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  1. #1
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    Bottom of the Barrel: Evaluating 2009's Worst NFL Franchises

    by Ryan Cook Ryan CookCorrespondent


    Correspondent Written on January 27, 2010

    Two weeks before another season is due for a close, many franchises are welcoming the cold winter offseason with open arms. Bottom of the food chain teams notably struggled in 2009 with tough losses, poor play, and bad coaching,

    With the NFL Draft only months away, fans eagerly await to see if their team can make a smart pick come April.

    Last season we saw many of the same contenders compete for the worst record in football, and in 2009 we saw much of the same story. Here's a complete evaluation of the worst teams in football.



    1. St. Louis Rams

    From the "Greatest Show on Turf" to the laughing stock of the NFL, Rams fans had the right to buy out the brown paper bag aisle in their local Costco this season.

    Posting a pathetic 1-15 season, head coach Steve Spagnualo was left scratching his head as to why his young and promising team struggled to get off the mark. With constant quarterback changes and sloppy wide receiver play, the Rams season went from a possibility to an eye sore in the matter of a month.

    Problems That are Re-Occurring:

    In St. Louis, it's simple, the quarterback position is their biggest problem.

    Kyle Boller stepped in for seven games this season, but struggled to find his range. After throwing six interceptions and only three touchdown passes, it was time for a change.

    Spagnuolo brought in rookie quarterback Keith Null, and, although his playing time was limited, he managed to post some decent stats at times.

    With the only real talent still sitting at the running back position, you can't help but feel for Steven Jackson. He is still pounding it away and still scoring, and without Jackson the Rams may have become the second 0-16 team in NFL history.

    The Rams have tried replacing just about every position both on field and off field on the roster, but nothing has worked. With a lousy fan base that is resembling the New Jersey Nets at the moment, the Rams may be stuck in a rut for years to come.

    Why They Will Improve:

    The draft hasn't been kind to St. Louis, but it's done them some favors. With a quarterback or wide receiver needed, Colt McCoy or Dez Bryant may be the target for St. Louis. We'll have to wait and see though.



    2. Detroit Lions

    For once I can actually post something positive about Detroit. Okay, so they were the second worst team in football in 2009, but they still showed some rather promising signs at times during games.

    With wins over Washington and Cleveland during the season, the Lions quarterback play improved as time went on. Unlike the Rams, the Lions don't have too many talent issues. They've got the youth, and they've got the balance...all they need now is the glue to hold it all together.

    Problems That are Re-Occurring:

    The run game. If there is one area that you can identify the Detroit Lions with, it's the running game. However, Barry Sanders is in the past, and Maurice Morris is now the future.

    Or is he?

    Sorry Maurice, but 384 yards in 14 games doesn't really cut it. Touchdowns are needed, especially on the goal line, and that is an area where Detroit has struggled. Ranked 24th in rush yards, the Lions are on a crash course for a new running back.

    Why They Will Improve:

    Two words. Matt Stafford. As much as this guy has failed at times, there is no questioning his heart. Once mentioned in the same sentence with Mark Sanchez this time last year, Stafford has noticeably faded out.

    In a game against the Cleveland Browns (which the Lions won, thanks to Stafford), the term "heart on your sleeve" was tested by Stafford. With a dislocated shoulder, and in an excessive amount of pain, Stafford delivered and actually gave Lions fans some hope for the future.

    He may not be the franchise player just yet, but I do see some talent in this young man.



    3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

    The Bucs shocked everyone with a win over Green Bay during mid-season. It was unexpected, it was exciting, and, above all else, it was promising.

    At the moment, Tampa Bay isn't as bad as people are making out. With three wins on the regular season, head coach Raheem Morris has something to build on.

    Problems That are Re-Occurring:

    Poor defense. Ranked 32nd in run defense, the Buccaneers got burnt more than once during 2009. With a young defense that is led by Ronde Barber, the Buccaneers are lacking the spark that they used to have.

    There is no high flying football, and no competitive nature. They seemed gassed at times, and more often than not struggle to contain prolific wide receivers.

    This is a problem that can be fixed by drafting a safety such as Eric Berry (who is used to playing the deep zone and making interceptions), which is a huge possibility for Tampa Bay.

    Why They Will Improve:

    Quarterback play. Josh Freeman is, in my mind, a potential star. Resembling Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, and other young quarterbacks that have come from no-name colleges to make a name for themselves, Freeman's quick passing ability and speedy pocket play is what gives Tampa Bay their possible .500 future.

    Trusty Cadillac Williams is still hanging around, and his run play is still fantastic. With Freeman entering his second season as starter, and Williams still going strong, this is a duo to keep an eye on.



    4. Washington Redskins

    Here's a team that could have more problems than the previously mentioned teams. Criticised since Week 1, Jim Zorn has managed to strike confusion and doubt into this team quite easily.

    Jason Campbell has been listed by many as a "take him or leave him" type quarterback. While many Redskins fans still have faith, Campbell is showing signs of weakening. With talk of possibly signing Michael Vick or Terrell Owens, Campbell needs to pick up his game or he may find himself in a heated position.

    Problems That are Re-Occurring:

    Lack of a run game. Quinton Ganther had a poor season, and the Redskins backups didn't provide any support either. Although Washington is a very pass typical type team, a run game could possibly turn them into a contender.

    The NFC East is unforgiving, and the Redskins are well aware. Having fallen behind now in numerous seasons, having little to no run game has cost them many possible points.

