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  • Rams 2006 - Are we better than last year?

    For the past few weeks, I have been contemplating writing this opinion. I was going to wait until week 17 had ended, and then give my opinions. However, while I'm sitting here on this cold early morning, I decided. "Why not now?"
    Now may be the perfect time. The dogs are patiently waiting to go for a walk so they can decorate the alley, Sami woke up in a very sweet mood and is coloring pictures, MOM is stretched out, sound asleep, and I'm enjoying the second half of my first pot of coffee of the day.

    A great time to be objective.

    Over the past 12 months, we have seen a self-destructing team with a shameful lack of effort slowly turn into a team that has a chance, albeit a small chance, to go to Miami. At this point a year ago, some were ready to put away all things blue and gold, and forget about football for a few months. All of us were really disgusted with the team.

    Then came the game against Dallas. A game no one thought we had a snowball's chance in the Sahara of winning. Somehow, a team that seemed to belong on the 'Island of Misfit Toys' put up a good fight, and came out with a win that really meant nothing in the standings, but gave us one thing we sorely needed: hope for the future.

    While other teams went on to greater things, we were left behind, trying to make sense of the circus that was playing in St. Louis. For a few very tense days, we feared that our front office would continue to provide us with a continuation of the comedy of errors that had been forced upon us, by hiring Art Shell. We thought the downward spiral had just begun.

    It may be too early to pass judgment, but it looks like someone may have figured out how to put on the brakes.

    In an offseason filled with things like the probability of Bruce no longer being with us, the fear of another crappy draft, and the unknowns of free agency, something really strange happened.

    The fans agreed with most of the decisions the front office made. Not all of the decisions, but most.

    We went into the pre-season very wary, excited at the possibilities, but fearful of reality. We knew what could happen, and we thought we knew what would happen. We watched our Special Teams do some things that shocked us, and our Defense followed suit. Our offense started slowly, but finally began to mesh.

    2006 has been a roller coaster ride, for sure. We have all had our share of heart attacks and heart breakers, we have seen our team prove that they are as good as the defending division champs, we have seen them fold and prove they are as bad as the Rams of the 90's.

    But, our record shows we are improved from last year.

    As we go into the last game of the 2006 regular season, our team is still in the running for the postseason. I don't know why, but I have a strong feeling we WILL be playing in January. Our offense is now doing something we have waited for all year long: they are showing the world that the Rams should not, and cannot, be ignored.

    No matter how things play out this coming weekend, no matter how things may go in January, I know one thing that will stick with me until next August:

    The Saint Louis Rams are no longer on the way down. We have finally found our offensive identity, our secondary identity, and the ST and D are beginning to show signs of coming out of their comas.

    We're not back yet. But, we are on the way.
    temp_4394_1467243487543_20
    RAMS!

  • #2
    Re: Rams 2006 - Are we better than last year?

    I think the team is better than last year's, though not by much.

    That said, I think there is promise on the roster. There are several young players who have demonstrated ability and who should continue to improve.

    This will be a crucial offseason. If the Rams make a few good moves, I have no doubt they can be a contender in the NFC next year. With the wrong moves, they may just run in place.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Rams 2006 - Are we better than last year?

      7-9 is not enough to satisfy my appetite. 8-8 would do nicely, yet not what I predicted.
      sigpic :ram::helmet:

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Rams 2006 - Are we better than last year?

        Still the emergence of Steven Jackson as a bonafided superstar, the return of Bruce to previous form and Marc Bulgers ability to stay healthy all season and put together a great season from day one is very encouraging to me. The thing that worries me is this defense is still struggling tremendously and the special teams still are terrible. They may be better than last year but not by much. If the Rams would of done two things in the offseason we would of been much better. Sign Grady Jackson and resign Corey Ivery and the defense would of been much better. Our secondary is looking very good but I would still love for us to find a dt, mlb and a big physical strong safety. If we can acquire these pieces I think our d would improve rapidly.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Rams 2006 - Are we better than last year?

          RFS - You can look at your question many ways?

          Is the Team better? Hmmm...

          Front Office - No real changes - Georgia may need to let the Rams go for the "organization" to reach new heights.

          Coaching Staff - Better. I like Linehan but remain lukewarm about Haslett and Ligasheski (sp?). The team may be better off with a new ST coach.

