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Thread: Words dwindle and losses pile up
Words dwindle and losses pile up
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Tuesday, Dec. 09 2008
As the losses mount, so does the frustration for Rams coach Jim Haslett. After
yet another lopsided defeat, Haslett is running out of answers.
And he's running out of time to convince owner Chip Rosenbloom that he's the
right person to coach the Rams in 2009 and beyond.
In the wake of a 34-10 loss to Arizona, Haslett didn't have a lot to say Monday
at Rams Park. Then again, what can Haslett say that hasn't already been said?
The Rams have been a broken record of bad football. Week after week since the
start of November, turnovers have killed them. On Sunday, two lost fumbles by
Steven Jackson and an interception thrown by Marc Bulger made it a staggering
21 turnovers in the past six games. That's more than 17 NFL teams have
committed ALL season.
How can the Rams make the turnovers go away?
"That's a good question," Haslett said. "The fumbles — we've just got to hold
onto 'em. We work it. We try to strip the ball in practice defensively. I think
it helps the offense when we try and do it. And the quarterback — the
interceptions — it's either bad decisions or bad throws, or a guy makes a great
play. In this case, it was a little bit of both on the interception."
It would be one thing if the Rams were counteracting all those turnovers with
some takeaways of their own. But to a large degree, it's either O.J. or no way
for the Rams' defense. Safety Oshiomogho "O.J." Atogwe has four interceptions
and has forced seven fumbles this season.
But over the past six games the Rams have only six takeaways as opposed to
those 21 giveaways — a whopping minus-15 in takeaway-giveaway differential.
Jackson normally is very good with ball security, but that wasn't the case
"Obviously, you guys talked to him," Haslett said. "He's disappointed. (Gerald)
Hayes made a nice play and ripped one out. And the other one, he was just
trying to make a play, the guy (Hayes, again) came unblocked and Steven spun
out and (Hayes') helmet just happened to hit the ball."
How a middle linebacker could be in the backfield so quickly after the handoff
is another story. For now, suffice it to say this wasn't the best day of run
blocking ever seen by the Rams' offensive front.
But another recurring theme also drew Haslett's ire — a missed field goal by
Josh Brown in the first half. For the third time in four games, Brown missed a
field goal that would have given St. Louis some momentum, if only temporarily.
After falling behind 14-0 early, the Rams were trying to make a game of it.
Trailing 17-7 late in the first half, a Rams drive stalled, out came Brown, and
his 42-yard attempt missed wide right.
"That's probably the most disappointing play of the game," Haslett said.
"Because you've got a chance to get the score down to a 'one-score' game. ...
So instead of going in at halftime 17-10, now it's 20-7 at halftime."
Arizona tacked on a Neil Rackers field goal with 59 seconds left in the half.
So although it may seem odd in a game that was lost by 24 points, Haslett
called Brown's miss "the biggest play of the game."
Brown played the game with an injured groin on his kicking side, but Haslett
said he didn't think that had anything to do with the miss. After all, in the
fourth quarter, Brown made a 51-yarder with ease.
Haslett pointed out that the miss was Brown's third in four weeks. On Nov. 16
in San Francisco, Brown missed a 48-yarder wide left on the opening series of
the game. Two weeks ago against Chicago, Brown missed a 40-yarder, again wide
left, on the first play of the second quarter. The Rams were down 14-0 at that
"The guy's a good kicker," Haslett said. "I've seen him kick every day in
practice and in the games. Last week against Miami, he was four for four. Why
he (misses) these, I don't know."
For the season, Brown has made 24 of 29 field goals, including the game-winner
from 49 yards as time expired in Washington for the Rams' first victory of the
season. But for a team that has struggled mightily to score points this season,
Brown's miss Sunday was deflating.
"You kind of feel that," Haslett said. "You fight to get back down there. You
keep it within a one-score game right before the half. And then you miss it.
... That's a big swing."
Re: Words dwindle and losses pile up
Are all these turnovers caused by a lack of concentration, mental toughness?
The missed FG...??
Excuses,excuses,excuses it's tiring already.
Last edited by laram0; -12-09-2008 at 04:01 PM.
Re: Words dwindle and losses pile up[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
-12-09-2008 #5Registered User
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Re: Words dwindle and losses pile up
Why does Haslett continually pick on Josh Brown? Missed FG's are the least of this teams problems, and yet week after week Haslett calls him out. Ridiculous