Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16
  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
    RamWraith is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Age
    44
    Posts
    8,230
    Rep Power
    61

    The swagger is back with the St. Louis Rams

    ST. LOUIS -- The swagger is back with the St. Louis Rams. Much like a couple of years ago, Rams offensive downs aren't just plays. They are shows. The pace is quick. The routes are imaginative. Overall, the old confidence has returned.

    Inside Rams camp
    RamsHow's the health of safety Adam Archuleta? Which newcomer should have a big impact in the front 7? Those are just a couple of the things John Clayton touches on in his observations from Rams camp.
    . Inside Rams camp
    "You need three or four receivers [for this offense] and we have four solid receivers now," quarterback Marc Bulger said. "We brought back [tight end] Roland Williams, and he was with the team when we were the greatest show on turf. He still thinks it's that way. We had to go through a couple of rough years, and you hate to let that persona down."

    Training camp practices opened with that old flair the Rams had in their Super Bowl years (1999, 2001 seasons). Practice passes never hit the turf. Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald snatch passes out of the air and try to zip past corners. Running back Steven Jackson explodes through the line of scrimmage and then uses his 230-pound body to "shake-and-bake" a linebacker. A thin Marshall Faulk runs routes with renewed quickness.

    " When this offense is working well, we can move down the field so quickly teams don't have time to catch up. Normally in those situations, defenses try to get safe. Coach Martz is the best when teams start getting safety because he starts attacking them."
    -QB Marc Bulger

    Coach Mike Martz says the Rams' swagger is just confidence. Fans love it. Opponents view it as arrogance and hate it. Rams players say their confidence is a byproduct of having fun, and the fun is back because the Rams' offense has reloaded.

    "I was just saying it this morning that it was like it was when I came in during my first year," Holt said. "Then, we had a great mix of veterans with some young guys coming in to help. It's the same way now. As long as the guys up front on the offensive line hold, we have that swagger. The coaches have the swagger. Practices are fun. We are going out there and we are seeing the ability to click and jell at a high pace."

    Returning to the 500-point-a-year level of 1999-2001 might be tough, but the Rams make a case they are ready to make a run. Curtis and McDonald have evolved into significant role players who augment the 90-catch skills of Holt and Bruce. Each has three years of experience in the offense. Curtis offers blistering speed that inside corners can't match. McDonald isn't Az-Zahir Hakim, but he offers a little bit of the shiftiness and run-after-the catch ability.

    But the single most exciting addition to the offense this year is Jackson. This isn't the dreadlocked rookie who looked lost in 2004. Jackson dropped five pounds and added quickness. His body fat is a mere 5 percent. His impact as the featured back -- often sharing the backfield with Faulk -- could be one of the most watched changes in the NFC this fall.

    "He's 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, and he's got those scary-looking dreadlocks," Holt said. "He runs strong. He catches the ball well, and you know how critical it is. Running backs in this offense have to know the offense as well as the quarterback. If the back is getting 5 or 6 [yards] per carry, the impact is huge. Teams will have to bring an extra man in to handle it. That opens one-on-one matchups for the wide receivers. Steven's explosion is incredible."

    As a rookie, Jackson averaged 5 yards a carry, but got just a little more than eight carries a game. Now he's the starter, even though Faulk is considered 1-A.

    Running the football may not appear to be in the diabolical offensive mind of Martz, but don't be surprised. The re-signing of Williams to go with Brandon Manumaleuna offers the chance for the Rams to switch into two-tight end sets with two players adept at catching the ball. Martz isn't opposed to calling four or five running plays in a row to confuse a defense.

    The diabolical aspect of the running game is what Jackson and Faulk can do together, a feature Martz plans to exploit this season.

    "Steven came in here with that certain air about him that great players have," Martz said. "He's very confident without being cocky. His feeling is just give him the ball and put it on his shoulders just like Jerome Bettis. Marshall has helped him with that."

    This is the same Faulk who is also the best receiving back in this era. Because Martz can let Jackson pound the ball into the middle of the defense, Faulk lost weight in order to enhance his quickness in running routes. in addition, Manumaleuna can line up at fullback at 288 pounds.

    It's not that the Rams are going to be a running offense. That will never happen. Martz is all about passing. But running plays set up bigger pass plays, and the components of the 2005 offense should keep defenses guessing.

    But it's Jackson who catches your eye.

