Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Rams Recap: What a difference four days make

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Rams Recap: What a difference four days make

    Rams Recap: What a difference four days make
    BY JEFF GORDON
    Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
    Friday, Aug. 27 2004

    Geez, what a difference four days make.

    The Rams relocated their urgency Friday night. Coach Mike Martz stormed up and
    down the sidelines, ripping off his headset, dogging officials, riding the
    game's emotional ebb and flow.

    His players answered his call for more inspired play. The Rams looked nothing
    like the disorganized, disinterested team that rolled over in a 24-7 loss four
    days ago in Kansas City.

    They got decent blocking from their makeshift offensive line and sturdy effort
    from their starting front seven. The result: A thorough 28-3 preseason victory
    over the Washington Redskins at the Edward Jones Dome.

    Admittedly, the Redskins played an absolutely horrendous football game. But
    that's their problem. The citizens of Rams Nation wanted to see their team step
    forward -- and it did.

    Quarterback Marc Bulger threw some strangely off-target passes while playing
    his 1 ½ quarters, but he marched the team, avoided turnovers and left the game
    with a 7-3 lead. His 98.6 quarterback rating told the story of his game.

    Back-up Chris Chandler took it from there and threw the ball around The Ed with
    great confidence and accuracy, completing nine of 15 passes for 190 yards. Dare
    we say he throws the long ball better than Bulger?

    Nah. But he did put on quite a display while proving he has a few miles left in
    his 900-year-old body.

    Rookie running back Steven Jackson put on a show as well, gaining 125 yards on
    25 carries and breaking many big runs with his unique combination of power and
    speed. Why, again, did he drop so low in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft?

    All-Pro receiver Torry Holt reminded us that he is still Torry Holt, catching
    seven passes for 143 yards and a touchdown.


    THE GOOD

    * With Don Coryell in the house, Martz put a few sprinkles on his vanilla
    preseason offense. We liked the end-around pitch to receiver Isaac Bruce, who
    attempted to hit Holt downfield with a bomb. Alas, his long throw came up just
    a bit short.


    * Defensive end Bryce Fisher disrupted Rock Cartwright's second-and-10 sweep,
    then linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa tackled Cartwright for a two-yard loss. That
    led to the first Redskins punt of the game.


    * Jackson's second carry of the game went for 18 yards off left tackle; the
    big kid showed his explosiveness while getting into the Redskins secondary.


    * Receiver Dane Looker absorbed massive punishment after going up to get a
    19-yard pass from Bulger – but he hung onto the ball. Nice.


    * Who could blame Holt for taunting the Redskins after his seven-yard
    touchdown catch in the second quarter? The play didn't develop as hoped –
    Bulger rolled to his right, but Holt was covered in the back of the end zone –
    but the duet improvised.

    Holt reversed back along the back of the end zone and Bulger had just enough
    time to throw across the grain of the play and get him the ball.


    * After getting beat by Taylor Jacobs on a straight fly route, cornerback
    Kevin Garrett recovered and punched the ball loose – allowing safety Aeneas
    Williams to recover the fumble after a 44-yard gain.


    * Chandler continued his reassuring play by throwing a 58-yard strike to Holt
    and then scoring himself with a one-yard quarterback sneak. Is it time to start
    a new controversy?


    * Receiver Shaun McDonald furthered his bid for a bigger role this season with
    his 32-yard reception from Chandler in the third quarter.


    * Jackson demonstrated his acceleration with his 5-yard touchdown run in the
    third quarter, getting outside the right tackle in a hurry.


    * McDonald struck later in the third quarter, busting off a wonderful route
    and then using second effort to complete his 35-yard touchdown pass. That was a
    nice throw by Chandler, too.


    * The lopsided nature of the game allowed Martz to give No. 3 quarterback Jeff
    Smoker a big role in this game, which was unexpected. Smoker did a nice job
    getting the Rams through the fourth quarter.


    THE BAD


    * Linebacker Tommy Polley opened the game on the bench, again – this time in
    favor of rookie Brandon Chillar. Doesn't it seem like yesterday that Polley was
    considered one of the defensive stalwarts this team was rebuilt upon?


    * Defensive end Damione Lewis arrived a tad late on a third-down rush against
    Redskins quarterback Patrick Ramsey; the resulting 15-yard penalty prolonged
    Washington's first possession and led to a John Hall field goal and a 3-0
    Redskins lead.


    * Bulger burned his first timeout with 6 minutes 30 seconds left in the first
    quarter after sensing his called play was doomed against the defensive
    alignment he saw. Naturally, some Rams fans razzed him with the obligatory boo.


