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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Stopping the run is No. 1 for Rams

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Saturday, Aug. 18 2007

    No matter what time of year, and no matter who's in the backfield, San Diego
    knows how to run the football. The Rams know this as well as anybody, even
    though they don't even play in the same conference as the Chargers.

    Two days before Halloween last season, LaDainian Tomlinson played his own
    version of trick or treat against the Rams, rushing for 183 yards and two
    touchdowns in a 38-24 Chargers romp. All told, San Diego rushed for 216 yards
    that day, which tied for the 11th-highest rushing total for a Rams opponent
    since the move to St. Louis in 1995.

    Two years ago in the exhibition season, there was more of the same. Less than
    four minutes into the contest, Tomlinson raced 55 yards for a touchdown on his
    first and only carry of the game. Tomlinson headed for the Gatorade cooler
    after that sprint; he was done for the day. But the Chargers didn't stop
    running all over the Rams until they had amassed 215 yards in a 36-21 San Diego
    victory.

    So with the Chargers visiting the Edward Jones Dome tonight for a 7 o'clock
    exhibition game, the Rams know exactly what to expect. Norv Turner has replaced
    Marty Schottenheimer as head coach, but it's still the same old Chargers.

    Even without Tomlinson in the lineup apparently, the mega-back doesn't do
    preseason games anymore the Rams are bracing for one of the league's most
    formidable running attacks.

    "It's a big challenge," coach Scott Linehan said Thursday after the Rams' final
    full-scale practice of the week. "We just talked about that as a team with our
    defense how (the Chargers) are going to bring in a very potent run offense.
    It'd be nice to be able to go out and execute our defense against it."

    Tomlinson's understudy, speedy Michael Turner, probably could start and star
    for half the teams in the NFL. So preseason or not, tonight's game will be a
    big test for a St. Louis defense that finished 31st against the run last season.

    As one Rams assistant coach put it earlier in the week, "This will be a
    benchmark game for us. They do what a lot of people say we can't stop."

    That is, run the ball.

    "We know whoever's in the backfield, that it's going to be a challenge to slow
    them down or stop them," Linehan said.

    Linehan was pleased with the run defense last week, when Minnesota running
    backs gained only 43 yards on 18 carries in the Rams' exhibition opener, a
    13-10 St. Louis victory.

    "I think the first play of the game was my favorite play with Corey (Chavous),"
    Linehan said.

    On Minnesota's first play from scrimmage, Chavous dropped Chester Taylor a
    1,200-yard rusher last year for a four-yard loss.

    "It just seemed right there, that that was kind of the attitude or statement we
    want to make," Linehan said. "We know it's not always going to be that way.
    Every once in a while a guy is going to get loose. But if we can get the guy
    down, we have a lot better chance. Trying to eliminate the big runs is our
    goal."

    Last October in San Diego, Tomlinson's rushing day included carries of 38 and
    51 yards. For the season, Rams opponents had 33 rushing attempts that gained at
    least 15 yards. Preseason or not, the Rams want to show the Chargers that this
    is a new season and a new Rams defense.

    "We're going to put our game out there and say, 'Hey, last year you kind of got
    us on our heels a little bit,'" linebacker Will Witherspoon said. "But now it's
    time for us to come back out and show them who we really are."


  2. #2
    blood85's Avatar
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    Re: Stopping the run is No. 1 for Rams

    To say that "it's gonna be a challenge" to slow L.T., is major understatement. Can't wait to see how much, if any we have improved from last year. If L.T. plays, he'll get his, the question is , can the rams play a solid run-stuffing game. Of course, You still have to worry about Gates and the rest of the Chargers "O".

  3. #3
    Keenum's Avatar
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    Re: Stopping the run is No. 1 for Rams

    I guarantee we hold LT to no yards...
    remember, he doesn't even suit up until the 3rd preseason game, and I believe we played them week 3 of last year's preseason.
    But still. the starting O-line and Michael Turner is still one of the top running games in the NFL. Should still be a great test for us.

  4. #4
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    Re: Stopping the run is No. 1 for Rams

    i call it now the chargers will get 75 yards total, you heard me right total yards, rushing when the game comes to an end.

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    Re: Stopping the run is No. 1 for Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by Keenum View Post
    I guarantee we hold LT to no yards...
    remember, he doesn't even suit up until the 3rd preseason game, and I believe we played them week 3 of last year's preseason.
    But still. the starting O-line and Michael Turner is still one of the top running games in the NFL. Should still be a great test for us.
    It has already been said that LT isn't playing in any preseason game this year, and it was 2 years ago that we played the Chargers in the preseason when LT played a little bit and torched us. Last year was the regular season game where we got torched.
    BRUUUUUUUUCE


  6. #6
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    Re: Stopping the run is No. 1 for Rams

    ok i guess i was wrong we didnt hold them to my projected 75 total yards

  7. #7
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    Re: Stopping the run is No. 1 for Rams

    we can have a great year, but as of now, we are not in the same class as the chargers.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  8. #8
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    Re: Stopping the run is No. 1 for Rams

    I agree with GC.

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    Re: Stopping the run is No. 1 for Rams

    The chargers are a team the Rams should aspire to..

  10. #10
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    Re: Stopping the run is No. 1 for Rams

    two deals made the chargers team. vick for brees, tomlinson and two other picks and the rivers-manning deal (which they picked up another number 1 that became merriman i believe). Two of the best trades in league history, especially in the cap era.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


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