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  • Cards Ready To Head to St. Louis

    Cards Ready To Head to St. Louis The Arizona Cardinals have lost the last 13 games on the road and they are heading into one of the most difficult places to play at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, where the Rams have won their last 14 straight home games.

    Despite the Cards lethargic road performances in previous years, Head Coach Dennis Green said he actually prefers going on the road.

    “Your advantage can be that from 10:30 on we are thinking about playing the St. Louis Rams. The St. Louis Rams, from about 8’o clock at night are thinking about playing the Arizona Cardinals. When we go and check through security, from that point on, we are not going unless we are going to play the St. Louis Rams. You can gain an edge because you have more focus and a sense of purpose.”

    “You have to be able to be relaxed and take on the mindset that everyone is against you. They’ve got a great crowd, a very noisy crowd and they’ve had success. They bring the pomp and pageantry like nowhere else and you have to say hey that is good, and you have to play 60 minutes.”

    To prepare for some of the expected crowd noise, the Cards blasted loud music during Friday morning’s practice.

    After spending two years with ESPN, Green is also looking forward to the excitement of Sunday’s game.

    “I’ve done a lot of television in my days but I’ve done a lot of coaching and whether I was 31-years old at Northwestern or now at this stage, it is exciting and what is happening now, things are taking shape. I said a week ago, ‘Not Ready.’ I thought we’d be ready Thursday and we were right on time. We’ve come together as a team and that is exciting.”

    Likewise, 15-year veteran running back Emmitt Smith stated that there is nothing else like opening day.

    “Fifteen of them and it is always special when you train for six to seven months, and now this is your reward, making the ball club, and having a chance to play on opening day, it is special,” shared Smith.

    Green said all preseason that the offense will show a lot more once the regular season kicks off, and Smith and the rest of the players are curious to see how that plays out.

    “I am very curious, in a good sense, because I’m excited because the things I’ve seen happening throughout this team have been very positive,” said Smith.

    If the Cards have any advantage at all, it could be the element of surprise. Although Rams Head Coach Mike Martz has played against Green before, with Green running a vanilla offense this preseason, the Rams really don’t have much tape to study of what the Cards may run.

    “You have to go back and look at what Denny has done offensively through the years and he’s always been very explosive and put points up obviously and very productive,” said Martz. “He’ll know how to use them to their fullest. Defensively and offensively, we are not really sure what they are because in the preseason nobody really displays that. We’ll just have to adjust. It makes you a little nervous when you go into a game with a new staff like that and you are not really familiar with their coordinators and they keep things close to the vest in the preseason but we’ll just see.”

    Wide receiver Nate Poole said that the playbook definitely got thicker this week.

    “I don’t want to anything away in terms of percentages, but the playbook got better and we got a lot sharper with what we are doing.”

    According to Smith, it will still be up to the players to execute.

    “We’re very familiar with the Rams,” offered Smith. “I’m not going to say they are very familiar with us because we do have a different ball club than we did last year, and we have a different coaching staff which presents a new challenge for them, but we still have to go out and execute the X’s and O’s. That is the bottom line.”

    Injury Update

    Linebacker Ray Thompson (knee) did not practice and is on the team’s doubtful list for Sunday. Joining him on the doubtful list is linebacker Levar Fisher (knee). Offensive tackle L.J. Shelton (back) is questionable. Safety Ifeanyi Ohalate (ankle) is probable. Wide receiver Anquan Boldin (knee) is out.

    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

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  • RamDez
    Cards Have Task Of Slowing Rams Offensive Attack
    by RamDez
    Cards Have Task Of Slowing Rams Offensive Attack The St. Louis Rams were once heralded as the "Greatest Show on Turf," and while the passing game garnered most of the attention during the Rams Super Bowl run, the Rams were also very effective at running the ball. That production drastically dropped last year when the Rams took a dive to 30th in rushing offense and 28th in yards per carry.

