Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Rams could take a page from *****' playbook

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Rams could take a page from *****' playbook

    Rams could take a page from *****' playbook

    Sports Columnist Bernie Miklasz
    [More columns]Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    09/26/2009

    Since taking over as head coach of the San Francisco *****, Mike Singletary is 7-4, and he has tried to cultivate a new image for his team. The ***** are getting physical. They're using a strong running game, led by halfback Frank Gore, as the foundation for a restoration. We saw that Sunday, when the ***** bullied Seattle for 256 yards rushing in a victory that gave them a 2-0 record on the young season.

    The Rams need to take the same approach with their franchise back, Steven Jackson. The ***** are averaging 26 rushes a game since Singletary took over, but Jackson is averaging only 19.5 carries through the first two weeks of the season.

    One of the puzzling aspects of the first two weeks is the Rams' lack of commitment to pounding the ball. You wonder why Jackson was given only 16 carries in the first game, at Seattle, against the same defense that got gored a week later by the *****.

    Jackson is up to the job. You say he isn't tough enough, and that he tiptoes too much? The numbers tell a different story. Through two games, Jackson has 171 yards rushing, and 127 of the yards were gained after contact. In the NFL, only Minnesota's Adrian Peterson has gained more yards so far (161) after being hit by defenders.

    That's the way it is with Jackson, who is probably better than he gets credit for being. Since the start of the 2006 season, Jackson has averaged 89 yards rushing a game, and among backs who played continuously during that time frame, only San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson averages more yards rushing per game (91). Peterson, who entered the league in 2007, is averaging 105 yards a game.

    The Rams have one producer and playmaker on offense, and he wears No. 39. If new Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo wants to create an identity for his rebuilding team, Singletary is setting the example of how it can be done.

    READING TIME, 3 MINUTES

    Free Victor Adeyanju.

    Though ESPN football analyst Mark Schlereth apologized to Rams GM Billy Devaney for suggesting that the Rams aren't competing hard, Schlereth didn't hold back on delivering another opinion, telling WXOS (101.1 FM) that the Rams are making a mistake by not playing rookie offensive tackle Jason Smith on the left side, his natural position. Schlereth likened it to the Boston Red Sox asking David Ortiz, who bats left, to begin switch hitting or batting right.
    :ramlogo:

  • #2
    Re: Rams could take a page from *****' playbook

    As usual, BM's numbers and arguments don't add up.

    The Whiners ran the ball 189 times in those last 9 games under Singletary. That's 21/game, not 24.

    And compare that with a real smashmouth team, The NYG, who ran 502 times over last season. That's 31 per game. NYG averaged 5.0 over the 16 game season. The Whiners were at 4.0. Even that number was bolstered by some strong performances before Singletary as well & 4.0/carry, I believe, is the basic threshold for a competent run attack, not a dominant one.

    They won several last year when Gore & co were ineffective( eg vs The Rams),and lost several when they were good ( eg vs AZ). In short, the run game wasn't a primary factor in either defeat or victory.

    This year they have run 54 times.Sounds good,right? Until you look a little more closely. First game , they got stuffed all day(23 for 32 yds) & won.

    Gore had a huge day vs The Hags mainly based on two field length gallops. A bunch of carries by the other Whiner backs; pretty ineffective,btw, 12 for 32 together and a QB scramble, padded the attempt numbers as those long runs did the average per carry.

    No Mebane, no Hill, Tatupu fighting a leg injury,Babineaux fighting back problems ( I think our boys beat 'em up pretty good for The Whiners; mixed feelings about that) , never mind the offense neutered by half time in a tight 13-10 game by the loss of their QB...on the road.

    Yeah...exactly the same, Bernie....putz.

    Yes, the Rams need to get SJ the ball more but that's as much,if not more, about getting the defense off the field as a commitment to the run.

    The biggest difference,imo, between the two teams remains the defensive front seven.

    Right idea, Bernie. Wrong example. And you'd better be much more sure of your facts before telling The Ram Nation that their team needs to emulate The Whiners in any way, shape, or form. Be glad this isn't Buffalo. I'd keep my address a secret,nonetheless.

    As to the dancing SJ thing; people will see what they want to see, whether it's SJ or Bulger or whoever. You only have to watch the games to see that the dancing thing has seldom been true & there have been reasons when it did happen. Early last year when he had missed so much time & appeared indecisive & the O-line was getting smushed,yeah.With a few glaring exceptions where he has jump cut out of his blocking, I think the guy has done a lot with very little so far.

    Incidentally, there's a great article about Croom, our RB coach, on the GB site this week. I think our run game is in good hands.

    I like Adeyanju as well but watching Ah You's quick first step & Ramsey's explosiveness on some plays in the Skins game reassured me that Spajole know what they are doing with the mix of skill sets they want on the DL.

