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Thread: Still a Fan (long)
-10-03-2011 #1Registered User
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Still a Fan (long)
As most of you know I have been ardently defending my team, offereing my views on some of the problems, and been strongly admonished by some of the very vocal criticizers for "making excuses". I will not stop defending my team. But that does not mean I am not as frustrated as everyone else by the regression of this team. But I am not reactionary by nature. I don't keep harping on one single player who made one mistake a full month ago, hasn't made any mistakes since, and has actually played well for the team. You want to harp on someone talk about a consistent problem, or at least a recent one instead of going back a month to have something to rag about.
Now having said all that;
I am finally starting to have my doubts that Spags is head coach material. Or at least not the kind of head coach that can come in and rebuild a destroyed franchise. It is kind of like taking a rookie QB, throwing him into a starting job on day one, on a team with very few weapons, or line to defend him, expect miracles (like being a Superbowl Veteran level player instantly) and watch him get beaten, battered, and destroyed until he no longer has confidence in his line, in his team, and in himself. I have seen several QBs over the years that I felt were really good, but got their heads handed to them as soon as the started playing and never fully recovered. Most of what I just said can apply to our QB Sam Bradford. But I think the analogy can hold true for Spags as well. He might have been a fine head coach for a team that didn't need much work or tooling to compete, but having to rebuild from scratch might be more than he is really up for.
For all the Harry Hindsight people, all of the O-Line players looked good on paper, and video, and scouting reports at the time they were recruited and signed. I remember all the glowing fan responses when we signed Jason Brown. Even the commentators thought we made a great pick up. The same goes for Saffold. On draft day everyone here was glowing about getting such a great player to help protect Bradford, and glowed even more after the way he played last year. Now of course everyone here wants all their heads on a platter. Now I can't fully speak as to what happened to make them all fall apart, and I wont go into any finger pointing shouting matches with anyone, but here is my suggestions on ways to try and fix it. First you may, probably, need to get a new O-Line coach. The one we currently have does not seem to be working. See if you can bring in a couple of former Rams, Jackie Slater and Orlando Pace, to help the unit gel back into some kind of form. Everyone makes mistakes, and you don't bench or cut someone over a single incident, or even a single bad game. But once the same person is consistently playing poorly it may be time to cut them loose. But bear in mind folks, there aren't that many players available to replace them. You can scream all you want about Highschool players doing a better job, and everyone needs to be fired, but screaming and throwing a temper tantrum, and essential looking to start a fan civil war is not going to solve anything. We all love our team, winning and losing, and want them to be successful. But there are way too many people here taking advantage of the safety and anonymity of the internet to just lay into anyone and everyone. I can't honestly believe you would go so berzerk in person without it ending up in a fight.
Wide receivers. My God the drops! Few things set me off and much as people lambasting Sam Bradford for not completing more passes. He can't throw and catch the ball himself. He did make a few bad throws, but people would you try and be sane? Even Tom Brady makes bad throws. Even Kurt Warner made bad throws. It happens! But if the receivers had caught the damn balls that hit them in the damn hands you wouldn't be blasting Sam right now at all. Two of those drops would very likely have been touch downs. Those two scores would have won the game for us. but like the O-Line, if you sack the entire receiving corps, who do we replace them with? And don't make a sarcastic reply, "Anyone would be better than what we have." because we all know that is not true. There just aren't that many players on the market. We should have addressed this in Free Agency and the draft, but went in a different direction. In hind sight YES they should have gone for a high draft pick on a receiver. But they didn't and no decent receivers are just hanging out waiting for a team to call. Coaching can only go so far. You can teach them how they are supposed to catch. You can teach them how to run the routes. But on game day they are the ones who have to perform and they are not doing it. So what is the answer here? No real clue, but if there are some receivers we could trade for from another team, I think we need to try. Bring up some of the youngsters from the practice squad and at least get them some reps with the starting offense. We lost Henry Ellard, and that is not an excuse, merely a statement of fact. So again try to find a couple of former Rams, like Ellard, to come an lend a hand. The Bruce, and Big Game Holt spring to mind.
Special teams needs to teach the punt returner how to signal a fair catch. :-) But the league needs, and probably will, fine and maybe suspend the Redskins players for the launching helmet to helmet hits. The Redskins were playing very dirty football Sunday. Two blasts on special teams. Driving Bradford into the ground. And there was one other dirty play I know of but can't put my finger on right now. The dirty play is not me making excuses on how or why we lost. I am just making note of the FACT that they did play dirty.
As much as people have blasted the defense. We held the Redskins to ONLY 17 points. That is lower than their season average. And while they didn't play very inspired for most of the game, they absolutely stepped up towards the end and gave the offense a chance to win. King got beat for ONE score, but then got an interception. Remember that King was not meant to be a starter this year. He was a building project. Not every player you grab in the draft is expected to play in their rookie year. You grab them because to think they may have talent that can be nurtured into to something down the road. He was brought up because we lost 2 players to injuries, and we couldn't find anyone quickly enough as a free agent to bring in. He is an underdeveloped prospect pushed into a slot he wasn't really ready for. So instead of raging at him, let's keep pushing for the FO to find, or trade, for a more experience player. There is no doubt that we are still missing some key pieces on the defense, and I would hope that being as defense minded as he his, Spags will do something.
We had no real running game, even with SJ back, and that goes back up to the O-Line. They were slow to get off the ball for run blocking, and slow in pass protection. Sam Bradford is not a running back! He hands off to running backs. Even a workhorse like SJ can only do so much when there are no running lanes.
Offense over all. Josh needs to check down to more quick drops, and quick passes to keep Sam off the turf. So even if the damn receivers drop the damn ball no one has time to get to Sam. If this keeps up he wont last the season. I think that Josh is throwing way too much at Sam with too little time to learn it. His offensive schemes are complex, and time consuming, and he needs to adjust to the personnel he has, and not the personnel he wants. Does Sam need to get rid of the ball faster? Sure, but not EVERY sack, hurry, hit is his fault! Line play and bad play calling, are far more to blame than Sam is.
So after all that, I am still a Rams fan and will not trash my team because I am angry, upset, and frustrated. And I wont put something up here that I would not say to someone in person. And if some of you really would go as berzerk in person as you have been going here I am glad we don't live near each other.
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