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  • Thoughts on the first preseason game...

    I just got back from a week long road trip so this review is a little late, but thanks to TIVO I was able to watch the game.

    Obviously Steven Jackson is looking good and was the brightest spot of the game for the Rams. The defense wasn't too bad and looked at least as good as they did last year. The pass rush doesn't look like it will be effected too badly by the loss of Wistrom.

    Kevin Curtis looked awful. I figured coming off the broken leg he would have to deal with getting back up to game speed, but apparently the injury to his leg effected his hands more than anything. I was pretty disappointed in his performance and thought McDonald, although not perfect, took advantage of his many opportunites to show what he can do. Looker had a fumble and I'm starting to get the impression that he may not be strong enough for the NFL. I like his guts but he seems to lose the ball a lot for the few times that he gets his hands on it. I really thought he was going to be a Ricky Proehl clone, but that is a stretch in my mind at this point and takes away from how good Ricky really is.

    Smoker looked like a rookie and was pretty unimpressive in his first live action. He threw a couple of good balls but overall looked like another Joe Germaine to me. He doesn't have a cannon and just isn't ready for the pro's yet. I'm beginning to wonder what a strong armed qb might accomplish in this offense. Obviously Martz likes to go with cerebral qb's but I would like to see a guy who can gun it rather than just throw to spots.

    Chandler, behind Jackson and McDonald, was the other highlight of the evening. He looked nimble as well as throwing the ball well. Good accuracy and good arm strength to go along with an apparent comfort level with the offense. Being prone to injury is obviously a big detractor but if he continues to play well he might actually be a better option than Bulger.

    Speaking of Bulger, he looked rusty to me. Actually he looked like he picked up where he left off last year but I'll chalk it up to rust at this point. He had a few good throws but also some not so good throws. Again, just a continuation of last year to me. He needs to become more consistent with his throws. I don't know exactly why he can thread the needle on one throw and then throw a yard and a half behind the receiver on the next. He still needs work. The offense looked a little sluggish with Bulger and seemed to pick it up with Chandler and that's not a good sign to me either. Playcalling, personnel and opposing defense are all factors so we'll see if this continues in future games.

    All in all, the team looked a lot like last year's team which is good and bad. The interem o-line looked good and the offense should be better when Pace, Faulk and Turley start to play. The defense was sufficient but not dominating and the special teams gave up another crucial play. It's just preseason but the Rams still have work to do.

  • #2
    Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

    Originally posted by moklerman
    Being prone to injury is obviously a big detractor but if he continues to play well he might actually be a better option than Bulger.
    Wow.

    Thanks for posting your report! It's always cool to read what other fans thought of the game.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

      No bias's in this report...right??? ;)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

        I think the only thing that I look for in a pre-season game is for those previously unknown individuals to stand out and make so many plays that everyone can't help but take notice. Shanle was one of those sorts for me last year that I would have put money down on him to make it in the NFL. But facts now get in the way of a good story. Maybe there is still time this year to find another horse to put in the race.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

          Originally posted by adarian_too
          I think the only thing that I look for in a pre-season game is for those previously unknown individuals to stand out and make so many plays that everyone can't help but take notice.
          I agree. I don't put much weight in how well veterans play in the preseason, but rather how the unknown or unproven faces play. It was great to see McDonald have a big game, and that tight end (Brake?) sounds like he might have some skills. Plus, there's Steven Jackson. Those are the performances I'm more concerned with.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

            While I agree that preseason performances have to be viewed with a grain of salt, it never hurts to excel in the preseason. Bulger hasn't shown any change to me so far. I'm not very confident in his inconsistent play from last year and if he's going to play the same way this year then I'm going to be critical of him again. Chandler played better than Bulger. If he continues to be more accurate and get the ball in the end zone then I say give him a shot with the first team. Especially if Bulger continues to be inconsistent.

            If Bulger comes out and plays better than Chandler in the next few games then I'll change my mind but the precident has been set by the Rams. The best qb to help the team win "right now", right? I'm just going with the flow and round 1 goes to Chandler. Of course I realize that Bulger won't ever be put on the bench, but this is my opinion not Martz's. I'm not 100% sure that Bulger would beat out Chandler in an open competition at this point in time.

