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  • Bernie: Meaningless game prompts a few first impressions

    Meaningless game prompts a few first impressions
    By Bernie Miklasz
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    08/12/2004

    The Rams offensive line is in such an advanced state of deterioration that I half expected to come to the Edward Jones Dome Thursday to discover that St. Louis had activated Hall of Fame offensive tackle Jackie Slater to suit up against the Chicago Bears.

    Or to put it another way: Where have you gone, Dwayne "Road Grader" White?

    With left tackle Orlando Pace still doing his usual summer retreat from camp, with ailing right tackle Kyle Turley visiting back specialists and chiropractors on a national tour, and with center Dave Wohlabaugh gimpy with a bad hip, the Rams aren't exactly the Seven Blocks of Granite these days.

    But the strangers on the line played well against the Bears and thus spared the lives of quarterbacks Marc Bulger and Chris Chandler, at least for one evening. And head coach Mike Martz had no reservations about putting his QBs at risk by frequently dialing up passes.

    This means one of four things: This patchwork line is surprisingly good, the Bears' defense is remarkably incompetent, Martz is cuckoo, or NFL preseason football is meaningless.

    I choose option No. 4.

    The players aren't in regular-season form. The same could be said for public address announcer Jim Holder, who called rookie quarterback Jeff Smoker "John Smoker." And the fans need work. Message on the stadium video board at halftime: "Jennifer Will You Marry Me?" This is inappropriate. Couldn't the dude wait until at least the Sept. 12 regular- season home opener to pop the question?

    And the NFL officials certainly are in midseason shape. The boys in stripes were happy to prove that by calling 19 penalties on the Bears and 12 on the Rams. There were so many infractions, they should have sealed the field with yellow police tape.

    Still, there is only one reason to attend a exhibition game: To scribble a list of first impressions:

    Bulger looked decent. Chandler looked good. And Kurt Warner continues to draw rave reviews in the New York Giants' camp. (I just had to slip a gratuitous Warner reference into the column for no legitimate reason).

    Rookie running back Steven Jackson, who has resided with Martz's dachshund "Buddy" in the coach's doghouse for much of this summer, flashed power and speed and promise. After wasting No. 1 picks on defensive linemen who can't play, have the Rams finally chosen a winner?

    The Rams still have about 27 fast, acrobatic receivers with sure, flypaper hands. Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald are exciting.

    After showing up Martz by ignoring Martz's phone calls, Turley showed up to watch the game. How gracious of Turley. Somewhere, New Orleans head coach Jim Haslett is laughing.

    I don't know if anyone on the Rams coaching staff or front office has noticed, but the team has no standout defensive tackles on the roster. That is, unless Ryan Pickett and Damione Lewis are your idea of Bob Lilly and Mean Joe Greene.

    It was irritating to see the Bears, coached by former Rams defensive coordinator Lovie Smith, call so many blitzes in the first half. Yo, Lovie: Why didn't you blitz New England QB Tom Brady on the final drive when the Patriots upset the Rams in the Super Bowl?

    It was funny to see the Bears attack the Rams defense with inside runs. Smith knows the weaknesses because he's responsible for the design flaws. Namely: An undersized front seven that will get mashed as long as an offense has the patience to stick with the run. And it's a front seven that's easily tricked by misdirection runs. For more details, review Carolina's victory over the Rams in the 2004 NFL playoffs. Can the Rams make corrections?

    Bobby April is gone, but the Rams special teams still need work.

    If there's anything more hideous than preseason football, it's overtime preseason football.

  • #2
    Re: Bernie: Meaningless game prompts a few first impressions

    I listened on radio.. so I have no comments based on anything seen.

    But, Bernie is right on... the run will kick our butts every time, and those cut backs resulting from over pursuit. (I still have nightmares from the Carolina game.)

    I hope Marmie has a recipe to fix Lovie's oversights. I do not see the DTs as undersized...Grease and Kennedy are (were) of decent size. I think it's more about staying in a lane. A couple of folks have to have some kind of cut back responsibility.

    IMO of course.

    PS I was glad the OT was over quickly....despite the Special Teams debacle.

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    • #3
      Re: Bernie: Meaningless game prompts a few first impressions

      After showing up Martz by ignoring Martz's phone calls, Turley showed up to watch the game. How gracious of Turley. Somewhere, New Orleans head coach Jim Haslett is laughing.
      Come on Bernie!!Cut Turley a break here.At least Kyle thought enough of the team to show up for the game.
      ST.LOUIS RAMS:THE MOST FRUSTRATING TEAM IN THE NFL!!!