    A trade is a probability, but the draft is the better chance. Toby Gerhart may be the Redskins best option, as he is the type of guy that can be moulded over time. With good hands and great feet, the senior out of Stanford is the Redskins pick of the crop.

    Why They Will Improve:

    Mike Shanahan. If he's proven anything to anybody, it's that he can coach. Having several good years with the Denver Broncos, a quick turn around seems a likelihood for the NFL expert. Drafting, throwing, running, catching, winning, and pep talks...Mike is the guy to get it done for Washington.

    :ramlogo:

  2. #2
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    Re: Bottom of the Barrel: Evaluating 2009's Worst NFL Franchises

    Lousy fan base? really? Good to see another reporter who really knows his stuff.

    Paper bags? I didn't see any...

    Costco? Have you ever *been* to this area?

  3. #3
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    Re: Bottom of the Barrel: Evaluating 2009's Worst NFL Franchises

    Quote Originally Posted by eldfan View Post
    by Ryan Cook Ryan CookCorrespondent


    Correspondent Written on January 27, 2010

    . With a quarterback or wide receiver needed, Colt McCoy or Dez Bryant may be the target for St. Louis. We'll have to wait and see though.


    Did this guy just suggest we take C. McCoy with the first pick?

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    Re: Bottom of the Barrel: Evaluating 2009's Worst NFL Franchises

    Yes. Yes he did =(.

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    Re: Bottom of the Barrel: Evaluating 2009's Worst NFL Franchises

    Quote Originally Posted by BrokenWing View Post
    Lousy fan base? really? Good to see another reporter who really knows his stuff.
    Compared to the rest of the league (Jacksonville excepted), it is.

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    Re: Bottom of the Barrel: Evaluating 2009's Worst NFL Franchises

    Really? So there's no one on this forum? What about the screaming horde of LA fans people like to bring up? When I hear "lousy fan base" I think a team with few hardcore fans...we don't seem to have that problem if this Forum or the talk of LA is any indication.

  7. #7
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    Re: Bottom of the Barrel: Evaluating 2009's Worst NFL Franchises

    Quote Originally Posted by BrokenWing View Post
    Lousy fan base? really? Good to see another reporter who really knows his stuff.
    I was thinking the exact same thing when I read that... We are far from having a lousy fan base...

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    Re: Bottom of the Barrel: Evaluating 2009's Worst NFL Franchises

    Quote Originally Posted by BrokenWing View Post
    Really? So there's no one on this forum? What about the screaming horde of LA fans people like to bring up? When I hear "lousy fan base" I think a team with few hardcore fans...we don't seem to have that problem if this Forum or the talk of LA is any indication.
    Let's compare our online community to that of say.....the Bears. Or the Chiefs. Or the Browns.

    Our online community is significantly smaller, with significantly fewer regular participants. Whether or not a fan base is lousy is not based on the number of people in it, but rather the number of people in it compared to that of other teams.

  9. #9
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    Re: Bottom of the Barrel: Evaluating 2009's Worst NFL Franchises

    The Rams have tried replacing just about every position both on field and off field on the roster, but nothing has worked. With a lousy fan base that is resembling the New Jersey Nets at the moment, the Rams may be stuck in a rut for years to come.

    Doesn't this guy know that replacing a team at different position's with young players takes time for experience , knowledge ,chemistry and understanding the coaching philosophy of a new coach to gel? This guy doesn't even mention the accomplishment of Laurenitis this year as a rookie!!! Who is this guy?

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    Re: Bottom of the Barrel: Evaluating 2009's Worst NFL Franchises

    6 wins in 3 seasons, a little tough to blame the fans for this.

  11. #11
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    Re: Bottom of the Barrel: Evaluating 2009's Worst NFL Franchises

    [QUOTE=PeoriaRam;330316]Let's compare our online community to that of say.....the Bears. Or the Chiefs. Or the Browns.

    Hey Peoria please educate me! I think I understand your inclusion of the Bears and Browns but didn't get it about the Chiefs?

  12. #12
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    Re: Bottom of the Barrel: Evaluating 2009's Worst NFL Franchises

    Quote Originally Posted by jkramsfan View Post
    6 wins in 3 seasons, a little tough to blame the fans for this.
    one of those wins is most memorable; win vs cowboys
    LA RAMMER

    It's Jim not Chris
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HNgqQVHI_8

  13. #13
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    Re: Bottom of the Barrel: Evaluating 2009's Worst NFL Franchises

    Beware, every time ANYONE has ANYTHING to say about Saint Louis and its fan base, Peoria is the first to come on and bash them for w/e reason. I guess living in Peoria has addled his brains. Our Fan Base is middle of the road to great when succesful and our seats at EJD are PACKED when we have a product worth watching on the field. If you listen to Saint Louis 101 ESPN or actually LIVED in saint louis like i do and see people sporting Rams gear (and not bags) and discussing the state of the Rams all the time you'd know that.

    Peoria isn't east saint louis and is actually closer to chicago, why don't you go root for the Bears if all you have to do is moan about everything Rams related...

  14. #14
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    Re: Bottom of the Barrel: Evaluating 2009's Worst NFL Franchises

    What does the fan base have to do with the RAMS being in a rut? We need a good Quarterback to go with our outstanding running back. We also need to use that 1st pick on a great defensive player. There are a couple out there for grabs. AND THIS REALLY INFURIATES ME, why on earth did we get rid of great players like Warner, Bruce and Holt. I remember driving 4 to 6 hours just to watch them in cities like Charlotte NC, Indianapolis IN and St Louis MO.

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