            Don't worry, I'm not trying to change anyone's mind on the subject since love is blind but Bulger better start showing the potential that he supposedly has.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

              man, you guys are hardcore...
              i watched mainly, to the chagrin of my galfriend, to see the condition of the astro turf and the new squadron of cheerleaders... :redface:

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

                I forgot to mention in my original post that I was also disappointed in Holt dropping another pass. Yes, it was a meaningless preseason game but it was right in his hands and he dropped it. Bruce was going all out to catch the passes thrown to him so I don't see why Holt doesn't follow that example.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

                  Originally posted by moklerman
                  If Bulger comes out and plays better than Chandler in the next few games then I'll change my mind but the precident has been set by the Rams. The best qb to help the team win "right now", right? I'm just going with the flow and round 1 goes to Chandler. Of course I realize that Bulger won't ever be put on the bench, but this is my opinion not Martz's. I'm not 100% sure that Bulger would beat out Chandler in an open competition at this point in time.
                  I'm not surprised that Chandler is a better passer than Bulger at this point in their respective careers; however, start Chandler this season and he won't last more than three games. His arm has never been in question - it's always been his durability. Even if he isn't injured, he tends to become a statue in the pocket after being hit.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

                    Originally posted by Evil Disco Man
                    I'm not surprised that Chandler is a better passer than Bulger at this point in their respective careers
                    Agreed, especially while playing against a second-team defense with Steven Jackson in the backfield.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

                      I seem to remember Bulger looking bad last year against 2nd and 3rd string defenses in the preseason. I would rather have a qb look good in those situations than look bad. Now, Bulger's been given the first team to work with and he hasn't shown much improvement from last year's preseason.

                      I'm not saying he can't improve, but all I've been hearing is how relaxed he'll be, how that will improve his confidence and his overall performance. All I'm saying is it hasn't happened yet.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

                        He's thrown six passes, Mok. Six. On one drive. Maybe, just maybe, it's a bit early to start questioning whether or not he's improved? I mean, we're talking about the preseason here. Would it be too much for me to ask that we not over exaggerate the importance (or lack there of) of these games for established players? I hope not. He looked great on some passes in my opinion (especially the two to Bruce), and left you wondering on some others. But I think overall, it's going to take more than a preseason game for me to make assumptions about most of our established players.
                        Last edited by Nick; -08-19-2004, 06:49 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

                          I know, when Bulger looks bad it's a lot more convenient to just dismiss it. Also, I never said the first preseason game was an all-inclusive picture of how Bulger will perform. But I'm also not going to just dismiss what he did because it's a preseason game.

                          I'm looking at the fact that he struggled during the 2003 preseason, was inconsistent during the 2003 regular season and now has an inconsistent start to the 2004 preseason. When you look at the whole picture and what it MIGHT mean, it could be a cause for concern.

                          As far as the two passes to Bruce being good I don't know what you mean by good. The first pass to Bruce was so far behind him that it took a Bruce-like effort for him to stop his route, dive in the other direction and then scoop the pass off the ground. The pass was complete but hardly a good one. To me, it was just another example of Bulger throwing too many passes that slow the receivers down and eliminate YAC possibilities.

                          Was the first preseason game a limited sampling of how Bulger looks this year? Sure, and I pointed that out. But the sampling we have at this point shows the same old inconsitancy that Bulger's showcased for the past year or so. It is nice to see that the multitude of excuses is starting already. Bulger didn't have Jackson, Bulger didn't have enough pass attempts, Bulger had to face the first string (vanilla) defense of the Bears. How is it Chandler looked good playing in the offense for the first time, without Holt, Bruce or most of the starting line? I think it was very realistic to expect Bulger to look at least a little better than he did. I fully expected him to come out and complete most, if not all, of his passes. I really thought he was going to look better than he did last year. I expected to have a nice slice of humble pie for all of my criticisms of him. But he looked just like he did last year. And that's the point. He was supposed to look better. We'll see what happens in game two.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

                            Okay, Mok. Like I said, it's always cool to read what other fans thought of the game. It just sounds like you put more emphasis on preseason performance for established players than I do. It's always good to see a vet come out and shine in the preseason, like Tyoka Jackson or Chris Chandler did. But I'm not going to sell my stock because someone might not have looked as impressive as I hoped because, again, it's the preseason. I'm just glad we were able to get through Game One without any significant injuries.

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                            • Nick
                              Random Thoughts on Tonight
                              by Nick
                              -I'm concerned about our running game with Marshall Faulk in the backfield. I'd feel much better about the offense with Jackson in the backfield, if only because he seems to be able to pick up some yards. Marshall looks hesitant and seems to have lost any explosiveness he may have had. At least with Jackson he'll hit a hole and shed the initial tackle, plus some of his cutbacks looked great. He's really impressed me thus far in the preseason.