          Offense - Slightly Better. Bulger has another year of experience and may play a full season for the first time (unless I am mistaken). SJ is a better runner and receiver (team still lacks a change of pace back). The receiver corp remained status quo - but there were a lot of dropped balls this year.

          I do like the youth movement on the O-line, but personnel questions remain unanswered.

          Defense - No change/Slighlty worse. I had expected a better performance by the D. Run D is pathetic same as last year - maybe not as good as last year. I do like the infusion of talent (Spoon, Hill and Chavous), but still need a vast improvement on the forward defensive wall. At the NFL level is it personnel - is it the system - is if the game prep and coaching? The D has shown signs of playing with heart - but not frequently enough.

          Special Teams -Slightly worse. Da Bears game - say no more.

          To summarize -

          Front Office - N/C
          Coaching - Up (with a wart of two)
          Offense - Up (with a wart os so)
          Defense - Down (with couple of positives)

          Overall - Up slightly over 2005-2006!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Rams 2006 - Are we better than last year?

            This team needed this year to get down Linehan's offensive style, and just the way things are going to work out from here on out. Steven Jackson's new found "up the gut" play style has made him a superstar in many ways. Bulger had a fantastic year, and the only reason why every year isn't a pro-bowl for the guy is because he's always on IR :P. For once he stayed healthy and sure enough, he goes to the pro-bowl! I for one was happy with the draft and thought it was a lot better than previous years, and I think good things are coming to this team. And believe it or not, I think the NFC West is going to be the new powerhouse of the NFC...which isn't necessarily a good thing. But all 4 teams in the division look like they're all on their way to good years next year. We're going to have to step up our game because it looks like the other teams are. Arizona isn't looking too bad with Leinart (even though he got hurt, but their season was over anyways...), San Francisco surprisingly has a beast of a back with them. Alex Smith isn't so bad after all, and Seattle...Well, they had a bad season compared to last year's, but look for them to be back in action in 07. We need to REALLY step it up guys!
            Last edited by Varg6; -12-27-2006, 09:37 AM.
            Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Rams 2006 - Are we better than last year?

              The '06 Rams are better than the '05 Rams. There seems to be, at least, the appearance of stability. That was lacking last year with the soap operas pulling attention away from the field. That stability helps to keep the business at hand in the lockerroom not the board room.

              As well, statistically, this team is better. The '06 passing game is about the same, but with fewer mistakes. The '06 run game is better in both yardage and production. The passing defense is much, much better than last year. Fewer yards allowed, fewer points allowed, more Ints. generated......considerably better pass D, if you ask me. And while the Run D is giving up 13 yards per game more than last year, they have allowed 3 fewer TDs (of course Chester Taylor still may have something to say about that).

              Yea, I'd have to say the '06 team is the better team.
              The more things change, the more they stay the same.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Rams 2006 - Are we better than last year?

                I think the answer is YES...even if slightly.
                "You people point your 'f'in' finger and say theres the bad guy....what that make you....good?" Tony Montana

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Rams 2006 - Are we better than last year?

                  Originally posted by AugustaRamFan View Post
                  Special Teams -Slightly worse. Da Bears game - say no more.
                  I completely disagree that our special teams are worse this year. I think the problem is people lump the special teams play together, and specific areas get dragged down with the mess. Our punting and punt coverage have been much improved this year, but they don't get as much credit because the kickoff coverage hasn't been good at all. So from the viewpoint that our punt team has improved a lot, overall I would say our special teams are better than last year. We couldn't cover punts or kicks last year, at least this year we could cover punts.

                  Overall this team is better than last year for the reasons that others have already stated earlier.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Rams 2006 - Are we better than last year?

                    Win/loss records don't count in my book, only Super Bowl Trophies, we need more Trophies, our Lone Lombardi trophy is getting lonely.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Rams 2006 - Are we better than last year?

                      "In an offseason filled with things like the probability of Bruce no longer being with us, the fear of another crappy draft, and the unknowns of free agency, something really strange happened."

                      where is there any evidence stating that bruce will not be with us after this year is over???? he signed a 3yr 15million dollar deal last offseason why wouldnt he stay with the rams for his last 2 season???

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Rams 2006 - Are we better than last year?

                        Originally posted by bruce4life View Post
                        "In an offseason filled with things like the probability of Bruce no longer being with us, the fear of another crappy draft, and the unknowns of free agency, something really strange happened."

