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Where do we go from here?

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  • Where do we go from here?

    Hello, fellow Rams fans and others. I've got a few minutes between drinking the first pot of coffee and taking out my two dogs, so I thought I'd post a few thoughts on here to ask "what next?".

    In my home, the Rams aren't just a football team. They are a way of life. When an eight year old girl would rather watch the Rams play a game they will probably lose instead of Hannah Montana, then a father knows he is raising a child right.

    So, we have gone from 8-8, to 3-13, to 2-14. We have changed coaching staff more often than some people change their oil. We can't seem to find the answers. But still, on any given Sunday, the Rams can look like the meanest team in the league for 50 or 55 minutes...then somehow, they blow it in the last few minutes of play. When I look back on the Rams teams from the last few years, I remember noticing a slow, steady decline. Sure, there were some bright spots - SJ and Bulger both looked fantastic just two seasons ago, Bartell looked like the miracle man this year, OJ has shined, but overall, the intensity of the entire team has faded. Much of this had to do with injuries - it's hard to keep your runningback in the game and your quarterback upright if your O line isn't blocking anyone. Those rare moments when the O line did mesh provided a chance for a big play, but something seemed to always go wrong. Our WR's had WD-40 on their hands, or a route was run in the wrong direction, or the QB was so gun shy that he just wanted to get rid of the ball before getting hit.

    This year, it was different. We had all the pieces of the puzzle, but the guy who was trying to put it together didn't know how they fit together. Four games into the season, he was let go. The entire team seemed to change overnight. The swagger was back. The players no longer looked afraid of contact. We won a game against a better Washington team and stunned the league. One week later, we made Dallas a laughingstock. (Kind of like the Eagles did last night...hahahahahahahaha!!!!) People actually began to notice us!

    Of course, we all hoped this was the real Rams, but most of us were careful. We'd been burned before, but those guys in Blue and Gold sure looked like winners!

    Reality set in way too soon. We couldn't get a "W" the rest of the season. It sounds strange, but until week 9, we actually had a chance to make the playoffs with a 2-6 record. Of course, we all know how that story ends.

    But are the Rams really as bad as Detroit? No. Not even close. Think about it. Most of the last 12 games, we were within reach of a win for at least half of the game. More than once, we were within minutes of a win - then disaster struck. Each game had ONE pivotal moment that I wish we could take back and do over. Yesterday, it was the onside kick being called back - OK, two moments: the lack of coverage on that long run. Yet, the Rams did not give up - not until the ball was turned over on the last 4th down.

    So now what? Chip Rosenbloom has already rid us of the 3 worst influences we have had lately - Shaw, Ziggy, and Looserhan. He has put someone in charge that understands what a football looks like and what it means to be a winner. He gave us an interim head coach who, even if he didn't get the team to turn around, has inspired the players to TRY to win.

    He has given us hope for next year.

    Do I expect a repeat of the '99 season in '09? No, realistically, that's probably out of reach for a few more years, but it seemed that way ten years ago, too. What I do expect is something more realistic.

    Possibly as early as today, Chip (or Devaney) will start making calls to HC candidates. Some of them will be eliminated within seconds of walking in the door, because they won't be a fit for the team. Others will be heavily considered. Who it will be is anyone's guess. I think the FO knows who they want, and if the contract can be worked out, that's who they will hire. I doubt if money will be an will be more of an issue of "will this guy make us a winner for the money" thing.

    We might be without some names on the roster next season that have been around in horns longer than some of the fans. Holt, Little, Pace - no one knows what these guys are going to do. We will have other names that will emerge as stars - only one year ago, I remember a lot of people calling Bartell an average or below average player, yet this year he was one of the best. We will have new names on the sidelines, too.

    What we do know is that there will be change. New names, new faces, new schemes. One year ago, no one could imagine Issac Bruce as a whiner. Yeah, it came back to bite us in the backside. No one could imagine the emergence of Avery, and he might just end up being someone who is as good - we will have to wait and see. It's a crapshoot, for sure.

