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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is online now Superbowl MVP
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    Veterans Need Not Apply At Rams Park

    Veterans need not apply at Rams Park

    Columnist Jeff Gordon
    09/23/2009


    The Derek Stanley Project was well into its third year at Rams Park, offering great promise but generally thin results.

    That ended abruptly Tuesday. First-year coach Steve Spagnuolo’s patience with the Division III speedster officially expired.

    The 0-2 Rams have gotten nothing from their return game. Their depth at wide receiver is underwhelming, too.

    So Stanley got clipped and former Texas Tech star Danny Amendola came aboard, arriving from the Eagles practice squad. During his days with the Red Raiders, he earned All-Big 12 honors as a return specialist and had a 103-catch season.

    Starting Sunday, Amendola, 23, will get an opportunity to earn the kickoff and punt return job here.

    Such is life in a rebuilding program. The Rams have lost 29 of their last 34 games, so change will remain constant and thorough until the losing stops and the winning begins.

    Stanley did nothing with his opportunity to return kicks. Samkon Gado and Kenneth Darby weren’t great on kickoff returns. Poor offensive field position has been just one more problem keeping the Rams down this season.

    Fans see these shortcomings and clamor for veteran additions. For instance, one persistent participant in the STLtoday.com chats practically begged the Rams to trade for Bills receiver/return specialist Roscoe Parrish.

    Others have campaigned for Marvin Harrison. (So far, anyway, your cyber-correspondent hasn’t heard from anybody backing yesteryear NFL quarterback Jeff George. But that could come.)

    Hiring stopgap veterans does not fit the M.O. that Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney are using to mill the lower half of the Rams roster. They are looking for young, hungry and talented players capable of adding new life and the ability to grow with the organization.

    Defensive tackle LaJuan Ramsey is a classic candidate. The newcomer didn’t play a whole lot at Washington, but blew up a couple of Redskins plays and got himself noticed on the game video.

    He recorded a tackle and an assist. In his previous 19 NFL games, he had 10 tackles and two assists. The Rams are offering Ramsey a chance to play his way off the fringe.

    If he keeps progressing, he will keep playing. If not . . .

    Meanwhile, young veteran Victor Adeyanju has been inactive for the first two games. He is battling to get back into the defensive line rotation -– and, realistically, to keep his spot on this team.

    Adeyanju has been a hard worker since coming to the Rams, but now he has to become a difference-maker -– or he will join the alumni club.

    Like we said, change is constant. Everybody currently employed at Rams Park must be dedicated to turning this football team around. Everybody still on board must find ways to make a difference.

    Those not making a difference may be contacting Jim Haslett and the UFL (see Tipsheet for details) to discuss employment opportunities with that fledgling outfit.

    The Rams played with more urgency at Washington. This performance did not resemble a beach party, as their “effort” at Seattle did. They cut down on their penalties and mental mistakes. They pushed back in the trenches and fought to the finish.

    Their 9-7 loss represented a step in the right direction. But it was just one step and the Rams have a long, long way to travel to regain their respectability.

    Expect more casualties along the way. Players not making a positive difference might have to make way for the next candidate.

    Spagnuolo and Devaney will keep looking for ways to improve this team. If they don’t like what they see on their game video, perhaps they will see something they like on the waiver wire or another team’s practice squad.

    As you read this, time is running out on other Rams players. For their sake, let’s hope they hear that clock ticking.


  2. #2
    AlphaRam is offline Registered User
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    Re: Veterans Need Not Apply At Rams Park

    If people would loan me money to buy the Rams, I can fix all of this.

  3. #3
    RamsFanSam's Avatar
    RamsFanSam is offline Pro Bowl Ram
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    Re: Veterans Need Not Apply At Rams Park

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaRam View Post
    If people would loan me money to buy the Rams, I can fix all of this.
    I think we should take up a collection so the Clan can buy the Rams.

    But, now that I think about it, Dez might want them to wear kilts on the field or something, and that could get really awkward for the center and QB...

  4. #4
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Veterans Need Not Apply At Rams Park

    WHo else is on the watch list? I think mcmichael has to be on it. Not sure on goldberg, we will see how he does as a replacement at starter. Also, he doesnt make a lot of money and i dont think he is on a long term deal.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  5. #5
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    Re: Veterans Need Not Apply At Rams Park

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    WHo else is on the watch list? I think mcmichael has to be on it. Not sure on goldberg, we will see how he does as a replacement at starter. Also, he doesnt make a lot of money and i dont think he is on a long term deal.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel

    I'd say darby should be on that list, I can't stand that guy as a player. He goes down if the wind blows too hard or from a referee giving him a nudge and I dont think he is NFL calibur at all. He should be the next to go.
    Just Fix It

  6. #6
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    Re: Veterans Need Not Apply At Rams Park

    Pretty much anyone who is 25 and over and doesn't play up to standards. I've gotta say i like the aggressive approach if your incompetent get out

  7. #7
    NJ Ramsfan1 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Veterans Need Not Apply At Rams Park

    I am all for sending the message that to stay on this team, you have to earn your keep. Billy Devaney and Steve Spagnuolo are absolutely doing the right thing in this regard. When you're a poor team and haven't won, EVERYONE is on the hook.

