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  • St Louis Rams Team Report

    As the Rams prepare to play Washington Sunday, while trying to put last week's loss to Seattle behind them, they will go on the field again with a young linebacking corps that will try and find a way to support the run and prevent tight end Chris Cooley from making big plays.
    Against the Seahawks, the defense, and linebackers in particular, were generally solid against the run, except for a 62-yard run by Julius Jones that gave the Seahawks their final points. In addition, tight end John Carlson burned the Rams for two touchdowns, and his second score on a 38-yard play came immediately following a 33-yard pickup.

    "They did things we haven't seen before, and that hurt us," said second-year linebacker David Vobora. "We definitely have to do better this week."

    Vobora, a seventh-round pick in 2008, was making his first start on the strong side. He started one game at middle linebacker last season. Alongside him is rookie middle linebacker James Laurinaitis.

    The veteran of the group, weak-side starter Will Witherspoon, said of his young cohorts, "I think they did well. There were a few bumps here and there, but that's the ebb and flow of the game. Every play, every snap means one more notch in their belts.

    "They learned some things, they got to see some things, and that's what's great about it. You can't ask them to do any more than that."

    Acknowledged Laurinaitis, "There were some ups and downs. They say the best improvement is from Week 1 to Week 2. It's important for us to keep our heads up, to learn from this, and keep that feeling of a loss right there and really work that much harder this week in practice."

    Laurinaitis accepted responsibility for Carlson's first touchdown, a play that began on the 1-yard line. Hooked by a play fake, he said, "I was being overly aggressive. You're down there on the 1-yard line and you're thinking, 'Let's go after it.' ... I'm definitely at fault for that."

    Asked about the rookie's play, coach Steve Spagnuolo said of Laurinaitis, "Overall he played a real productive game. That's what he is. He's a productive guy. If he continues to have that production, it's going to help the defense."

    SERIES HISTORY: 30th meeting. Redskins lead, 20-8-1. The Rams have won two consecutive games in the series, an overtime win in St. Louis in 2006 and a last-second 19-17 victory last year in Washington. The win in 2008 was in Jim Haslett's first game as the team's interim coach.


    —One twist that coach Steve Spagnuolo has added to the team's schedule is a Monday corrections walk-through after watching tape of the previous day's game.

    Said safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, "It's important to correct the mistakes from last game and the more times you walk through it and get visual reps at it, it should sink into a player's head."

    Added linebacker David Vobora, when asked about the disappointment of the Seattle game, "We are not concerned with anything but the right now and right now we are on to Washington week. We have made our corrections; we just finished that in the indoor (facility). Now it's on to the Redskins. That's week one. We lost a game and move on. We learn from it and we improve a whole lot more to week two."

    —DE Victor Adeyanju was shocked to learn just before the team was to go out on the field last Sunday that he was inactive.

    However, he said Wednesday, "I have to keep working and just hope they call my number this week."

    Said coach Steve Spagnuolo, "When we did all the numbers, you can't have everybody out there. We decided to go with four ends, four tackles, and six linebackers is really what it came down to. Maybe we'll be different next week."

    Still, the fourth end was C.J. Ah You, who was playing his first NFL game. And Ah You was the guilty party when the Rams had 12 players on the field for a late first-half Seattle field-goal attempt. The penalty gave the Seahawks a first down, which led to a touchdown and a 14-0 halftime lead.

    —RB Steve Jackson rushed 16 times for 67 yards against Seattle, and Spagnuolo was asked if he would have liked to have seen more running.

    "Well the game might have dictated that a little bit," he said. "I think every team, every offense, would like to establish it. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't, and you have to go elsewhere. But it still comes back to trying to be balanced. When you get in a 28-0 ballgame, sometimes the numbers at the end look a little bit different."

    As for Jackson, Spagnuolo said, "I thought he played strong. He always does. He always plays strong and hard. I'm sure he would have liked a couple more cuts, a couple more reads differently. I thought he played pretty solid."

    —NFL teams usually win at an 80-percent clip when they are plus-two or better in turnover ratio. The Rams were plus-two against Seattle, and lost 28-0.

    Said coach Steve Spagnuolo, "That's probably a telling statistic. Of course, one statistic doesn't tell everything. Really what hurt us was the penalties that put us behind the eight ball. But I tell you what, the defense went out in the first four series I think it was interception, punt, fumble, interception that was an impressive start to a game. We just have to do that for four quarters."

