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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
    RamWraith is offline Registered User
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    Vitt sends a message, but will the players bother to listen?

    BY JEFF GORDON
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    12/05/2005


    The Rams' woes are not complicated. Their problems are not difficult to explain.

    Here goes: They don’t block or tackle well.

    You would expect an NFL team, loaded with millionaire players, would be pretty good at the football fundamentals. But the Rams aren’t. They couldn’t block the Redskins on Sunday and they couldn’t tackle them, either.

    Rams running back Steven Jackson kept slamming into a Redskins wall. Rams quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick did his best to scramble away from the Washington rush, but he took a pounding.

    On the flip side, Redskins running backs Clinton Portis and Rock Cartwright broke off a series of long runs en route to 100-yard games.

    Hence, the runaway loss.

    Interim coach Joe Vitt could not mask his exasperation while breaking down the loss for reporters Monday afternoon at Rams Park. When pressed about the lack of a running game, Vitt cited the team’s inability to block and lamented the pressure that put on Fitzpatrick.

    “Our running game? The numbers don’t lie,” Vitt said. “We have five linemen that have to block four down linemen. The tight end and the back have to be responsible for two or three linebackers. We have to get a hat on a hat, we have to sustain blocks, we have to create running lanes and take it from there. They are allowed to put an extra guy in the paint. They are allowed to do that. It’s up to us to have a number count, check with me, get out of the play, or make sure we run away from it.

    “It’s not universally new to do that. We have GOT to run the ball better. We have to balance our attack. We have to play a special way right now because of the personnel we have, or we’re not going to have a chance. We can’t go into a football game asking Fitz to throw the ball 50 times a game and let him win it for us. Can’t do it. Have to run the football.”

    Yeah, but couldn’t the Rams have tried a few more running plays . . .

    “Did you watch the game yesterday?” Vitt said. “Your eyes didn’t lie to you. Your eyes didn’t lie.”

    The Rams’ inability to tackle was equally vexing.

    “They are breaking plays, they’re breaking runs that we’ve stopped and we’ve defended three or four of the same runs, out of the same three or four defenses, all of a sudden we have a breakdown and there is a long run,” Vitt said.

    Now Vitt was starting to really get worked up.

    “You have to understand the nature of the defense,” he said. “The defensive line has gap responsibilities. Linebackers play behind the line. If the back gets past the line, then the linebackers make the tackle. If the back gets past the linebackers, then we have a position called safety. It’s got to go past three people to get to the goal line. All of a sudden, if it gets past the second level, we’re seeing 40, 50, 60-yard runs. We’re allowed to play with 11 people, too. We have to tackle.”

    OK, we’re starting to get the idea . . .

    “If you’re a defensive player, you start to play defensive football because you like contact,” Vitt said. “You like to tackle, It’s the staple of our sport on defense. If you can’t tackle, you’ve got to go find another profession, you really do.

    “We work on it every day in practice. With the preseason games, we’re into game Week 16 now. We’re missing tackles, we’re face up on somebody. We’re looking them right in the eye. They’re either running over us or running around us. If you can’t tackle, you can’t play. The next guy has to come on.”

    Vitt sounded weary of the criticism his defensive coaches take in the various public forums.

    “All of a sudden, geesh, that’s a bad call by Larry Marmie,” Vitt said. ‘Oh, geesh, that’s a bad technique by coach (Kurt) Schottenheimer.

    “Make the play! Make the tackle! Are you going to back up for your paycheck today? What are you going to do? You get paid to do a job, go do the job!”

    “Make the tackle! We’re not splitting the atom in this business. We’re not finding the cure for cancer. The guy with the ball, we want to tackle. When you get two hands on him, bring him to the ground. Don’t let him run through you, don’t let him run around you, bring him to the ground.”

    The Rams' woes couldn’t be any more obvious. Vitt’s message couldn’t be any clearer. But at this point of the season, you wonder if the Rams even bother to listen.


  2. #2
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is offline Moderator Emeritus
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    Re: Vitt sends a message, but will the players bother to listen?

    Here's a diagram of the Rams right now:

    THE PLAYERS ----[A REALLY BIG GAP]---- THE COACHES

  3. #3
    RamJackson39 Guest

    Re: Vitt sends a message, but will the players bother to listen?

    I love Vitt. He deserves all of the praise that you can heap upon him for what he has done. Right now, there is NO ONE that could do a better job than what he has done.

  4. #4
    tanus is offline Registered User
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    Re: Vitt sends a message, but will the players bother to listen?

    Quote Originally Posted by RamJackson39
    I love Vitt. He deserves all of the praise that you can heap upon him for what he has done. Right now, there is NO ONE that could do a better job than what he has done.
    lmao

    LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

  5. #5
    tim Guest

    Re: Vitt sends a message, but will the players bother to listen?

    Quote Originally Posted by RamJackson39
    I love Vitt. He deserves all of the praise that you can heap upon him for what he has done. Right now, there is NO ONE that could do a better job than what he has done.
    what exactly has he done besides have entertaining press conferences? are you saying i should heap praise on Vitt for sitting in front of a mic and stating the obvious?

  6. #6
    RamJackson39 Guest

    Re: Vitt sends a message, but will the players bother to listen?

    what exactly has he done besides have entertaining press conferences? are you saying i should heap praise on Vitt for sitting in front of a mic and stating the obvious?
    Simple. Although I would never have him as a head coach, he has done all that can be done with the following.

    A team of guys that are not his players.

    A defense that couldnt stop the Texans from moving the football.

    An offense that quickly lost three of its best players.

    An O-Line that cant block anyone.

    A FO that is battling within itself.

    The attitude that he has faced the season with has impressed me. Each week he has said, "We are going to go out there and play football." Despite everything that is going on around him. I respect him for this.

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