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Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

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  • Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

    Adam Carriker's climb back up the depth chart
    by VanRam on Aug 31, 2009 3:20 PM CDT in 2009 preseason

    Adam Carriker will have to work hard this season to avoid the dreaded bust label that stalks first round picks like a bad groupie. Though it's still way too early to hang that stone around his neck, 2009 is make or break for the St. Louis Rams defensive tackle and 2007 first round pick.

    For a "make or break" season, 2009 is already off to a rough start for Carriker, whose ankle injury (the same one that dogged him in his first two years at Nebraska and again last season) flared up and made Gary Gibson the current starter at left defensive tackle. The good news is that Gary Gibson looks to have been a nice get for the team, adding depth at a position where they've lacked it recently. The extra motivation for Carriker to fight his way back to the starting job doesn't hurt either.

    But is Carriker really a bust? The fact that injuries have plagued his career since he tore a labrum late in his rookie season feed that impression. You can't be a success if you're not on the field, and being on the field at less than 100% in the NFL doesn't make it any easier for young players to develop into reliable starters.Being moved around the defensive line in his first season didn't help the rookie's development either.

    The sorry state of the Rams run defense hasn't helped perceptions of Carriker either. Carriker might get too much blame for the porous limestone that was the Rams run defense. According to data at Football Outsiders, Carriker has done better than it seems against the run since his rookie year. The chart below looks at rushing plays targeting Carriker over the last two seasons and accounts for the number of stops he made, the number of defeats (total number of plays by a defensive player that prevent the offense from gaining first down yardage on third or fourth down, stop the offense behind the line of scrimmage, or result in a turnover.) and the yards per attempt on those plays.

    Year Plays Stops Defts YPA
    2007 26 23 6 1.5
    2008 23 20 4 2.1

    Carriker's rookie numbers are nice, and his numbers last year could have been a lot worse when factoring in a bum ankle. The Rams problems against the run had much more to do with the team's weak spots at linebacker and strong safety, not to mention the lack of a stronger nose tackle.

    Against the pass Carriker hasn't shown himself to be the force many thought he could be. He did have two sacks (and a safety) in 2007; one of those came while he was lined up at DE. He didn't ge much penetration last year, but that certainly had to do with his ankle and a defense that didn't push tackles send up the field as heavily as others. Under Spagnuolo and Flajole, Carriker is expected to do better in a more aggressive system, where he'll play in the gaps rather than directly over a lineman (for more on that see past editions of the Playbook Projector).

    While it's still too early to call Adam Carriker a bust, he definitely has to prove himself this year. Will he work his way back up to the first team? It's very possible. I would point out that he hasn't been playing since August 7, when he was injured in the scrimmage. Being on the third team means he'll get plenty of reps this week against the Chiefs. Easing him back into the banging and clanging of regular season play probably isn't a bad idea either, first team or not.

    As you watch Carriker attempt to climb his way back to relevancy, keep an eye on how he shoots gaps in action against Kansas City this week, and watch who he gets paired with on the line in the game and in practice. As for the bust label, his ankle might have the final say on that matter.

  • #2
    Re: Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

    While Adam makes his climb, I'll go out on a limb and say that Carriker will finally find his place in the Rams defensive scheme of things and becomes a contributing factor to its success. With Spags help Adam Carriker will be back in the mix......OR BUST!


    • #3
      Re: Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

      I certainly wouldn't call it "way too early" to start throwing around the 'bust' label, way too early is in his first year after a handful of games. This year will be very decisive. But when you've played a couple of years in the NFL I don't think it's too early to call a spade a spade - when you look at drafts you often wait 3 years before you evaluate them, and that's soon. I don't want to hear about injuries, switching positions and other excuses, it doesn't matter, in the end the bottomline is "Did you produce on the field or not?", and it doesn't matter how good you would have, should have, could have been if you can't stay healthy. It's a shame and it may not be fair but that's just how it is.