    BY THE NUMBERS: 2 — Number of games in which OG Richie Incognito had personal fouls during the 2008 season. In the 15 games he played, Incognito had nine games with no penalties.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "I was involved in some of those (defensive) third-down calls. I don't think I did a particularly good job there, to be quite honest with you. We did try to take an aggressive approach because it was an atmosphere where they got the crowd into the game and all that, and we were hoping to hit the quarterback a little bit. We didn't quite get what we wanted." — Coach Steve Spagnuolo on Seattle's third-down success last Sunday.


    The Rams made more changes to their roster, signing WR Ruvell Martin and LB Paris Lenon. Martin was released by New England in the cutdown to 53 players, while Martin was let go by Green Bay the same day.

    To make room on the roster, the Rams released LB Quinton Culberson and OT Eric Young. Culberson had been released the day following the cut to 53, but re-signed when Chris Draft was released. The arrival of Lenon appears to end any inkling the Rams will bring Draft back.

    Young still had a locker with his name on it Wednesday afternoon, indicating he is likely to be re-signed to the practice squad. Because the Rams had just nine offensive linemen on their roster, DT Darell Scott was working at guard with the scout team Wednesday. That will likely be the case Thursday because Young won't clear waivers until 3 p.m. Central and the team practices at 11:35 am.


    —S Craig Dahl (hamstring) remained out of practice and appears unlikely to play this week. Dahl missed the season opener against Seattle.

    —OG John Greco (wrist) did not practice Wednesday, and is not expected to play Sunday against Washington.

    —OT Eric Young was placed on waivers Wednesday, but is expected to be re-signed to the practice squad. Young's number and name were still on his locker.

    —WR Ruvell Martin practiced with the team for the first time after being signed Tuesday night and got some reps with the main offense. It's not out of the question he could play Sunday against Washington.

    —LB Quinton Culberson was waived Wednesday to make room for LB Paris Lenon on the roster. Culberson was released the day after the cut to 53 players, then re-signed last Thursday when LB Chris Draft was released.

    —LB Paris Lenon was on the field for practice Wednesday after being signed to the roster Tuesday night.

    GAME PLAN: Somehow, the Rams have to avoid long-yardage situations and be able to run the ball more with Steven Jackson. In the opener, there were far too many long-yardage situations on second and third down.

    Conversely, the defense has to limit third-down conversions, but it's difficult when the opponent's average yards to go on third down is 5.0, which it was for Seattle last Sunday.

    MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Rams interior line of LG Jacob Bell, C Jason Brown and RG Richie Incognito vs. Redskins DTs Cornelius Griffin and Albert Haynesworth. For the Rams to be able to run, they will have to create some space for Jackson to run inside. In the times they pass, the interior line will have to keep the pocket clean for QB Marc Bulger.

    Rams pass defense vs. Redskins TE Chris Cooley. Seattle TE John Carlson made big plays last Sunday, and the Redskins would be smart to try and exploit that.

    INJURY IMPACT: The team is almost devoid of injuries. The only players that didn't practice Wednesday were S Craig Dahl (hamstring) and OG John Greco (wrist).

  • #2
    Re: St Louis Rams Team Report

    INJURY IMPACT: The team is almost devoid of injuries. The only players that didn't practice Wednesday were S Craig Dahl (hamstring) and OG John Greco (wrist).
    At least all the news isn't bad these days.


    • #3
      Re: St Louis Rams Team Report

      And Greco's looking at getting back next week!

      I also love the new attitude of looking behind only to correct mistakes but otherwise looking only at the game ahead. I really hope that the guys are buying into this, as the losing streak dating back to last year means nothing. We're 0-1 and after this weekend we'll be 1-1!
      I believe!:ram:


      • #4
        Re: St Louis Rams Team Report

        What happened Sunday, especially defensively was a direct result of the poor
        offensive display- the defense did well considering the talent, the inexperience and a brand new scheme- now its up to the offense to sustain some drives,( hopefully TD drives) so the D doesnt become overwhelmed both mentally, and physically.


        • #5
          Re: St Louis Rams Team Report

          Still shocked about Adeyanju also. I thought he was going to play a significant role ....


