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Thread: Total Collapse

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    Total Collapse

    I am a new member of this site but long time Ram fan. From what I have read so far, the major emphasis about this year's collapse has focused on Linehan and the offense. But I believe that the defense and special teams were equally dismal. Special team coverage put the defense in terrible position all year long. The defense under Haslett has always been high risk and this year could not stop teams from long sustained drives. As a result, even though the offense was bad and couldn't provide long rest periods for the defense, the defense was exhausted before halftime. And it showed in the second half performances.

    It seems to me that defense under Lovey Smith was good. He was able to utilize players like Archuleta who had limited skills. Lovey had a simple base defense that was fundamentally sound and easy for the players to learn and buy into. From that base he could do a little gambling and work in a few wrinkles for each game. I'm not sure what Haslett is doing but it seems he is trying to build exotic schemes on shifting sand.

    As far as special teams is concerned I am more inclined to blame the personnel on the field. Our coverages are terrible and our returns seem uninspired except for the game Stanley had against the Steelers. I think special teams is more an attitude than any other facet of the game and our attitude showed on the field. With Stanley, Hall and Hagans I think we have potential for good returns. Now we just need some guys willing to stay in their lanes and stick their noses in the action.

    Based on what you all have been saying this may sound like heresay but I'm willing to give Linehan another year but I wouldn't mind seeing changes with the DC and the special teamers getting a make over.


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    Re: Total Collapse

    good first post!!

    Thanks!

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    Re: Total Collapse

    Good points. With regards to Haslett and defense, I think the biggest problem was that we couldn't even get close to the quarterback without rushing at least six. Before we ever started the season, I was concerned that we were going in with so little depth at defensive end. Last year, Little was the only guy who could pressure the quarterback, and without him we had nothing. This year, Will Witherspoon was probably our most consistent pass rusher, and he is a middle linebacker who was never really known for his pass rushing skills before.

    I have to admit, though, the inability to sustain for four quarters is more worrisome. If the only problem was a lack of pass rush, drafting a top defensive end could make a huge difference, but those fourth quarter collapses were on everybody's heads. Whether it was a matter of conditioning or morale or discipline, those are all fundamental things a team (or a defensive unit) should have.

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    Re: Total Collapse

    I'll second that. Good post Chris58.

    You're right on about the focus from the large percentage of the fans in here. Most of the blame has been focused on Linehan, yet Haslett has gotten a free pass from many. I don't understand what Haslett's trying to do either. His defense goes from extremely aggressive to extremely passive from one possession to the next. Yet the loses are pinned on Linehan, despite the fact that he was operating with a TOTALLY make-shift O-line. What is Haslett's excuse? While I agree the HC has to take his share of the blame, I also think that there's plenty of blame to be thrown towards Haslett's group. Heck, some are suggesting he take over as HC! No thanks.

    ...and special teams? It doesn't seem to matter who we get personnel wise, or who coaches them, the Rams ST play is consistently inconsistent. Perhaps it's just attitude?

    As far as Haslett's future with the Rams, I'd give him the same slack I'm willing to give Linehan. One more year to produce a top 10 defense, or he's gone.
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

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    Re: Total Collapse

    I'm like you both in that I'm not sure how the Rams dig out of this funk. A great draft, a changed mindset by coaches and players, personnel changes, etc,....? But while we are die-hard fans, it's the players who prosper or suffer by their play. I hope the Rams have the character to rout out the losing mentality that is developing.

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    Re: Total Collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris58 View Post
    I'm like you both in that I'm not sure how the Rams dig out of this funk. A great draft, a changed mindset by coaches and players, personnel changes, etc,....?
    Having a healthy squad and fielding front line talent on the OL should go a long way.

    By the way, welcome Chris.

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    Re: Total Collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Having a healthy squad and fielding front line talent on the OL should go a long way.

    By the way, welcome Chris.
    Thanks, and I hope your right because come next fall I'll be living and dying with each snap.

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    Re: Total Collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMFANRAIDERHATER View Post
    As far as Haslett's future with the Rams, I'd give him the same slack I'm willing to give Linehan. One more year to produce a top 10 defense, or he's gone.
    I'll admit that I've been one to give Haslett somewhat of a free pass, but here are my reasons.
    1. Linehan's the head coach, he's responsible for the whole team, so defense is supposedly his problem too.
    2. If the offense could sustain drives the defense wouldn't be so tired by the second quarter.
    3. And this one is directed to RAIDERHATER, we don't have the personnel for a top 10 defense, and we need one either! With the skill players we have on offense, we really only need a top 15 defense to compete for a Super Bowl. That is, as long as the offense is performing how it should be. If it's not, then yes, we need a top 10 D to be able to compete, but look at the top 10 defenses for this year. We're a pro-bowl kind of player away on the line(DE), in the backers(Pisa's close) and in the secondary(namely SS, in my opinion) from being top 10.