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      • #4
        Re: Bernie: Meaningless game prompts a few first impressions

        Bernie never misses an opportunity to take a cheap shot at the Rams.

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        • #5
          Re: Bernie: Meaningless game prompts a few first impressions

          The only - and I emphasize ONLY - good thing about the RAMS moving from Los Angeles, is that we get to see them play on TV a lot more than when they were here. And, it still gets the announcers once in a while. :redface:

          I thought that Tyoka played pretty good (when he was in there).

          I pose this question - why do they call them 'Special Teams' ?
          Always a Rams Fan............

          Rex Allen Markel

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          • #6
            Re: Bernie: Meaningless game prompts a few first impressions

            Hell, I agree with Bernie. Martz is technically Turley's boss. He should have at least respected the title and called him back. At least Martz is concerned about Turley and always says how tough it is for him and does call. And then Turley snubs him by not calling back but has the frickin time to get to the game? And can't pick up a phone?

            Please, I know you guys hate Bernie but getting on his case for this is ridiculous.

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            • #7
              Re: Bernie: Meaningless game prompts a few first impressions

              Originally posted by txramsfan
              Hell, I agree with Bernie. Martz is technically Turley's boss. He should have at least respected the title and called him back. At least Martz is concerned about Turley and always says how tough it is for him and does call. And then Turley snubs him by not calling back but has the frickin time to get to the game? And can't pick up a phone?

              Please, I know you guys hate Bernie but getting on his case for this is ridiculous.
              Ah,I'm just defending Turley in case he's lurking around this forum.I dont want to piss Kyle off.He's a scary guy!! :redface: :tongue:
              ST.LOUIS RAMS:THE MOST FRUSTRATING TEAM IN THE NFL!!!

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              • #8
                Re: Bernie: Meaningless game prompts a few first impressions

                I am, in no way shape or form, defending Turley here (he is, after all, by far my least favorite player on the Rams). I just thought Bernie's comment regarding Haslett laughing was typical of his penchant for taking cheap shots at the Rams (particularly the coaches and FO).

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                • #9
                  Re: Bernie: Meaningless game prompts a few first impressions

                  Beauty is only skin dip....that's something that ugly people made up, right?

                  Calling a pre-season game meaningless was invented by the losing team.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Bernie: Meaningless game prompts a few first impressions

                    Originally posted by NickSeiler
                    "It was irritating to see the Bears, coached by former Rams defensive coordinator Lovie Smith, call so many blitzes in the first half. Yo, Lovie: Why didn't you blitz New England QB Tom Brady on the final drive when the Patriots upset the Rams in the Super Bowl?"
                    Now that'd be an answer I'd be interested in.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Bernie: Meaningless game prompts a few first impressions

                      Originally posted by adarian_too
                      Now that'd be an answer I'd be interested in.
                      Amen. If Marmie starts pulling that "fall back in prevent" non-sense, I'm going to go through a wall. This D was built to blitz. Let 'em do it.
                      The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Bernie: Meaningless game prompts a few first impressions

                        I got to watch the first quarter before I had to go back to work, so here are my defensive observations. Won't talk about the offense, since it's going to click anyway.

                        1. Bryce Fisher needs to learn to stay at home against the run. He was the one that got smoked on the long run by Thomas Jones. He stays home, he may have made the play.

                        2. The starting LB's better stay healthy. Not too sure about these backups.

                        3. Garrett ran down Thomas and made the tackle to stop him from going to the end zone. From the other side of the field. Also made a stop on ST's after the field goal. Again, watch this guy.

                        4. Little's motor is already purring.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Bernie: Meaningless game prompts a few first impressions

                          I LOVED to hear that Bryce Fisher and Leonard Little sandwiched the quarterback on one sack.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Bernie: Meaningless game prompts a few first impressions

                            Well one thing is for sure (john) jeff smoker looked good , Chandler on a bootleg? Damn that was brilliant. And Chris looked real good. And future former starter Bulger did good enough to hold on to his Starting status another week. he has two targets. The hands and the FEET.Anyway, the team looked much better than I thought with all the Injuries . The defense didn't look bad at all. But the special team nightmare just won't go away,At least yet.Overall grade B- . That ain't bad. bernie on the other hand .......Well Bernie is bernie. Or is that Barney , I see a likeness in the jaw!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Bernie: Meaningless game prompts a few first impressions

                              Originally posted by theodus69
                              And future former starter Bulger did good enough to hold on to his Starting status another week.
                              Who do you think is gonna take his spot over? It's not like his job status is week-to-week this season.

                              Comment

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