    Just shut up & watch baseball or hockey, Bernie, & leave The Rams to those who care enough to pay attention.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Rams could take a page from *****' playbook

      The thing everyone misses about these types of things is Frisco's defense is ranked 7th and our is 29th. We are also giving up 5 points more a game then they are. When you have a good defense you can try and be a smash mouth team. You can afford to go three and out once in a while because your defense will pick you up. The more we go three and out like we did in Seattle the more chance of our weak defense giving up a td. Also doesnt your offensive line have to open up holes for your running back to run through? On Jacksons long run vs the Skins he was hit four yds into the run and broke the tackle and took it what 50+ yds. I watched Gore run vs the Hawks and on one 80 yd run he wasnt even touched until he hit the goal line. By the way Gor had a total of 16 carries for 207 yds. He had 2 carries for 159 yds on long runs. His other 14 carries went for 48 yds. Thats 3.4 ydsa carry. He didnt exactly tear it up on his other runs. We can pretend to be a smash mouth team, but right now it just doesnt seem like we have the personell. The Rams also havnt had the ball enough to even utilize two running backs very often either. It's a work in progress and changing your identity doesnt happen over night.
      Last edited by rammiser; -09-26-2009, 05:53 AM.
      Aim high Willis, Aim High!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Rams could take a page from *****' playbook

        I think the reason we should be constantly handing the ball off is because of the homerun hit with Jackson. Yeah he might not hit the hole every play and blow through, he might dance a few times, but when he dedicates himself to making a play he blows it wide open.
        Who knows? Maybe with an extra 5-10 carries we could see another 20 yard run pop out of him. Even toss him the ball another couple times and let him turn up field on some DBs. It is just 2 weeks into the season though, I don't think we've yet to see the depth of the rams playcalling, so some of these concerns may be unfounded.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Rams could take a page from *****' playbook

          We have had several penalties on the OL and we have opposing defenses stacking the line forcing us to throw. We need to establish that we can throw before every defense in the NFL stops stacking the line of scrimage. We are often 1st and 15, 2nd and long, or 3rd and long. We got down in the first game and lost 28-0 we needed to throw the ball the last two quarters to try to get back in it. We cant run every single play when the defense knows we are going to run. Especially with an OL that is below average at this point IMO. We have Barron who is probably below average at LT and our RT below average at this point (with upside) and is unproven. We have Incognito who cant keep his head in the game. I am not sure yet what we really have in Bell.
          Last edited by RamsSB99; -09-26-2009, 10:11 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Rams could take a page from *****' playbook

            The problem with running Jackson 30+ times a game right now is that he will just get beat up. Jackson has shown in the past to be susceptible to injury when asked to pound the rock behind this lousy offensive line of ours (as would most backs). As our offensive line deteriorated, so has our running game. The only running back I've ever seen that could excel behind a lousy offensive line was Barry Sanders. Jackson is no Barry Sanders.

            Jackson's stutter step dancing is due to his self proclaimed emulation of Sanders and our offensive line not getting the holes open where they are designed, so Jackson tries to freelance like Sanders (and many times as Faulk was able to do), but he doesn't have that burst off the cut. Jackson is more like Dickerson; a slash, plant, and hit the hole running back that needs to use his size to break the arm tackles at the line of scrimmage, get into the secondary and the race is on.

            I just hope we get to see the full potential of Jackson before his best years are behind him.
            Last edited by bigredman; -09-26-2009, 10:59 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Rams could take a page from *****' playbook

              Originally posted by RamsSB99 View Post
              We have had several penalties on the OL and we have opposing defenses stacking the line forcing us to throw. We need to establish that we can throw before every defense in the NFL stops stacking the line of scrimage. We are often 1st and 15, 2nd and long, or 3rd and long. We got down in the first game and lost 28-0 we needed to throw the ball the last two quarters to try to get back in it. We cant run every single play when the defense knows we are going to run. Especially with an OL that is below average at this point IMO. We have Barron who is probably below average at LT and our RT below average at this point (with upside) and is unproven. We have Incognito who cant keep his head in the game. I am not sure yet what we really have in Bell.
              I think Bell & Cogs played much better in game 2 than game 1. hopefully that's a trend, not an anomaly. Barron had a relatively poor game in #2 over #1 but he got a thigh bruise vs Wash ( I've had trouble walking with a charley horse,never mind blocking a 350 lb DT like Fat Albert or a quick rising star DE like Carter) so I have hopes that he can bounce back. And who would have thought he'd have zero false starts after playing in two loudly hostile venues? Not me,for sure.

              The biggest failure vs Seattle and Wash,imo, was effective screen plays.

              AZ ripped the Whiners very aggressive 3/4 D with screens to RB Hightower; 121 yds on short passes, so I'm hoping The Rams will try the same with GB's 3/4.

              Lure in those outside backers to keep SJ in check up the gut behind Jason brown and Karney then exploit the softened outside. Esp with the injured/green safety duo that GB seems likely to field.

              Both Bell & Cogs are supposed to be good at that stuff ( pulling & second level blocking) & we know SJ is devastating once he gets to that second level outside.

