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Thread: St louis rams team report

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    St louis rams team report

    USA TODAY


    After the Rams' Oct. 16 loss to Green Bay, coach Steve Spagnuolo thought his team had shown improvement, especially on run defense. However, after a 34-7 loss to Dallas on Sunday dropped the Rams to 0-6 with New Orleans next on the schedule, Spagnuolo didn't know what to think, except to say, "We went backwards on defense."
    There wasn't much to say after Cowboys rookie running back DeMarco Murray rushed for a team-record 253 yards, also the most any runner had ever gained against the Rams.

    While a depleted secondary has forced the Rams to adjust their defensive philosophy, leaving them susceptible to the run, what bothered Spagnuolo the most was the poor tackling fundamentals, which he was quick to point out afterward.

    "You talk about low, target tackling, and our guys are tackling high," Spagnuolo said. "They know that, they heard that from me, they understand it, and until they decide they are to tackle the way it's coached and the way we ask them do it, it's probably not going to change."

    Noting a 91-yard touchdown run by Murray, the second consecutive game the Rams have allowed a touchdown of 90 or more yards, Spagnuolo said, "The two safeties were supposed to keep the ball carrier in between them, and they'll both tell you that they didn't do that. If it's a 10-yard gain, it's a 10-yard gain; you line up and play defense again."

    When the Rams did try a little extra to stop the run, the Cowboys hit them with pass plays.

    "You have to do certain things a certain way right now. Due to all the injuries, that changes it. (The Cowboys) definitely came in with a plan," Spagnuolo said. "If they saw us in a two-shell defense, they were going to run the football. We've got to find a way to stop the run against a seven-man front until we're willing to change things on the back end. We mixed it up a little bit, but it's hard to do that with the threats they have on the outside. I give them a lot of credit. Tony Romo is one of the best in the league. He knew what to put them in and what not to put them in."

    This week the Rams will face a New Orleans offense that score 62 points Sunday night and got five touchdown passes from quarterback Drew Brees.

    Unknown is whether quarterback Sam Bradford will be able to play after missing Sunday's game because of a high ankle sprain. It seems unlikely after Spagnuolo said Bradford "was really sore" after doing some pass drops and other things Friday and said a firmer cast was put on his foot. He added, "At some point he'll go back to doing the other rehab. I don't know what day it will be that he'll try to do some things again."

    NOTES, QUOTES

    LINEUP WATCH: With newly acquired wide receiver Brandon Lloyd starting, Brandon Gibson was inactive against the Cowboys after starting each of the first five games. Lloyd was targeted 12 times and caught six passes for 74 yards, although he had just 40 yards until a 34-yard play in the team's final possession.

    BY THE NUMBERS: 5.5 Yards per rush allowed by the Rams this season. They entered Sunday's game last in run defense (163.0 yards per game), and the stunning average is now 184.8.

    STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

    PLAYER NOTES

    QB A.J. Feeley made his first start since 2007, but he led the team to just one touchdown, completing 20 of 33 passes for 196 yards and a passer rating of 64.7.

    OT Jason Smith was carted off the field on a stretcher after taking a blow to the head trying to recover a fumble in the first quarter. Smith underwent tests at a Dallas-area hospital, and he was found to have a strained neck and likely a concussion.

    DT Darell Scott took a blow to the head on a kickoff return late in the first half and went for tests that ruled out anything serious. He will be monitored for potential concussion symptoms.

    LB Brady Poppinga suffered a calf injury that kept him out of the game. He was replaced by Bryan Kehl.

    CB Justin King suffered a groin injury that further limited the team's secondary.

    WR Danario Alexander suffered a hamstring injury late in the game, but the severity won't be known until Monday.

    :ramlogo:

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    Re: St louis rams team report

    Yeah, I must say, the run D was the most embarassing highlight of the game!!!

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    Re: St louis rams team report

    Defense, What defense??? We don't need no stinking defense.

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    Re: St louis rams team report

    What a joke of a team.

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    Re: St louis rams team report

    Quote Originally Posted by eldfan View Post
    The Cowboys definitely came in with a plan," Spagnuolo said....Tony Romo is one of the best in the league.
    Yeah unlike us, they came in with a gameplan. Woah. Interesting.


    And Tony Romo best in the league? Give me a break. Other coordinators would be salivating if they found out they were going against Romo in the upcoming game.
    laram0 likes this.

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    Re: St louis rams team report

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    Yeah unlike us, they came in with a gameplan. Woah. Interesting.
    Exactly..So does that mean we didn't have a plan? Did we adjust to the Cowboys plan?! YIKES!!!!

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    Re: St louis rams team report

    Newsflash: Update to St Louis Ram Team Update;

    Ram's miss charter plane when they all stumbled to the gateway and lined up on different plane. Coach Spags was quoted as saying "I told them what plane to get onto but they missed it and all know they did." We are happy to report no further injuries were incurred during this mishap.

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    Re: St louis rams team report

    LOL.....Stan could save some bucks by eliminating the charter planes and using buses instead. Ditch practices and the team would have plenty of time for travel. It's not like the practices are accomplishing much anyway....

