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  1. #1
    eldfan's Avatar
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    St. Louis Rams Team Report

    When describing the Rams' 23-16 loss to the Patriots on Sunday, missed opportunities would be in the headline. But, considering where this team was after four games, just the fact the Rams put themselves in position for those opportunities is a plus.
    Still, coach Jim Haslett knows it's a game St. Louis could have won. And after preaching about responding to adversity for four weeks, now he will see how his team responds to a loss.

    Said Haslett, when asked about the mind-set of the team after the loss, "You guys were in the locker room. They were disappointed. They felt that we could go up there and win this game. We didn't do it, and that will be another challenge ahead. Come back Wednesday, get your head on straight, get ready to go to work and let's load up and see what happens again. We're not going to win them all. We know that. Not too many do in this league. New England did last year, that's why they are such a good football team, but we're not there yet.

    "This will be a good challenge. Guys will come back Wednesday ready to go, and we'll compete against this team. The good thing is it's at home, and that's the most exciting thing. You get to play at home in front of our crowd, and obviously we're going to need everybody there, and I think they'll help us win this game."

    The Rams, who host Arizona on Sunday, are two games behind the Cardinals in the NFC West. As quarterback Marc Bulger said, "We have Arizona twice, San Francisco twice, Seattle once again at home. So as far as our division is concerned, if we take care of business, we can get to where we need to get. We're not there yet because we dug ourselves into a pretty deep hole with that 0-4 start. But we know we can get there now."

    Despite the loss Sunday and the missed opportunities, the Rams quickly have become an extension of their head coach's personality. On the first possession of the game, Haslett went for a first down on fourth-and-1. There was an onside kick to start the second half.

    Then, after the seven-point loss, Haslett said he would have gone for a two-point conversion to win the game had the team scored a touchdown.

    He said, "You come up here and play this team on the road, you've got to try to do whatever you can to win. ... You've got the ball in your hand, why not just win it right there? Why put it on the flip of a coin?"

    When told what Haslett revealed, Bulger said, "I didn't know that he said that. But I tell you what, when we were driving the ball at the end, I was starting to think about that, too. I don't think I would have thought that before. But hey, with 'Has,' I think we can assume we would (go for two). I think we all believe we would."

    Said tackle Adam Goldberg, "You know what that says to players when a coach does that sort of stuff? It says he's in it to win. It says he's going all-out, so that's what we do, too."

    Asked what he wants to accomplish in the final nine games, Haslett smiled and said, "I'd like to win them all. Everybody tries to diagnose the schedule. I think you kind of split the schedule into weeks of four, because you don't know who you're playing and when they're going to get hot and when they are not going to be hot, who's healthy and who's not healthy. I think that all plays into it. The team we're playing this week, that's why I like to look at it one week at a time. The team we're playing this week is a good football team. They have a lot of wins, they are playing well. They are racking up yards and points on offense, have a lot of talent on defense and have a big-time kicker.

    "We have our work cut out for us. The good thing is that it's a division game at home. Obviously, we are going to need our crowd, if we can take advantage of that, because they've had some struggles on the road. I'm excited about playing the game. I'm disappointed we lost (Sunday). I thought we played well enough that we could have won the game. We didn't do well enough in the fourth quarter to the win the game, but I'm excited about the opportunity to play this team. I think our players will be ready to play."

    NOTES, QUOTES

    —Coach Jim Haslett believes RB Steven Jackson will be able to play this week after missing Sunday's game against New England because of a quadriceps injury.

    Said Haslett, "He looked good (Monday), was questionable (Sunday), and we thought it was best for him to sit out and get him ready for this game."

    —Rookie DE Chris Long had two sacks against the Patriots and now has four this season. Asked about Long's progress, Haslett said, "I just think he has confidence in what he's doing. Obviously, a better understanding of the defense helps, and he's playing fast. I thought he played well (Sunday). He'll get better, too. He had the two sacks. The week before he even played better. He had five quarterback hits but didn't have a sack. You can see it, he's got confidence in what he's doing. I can't wait to get him and (DE) Leonard (Little) on the field at the same time for a couple games in a row."

    —Haslett was disappointed in his team for the number of penalties it took against New England, especially on special teams, but he acknowledged surprise that the Patriots had just one penalty called on them, which was declined.

    "I thought there should have been some called on the other side. The facemask on Marc (Bulger) was a penalty, and hitting Marc after he threw it was a penalty. But again they were subjective judgmental calls. For me to put myself in position to make the calls, your eyes and my eyes may see two different things. They were all subjective, and that is kind of how that works."

