Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

TSN Rams Report

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • TSN Rams Report

    Jim Thomas

    Though the cover 2 still will be the base defense for new coordinator Larry Marmie, the team plans to mix coverages more than it did under Lovie Smith. Another noticeable change will be the size of the tackles. Marmie will let the tackles play at a higher weight than Smith, who wanted them at 310 or less. Jimmy Kennedy reported at nearly 340 for the team's minicamp, and Ryan Pickett checked in at 330. The added bulk could help shore up a spotty run defense. Kennedy's commitment to weight training is paying off. He looks quicker at 340 than he did last year at 305.

    The coaches are encouraged by what they have seen of rookie TE Erik Jensen. He has displayed good blocking skills and will enter camp as the top backup.

    CORNERBACKS ANALYSIS

    This is a solid unit with young, athletic players. But it lacks size; no player is taller than 5-10, leaving the Rams vulnerable against big wideouts. Travis Fisher has excellent closing speed and good tackling skills and can play through injuries. The other starter, Jerametrius Butler, is athletic but lacks size (5-10, 181). He has became more physical as a tackler but still needs to improve in that area. Kevin Garrett and DeJuan Groce are the top backups. Garrett has elite speed and has flashed instincts that excite the coaches. Groce has enough speed and aggressiveness but needs work on technique. Another possibility is Dwight Anderson, an undrafted rookie who has impressed the coaches.
    Attached Files

    __________________________________________________________
    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

  • #2
    Re: TSN Rams Report

    Kevin Garrett will be a pleasant surprise this year. Just watch and see.

    Comment

    Related Topics

    Collapse

    • RamDez
      TSN Rams Report
      by RamDez
      TSN Rams Report
      By Jim Thomas

      Some observers felt using a first-round pick on RB Steven Jackson was more of a luxury than a necessity. But because of uncertainty over Marshall Faulk's right knee, it's looking like a wise move. If Jackson can get a handle on the offense, he has the versatility to develop into a solid threat quickly. Lamar Gordon also provides depth.

      It's too early to get excited, but DT Jimmy Kennedy could be a contributor. He has been much more effective in pass-rush drills, a product of better conditioning and focus.

      Rookie DE Tony Hargrove looks like the real thing. There's no doubting his motor, athleticism and quickness, though he needs consistency and polish.

      Continuing hip problems for C Dave Wohlabaugh has led to line shuffling that could have unproven Andy King starting at left guard. LG Andy McCollum has moved to center for now.

      PLAYBOOK UPDATE: Don't look for Larry Marmie's defense to be much different from Lovie Smith's early in the season, but the cover 2 scheme will evolve. Don't be surprised to see the Rams blitz more because they have quick, aggressive, attacking players such as SS Adam Archuleta and OLB Pisa Tinoisamoa. Look for Archuleta to play a linebacker role in some nickel and dime situations. With Archuleta's linebacking skills from college and FS Aeneas Williams' experience at cornerback, the Rams have flexibility in their back seven that can be utilized--especially if second-year CBs Kevin Garrett and DeJuan Groce develop.
      -08-02-2004, 02:21 PM
    • Nick
      TSN Rams Report
      by Nick
      Jay Williams will fill the departed Bryce Fisher's role on the defensive line. After signing a three-year, $2.65 million contract, the former Miami Dolphin will be the team's No. 3 defensive end. Although he can play both end positions, he will get most of his reps spelling Anthony Hargrove at right end. But Williams also can slide inside to DT in passing situations. Williams has enough quickness to be more than an afterthought as a pass rusher, and he also holds his own against the run. Beyond that, the Rams are looking for some veteran leadership from Williams, 33, on what remains a young defensive line. . . .

      More than a month into the free-agency period, the Rams still haven't added a No. 3 QB to their depth chart. The veteran options still on the market are almost non-existent. With second-year man Jeff Smoker currently backing up Marc Bulger, it wouldn't seem to make much sense to draft a quarterback for the second year in a row, especially considering how hesitant coach Mike Martz is about playing young quarterbacks. So don't be surprised if the Rams end up re-signing veteran Jamie Martin and having him compete with Smoker for the backup job. What Martin may lack in arm strength he makes up for in knowledge of the complex Martz passing system. . . .