    I also agree with the youth movement over aging veterans with a couple of good years left. That said, that DOES NOT MEAN we shouldn't consider a guy like Roscoe Parrish if he became available and the price wasn't too steep.

    On another note, the Rams special teams coverage and return game have been terrible for years- and there's no excuse for it. For years,this used to be a relative area of strength, with guys like LeRoy Irvin and Henry Ellard returning punts, Ron Brown running back kickoffs for touchdowns and little known special teams wizards like Norwood Vann busting up wedges. What the hell happened?

  8. #8
    ramhard's Avatar
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    Re: Veterans Need Not Apply At Rams Park

    I agree with this approach, but makes me wonder about the draft. If impact was what was critical then I think the Rams should have drafted Curry then a RT/LT.. or taken Rey M. over JL. Now before everyone gets in a huff, I'm not downing JL, just that if you are consistent with the impact philosophy then you go with the players that were projected to have the highest upside.

  9. #9
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    Re: Veterans Need Not Apply At Rams Park

    Quote Originally Posted by ramhard View Post
    I agree with this approach, but makes me wonder about the draft. If impact was what was critical then I think the Rams should have drafted Curry then a RT/LT.. or taken Rey M. over JL. Now before everyone gets in a huff, I'm not downing JL, just that if you are consistent with the impact philosophy then you go with the players that were projected to have the highest upside.
    Are you arguing that Curry and Malquagulauquaguafoofalooagua have more upside than Jason Smith and J. Lau?

    Jason Smith will be a two-tool tackle, able to play both the left and right. He's athletic, strong, and nimble, and will ultimately prove to be one of the more versatile tackles in the league ...

    Malquagulauquaguafoofalooagua will never be a third down backer, he's far too concerned about making "impact" than making the play. J. Lau will always be the more complete linebacker, one that you could easily trust with the entire defense. I doubt Malquagulauquaguafoofalooagua ever projects as a true NFL MLB ....

    Hard to tell what Curry will become. Good athlete, nice intensity, but he's got to learn to play the NFL game at variable speeds, or he'll be a typical, over intense, over pursuing, tackle missing machine ....

    J. Lau is seemingly light years ahead of both in terms of understanding how the NFL game is played. I doubt either Seattle or Cincy would trust either linebacker with serious delegatory duty at this point. They may never be able to handle such. J. Lau already handles it with grace ...

  10. #10
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    Re: Veterans Need Not Apply At Rams Park

    Harrison on a 1 year deal would be SWEET! Man could we use a clutch reciever for 3rd and longs. It'd be like Ike part deux.

  11. #11
    AlphaRam is offline Registered User
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    Re: Veterans Need Not Apply At Rams Park

    Harrison? Maybe we should see if Jim Everett will come out of retirement?

  12. #12
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    Re: Veterans Need Not Apply At Rams Park

    Defensive tackle LaJuan Ramsey is a classic candidate. The newcomer didn’t play a whole lot at Washington, but blew up a couple of Redskins plays and got himself noticed on the game video.

    He recorded a tackle and an assist. In his previous 19 NFL games, he had 10 tackles and two assists. The Rams are offering Ramsey a chance to play his way off the fringe.
    Im liking the sound of Ramsey, he seemed to be getting a lot of push and was pressuring the QB well

  13. #13
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    Re: Veterans Need Not Apply At Rams Park

    Quote Originally Posted by ramhard View Post
    I agree with this approach, but makes me wonder about the draft. If impact was what was critical then I think the Rams should have drafted Curry then a RT/LT.. or taken Rey M. over JL. Now before everyone gets in a huff, I'm not downing JL, just that if you are consistent with the impact philosophy then you go with the players that were projected to have the highest upside.
    Highest upside? I dont think a guy who was considered unable to play all three downs has a higher upside than a guy who can be a complete MLB

    And you want impact? How long as it been since we have seen a Rams player in the top 5 in the league for tackles? Laurinaitis is currently 4th in the league with 22 tackles. Conversely, Maualaga has 12 and Curry has 8

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    Re: Veterans Need Not Apply At Rams Park

    I like the youth movement, trying to get young and "talented" players. But, that can only go so far. I bet we're not the only team scouting for young players that have a lot of talent. Once the supply starts to thin out, what can we do? We have to look at the players that have been here a while. I'm not saying go get guys that are over 30. I'm saying that if there's a players thats like 26-27 years old, and brings talent and big impact to our team, we should be all over them.


    What I'm trying to say: youth is good, but talent should be the main concern. All followed with Spag's four pillars of course....

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    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Veterans Need Not Apply At Rams Park

    Meanwhile, young veteran Victor Adeyanju has been inactive for the first two games. He is battling to get back into the defensive line rotation -– and, realistically, to keep his spot on this team.

    Adeyanju has been a hard worker since coming to the Rams, but now he has to become a difference-maker -– or he will join the alumni club.
    This one still has me scratching my head. It looked like he had a strong preseason and was set to climb the ladder this year.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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