                              -Overall, I think Marc Bulger looked good tonight. On the first drive, I thought he did well. The second drive, well, he missed three receivers completely. Not impressive. The third drive was magic, IMO. He missed Curtis on what looked like a miscommunication, but was rock solid from there. Bulger's gotta have more accuracy on those open passes. There's no excuse for not being able to hit a wide open Holt for a gain of 20+. But I think looking at the entire game, he looked good tonight.

                              -Chandler's deep pass to Holt on the post... I think I shed a tear. It was like God was singing. It seems obvious that Chandler's more comfortable and accurate than Bulger is right now. Both have had their miscues, but Chandler has looked more accurate and more decisive. I have to wonder what role (1) his veteran experience and (2) the defenses he's going against play in this, though. I wasn't impressed by the deep pass that was intercepted. Way too much air under the ball, I thought. But that floater to McDonald in stride for the touchdown was a thing of beauty.

                              -Speaking of McDonald, he and Curtis are really coming into their own this preseason. I'm very excited about what the two of these guys will be able to do for the offense. Both of them look pretty speedy with great sets of hands.

                              -The blocking was much better this evening. Looked like the blitzes were being picked up well (I remember Goodspeed picking up a great inside rush), but I think the dreams of having Tercero at right tackle need to end NOW. The only memories I have about him for the game was whiffing on a rush that got Bulger sacked on the first drive, and a false start penalty. Move him back into the interior, I say, because he didn't look good as a tackle at all in my opinion. Furthermore, it wasn't that great to see Nutten leave the game with an injury. This was a concern when he decided to retire from the Jets, right? Not a good sign to see it so shortly after his coming back on the field.

                              -Defensively, I loved what we did with our first unit. Bryce Fisher was ALL OVER THE FIELD, or so it seemed. Pisa Tinoisamoa looks like a leader on defense. He had a couple of nice tackles and a great hit early in the game. Robert Thomas had a nice play where he penetrated into the backfield and tackled Portis for a loss. I thought our run defense was improved by 200%, but I'm not convinced whether we played better pass defense or Ramsey just struggled out there. He's been unimpressive this...
                              -08-28-2004, 12:38 AM
                            • Nick
                              Thoughts on Tonight's Game
                              by Nick
                              Again, I'm not one to base my life savings on preseason games. But some of the things I saw tonight worry me.

                              Offensively...

                              -Wow, the first team offense looked confused out there. First of all, the offensive line. I think I could count on one hand the number of times I saw adequate blocking either for a pass or run play. We really miss Pace, and it doesn't look like anyone is really stepping up. All anyone has to do is blitz and the line folds like Swiss.

                              -Bulger looked bad. He was lucky to actually have time to throw most of the time, but some of his throws just looked off-target. He and Isaac couldn't hook up on the first drive (although I liked that 17-yard out later in the half), and he gunned that slant to Looker a bit too hard. He looked out of synch and rattled, understandably because of the pressure but still... and held onto the ball too long on some plays. Looked like he didn't even see Barber coming from midfield on that interception.

                              -Faulk showed a cutback here or there and looked quick, but didn't do much that I could see. With this line and the blocking we have, Jackson looks much better at this point. He can shed the first guy and gain a couple after that. Given what this line has showed us so far, we may be forced to depend on that.

                              -Chandler looked okay but not as sharp as he did against the Bears. Nearly got picked twice on two bad throws (one was probably penalty worthy on the Chiefs DB). Looks like he was suffering from some of the same O-line problems Bulger faced in the first half, but I don't think Chris was being blitzed as much, though.

                              -Kevin Curtis looks like he's answering McDonald's performance last game. He's had some nice grabs and has me optimistic about our depth at wide receiver.

                              -Just saw the line give up a sack on a three man rush, and not because Chandler was holding onto the ball too long. This is embarassing. SIGN PACE NOW!!!

                              -Smoker fumbled the snap. Ugh. Smoker's pass gets stolen by a KC defensive back. Double ugh. Smoker throws into double coverage and would have been intercepted had the DB come down in bounds. Ugh to the third power. On the bright side, I saw Smoker hit a number of guys... that were wide open. I guess that's better than whiffing on some.


                              Defensively...

                              -We can't stop the run to save our life. It's that simple. I don't know what they have to do, but it seemed like our lineman couldn't get off their blocks, and I saw Tommy Polley being taken out of a play by Dante freakin' Hall. DANTE HALL!!! He weighs 100 pounds wet. No wonder Polley's been demoted.