    One thing I will guarantee: Come April, many of us will be in the chat room, discussing our draft choices, arguing about who we picked, wishing we would have gotten some other player, and awaiting not so patiently the beginning of training camp. When the first pre-season game rolls around, we'll remind ourselves that it is only preseason and doesn't really matter in the big picture, but we will still be as excited as a kid on Christmas day about a win. We will be watching the rookies, hoping one of them turns out to be the biggest thing since sliced bread (as a side note - sliced bread was first created in Missouri, so there is hope! - also, ice cream cones, and they were invented in St. Louis!!!). We will pray that none of our team suffers any injuries, and if they do, we hope they are in the 'boo-boo' category that can be cured with a band-aid and a kiss from a cheerleader. We will study our schedule, formulate our own rosters, predict each game in the '09 season, gripe about how we overpaid free agent so-and-so, whine because we didn't overpay some other free agent, and then it happens:

    Opening day kickoff.

    All of us will be on the edge of our seats, heart pounding, eyes wide open, yelling so loud that the neighbors hear us, waiting for one thing - a win.

    We know the Rams are a team with a winning tradition. We also know they can suck as bad as anyone else. In fact, as fans, we know this better than anyone.

    Me, I know the Rams we love will be back on top - the best team in the league once again. Will it be next year?

    Maybe. We'll have to wait and see. A lot of the pieces are there. Can Chip and Devaney put it together? Yes, they can - now all they have to do is finish the puzzle.

    I can't wait.

  • #2
    Re: Where do we go from here?

    Is this what drinking a whole pot of coffee does to you Sam?

    I hope that Chip has the answers and that he will bring the right people in for the Rams. A lot of changes are happening right now with Shaw and Ziggy gone. So many unknowns now. Who will be here for next season? When will the changes happen?


    • #3
      Re: Where do we go from here?

      Originally posted by UtterBlitz View Post
      Is this what drinking a whole pot of coffee does to you Sam?
      No, I had not even finished the first quart yet...


      • #4
        Re: Where do we go from here?

        So why are you is such a writing mood then?

        It is weird to think that the season is over now. No more games for a while.


        • #5
          Re: Where do we go from here?

          Funny, I just had my first cup of coffee, and I don't feel like talking about the Rams at all...

          ...maybe it's all the beer I drank last night?

          This team is bad, make no mistake about it. But that's not to say that it can't be turned around, and quickly. Let's face it, there's only one way for this team to go, and that's up. ....and in this division, everyone (including the Cards) are mediocre at best, and the Rams can be competitive again quickly.

          This off-season will be like none other, to me. New ownership, new FO, probably a new HC and other coaching changes are sure to come. We have two rookie WR's that show promise and other key players returning from injury. When Jackson is healthy, he can be a beast. Hopefully, this is the start of a new Rams era. New attitude, new approach. No more "soft" Rams team, I'm hoping. I few hits on FA and in the draft and the Rams can get back in the thick of things. Just look at the Dolphins a Falcons for proof that it can happen with the right people in place, and the wrong people in jail.

          No, the Rams can get this ship going in the right direction, and I for one will be anxiously awaiting the off season to watch it all unfold.
          Last edited by RAMFANRAIDERHATER; -12-29-2008, 10:26 AM.


          • #6
            Re: Where do we go from here?

            Very nice post Sam. I share your optimism and confidence that the Rams will return to the lofty postion they held earlier this decade and were so dominent at back in the '70's and early '80's. As I have said many times n this site, it promises to be a very interesting off-season.

            Go Rams! :helmet:


            • #7
              Re: Where do we go from here?

              Originally posted by RamsFanSam View Post

              But are the Rams really as bad as Detroit? No. Not even close. Think about it. Most of the last 12 games, we were within reach of a win for at least half of the game. More than once, we were within minutes of a win - then disaster struck.
              The Rams were VERY CLOSE to being as bad as Detroit. Fact is that many who anylize the NFL for a living felt that the Rams WERE the worst team in the league. To state that it 'wasnt even close' is laughable. The Lions were also in reach of a win in several games and their offense outscored the Rams by 36 pts this year. Thats correct...the Rams were OUTSCORED by the WORST TEAM (record wise) in NFL HISTORY! Chew on that for a few months.

              Most of the time "disaster" was named Marc Bulger. As long as he remains the QB this will never be anything but a mediocre best. The guy doesnt have "it" and never will.
              "You people point your 'f'in' finger and say theres the bad guy....what that make you....good?" Tony Montana


              • #8
                Re: Where do we go from here?