    * Left guard Chris Dishman, still trying to scrape off his retirement rust,
    took a costly false-start penalty near the end of the first quarter. Otherwise,
    he is doing remarkably well under the circumstances.


    THE UGLY


    * You hated to see good guy Tom Nutten hobble off the field in the third
    quarter. Nutten, just out of retirement, jumped into the fray at right guard
    after just a few days of work. His injury was announced as a sprained right big
    toe, which could become a nagging problem

Related Topics

Collapse

  • RamWraith
    Gordo-Good, Bad and Ugly
    by RamWraith
    BY JEFF GORDON
    Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
    Friday, Aug. 27 2004

    Geez, what a difference four days make.

    The Rams relocated their urgency Friday night. Coach Mike Martz stormed up and
    down the sidelines, ripping off his headset, dogging officials, riding the
    game's emotional ebb and flow.

    His players answered his call for more inspired play. The Rams looked nothing
    like the disorganized, disinterested team that rolled over in a 24-7 loss four
    days ago in Kansas City.

    They got decent blocking from their makeshift offensive line and sturdy effort
    from their starting front seven. The result: A thorough 28-3 preseason victory
    over the Washington Redskins at the Edward Jones Dome.

    Admittedly, the Redskins played an absolutely horrendous football game. But
    that's their problem. The citizens of Rams Nation wanted to see their team step
    forward -- and it did.

    Quarterback Marc Bulger threw some strangely off-target passes while playing
    his 1 ½ quarters, but he marched the team, avoided turnovers and left the game
    with a 7-3 lead. His 98.6 quarterback rating told the story of his game.

    Back-up Chris Chandler took it from there and threw the ball around The Ed with
    great confidence and accuracy, completing nine of 15 passes for 190 yards. Dare
    we say he throws the long ball better than Bulger?

    Nah. But he did put on quite a display while proving he has a few miles left in
    his 900-year-old body.

    Rookie running back Steven Jackson put on a show as well, gaining 125 yards on
    25 carries and breaking many big runs with his unique combination of power and
    speed. Why, again, did he drop so low in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft?

    All-Pro receiver Torry Holt reminded us that he is still Torry Holt, catching
    seven passes for 143 yards and a touchdown.


    THE GOOD

    * With Don Coryell in the house, Martz put a few sprinkles on his vanilla
    preseason offense. We liked the end-around pitch to receiver Isaac Bruce, who
    attempted to hit Holt downfield with a bomb. Alas, his long throw came up just
    a bit short.


    * Defensive end Bryce Fisher disrupted Rock Cartwright's second-and-10 sweep,
    then linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa tackled Cartwright for a two-yard loss. That
    led to the first Redskins punt of the game.


    * Jackson's second carry of the game went for 18 yards off left tackle; the
    big kid showed his explosiveness while getting into the Redskins secondary.


    * Receiver Dane Looker absorbed massive punishment after going up to get a
    19-yard pass from Bulger – but he hung onto the ball. Nice.


    *...
    -08-28-2004, 06:52 AM
  • RamWraith
    Holt, Rams Bust Out in 28-3 Win
    by RamWraith
    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer

    Apparently, Torry Holt didn’t get the memo.

    For the receiver known as “Big Game,” Holt treated the Rams’ third preseason game as if the Lombardi Trophy was on the line. Scratch that, he treated the first half, the second quarter in particular, as though a championship was on the line. Holt, who really doesn’t know any speed except full, lit up the Redskins to the tune of 143 yards on seven catches and a touchdown. Holt called it a night after the first half.

    The Rams routed Washington 28-3 on Friday night at the Edward Jones Dome with a performance that almost certainly made Don Coryell, who attended, proud. St. Louis improved to 1-2 in the preseason with one game to play. Washington dropped to 2-2.

    Holt’s play sparked a struggling offense to a 14-3 lead at the half that the Rams would not relinquish. Rams’ coach Mike Martz said Holt wasn’t supposed to be as big a part of the offense as he was, but a jammed right index finger to Isaac Bruce made Holt the top target.

    “We didn’t necessarily want to give him the ball that much,” Martz said. “We wanted to get Torry the ball deep. Torry was outstanding.”

    The starting offensive unit had made it a goal to get in the endzone against Washington after failing to in the first pair of preseason games. When the clock started running in the second half, the Rams’ offense joined it. With 9:09 left in the second quarter, it accomplished its goal. Bulger hit Holt for a 7-yard touchdown pass on an impressive 74-yard drive that lasted just over five and a half minutes.