    It has been a focus point for Rams Head Coach Mike Martz this off-season, and something he tried to establish this preseason with the Rams finishing with 480 yards rushing.

    “I really felt like we needed to run the ball well in the preseason and I think in the last few preseason games particularly we were able to accomplish that and you need to be able to do that obviously to win,” stated Martz. “I think when you can run the ball because you want to, or throw the ball because you want to, you are good in the offensive line and that is what we have to establish.”

    If the Rams makeshift offensive line can hold up, the Rams still have the weapons to be explosive.

    “They are still there,” observed Cards Head Coach Dennis Green. “They really are. (Marc) Bulger can make big plays if he has time to throw. Isaac Bruce is in his 12th year but he looks like those young guys. Torry Holt has emerged. (Marshall) Faulk looked good in the preseason. They drafted (Steven) Jackson and were so strong they were able to trade Lamar Gordon. I think they still have a lot of weapons.”

    Holt’s 117 catches led the NFL last season and he, Bruce, and tight end Cam Cleeland, paired with the depth at running back, will challenge the Cards secondary.

    “They have so many threats on offense that it is hard to focus on just one aspect of the game,” said Cardinals safety Ifeanyi Ohalete. “You’ve got to be able to shut down both the run and the pass. I still think they lean more towards pass first, but we’ve definitely got to shut down the run first and foremost and keep them off the field.”

    With Duane Starks healthy and David Macklin in the lineup this year, Green thinks his corners can match the speed of the Rams receivers, but the Cards pass rush must also get

    “It is going to be at a premium to get pressure on Bulger and try to confuse him,” said defensive end Bertrand Berry. “We can’t line up and give him the same look every time and we just have to disrupt his timing because they are very much a timing offense.”

    Green’s success in Minnesota and San Francisco centered around having the kind of high-powered threatening offenses that the Rams currently pose, and he said the only way to truly stop those type of offenses is by keeping them off the field.

    “They make big plays, maybe better than anybody in football,” said Green. “So, you have to keep them on the sidelines by having your own offensive productivity. You have to be in a position where you can move...
    -09-11-2004, 12:17 PM
  • DJRamFan
    [Cardinals] Cards feeling defeated
    by DJRamFan
    4-9 record takes its toll on Green

    Tim Tyers
    The Arizona Republic
    Dec. 14, 2004 12:00 AM

    The demeanor of Cardinals coach Dennis Green on Monday was that of a man ready to cut loose with a refrain from an old country song: "You ripped my heart out and stomped that sucker flat."

    The man who predicted a winning season and possible playoff berth upon his arrival had nothing good to say about his four-win team, or the way the season has transpired during his first season with the Cardinals.

    San Francisco, with only two wins, is considered the worst team in pro football. But both of its wins have come against the Cardinals, including Sunday's 31-28 win in overtime, so where does that leave the Cardinals? advertisement

    Emmitt Smith, the NFL's career rushing leader, said after Sunday's loss that the team is making elementary mistakes and insinuated that some of the problem is coaching.

    "You know," Green said, "everybody has their own opinion. I will reserve mine."

    To his credit, Green didn't dodge the issue when asked if he was worried about losing the attention of his team.

    "Absolutely," he said. "You worry about losing everybody. I don't think (owner) Mr. Bill Bidwill is very happy right now. I don't think he counted on hiring a new coach and having the new coach be 4-9. It's everybody. I don't think the fans counted on being 4-9. I know I didn't count on being 4-9 . . .

    "There is a chance to lose everybody when you get into a situation where you are not winning . . . "

    Green took on a huge task when he came to Arizona in January to rebuild the franchise. Yet, Sunday's loss guaranteed the Cardinals their 15th losing season in the past 17 years. The question now is, how much progress has been made?

    "I would hope to say a lot of things are better, but you know . . . sometimes we are in a bottom line business. In fact, most of the time we are.