                Unfortunately, this optomistic thinking is the silver lining that every team has to look forward to. I could argue that the Lions are closer to being competitive than our team. They have a lot of young talent. We have a few bright spots of young talent, but probably have more holes and aging vets.

                The question is where do we go from here. I believe the answer is this:

                We have finally rid ourselves of Zygmut and Shaw. Shaw was a cancer for 20 years, and Zygmut helped bury our GSOT. But replacing Zygmut and getting a new coach is only step 1. Step 2, and just as big a problem is the poor drafting (I'd like to say there was some bad luck in there, but at this point, it doesn't make a difference), and poor free agent aquisitions that we are stuck with, or didn't work out. We have holes to fill, and some mediocre players that we are stuck with for at least a couple years. These problems will not be quick to resolve. It will take some time. We may have some limitted success with the Bulger/Jackson/Avery combination, but we will have just as much of a downside with our contracts to guys like Bell and Bennett, and aging vets like Pace, Holt, and Little.

                We are unfortunately, in a rebuilding mode that we have been delaying for a couple years now. Now, our recession may turn into a depression.

                But on the other side of this should be a better organization, perhaps a new owner, and hopefully a committment to winning.


                • #9
                  Re: Where do we go from here?

                  Originally posted by Fargo Ram Fan View Post
                  The Rams were VERY CLOSE to being as bad as Detroit. Fact is that many who anylize the NFL for a living felt that the Rams WERE the worst team in the league. To state that it 'wasnt even close' is laughable. The Lions were also in reach of a win in several games and their offense outscored the Rams by 36 pts this year. Thats correct...the Rams were OUTSCORED by the WORST TEAM (record wise) in NFL HISTORY! Chew on that for a few months.

                  Most of the time "disaster" was named Marc Bulger. As long as he remains the QB this will never be anything but a mediocre best. The guy doesnt have "it" and never will.
                  Oh my gosh, how right you are! It WAS mostly Marc's fault! He didn't protect the QB, he failed to block, he didn't get 5.3 YPC when he was handed the ball, he didn't cover the opponent's recievers in the secondary, he hired Looserhan, and he called every bad play!

                  Now that the sarcasm is over, am I saying Marc is blameless? No. He most certainly had his share of screw-ups this year, but the issue goes much further than that. It wouldn't matter WHO we had at QB this year - we would have not done any better. Last year we had Frerotte as a backup. He couldn't hit the broadside of a barn at six paces, yet this year he did a great job for Minny. I wonder why that was? Could it be that Minnesota had something we don' maybe a better offensive line, or better recievers, or a ground threat, or better play calling, or what?

                  Let me give you yet another example: Warner in New York. Truth is, he sucked. Some kid named Eli Manning comes along, and sure enough, he takes the team to the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, Kurt goes to Phoenix, and what went on there? He takes a team of Bidwell's losers to the playoffs. I wonder why? Oh,'s Marc's fault.


                  Related Topics


                  • RamsFanSam
                    OK, convince me!
                    by RamsFanSam
                    I have read plenty of posts from people saying fans shouldn't look at the bright side of last night's defeat, that instead we should all don sackcloth and ashes, and mourn the death of the 2008 season for our Rams.

                    Convince me why I should!

                    I watched only the first quarter, but I did listen to the entire game. Of course, the TV broadcast was done by the Titans Network, meaning that the commentary was biased in favor of the Titans. The other 3 quarters was a mix of NFL's gamecenter and KTVI audio, niether of which was very good.

                    What I came out of the media barrage I witnessed is the following:

                    1. Marc looked a little rusty. Of course, considering that there was only TWO others on the offense who had ever played in Saunder's system, I expected to see some confusion. But, I guess that since Marc didn't launch a 99 yard Hail Mary for 6 on the first possession means that Marc is all washed up. After all, when a reciever isn't in the right place at the right time, it's always the QB's fault.

                    2. I also saw a really good defense beat our O-line. Considering that these front five guys have NEVER played a single game together before, We know it's all Pace's fault. He is all washed up, and we should have traded for Jake Long and then overpaid him to take Pace's spot.