                              -Our defensive line has had some problems tackling the quarterback. Little looked like he was in a practice mindset by whiffing on Trent Green early in the game. When Tyoka did get to the QB, he was called for a bogus penalty. Other than that, the D-line hasn't impressed...
                              -08-23-2004, 08:49 PM
                            • sbramfan
                              Some more thoughts on the game
                              by sbramfan
                              Only the first preseason game, but a number of things stood out to me....

                              1. Bulger was locking on to his receivers. This is somewhat understandable in the first pre-season game, but he needs to atone for this immediately in the next game. Not good for our veteran QB to be making QB 101 mistakes.

                              2. Defense looked impressive. The concerns at corner aren't as big of an issue if the Defense is getting pressure. It makes the CB's job easier.

                              3. D' Lewis was all over the place. If he can somehow start playing like a first round draft pick, the D' Line is in great shape.

                              4. Linebackers. Problem solved. Gone from a weekness to a strength. (I know it's only 1 pre-season game, but they played excellent.) Perhaps Coakley didn't stand out, but he looked OK, and we've got Chillar, etc... to fill in if he isn't what he used to be.

                              5. At first I thought the O'line was in bad shape, but that was before I saw that Big O and Barron were not in there. Can't even judge until they get these guys going.
                              -08-15-2005, 06:28 PM
                            • theodus69
                              Theodus' thoughts
                              by theodus69
                              Steven Jackson ran very well. Bulger took some shots and Matt Turk......Well it's nice to have a real punter! Adeyanjo? Nice game! I think Mccollum and Timmerman might want to check themselves, they left a bit to be desired.:disapointed: Our QB situation looks to be nails. We got quality across the board there. The pass rush looked like it is getting better. This will help our backs tremenduosly! Actually , the Rams looked better than I expected! It's the first P-game and it don't mean much but than again it does. I liked what I saw in the short period the first team O was out there. The Texans are next and we will see how the boys face them! just quick thoughts , hope I didn't repeat HUB.
                              -08-11-2006, 07:30 PM
                            • evil disco man
                              My Thoughts...
                              by evil disco man
                              On the game tonight.

                              - The team seemed genuinely enthusiastic despite their lackluster performance against the Chiefs and only a three-day break.

                              - Once again the Rams burned all their timeouts fairly early, but the call by the officials on the Challenge was bullcrap.

                              - Torry Holt was okay, I guess.

                              - The offensive line was surprisingly stout. They showed flashes of good run blocking early on and gradually got better as the game went on. The pass blocking was, for the most part, solid. Scott Tercero was horrible at right tackle as usual, Tom Nutten was unfortunately injured soon after he came in, and Chris Dishman was very slow on his pulls, but he's a big fella.

                              - I watched Brandon Manumaleuna as he pulled around to block for Marshall on one play, which looked like it would be a good gain, and he completely whiffed on his block.

                              - Isaac Bruce was Isaac Bruce.

                              - Marshall Faulk (as if I need to say his last name) was solid, but didn't show me anything to prove he hasn't lost a step.

                              - Steven Jackson seemed to get quicker and more consistent as the game went on. He carried the team on his shoulders moving downfield on a drive in the fourth. His strength along with his ability to read blocks and react impressed me greatly.

                              - Arlen Harris looks to be the same as last year. Boring, slow, but solid, especially for a fourth running back. Same with Dane Looker, minus the "slow" part (maybe?).

                              - Shaun McDonald and Kevin Curtis looked supremely superb. McDonald was quick, fluid, and breaking tackles while Curtis made an amazing catch that was called back (holding) and displayed blazing speed. Those shin splints are a thing of the past, methinks. At this point, Shaun seems to be leading the race for the slot position. I loved the play where he took the handoff as he was motioning across the field and took it around the corner for a first down.

                              - Bulger was off-mark on a couple passes as usual, but gave fans some optimism with his impressive play. Chandler was smart, accurate, and efficient as usual. He started off a bit slow (5/10 100 some yards and a pick) but tore it up the Skins' defense later on.

                              - Hell, even Jeff Smoker looked pretty good. His first pass was a beauty. As he turned around to roll out, he was met face-to-face with a Redskins defender, but immediately flipped the ball out for a nice completion.

                              - Erik Jensen dropped a pass that landed right in his cradle.

                              - The defensive line was better than I expected. Leonard made a couple plays, Bryce Fisher was efficient at right end, Erik Flowers was in on a lot of plays, and all three were making tackles against the run. Damione Lewis showed good pass rushing abilities on his late hit (&@%$!). The tackles overall seemed to hold their ground and even clogged the middle (gasp!) on...
                              -08-27-2004, 09:26 PM
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