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  • The goal: no more disasters for Rams

    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Wednesday, Sep. 01 2004

    OAKLAND, Calif. - Speaking for the defense, and the team's defensive leaders,
    Tyoka Jackson promised it wouldn't happen again. There would be no more
    debacles like the 24-7 pratfall in Kansas City on Aug. 23.

    And it didn't happen. The Rams came out four days later with an impressive
    defensive effort in a 28-3 victory over Washington.

    "We had a players-only (meeting) in our defensive room," Jackson said. "Aeneas
    (Williams) and Leonard (Little) made it be known how we're going to play this
    year. And it wasn't like (Kansas City)."

    Players-only meetings during the season are rare enough; players-only meetings
    in the preseason are almost unheard of. But Jackson and other defensive
    veterans felt the meeting was necessary to make sure evenings like Aug. 23
    don't occur again. At the meeting, the importance of getting mentally prepared
    to play - preseason or not - was stressed.

    "For some guys, it's tougher to get excited than others," Jackson said. "But
    like Aeneas said, whatever you do to get yourself ready, do it. If you like to
    jump around and scream, do that. If you like to put your headphones on, do
    that.

    "Because there's just not enough Sundays, and enough games, to go out there and
    play like we played against Kansas City. You only get so many opportunities."

    With that in mind, tonight marks the Rams' last opportunity to polish up their
    game in the preseason. And it's the last opportunity for numerous bubble
    players to impress the coaching staff.

    Momentum, even at this time of the year, can be important for a football team.
    The Rams would like nothing better than to finish the exhibition season 2-2
    with a victory over the Oakland Raiders at Network Associates Coliseum - aka
    the Black Hole. Kickoff is 9 p.m. St. Louis time.

    "Getting the Washington win was very important, because I think it's tough
    going through the whole preseason with no wins," offensive guard Adam Timmerman
    said. "And it was just more fun. You could tell. Guys seemed like they were
    having fun."

    Quarterback Marc Bulger said, "I know last week, it was definitely a different
    feeling coming in here (to work) after the game. You just have that momentum. A
    win would be nice. It's not going to be the end of the world if we don't. But
    for the younger guys, and even for some of the older guys, it's nice just to
    have that feeling going into the regular season."

    Plus, it will be an even longer flight back to St. Louis if the Rams don't play
    well.

    "You don't get home until 6 the next day," Bulger said. "That's the only bad
    part. But you can study and review stuff, and build all that team camaraderie
    we talk about."

    Bulger made those last remarks with a touch of sarcasm. How much camaraderie,
    after all, can you build at 4 a.m.? Sleeping might be a better way to pass the
    time - for those capable of sleeping on planes.

    But with final roster cuts coming by Sunday afternoon, bubble players may have
    a hard time sleeping anyway. The Rams must cut 12 players to reach their
    regular-season roster limit of 53, then cut one more when offensive tackle
    Orlando Pace reports. Pace remained absent Wednesday.

    "It's very competitive in a couple areas," coach Mike Martz said. "There's no
    question about it. That's why some of these guys will play a great deal and try
    to define themselves for the season."

    In particular, the Rams still are heavy on the defensive line, offensive line
    and the secondary. With extra evaluation in mind, Martz plans to pull the
    regulars earlier in this game than he did in the Washington contest.

    "We're going to take a good look at as many players as we can, put them in
    difficult situations and see who can make a play for you," Martz said. "They
    may not, or they may. We'll see.

    "Some guys, we just don't have enough information on them to know whether or
    not they belong on this roster. So this will be heavily scrutinized. We will
    make an effort on both sides of the ball and special teams to get guys in
    position where they have to be counted on to make a play, and we'll see what
    happens."

    And then they move on to the real deal, the Sept. 12 season opener against
    Arizona.

    "You don't want to say you want to get the preseason over with," Bulger said.
    "But I think we're more anxious for the season to start and start making them
    count. . . . I think we're ready to get going."