          • #6
            Re: St Louis Rams Team Report

            No Gnews is Good Gnews


            • #7
              Re: St Louis Rams Team Report

              Originally posted by RamsInfiniti
              Still shocked about Adeyanju also. I thought he was going to play a significant role ....
              Considering that he seems like he and James Hall fill the same kind of role, I can see why he was inactive, at least if they thought that they would have something with Ah You that they wouldn't have with Victor. I bet Victor's active this week though, after Ah You screwed up on that field goal.
              I believe!:ram:


              • #8
                Re: St Louis Rams Team Report

                I'm excited. We need to avoid those stupid penalties and feed Jackson the ball. When Jackson is on a roll, we're pretty hard to beat. Just ask Atlanta last year. haha


                • #9
                  Re: St Louis Rams Team Report

                  Still shocked about Adeyanju also. I thought he was going to play a significant role ....
                  I think Ah You made too many plays in preseason, well see if he can keep it up. But he shot himself jn the foot and us on that FG.


                  • #10
                    Re: St Louis Rams Team Report

                    Anyone know the status on Greco's return? I dont want Incognito causing us fifteen yards every other down.


                    Related Topics


                    • eldfan
                      Rams Team Report
                      by eldfan
                      As the regular season begins, and with the division-rival Seattle Seahawks on the horizon, coach Steve Spagnuolo knows the team's 3-1 preseason record doesn't count for much.
                      "I'm perfectly aware that all of this is a honeymoon period," he said. "The real challenge is upcoming.

                      "It's nice to be 3-1 after the preseason, but like I told the players, the score counted when we played the games. It doesn't matter now. We're moving on. We came in and did what we thought as a group were the right things to do. But the real test is the regular season, winning and losing."

                      Even though Spagnuolo realizes building this team's roster in his image is a work in progress, he does like the team's mindset so far.

                      He said, "I think we've got a bunch of hungry guys. I think it's good to be hungry. It's a hungry football team that wants to be a team. We've talked a lot about it and I think the guys have embraced it. At least their actions and the attitudes and what comes out verbally says that to me. So if we can rally around that, that would be good."

                      Asked what he expects from his team, Spagnuolo said, "In a nutshell, I want a focused, disciplined, tough football team. We have certain measurements that we have after games that measure that focus, discipline and toughness. I blurt them out after every game and let them know if we met them. I think the team is starting to embrace that, too. We talk about it all the time."

                      "If you're a physically tough team, you're able to run the ball and stop the run."

                      Said guard Richie Incognito, "That's the identity we're trying to create. Physical up front, and get the running game going ... The coaches are calling it up, dialing it up and they're keeping it coming. We're pumped up, we're excited."

                      Former Rams coach Dick Vermeil would often say a coach "has to be believed to be heard." Spagnuolo sees a team that is listening and accepting leadership.

                      "That means a great deal," he said. "I thanked them the other night (before the final preseason game). The night before the game for what they did. Back in the offseason program, right through training camp, it was a new training camp. It was a different hotel and we're here. New staff, new this or that, and they didn't skip a beat. They really bought into it."

                      How much will the team improve from a two-win season? While Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney know there is a lot of work to do, they aren't willing to accept just minimal improvement.

                      "I don't think anybody here is saying, 'Boy, if we just double our win total, we'll be happy about that,'" Devaney said. "If we win four games, then we still stink.

                      "We're thinking we have a pretty good team. How fast it meshes and comes together, we're...
                      -09-11-2009, 06:59 AM
                    • r8rh8rmike
                      Rams Team Report - Oct 29
                      by r8rh8rmike
                      Rams Team Report
                      Yahoo! Sports - Oct 29, 2:56 am EDT

                      INSIDE SLANT

                      It surely hasn't been the start of his NFL head coaching career that Steve Spagnuolo envisioned.

                      The Rams have lost their first seven games and now face for the second straight week a team coming off their bye. Last week, it was the 5-0 Colts at home, and this week it's the 1-5 Lions on the road.

                      Teams playing after their bye have won 52.5 percent of the time since byes were added to the schedule in 1990.

                      In addition, the way the schedule has worked for the Rams has had the better teams at home and the arguably more winnable games on the road. The current combined records of the home games -- Green Bay (4-2), Minnesota (6-1) and Indianapolis (6-0) -- is 16-3.

                      Conversely, the total record for the road games -- Seattle (2-4), Washington (2-5), San Francisco (3-3) and Jacksonville (3-3) -- is 10-15.