      As someone else here said the other day I also believe in giving all players a clean slate at the beginning of the season and give them a chance to prove themselves. Hill, Barron, Carriker & yes, Bulger are all players that I have been very frustrated with, but they all have a clean slate in my view when this season starts. So shut up with the excuses and let's see Carriker play some football!

      P.S Would love to see the running stats above worked out for the rest of our D-line, it seems weird that teams would only get 2 yards or less running at Carriker. When you look at how awful our run defense has been that either means those stats are BS or someone else on the line is giving 10 yards a carry or something crazy like that and I sure would like to see who.


      • #4
        Re: Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

        I agree with this article on all points. This is indeed a big year for Carriker. While he is not yet considered a bust, he has a long way to go to justify being selected as high as he was and will BECOME a bust if he doesn't. The Rams can ill afford this. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say the Rams in the last 20 years have done a horrible job drafting impact defensive linemen, especially interior linemen. Who was the last good tackle we had for any length of time? Mike Fanning?!

        Seriously, Carriker, Long and anyone else the Rams select to anchor that D-line need to play to potential.


        • #5
          Re: Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

          Originally posted by r8rh8rmike
          Adam Carriker will have to work hard this season to avoid the dreaded bust label

          it's still way too early to hang that stone around his neck

          2009 is make or break

          But is Carriker really a bust?

          The fact that injuries have plagued his career since he tore a labrum late in his rookie season feed that impression.

          You can't be a success if you're not on the field

          Carriker might get too much blame

          Against the pass Carriker hasn't shown himself to be the force many thought he could be.

          it's still too early to call Adam Carriker a bust

          he definitely has to prove himself

          As for the bust label, his ankle might have the final say on that matter.
          Way to make up your mind there, VanRam.

          Is he a bust, or is it too early?
          Has his play been better than most think, or worse?
          Is it the injuries, or are the injuries his fault?

          What exactly are you saying?

          Here's how I see it: Carriker, along with every other player on the Rams, has to prove his worth this year (this statement can be repeated on September 1 each year from now on).


          • #6
            Re: Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

            He won't do it. It really isn't his fault, he's just in the wrong scheme or position or he's either to big to play outside and not the right body inside. Injuries or whatever the circumstances, he's just not worth the slot he was picked in. Get rid of him too.


            • #7
              Re: Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

              Jim Thomas chat just had this:

              Someone asked him
              How would you fill in these blanks?

              I'd be suprised, but not shocked, if ____ were cut.

              Adam Carriker was his answer. Ouch.

              To defend Adam I think his body just can't handle the extra weight of playing DT.
              Last edited by RebelYell; -09-01-2009, 12:47 PM.


              • #8
                Re: Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

                Cut Carriker? Wow. That's pretty absurd, if you ask me.

                Even if you don't want him on the team, certainly he'd have more trade value than Tye Hill, so cutting him makes no sense at all.

                I say we keep Carriker and see what he can do in Spags' defense. If you think the book has been written on AC, let me give you a little statistical analysis of two players' first two seasons:

                Player #1: Adam Carriker
                Games Played: 31
                Games Started: 25
                Total Tackles: 53
                Total Sacks: 2.0

                Player #2: ???
                Games Played: 20
                Games Started: 1
                Total Tackles: 41
                Total Sacks: 1.0

                Who is Player #2?

                Justin Tuck.

                Does that mean that Adam Carriker will be as good as Justin Tuck?

                No. But it does mean that even Justin Tuck wasn't Justin Tuck after two years in this league.


                • #9
                  Re: Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

                  The difference being that Tuck was playing behind pro-bowler Strahan and Carriker was starting at a completely different position. Jim Thomas didn't predict he would be cut, he just said he wouldn't be shocked if he were cut. He has said previously that Spags wants the best players and Carriker hasn't played like one of the best. Linehan and Haslett did him no favors by playing him at NT. If the Rams cut/trade Hill for being injured and over priced as a backup, who's to say they don't come to the same conclusion with Adam?


