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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Will Saunders have enough weapons to make a difference?

    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    Friday, Feb. 01 2008

    Roland Williams’ eyes lit up when he heard the Rams hired Al Saunders as the
    team’s offensive coordinator.

    Williams played tight end with the Rams during their “Greatest Show on Turf”
    days. Saunders wasn’t Williams’ position coach -– he worked with the wide
    receivers -– but he had a big impact on Mike Martz’s explosive offense.

    “Al Saunders, he brought the best out of Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce and
    everybody around them,” Williams said. “He’s going to give the offense a new
    edge finishing plays off.”

    Saunders brings creditability to the coaching staff and hope to the Rams’
    locker room. From his success here, he went to Kansas City to run a powerful
    Chiefs offense for Dick Vermeil, too.

    Hiring Saunders was a bold move by Rams coach Scott Linehan, who ran the
    offense during his first two years at the helm. (Saunders’ predecessor, Greg
    Olson, was a coordinator in name only.)

    “I think Scott is committed to winning,” Saunders said. “He wants to win. And
    he reached out and said he thought he needed some help in this area, and he
    felt like I was the person that could help him. And he felt very comfortable
    with that.”

    Linehan insists he will turn Saunders loose on the offense, so the ’08 Rams
    ought to be a whole lot more exciting. Al has a lot of Mad Mike in him.

    “My philosophy of offense is probably you could look at Kansas City and say
    that's what it is in a nutshell,” Saunders told reporters during a conference
    call. “I really believe in being a very diversified team and having the ability
    to be balanced and be able to run the ball and pass the football with equal
    efficiency.

    “It's about players and match-ups in this game, and I think you really have to
    do a great job of adjusting your personnel to the system that you run and
    taking advantage of the playmakers that you have. I think the offense is fun
    to play in. I think the fans enjoy watching it. I think it's entertaining. And
    hopefully it will be very productive.

    “I think in the period of time I was in Kansas City over that five-year period
    I think we were the most productive offense in the National Football League at
    that time and the highest-scoring offense. I'd like to think that maybe we
    could do some of those things and be successful in St. Louis like we were in
    '99, 2000, and it's a very versatile offense. And I think it takes advantage
    of the playmakers and gives them a chance to do some things with the ball in
    space.”

    But do the Rams have the weapons to score like the Chiefs and the Martz-era
    Rams did?

    “In most of the successful offenses in football, you have a left tackle,
    running back and you have a quarterback and a receiver that is the go-to guy
    you can count on,” Saunders said.

    The Rams will have Orlando Pace at left tackle, assuming he can regain and
    maintain his health. Marc Bulger is a former Pro Bowl quarterback and Torry
    Holt and Isaac Bruce just had productive years, despite injuries and advancing
    age.

    Then there is Steven Jackson, one of the best running/receiving backs in the
    league.

    “I think he is a special player,” Saunders said. “And I think everybody would
    agree with that. He's one of those unique guys, much like the success in the
    past has been with Marshall Faulk with the tremendous things he did as a
    three-dimensional player; he was a runner, pass receiver and blocker. And we
    had Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson in Kansas City. We adjusted when Priest got
    hurt; we adjusted the offense to take care of the skills of Larry Johnson who
    was really a downhill runner and Priest was a three-dimensional player.”

    The Rams will need to get the offensive line healthy, of course, and freshen up
    the receiver and quarterback corps. Saunders will have to dive right in, assess
    what the team really has on the offensive side of the ball and begin making his
    case for upgrades.

    There is so much to do. But at least the Rams organization took one giant step
    in the right direction.


  2. #2
    TekeRam's Avatar
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    Re: Will Saunders have enough weapons to make a difference?

    Will he have enough weapons? Of course. The question is whether or not he has the line to protect and give time for those weapons. And the answer is hopefully. Do we have a new training staff yet?

  3. #3
    union jack rammer is offline Registered User
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    Re: Will Saunders have enough weapons to make a difference?

    i think TekeRam hit the nail on the head. All our injuries are a direct reflection on our training staff. I think we could have one hell of an O line if we can only stay healthy.
    I would like to see us get a young physical break-away receiver though.I still think Tory
    and Ike have a couple good years left though,but we desperatly need some youth in that position

  4. #4
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    Re: Will Saunders have enough weapons to make a difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by union jack rammer View Post
    All our injuries are a direct reflection on our training staff.
    I disagree, Bulger's broken ribs have nothing to do with the training staff, Tye Hill's broken bone(s) in his back have nothing to do with the training staff. Pace's injury was just a freak thing, and there are others that I can't think of at the moment. Injuries are a part of football and they aren't all a direct reflection of the training staff.
    Quote Originally Posted by ramsbruce
    Second half adjustments. Make some!

  5. #5
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Will Saunders have enough weapons to make a difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by ramsbruce View Post
    I disagree, Bulger's broken ribs have nothing to do with the training staff, Tye Hill's broken bone(s) in his back have nothing to do with the training staff. Pace's injury was just a freak thing, and there are others that I can't think of at the moment. Injuries are a part of football and they aren't all a direct reflection of the training staff.
    That's what we get for not having a "got milk?" coach on staff.

  6. #6
    Keenum's Avatar
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    Re: Will Saunders have enough weapons to make a difference?

    We've got the bullets (the WRs, RBs, and QB), we've just gotta keep the barrel in great shape (the O-line) for the bullets to be effective.

  7. #7
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Will Saunders have enough weapons to make a difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keenum View Post
    We've got the bullets (the WRs, RBs, and QB), we've just gotta keep the barrel in great shape (the O-line) for the bullets to be effective.

    Yes siree bob! Good analogy Keenum -- Rams have excellent ammo for sure.

    And the idea is that Coach Saunders will know how to shoot.

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