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  • Defending the defense while offending the pessimists

    :l


    Defending the defense might seem like a tough task to a lot of Rams fans these days. Why I choose to take on such a low, down, dirty task is beyond me. Maybe I'm the consummate Rams fan. The type that has always been in love with a bit of an underdog. Hey, if you have been a Rams fan for very long, you know what I'm talking about.

    So where does one begin to defend this defense amongst all the pessimism? Since we can not predict the future, I say history is the best option.

    Most of us remember what it was like to be a perennial basement dweller only to rise to the top after the '99 season with a shiny new Lombardi and high hopes for a repeat the following season.

    And why not a repeat? We had the GSOT and a pretty good defense. Granted the defense was not the best, but it was no slouch. The majority of defensive starters returned, the defensive coordinator returned, the same scheme returned, and yet we all know that the bottom fell out in 2000.

    Hmmm. Just goes to show how easily a group of players can rise and fall from season to season. Scheme, coaching, talent level are certainly factors, but ultimately it comes from within the group of players. They can rise. History has proven it.

    So how good does this defense really need to be to win a championship? Our own Rams history and very recent history has proven they do not need to be the best defense in the league. They simply need to be good enough when it matters most.

    Let's look a little deeper into that magical season of '99. There are those who claim that your best defense is a potent offense. I'm quite sure this is not entirely true. However, we have seen it work to our advantage. The potent offense of the '99 squad certainly helped the defense. The offense was able to score quickly and often. This put the defense in a good position against opposing offenses as they were forced to play catch-up. Our 2007 offense has the ability to be quite potent. This can help the 2007 defense. History has proven it.

    Now Let's look at recent history. Most of us know that Baltimore had the #1 defense last season and where that got them. Did most of you also know that the Raiders had the number #3 defense in the league? I'm sure we all know where that got them. Our Rams of course came in at #23. Not good enough, some might say. Okay let's look further. Remember the Colts of last season? They finished at #21. Well, the Rams have no pass rush, some say. True, to some extent, however they were #8 in pass defense and #3 against receiving. Ah, but the Rams run defense is crap, some might add. Well that is correct. The Rams run defense finished just ahead of the last place Colts run defense.

    Hmmm. How good does the defense need to be to win a championship? Certainly not the best. History has proven it.



    Ultimately the best way to defend our Rams defense will come from their own fans. My point here is to try and bring to light that good things can and do happen. It's not all gloom and doom. Anything can happen during the course of a season. History has proven it.



    :l

  • #2
    Re: Defending the defense while offending the pessimists

    nice refreshing post ferter...this is why we watch the game!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Defending the defense while offending the pessimists

      I think all that is missing is a good(I say good) DT.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Defending the defense while offending the pessimists

        Originally posted by Ferter View Post
        My point here is to try and bring to light that good things can and do happen. It's not all gloom and doom. Anything can happen during the course of a season. History has proven it.
        Nice post Ferter. Let's hope that "good" history repeats itself. We're due.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Defending the defense while offending the pessimists

          Excellent post, you never know who's going to rise or fall. Hopefully we will rise up!
          sigpic :ram::helmet:

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          • #6
            Re: Defending the defense while offending the pessimists

            Good to see you around ferter with such positive thoughts oozing from your post. History has certainly shown that the best teams, statisticaly speaking, don't always win and that a great defense does not guarantee success in the playoffs. The bears and the colts are a great example.

            Stick around and post ferter....you have been absent for a long time.
            sigpic

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            • #7
              Re: Defending the defense while offending the pessimists

              wow, I come back and now Ferter......what's up buddy.

              Ok, aside from having a group hug, singing cumbaya, and passing out flowers at the airport....realistically there is very little talent on this defense. Hill has talent, Little, Witherspoon....those guys are talented. Pisa? still seems to miss on big plays. Chillar? serviceable. Kennedy? Bust so far. Everyone else besides Hill in the secondary? either too old or barely serviceable.

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              • #8
                Re: Defending the defense while offending the pessimists

                Nice post, Ferter.

                If you look at the D, there are a lot of players with growth potential (GP), a couple in their prime (P) and few on the downside of their career (D).

                DE Adeyanju - GP
                DE Hall - GP
                DT Kennedy - GP
                DT Wroten - GP
                DT Glover - D
                DE Little - P
                LB Witherspoon - P
                LB Tinoisamoa - GP
                LB Chillar - GP
                LB Alson - GP
                CB Brown - P
                CB Hill - GP
                CB Bartell - GP
                S Chavous - D
                S Atogwe - GP
                S Johnson - GP

                Add in a couple of rookies, and there is room to improve from within. That's not to say that the FA market should be ignored, but certainly the Rams should not be paying big $ to get players who might not be better than the guys already here.