                      The trend continues this week with Detroit on the road and New Orleans (6-0) at home on Nov. 8 after the Rams' bye.

                      By(e) the way, the Rams are one of only five teams that have two consecutive games against teams coming off their bye. They are one of only two teams that opened the season with two games on the road, and one of four teams that played four of their first six games on the road.

                      When those numbers were presented to Spagnuolo on Monday, he smiled and said, "I appreciate all your info. It's enlightening in a way, but it doesn't change what we've got to do."

                      He later added, "I don't get wrapped up in (scheduling). And I really learned that from (Philadelphia coach) Andy Reid. Andy had a unique way when the schedules came out ... there would always be positives about the way he looked at the schedule."

                      Perhaps the only positive are the three straight home games in November after the bye, but the best the Rams will be then is 1-7.

                      Asked if he gets advice from fans in emails or at the gas station, Spagnuolo said, "When you're winning, you get a lot of phone calls. When you're not, everybody is afraid (to call). But really that's when you want them. That's when you need them. It works the other way. I don't know why. I have some very good people that will hang in there. It's much appreciated. As long as I have my wife still on my side, I'll be OK."

                      Spagnuolo has managed to maintain an even-keel attitude despite the gloom and doom, and seemingly has his players battling and not pointing fingers at each other.

                      Said free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, "We stay together. In tough times like this the only thing you can do is stay together and continue to press on forward and that's what we're going to do because we have guys of character in here. Things will turn around and that's what we're fighting for."

                      Rookie middle...
                      -10-29-2009, 04:50 PM
                    • eldfan
                      Rams team report
                      by eldfan
                      USA TODAY

                      The Rams have been in this familiar territory before, entering a practice week unsure whether running back Steven Jackson will be able to play or how well if he does.
                      In 2007, he missed four games because of a groin injury. In 2008, he missed one game with a quad injury, returned too soon for a game against Arizona, then missed another three.

                      Last season, Jackson emerged from a Nov. 22 game against Arizona with a back injury, and while he missed only one game (Dec. 27 at Arizona), he never practiced except for some brief walk-through plays in Friday practices.

                      Now, it is more of the same after Jackson suffered a strained groin against Washington. He also practiced last week on a limited basis for two days because of a minor knee injury.

                      Asked if he's optimistic about Jackson playing, coach Steve Spagnuolo said, "I don't want to say one way or the other because you've really got to leave it up to the player in this situation. You're talking about a running back with a groin ... but Steven's a warrior. You almost have to pull him back because he'll want to go.

                      "I've really got to trust the player and obviously Reggie (trainer Reggie Scott), who I've got a lot of trust in. What you don't want to do is get him out there too soon and set him back, because the whole goal will be to get him to the game on Sunday. It's just a matter of the treatments and making sure we don't make it any worse."

                      Jackson was injured in the second quarter against the Redskins and missed the remainder of the game. In the second half, backups Kenneth Darby and rookie Keith Toston combined for 73 rushing yards, and Darby scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 12-yard run. At one point, Darby carried the ball on six consecutive plays. Toston was playing with a shoulder that was injured on a first-half special teams play.

                      "Real solid," Spagnuolo said of their performance. "I thought they both ran really well. Again, you're talking about guys that haven't gotten a lot of reps in the course of the week. But I was impressed with Keith with the shoulder injury, and yet when you watched him run the football you wouldn't have thought his shoulder was hurting and we knew it was."

                      Spagnuolo acknowledged that the play of Darby and Toston not only gives them confidence, but also the rest of the offense.

                      "We want Steven out there all the time or as much as possible," Spagnuolo said. "But I think it's a boost for the offensive line and those young guys if we can still finish a game out like that, without really one of your best players."

                      When it was noted that Jackson referred to the injury as a blessing in disguise because now other teams know the offense can move the ball without him, Spagnuolo laughed and said, "He's a deeper thinker than I am, because I'd rather...
                      -09-29-2010, 04:40 PM
                    • eldfan
                      Rams team report
                      by eldfan
                      USA TODAY

                      In 2008, he tried to play with a quad injury in a key division game against Arizona. Last year, he played five of the final six games of the season with a herniated disk in his back and nerve pain in his leg even though the team had only one victory.
                      Maybe it's no surprise then, that Rams running back Steven Jackson did everything he humanly could to be on the field Sunday for his team's game against the Seattle Seahawks despite the partially torn groin he had suffered the week before against the Washington Redskins.

