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  • A bit about the Rams...

    Personnel report: Jackson and Rams' offense
    September 25, 2009 11:36 AM

    Posted by's Mike Sando

    Rams Personnel Group in Week 2 Carries Yards Per Carry Pass Attempts Yards Per Attempt 1RB-1TE 12 8.6 17 4.5 2RB-1TE 6 1.5 10 3.6 1RB-2TE 0 0.0 1 12.0 1RB-3TE 1 5.0 0 0.0 4WR 0 0.0 0 0.0 2RB-0TE 0 0.0 0 0.0 2RB-2TE 0 0.0 0 0.0 Totals 19 6.2 28 4.5
    The 2006 season might always stand as a benchmark for Rams running back Steven Jackson.

    That was the season he rushed for 1,528 yards and caught 90 passes for 803 yards. He has not exceeded 1,042 yards rushing, 40 receptions or 379 yards receiving over the subsequent two seasons.

    Those numbers figured to spike this season as the Rams built their offense around Jackson to an even stronger degree following Torry Holt's release. The problem through two games has less to do with Jackson than with the offense overall. The Rams are averaging 20 percent fewer offensive plays this season than they averaged in 2006, about 13 snaps per game. Jackson has carried or caught the ball on 34.5 percent of the Rams' offensive plays, down from 40.9 percent in 2006.

    A few things stood out while watching the Rams against the Redskins in Week 2:
    • The offensive line struggled. Jackson's 58-yard run on the Rams' 16th offensive play came out of nowhere. My notes for the Rams' 15 previous plays included these observations: "Richie Incognito got beat and that blew up the play. ... Alex Barron blatantly holds Andre Carter and gets away with it, but Phillip Daniels crushes Marc Bulger. ... Jason Brown injures MCL. ... Barron holds Carter from behind and replays show he grabbed Carter by the collar, but no call. ... Jason Smith misses Daniels off the ball. ... Barron whiffs on Carter, who lined up way outside but still beat Barron with an inside move. ... Line has no answer when Rocky McIntosh blitzes. ... Play had no chance, too much pressure."
    • Donnie Avery was the Rams' third-best receiver. Something isn't right with the first receiver chosen in the 2008 draft. He's dropping passes, losing fumbles, committing penalties and failing to outrun defensive backs. It's enough to make me wonder if the foot injury is behind him. The fumble he lost deep in Redskins territory wasted an otherwise highly impressive drive featuring better play up front and Jackson at his best. Avery needs a breakout game. He is certainly due.
    • This team drops far too many passes. In counted four against the Redskins, two by Avery and two by tight end Randy McMichael.
    • Bulger is taking a pounding. The quarterback was quite resilient throughout the game. A hit he took in his own end zone during the desperate final seconds left Bulger holding his left wrist. How long before he gets hurt more seriously?
    • The defense is almost good enough. The Rams' predictably poor pass rush is holding them back and could make them vulnerable to blowout defeats against teams with more powerful offenses. Overall, though, the Rams have made strides on defense. They can be decent against the run and their secondary appears significantly upgraded so far (with tougher tests looming, however).

    One thing surprised me when charting the Rams' personnel use. The team used two tight ends on the first play and then almost never again. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur tried to use two tight ends on a third-and-1 play later in the game, but second tight end Daniel Fells committed a false-start penalty. The play did not count. He used three tight ends on another play. Overall, the Rams used one tight end on 48 of 50 snaps.

    The Rams averaged 1.5 yards per carry on six carries from their base offense (2 RB, 1TE). They averaged 8.6 yards per carry on 12 rushes from their "zebra" personnel group featuring one back, three wide receivers and one tight end. Jackson's 58-yard run boosted the average from this group. Fullback Mike Karney made a few effective blocks from the base offense, but the Rams enjoyed most of their success without him.

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  • mikhal5569
    NFL Preview - St. Louis (3-3) at Tampa Bay (3-2)
    by mikhal5569
    NFL Preview - St. Louis (3-3) at Tampa Bay (3-2)