  • #2
    Re: The goal: no more disasters for Rams

    Originally posted by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Wednesday, Sep. 01 2004

    OAKLAND, Calif. - Speaking for the defense, and the team's defensive leaders,
    Tyoka Jackson promised it wouldn't happen again. There would be no more
    debacles like the 24-7 pratfall in Kansas City on Aug. 23.

    And it didn't happen. The Rams came out four days later with an impressive
    defensive effort in a 28-3 victory over Washington.

    "We had a players-only (meeting) in our defensive room," Jackson said. "Because there's just not enough Sundays, and enough games, to go out there and play like we played against Kansas City. You only get so many opportunities. We let it be known how we're going to play this
    year. And it wasn't like (Kansas City)."

    Players-only meetings during the season are rare enough; players-only meetings in the preseason are almost unheard of. But Jackson and other defensive veterans felt the meeting was necessary to make sure evenings like Aug. 23 don't occur again. At the meeting, the importance of getting mentally prepared to play - preseason or not - was stressed.
    Well, it does seem as though Jackson's and others' words had the desired effect. Now if it can only be sustained ... because Lordy-Lord, Tracy Lord, surely knows that 20 more games after pre-season is a long marathon.

    With that in mind, tonight marks the Rams' last opportunity to polish up their game in the preseason. The Rams would like nothing better than to finish the exhibition season 2-2 with a victory over the Oakland Raiders at Network Associates Coliseum - aka the Black Hole. Kickoff is 9 p.m. St. Louis time [???Wednesday Night???].
    Did I miss the game already? ... before passing out even? What'd I miss that Thomas saw Sept 1?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The goal: no more disasters for Rams

      "We had a players-only (meeting) in our defensive room," Jackson said. "Aeneas
      (Williams) and Leonard (Little) made it be known how we're going to play this
      year. And it wasn't like (Kansas City)."
      This works 20 times better than a coach spouting off mumbo-jumbo. Nice to see Little getting involved even with the known situation looming above his head.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The goal: no more disasters for Rams

        Hopefully, the embarassment will stay in the preseason and we can all move along.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The goal: no more disasters for Rams

          Originally posted by ZigZagRam
          This works 20 times better than a coach spouting off mumbo-jumbo.
          Dedicated players can make any coach look good.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The goal: no more disasters for Rams

            Originally posted by A2
            Dedicated players can make any coach look good.
            Absolutely. I'd heard that Aeneas and Tyoka were capable of this, but I'm a little surprised hearing about Little in the middle of this.
            But with final roster cuts coming by Sunday afternoon, bubble players may have a hard time sleeping anyway. The Rams must cut 12 players to reach their regular-season roster limit of 53, then cut one more when offensive tackle Orlando Pace reports.
            That fat punk better sign before Sunday. I can't even imagine some poor kid learning that he has made the final 53 on Sunday just to be cut later when tub-o-fun finally shows up to work. If Jabba the Hutt doesn't sign his tender before the final cut, I am going to explode.
            The more things change, the more they stay the same.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The goal: no more disasters for Rams

              Easy HU, we all knew Pace is going to play Game 1.......

              Rolaids.....and decaf. Lot's of decaf.....lol

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The goal: no more disasters for Rams

                Originally posted by txramsfan
                Easy HU, we all knew Pace is going to play Game 1.......

                Rolaids.....and decaf. Lot's of decaf.....lol
                You're right, Tx. I gotta breath. In with the good air, out with the bad air...happy thoughts, happy thoughts.
                The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                Comment

                Related Topics

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                • Nick
                  Battered Rams are eager to show they're not that bad
                  by Nick
                  Battered Rams are eager to show they're not that bad
                  By Jim Thomas
                  Of the Post-Dispatch
                  Thursday, Aug. 26 2004

                  Sixteen days from now, the Rams will be doing this for real. So it's time. Time for the first-string offense to score a touchdown. It has yet to do so this preseason.

                  Time for the defense to come up with a turnover. It has yet to do so this preseason - first-string, second-string, or any-string.

