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  1. #1
    RamsFan16's Avatar
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    Why the heck not us? Why the heck not this year?

    I've been watching Highlight videos, looking over our roster, look more into our transactions, reading around the web and what not. And we get looked past, we get down played, we get ZERO credit. During the season, and even towards the end, we had spurts where you thought, damn, if we could play this way all the time. We'd be a force. Look at Dallas, Washington, and a few games towards the end including Atlanta. Along the way we kept optimistic saying "We need a new head Coach, a Center, true Blocking Full back, someone to play over Klop and actually block. We need a stud Safety, and a stud LB."

    And we did, we actually got a Pro Bowl quality Center in Jason Brown, a Pro Bowl Fullback in Karney, a stud Safety who will do whatever he needs and is a damn good run stopper in James Butler, resigned Bartell and Atogwe assuring a young backfield with a load of potential. We brought in Steve Spagnuolo as HC and Ken Flajole as Defensive Coordinator, both who are VERY well respected around the league. The Giants always had the past few season under Spagnuolo, a dominate defense that we all wanted to be like, and Flajole even thought the Panthers defense didn't play up to par, made sure those Linebackers played the way they should. And even if you ask Panther fans, they'll say that the strongest part of the defense were the linebackers which is a Flajole coached crew. And with the tight end, we wanted a blocking one, and we got a straight up blocker, whose well known for it in Bill Bajema, and got a good young LB out of Ohio State in James Lauranitis. We moved Witherspoon back outside to his playmaking position, got Lauranitis and have a opening at the SLB position. Whoever wins it will be a decent player, Tinoisamoa, Draft and Culberson are quality players. We got what we wished for, why not us?

    The QB? Marc Bulger was a Pro Bowler, and now is in a slump. Is it mental? Probably, is it physically? Probably. Either way, I know I've been a hypricrate about this, but under this new offense where it's going to be much more Quarterback friendly, I fully expect him to return to his old form, and reports out of camp are that he's been looking like his old self. He's definitely got help this offseason with Jason Brown, Jason Smith, Billy Bajema (to block), Karney (to block) and Laurant Smith (a big deepfield target whose showed a lot of potential). In this offseason it's going to be power running which sets up the mid - deep range passes. Bulger excels in mid-range passes and has shown that he can get it deep. He also will have the chance to dump it off short to Jackson. I think we're fine here.

    The RB? We have Steven Jackson, a Pro Bowler, a guy whose had 4 straight 1,000 yard seasons, with a terrible Head Coach, bad offensive scheme and bad offensive line. Add in maulers Jason Brown, Jason Smith, Billy Bajema, and Mike Karney. And you then get a great young rookie who has the sky as the limit for potential, two younger Pro Bowl quality players, and a good blocker in Bajema. What the hell is there not to be excited about? You do realize he had over 2,000 yards two seasons ago with crap for blocking? And now you had 4 very good players to block for him... wow, we could be talking POTENTIALLY about a Pro Bowl season, Rushing champion, and quite possibly an MVP.. although it's a long shot, but not as long as some might think.

    The Receivers? Yeah, they're young. But that doesn't mean they can't play, even for an abysmal season, challenging offense and rookie season. Avery played very well I thought, I really think he can be another Roddy White type guy, he's got a lot of potential, and he's plenty fast with great quickness and good hands, and not bad at route running. He's a playmaker. Burton showed promise when he was healthy, he had a strong Training Camp, and very good Preseason, and then ended the season strong. He's young, but has a lot of potential. We added Laurant Robinson who is again, young with a bunch of potential. He showed a lot of promise in his rookie season with Atlanta, and then was set to be Receiver No. 2 last year before being hurt. He's going to be fun to watch, same goes to Stanley, he's not flashy, but makes plays. That's all we need. Is plays, and this group of receivers has all the potential in the world, and all the playmaking ability. Add McMichael to that mix, and wow, it's kind of scary what they could POTENTIALLY do.