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                • #9
                  Re: Defending the defense while offending the pessimists

                  Clements is 6-0, 209......was one of the best DB against the run and is known as a shut down corner. He would have been a major upgrade to this defense and would have helped Hill in his progression. However, the Rams went after offense with Bennett knowing that this years draft is full of WR's.

                  Honestly, I think the Rams FO and coaching staff has given up on helping the defense this year and is just going to try to outscore everybody.

                  Get the Malox and Tums ready, it's going to be a crazy year.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Defending the defense while offending the pessimists

                    Originally posted by txramsfan View Post
                    Clements is 6-0, 209......was one of the best DB against the run and is known as a shut down corner. He would have been a major upgrade to this defense and would have helped Hill in his progression. However, the Rams went after offense with Bennett knowing that this years draft is full of WR's.

                    Honestly, I think the Rams FO and coaching staff has given up on helping the defense this year and is just going to try to outscore everybody.

                    Get the Malox and Tums ready, it's going to be a crazy year.
                    I allready have the I.V. tree on wheels ready to go. 1 empty bag is labeled "MALOX", on the other side of the tree is an empty bag labeled "CHAMPAGNE". Just waiting for the season to start.
                    sigpic :ram::helmet:

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                    • #11
                      Re: Defending the defense while offending the pessimists

                      I don't see how anyone can conclude that the Front Office is standing pat on the defense. If the Rams don't use their first round pick and either a second or a third on a defensive player, then I'd agree, but the draft is a big part of the upgrading process that can't simply be discounted.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Defending the defense while offending the pessimists

                        I agree Av about the draft. I do and we all know that drafting defense takes time to develop. However, it just seems like the FO is more interested in putting fans in the seats for entertainment purposes than winning. Outside of Spoon, what was the last big FA defensive signing the Rams have had? I don't know outside of Little. And I really don't think you can blame Martz totally for all the failures the Rams have drafted defensively. We've let Dre Bly, London Fletcher, Grant Wistrom (at his prime), walk away and the Rams have resigned every key offensive player. To me, that tells me that this FO has pretty much put the D on the backside and went after the offensive entertainment value.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Defending the defense while offending the pessimists

                          There's no question that the FO has attempted to maintain the GSOT entertainment factor, and has failed to retain some key defensive players as a result (I'd add Pickett and B.Fisher to the list). My hope is that the defensive players we've drafted (Wroten, Adeyanju, Hill, Atogwe, Bartell) will develop into a solid core.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Defending the defense while offending the pessimists

                            then we'll just watch them leave as free agents again as we did our other defensive players...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Defending the defense while offending the pessimists

                              Originally posted by txramsfan View Post
                              Outside of Spoon, what was the last big FA defensive signing the Rams have had? I don't know outside of Little. And I really don't think you can blame Martz totally for all the failures the Rams have drafted defensively. We've let Dre Bly, London Fletcher, Grant Wistrom (at his prime), walk away and the Rams have resigned every key offensive player.
                              1. Aneas Williams was the last defensive free agent impact player we've had. I wouldn't count Witherspoon as much of an impact player because of his position and the fact we still had one of the worst run defenses in the league.
                              2. I would totally blame Martz for letting those players walk.
                              3. Fletcher is way to old. Bly got run out of Detroit (who sucks). Grant Wistrom just got released because he wasn't worth the money it would have cost for the Rams to resign him. I agree we would probably have been better for two years, but we wold be hurting and needing to rebuild right now. Going into this year and the future, I would much rather have Hill, Witherspoon, Atogwe, Bartell, and Brown with more cap room because if the players you named were on the field right now, they would probably be pretty bad as well as injury proned.
                              4. The Rams let a lot of key offensive players go like Roland Williams (the first time), Ernie Conwell, Az Hakim, Ryan Tucker, Kevin Curtis, Shawn McDonald, and Kurt Warner.

                              The way I see it, we made a lot of bad defensive decisions (particulary under Martz and Larry M) by not drafting well, and by trying to sign bad free agents. On the other hand the offense hasn't made many bad signings nor have the drafted poorly (hence success). The only way we are going to fix the defense, is to build on the players we have like Little and Pisa, and continuing to develop young players like Hill, Bartell, and Atogwe (who played very well last year and were all in there second year or below). The offense is now set for a couple of years, and we can focus our upcoming drafts on defense. I think Linehan and company did a very good job so far in free agency (Glover is a good leader for younger players, Witherspoon was decent, Brown was a huge upgrade, and they resigned Little and Pisa). They haven't overpaid anyone who has ended up sucking (although you can sort of make an argument about Glover). Now we just have to see how they draft. I think we just need to give Hasslet some time.
                              Last edited by Krames41; -03-13-2007, 03:21 PM.