    Holt, who is known around Rams Park for his singing prowess, showed his dance moves after the touchdown. Unfortunately, Holt spun the ball on the ground in the face of beaten Washington defender Shawn Springs, and was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

    That penalty was one of the few negatives on a night full of bright spots. Key plays on the drive included rookie running back Steven Jackson’s 18-yard gain off left tackle on the drive’s second play. A 19-yard catch by Dane Looker on third-and-15 and an 18-yard strike to Holt set up the touchdown.

    Bulger called it a night after his touchdown pass, finishing six-of-12 for 78 yards. Running back Marshall Faulk ended his night a possession earlier with 11 yards on four carries.

    Martz said Bulger would continue to get better as he takes more snaps.

    “Some of those routes you just have to throw blind,” Martz said. “You can’t see them, they just disappear. He just needs to play.”

    St. Louis’ defense held the Redskins to a three and out on the next possession and Chandler entered the game. Chandler wasted no time finding Holt, hitting him for a 14-yard gain on the second play. That drive stalled and it appeared momentum might swing Washington’s way as Patrick Ramsey hit Taylor Jacobs for...
    -08-29-2004, 08:43 AM
  • Nick
    Rams put one in victory column
    by Nick
    Rams put one in victory column
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Saturday, Aug. 28 2004

    For a week, at least, Rams Nation can exhale.

    On Friday at Edward Jones Dome, the pass-blocking was much improved against
    Washington. So was the defense. And despite some erratic throws by Marc Bulger
    - so erratic that he drew a smattering of boos from the home crowd - he left
    with a 98.6 passer rating after tossing a touchdown pass to Torry Holt.

    Exhibition or not, it added up to a much-improved performance by the Rams after
    Monday night's debacle in Kansas City, and a much-needed 28-3 victory over the
    Redskins by the previously winless Rams.

    "This is the team that we see every day in practice," coach Mike Martz said. "I
    know there's a lot of panic and everything - but this is the team that we see
    every day."

    Perhaps it was in homage to Don Coryell, the offensive legend whom Martz
    studied and idealized as a player and young coach in California. Coryell was
    honored before the game, and in "Air" Coryell style, the Rams aired it out
    Friday against the Redskins, throwing 22 times in the first half.

    "I wanted to get some receivers involved, and I wanted to get Marc going a
    little bit," Martz said. "He missed a couple throws early in the game, and then
    settled down and had a real nice drive."

    Bulger completed six of 12 passes for 78 yards before giving way to Chris
    Chandler midway through the second quarter. Chandler, in his best outing of the
    exhibition season, completed nine of 15 attempts for 190 yards. His passer
    rating was identical to Bulger's (98.6).

    Many of those passes were deep shots - and none deeper than the 58-yard
    completion from Chandler to Holt late in the second quarter. Holt beat Fred
    Smoot on the post pattern, getting dragged down at the 1. Chandler, 38, scored
    on a quarterback sneak on the next play, giving the Rams a 14-3 lead with 3
    minutes 47 seconds to play in the first half.

    "Torry ran a great route," Chandler said. "The safety held on the inside
    (leaving the middle open), and Torry just outran everybody."

    Chandler also completed a 35-yard touchdown pass to Shaun McDonald late in the
    third quarter.

    "He showed why he's been in the league so long and why he's stuck around,"
    McDonald said. "He still has it after all these years."

    Things started out slowly for the Rams, on both sides of the ball. Washington
    took the opening kickoff and marched 62 yards for a field goal. At this point
    in the proceedings the Rams had been outscored 30-10 in the first half this...
    -08-27-2004, 11:46 PM
  • Nick
    Rams Roll Past Redskins 28-3
    by Nick
    Rams Roll Past Redskins 28-3

    JIM SUHR

    Associated Press


    ST. LOUIS - Torry Holt and the St. Louis Rams finally had something to celebrate.

    Holt's 7-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter was the first in three games this preseason for the Rams' starting offense, prompting a hip-gyrating dance that satisfied a restless crowd and helped St. Louis roll past the Washington Redskins 28-3 on Friday night.

    St. Louis' first-string defense also got into the act, forcing their first turnover of the preseason in the second quarter. Cornerback Kevin Garrett stripped the ball from Taylor Jacobs after a long completion from Patrick Ramsey and Aeneas Williams recovered.

    Two plays later, Rams backup quarterback Chris Chandler hooked up with Holt on a 58-yard pass to set up Chandler's 1-yard sneak into the end zone, which gave St. Louis a 14-3 lead at halftime.