      Early attendance at the Rams' offseason conditioning program has been at record levels. More than 90 percent of the team was there on the first day. Among the regulars have been team mainstays WR Isaac Bruce and RB Marshall Faulk. Newly acquired LB Dexter Coakley's arrival was delayed because his wife had a baby, but the team's other free-agent pickup at LB -- Chris Claiborne -- has been there from the outset.

      SCOUTING REPORT: The Rams matched a $15 million offer sheet from Washington one year ago to keep CB Jerametrius Butler as a restricted free agent. Butler played up to the contract a year ago by leading the club in interceptions and establishing himself as an above average cover corner. Butler has good range, above average closing speed and the athleticism to go get the football in a crowd. In order to take the next step and play at a Pro Bowl level, Butler needs to improve in two areas: tackling and defending the slant pattern. Butler will never be a thumper, but he needs to be more aggressive both in run support and in tackling receivers in the open field. A simple technique adjustment should help Butler in defending the slant -- namely, lining up more often with inside leverage on wide receivers.

      COMEBACK STORY: The 2004 campaign was supposed to be a breakthrough season for SS Adam Archuleta as one of the NFL's elite safeties. Instead, he took a big step backward, largely because of back problems that were later diagnosed as a herniated disc. On a depth chart that is currently paper thin at safety, a bounce-back season by Archuleta is a must for 2005. That means fewer missed tackles and more impact plays. Archuleta opted against...
      -04-03-2005, 06:07 PM
    • Nick
      Rams TSN Report - 4/17/05
      by Nick
      Rams Team Report
      4/17/2005 Print it
      By Jim Thomas
      St. Louis Post-Dispatch

      Although much of the offseason attention has focused on the team's needs at linebacker, safety and right tackle, the left guard position is wide open for 2005. Chris Dishman, Scott Tercero, Tom Nutten, and Larry Turner all started at least one game there in '04. Free agents Dishman and Nutten are both recovering from offseason surgeries and are uncertain if they will continue playing. That could leave Tercero, Blaine Saipaia, and Turner battling for the left guard spot in training camp. But Tercero also could end up at right tackle, which depends on what the Rams do in the draft. Tercero has quickness and footwork, and he is probably the most athletic of the group. The aggressive Saipaia is bulkier and more of a mauler. Turner is a bit undersized, but he has good balance and is a good technician . . .

      At the least, recently acquired DB Michael Hawthorne should be the Rams' nickel back in 2005. But he also has a chance to start at safety. Hawthorne has spent most of his career playing cornerback, including 14 starts at the position with New Orleans and Green Bay. But at 6-3, 204 pounds, he's big enough to play safety, and he finished the '04 season playing safety for the Packers. Rangy and athletic, Hawthorne is an aggressive defender whose skills should allow him to play press coverage if he's on the slot receiver in the nickel defense. In St. Louis, he is reunited with his former position coach in Green Bay, Kurt Schottenheimer, which should make the transition easier. . . .

      Coach Mike Martz hopes that holding training camp in St. Louis rather than remote Macomb, Ill., this summer will lead to less wear and tear on the team, fewer fatigue injuries and a better performance in the preseason and earlier in the regular season. Staying home for camp is a good thing this year because four of the Rams' first six regular-season games are on the road.

      SCOUTING REPORT: DE Leonard Little spent the entire 2004 season with the weight of a drunken-driving charge on his shoulders. The uncertainty affected his play as much as the constant double teams and chip blocking he received for the first time in his career. His acquittal gives him a chance for a fresh start, and that should lead to improved play from his left end position in '05. Little remains one of the game's premier edge rushers, with an excellent burst complemented by good use of hands to ward off blockers. His leverage and underrated strength make him surprisingly effective against the run despite weighing only 261 pounds. But a breakthrough year by Anthony Hargrove at right end might have as much to do with an increased sack total by Little in '05 as anything.

