game efficiently, earning far more than just two paltry wins.


  2. #2
    NJ Ramsfan1 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    new jersey
    Posts
    2,335
    Rep Power
    73

    Re: St. Louis Rams: Prime Sleeper Team For 2012 ..

    I take a lot of exception to the notion that the defense was the main root of the Rams problems last year. Was it good? No. Were major upgrades needed at multiple positions? Absolutely. Certainly, the defense shares blame for the record, but the Rams defense performed much more admirably than the Rams offense, which gave one of the worst week to week offensive performances since the merger. I wanted to puke everytime I watched Rams offensive football in 2011.

    The Rams defense usually kept us in games for at least a half, sometimes even 2 1/2 to 3 quarters before they became tired- the result of being on the field for what seemed like an eternity each game. I'm not worried at all about our defense this year. With a defensive-minded coach running the show, a de facto coordinator (McGinniss) who has head coaching experience and guys like Long, Quinn, Laurinaitis, Finnegan and company, we are not in bad shape. Certainly things need to be tweaked and guys have to come together while staying healthy.But my concerns aren't anywhere NEAR what they are with the offense, who have a lot to prove after last year's sh** show.

  3. #3
    sosa39rams's Avatar
    sosa39rams is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Hamilton, On
    Posts
    5,501
    Rep Power
    43

    Re: St. Louis Rams: Prime Sleeper Team For 2012 ..

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    I take a lot of exception to the notion that the defense was the main root of the Rams problems last year. Was it good? No. Were major upgrades needed at multiple positions? Absolutely. Certainly, the defense shares blame for the record, but the Rams defense performed much more admirably than the Rams offense, which gave one of the worst week to week offensive performances since the merger. I wanted to puke everytime I watched Rams offensive football in 2011.

    The Rams defense usually kept us in games for at least a half, sometimes even 2 1/2 to 3 quarters before they became tired- the result of being on the field for what seemed like an eternity each game. I'm not worried at all about our defense this year. With a defensive-minded coach running the show, a de facto coordinator (McGinniss) who has head coaching experience and guys like Long, Quinn, Laurinaitis, Finnegan and company, we are not in bad shape. Certainly things need to be tweaked and guys have to come together while staying healthy.But my concerns aren't anywhere NEAR what they are with the offense, who have a lot to prove after last year's sh** show.
    Exactly this. The same applies to 2010, when we missed the playoffs by 1 game. Our D keeps us in the game for 3 quarters, and finally tires out and lets the other teams get in the endzone and control time. Its the offense thats embarrassing....


    THE DREAM TEAM

  4. #4
    moravcik69's Avatar
    moravcik69 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    south yorkshire
    Posts
    9
    Rep Power
    0

    Re: St. Louis Rams: Prime Sleeper Team For 2012 ..

    While there is a lot of promise for the future, the division has improved while we have fallen backwards, the whiners are currently a superbowl contender and the Cards and Seahawks are improving possibly faster than we are. We have the coaching right, now we just need to run the damn ball and protect the quarterback!

  5. #5
    KoaKoi is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    California
    Posts
    891
    Rep Power
    28

    Re: St. Louis Rams: Prime Sleeper Team For 2012 ..

    i was about to go ballistic when i came across that bologna about the Defense having the "biggest collapse". Glad others picked up on that too. Pure manure.

    This Justin Henry guy should stick to lighting explosive devices on July 4th and stay away from 'reporting'.

  6. #6
    MauiRam's Avatar
    MauiRam is offline Pro Bowl Ram
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Maui, Hi.
    Age
    70
    Posts
    4,919
    Rep Power
    79

    Re: St. Louis Rams: Prime Sleeper Team For 2012 ..

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    The Rams defense usually kept us in games for at least a half, sometimes even 2 1/2 to 3 quarters before they became tired- the result of being on the field for what seemed like an eternity each game.
    That says it all in a nutshell .. It happened over and over and over ... And yes our offense has the most to prove easily .. What was it, 12.1 points per game average last year? Beyond pitiful ..