    By Michael Rushton, Sports Network

    The Sports Network

    The St. Louis Rams have lost five straight on the road and were embarrassed by 38 points the last time they played as the guest. Both of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' losses this year have come at home by a combined 50- point margin.
    This could get interesting.
    Having already put together a winning streak at home, the Rams will look to reestablish themselves on the road this Sunday at Raymond James Stadium against a Bucs squad trying to avoid a third loss in four games.
    The Rams picked up a third straight home victory with a surprising 20-17 win over San Diego last weekend, also marking the club's third triumph in its last four games. At 3-3, St. Louis is right behind NFC West co-leaders Arizona and Seattle, which are both 3-2 on the young season.
    Getting on track on the road will be key if the Rams hope to make it back to the postseason for the first time since 2004, as they haven't won away from the Gateway City since Nov. 1 of last year at Detroit. Coincidentally, St. Louis' most recent road game also took place in Motown on Oct. 10, but the end result was a 44-6 rout at the hands of the Lions. That marked St. Louis' 14th setback in its last 15 road contests.
    St. Louis rookie quarterback Sam Bradford may be new to the NFL, but he knows how important it is to win on the road.
    "I think that's one of the steps from being an average team to being a good team is being able to play well on the road," said Bradford. "If we do want to become a good team, we're going to have to learn to play well on the road."
    Duplicating last weekend's home victory would be a great start. St. Louis notched seven sacks versus the Chargers, getting two each from James Hall, Chris Long and Larry Grant. It marked the first time the Rams had three different players notch at least two sacks in the same game since Sept. 20, 1998.
    Offensively, Bradford posted a 38-yard touchdown pass and didn't turn the ball over, while running back Steven Jackson ran for 109 yards and a touchdown. Jackson also gained some key first downs late in the game to help the Rams run out the clock.
    Tampa Bay opened its 2010 home schedule with a victory over Cleveland -- part of a season-opening two-game win streak -- but has lost two of its last three since and both defeats have come at home. The Buccaneers have been outscored 69-19 in those two setbacks after dropping a 31-6 decision to the visiting New Orleans Saints this past weekend.
    The loss dropped the Bucs to 3-2 on the season, putting them right behind New Orleans and Atlanta for first place in the NFC South. Both the Saints and Falcons are 4-2.
    Tampa Bay's other loss came to AFC North leader Pittsburgh, while the club has recorded victories over Carolina and Cincinnati in addition to its Week 1 triumph
    -10-22-2010, 11:41 AM
  • Tampa_Ram
    Breakdown of top Wide Receiver Prospects
    by Tampa_Ram
    I found his first article a few weeks back but wanted to wait for his second to be posted before i posted them here. His first was "Tier 1" and his 2nd was "Tier 2". You can tell by the graphs that they come from separate articles and the first graph is his tier 1 and the second is his tier 2. I combined the Information so that i wouldnt have to make multiple threads(though would have been easier).

    I know stats can be deceiving, and if the wr's were in different systems and with different qb's and different coaches, things could be a lot different. But regardless, i think this was some great work and a great breakdown on the wide receivers.

    Allen, Patterson, Hopkins, Bailey, Wheaton, Williams, Patton, and Hunter: A Metrics Breakdown
    By NUGap

    Where Are They Catching the Ball?
    This represents what zones they caught the ball in, before yards after the catch. Unfortunately, I don’t have the exact routes or what side of the field they caught it on. That will have to wait until the next iteration of this.

    • Keenan Allen lives on the short passes. 63.3% of Allen’s passes were caught within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. Only 3.33% of his passes were past 20 yards. A low for all WRs I looked at. This may not be a bad thing if his yards after the catch are good.
    • Stedman Bailey’s game consisted of a lot of screens. Unlike Keenan Allen though, we see a much more distributed catching range. 18% of his passes were caught in the 11-20 yard range with 10.5% deep catches.
    • Surprisingly, Hopkins was a major deep threat. This surprised me because I thought of Hopkins as a guy who ran a lot of curls and mid-range outside routes. We see that 70% of his catches were past 6 yards. The highest in the major WRs for this class, excepting Terrance Williams
    • Patterson’s numbers are just interesting. We don’t see many passes caught past 20 yards, but 33% of his passes were caught in the 11-20 yard range. It’s like he decided to ignore catching the ball in the screen and 20+ yard game and just catch intermediate passes.
    • Terrance Williams is the ultimate deep threat of this class. Around 39% of his catches were past 10 yards and over 79% of his passes were past 5 yards. Of course this shows up on tape, but it’s good to confirm it. We then have to wonder if he can translate that deep threat to the NFL or if he’ll get jammed at the line of scrimmage.
    • Wheaton is another deep threat in this class. He’s of a completely different build than Williams, but 41% of his passes were past 10 yards. Interestingly, 55% of his passes were within 5 yards. Most of the time he was catching short or deep passes, nothing in the middle.
    • Quinton Patton is well distributed across all zones. He doesn’t show a tendency to get past 20 yards, but there’s no zone in which he is simply not catching the ball. That tells us he’s
    -02-18-2013, 09:59 AM
  • AvengerRam_old
    For the "Jackson Stinks" Crowd: Explain This
    by AvengerRam_old
    There seems to be a great number of fans who simply can't accept that Steven Jackson's recent failings have been primarily the result of poor blocking. To illustrate just how wrong these fans are, allow me to present a few stats.

    Yards Per Carry (2004 vs. 2005):

    Corey Dillon: 4.7/3.6
    Jamal Lewis: 4.3/3.3
    Curtis Martin 4.6/3.3
    Brian Westbrook 4.6/4.0
    Chris Brown 4.9/3.8
    Kevin Jones 4.7/3.5

    Now, what could explain this drastic decline in yards per carry? (by the way, each of these backs has fewer yards per carry than Jackson, who is at 4.1) Did they forget how to follow their blocks? Did they forget how to run North and South?

