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    TheGuest62's Avatar
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    Why did our DTs fail so badly?

    Dating back to the 2001 Draft the St Louis Rams have invested a great deal of time and money into the Defensive Tackle position. Spending Three 1st round Draft picks on DTs.

    - Damione Lewis; 1st round pick, #12 overall. (2001)

    - Ryan Pickett; 1st round pick, #29 overall. (2001)

    - Jimmy Kennedy; 1st round pick, #12 overall. (2003)

    All 3 are no longer on the team, and were deemed failures in their time with the Rams.

    My question is why? Why, and how did we miss so badly not once, or twice but with Three highly selected players. Who's to blame? the Scouts who scouted and watched film on these players? the coaches? did the Martz regime fail to give these kids any proper coaching to help their develpment? Or is it mostly the players fault, maybe when they got their hands on an NFL paycheck they decided to kick back and put it in cruise control?

    Thoughts on this?


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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Why did our DTs fail so badly?

    I think when you have three first round defensive tackle prospects and you fail to get any of them to live up to their draft status, then a certain amount of attention should be given to the coaching they received from Bill Kollar.
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    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Why did our DTs fail so badly?

    They're not all in the same category:

    Damione Lewis - foot injury resulted in slow start. Never fit in with Kollar. Not as good as he seemed in college.

    Ryan Pickett - not a bust at all. Should have re-signed him.

    Jimmy Kennedy - a bust. All the talent, none of the attitude.

  4. #4
    z.nrd Guest

    Re: Why did our DTs fail so badly?

    I have thoughts.

    1. The Rams under Martz allowed defensive coaches a lot of input into who they drafted. But. Coaches aren't always good at personnel. I know that Lovie influenced disastrous pick after disastrous pick in St. Louis---whereas in Chicago, the GM makes the picks. Martz just went along with Lovie.

    Might as well ask why the Rams picked so many poor LBs, too. Polley, Allen, Thomas. Finally, a score with Tinoisamoa.

    They were just bad at drafting defense IN GENERAL. I mean, think about it. 4 day one LBs in 3 drafts, and they can only come up with one guy out of all those picks? That's a 1st, 2 2nds, and a 3rd.

    Lovie was behind a lot of those picks, and he was awful at personnel. Same with the DTs.

    2. Coaching. A lot of people don't realize this but Lovie was lousy at coaching fundamentals. His 2001 defense was stocked with guys coached up in the basics by others. Once he replaced older guys with younger guys coached up under his regime, the defense slid each year. Same thing continued with Marmie. Why is Chicago's defense better when it comes to fundamental's and discipline? Because Lovie is one of those guys who, strangely, makes a better head coach than coordinator. In Chicago, he is the leader...and the coordinator handles the basic coaching. When he was a coordinator, his players loved him and played hard for him, cause he was a natural leader, but were infamous for things like sloppy tackling, taking bad angles, and generally being undisciplined.

    3. It's the position. DT is an important position, obviously, and it gets inflated on draft day. But most DTs don't make it. A lot of this is obvious---guys who could dominate in college without proper conditioning or technique suddenly find in the pros that they have to work hard if they expect to compete. Since many never had to work hard before, some just don't take to it.

    Interesting that many of the grunts did better at DT under Martz than the high picks, but that probably has something to do with a low round pick sticking around because he wants to work and a high pick just never learning to work. So, Young and Zgonina did better than Lewis and Kennedy. Going beyond Martz, to previous regimes, compare Farr to Kennedy. Night and day. UDFA makes good...high first round pick stands up at the snap even as a 4th year pro.

    And of course the position is just hard to draft and the Rams have been bad at it for DECADES.
    Gilbert was a Kennedy who used to want to play. Then there's Boutte and a long inglorious list of others.

    Yet they came up with the Farr/Agnew combo, who were integral to the 99 defense and its success.

    4. High expectations. Pickett is actually a decent DT. But more is expected from him, so he seems like a bust to some. Kennedy was a bust because he never bothered to learn how to work (particularly on technique). The same may be true of Lewis, I dunno....except I don't think Lewis was ever the talent he was made out to be...for one thing, his arms are short for the position. That can be fatal, depending. But Pickett does okay. Yet he is regularly lumped in with the others as a bust.
    Last edited by z.nrd; -06-11-2007 at 04:10 PM.