  7. #7
    Ramendola16's Avatar
    Ramendola16 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Age
    20
    Posts
    364
    Rep Power
    15

    Re: St. Louis Rams: Prime Sleeper Team For 2012 ..

    I don't agree with him saying that the defense had the biggest collapse, but he does bring up a solid point: League worst is league worst, regardless of any other factor. We didn't give up over 200 yards to Murray and Wells because the defense got tired in the 4th. We didn't allow 25.4 points because we got tired in the 4th. We did those things because we just played awful defense all year.

  8. #8
    Rambos's Avatar
    Rambos is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Cali
    Age
    50
    Posts
    9,336
    Rep Power
    75

    Re: St. Louis Rams: Prime Sleeper Team For 2012 ..

    Bottom line is we sucked on both sides of the ball... it's hard to argue that the defense that lost 10 DB and three of the top defensive backs early could be anything but bad. This defense gave up three TD on three plays to a rookie receiver in the first quarter of a game. The outside LB's brought in where both old and played poorly. The DT where old and stopped gaps both have been let go. Hall was at the end of his career and he's now gone.

    So we had a secondary that was made up of players from the streets, and some older players that where not playing very well. Yeah this defense had to be rebuilt and it has.
    RealRam, MauiRam and Ramendola16 like this.

  9. #9
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is offline Moderator Emeritus
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Longwood, Florida, United States
    Age
    46
    Posts
    18,837
    Rep Power
    168

    Re: St. Louis Rams: Prime Sleeper Team For 2012 ..

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    Justin Henry
    July 04, 2012 9:35 am
    Didn't he play the kid in "Kramer vs. Kramer" and Molly Ringwald's obnoxious little brother in "Sixteen Candles"?

  10. #10
    general counsel's Avatar
    general counsel is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    atlanta, georgia
    Age
    52
    Posts
    5,628
    Rep Power
    82

    Re: St. Louis Rams: Prime Sleeper Team For 2012 ..

    NJ Ram, i think your post is one of the most accurate and thoughtful of the year. Statistics are often very misleading. I think the guy that wrote the article didnt watch very much of the rams last year (and he doesnt even mention the langford signing!) I dont care how good your defense is, when your offense cant make first downs and gets killed in the field position battle, eventually the defense will wear down, especially when it has holes in it under the best of circumstances. The rams woeful offensive line killed any chance we had of being competitive last year. The offensive line was to blame 10x more than the defense. Bradford cant throw from flat on his ass and jackson cant run through a brick wall.

    Ramming speed to all (great job nj ram)

    general counsel


  11. #11
    Ram Dragoon's Avatar
    Ram Dragoon is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    1,307
    Rep Power
    16

    Re: St. Louis Rams: Prime Sleeper Team For 2012 ..

    Thing I hate about this time of year is all the "predictions"....The 49whinners are Superbowl contenders...so-and-so will or will not make it to the playoffs, or so-and-so will have a better/worest year in 2012.

    In 2011's offseason all the "experts" where predecting Superbowl bound Eagles this same time last year. Now with 2012 everyone is expecting Cam Newton results in Washington or that A. Luck will likely struggle in Indianapolis...blah, blah, Blah. Camps are just opening, new crop of hopefuls polishing their skills, teams still looking for pieces to their plans, its all still up in the air.
    The 49whinners might be a one-shot wonder and 2012 will be their coming to earth crash and burn year. They still have their QB, the weakest link arguabily on paper. In 2011 all he had to do was not loose the game--this year he may have to win a few games. I haven't seen that much improvement with either the Cards or Seahawks; so who knows. Right now the Rams ahve as much chance as any in the division and the Rams have made improvements. It might be Fisher and company has a few surprises for San Fran and Seattle--and perhaps a few otehr opponents
    Last edited by Ram Dragoon; -07-08-2012 at 10:52 PM.

  12. #12
    BlueTalon's Avatar
    BlueTalon is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Washington
    Age
    53
    Posts
    213
    Rep Power
    13

    Re: St. Louis Rams: Prime Sleeper Team For 2012 ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Dragoon View Post
    I haven't seen that much improvement with either the Cards or Seahawks
    Seriously? We have more speed at LB, depth in the secondary, improved pass rush, depth behind Lynch, and improved QB play. (No matter who the QB is, he will be better than last year's version of Tarvaris.)