    Steven Jackson had 125 yards on 25 carries for the Rams (1-2), including a 5-yard TD run on the Rams' first possession of the third quarter. The rookie gained 103 of those yards in the second half, largely against Redskin reserves, before being pulled late in the fourth quarter.

    Holt finished with seven catches for 143 yards, helping to please a home crowd that grew restless after watching their team produce just 13 points in the first two preseason games.

    Chandler was 9-of-15 for 190 yards and a 35-yard TD pass to Shaun McDonald in the third quarter.

    Starter Marc Bulger was 6-for-12 for 78 yards, including the scoring pass to Holt, but drew boos after overthrowing wide open receivers on several occasions.

    Ramsey and Mark Brunell did little to resolve Washington's quarterback debate. Ramsey played the first half, but completed just 5-of-10 passes for 81 yards before giving way to Brunell, acquired in an offseason trade to challenge Ramsey for the job. Brunell was 5-of-8 for 28 yards.

    Redskins coach Joe Gibbs has said he won't decide on a regular-season starter until at least next week.

    In a 24-7 loss Monday at Kansas City - an outing Bulger called "embarrassing" - Rams quarterbacks were sacked five times and pressured relentlessly. But St. Louis' patchwork offensive line held their own against the Redskins, allowing just one sack and giving Chandler time to throw.

    Clinton Portis had 13 yards on three carries for Washington.

    John Hall's 28-yard field goal with 8:06 left in the first quarter was Washington's only score.

    Notes:@ Redskins starting OT Chris Samuels sprained his right ankle in the second quarter and did not return; X-rays were negative. ... Rams G Tom Nutten sprained his right big toe in the third quarter and did not return ... Before the game, the Rams released T Jason Lenzmeier. ... Former St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Chargers head coach...
    -08-27-2004, 11:41 PM
  • RamWraith
    Rams win with something old, something new
    by RamWraith
    BY JEFF GORDON
    Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
    12/05/2004

    The Rams got younger on offense when rookie running back Steven Jackson filled in for the hobbled Marshall Faulk on Sunday.

    And then they got older when grizzled Chris Chandler relieved quarterback Marc Bulger -- who suffered a separated right shoulder while absorbing a second-quarter sack

    The results were mixed, but the Rams were able to outlast the horrendous San Francisco ***** 16-6 in a mistake-filled mess at The Ed.

    Jackson’s powerful running (26 carries, 119 yards) allowed the Rams, now 6-6, to defeat their no-longer-formidable rivals. Jackson ran hard between the tackles and also accelerated impressively to get outside and up the field.

    Chandler, 36, threw a touchdown pass to Torry Holt -- but also threw one interception, lost a fumble and nearly had two other passes picked off.

    At times, Chandler operated effectively in the offense . . . and at times he looked like a rusty veteran many years past his athletic prime.

    He didn’t have much more luck in scoring territory than Bulger did, so Jeff Wilkins had to kick three field goals -- two from 52 yards out -- to make certain the Rams won this game.

    Defensively, the Rams punished the battered ***** (now 1-11!) with a variety of blitzes and stunts that prevented them from mounting a consistent passing or rushing attack.


    THE GOOD


    * Rams defensive spokesman Tyoka Jackson dumped quarterback Tim Rattay for the game’s first sack on the game’s third play.


    * Steven Jackson got the Rams offense rolling in the right direction by gaining 32 yards on his first five carries.


    * Bulger used his feet to get out of trouble on a third-and-two play, then earned the first down with a nine-yard scramble. That led to a 29-yard Wilkins field goal and an immediate 3-0 lead.


    * Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa swatted a Rattay pass on a critical third-down play later in the first quarter, forcing the Niners to settle for a game-tying field goal.


    * Jackson proved nimble in the open field as well, scampering 21 yards with a second-quarter swing pass from Chandler.


    * Torry Holt adjusted to a badly underthrown Chandler bomb on the next play, coming back to get a 40-yard completion. Two plays later, Chandler threw a perfect TD strike to Holt to push the Rams' lead to 10-3.


    * Tinoisamoa and Leonard Little poured in to disrupt another Niners third-down passing play and force San Francisco to kick the ball away again.


    * Say, was that linebacker Tommy Polley in the ***** backfield, dumping running back Terry Jackson for an eight-yard loss? That forced the Niners to kick the ball away again.


    * Isaac Bruce prevented...
    -12-05-2004, 05:16 PM
Working...
X