    As for his team's penalties, Haslett said, "The thing that bothered me more than anything was the special teams calls. We haven't had any all year, and then we had the four or five in the game because it kept putting us in a bad position on offense. I was not mad at the refs, I was mad at our football team for getting that many penalties. We try to go into a game and come out with no special teams penalties, and we had a year-full in one game (Sunday)."

    Said guard Richie Incognito, when asked about the Patriots not being penalized, "I have never, ever, ever played a perfect team before. That's all I'm going to say on that one."

    STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

    PLAYER NOTES

    —RB Steven Jackson is expected to play Sunday when the Rams host the Cardinals. Jackson missed Sunday's game against the Patriots because of a quadriceps injury.

    —DE Leonard Little suffered a strained hamstring against New England and is hopeful of playing against Arizona. Coach Jim Haslett said Little was "upbeat" Monday and had a good workout.

    —DT Adam Carriker will still be considered questionable because of an ankle injury that caused him to miss Sunday's game against New England. Carriker didn't make the trip with the team.

    —TE Joe Klopfenstein has been playing with a bad wrist and now has a torn ligament. He is expected to continue playing with either a cast or a brace to protect the injury.

    —CB Tye Hill is expected to practice this week after missing three games because of a knee injury.

    —WR Drew Bennett hasn't played since injuring his foot in the first quarter of the season opener against the Eagles. Bennett is getting closer to returning and will begin running this week.


    REPORT CARD VS. PATRIOTS

    PASSING OFFENSE: B — The coming-out party for WR Donnie Avery continues, as he caught six passes for 163 yards with a 69-yard touchdown. QB Marc Bulger had his first 300-yard passing game of the season (301), but he was pressured frequently and was sacked four times. There were also two incomplete third-down passes in the red zone and inside the 10-yard line. Avery and WR Keenan Burton made some errors in route-running that led to incompletions and Bulger's lone interception.

    RUSHING OFFENSE: B-plus — With Steven Jackson out, RB Antonio Pittman was solid, rushing for 83 yards on 19 attempts. He did miss some holes, but it was his first game back after missing three games because of a leg injury.

    PASS DEFENSE: C-plus — The pressure wasn't consistent, although the Rams did sack QB Matt Cassel three times. Cassel came up big when it mattered in the fourth quarter, hitting WR Randy Moss for 28 yards on a second-and-18 play on the winning touchdown drive, and then connecting with RB Kevin Faulk on a perfectly throw 15-yard touchdown pass.

    RUSH DEFENSE: B — Faulk totaled 60 yards on 14 attempts, while rookie BenJarvus Green-Ellis gained just 16 yards on nine carries.

    SPECIAL TEAMS: D-minus — Except for PK Josh Brown's three field goals, there were too many penalties and breakdowns. Even P Donnie Jones got in the act with his poorest performance of the season. He had nets of 22 and 29 yards in the second half that set the Patriots up in excellent field position. Brown had to make a tackle on a 49-yard kickoff return, and a holding penalty by LB Quinton Culberson on the opening kickoff negated a 75-yard return by Dante Hall. Later in the game, Hall made a bad decision, running out a kickoff from 3 yards deep in the end zone and running time off the clock at the end of the game when he field a punt in the end zone.

    COACHING: A — Coach Jim Haslett still gets high grades for preparing his team and showing aggressiveness on fourth-and-1 and with a second-half onside kick.

    :ramlogo:

  2. #2
    UtterBlitz's Avatar
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    Re: St. Louis Rams Team Report

    Despite the loss Sunday and the missed opportunities, the Rams quickly have become an extension of their head coach's personality. On the first possession of the game, Haslett went for a first down on fourth-and-1. There was an onside kick to start the second half.
    I really like Haslett's attitude and play calling. I was happy with the 4th down attempt and the surprise onside kick. He does play to win. The players seem to be much happier now that he is the head coach....winning might be making them happy too, ya never know.

    It's nice to see the defense getting some sacks too. Long and Little bringing some pressure.
    Last edited by UtterBlitz; -10-29-2008 at 12:15 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Re: St. Louis Rams Team Report

    The run defense gets a 'B', huh??...well faulk got every single one of those 60 yards when they NEEDED them, so thats what makes it worse, theres talk about Jackson not being in and maybe we couldve won the game with him, but they beat us without maroney..so actually i think the defense did good but couldve been alot better

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    Re: St. Louis Rams Team Report

    ......you know what i just noticed??...my posts went from about 77 back down to 68...oh well, guess i gotta earn my 1 rep point all over again....

    big shout out to RAMDEZ!

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