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Flags leave Rams with little to salute

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  • Flags leave Rams with little to salute

    By Jim Thomas

    Three weeks after Veterans Day, the Rams took part in Flag Day this past Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome. But it was no celebration.

    The Rams' season-high 126 yards in penalties against Arizona may have been an extreme. But unfortunately for coach Scott Linehan, it was merely the latest example of what's becoming a seasonlong trend.

    Despite his efforts to minimize penalties, particularly of the pre-snap and post-whistle variety, Linehan's Rams are among the most penalized teams in the NFL this season.

    Only Dallas (809) has been assessed more penalty yards than the Rams (721). And only Minnesota (93), Arizona (88) and Detroit (86) have been assessed more penalties than St. Louis (85).

    Perhaps most disturbing is the fact that the Rams lead the league in false-start penalties this season (31). According to the STATS statistical firm, right tackle Alex Barron leads the NFL in false-start penalties (nine). Also according to STATS, center Richie Incognito is in a three-way tie for most holding penalties assessed (four).

    Over the course of the season, dating to training camp, the Rams have run laps after practice because of pre-snap penalties such as false starts. When a "penalty" occurs in practice, the Rams repeat the play, according to Linehan.

    "There's got to be some kind of consequence," Linehan said. "I think the emphasis has to be on holding that person, or persons, or group accountable to those things."

    But there's only so much that can be done in the middle of a season. By league rule, players cannot be fined for such things as too many penalties. Bench Barron, you say? And replace him with ... who?

    "You've got to overcome penalties," Incognito said following Sunday's 34-20 loss to Arizona. "They're going to happen. But when you've got that many, at critical times, it's tough."

    There was a time when the Rams' offense was good enough to overcome penalties, sacks, and almost whatever obstacles were thrown at them. The 1999 Super Bowl championship team, for example, was penalized 113 times the 10th-highest total in franchise history.

    The '06 Rams are on pace for exactly that many penalties this season 113. But the team isn't good enough offensively, defensively, or on special teams to consistently overcome that many flags. Which is why Linehan has stressed smart football since the start of his tenure: limiting errors, penalties and turnovers.

    Even on the heels of Marc Bulger's three interceptions against Arizona, the Rams have done a good job limiting turnovers. Only six teams have fewer giveaways than the Rams' 16. But penalties are another matter.

    "You would think it shouldn't happen," running back Steven Jackson said. "And it's continued to bite us. So we've just got to eliminate it."

    Penalties were a huge factor in the Arizona loss. The final figures actually showed the Big Red with more penalties (11 to 10) than the Rams. And Arizona also had more than 100 yards in penalties 107 to be exact. But those figures were misleading.

    When Arizona scored with 2 minutes 10 seconds to go in the third quarter to take a 24-10 lead, the Cardinals had been penalized only five times for 40 yards, compared to the Rams' eight times for 116 yards at that point. With the contest pretty much decided, the Cardinals were penalized six times for 67 yards in the final 16 minutes.

    The fact that there were many penalties Sunday shouldn't be a big surprise considering the officiating crew. According to research done by the Tacoma News Tribune, referee Ron Winter's crew which worked the game is tied for the most penalties called in the NFL. Winter's crew averages 14.3 penalties a game, the same average as referee Gene Steratore's crew this season.

    As was the case against Arizona, the Rams were flagged for 10 penalties (for 78 yards) Oct. 8 in Green Bay matching their season-high penalty total with Winter's crew also working that contest.

    No matter which crew works a Rams game, Linehan said penalty totals like those in the Arizona game are unacceptable from his team.

    "It not something we can have and expect to win," Linehan said. "They're hard to overcome. Penalties are part of the game. But penalties that happen before the ball is snapped are unacceptable. Penalties that happen after the ball's whistled dead are unacceptable."

    False starts obviously fall into the pre-snap area. So does the offside penalty by defensive end Leonard Little that wiped out a Ron Bartell interception. Some unnecessary roughness calls, such as Incognito's in the third quarter against Arizona, fall into the post-whistle category.

    RAMBLINGS: Defensive lineman Michael Brown has been added to the Rams' practice squad. He replaces Tim Sandidge, who was signed to Kansas City's active roster.

  • #2
    Re: Flags leave Rams with little to salute

    anyone notice how players like Incognito and Chavous who have given away penalities say that the Rams should be able to overcome them, not that they shouldnt happen in the first place.

    they need to know its not ok to commit a penalty, because at the moment they dont seem to care, thinking that the team can overcome it. which they obviously cant.