                    3. I saw 2 passes go long, so long that no one on either team had a chance to get to them. It didn't matter that both times the recievers were double covered and had no chance in hell of breaking away, those recievers must suck, so we should have traded them for some untested rookie. Darn Linehan for drafting someone who has skills that our offense could use instead of some other rookie!

                    4. I saw our defense get beat up. Badly. Even though they made a solid stand in the red zone, we know they suck. It doesn't matter that some of our starters were out, we should have beaten the Titans back into the stone age with undersized, inexperienced rookies. It's all Haslett's fault for not having UFA's and rookies available that we can afford.

                    5. Our "wannabe's" didn't come back in the second half and win the game. Of course, they have had a whole 90 days or so to forget everything they ever learned about football just to learn football all over again. I forget that other millionaires such as Bill Gates have been there before. Didn't he have to forget everything he knew about Windows 98 to learn Windows XP in just 90 days? He didn't? Oh my. Those rookies and coaches have to go....NOW!

                    So, as you can see, I am NOT saying everything will be OK by next week. In fact, I'll be happy if we win 3 of our first 8, and come out 8-8 this season. I know all is not well in St. Louis as of yet, and I didn't expect it to be. Last year I had hope, because everything was in place. This year, we have a tougher schedule, most of our great players are either gone or they are getting...
                    -08-10-2008, 03:41 PM
                  • viper
                    Alas..the sky is falling once again
                    by viper
                    It never ceases to amaze me, how quickly my fellow Ram's fans will turn on thier team, their players and their coach. The clouds of "doom and gloom" lye low above the legion once again. Again the naysayers have their day, to lay their spew upon the feet of the horns.

                    Ohhhh no, we've lost to the lowly dirty birds, Ohhh no, we've lost 6 out of the last 7 games, Ohh no, our captain has spoke out to the media about a few of his undisciplined guardians, possibly upsetting a few teammates, Oh no, our coach won't take responsibility and demand accountability from his youthful squires on the front lines, let alone the team as a whole.

                    Granted, the legion has seen better days. But, why is it that the masses choose to dwell on the "darker side" of things rather the hope of a brighter day to come. Is there not a chance, a hope that a brighter day shall dawn as a result of the upcoming offseason. This season is lost, no doubt. Who can say that this was not a distinct possibility, considering that we would be brandishing a new head coach, a new defensive coordinator, new offensive and defensive schemes, new free agents, untested rookies and a decimated offensive line. Add to that a previously dysfunctional run defense, pass defense and special teams for the last several years and what do you get? The "2006 St. Louis Rams!" Hooray! We got exactly what we "should have" expected. Or at least considered the possibility that it could be a tough year. Well guess what, it has turned out to be a "tough year." A downright bleak season.

                    But, ya know what, believe it or not, there has been improvement over last year. Our special teams have improved significantly in punting, coverage and returns. Our defense, is doing better in the turnover battle, our pass defense is improved and as hard as it may be to believe we do seem to be better at keeping opponents from scoring on us as much.

                    Its easy to throw fuel on the fire proclaiming how terrible things are when the going gets tough. The question is where are you when your team needs your support? Anybody can belittle a losing team...and their is no question we are losing right now. But, in doing so, are you any better than the opposing team's fans that come to diss on your team. I haven't seen too many "positive" threads lately about our team that make me feel like this is the Rams home.

                    I, personally, have unwavering faith in the positve attributes of the Rams! I choose not to wallow in the ever increasing muck and mire that seems to be prevalent around here lately. I agree that we are not where we want to be...far from it. But, I'm not going to participate in any "hanging" or "slop" parties or anything of the like.

                    Why can't we focus on the good things about our team or future prospects. Maybe that means a higher draft pick next year or a few well scouted free...
                    -12-05-2006, 10:53 PM
                  • Bar-bq
                    Next Season
                    by Bar-bq
                    I'm sorry, but those of you who have begun posting about the merits of "next season" have disheartened me. Really, who are you? We have fifteen weeks of football left to play, and you'd best be damn sure that win, lose or worse, I'll be hoping for the best for my team.

                    It was far from a promising start.

                    No pass blocking.
                    No run blocking.
                    No Leonard Little and Orlando Pace went down hard.
                    No effort players.