    "We only had 35,000 people there (Sunday). That's not a very big crowd, not a lot of people for the fifth-largest city in America. That's not a lot of people who want to come and watch you play in your stadium."

    In Sunday's game there were five major errors on special teams, the offense didn't report for duty until the second half and Arizona's gambling defense was once again porous against the run. Nondescript Maurice Hicks, an undrafted free agent, not only became the eighth rusher to top 100 yards against Arizona, but his 139 yards came within 5 yards of matching his season total entering the game.

    Green said the Cardinals are not physical enough at the point of attack against the run. They've tried to offset that with blitzes, but sometimes the formation takes away the blitz and the lack of physicality...
    -12-14-2004, 11:30 AM
  • RamWraith
    Hammering the Cards helps playoff hopes
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    Sunday, Dec. 03 2006

    There's a large sledgehammer in the front of the team auditorium at Rams Park.
    It's hard to miss.

    "It's kind of a commitment that we're going to keep hammering away," coach
    Scott Linehan said. "It's something that coach (Bob) Ligashesky used with the
    special teams. We said we've got to work hard if we're going to get out of this

    The players signed on, literally. All over the sledgehammer's wooden handle are
    signatures of Rams players. Well, it worked last week against San Francisco.
    The Rams busted out of their five-game losing streak, getting:

    — A key takeaway by special teams on punt coverage.

    — Two interceptions, plus a critical third-and-1 stop by the defense.

    — Impressive run blocking, and a game-winning touchdown drive by the offense.

    The weight of that losing streak was removed from the team's shoulders with the
    20-17 triumph over San Francisco.

    "We were in dire need of a win," wide receiver Torry Holt said. "For us to go
    out there and play the way we played ... that was absolutely fantastic. So
    hopefully, we can build on that."

    So the sledgehammer is back for a return engagement this week, with Bill
    Bidwill and the Arizona Cardinals (2-9) in town. Kickoff is at noon Edward
    Jones Dome.

    At the moment, only six teams in the NFC have winning records. Only four are
    more than one game above .500: Division leaders Chicago (9-2), Dallas (7-4),
    New Orleans (7-4), and Seattle (7-4). Until further notice, that puts St. Louis
    in the wild-card race as one of five NFC teams with a 5-6 record entering
    Sunday's games.

    "Now we're right back in the thick of things," center Richie Incognito said.
    "That's just how it goes in this business. One week you're out of it, and the
    next week your right in the middle of it. If we keep playing well, we'll take
    care of it."

    Of the 11 so-called playoff contenders in the NFC, only Chicago has an easier
    remaining schedule than the Rams. The Bears' remaining opponents have a
    combined winning percentage of just .345. The Rams have the next-easiest
    schedule at .400. Of course, absolutely nothing has come easy for the Rams this

    "Fortunately, it's a bad year for the NFC right now," quarterback Marc Bulger
    said. "Somehow, we're still in it. I think the margin for error has gone down a
    lot. I think one more loss will pretty much end it."

    Maybe, maybe not. It's possible that 9-7 gets the Rams a wild-card berth. In
    2004, the Rams and Minnesota both got in at 8-8,...
    -12-03-2006, 04:53 AM
  • dgr828
    By the time Rams get to Phoenix....
    by dgr828
    The Cards will open the Roof of the Dome for the 1st time this season. They've won the last six times the roof was open. Rams can't take the Cards lightly. Since these two teams met on opening day, the Cards have struggled with a 3-8 record, the Rams haven't struggled as much and find themselves leading the division.
    The Cards beat the Rams that opening day in St. Louis and probably like their chances when they play host on Sunday.

    The West has become the 'Black & Blue' division. Arizona beats up the Rams, Seattle beats up Arizona, Rams beat up Seattle, Frisco Beats up Rams.
    Every team within the division still has a shot at winning the West, so this game in Phoenix (Glendale, AZ) is so important for the Rams moving forward the rest of the season.
    A win for the Rams keeps them in 1st, in the division and just about eliminates the Cards from the playoff picture.