                        where is there any evidence stating that bruce will not be with us after this year is over???? he signed a 3yr 15million dollar deal last offseason why wouldnt he stay with the rams for his last 2 season???
                        I was speaking of LAST offseason, hence the use of past tense at the end of the sentence.
                        temp_4394_1467243487543_20
                        RAMS!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Rams 2006 - Are we better than last year?

                          I think the offense is better SJ is much improved. Marc stayed healthy and has cut down on the turnovers. ST, coverage is better, return game the same/worse. Defense secondary better, LB play better, front four worse.
                          Defense is worse overall then last years; Haslett will be on the hot seat next year if they are giving up yards on the ground like this.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Rams 2006 - Are we better than last year?

                            HUBison - I am not as sure that the pass defense is any better. When teams can run at will for 200-250 yards per game, why pass? I would offer that the run defense numbers deflate the passing defense numbers. Overall defensive back personnel is better abeit youthful.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Rams 2006 - Are we better than last year?

                              Originally posted by AugustaRamFan View Post
                              HUBison - I am not as sure that the pass defense is any better. When teams can run at will for 200-250 yards per game, why pass? I would offer that the run defense numbers deflate the passing defense numbers. Overall defensive back personnel is better abeit youthful.
                              Opposing offenses are running for 13 yards more per game (149 vs. 136) than last year, but are passing for 26 yards less per game (188 vs. 214), and throwing only 3 fewer times per game, and completing 4% less receptions, I'd say the passing game is a little better.

                              Not a lot better, but a little better
                              The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                              Comment

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                              • RamsFanSam
                                Where do we go from here?
                                by RamsFanSam
                                Hello, fellow Rams fans and others. I've got a few minutes between drinking the first pot of coffee and taking out my two dogs, so I thought I'd post a few thoughts on here to ask "what next?".

                                In my home, the Rams aren't just a football team. They are a way of life. When an eight year old girl would rather watch the Rams play a game they will probably lose instead of Hannah Montana, then a father knows he is raising a child right.

                                So, we have gone from 8-8, to 3-13, to 2-14. We have changed coaching staff more often than some people change their oil. We can't seem to find the answers. But still, on any given Sunday, the Rams can look like the meanest team in the league for 50 or 55 minutes...then somehow, they blow it in the last few minutes of play. When I look back on the Rams teams from the last few years, I remember noticing a slow, steady decline. Sure, there were some bright spots - SJ and Bulger both looked fantastic just two seasons ago, Bartell looked like the miracle man this year, OJ has shined, but overall, the intensity of the entire team has faded. Much of this had to do with injuries - it's hard to keep your runningback in the game and your quarterback upright if your O line isn't blocking anyone. Those rare moments when the O line did mesh provided a chance for a big play, but something seemed to always go wrong. Our WR's had WD-40 on their hands, or a route was run in the wrong direction, or the QB was so gun shy that he just wanted to get rid of the ball before getting hit.

                                This year, it was different. We had all the pieces of the puzzle, but the guy who was trying to put it together didn't know how they fit together. Four games into the season, he was let go. The entire team seemed to change overnight. The swagger was back. The players no longer looked afraid of contact. We won a game against a better Washington team and stunned the league. One week later, we made Dallas a laughingstock. (Kind of like the Eagles did last night...hahahahahahahaha!!!!) People actually began to notice us!

                                Of course, we all hoped this was the real Rams, but most of us were careful. We'd been burned before, but those guys in Blue and Gold sure looked like winners!

                                Reality set in way too soon. We couldn't get a "W" the rest of the season. It sounds strange, but until week 9, we actually had a chance to make the playoffs with a 2-6 record. Of course, we all know how that story ends.

                                But are the Rams really as bad as Detroit? No. Not even close. Think about it. Most of the last 12 games, we were within reach of a win for at least half of the game. More than once, we were within minutes of a win - then disaster struck. Each game had ONE pivotal moment that I wish we could take back and do over. Yesterday, it was the onside kick being called back - OK, two moments: the lack of coverage on that long run. Yet, the Rams did not give up - not until...
                                -12-29-2008, 07:28 AM
                              • viper
                                Alas..the sky is falling once again
                                by viper
                                It never ceases to amaze me, how quickly my fellow Ram's fans will turn on thier team, their players and their coach. The clouds of "doom and gloom" lye low above the legion once again. Again the naysayers have their day, to lay their spew upon the feet of the horns.