    The offensive line? We need a Center, Right Tackle. We signed potential Pro Bowler Jason Brown, drafted All American Jason Smith, and Jacob Bell added on 25 or so pounds to get up to 300, where he should be. We made all the correct moves right here to have a Great offensive line. And the oldest guy starting next year is Jacob Bell, who is 28. He was damn good in Tennessee, but for some reason, his game dropped off last season. But whose didn't? It wasn't a fun atmosphere with that absurd coaching staff. Spagnuolo gets the best out of his players, I expect that from Bell. And if things don't work out, Greco showed a lot of promise last season, so we have options believe it or not. We've got the potential to be a pretty damn good line, we're not the biggest, but by god, we could be the toughest, nastiest one.

    The defensive line? Only weak spot on the defense. Chris Long will be in year two, and in his rookie season he showed the potential to be a very fine player in this league, but like all rookies, he hit a rookie wall. Spagnuolo excels in defensive line specialty. If he can get Long to do some of the things that Tuck did in New York? Wow... We have Little and Adeyanju at the other end, which, not great but a good rotation for us. We'll be fine at the ends. On the interior? Carriker hasn't lived up to expectations, and has been hurt. He's never going to be a great player, but he can be a good player, and showed that during his rookie season when he made flashes. He's a question mark, but ATLEAST he's a solid player. Clifton Ryan has been a beast, and under Spagnuolo is going to be a beast, he's got all the push in the world, and often times just out powers his guy, expect that next year full time. Our rotation will consist of Darrell Scott and Orlen Harris, which, unproven but has potential. If our Defensive Line can step they're game up, we'll be good here.

    Maybe the Linebackers? Flajole our DC, excels in Linebackers. While in Carolina his crew always worked there ass off, loved playing and made plays. No matter how the Panthers D played, the Linebackers were playing well. Witherspoon moves back outside to his natural position, and played very well there in Carolina, he'll be completely fine, and he could put up Pro Bowl numbers. The MLB position is the only unproven place where rookie James Lauranitis will be manning, he played very well in college and has all the skill and talent in the world to succeed. I think Flajole and Spagnuolo can coach him up very well. It is a question mark though, but I think we'll be fine. He'll give us some good play, maybe not great right away but he'll be solid. And the SLB position is a question mark as well where we have Pisa, Draft and Culberson all fighting for a spot. Pisa and Draft are proven players in this league and have put up good numbers, Culberson is younger with potential and towards the end of his first season with us, he played lights out. Maybe Spags and Flajole can bring that Culberson back. Either way, our Linebacker core will be solid, not great but not terrible, but GOOD.

    Our Defensive Backfield? Ah hell no. Young studs Bartell and Atogwe are back, we acquire James Butler whose a fine player. We already got 3 of the 4 down no problem. Only question is the other CB spot. We have Hill, Wade, King and Fletcher. Hill showed promise as a rookie, but hasn't shown anything since, Wade is raw but has had flashes and shows potential, if he can be coached he can become solid. King showed very good skills last training camp and Preseason, but unfortunately was injured, and has looked good in camp thus far, like Wade, if coached up, can become a good player. And then we have Fletcher, who you guys know I love and believe can become a VERY fine player in this league. From what I've seen and heard, Spagnuolo is very very high on this kid, and in most pictures you can find Fletcher with Spagnuolo. Fletcher has all the physical tools in the world, 6' 200lbs with 4.45 - 4.5 TIMED speed, and even faster football speed, also locates the ball well, hits like a safety, wraps up the ball carrier very well, and comes up in run support very well. With only one question mark and two potential Pro Bowlers in there young career (Atogwe/Bartell), I see no problems.

    Kickers and Punters? Absolutely not, both are GREAT at there position. Returners are question marks, whether it be Wade, Avery, King, Stanley, or whoever. We'll have some speed back there.


    Head Coach? Maybe. Spagnuolo hasn't show any reason so far why he is the wrong candidate or won't succeed. He's doing all the right things, saying all the right things. He's shown a very good work ethic and doesn't appear to be overwhelmed, but calm, cool and confident.


    That being said, I can see a 9 - 7 or 10 - 6 season no problem if things go right.


    So, WHY THE HELL NOT US? WHY THE HELL NOT THIS YEAR? All the players are optimistic, showing they're hungry, and want to win. Spagnuolo coaches a physical, hard working, aggressive and intense team.

    Let's GO RAMS! LET'S GO THIS YEAR!

    RamsFan16

  2. #2
    RockinRam's Avatar
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    Re: Why the heck not us? Why the heck not this year?