                  Time for the Rams to start sharpening their focus and honing their craft. Because the Sept. 12 regular-season opener against Arizona is right around the corner.

                  "At this point, we need to come together as a team," coach Mike Martz said. "We've spent a lot of time here looking at these players."

                  As individuals. But tonight against the visiting Washington Redskins, Martz says: "I want the (starters) to be sharp. When the first group's in there, I just want them to compete, and be sharp, and perform well."

                  In other words, do everything they didn't do in Monday's 24-7 embarrassment at Kansas City. What went wrong against the Chiefs? A lot, according to Martz:

                  "We made an inordinate amount of mental mistakes. ...

                  "We didn't play with the enthusiasm and the pizzazz that we would expect us to. ...

                  "We were disjointed. The calls didn't come in right. It looked like our first day of practice."

                  Which is no way to be less than three weeks from opening day.

                  "So we have to iron it out quick," offensive guard Chris Dishman said. "And I think we will."

                  There's plenty to be ironed out, especially on offense in terms of pass protection, blitz pickup, and hot reads. On Monday, Kansas City blitzed 11 times in the first half. The Chiefs sent seven pass rushers three times, and six pass rushers on four occasions. On three blitzes, they sent both safeties at quarterback Marc Bulger.

                  "Washington is going to come in with a similar defense," to Kansas City, Bulger said. "With a lot of pressure, and it will be another good test."

                  It's a test the Rams' offense failed against Kansas City - and not just the offensive line.

                  "We as an offense, as a whole, probably could've given it a better effort," running back Marshall Faulk said. "But we didn't. Thank God, it's the preseason and we get to work on it."

                  Because of a quirky preseason schedule, the Rams get to work on it right away. Just four days after the Chiefs debacle, the Redskins come calling at 7 tonight at the Edward Jones Dome.

                  Most NFL players need a day or two just to recover from the normal aches and pains of a game. This week, Rams players had Tuesday off, then had lighter than normal practices Wednesday and Thursday....
                  -08-27-2004, 12:06 AM
                • RamWraith
                  Battered Rams are eager to show they're not that bad
                  by RamWraith
                  By Jim Thomas
                  Of the Post-Dispatch
                  Thursday, Aug. 26 2004

                  Sixteen days from now, the Rams will be doing this for real. So it's time. Time
                  for the first-string offense to score a touchdown. It has yet to do so this
                  preseason.

                  Time for the defense to come up with a turnover. It has yet to do so this
                  preseason - first-string, second-string, or any-string.

                  Time for the Rams to start sharpening their focus and honing their craft.
                  Because the Sept. 12 regular-season opener against Arizona is right around the
                  corner.

                  "At this point, we need to come together as a team," coach Mike Martz said.
                  "We've spent a lot of time here looking at these players."

                  As individuals. But tonight against the visiting Washington Redskins, Martz
                  says: "I want the (starters) to be sharp. When the first group's in there, I
                  just want them to compete, and be sharp, and perform well."

                  In other words, do everything they didn't do in Monday's 24-7 embarrassment at
                  Kansas City. What went wrong against the Chiefs? A lot, according to Martz:

                  "We made an inordinate amount of mental mistakes. ...

                  "We didn't play with the enthusiasm and the pizzazz that we would expect us to.
                  ...

                  "We were disjointed. The calls didn't come in right. It looked like our first
                  day of practice."

                  Which is no way to be less than three weeks from opening day.

                  "So we have to iron it out quick," offensive guard Chris Dishman said. "And I
                  think we will."

                  There's plenty to be ironed out, especially on offense in terms of pass
                  protection, blitz pickup, and hot reads. On Monday, Kansas City blitzed 11
                  times in the first half. The Chiefs sent seven pass rushers three times, and
                  six pass rushers on four occasions. On three blitzes, they sent both safeties
                  at quarterback Marc Bulger.

                  "Washington is going to come in with a similar defense," to Kansas City, Bulger
                  said. "With a lot of pressure, and it will be another good test."