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    Re: St louis rams team report

    "until they decide they are to tackle the way it's coached and the way we ask them do it, it's probably not going to change..."

    These guys are PROFESSIONAL football players, they should know how to tackle by now. Spags is right about this though, I've seen some very poor attempts at tackling this season. Did they not practice it enough after the lockout, or are players trying to go for those big hits or fumbles rather than a solid form tackle?

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    Re: St louis rams team report

    USA TODAY UPDATED


    The Rams were still shocked by what hit them in Dallas on Sunday to the tune of 294 rushing yards and a record-setting day by Cowboys rookie running back DeMarco Murray. St. Louis coach Steve Spagnuolo said the Cowboys gained 183 yards after the first missed tackle on 11 plays.
    Said defensive end Chris Long, "It was terrible flat out. We're going to have to see what was going on, but it was just terrible. It was terrible run defense."

    Asked about being embarrassed, Long said, "It's pretty embarrassing, yeah."

    Spagnuolo added, "I do know this, that you can't play good defense if you don't tackle. It's a mindset. Guys have to buy into it. I thought we were a fairly decent tackling football team. We always have been, but that was not what I saw today."

    Big plays continue to be an issue. Murray started the game's scoring with a 91-yard touchdown run on the Cowboys' third play from scrimmage and added a 43-yard jaunt later in the game. Those were the fourth and fifth runs this season against the Rams of 39 yards or more.

    "We had some things going on that got mixed up, busted," Long said of the 91-yard run. "He broke one tackle, and he got done breaking that tackle and he was to the house."

    Said Spagnuolo, "Our two safeties were supposed to keep the ball carrier between them. And I think they'll both tell you that they didn't do that. If it's a 10-yard gain, it's a 10-yard gain. You line up and play defense again. But when he takes it to the house, it's tough."

    One of those safeties, Quintin Mikell, said, "It was a rough day. We didn't make tackles, bouncing off tackles, it was a frustrating day. I felt like we had a good game plan, did some different things, but the bottom line is when you have got guys there, you've got to get them on the ground, and we didn't do that."

    As for Murray, Mikell said, "We knew he was a good player. He had a good game. He ran hard; he made some nice cuts out there. Obviously he had a good game. We knew what he could do, but we didn't do a good job of executing what we wanted to."

    It didn't help matters when the Rams lost another cornerback to injury during the game. Justin King, forced into a starting role because of season-ending injuries suffered by Ron Bartell, Bradley Fletcher and Jerome Murphy, left the game because of a groin injury

    Spagnuolo concluded, "The disappointing thing is we went backwards. I said this and I felt it and the team felt it, that I thought we had made some gains last week. It seems like one hurdle after another we have to overcome, but I have got to tell you, when you are down as many corners as we are and you lose another one, everything changes. We have safeties playing spots we play corners. It's hard to get over the injuries. That has been very, very difficult, but the guys that are out there are NFL football players, and tackling is part of football.

    "I keep going back to that, but that's the most frustrating thing, so I am kind of centered on that. But nobody is feeling sorry for the St. Louis Rams. We have got a game to play this coming Sunday to get back to work. This football team has to realize that, and guys have to step up."

    NOTES, QUOTES

    The Rams' offense didn't help the defense, especially in the second half when the first four possessions totaled just 16 plays and 6:31 clock time. The Dallas lead mushroomed from 17-7 at halftime to 34-7.

    The Cowboys fumbled on their first possession of the second half, giving the ball to the Rams at the Dallas 44-yard line. St. Louis had a chance to make it a one-score game.

    On first down, a deep shot was attempted to wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, which was incomplete. Steven Jackson was stuffed for no gain on second down, and a screen to Jackson on third down was incomplete.

    Dallas drove from its own 12-yard line for a field goal, with a big play coming on third-and-2 when the Rams stopped the Cowboys on their own 33, but they had 12 players on the field.

    On the next St. Louis possession, which started at the Rams' 40 because the kickoff went out of bounds, Jackson ran three times for 1 yard, including no gain on a third-and-9 play.

    Said Jackson, "It's another game we weren't able to sustain drives. We couldn't get any rhythm, leaving the defense on the field, and when we would sustain drives, we weren't coming out with points. It's hard to overcome long drives and no points and/or turnovers, and for whatever reason, it just keeps being the same old story.

    "I'm pretty sure their game plan was going to be to stop the run. They brought a lot more pressure than they have all season. They are not usually a blitz team, but they zero blitzed us quite a bit, and it made for some difficult looks for us."

    Quarterback A.J. Feeley started his first game since 2007, and while he was 12-for-15 for 91 yards in the first half, he was 8-for-18 for 105 yards in the second half, with 34 coming on a catch-and-run by Brandon Lloyd on the final possession. Prior to the final possession, Feeley was 4-for-10 for 57 yards in the second half.