                    You've heard it all before.

                    On top of that, every first day pick from 2000-2004 is no longer with the team. Alston, Byrd, Wroten. Gone Gone Gone. Hill- still showing little development. Leonard- Looks like a luxury. Klop- Will be lucky to see much of the field.

                    Bad drafting equates to poor on-field success. There's no two ways about that.

                    But "next season"? come on! Tell me you don't bleed blue and gold. Tell me you didn't love every minute of the 1999 season. Tell me you didn't just jump upon the bandwagon for the good times.

                    You more than have the right to criticize. Be critical of anything you want. But to simply bypass the merits and demerits of an entire season in anticipation of greener pastures is absurdity. I guarantee you, without withstanding this season, without drawing and learning all we can from this season, next season will inevitably promulgate a return to the drawing board. again. The time is nigh to learn from what we've done wrong today. To correct what we can and struggle on with what we can't...until we can.

                    All the optimism has vanished. What it breeds is an atmosphere of losing. Players don't want to play for a losing franchise with no legitmiate backing behind them. The fans, after all, are willing to cast them aside after one game. Yes, there's a lack of effort. But we're not beyond hope. We're one game into the season. What point there is labeling yourself a "fan" of a franchise when you're willing simply to overlook the potential for success...for learning- for betterment THIS season?

                    There are fifteen games to go, and it is my opinion that we will win all fifteen of um (toot toot et al). And if we lose, it will be the next fourteen. Down to one. Because this dedication impels the opportunity to learn. To have the capacity to look forward to next week in light of the myriad of possibilities for success.

                    I most certainly do.
                    -09-08-2008, 01:07 AM
                  • sonnyjames
                    Now that the dust has settled...
                    by sonnyjames
                    That was a game I expect the players will wake up to this morning and think: "We should have won that". Rewind a year and the players would have woken up after being soundly beaten at Seattle, thinking "It's gonna be another hard season".

                    That's the change in mindset that I expect to characterise our season. Sure, we'll have some bad days at the office where some of the best sides just turn it on but I'm expecting a lot more games like we saw yesterday over the course of the next 16 weeks. And (like yesterday) while we won't come down on the right side of the result on every occassion, I think we're going to start to see a team which believes it can and will compete. There's a huge difference between waking up thinking "damn, we should have won" and waking up thinking "damn, we got tanned out there". And not just for the players but for the fans too (which will hopefully translate into better attendances and support in the EJD this season).

                    It's a long road back from a 1-15 season. We knew it would take a lot of rebuilding. Some got a little carried away with pre-season performances and some will be overly disappointed by yesterday's defeat. The reality is probably that we're not quite as good as we hoped we'd be - but far from as bad as some worry we still might be. This will probably be a rebuilding and transition season, where we end up with something like four, five or six wins. That's not a terribly exciting prospect, admittedly, but it's what this young team learns from that process which is most important and which will make a difference in a couple of seasons' time. What Bradford, in particular, will learn between now and then is going to be crucial to our development. The coaches and playcalls too, will improve as we experience more situations like we found ourselves in with two minutes to play yesterday.

                    I'm already expecting us to go and beat Oakland next week. Not hoping but expecting. I reckon the players will be too - which is probably a long way from what they were expecting when we rocked up for week two at Washington last season. We're on our way back.
                    -09-13-2010, 04:25 AM
                  • Varg6
                    The season so far, is it a success?
                    by Varg6
                    We are rebuilding. Who doesn't know that?

                    I've said it before and I'll say it again, each week regardless of win or loss I want to see progress. What we saw yesterday was progress. Do I want to win every game? Of course, but we can't expect that just yet. However, I know we are headed down the right path and the beautiful thing is, we are young. These guys are just going to get better with more experience.

                    I think we are finally developing that team chemistry we've desperately needed for years. I'm so proud of these guys and I feel like if we play like we did on Sunday, we can beat just about any team in the NFL. I don't expect us to go 8-8 but honestly I wouldn't be too shocked if we got on a roll and achieved that record.

                    Going back to the thread's question, is the season a success so far? On paper it isn't, but progress wise, absolutely.
                    -11-16-2009, 07:01 AM