                                Ohhhh no, we've lost to the lowly dirty birds, Ohhh no, we've lost 6 out of the last 7 games, Ohh no, our captain has spoke out to the media about a few of his undisciplined guardians, possibly upsetting a few teammates, Oh no, our coach won't take responsibility and demand accountability from his youthful squires on the front lines, let alone the team as a whole.

                                Granted, the legion has seen better days. But, why is it that the masses choose to dwell on the "darker side" of things rather the hope of a brighter day to come. Is there not a chance, a hope that a brighter day shall dawn as a result of the upcoming offseason. This season is lost, no doubt. Who can say that this was not a distinct possibility, considering that we would be brandishing a new head coach, a new defensive coordinator, new offensive and defensive schemes, new free agents, untested rookies and a decimated offensive line. Add to that a previously dysfunctional run defense, pass defense and special teams for the last several years and what do you get? The "2006 St. Louis Rams!" Hooray! We got exactly what we "should have" expected. Or at least considered the possibility that it could be a tough year. Well guess what, it has turned out to be a "tough year." A downright bleak season.

                                But, ya know what, believe it or not, there has been improvement over last year. Our special teams have improved significantly in punting, coverage and returns. Our defense, is doing better in the turnover battle, our pass defense is improved and as hard as it may be to believe we do seem to be better at keeping opponents from scoring on us as much.

                                Its easy to throw fuel on the fire proclaiming how terrible things are when the going gets tough. The question is where are you when your team needs your support? Anybody can belittle a losing team...and their is no question we are losing right now. But, in doing so, are you any better than the opposing team's fans that come to diss on your team. I haven't seen too many "positive" threads lately about our team that make me feel like this is the Rams home.

                                I, personally, have unwavering faith in the positve attributes of the Rams! I choose not to wallow in the ever increasing muck and mire that seems to be prevalent around here lately. I agree that we are not where we want to be...far from it. But, I'm not going to participate in any "hanging" or "slop" parties or anything of the like.

                                Why can't we focus on the good things about our team or future prospects. Maybe that means a higher draft pick next year or a few well scouted free...
                                -12-05-2006, 10:53 PM
                              • sonnyjames
                                Now that the dust has settled...
                                by sonnyjames
                                That was a game I expect the players will wake up to this morning and think: "We should have won that". Rewind a year and the players would have woken up after being soundly beaten at Seattle, thinking "It's gonna be another hard season".

                                That's the change in mindset that I expect to characterise our season. Sure, we'll have some bad days at the office where some of the best sides just turn it on but I'm expecting a lot more games like we saw yesterday over the course of the next 16 weeks. And (like yesterday) while we won't come down on the right side of the result on every occassion, I think we're going to start to see a team which believes it can and will compete. There's a huge difference between waking up thinking "damn, we should have won" and waking up thinking "damn, we got tanned out there". And not just for the players but for the fans too (which will hopefully translate into better attendances and support in the EJD this season).

                                It's a long road back from a 1-15 season. We knew it would take a lot of rebuilding. Some got a little carried away with pre-season performances and some will be overly disappointed by yesterday's defeat. The reality is probably that we're not quite as good as we hoped we'd be - but far from as bad as some worry we still might be. This will probably be a rebuilding and transition season, where we end up with something like four, five or six wins. That's not a terribly exciting prospect, admittedly, but it's what this young team learns from that process which is most important and which will make a difference in a couple of seasons' time. What Bradford, in particular, will learn between now and then is going to be crucial to our development. The coaches and playcalls too, will improve as we experience more situations like we found ourselves in with two minutes to play yesterday.

                                I'm already expecting us to go and beat Oakland next week. Not hoping but expecting. I reckon the players will be too - which is probably a long way from what they were expecting when we rocked up for week two at Washington last season. We're on our way back.
                                -09-13-2010, 04:25 AM
                              • rNemesis
                                Can our RAMS rise back to greatness once again?
                                by rNemesis
                                This article is what I always think about, and maybe similar to what Bryan Burwell wrote about in a previous thread called " RAMS HAVE CHANCE TO DEFINE SEASON".. I really loved that article and it reminded me of what I want to talk about, and that is the rise of a team to greatness/elite status, whether it be once again, or finally for the first time.

                                Our Rams have been through a lot of ups and downs. Historically, we have been both good and bad; that is, we've been right there at the top and right there at the bottom at any given year. We've had the championship in cleveland in the 50's or 60's or so and went to the bowl against the steelers in the late 70's, went to the NFC championship game against the bears in 85, the eagles in 2001, and a host of other great playoff games. And of course the 90's were fairly bad until 99. But those were all different teams with different identities.