    Wow. Stole the words out of my mouth. I agree completely.

    Great post.

  3. #3
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    Re: Why the heck not us? Why the heck not this year?

    Great post. I completely agree, if the teams stays healthy and the young guns start to realise their potential there's no reason why this can't be a successful team. I'm hoping Spags can do to Hill the same thing he did to another first round CB who had been labelled a bust, Corey Webster.

    My only problem is I feel like this every year...

  4. #4
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    Re: Why the heck not us? Why the heck not this year?

    Great Post nobody really knows we can but the team has allot of questions to answer. There a reason why we were 5-27 over the last two seasons. Center in Jason Brown was a great pick up, but we replace a HOF LT OP with Barron and we will be playing a rookie J Smith at RT, knowbody knows how rookies are going to play before the real bullets flys. But we are making grate moves to rebuild a woeful OL. Will it be enough this year?

    Marc Bulger thats a million dollars question maybe it was all the OL fault for his bad play but after 2 years and the team trying to rebuild the line he has to answers some questions can he get it done?

    Im not impress by our wr's group Avery looks like he might be fine but beyond that I don't know. These guys will have to grow up in a hurry can they do that? They are unproven right now.

    SJ is the man no question but he has not been healthy for a full season but once. And are any of you fine with his replacement if he was to go down.

    I hoping that Spags present can help turn around the D but the DT spots have been a problem, this entire group has to play much better. Can they get it done? Yes but they have to step it up allot.

    I like moving spoon to the outside again a rookie MLB will he be ready this year to make a difference?

    Our Defensive Backfield? maybe our best unit only question who will man the # 2 CB. Hill? I just dont know if we have all the personnel we need to win right now.

    I want be shock to see us at 9-7 I want be shock to see us at 5-11 also.
    Last edited by eldfan; -05-08-2009 at 10:36 AM.
    :ramlogo:

  5. #5
    Ramblin` Ram's Avatar
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    Re: Why the heck not us? Why the heck not this year?

    i agree with a lot of what you say 16...but who is Laurent Smith??

    last week it was someone calling him Laurent Jackson...what is it with the name Robinson?..

  6. #6
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    Re: Why the heck not us? Why the heck not this year?

    the main area of concern for me is the SAM!
    ok so Spags doesnt like to use that term and just calls them OLB`s but nonetheless the fact that we dont call them "SAM`s" dont mean the opposition aint gonna play with a TE... so we still gonna need someone to have the speed and strength to get past them..im sure we fine with the speed but i can see whoever we line up against the TE being overpowered...physically possibly Culberson has the body to take him on..but im not sure his overall game is good enough to start in the NFL..

    i will say this tho..its my only real nagging concern where as not so long ago i had far too many to even count them all!

  7. #7
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    Re: Why the heck not us? Why the heck not this year?

    Great, Great post. Its good to have football back in St. Louis. I have been saying wild card for the longest. I think it all depends how we jump out the gate. Spags has got to make these guys believe in him, and his system. If we can play .500 football thru the first 8 games...its all downhill afterwards. I'm gunning for 9-7. But if we go 8-8 and miss the playoffs, I won't be upset either. I haven't been this excited in a long time.
    GO RAMS!!!!!!!

  8. #8
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    Re: Why the heck not us? Why the heck not this year?

    This team is gaining potential but here's a few nuggets about the Rams.

    1. If SJAX gets injured, where does our offensive production come from? Very weak at backup RB and with the WR corp so young that they need supervision at an R rated movie I'm worried that if SJAX gets hurt we are looking at Donnie Jones going to the Pro Bowl.

    2. What if Chris Long gets hurt? Severly thin at DE position and with a Leonard Little getting ready for his AARP card it's imperitive that Long plays every game.

    3. Laurinaitis at starting MLB as a rookie is sort of scary. MLB a majority of the time is the heart and soul of the D and I'm not saying he can't be as exciting as a 2 for 1 table dance I'm just saying he's unproven.

    All these add up to that the cupboard was bare when Spags got here. The O line looks like it's solid and I'm excited about the secondary this year but to say why not us is a crystal ball guess at best.

  9. #9
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    Re: Why the heck not us? Why the heck not this year?