                  • #10
                    Re: Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

                    If the Rams cut Adam Carriker I'll conclude every post for the following week with the words "but what the Hell do I know?"


                    • #11
                      Re: Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

                      Get ready to conclude AV.


                      • #12
                        Re: Adam Carrikers Climb Back Up The Depth Chart

                        Not gonna happen.


                        Related Topics


                        • MauiRam
                          Adam Carriker on the road to recovery
                          by MauiRam
                          By Nick Wagoner

                          Senior Writer
                          In putting the finishing touches on a solid rookie campaign, the normally reserved Adam Carriker couldn’t help but let his emotions get the better of him.

                          Carriker had started the whole season, working as a valuable cog in a defense in which he played every position on the line. Suddenly any joy he had been able to take from his first season work vanished, replaced by the stinging pain in his bent back shoulder.

                          “I’m not going to lie,” Carriker said. “I was pretty livid. I was like ‘Are you serious?’ I go the whole year, I don’t know how many plays I played and then the last game of the year I get hurt. I was really upset.”

                          t was the second play of the game against Arizona on Dec.30, the season finale and Carriker’s last chance to make a strong first impression. As per usual for the defensive tackle, Carriker was taking on a double team.

                          Carriker tried to get off the blocks but felt his shoulder moving in the opposite direction of the rest of his body. Finally, the shoulder popped and Carriker found himself in a great deal of pain.

                          Carriker did his best to play through the pain, finishing the first half and playing the early portion of the third quarter. By then, it had become clear to Carriker and the coaching staff that he was no longer effective and simply trying to tough it out. A quarter and a half early, Carriker’s rookie season ended abruptly.

                          When Carriker arrived back in St. Louis, he met with the medical staff to determine the severity of his injury. The verdict? A torn labrum in his shoulder that would require six months of rehabilitation.

                          In other words, from the time Carriker had surgery in the middle of January, he wouldn’t be able to return to the field until training camp in July at the earliest.
                          At least, that was what the doctors ordered. But judging the progress Carriker has made in the past four plus months and the fact that he’s doing some individual work at this weekend’s minicamp, there’s a strong chance Carriker will not only be ready to go in time for training camp but could be at full strength.

                          “I think it is amazing how fast he has recovered,” coach Scott Linehan said. “Generally, with an injury like that, it is four to six months before you can do anything. I think in this case he could probably be able to play a game if we had to play one. I said it was youth but I think a lot of it has to do with work ethic and want. That guy has been busting his butt since the end of the season to get to where he is at. It has really paid off.”

                          Indeed, Carriker has attacked his rehab with the same voracious appetite that helped make him the Rams’ No. 1 pick in 2007. Soon after his surgery, Carriker wasn’t able to lift his arm above his shoulder without the help of someone else.

                          Within a few weeks, his range of motion...
                          -05-11-2008, 04:33 PM
                        • MASSIVE
                          Carriker looks to take big step with Rams
                          by MASSIVE
                          By Bill Coats
                          ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

                          Mercifully, only two games remained for the Rams when defensive tackle Adam Carriker was asked in mid-December to describe the season.

                          "Incredibly frustrating," he grumbled.

                          With losses in those final two outings, the Rams finished 2-14 a year after going 3-13 in Carriker's rookie season. The lousy '08 record was compounded by shoulder and ankle injuries that severely limited Carriker's effectiveness. MORE RAMS
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                          Five months later, the team's first-round draft pick (No. 13 overall) in 2007 is feeling frisky again. "It's a load off your mind, for one thing," he said. "Physically, you're a hundred percent. It's a huge difference, just knowing you're healthy."

                          Carriker's problems began when he tore the labrum in his left shoulder in the last game of the '07 season. As a result, he couldn't work in the weight room until well into the preseason conditioning program.

                          "I couldn't even lift my shoulder up after surgery," said Carriker, who reluctantly acknowledged that he didn't regain full strength all last season.