    "We are coming back to that form of being a threat on offense and being dangerous on all sides of the ball," Jackson said. "I bring that youth in there. I'm hungry. I'm not going to let up on any play. With Marshall out there with me at times, no team is going to be able to pick up on the formations and how we line up. I like being the hard runner. Marshall is more of a slasher and the elusive guy. I'm bringing back the Jerome Bettis-Eric Dickerson days. I'm a hard runner inside the tackle."

    Can the Rams get back to that 500-point level? A soft schedule helps, and the Rams could end up with the league's easiest -- just as they did during their first Super Bowl year. The Rams play only seven games against teams with 8-8 records or better last season. Their opponents this season went a combined 114-142 last year, making for the lowest record-against schedule in the league. To get 500 points, a team needs some 40-point games against easy opponents.

    The Rams showed signs of that explosiveness at times last year but left a lot of points on the field, which tends to be frustrating.

    "It was tough," Holt said. "At times, it was there. At times, it wasn't there. There is a transition of getting new guys in the system who have to understand what it takes to be a St. Louis Ram. This is a new generation of Rams. I think the guys now have a better understanding of what it takes. But when it was missing, it was frustrating."

    While Jackson expects to be the breakout runner this year, Curtis should be the breakout wide receiver. It's year three for Curtis and McDonald and it takes about three years to get comfortable with the many formations and adjustments. Though Holt and Bruce will get most of the catches, Curtis, who caught 32 passes for 421 yards last season, should become a big-play threat who should gain chunks of yards.

    "Kevin is a rocket and he usually gets the third defensive back, which is not your best defensive back," Bulger said. "A guy is a nickel back for a reason. Kevin could start for at least half the teams in the NFL. He can run by anyone. A lot of teams playing the Tampa cover two take the middle linebacker to run with the inside receiver. Kevin can run by that. That guy may be a 4.4, but Kevin is a 4.2 or a 4.3, and he's going to beat them every time."

    The big worry, though, is the offensive line, which is once again precariously thin. Rex Tucker has to handle the left guard position. Blaine Saipaia is going to right tackle. Any injury or two along the line could be a disaster.

    "If we keep everybody healthy, I think we are going to score a lot more points," Bulger said. "When this offense is working well, we can move down the field so quickly teams don't have time to catch up. Normally in those situations, defenses try to get safe. Coach Martz is the best when teams start getting safety because he starts attacking them."

    The Show is ready to return.

    John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com


  2. #2
    Curly Horns's Avatar
    Curly Horns is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    1st & Goal
    Posts
    2,598
    Rep Power
    58

    Re: The swagger is back with the St. Louis Rams

    Good article with lots of positive outlooks for the Rams offense!



    in addition, Manumaleuna can line up at fullback at 288 pounds.
    Um - Been there, done that. Please don't do it again, it's ugly!!




  3. #3
    viper's Avatar
    viper is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Vancouver, Washington
    Age
    53
    Posts
    1,675
    Rep Power
    26

    Re: The swagger is back with the St. Louis Rams

    I like it! Things sound upbeat and optimistic. Comparing this camp to GSOT days means things seem to be moving in the right direction. I can't wait! Let's get this thing started! ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!!! :football:

    Go Rams!!!

  4. #4
    talkstoangels61's Avatar
    talkstoangels61 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Illinois
    Age
    53
    Posts
    954
    Rep Power
    11

    Re: The swagger is back with the St. Louis Rams

    Like myself i bet every Ram fan that read this had a grin on their face from ear to ear!................................Well?

  5. #5
    psycho9985's Avatar
    psycho9985 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Visalia ca
    Age
    57
    Posts
    1,657
    Rep Power
    12

    Re: The swagger is back with the St. Louis Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by talkstoangels61
    Like myself i bet every Ram fan that read this had a grin on their face from ear to ear!................................Well?
    One of the best reads in a long time thanks Wraith.
    My heart beats crazy and my blood runs wild

  6. #6
    RamWraith's Avatar
    RamWraith is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Age
    44
    Posts
    8,230
    Rep Power
    61

    Re: The swagger is back with the St. Louis Rams

    It fun to read good stuff from what should be neutral parties isn't P!


    Quote Originally Posted by psycho9985
    One of the best reads in a long time thanks Wraith.