                                Lets look at the GSOT. Now this was arguably the best RAMS team to EVER take the football field, with the closest second probably being that "FEARSOME FOURSOME" rams team, with Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen, etc. The GSOT offense consisted of Kurt Warner at QB ( due to Trent Green's season ending injury), Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, Ricky Proehl, and Marshall Faulk. On the defensive side of the ball, they had Grant Wistrom, London Fletcher, Aeneas Williams, etc. We had a team that was offensively unstoppable and defensively capable of getting stops and/or turnovers. Always an opportunistic defense. This was also what I would have called ELITE STATUS in the NFL: winning in the NFL alot and consistently. But, as time passed, bad decision making, poor drafting and personnel decisions, and retirement pushed this team into the abyss for about three years ( 2007-2009), which there was no excuse for.

                                There were other ELITE teams, but I am not sure who to call because at that time most were only GOOD themselves, not as GREAT as what they are now. Teams like the Eagles, Colts, Falcons, Seahawks, Chiefs, Raiders, Ravens, and Buccaneers were all examples of good teams, but I really dont think none were as good overall as the Rams (GSOT) were. Some have stayed perenially good, others have fallen a bit, some have been up and down. But no one has been as bad as the Rams have been through a three year period.

                                We have seen the RAMS as bad as they were for that three year period. And we have seen the GSOT and how GREAT they were. NOW, we are in a rebuilding mode since and have gotten a lot to show for it; obviously not GREAT yet, but decent and respectable, which is all you can ask for when you go 6-42 over three seasons. My point is this. When do you think we can reach that ELITE status again and roam the NFL earth beating foes as we try to climb that mountain to the top?

                                My feeling is, it shouldnt take long at all considering where we at. We've got a nice QB, good MLB, good...
                                -12-02-2010, 12:45 PM
                              • rNemesis
                                When can we be "relevant " again?
                                by rNemesis
                                First off let me say "THANK YOU SAM' for playing very well against the Patriots in his first career NFL start and third preseason game. It was an excellent display of poise, arm strength, confidence in the pocket and durability of his shoulder and ability to take sacks and hits and stay cool under pressure. However, while I am very proud of it and it was nice for him to get this off his chest, he still needs a lot more work and reps and this will only come with time of course and its to be expected from a rookie QB. But he did what he HAD to do, and it was a good thing AJ Feeley got injured, because it seemed to have come at the right time. This was exactly what he needed to feel even more confident and comfortable in the NFL. I watched the game myself, and let me tell you I was very impressed with the way he looked and the way the team looked in general. Accurate zip on passes no matter where it really was, he made those passes. He got good protection from the O-line and help from Jackson and little bit of Darby.

                                Was anyone looking for an identity for this team? Well I think its this. If you notice, either good teams, especially with great defense, play to their level of their opponent or they dont. I feel like the Rams have just recently been a team that plays to the level of their opponent. When we play sub.500 teams, we play a good close game. When we play a good team, we fight hard to stay in the game, but our OFFENSE just lets us down; had they scored some points, they would have been much more manageable games for us. We will DEFINITELY establish SJAX and whoever else for the running game to set up PA to whoever is open downfield. If we have to run the ball all day, we can do that. If we have to air it out, I feel like we are capable enough of a good passing game too.

                                SO MY QUESTION IS THIS: When can we be back in the the playoffs and start being an elite team ? It is possible, although rather very difficult, to turn a 1-15 team into a 9-7 or better team. ( aka 08 dolphins to 09 dolphins, I'm sure there are other examples but that one always come to mind) . But this is exactly what I could'nt understand for years. The fact that other teams had seem to be winning year in year out and if not winning, at the very least having respectable records. But no, not us , because why? We're the "same old sorry ass rams" to a lot of critics. WHY? where did that name even come from anyway ? A bad 90's decade ? SO what who cares? I just dont see why everyone is/was making a big deal about our losing seasons, albeit it was very dismal. But it would have had to been the horrible draft picks during that previous regime. Thank God we have sensible people in place running this team that know how to build and run one, no matter its history.

                                What all do we need? A playmaking WR ? A legit backup to steven Jax? A premier pass rusher? Someone mentioned somewhere a couple of days ago on this forum that...
                                -08-27-2010, 03:16 PM
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