    I agree 16...we are not as bad as the "experts" think. Too many positive additions for us not to be improved. I'll be happy if we can at least make it to 6-10, and thrilled if we break even or better.

    But I also agree with TX...our offensive success depends on Jackson and Avery staying healthy, especially Jackson. On D we are so thin on talent it scares me to think about it. If we can stay healthy, we'll do ok, but looking at the track record we've had the last couple of years, that is a huge IF.

  10. #10
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    Re: Why the heck not us? Why the heck not this year?

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    Wow. Stole the words out of my mouth. I agree completely.

    Great post.
    Thats a LOT of words.

    Your mouth must be HUGE

  11. #11
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Why the heck not us? Why the heck not this year?

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan View Post
    This team is gaining potential but here's a few nuggets about the Rams.

    1. If SJAX gets injured, where does our offensive production come from? Very weak at backup RB and with the WR corp so young that they need supervision at an R rated movie I'm worried that if SJAX gets hurt we are looking at Donnie Jones going to the Pro Bowl.

    2. What if Chris Long gets hurt? Severly thin at DE position and with a Leonard Little getting ready for his AARP card it's imperitive that Long plays every game.

    3. Laurinaitis at starting MLB as a rookie is sort of scary. MLB a majority of the time is the heart and soul of the D and I'm not saying he can't be as exciting as a 2 for 1 table dance I'm just saying he's unproven.

    All these add up to that the cupboard was bare when Spags got here. The O line looks like it's solid and I'm excited about the secondary this year but to say why not us is a crystal ball guess at best.
    Great points tx..

    I'd like to add that as RAMS fans we tend to overrate our players. At least I do. I thought we had a chance at the playoffs last season based on our players, only to see us go 2-14!

    I'd love to be proven wrong but I'm expecting 5 maybe 6 wins at the most.

    Hopefully I'm as far off base as I was last season but in a good way.

  12. #12
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    Re: Why the heck not us? Why the heck not this year?

    While I love the optimism, I have to say...Not a chance, not this year.

    I don't even think its in the plans when you look at the recent cap moves, cuts etc. Seems like they are in it for the long haul, which to me means a very frustrating season.
    Or potentially an exciting season if you keep your expectations relatively low and look towards the future.

  13. #13
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    Re: Why the heck not us? Why the heck not this year?

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan View Post
    This team is gaining potential but here's a few nuggets about the Rams.

    1. If SJAX gets injured, where does our offensive production come from? Very weak at backup RB and with the WR corp so young that they need supervision at an R rated movie I'm worried that if SJAX gets hurt we are looking at Donnie Jones going to the Pro Bowl.

    2. What if Chris Long gets hurt? Severly thin at DE position and with a Leonard Little getting ready for his AARP card it's imperitive that Long plays every game.

    3. Laurinaitis at starting MLB as a rookie is sort of scary. MLB a majority of the time is the heart and soul of the D and I'm not saying he can't be as exciting as a 2 for 1 table dance I'm just saying he's unproven.

    All these add up to that the cupboard was bare when Spags got here. The O line looks like it's solid and I'm excited about the secondary this year but to say why not us is a crystal ball guess at best.
    Yeah but what if Peyton Manning gets hurt? Or for that matter look what happened to the almighty Pats when Brady went down, sure they were still good, but they didn't make the playoffs. My point is, yes if we get injured we are going to be a really bad team, but the same goes for most other teams in the NFL. If we stay healthy then I think we have a chance to compete, but what else would you guys expect from an always faithful optimist?

  14. #14
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    Re: Why the heck not us? Why the heck not this year?

    Lol yea we have alot of IFs for a good season. but just like you guys Im a fan... every year I think we can make the playoffs! Look what happen in 99, who expected that?

    Here are my Top IFs:

    1. If key players can stay healthy
    2. If we can stop the run
    3. If our corners could cover someone
    4. If we can get pressure from a 4 man rush
    5. If Jackson runs hard and stops tip toeing in the backfield
    6. If we can protect bulger
    7. If Bulger will be confident with the line

  15. #15
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    Re: Why the heck not us? Why the heck not this year?

    i feel it all will come down to injuries, heres hoping our new strength and conditioning coach rock gullickson does a good job.

    if we stay relatively injury free i think we have a good change to be at the 8-8 mark which i will be rather happy with after the last couple years.

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