    • #3
      Re: Flags leave Rams with little to salute

      Originally posted by RamWraith View Post
      By Jim Thomas

      The fact that there were many penalties Sunday shouldn't be a big surprise considering the officiating crew. According to research done by the Tacoma News Tribune, referee Ron Winter's crew which worked the game is tied for the most penalties called in the NFL. Winter's crew averages 14.3 penalties a game, the same average as referee Gene Steratore's crew this season.

      As was the case against Arizona, the Rams were flagged for 10 penalties (for 78 yards) Oct. 8 in Green Bay matching their season-high penalty total with Winter's crew also working that contest.
      I wonder if our players are made aware of this type of info prior to the game?
      sigpic :ram::helmet:


      Related Topics


      • RamWraith
        Rams seem to get flagged at worst time
        by RamWraith
        Penalties also have an impact

        ST. LOUIS - They were facing a 2-9 Arizona team at the Edward Jones Dome, a Cardinals contingent that had gone 0-5 on the road this season.

        Easy pickings for the St. Louis Rams, right?

        Not even close.

        The Rams lost 34-20 and were penalized 10 times for 126 yards, many of them either stopping Rams drives or aiding Cardinal possessions.

        Arizona did its part to contribute to the penalty party, drawing 11 infractions for 107 yards.

        A quick rundown of the Rams' transgressions:

        -A false start penalty --on first down -- on Rams tackle Alex Barron early in second quarter.

        A roughing the passer penalty on Rams defensive end Leonard Little and a defensive holding penalty on La'Roi Glover on the same drive early in the second quarter.

        The defense held when it stopped the Cardinals on fourth-and-goal at the 1, although quarterback Matt Leinart falling down on the fourth-down handoff aided the process.

        A pass interference call on cornerback Fakhir Brown while running with receiver Anquan Boldin. On the next play, Leinart threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald to take a 14-3 lead.

        A face mask penalty on Rams left guard Mark Setterstrom.

        Rams center Richie Incognito's unnecessary roughness penalty that set the Rams back 15 yards. However, they continued the drive and scored to cut the Cardinals' lead to 17-10.

        -A defensive holding call on Glover and pass interference on safety Corey Chavous led to another Arizona touchdown.

        -An offsides call on Little with 8:59 remaining wiped out an interception by Ron Bartell. Marcell Shipp later scored on a 9-yard TD run that put the game out of reach.

        "You are going to have penalties where the guys are bumping into each other that may go your way or not go your way," Rams coach Scott Linehan said. "But we have penalties that are avoidable. There is no such thing as a good penalty, but there are some penalties that are absolutely unacceptable and that are hard to overcome."

        Particularly distressing to Linehan were pass interference penalties that aided scoring drives.

        "We have to clean up our technique," he said. "We can't blame the officials for calling the penalties. You have to look at what you are doing and we are going to have to clean it up."

        Rams guard Adam Timmerman agreed.

        "We're definitely making too many mistakes," Timmerman said. "We killed ourselves really on a lot of the drives. When the drives ended without points, it was either because we made a mistake, either a penalty probably most often, or a turnover or a sack.

        "Those are mistakes you can't be making,...
        -12-04-2006, 01:13 PM
      • RamWraith
        Arizona profits from Rams' penalties
        by RamWraith
        By Bill Coats
        Monday, Dec. 04 2006

        Yellow flags littered the air Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome, with the Rams
        and Arizona combining for 21 penalties. The consequences of its indiscretions
        were much higher for the home team, though, in a 34-20 defeat.

        The Rams were penalized 10 times, tying a season high. They were assessed a
        whopping 103 yards of negative yardage on five of those calls, and the
        Cardinals profited by 17 points as a result.

        "There's no such thing as a good penalty, but there are some penalties that are
        absolutely unacceptable," coach Scott Linehan said. "We had a couple of big

        The biggest, in terms of raw real estate, was a pass-interference call against
        cornerback Fakhir Brown that netted the Cardinals 34 yards. On the next snap,
        quarterback Matt Leinart hit wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald for an 11-yard
        touchdown and a 14-3 second-quarter lead.

        "It's tough to adjust for a deep ball, and then it's even tougher when the
        referee is calling it (when) it's a borderline call," Brown said. "We can't
        blame it on that, because the referees have a hard job, too. They can't make
        the right call every time."

