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  1. #1
    RamsInfiniti's Avatar
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    And when the smoke finally settles ....

    What are we going to see from this Ram's team?

    I guess this is a pre-camp prognosis of some sort. I typically try to look at the season each year, and I usually come up with a semi-inflated, overhyped outlook of the Rams. This is simply because I love the Rams. You always make things you love out to be better than they actually are ...

    Well, with this new, and improved, version of the Rams, I don't feel like I can make an accurate assessment. Honestly, I think this team can end up with anywhere from 4 to 10 wins. And there are a variety of reasons I believe this ...

    First, I've indicated time and time again that I am a firm supported of the theory that there is not much gap in talent from team to team across the NFL. When we talk about talent, we talk about the physical and mental ability of players to be successful and make plays. Just because a player has talent does not mean he will be successful in the NFL, it simply means he has a shot. There is a reason there is an NFL combine each year. It is to see which players can physically, and to some extent mentally, cut it in the NFL. From team to team, across the board, the talent is pretty similar ...

    What distinguishes how the talent translates on the field? Well, in the short term you have to look at experience, morale, the "system", the coaches. In the long term, you have to look at how well such players adapt to change, how versatile they are, whether they can stay healthy, whether they are content with where they are, who they are, and who they might be ...

    So what are the major problems with the Rams of 2009? Simply lack of inexperience from my point of view, at least at most positions. Lack of morale at others ...

    Look at what we have. A new upbeat coaching staff with a vision of a modern WCO and physical defense. A QB that is smart and accurate, a protypical freak of a RB, quick, agile fresh WR's, an established TE, a strong young offensive and defensive line, hungry young linebackers, world class speed and nice size in the secondary ...

    So what's the problem? A QB lacking morale after the beating he has taken, injuries to that chisled freak of a running back, questionable depth behind him, WR's with little or no experience, no proven depth at TE, an offensive line that will be learning one another, undersized defensive line that will have to learn to be creative to take advantage of opportunities, only one proven linebacker, and defensives back that have tons of talent but all seem to be missing "it" with the exception of Bartell and Atogwe (wait to see on Butler) ...

    So, what does this mean? The talent is there, no doubt in my mind. So what does this coaching staff have to do? It's three-fold in my opinion ...

    1. Make the players forget - Make them forget they are losers, start them off on a level playing field. Get them out of the stone age on offense and bring them into the real world with a sophisicated and calculated WCO offense. Let's the players on defense forget about having to be perfect. Let them not worry about having to make mistakes, let them know that each mistake is not their last. Let both sides of the ball know they don't have to win the game alone. Forget the past three years, let's start a new era, with a new team, with a new leader ....

    2. Make the players comfortable - Play to everyone's strengths. Let Bulger throw the intermediate routes that made him a star. Let Darby get in there for Jackson if a critical block must be made. Throw to those same receivers that drop a ball or two. Play to the strengths of the defensive line, move those guys around. Tell Jason Smith it's his turn at Left Tackle, and don't say "Let's see what you got", let's tell him "Go whip some ass". Let James L. become the leader of the defensive and rack up 150 tackles. Let those defensive backs run all over the field, and bump and run, and push, and squeeze. If Josh Brown wants to kick it from 60, let him. Put your teammate on the head when he screws up, get in his face when he isn't giving it his all ...

    3. Make the players BELIEVE - Let Jackson stay in there and make that crucial block even when you think he might not be able to. Let Bulger throw that deep ball, even though he missed two similar ones earlier. Ride Donnie Avery through the air when they stack the line on Jackson and expect to succeed. Blitz recklessly off the edge because you know James L. or Will is going to drop into coverage and bat that ball down. Let it all hang out on both sides of the ball, because they know the other side will pick up the slack. Forget being ONE and be ALL. When it's all on the line, know that it won't matter WHO is making the play, because SOMEBODY will ALWAYS make the play ...

    Whew, what a rant, but it is that simple to me. I think this team has endless potential. I think we have a smart coaching staff, and a renewed attitude, that will lead this team to great places. Will that be this year? I hope so, but unlikely. But two or three years down the road, don't worry, everybody will be talking about the Rams again, and it will be great to leave the EJD feeling as if your ears are bleeding from all the noise ...

    I know my trips back to Alabama will feel alot better wondering when I'll get that hearing back :-)


  2. #2
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is online now Superbowl MVP
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    Re: And when the smoke finally settles ....

    Nice read RamsInfiniti. Like you, I think it's hard to read how this unit will perform with all the unanswered questions, but I really do think there will be a marked improvement from the last few years. I'm already encouraged by the fact that it looks like everybody will be in camp on time, and HEALTHY.

  3. #3
    Guam rammer's Avatar
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    Re: And when the smoke finally settles ....

    when it settles I'm hoping that Spags has a system that the players really bite into and bring their hearts with them during training camp and game day. I just want to see a competitive product that fights for everything they get.....no gimmies. Just plain hard, old fashioned, rock solid football. RAAAMS BAABY!!!

  4. #4
    mikhal5569's Avatar
    mikhal5569 is offline Registered User
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    Re: And when the smoke finally settles ....

    I like your attitude Ramsinfinti. The players definitely need to get out there and start enjoying the game of football again. Let the sport feel natural and fun without all the stress and drama lingering over their heads. It just seems like there has been a cloud over this team for too long now. From the death of Georgia, to the constant coaching changes, to the pending sale of the team, etc. Know one performs well when it feels like every mistake you make could be your last.

    The 2010 Rams have to find a way to create a new identity for themselves. This team is not GSOT anymore. That once glorious title has almost become a burden to these new young players and coaching staff. Almost like an old champion prize fighter trying to recapture the glory of his past. Hopefully, the coaching staff realizes that this team is not a legitimate playoff contender just yet, and focus more on letting these young players grow into their roles while pushing them to develop properly and be aggressive.

    With the combination of a much improved coaching staff and a proven football philosophy already installed, I too share your enthusiasm for the upcoming season. Let's just hope that in the professional world of football where the "must win now" mindset reigns. That Rams organization continues to build these team with the future in mind.

    As for this year, I say we win seven games.

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