    "It didn't go as well as expected," Feeley said. "When you come away with a loss, it's not the way you planned it. When you lose, there's definitely plays on the field you would like to have back. There were some positive things, but as an offense, we have got to be better, we have got to put points on the board when we get drives going. We stalled a couple of times. When you get chances there, you have got to make the most of them."

    Coach Steve Spagnuolo said, "I thought A.J. did some good things. That's a good defense with some good players. I'm sure he'd like a few more good plays there, probably like to have the interception back. I think the thing you have got to remember about a backup quarterback in this season in a new system (is he) did not have the luxury of all those rep days we normally would have gotten any backup quarterback in (the offseason). So we got what we could in training camp and once the season begins, (but) he doesn't have that much (time with the first unit)."

    STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

    PLAYER NOTES

    QB Sam Bradford has been "shut down" since Friday because of a high ankle sprain, and there has been no change in his status. Coach Steve Spagnuolo said, "We will see where he is Wednesday."

    OT Jason Smith was officially diagnosed with a concussion and will also see a spine specialist for more tests on his neck. This is the third concussion Smith has suffered in three seasons.

    DT Darell Scott was officially diagnosed with a concussion, and he was excused from team meetings Monday.

    CB Justin King has what was described by coach Steve Spagnuolo as a "pretty good" groin injury. He likely will miss at least Wednesday's practice and perhaps more.

    LB Brady Poppinga suffered a second-degree strained calf against Dallas on Sunday, and he is not expected to practice this week.

    WR Danario Alexander suffered a hamstring injury Sunday, but the team was still awaiting the result of an MRI.


    REPORT CARD VS. COWBOYS

    PASSING OFFENSE: D At least the protection was better, as QB A.J. Feeley was sacked only once, but most of the plan was to get the ball out quickly. Feeley averaged just 9.8 yards per completion, and the four longest completions (34, 27, 21 and 16) were accomplished with yards after the catch. Those four plays accounted for 98 of Feeley's 196 passing yards, so his 16 other completions totaled just 98 yards. WR Brandon Lloyd was targeted 12 times and caught six for 74 yards, but 34 came on a late-game catch-and-run. His other five receptions gained just 40 yards.

    RUSHING OFFENSE: C-minus The totals look better because of RB Steven Jackson's 40-yard run that preceded a 6-yard touchdown run. Other than that, the running game sputtered, as Jackson's other 16 carries totaled just 24 yards, and Cadillac Williams gained 1 yard on two attempts.

    PASS DEFENSE: C The Rams did about as well as could be expected with a depleted secondary that has been ravaged by injuries. CB Al Harris had a solid game in coverage, as the plan was not to get beat for the big play, a strategy that led to being gashed in the running game.

    RUSH DEFENSE: F If there were a grade lower, it would be given. Bad tackling and gaping holes in the run defense led to the Cowboys rushing for 294 yards and RB DeMarco Murray setting a franchise record with 253 rushing yards. That was also the most yards ever by a runner against the Rams. In the second half, when the St. Louis offense couldn't stay on the field, Dallas rushed for 175 yards.

    SPECIAL TEAMS: B There was little impact from either side on special teams. Austin Pettis returned one punt 9 yards. Quinn Porter was better on kickoff returns, although he fell down on one return. He averaged 22.8 yards on five runbacks with a long of 29. P Donnie Jones had a net of 42.0 yards, putting three inside the 20-yard line.

    COACHING: C The staff is coaching short-handed because of the secondary injuries that have forced a change of philosophy from press coverage to mostly Cover 2. The defensive coaches deserve better than the poor tackling that was displayed Sunday. Offensively, the key to any success was with Jackson running, and there was very little room for that to occur.
    :ramlogo:

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    Re: St louis rams team report

    Quote Originally Posted by Keenum View Post
    "until they decide they are to tackle the way it's coached and the way we ask them do it, it's probably not going to change..."

    These guys are PROFESSIONAL football players, they should know how to tackle by now. Spags is right about this though, I've seen some very poor attempts at tackling this season. Did they not practice it enough after the lockout, or are players trying to go for those big hits or fumbles rather than a solid form tackle?
    Well, we've seen poor tackling and we've also no tackling with guys running 91 yards UNTOUCHED and around 50 yards UNTOUCHED in the first game against the Eagles for touchdowns. Fans have called out the OLBs all season. How about Laurinaitus. Where was he on those plays? Where were the safeties on those plays? UNTOUCHED.

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    Re: St louis rams team report

    Quote Originally Posted by mh-i View Post
    Well, we've seen poor tackling and we've also no tackling with guys running 91 yards UNTOUCHED and around 50 yards UNTOUCHED in the first game against the Eagles for touchdowns. Fans have called out the OLBs all season. How about Laurinaitus. Where was he on those plays? Where were the safeties on those plays? UNTOUCHED.
    Looks like we have to throw poor tackling angles in there as well. I can't remember who, but on that 91 yard TD run by Murray, one of the safeties had a crystal clear shot at him about 8 yards down the field, and because of a horrible angle our guy just flat out fell down!

    So poor tackling combined with no tackling... well that explains our last-ranked run defense.

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