  7. #7
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is offline Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    29 Palms, Ca.
    Age
    55
    Posts
    11,316
    Rep Power
    127

    Re: The swagger is back with the St. Louis Rams

    I'm looking forward to seeing that swagger continue into the regular season. I agree with Martz that it comes from confidence, and if it's percieved as arrogance, that's a good thing if it's backed up. We need to get back to the point where teams dread playing us and fear the scoring barrages that used to be our trademark. I want to see the unbridled spirit and in your face attitude that brought us the "bob and weave", the "GSOT", players streaking side by side down the field while laughing it up all the way to the end zone and of course those "bull crap plays" that Jim Haslett used to love so much.

  8. #8
    RamsFanSam's Avatar
    RamsFanSam is offline Pro Bowl Ram
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Springfield, Missouri, United States
    Age
    51
    Posts
    2,645
    Rep Power
    71

    Re: The swagger is back with the St. Louis Rams

    Man, I can't wait for the season to begin. If HALF of what I hear from camp reports is true, we will be kicking some serious butt this year....

    GO RAMS!!!:clanram:

  9. #9
    GameTime is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    St Louis
    Age
    35
    Posts
    217
    Rep Power
    11

    Re: The swagger is back with the St. Louis Rams

    Does anybody have a pill I can take that puts me to sleep until the start of the season? I can wait, but its killing me. Great article, thanks a bunch.

  10. #10
    RealRam's Avatar
    RealRam is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Mexico
    Posts
    8,319
    Rep Power
    68

    Re: The swagger is back with the St. Louis Rams

    If HALF of what I hear from camp reports is true, we will be kicking some serious butt this year... --RamsFanSam
    Let's do it!


    :angryram: I hope Claude Terrell does his part well in adding depth to the OL. He certainly has the size to play a tough G. What about Darnell Allford? Isn't he in?

  11. #11
    RamWraith's Avatar
    RamWraith is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Age
    44
    Posts
    8,230
    Rep Power
    61

    Re: The swagger is back with the St. Louis Rams

    Although I am VERY excited for the season to start I still think our right tackle postion will make or break this season. Barron better get his head out of his :moon: and get to camp soon!!

  12. #12
    Tony Soprano's Avatar
    Tony Soprano is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Jersey
    Age
    50
    Posts
    1,373
    Rep Power
    13

    Re: The swagger is back with the St. Louis Rams

    O-line is the problem... Straight from the article.

    Looks look our sure-fire First-round draft pick isn't going to help out at all.

    Didn't like the Barron pick then and don't like it now.

    Everyone else wrote that he would STEP RIGHT IN AND START FOR 10-12 years.

    That was the hype, this is the reality.

  13. #13
    psycho9985's Avatar
    psycho9985 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Visalia ca
    Age
    57
    Posts
    1,657
    Rep Power
    12

    Re: The swagger is back with the St. Louis Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith
    Although I am VERY excited for the season to start I still think our right tackle postion will make or break this season. Barron better get his head out of his :moon: and get to camp soon!!
    Its like Martz says"Missing any camp time will put light years behind"
    Last edited by psycho9985; -08-01-2005 at 10:47 PM.
    My heart beats crazy and my blood runs wild

  14. #14
    majorram's Avatar
    majorram is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    London surrey
    Age
    42
    Posts
    1,420
    Rep Power
    20

    Re: The swagger is back with the St. Louis Rams

    I just love this article.. but I agree the RT will make or break us this season!! for the O


    steve:clanram:

  15. #15
    Roy G. Biv's Avatar
    Roy G. Biv is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    The Modern Day Dead Ráibéad
    Age
    41
    Posts
    251
    Rep Power
    18

    Re: The swagger is back with the St. Louis Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Soprano
    O-line is the problem... Straight from the article.

    Looks look our sure-fire First-round draft pick isn't going to help out at all.

    Didn't like the Barron pick then and don't like it now.

    Everyone else wrote that he would STEP RIGHT IN AND START FOR 10-12 years.

    That was the hype, this is the reality.
    Great plan..the kid misses a few days so let's right off his whole career. :drunk: He'll get to camp and he'll be behind. No question there. He will spend most of camp completely lost. Very little question there. He won't be the starting RT in Week 1. Not much question there either. He won't have a productive career. Whooooooa, hold the phone. Let's give him a chance to actually see the field before we put him out to pasture, shall we? He's the most physically talented OL in the rookie crop. If he can gain a little maturity, he will be more than serviceable on our line.

    Maybe we shouldn't pull the plug, just yet.
    "I'm not going to hide my opinions. They're coming to you between 7000-4000 Angstroms for all the world to see. Oh yes, you will be enlightened."

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

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
  •