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    Re: Why did our DTs fail so badly?

    Short arms...Hmmmm.

    That explains the crotch shot.


    ...Honest, coach, I was aiming for his face!
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    Re: Why did our DTs fail so badly?

    I think Kennedy bristled under Kollar as well. Then when Kollar left, he was asked to play a position where he was asked not to try to make plays by himself. By that point, he knew the pressure was on, so he couldn't resist trying to do something to stand out. Only he just wound up getting out of position and gave up big plays rather than making them.

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    Re: Why did our DTs fail so badly?

    I agree calling Pickett a flat out bust is a bit too harsh, he was probably the best of the 3 (although that's not saying much) However he didn't really find success until after his departure, and really he never established himself here or he wouldn't have been shipped off.

    and I agree the nature of the DT position makes it a big risk to pick early...Are you getting a Kevin Williams, John Henderson, Tommie Harris? or are you getting a Ryan Sims, Johnathan Sullivan, William Joseph, Travis Johnson??...etc

  8. #8
    z.nrd Guest

    Re: Why did our DTs fail so badly?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGuest62 View Post
    I agree calling Pickett a flat out bust is a bit too harsh, he was probably the best of the 3 (although that's not saying much) However he didn't really find success until after his departure, and really he never established himself here or he wouldn't have been shipped off.
    Pickett was as good with the Rams (last couple of years) as he was in Green Bay.

    He got shipped off anyway.

    Truth is, though, he didn't get shipped off. He chose GB over the Rams.

    Though, from what I saw, it looks to me like the Rams weren't very interested in re-signing him.

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    Re: Why did our DTs fail so badly?

    man I wonder what the Horseman think of our Line in recent years

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    Re: Why did our DTs fail so badly?

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Ryan Pickett - not a bust at all. Should have re-signed him.
    What r u talking about? Our running defense was just as bad with him on it.

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    Re: Why did our DTs fail so badly?

    3. It's the position. DT is an important position, obviously, and it gets inflated on draft day. But most DTs don't make it. A lot of this is obvious---guys who could dominate in college without proper conditioning or technique suddenly find in the pros that they have to work hard if they expect to compete. Since many never had to work hard before, some just don't take to it.

    Bingo This statement is so true. There are so many big bodied men in college who can dominate at that level but when the speed of the NFL hits them & they have a full 16 game schedule in front of them they just can't compete.

  12. #12
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    Re: Why did our DTs fail so badly?

    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyPace View Post
    What r u talking about? Our running defense was just as bad with him on it.
    Just as with Kennedy today, the blame for the run defense of yesterday can not rest solely on the shoulders of Pickett.......or any one man, for that matter. But beyond that.....

    run defense

    2003 - 1980 run yards, 4.81 ypc, 9 TDs
    2004 - 2179 run yards, 4.54 ypc, 13 TDs
    2005 - 2178 run yards, 4.75 ypc, 22 TDs
    2006 - 2327 run yards, 4.88 ypc, 21 TDs

    The 2006 Rams run defense was the worst since Carter left office.
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    Re: Why did our DTs fail so badly?

    A lot of people don't realize this but Lovie was lousy at coaching fundamentals.
    I hate to ask, but how can you says this? I'm one of those that did not know lovie can't teach fundamentals.

    Did you read that somewhere?

  14. #14
    z.nrd Guest

    Re: Why did our DTs fail so badly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    I hate to ask, but how can you says this? I'm one of those that did not know lovie can't teach fundamentals.

    Did you read that somewhere?
    It was just visible in their play. 2001 Lovie had a lot of other-guy-coached vets (including some Rams-bred first-time starters) so it wasn't as visible. After those guys tended to thin out, the fundamentals visibly declined. I saw it at the time. Marmie was the same so Haslett has a lot of work to do.

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    Re: Why did our DTs fail so badly?

    I guess its good that Lovie decided to start coaching fundamentals in Chicago... or was that Ron Rivera... oh, wait, he's gone now, so I guess their defense will be bad this year... or is that because of a change of personnel... and how do we explain a Lovie-coached Rams D going to the Super Bowl in 2001... or was that because of the old guard... but wasn't Tommy Polley huge against Green Bay in the playoffs... and didn't Jeremetrius Butler play well under Lovie... maybe its just D linemen... but....

    Ugh! I'm getting a headache.

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