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    Upon further review, calls stung Rams

    By Bill Coats 10/08/2007 6:58 pm

    After watching the film of Sunday’s 34-31 loss to Arizona, Scott Linehan was even more sure Monday that the Rams came out on the short end of three crucial calls.

    >>The first was a fumble near the goal line by Cardinals back Edgerrin James, which was ruled a recovery by teammate Reggie Wells in the end zone and a touchdown. The Rams challenged, but the call stood.

    Rams cornerback Jonathan Wade was the first to get to the loose ball, and he fell on it. A second or two later, Wells plowed into Wade and ultimately came out with it.

    “What I saw was a Ram jump on the ball in the end zone and I saw an Arizona offensive player jump on the person that had the ball,” Linehan said Monday. “To me, that’s down by contact on the recovery.”

    When informed that referee Gerald Austin told a pool reporter after the game that Wade didn’t have control of the ball, Linehan shot back: “He had control of it until the guy jumped on him.”

    The touchdown made it 10-10.

    >>A delay-of-game penalty against the Rams at the end of the first half was perhaps a less dubious call, but questionable just the same. With 14 seconds left and the Cardinals out of timeouts, James was stopped just short of the goal line on a run up the middle.

    The Cards scrambled to get lined up, and according to Linehan the ball was spotted prematurely, before the Rams got back on their side of the line of scrimmage. Then Arizona center Al Johnson mishandled the ball, and it squirted away. It wound up in the end zone, and the clock ran out.

    But the officials determined that the Rams’ Ron Bartell kicked the ball intentionally, and Arizona was given one untimed play. Quarterback Kurt Warner dived into the end zone, and the Cardinals took a 17-13 lead to the locker room.

    “The ball got loose of the center, they kick it, there’s a St. Louis player . . . the ball is 5 yards across the line of scrimmage,” Linehan said. “I don’t know what you’re supposed to do. Are you supposed to stop and hand the ball to the official so they can set the ball? I don’t know what you’re supposed to do . . . the clock has run out by then. . . .

    “Judgment calls are part of the game. But when you’re scrambling to get a win . . . it’s kind of amazing to me that you’d have such a critical play go against you at your home field.”

    >>Finally, a pass-interference penalty on Rams wideout Torry Holt early in the fourth quarter after a screen pass to running back Brian Leonard picked up 8 yards to the Arizona 5 set the Rams back to the 24. The flag was thrown well after the play was over, and the Rams wound up with a field goal instead of a possible touchdown that would’ve tied it 27-27.

    “(Holt) runs a slant and positions himself, knowing that it can be a screen, to engage the defender after the reception,” Linehan said. “He gets engaged by their defender and stays in a position . . . he’s not blocking, he’s not actually using his hands on the defender clearly until after the completion’s made.”

    “Again, another judgment call on a very critical play, the difference between 3 and 7 in the fourth quarter. Same deal.”

    Still, Linehan pointed out that the Rams should’ve been able to avoid those situations. “You have to make your own breaks,” he said. “You can’t leave anything to chance.”

    All for now . . .

  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Upon further review, calls stung Rams

    It's bad enough we're taking on the opposition with several keys players out due to injury. Now we have to gameplan for the Zebras too!!!!

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