    The Cards are on a 6 game losing streak, they did; However, beat New Orleans and took the Vikings to OT in Minnesota before losing that one.

    Fitzgerald says he was only 25% on opening day, so look for him to try and have a big day.

    Tim Hightower always does good against the Rams.
    Derrick Anderson probably figures he beat the Rams once this year, that he can do it again.

    So many times this year, the Rams take the lead in the first half of ballgames only the squander it away in the second half. It almost happened again last week in Denver.

    Its a must that Sam Bradford keep putting up the numbers, along with 'Capt. JAX' making the offense balanced and moving the chains.

    Michael Hoomanawanui will be missed greatly, others will just have to step up!

    Will Sam still sport the beard, or is No Shave November over?

    I've always been alittle skeptical of Chris Longs play,BUT you have to admire a guy who's there every Sunday bringing his Hard Hat and lunchpail. I can see C Long breaking out with a big game against the Cards. Would love to see the Rams defense play 4 quarters of hard nose football and be relied upon, especially in the last quarter to protect a lead.


    Coach Steve Spagnuolo finally is molding his team and getting them to play to his liking. Surely, he'll have the Rams ready for the Cards as the team heads for the final stretch of the season.

    Get ready RAMFANS! the team is about to get back into PRIMETIME!!!

    -12-05-2010, 02:51 AM
  • txramsfan
    Cards' middle ready to hold the fort
    by txramsfan
    Cards' middle ready to hold the fort
    Grudzielanek, Eckstein new double-play combination
    By Matthew Leach /

    JUPITER, Fla. -- All the remnants are gone from what was one of baseball's finest double-play combinations. Even their uniform numbers.
    As recently as two years ago, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winner Edgar Renteria would flip the ball to Gold Glove winner Fernando Vina, providing Cardinals fans and pitchers with a great comfort every time a ball was hit on the ground.

    But Vina left after 2003, joining Detroit as a free agent. Tony Womack ably filled Vina's second base position and leadoff role last season, then left to sign with the Yankees this past offseason.

    Renteria is gone, too, having signed with the Red Sox. Even Renteria's No. 3 and the No. 4 worn by both Vina and Womack have been handed out to newcomers this spring.

    The Cardinals find themselves in the unusual position of trying to defend a league championship with new starters at both middle infield positions. Mark Grudzielanek heads south after two years with the Cubs to take over the keystone, and likely Renteria's No. 6/7 spot in the batting order. David Eckstein comes east from Anaheim, where he only knew one full-time double-play mate -- Adam Kennedy -- in four big league seasons.

    On a team with few other obvious questions, the new DP combo will be watched vigilantly. And they'll watch each other constantly as they try to get on the same page.

    "I think we're going to be fine," said manager Tony La Russa. "And we're going to give it as much attention, which I think is a big part of it. Guys will understand the priority we give defense. If you look at our work, we do more defensive things than we do offensive things. Players get the point when you do it that way."

    St. Louis had the most groundball-oriented pitching staff in the league last year, and the addition of Mark Mulder will probably lead to even more infield chances. So while Grudzielanek and Eckstein need to contribute offensively, their defense will be critical.

    Then again, while Renteria was a Gold Glover in 2002 and '03, that wasn't the case in '04. And Womack, who had some trouble throwing after returning from elbow surgery last year, has never been considered an exemplary defender.

    So whereas Eckstein likely represents a downgrade from Renteria at short, Grudzielanek may be an improvement over Womack. Defense was an undeniable strength of the '04 Cards, but that doesn't mean that every player who wore the "birds on the bat" was a human vacuum cleaner.

    Eckstein, well known for both his strengths -- sure hands, positioning and an ability to put the ball in play -- and relative weaknesses -- lack of power and a limited throwing arm -- doesn't view himself in the context of his predecessors. ...
    -02-28-2005, 09:20 AM