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    Richbert88's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Who Knows What to Make of the Rams - ProFootballWeekly

    Quite the puzzle

    Who knows what to make of the Rams?
    By Dan Arkush (
    July 25, 2006

    “Mad Mike” has moved on to the Motor City.

    Marshall is going under the knife — again — and has quite possibly split the scene for good.

    Practically the entire defense, including the coordinator, will be different.

    Say hello to the St. Louis Rams, circa 2006, a team that has experienced as much change as any team in the NFL and, as a result, has become, in this longtime gridiron chronicler’s opinion, perhaps the most difficult team in the league to get a handle on with its training camp less than 24 hours away from opening for business.

    There’s a part of me that thinks the Rams could be a legitimate sleeper, especially taking into account the fact that the NFC West remains arguably the league’s weakest division.

    I also have been extremely impressed so far with their energetic new head coach, Scott Linehan, who my sources tell me has pretty much been working 24/7 since taking on his new gig.

    Furthermore, I firmly believe that Steven Jackson, their extremely talented third-year running back, could be ready to explode on the NFL scene in a major way. Perhaps not to the extent the aforementioned Marshall (i.e., future Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk) did after being obtained from the Colts on April 15, 1999, in one of the most lopsided trades in league annals, but enough to warrant Pro Bowl consideration at league’s end, provided he remains in one piece.

    But, oh, that defense!

    It seems like Rams Nation has been down the same road more than a few times, entering a season with a potentially potent offense (10 of the 11 starters are returning from a unit that ranked ninth in total yards in ’05) and an undeniably suspect defense (only two ’05 starters — DE Leonard Little and WLB Pisa Tinoisamoa — appear to be locked in on a unit that ranked 30th in total yards allowed).

    But what you see is what you’ve got, for better or worse.

    As I’ve already mentioned, we’ll all be seeing a dramatically different defense, with new faces galore.

    It remains to be seen whether the likes of free-agent additions Will Witherspoon, La’Roi Glover, Corey Chavous, Fakhir Brown, Raonall Smith and Jason Fisk and rookies Tye Hill, Claude Wroten, Jon Alston, Victor Adeyanju and Tim McGarigle (talk about what seems like a cast of thousands!) can improve a unit that most of the time last year was softer than a baby’s behind.

    But with tough-minded Jim Haslett running the unit, I guarantee you that softness will be a thing of the past five seconds after camp opens tomorrow.

    It’s common knowledge in league circles that Linehan sold Haslett on becoming his coordinator with the understanding that a successful stint would immediately enable the former Saints head coach to get his foot in the door for further head-coach consideration elsewhere in relatively short order.

    Something tells me Haslett intends to assemble a unit that is going to kick some butt and take no prisoners. But I, as well as many of my other cohorts around the league, wonder if the guys he has to work with are big and strong enough to accomplish that feat, especially against the run.

    Put simply, the Rams still look really undersized on defense, and that could be a problem.

    One thing that will help right away is if they can sign Hill, a very impressive-looking player, as soon as possible. The last thing the Rams need is another No. 1 pick whose progress is impeded (DT Jimmy Kennedy in 2003; OT Alex Barron last year) by an ill-timed contract holdout.

    In any event, this is a team that will be very interesting to watch. In PFW’s Preview 2006 magazine, we have the Rams tabbed to finish third in their division with a 7-9 record.

    In my mind, third place at 8-8 is more likely, with an outside chance at finishing ahead of an improved Arizona to the tune of 9-7.

    The wheels start turning tomorrow.

  2. #2
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    Re: Who Knows What to Make of the Rams - ProFootballWeekly

    Well all those thing are a question butt we shall see want happens , I'm not quit sure about us being that undersized on D , Yes we could be bigger but I don't think we are that undersized that we wont compete and do well ...

  3. #3
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    Re: Who Knows What to Make of the Rams - ProFootballWeekly

    Haslett isnt stupid, he wouldnt be using an undersized defense to try and over power the opposition, he would use a scheme which uses the strength of the current defensive players. At the moment this seems to be the speed of the players, especially at linebacker.

  4. #4
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    Re: Who Knows What to Make of the Rams - ProFootballWeekly


    GO RAMS !!!



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