                  It's a test the Rams' offense failed against Kansas City - and not just the
                  offensive line.

                  "We as an offense, as a whole, probably could've given it a better effort,"
                  running back Marshall Faulk said. "But we didn't. Thank God, it's the preseason
                  and we get to work on it."

                  Because of a quirky preseason schedule, the Rams get to work on it right away.
                  Just four days after the Chiefs debacle, the Redskins come calling at 7 tonight
                  at the Edward Jones Dome.

                  Most NFL players need a day or two just to recover from the normal aches and ...
                  -08-27-2004, 05:50 AM
                • RamWraith
                  Error-prone Rams are a long way from being ready
                  by RamWraith
                  By Bryan Burwell
                  ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                  08/27/2006

                  KANSAS CITY — In the visitors' locker room late Saturday night, there wasn't a man in the room who didn't know what happened out there on the plush grass field of Arrowhead Stadium.

                  "We had a relapse," running back Steven Jackson said in a voice barely above a whisper.

                  "We didn't play a very clean game," coach Scott Linehan said in a clipped voice.

                  "I don't mind the holding penalties all that much," quarterback Marc Bulger said, forcing a smile as he began cataloging all the miscues during the three-hour disaster of this 16-12 preseason loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. "But the mental mistakes -- the offsides, the missed assignments -- man, there were just too many of those tonight."
                  This was the night the Rams were supposed to show us something. This was the night when Linehan's offensive X's and O's would come alive and the first-unit defense would flex its muscles against a worthy adversary named Larry Johnson, and everyone would see the sort of progress that the Rams had made from last season's nightmare to this season's rebirth.



                  Well, excuse me if I hold off on the renaissance a bit longer, because by the end of this breezy night, the only thing the Rams starters revealed was some potentially troubling glimpses into an uncertain future. After a relatively mistake-free start to the preseason, the Rams have spent the last two games repeating annoying and disturbing self-destructive habits.

                  In a game where large men in heavy armor fly around with the sole intent of knocking people senseless, it goes without saying that there will be a certain degree of imperfection in a football game. I also understand that when a team is in the process of learning a new offensive and defensive system, growing pains are to be expected.

                  But what I saw happen inside Arrowhead Stadium bothered me, and I know it bothered Linehan. As I've told you before, this guy's a perfectionist. He's been stressing mistake-free football since the start of training camp, and after a relatively efficient effort against Indianapolis two weeks ago, it appeared that his methods were working.

                  Yet with the regular-season opener against the Denver Broncos only two weeks away, the Rams committed far too many mental and physical mistakes on both sides of the ball.

                  If the Rams don't work out these kinks and contain the sloppiness in a hurry, this could be a long and painful season to endure. There was one nightmarish blur early in the third quarter that highlighted exactly how self-destructive these breakdowns can be. Left guard Richie Incognito, who was called earlier for one drive-killing penalty, was caught on an illegal chop block that nullified what would have been a 15-yard touchdown pass by Bulger, and the only touchdown of...
                  -08-27-2006, 09:01 AM
                • RamWraith
                  Rams' goal vs. Chiefs: Stay healthy, claim Cup
                  by RamWraith
                  By Jim Thomas
                  Of the Post-Dispatch
                  09/01/2005


                  Nothing is so meaningless for many, but so meaningful for the few, as the final game of the preseason.

                  Coaches always pull back on playing their starters, not wanting to risk injury so close to the regular season. This is particularly true for the Rams because they will be playing their second game in 96 hours tonight, when they close out the preseason against Kansas City at the Edward Jones Dome.

                  "It's tough, coming off a game like that this soon," Martz said.

                  According to Martz, it could have been worse.

                  "Originally, they had this as a Thursday game," he said. "Can you imagine that? I think playing a Monday night game in the third preseason game is very difficult to do."

                  The Rams had only two practices this week, neither of which was in full pads. Thursday's workout lasted only about 70 minutes.

                  "You have to take care of them in that respect," Martz said.