    Now, are the schemes the best? No. But we can't run a cover two defense like Lovie did, because we don't have the front four to pull it off. When we're fully healthy, we could maybe... maybe... run it. However, the issue is that in a cover two, you need a front four who can pressure the QB all by itself, which I think we're a top notch DE away from. I say that because, while I love Little, I think he needs a threat from the other side now, just like Freeney needs Robert Mathis across from him.

    Haslett's defense is at times very good, but our secondary is generally unexperienced and not of top 10 quality and so they end up giving up big plays, like the Green Bay game. At other times, the schemes just suck, but Haslett isn't exactly a defensive genius either.

    To sum it all up, I blame Linehan most as his side of the ball is the worst problem, as it does not produce and it has all the talent, while Haslett's side is just about where they should be given the talent level.
    Last edited by TekeRam; -01-03-2008 at 12:11 AM.

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    Re: Total Collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMFANRAIDERHATER View Post
    Most of the blame has been focused on Linehan, yet Haslett has gotten a free pass from many. I don't understand what Haslett's trying to do either. His defense goes from extremely aggressive to extremely passive from one possession to the next. Yet the loses are pinned on Linehan, despite the fact that he was operating with a TOTALLY make-shift O-line. What is Haslett's excuse? While I agree the HC has to take his share of the blame, I also think that there's plenty of blame to be thrown towards Haslett's group. Heck, some are suggesting he take over as HC! No thanks.
    I have to agree with you on this whole thing. Linehan is a terrible coach, but that shouldn't excuse Haslett for the failures of the defense. I think the injuries have been a weak reason for some to give Linehan a mulligan, but to try to use it to excuse Haslett is just incredibly weak. His scheming hasn't really been scheming at all. I hate when we are blitzing and having great success, then go to a scheme where we're only rushing 3 and we allow the only teams huge chunks of yardage and pts. I have some news for Mr. Haslett- if four guys can't get to the QB, then 3 are only going to be worse. And even though everyone wants to say that it's because the defense is tired (the Steelers D- ranked #1- has only been on the field for 3 minutes less a game)- I think it's because our defense can't make adjustments in the second half. Much like the offense, this defense doesn't seem to have any identity. They're just sort of there.
    Last edited by moloch41; -01-03-2008 at 10:18 AM.

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    Re: Total Collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    I'll admit that I've been one to give Haslett somewhat of a free pass, but here are my reasons.
    1. Linehan's the head coach, he's responsible for the whole team, so defense is supposedly his problem too.
    2. If the offense could sustain drives the defense wouldn't be so tired by the second quarter.
    3. And this one is directed to RAIDERHATER, we don't have the personnel for a top 10 defense, and we need one either! With the skill players we have on offense, we really only need a top 15 defense to compete for a Super Bowl. That is, as long as the offense is performing how it should be. If it's not, then yes, we need a top 10 D to be able to compete, but look at the top 10 defenses for this year. We're a pro-bowl kind of player away on the line(DE), in the backers(Pisa's close) and in the secondary(namely SS, in my opinion) from being top 10.

    Now, are the schemes the best? No. But we can't run a cover two defense like Lovie did, because we don't have the front four to pull it off. When we're fully healthy, we could maybe... maybe... run it. However, the issue is that in a cover two, you need a front four who can pressure the QB all by itself, which I think we're a top notch DE away from. I say that because, while I love Little, I think he needs a threat from the other side now, just like Freeney needs Robert Mathis across from him.

    Haslett's defense is at times very good, but our secondary is generally unexperienced and not of top 10 quality and so they end up giving up big plays, like the Green Bay game. At other times, the schemes just suck, but Haslett isn't exactly a defensive genius either.

    To sum it all up, I blame Linehan most as his side of the ball is the worst problem, as it does not produce and it has all the talent, while Haslett's side is just about where they should be given the talent level.
    I'll be happy with a top 15 defense next year. Because if the Rams ARE healthy, there's no reason the offense can't be top 10. The Rams DO NOT have an abundance of talent on offense, as you suggest though. And I think that's where many Ram fans look through blue and gold colored glasses. Granted, Holt is above average, as is Jackson and Bulger. However, that's it. Bruce (today) Bennett and our slew of TE's are mediocre. ...but the biggest reason we didn't "produce" was because our starting O-line is average at best, and they were all on the sidelines.

    Let's see what Haslett/Linehan do in the off-season. Another good pass-rushing DE, a hard-hitting SS and some depth should get us back on track defensively. ..at least get us off the mat.
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

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