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                              • BrokenWing
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                                by BrokenWing
                                What in the hell is going on with our defense today? The Offense comes out and does well so the Defense has to suck? This is really starting to piss me off.
                                -10-28-2007, 12:55 PM
                              • Barry Waller
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                                by Barry Waller
                                Fans always think a team with a good offense and average defense should go all in on defensive help first when spending free agent money and high draft picks.

                                However, if the goal is to win it all, balance should be secondary to superiority on one side of the ball.

                                How should that effect the Rams? They should look at the model Seattle and SF have used, to build the defense and running game up first until it is getting you in the playoffs.

                                Sure, if TOP offensive weapons are availabvle, go try for them, but if the Rams can add a great OLB, and two great safeties, plus another inside pass rusher and a fourth corner, this could be a world class defense.

                                The Rams DO have three young WR that have very good upside, maybe great, and they will add talent and speed in the draft.

                                That late first and early second round will feature some very good WR talent, and that's why I hope the Rams just stay out of the foolish bidding for these WR,

                                I think TE nd OT should be where they go on offense, and they should instead, spend what it takes on defense to really make this good unit a top 5 squad.

                                They have the pass rushers and the starting CB, meaning you can add cheaper positions like safety and linebacker with true stars.

                                WHen the greatest show faded and started losing because of lousy defense, EVERYONE was crying to go for a defensive type squad, like the Ravens, Steelers, Giants, Bucs, and others had done.

                                Everyone wanted a defensive coach as head coach, and were thrilled when they got Spags, and now the same people are crying for Air Coryell.

                                The thing is, even if they had that kin dof firepower, Fisher and Shotty are not goon just start winging the ball all over, because they KNOW what it takes to WIN games in the NFL.

                                So quit hollering about need need need all the time (meaning another Torry Holt or Ike Bruce)

                                Add a tackle and a tight end and this offense is already better.

                                WHen it comes to who you sign, you sign guys that are worth their contracts, no matter what need, big or small, they fill. You don't go QB, DE, or DT probably, but the rest si all ready for upgrade, and making t his good defense great is just as crucial, amybe moreso, as adding "explosive" offensive weapons.

                                Just look at the SB winners below , and you see that having one great unit is far more imporatnt than having two good ones.


                                In 1999, the Rams won it all with the best offense, and a quite average defense.
                                In 2000, The Ravens won with the leagues best defense, one of the best ever, and a very medocre offense witha journey man passer.
                                In 2001, New England won, without a good offense, with a vfery young, untested passer.
                                In 2002, Tampa Bay won solely with defense.
                                In 2003, New England's offense was 17th, again they won...
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                              • GroundChuck
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                              • NJ Ramsfan1
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                                by NJ Ramsfan1
                                First off, let me say that I LOVE good defense. I played defensive back in high school, coached defense and also actually would rather watch good defensive units instead of good offenses in the NFL. I remember as a kid preferring to watch childhood idols Jack Youngblood and Nolan Cromwell patrol the field instead of the Rams offense, which at the time was often rather pedestrian. It is in that spirit that I ask the following question: "Is trying to build a great defense REALLY the way to go?

                                I ask this because for years we have been weaned on the philosophy that "defense wins championships". In today's NFL, I'm not so sure. New England has NEVER been great defensively. The Giants had an average defense that got hot at the right time two years ago. And the Ravens made the transition from a defensive team to a very good offensive one before winning a SB this year.

                                Jeff Fisher- a defensive-minded coach came aboard and immediately prioritized the defense. This was both expected and in my opinion completely appropriate. We needed to develop a toughness and mold a team in his image to go toe to toe with the NFC West. This approach brought immediate dividends last season. Building on that (re-signing Hayes/Cudjo) and probably addressing both Safety and Linebacker in the coming draft are also expected and necessary. But it is now time to make the transition to helping the offensive side of the ball.

                                Signing Jake Long was a HUGE and I feel, critical move. And now we must follow it up by addressing the receiver position. That absolutely must be priority # 1 in my eyes. This administration has chosen to go entirely through the draft to address receiver needs. With Givens, the results look promising. With the others, the jury is very much in doubt, and this season will tell us a lot.

                                In today's NFL, I would suggest one does not need an GREAT defense, but one which is both sound and capable. Instead, a team ABSOLUTELY needs a very good offense if it wishes to reach the promised land- a departure from the defensive-minded clubs of years past.
                                -03-18-2013, 05:22 AM
                              • r8rh8rmike
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                                by r8rh8rmike
                                For a new defense still finding it's way, I couldn't have asked for more at this point. We've given up some big plays here and there, but to be holding opponents to 14.7 points per game is impressive IMO.

                                "Bend but don't break" has been the style so far, but I expect less bending as the defense as a whole improves and continues to be aggresive and opportunistic.
                                -09-28-2006, 04:43 PM
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