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    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Tuesday Morning QB: Thinking insdie the box

    By Jim Thomas
    Tuesday, Dec. 19 2006

    Turns out Scott Linehan was exaggerating Sunday when he said the Rams' offense
    faced extra Oakland defenders in the box on all but one play.

    "Actually it was two," offensive coordinator Greg Olson said Monday. "After we
    watched film this morning, it was two times where they actually opened up the
    middle of the field."

    In passing situations, it meant more pressure in the form of blitzes. But
    mainly, the Raiders' defensive strategy was designed to stop Steven Jackson and
    the Rams' running game. But it didn't work. Even though he was running into
    what the coaches call "bad looks" or a "bad box" all day, Jackson churned out
    127 yards and two touchdowns on a career-high 31 carries.

    "It was not a great situation to run the football into," Olson said. "But
    Steven Jackson was running the ball well. We were controlling the line of
    scrimmage. So we just felt that if we don't screw it up here offensively, they
    can't generate enough offensively right now to come back and beat us. So we
    decided to stick to the run game."

    This approach marked a 180-degree change from the Nov. 19 debacle at Carolina.
    When faced with a stacked front against the Panthers, the Rams decided to ditch
    the run and pass the football. That played right into Carolina's hands. Jackson
    carried only seven times that day, and the Rams lost 15-0.

    In Oakland, Olson said the coaching staff decided at halftime to keep pounding
    away with Jackson. As the game wore on, several Rams players encouraged Olson
    to keep dialing up runs.

    "Stephen Davis, he thinks he's an assistant coach sometimes in the back of my
    ear," Olson said. "He said, 'Keep running (Jackson) until his tongue falls out.'

    "And Torry Holt said somewhere near the end of the third quarter: 'Put it on
    his shoulders. Let 39 win this thing for us.' "

    Upon further review

    After the Monday Night meltdown on kickoff coverage against Devin Hester and
    the Chicago Bears, the Rams bounced back against Oakland's Chris Carr. Carr
    entered the game ranked fifth in the NFL in kickoff returns, with a 26.1
    average, but averaged a modest 23 yards Sunday on five returns. It helped that
    the Rams loaded their kickoff coverage unit with linebackers: Jon Alston, Jamal
    Brooks, Raonall Smith, and Isaiah Kacyvenski. Maybe the dancing helped, too.
    Taking their cue from whatever music was on the McAfee Coliseum sound system
    during TV timeouts, the Rams moved to the beat before each Jeff Wilkins boot.

    "We were just getting excited to cover," Alston said. "We've got to make sure
    we go down there and do our jobs. But we were just having fun. That's what the
    game's about."

    Injury update

    CB Jerome Carter (ankle) is questionable after missing the past 2 games.

    RB Stephen Davis suffered a right-hand injury against Oakland and needed
    further testing to determine its exact nature.

    CB Tye Hill (thigh) missed a couple of plays with leg cramps Sunday but his
    thigh is doing better.

    OG Adam Timmerman (ribs) remains questionable.


    "We knew they weren't going to let (Marc Bulger) drop back too often on us or
    else we'd (crush) him. We knew they were going to lean on the big boy as much
    as possible." Raiders DT Warren Sapp, on RB Steven Jackson.

    The stat

    For the first time since 1993, the Rams have shutouts for and against, in the
    same season.

    Looking ahead

    Since the move to St. Louis, the Rams are 1-5 against Washington, including an
    0-4 mark in the building now known as the Edward Jones Dome

  2. #2
    RAMMAN68's Avatar
    RAMMAN68 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Tuesday Morning QB: Thinking insdie the box

    Well, the line did do a good job run blocking, but the pass protection still needs work. It will be interesting to see how they do against the Skins this week.

    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey


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