        Later in the second period, rookie guard Mark Setterstrom was hit with a
        facemask penalty that pushed the Rams back 12 yards, to their 12-yard line. An
        interception six plays later by safety Adrian Wilson led to a field goal and a
        17-3 Cards edge at the half. In the third period, a pass-interference flag on
        safety Corey Chavous cost the Rams 27 yards, and Arizona took advantage when
        running back Marcel Shipp rolled 6 yards to the end zone for a 24-10 lead.

        "We're a good enough football team to overcome those penalties, and we didn't,"
        Chavous said. "The only thing you can do is go look at yourself in the mirror
        and try to get better."

        The glut of penalties, particularly 12 games into the season, was "hard to
        explain," wide receiver Kevin Curtis said. "There could be a million reasons. I
        think a big one is just lack of concentration, lack of focus."

        Said cornerback Tye Hill: "You can't win with all these penalties. ...
        Penalties just killed us."
        -12-04-2006, 04:58 AM
      • r8rh8rmike
        Ouch! Rams Lead NFL In Penalty Yards, Second In Total Penalties
        by r8rh8rmike
        This is a trend that can't continue if things are going to turn around. Surprising to me the numbers for a Spagnuolo coached team:

        85 penalty yards to lead the NFL, tied for second with 10 total penalties.

        On a positive note, the Rams are tied for fourth in the NFL with a +2 turnover margin.
        -09-18-2009, 07:56 PM
      • evil disco man
        [ESPN]: The All-Flag Team
        by evil disco man
        Flag these guys down when there's a penalty on the play
        By Mike Sando

        An exasperated Tom Coughlin threatened to bench offensive linemen after his New York Giants committed 11 false-start penalties during a memorable loss at the Seattle Seahawks two seasons ago.

        The coach should advocate pay raises for his linemen now.

        The Giants' front five has committed only five false-start penalties all season, helping New York get a jump on most of the NFC. Speaking of getting jumps -- no teams get more of them than the Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams.

        The Raiders' line, led by habitual penalty offenders Robert Gallery and Barry Sims, leads the league with 20 false-start penalties this season.

        10 most penalized players, 2004-07
        Player Number
        Robert Gallery, 46
        Alex Barron, 43
        Leonard Davis, 39
        Chris McAlister, 39
        Tarik Glenn, 37
        Al Harris, 36
        Flozell Adams, 35
        Quentin Jammer, 33
        Chester Pitts, 33
        Jason Taylor, 33

        St. Louis is second with 16, but Oakland remains within the reach as long as tackle Alex Barron is lining up for the Rams.

        Barron has drawn 43 penalties since 2004, second among all NFL players.
        Gallery leads the way with 46, but Sims is keeping pace this season. They each have 11, tied for second in the league behind Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson, who has 12.

        That's the word from ESPN researchers Noel Nash, Matthew Weeks, Ben Lerner and Paul McGhee. They crunched league-wide penalty totals since 2004, providing enough data to identify trends without reaching beyond average career lengths. They broke down penalties by type and even situation, singling out offenders most likely to hurt their teams in the fourth quarters of close games.

        We break down the highlights -- or lowlights, as they might be -- halfway through the NFL season.

        1. Habitual offenders

        Offensive linemen tend to play nearly all the snaps. Most need to get off the ball ASAP to handle superior athletes on opposing defenses. They would rather risk holding than allow their quarterbacks to take direct shots.

        But some of these guys can't function within the rules. Eleven of the 15 most-penalized players since 2004 are offensive linemen.

        Oakland's Gallery was the second player chosen in the 2004 draft, but he ranks first on the list of the most-penalized players over the past 3 seasons. Gallery also makes his penalties count. He's the only player with more than 300 penalty yards, although a couple of defensive backs came close.

        Most penalized players 2007 only
        Player Number
        Charles Woodson, 12
        Barry Sims, 11
        Robert Gallery, 11
        Jason Taylor, 10
        Flozell Adams, 9
        Terrell Owens, 8
        Alex Barron, 8
        Albert Haynesworth,...
        -11-10-2007, 01:47 PM
      • Guam rammer
        by Guam rammer
        For three quarters we killed ourselves with penalties. against that type of team in a road game it its almost impossible to come back with a 21 point deficit. Almost though is a good way to describe todays game. Bradford again brought the team back with some solid play. If we stop them with 2:09 and two T/O left it would've been interesting to see what we could've done. Question is, should we have kicked an onside? its one of those things as a head coach if you trust your defense or not.
        -09-15-2013, 01:28 PM