    Back on topic, I fully expect the Rams to improve significantly. You guys might still lose a lot of games next year, but you will be more competitive, and no longer an "automatic win" for your opponents.

    In 2011, we had the identical 7-9 record we had in 2010, but the ratio of points-for/points-against improved by over 100 points. The 2011 7-9 team was much better than the 2010 7-9 team.

  13. #13
    RAMFANRAIDERHATER's Avatar
    RAMFANRAIDERHATER is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Surf City USA
    Age
    61
    Posts
    2,346
    Rep Power
    58

    Re: St. Louis Rams: Prime Sleeper Team For 2012 ..

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueTalon View Post
    Seriously? We have more speed at LB, depth in the secondary, improved pass rush, depth behind Lynch, and improved QB play. (No matter who the QB is, he will be better than last year's version of Tarvaris.)


    Back on topic, I fully expect the Rams to improve significantly. You guys might still lose a lot of games next year, but you will be more competitive, and no longer an "automatic win" for your opponents.

    In 2011, we had the identical 7-9 record we had in 2010, but the ratio of points-for/points-against improved by over 100 points. The 2011 7-9 team was much better than the 2010 7-9 team.
    I have to agree with BlueTalon here...

    I can't see how you can say the Hawks have not improved. I think they have one of the most underrated defenses in the league, and they should be better this year. I still think their problems at QB (no, Flynn is not the answer IMHO) will jump up and bite them in the hindside, but defensively, they're good. Very good. I fully expect them to be 8-8 or better this year. I also think the same about the Cards. They should be better on both sides of the ball (in theory, at least) with additions at WR. But like the Hawks, they still don't have a QB to lead them to better than 8 or 9 wins. The Rams are the only team in the division with a solid, franchise QB. But unfortunately, too many holes still on defense (LB's) and offense (Oline). Rams will be better this year, and even better in the next two-three years, but I still think they're looking at 4th place in the division, barring catastophic injuries to the other NFCW contenders.

    Gawd I hope I'm wrong....
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

  14. #14
    Ram Mar Ram's Avatar
    Ram Mar Ram is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Apia
    Age
    33
    Posts
    554
    Rep Power
    9

    Re: St. Louis Rams: Prime Sleeper Team For 2012 ..

    I think that the NFC West is going to be a very competitive division this year with all teams having a shot at the crown in 2012. 49'ers have the inside track with a proven unit returning and WR help injected. But if QB play on Seahawks and Cardinals improves this year, and i reckon theres a good chance it will.

    Rams will have it tough going but even with the improvement of the other teams, We have a legitimate shot and taking this division ... this year ....

  15. #15
    Ram Dragoon's Avatar
    Ram Dragoon is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    1,307
    Rep Power
    16

    Re: St. Louis Rams: Prime Sleeper Team For 2012 ..

    Okkie--Improvements with the Seahawks and their new toys...there is a simple answer to the arguement that they have or have not improved...Dallas Cowboys

    A team chalk full of talent year in and year out mostly...and the results...hahaha! Well we know that answer...suppose no point in rementioning (AGAIN) what the experts where saying this time last year about the EAGLES in 2011. At the risk of soundling like 49whinners fan or Seahawks fan, but besides a few thought the RAMS would IMPLODE in 2011. My point is, NO one knows how 2012 will turn out.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Rams Team Needs & Solutions: 2012 Edition
    By Nick in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: -04-29-2012, 04:11 PM
  2. Replies: 2
    Last Post: -04-15-2011, 05:39 PM
  3. Prime example of why this team sucks ...
    By RamsInfiniti in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: -11-17-2008, 02:11 AM
  4. Clayton says Rams are #1 Sleeper Team
    By supachump in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: -08-31-2007, 02:06 AM
  5. Replies: 4
    Last Post: -08-26-2007, 10:13 AM

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
  •