It never ceases to amaze me how much some fans undervalue Chris Long.
It never ceases to amaze me how much some fans undervalue Chris Long.
Perhaps a dominate defense would get off the field sooner on average, allowing for more scoring opportunities for the offense due to more possessions per game.
There are many ways a dominate defense could translate to more points being scored by the offense, while at the same time limiting opponents to fewer points. As we know, a 4 or 5 point swing can very easily change a 5-11 team into an 11-5 team.
Furthermore, in our case, Sam Bradford alone may be enough of an improvement at QB over Kellen Clemens to make that swing possible, all by himself.
So while I'm not opposed to building up the offense, I contend that the pendullum, as far as scoring is concerned, is equally as important on the defensive side of the ball as it is on the offensive side.
And finally, the one thing all the teams in the NFC West have in common is dominating defense. That is, with the exception of one.
To make this defense elite we need a top tier free safety to allow Jenkins and Johnson to play up close to the LOS instead of having to line up 10 yards off. We don't need better starting CBs, we don't need a better pass rush. We need a better Free Safety
-Total # of Plays: 968 (30th)
-Average Yards Per Play: 5.0 (28th)
-% of Off. Drives Ending in Score: 31.5 (21st)
-Average Plays Per Drive: 5.4 (23rd)
-3rd Down Conversion %: 34.4 (28th)
-Total 1st Downs: 282 (26th)
-4th Down Conversion %: 33.3 (27th)
-Offensive Penalties: 123 (2nd)
-Offensive Penalty Yards: 1009 (4th)
-Big Play Passes >25 yds: 26 (23rd)
-First Down % per Pass Attempt: 32.6 (20th)
-Completion % Inside Opponents' 20: 45.9 (23rd)
-First Down % Per Carry: 19.2% (28th)
-Big Play Rushes >10 yds: 45 (18th)
-% Stuffed Per Carry: 9.6 (15th)
-% First Down When Running on 3rd & Short: 26.1 (32nd)
-YAC for Receivers: 1701 (25th)
-Yards per Catch: 11.2 (25th)
-Passes Dropped: 30 (7th)
I didn't really mean to bombard you with stats, but I listed them just to illustrate why I don't see defensive improvements having more than a marginal at best effect on these metrics. Simply put, the offense is going to have to improve.
Better talent on the offensive line means more consistent holes for Stacy and company to run through, better protection for Sam in the passing game and more time for him to get through his progressions, and more time for receivers to get open down the field.
If you want to improve what's happening on offense, my thinking is that the best and most effective place to start working is actually on offense.
If he was, the Rams wouldn't have started 1-4 and fans wouldn't have spent that part of the season talking about how Sam can't do it alone and how he needs help. Now suddenly we're in the offseason and for some Sam is enough by himself to get the offense where it needs to be.
According to Pro Football Focus, out of the 79 cornerbacks that played half or more of their team's defensive snaps, Jenkins ranked 73rd in opposing QB rating allowed with 115.3. He allowed 7 touchdown receptions; only three corners allowed more last year. Opposing QBs completed 64.4% of their throws into Jenkins' coverage, which ranks in the 60s.
These are significant declines from his 2012 rookie season, so honestly I wouldn't mind some competition at that spot. That's one reason why I think a CB has to be in consideration with the Rams' second first-round pick or their selection in Round Two.
Bradford impact using his projected production less the production of Clemens (Could Have Been) 4.38 points per game. Bradford had 14 TDs in 7 games on pace for 32. Clemens Had 8 TD in 9 games. That leaves 10 TDs or 70 points.. which is 4.38 per game. That puts us at 26.2 points a game. Not at all saying this is FACT or it's that simple just trying to project what Sam could have done. He was having by far his best year statistically, if I'm not mistaken he was third in the NFL for most TDs when he got hurt.
Here is my concern, our O line played really well last year. There are just too many question marks now. Jake Long? Saffold? Wells? Dahal? Williams? On opening day we could have four new starters. That is a real concern for me at this point. Depth on the O line is also a real issue going forward for me. Until I see some of these questions answered I'm still leaning towards Mathews. That might change after free agency.
last in the league in converting 3rd and short? That stat alone speaks volumes. O-line need trumps DE need in my mind - easily. That said, none of us know how Snead/Fish rate the O-line prospects coming out in May. I suppose it's possible we could end up taking Clowney, but I'd guess the odds are stacked against it. Passing on Clowney (trading instead) could land us several quality (starting caliber) players, or if we keep the pick - Jake Mathews. My hope is that the O-line will be addressed early and often as in at least twice. "Early" as in rounds one through three. I doubt it will happen, but if we went O-line twice in round one, I'd be fine with that.
The year we drafted Bradford (2010) at #1 overall, ten picks later the whiners picked tackle Anthony Davis at the #11 spot, and then six picks after Davis, they selected Mike Iupati at #17. Might not have been sexy, but it seems to have worked out fine for them unfortunately.:disapointed:
And if Bradford gets hurt again, you know who could fill in for him?
To your point Maui NONE OF US know what Les and Fisher are thinking. I don't recall anyone here saying we should take Austin at any cost. Some where afraid the Rams would not know how to use him. Some believed we just signed Cook for big money to play the slot. Some believed he was too small and would get hurt. All good points and some came to pass, but the Rams did want his skills and wanted him more then any of us knew.
I guess thats what makes this worth while, hanging out and Spitballing because we just don't know.
I think right now I'd prefer OT Greg Robinson to Jake Matthews, but it's close. Either way, both are behind Clowney IMO. To me things in the NFL happen, and they happen quick. In 2 years say Long or Quinn under-play and are not brought back (Quinn is unlikely because he's a star, Long very possibly might be slowing down and especially coped with that big salary) then we look like idiots. The thing is, you draft for the future, you don't "expect" your draft picks to light the world on fire the moment they enter the league. Exhibit: Brian Quick. That is why they have professional coaches making 7 million dollars a year...
There is a blurb on Rotoworld about Matthews that says "The Sideline View's Lance Zierlein spoke with one NFL scout who noted some teams are projecting Matthews to center." Really?! CENTER!? I'm assuming it has to deal with his (supposedly) less than ideal arm length, but that seems like quite a stretch. Bits like this make me in awe of just how wide the discrepancy can be on a prospect from scout to scout, team to team.