                  Martz will take the prudent approach into tonight's game with the Chiefs as well. If the starters didn't look so sharp in Monday's 37-13 victory in Detroit, he might be tempted to play them longer.

                  But after the Rams' impressive performance at Ford Field, their goal is to play hard tonight, but leave healthy. And then get ready for San Francisco, the Rams' opponent in the regular-season opener Sept. 11.

                  "If we had to play our starters, this would be brutal," Martz said. "Fortunately, we don't have to do that. I think we're far enough along as a team right now that we can take a look at all these other guys here.

                  "I wouldn't expect that we'd play (the starters) much at all. They'll have to play some, obviously, but not much. We're going to be very selective in terms of who plays."

                  The Rams did a fair amount of game-planning for Detroit last week, at least by preseason standards. But that wasn't the case for Kansas City in this extra-short work week.

                  "We did nothing for Kansas City," Martz said. "Nothing. So whatever happens, happens. We just hope that (Rams players) can sort things out well enough, and so be it.

                  "The Chiefs are enough like us on offense. Their running game's a little different. And defensively, they're a 4-3 defense. So coverages are relatively similar to us."

                  With final cuts looming Sunday, the almost-annual Governor's Cup game does have importance to bubble players. Twelve more Rams must be cut to reach the 53-man roster limit, so for some, tonight might be their last crack at NFL football.

                  "It's an important game for a lot of guys," Martz said. "They need to kind of define themselves in their role on this team this year. Or whether they'll be on this team."
                  ...
                  -09-02-2005, 05:26 AM
                • Nick
                  Rams Ready for Preseason Opener
                  by Nick
                  Rams Ready for Preseason Opener
                  Posted Aug 10, 2012
                  By Nick Wagoner
                  Senior Writer

                  Since Jeff Fisher last coached in an actual NFL game, much has changed in terms of how teams are allowed to prepare for those contests, especially in the preseason.

                  The new Collective Bargaining Agreement has mandated strict guidelines on everything from allotted practice time to how often teams can wear pads in those practices.

                  That isn’t to say that Fisher will change how he deploys his players drastically from his days in Tennessee when the Rams open the preseason on Sunday against Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium.

                  What it does mean, though, is that when the Rams and Colts kick it off at 12:30, it would be wise to expect a lot of trial and error in terms of playing time for starters as well as the Rams’ general approach to the exhibition schedule under Fisher.

                  “You set out to win the games,” Fisher said. “Obviously every time you compete on the field you want to work towards and achieve a victory. As far as the first preseason game, we’re looking forward to watching them play. We want to see the rookies respond under pressure, which there is obvious pressure in the first one. You stay somewhat basic. You don’t try to out-scheme somebody and spend all this time, you want to see them block and tackle, you want to see them execute the fundamentals against a good opponent.”

                  In terms of a goal or a desired record, preseason games mean very little as an indicator for regular season success. It doesn’t take much of a history lesson to go back to last preseason when the Rams went 4-0 and actually defeated the same Colts team in impressive fashion yet finished the season 2-14, the same record as Indianapolis.

                  A perfect preseason record can create unrealistic expectations just as, say, a winless exhibition record could perhaps create far more panic than is necessary. The truth, as always, lies somewhere in the middle and that’s just how Fisher views the four games his team will play before opening the regular season on Sept. 9 at Detroit.

                  “I don’t know where that comes from, 0-4 in the preseason, that’s a lot of stuff for you guys (media) to talk about between the end of the preseason and the opener,” Fisher said. “So, you prefer to win some games, but I was told this team was 4-0 last year. That’s all in the past. To answer your question, we like to play…What you want to do through the preseason is not give up a lot of points, keep the penalties down – keep them way down – protect the football, block and tackle and execute and let the score take care of itself.”

                  The greatest value of the preseason games is the opportunity to evaluate players in real game situations to help make determinations for the final 53-man roster. It’s especially beneficial in helping to find the players to fill out the bottom part of the roster but also to help find...
                  -08-12-2012, 08:10 AM
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