                      His team. Jackson is one of several veteran leaders on a very young football team, and as he peeled off three layers of protective padding following the surprisingly easy 20-3 win, he stated simply, "I was not able to run full speed. But as a leader, you can't preach one thing and do something else."

                      What he did was gut out a 70-yard rushing effort, adding 54 receiving yards, the bulk of which came on a 49-yard run with a screen pass that led to a third-quarter touchdown and a 17-3 lead.

                      Asked if the injury affected him, Jackson said, "Absolutely," then laughed and added, "Did you see that run?"

                      He admitted to consciously thinking on that run not to try and run too fast and "overextend myself, taking smaller steps," minimizing the chance of aggravating the injury.

                      But he simply wasn't going to miss this game.

                      "I knew I had enough to give what coach would need out of me," Jackson said. "I wanted to come out and be a part of something. I felt that this team is going in the right direction, and I just wanted to be a part of it today.

                      "It's been a long time — 2004 (since beating Seattle). I know we have a philosophy around here that we don't look back. But sometimes you just can't help but think about some of the hardship that this organization has been through. For us to be able to get a win against Seattle at home, a divisional win, it means a lot to me. I think it means a lot to the guys that are in this locker room."

                      During the week, Jackson did very little on the field. Off the field was another story. There was still a pocket of blood in his groin area on Thursday, "so there was quite a bit of swelling," he said. "Just continued to work hard. I would literally ... I would take a stim (muscle stimulation) machine home with me. I was doing acupuncture; I was doing everything. I was literally stimming myself at four in the morning trying to make sure that I could get whatever edge, whatever I could do to get back on the field. All I can say is, I just thank God it worked out."

                      Then, there was the work of the training and medical staff to protect him as much as possible.

                      "Look at all of this stuff that kept me together," he said after the game. "They got so many...
                      -10-05-2010, 01:02 PM
                    • eldfan
                      Rams Team Report
                      by eldfan
                      There's no question the Rams' offense is built around running back Steven Jackson.
                      As Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Blache said before last week's game, "They have one of the best backs in the business. The guy at Minnesota (Adrian Peterson) is off the chart. I put Jackson just right underneath him. He is big, strong and fast and he can go the distance every time he touches the football. If the hole is not there inside, he will bounce it outside. He can catch passes out of the backfield. I think this guy is a home-run hitting type of back."

                      The Rams need Jackson to start hitting more home runs, starting with Sunday's home opener against Green Bay.

                      In two games so far, Jackson has 171 yards on 33 carries, a 5.2-yard average per attempt. His total rushing yards projects to 1,368 yards for the season. Those are excellent numbers.

                      However, they are also somewhat misleading. Jackson had a long run of 22 yards in Week 1 and 58 in Week 2. Those are the home runs the team wants him to hit. The problem is that too many of his other carries weren't productive.

                      Jackson's 31 other attempts totaled just 91 yards for a 2.9-yard average. Against Seattle, 11 of Jackson's 16 carries were for three yards or less and 10 gained two yards or less. Against Washington, eight attempts were for three yards or less and six of those were either zero (five) or minus-1 (1).

                      When those plays occur on first down, it often results in long-yardage situations on second and third down.

                      Against Seattle, he had 19 yards on eight first-down attempts. Against Washington it was 10 carries for 25 yards on first down with four no-yardage attempts and one for minus-1. However, he did have runs of 6, 6 and 5 on his final three first-down runs, so not giving up on trying also has to be avoided.

                      Because the Rams' passing game is suspect, defenses will routinely play eight men in the box.

                      After the Seattle game, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said, "There were eight down there quite a bit. With a running back like we have, I think that's something we're going to see."

                      Jackson understands it, too. "That's just going to be my mindset for all 16 games that we have. I anticipate for the rest of the year that defenses are going to put eight men in the box because we're just so young at the wide receiver position."

                      Said tight end Randy McMichael, "I mean, right now he's our best football player on offense. A lot of teams know that, and they want to take him away. We've got to find a way as receivers and tight ends to make plays.

                      "And even if they do have eight-man fronts, we need to get seven guys (blocked), and let Steven make the one guy miss. It's all about just staying on your man a little bit longer and helping 'Jack' find somewhere to run."

                      SERIES HISTORY:...
                      -09-24-2009, 09:30 PM