      STOCK RISING: Last year at this time, DT Jimmy Kennedy looked like an underachieving first-round bust. Now, he's a starter and a player being counted on to revive the...
      -04-17-2005, 08:39 PM
    • Nick
      Rams Team Report 8/14
      by Nick
      Rams Team Report
      8/14/2005

      By Jim Thomas
      St. Louis Post-Dispatch

      Losing CB Jerametrius Butler for any amount of time, much less the entire season, would be a severe blow for a defense that had trouble creating turnovers in 2004 and for a secondary looking to establish its identity. The Rams had only six interceptions a year ago, and Butler accounted for all of them. His closing speed and athleticism allow him to get to some balls that others won't. Teams tried to pick on him deep last season but with little success. Butler could face surgery because of a torn posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee suffered on the first day of camp. DeJuan Groce, Kevin Garrett, Corey Ivy, and Ron Bartell all could compete for Butler's spot. Dwight Anderson would have been in the mix, he had been the most impressive cornerback early in camp. But the team came to the conclusion that it just simply couldn't count on Anderson to be in the right place at the right time, after he missed curfew off the field, and forgot to be on the field during a simulated game on a play that resulted in a touchdown. The additions of DT John Parrella and T Matt Willig adds veteran presence to positions that needed depth. Parrella is a tough, high-motor, run stuffer who could be the fourth defensive tackle in the team's rotation. Willig may have to start right away, but eventually could settle in as the team's No. 3 or No. 4 offensive tackle. But both players are in their mid-30s and must prove in the preseason that they can still get it done.

      NEWCOMER REPORT: At 6-1, 208, rookie CB Ron Bartell gives the Rams an element of size they have been missing at cornerback for years. That should help not only in the red zone against bigger receivers, but competing for 50-50 balls, and jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage. Bartell doesn't lack for confidence, but has a long way to go in terms of technique coming into the league from Division I-AA Howard. But the release of Anderson and Butler's injury gives Howard a chance to play quickly this season -- covering slot receivers as the nickel back or even as the starter opposite Travis Fisher. To do so, he must minimize mistakes and display a quick grasp of the scheme.

      SCOUTING REPORT: After another strong offseason in the weight room, DT Jimmy Kennedy is poised for a breakthrough season. Kennedy appears to be totally recovered from the broken foot that cost him half of the 2004 season. Kennedy is bigger and stronger at 325 pounds, but also looks quicker off the ball than he has at any time in St. Louis. Despite his size, Kennedy can uses that quickness, speed, and a variety of moves to get around blockers as much as he uses power and strength. There have been times in training camp where he has looked almost unblockable in pass rush drills against his teammates. If Kennedy can pick up where he left off late last season, he will solidify a defensive tackle position...
      -08-15-2005, 03:20 PM
    • RamDez
      TSN Rams Report
      by RamDez
      TSN Rams Report

      The team is starting to develop passing-game options that should reduce the defensive attention on RB Marshall Faulk and WRs Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt. Second-year WRs Shaun McDonald and Kevin Curtis delivered big plays in the comeback win over Seattle and are emerging. Curtis has moved into the No. 3 role and can stretch defenses with his speed. McDonald also is a threat on punt returns.

      After a slow start, LE Leonard Little has had one sack in each of the last three games. To counter frequent double-teams on Little, the team occasionally is lining him up a couple of yards off the line.

      SEE A DIFFERENT GAME: New coordinator Larry Marmie is increasing the aggressiveness of his scheme, sending linebackers, safeties and slot defensive backs on blitzes. Some are zone blitzes, with RE Bryce Fisher or Little dropping into coverage. The new style has forced quarterbacks to hurry throws. Once CB Travis Fisher returns from injury in a few weeks, look for even more daring blitzes.
      -10-11-2004, 01:26 PM
    Working...
    X