    Or... could it possibly be the fact that even good backs both experienced (Dillon, Lewis, Martin) and young (Westbrook, Brown, Jones) are only productive when they have good line play?
    -12-26-2005, 08:02 AM
  • eldfan
    Finding the Positive in the Rams' 0-2 Start
    by eldfan
    by Seth Doria Seth DoriaColumnist, Featured Columnist

    Columnist Written on September 22, 2009
    In the bottom-line business that is professional sports, the most important thing that happened to the St. Louis Rams on Sunday was another loss.

    In losing 9-7 to the Redskins in Washington, the Rams are now 0-2 and two games back of the 2-0 San Francisco ***** heading into next week’s home opener against Green Bay.

    And if the Rams were a team with high expectations, falling to 0-2 would be borderline catastrophic. Three teams last year made the playoffs from 0-2, but that was an anomaly. Most of the time, 0-2 is a precursor to disaster.

    But the Rams aren’t a team with high expectations. Not even the most die-hard pie-in-the-sky Rams fan dared dream of better than 7-9 or maybe (if they were high or drunk) 8-8.

    So yes, the Rams lost again on Sunday, 0-2 is 0-2, and you are what your record says you are. But when you’re the St. Louis Rams and you’re 5-29 over your last 34 games, you learn to find the hidden positives in the bottom-line failures.

    And so it comes to pass that losing 9-7 to Washington can be considered a success in many ways.

    Red zone defense: The Redskins’ lone scores came on Shaun Suisham field goals of 21, 28 and 23 yards. Washington came close to a touchdown on one other occasion. In the fourth quarter, David Vobora stopped Clinton Portis two yards behind the line of scrimmage on 4th-and-1 from the St. Louis two-yard line.

    On each of those drives, the Rams defense held strong with their backs against their own goal-line, forcing the Redskins to settle for three rather than seven.

    Steven Jackson: Not only did Jackson finish with 104 yards on just 17 carries for a 6.1 yard average, he also got involved in the pass game with four catches for 15 yards.

    A week after not catching a single ball against Seattle, it was encouraging to see quarterback Marc Bulger take advantage of the best player on offense in more ways than one.

    The run defense: Washington did gain 125 yards on the ground, but it took them 33 attempts to get there. Not counting the three kneel-downs at the end, the Redskins gained 121 on 30 carries.

    For a team that gave up 4.9 yards per rush attempt last year and 117 yards on 19 carries to Julius Jones in Week One, it was heartening to see Clinton Portis held to just 76 yards on 19 carries.

    The pass defense: Even though Chris Cooley had seven catches for 83 yards—continuing a trend of the Rams defense getting shredded by opposing tight ends—it’s worth noting four of Cooley’s seven catches came in the first eight minutes, and six came in the first half. In a tight game that was in doubt until the end, Cooley did not have...
    -09-23-2009, 08:45 AM
  • RamWraith
    Why the Rams Must Run
    by RamWraith
    By Bernie Miklasz

    Just a follow-up on my Saturday “Bits” column in which I made a quick point on the need to give the football to Steven Jackson.

    In the first two games, the Rams have attempted to pass the ball on 77.3 percent of their plays in the second half.

    They have scored zero touchdowns in the second half.

    This is no coincidence.

    You just can’t have that kind of flagrant imbalance and expect to keep the defense off guard. You can’t abandon the run and become so predictable that you make it easy for the defense to blow in and attack QB Marc Bulger. I’m not saying I want to see a Chuck Knox offense, but reasonable balance in your offensive approach is always a plus.

    I know Jackson has to play better. I’ve said that multiple times in print, on the blog, and on my 1380 ESPN radio show.

    But if last year is our guide, Jackson is a back who thrives on heavy work.

    In 2006, he was at his best once he got more than 15 carries in a game.

    On his 16th to 20th carries in a game last season, he averaged 4.8 yards per rush.

    On his 21st to 25th carries in a game last season, he averaged 5.5 yards per rush.

    On his 26th to 30th carries in a game, he averaged 4.1 yards per rush.

    And on Jackson’s handful of carries beyond 30 rushes in a game, he averaged 6.5 yards per attempt.

    To add it all up, on his rushing attempts that exceeded 15 in a game last season, Jackson had 114 carries for 476 yards, for an average of 5 yards per run.

    Moreover, the Rams must call more plays that suit Jackson’s profile.

    And what he does best is power up inside, between the tackles.

    Since the start of the 2005 season, Jackson has 193 inside runs for 1,026 yards, for 5.3 yards per carry. The Rams call too many plays that have Jackson dancing around on the perimeter. He’s not effective running to his left, and better going to his right. But the inside game is where Jackson delivers. He’s a big strong back who punishes tacklers. His coaches should play to those strengths.

    One more note about the predictable nature of the Rams’ offense:

    This team isn’t using the middle of the field nearly enough in its passing game.

    In the first two games, the Rams threw the ball 25 times to the left side, 49 times to the right side, but only 9 times over the middle. (There were also 13 pass attempts that originated behind the line; the quick outs and such).

    Does that make sense, considering that the team signed free agent Randy McMichael to upgrade the receiving skills at tight end?

    In the running game, and in the passing game, the Rams should make a more concerted effort to attack the middle.

    Perhaps we’ll see more of that at Tampa Bay.
    -09-22-2007, 03:51 PM