                          "During the game I didn't think about it as much; you forget everything else in the world but football," he said. "It was more getting ready for the game, more of a practice deal."

                          An ankle injury kept him out of one game in late October and lingered for the rest of the year. Then he hurt his right shoulder Nov. 23 vs. Chicago. His surgically repaired joint "actually became my good shoulder," he pointed out.

                          After getting 45 tackles and two sacks as a rookie, the former Nebraska defensive end fell off to 40 tackles, with no sacks, last year. He had no real home on the line; he spent time at both tackle positions and at end, adding to his difficulties.

                          The 6-foot-6, 300-pound Carriker is stronger and "looks like he's a little quicker," coach Steve Spagnuolo observed between Thursday's two minicamp practices at Rams Park.

                          Carriker is strictly a left tackle in defensive coordinator Ken Flajole's scheme. He'll line up in different spots, based on the offense's alignment. But always on the same side.

                          "It's nice to kind of get homed in on one thing," Carriker said. "I'll just be on the left side and ... trying to wreak some havoc."

                          Previously, the Rams' defensive linemen were told to hold their gaps, no matter what. Under Flajole, they have more leeway to finesse and try to pressure the quarterback.

                          "Obviously, you can't be reckless. But I like having a little...
                          -06-04-2009, 09:37 PM
                        • Tony Soprano
                          Carriker probably can't wait !
                          by Tony Soprano
                          Carriker has been misused and is playing out of position and I believe he can't wait for things to change around Rams Park.

                          There have been hints that things were terribly wrong with the Ram's organization since Linehan was brought in, but one that stands out is the use of Carriker as a Nose Tackle.

                          Number 1, Big Run Stuffers (one dimensional) aren't that hard to come by - they just aren't. I can name a bunch that have been taken in Round 3 and later.

                          Number 2, Carriker is not a Nose Tackle! When was the last time someone excelled at the Nose that was 6'6"? Leverage is most of that position and a 6'6" NT will have problems consistently getting under the center.

                          Carriker's career is going to be severely cut short from getting stuck out of position in a slot where players are abused and regularly hit from multiple angles by multiple OL.

                          If you put Carriker is say Chicago's system as a DT, he's a player the offense will have to account for.

                          I am ready to move on to a new coaching staff and front office and I'm sure that Carriker is too.

                          -09-16-2008, 09:05 PM
                        • codeman123
                          Adam Carriker Likely Out for Season
                          by codeman123
                          Being reported by Vanram on Turfshowtimes and Jim Thomas on the Post-Dispatch.

                          It's being reported that DT Adam Carriker will need surgery on the shoulder he injured last night in preseason play against the Chiefs...the same should he injured in his rookie season.
                          That will likely put him out for the 2009 season, to say nothing of where it puts his career.
                          I'd say this is a major blow to the Rams, but they obviously weren't counting on Carriker at this point anyway, not since he got demoted to the second team upon his return from an ankle injury...the same ankle he injured last year and in college.
                          That makes the Rams DT lineup for the final roster Clifton Ryan, Gary Gibson, Darell Scott, and Hollis Thomas. I'd be shocked and awed if they don't add some talent at DT before the season starts, whether by waiting for roster cuts or trade.

                          This is awful news. We will now obviously look hard at the waiver wire and maybe a possible trade. There are some really good DT prospects in next years draft, and as much as some people want to draft a first round QB, it looks like the defensive line will be addressed first with a pure defensive tackle prospect, unlike Carriker.
                          -09-04-2009, 02:48 PM
                        • Richbert88
                          by Richbert88
                          Watching the game there were several plays you could see AC holding his ground, one I distinctly saw him penetrate pretty deep <think he was UT on that one> and a couple nice tackles on the RB up the middle.

                          However, I saw several where the RB was breaking into our LBs and I could clearly see the number 90, on his back. He was getting turned away when they were going outside. Actually had his back to the play. The DE wasn't anywhere to be seen.

                          Did anyone else notice things like this?
                          -08-19-2007, 03:27 PM