              And if there's been a consistent weakness in Bulger's game so far, I'd say it was, uncharacteristically, his accuracy,timing, and touch on those quick out passes; remember the pass thrown behind Avery, the mistimed zipper to SJ who hadn't turned his head yet,another was complete to SJ but he had to leap to grab it and several occasions when he seemed reluctant to throw out to the flat at all when there was an open guy. Maybe the pinkie affected that somewhat. Kinda makes sense to me that he would have more trouble throwing those angled passes than straight downfield in terms of stress on that hand.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Rams could take a page from *****' playbook

                Originally posted by Azul e Oro View Post

                And if there's been a consistent weakness in Bulger's game so far, I'd say it was, uncharacteristically, his accuracy,timing, and touch on those quick out passes; remember the pass thrown behind Avery, the mistimed zipper to SJ who hadn't turned his head yet,another was complete to SJ but he had to leap to grab it and several occasions when he seemed reluctant to throw out to the flat at all when there was an open guy. Maybe the pinkie affected that somewhat. Kinda makes sense to me that he would have more trouble throwing those angled passes than straight downfield in terms of stress on that hand.
                I agree with needing to use the screen pass more. I would like to see some short screen passes to Jackson. He is only averaging 7.5 yards a game receiving after having 31.6 yards a game last year receiving. I also think Warner spoiled us on how a QB should throw a screen pass. He used to have Faulk running full speed and would lay a nice arching touch pass just over his shoulder without him breaking stride. Bulger is probably average at throwing the screen pass but has had trouble at times.

                Comment

                Related Topics

                Collapse

                • RamWraith
                  Why the Rams Must Run
                  by RamWraith
                  By Bernie Miklasz
                  09/22/2007

                  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
                • MauiRam
                  Burwell: Time for Rams to unleash the beast
                  by MauiRam
                  By Bryan Burwell Sunday, September 19, 2010 12:15 am

                  OAKLAND, Calif. • Steve Spagnuolo's coaching DNA comes off the old Bill Parcells strain, an old-school football philosophy that emphasizes nasty, aggressive defense and an offensive style that relies on smart veterans, hands-in-the-dirt power and clock-gobbling ground control.

                  So imagine the culture shock that must have occurred in his head last week when he not only put his offense in the hands of a rookie quarterback, but condoned a game plan that involved a lopsided pass/run distribution of 57-to-24. Okay, we know circumstances forced the Rams to be a bit more pass happy than what normally suits Spagnuolo's tastes. But the most surprising aspect of the way things worked for his offense was that Pro Bowl running back Steven Jackson was particularly ignored for most of the first half.

                  Two carries in the first quarter?

                  Eight in the first half?

                  That has to change, doesn't it?

                  Please tell me that's going to change.

                  I am as guilty as most of us of an incurable Sam Bradford obsession. Heck, I am the drum major in his parade. But as good as the kid has shown he can be, and as good an NFL quarterback as we know he will ultimately turn into, the rookie needs a lot of things going the right way if he's going to make this offense work smoothly. One of those things — the most important thing — is a highly productive Jackson.

                  When the Rams face the Oakland Raiders Sunday afternoon inside rowdy Oakland-Alemeda Coliseum, the game plan needs to tilt back a bit towards a more balanced run/pass ratio. Jackson needs to be the focus of this offense.

                  Every week the Rams play, I am always amazed at the comments I get from smart NFL folks who get an up-close eye full of Jackson's raging running style. A few weeks ago after the Patriots preseason game, I ran into Chris Long's dad, the legendary Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long, and when the conversation rolled around to Jackson, Howie had a familiar reaction.

                  "Oh man, he's a beast," he gushed. "I love watching that guy run with the football."

                  It's amazing how much greater the appreciation for Jackson's unique gifts seem to be outside St. Louis. Knowledgeable football wise guys speak of him in almost reverent terms because of his size and speed and his almost freakishly powerful running style. And I guess unless you have seen Jackson's raw energy up close from an NFL sideline, even the TV replays don't adequately translate what he is doing out there.

                  Jackson is a difference maker on this Rams offense, but the plays have to be called to take advantage of his talent. Throughout his career, he has proven that the longer you feed him the stronger he gets.

                  I charted his entire career and it's fascinating to see what happens when he is given the ball. Look...
                  -09-19-2010, 01:53 AM
                • Nick
                  Bernie Bytes: Monday Morning Backup QB (1/3/11)
                  by Nick
                  Bernie Bytes: Monday Morning Backup QB
                  BY BERNIE MIKLASZ, Post-Dispatch Sports Columnist | Posted: Monday, January 3, 2011 11:19 am

                  Good day. (I think.) For a Rams fan, the New Year came crashing in on Sunday night and it wasn't much fun. I'm assuming the morning after is rough. Can we turn back the clock and do the game over? I guess not.

                  Anyway ...

                  I'm not inclined to search for the ol' silver linings when a team squanders an opportunity to win a division by playing so miserably against a highly beatable opponent. I expressed those views in an online piece that I wrote late Sunday night, just in case you missed it. But obviously, if we want to look for it, there was some benefit to losing:

                  1. The Rams will select 14th in the 1st round of the 2011 draft, rather than 21st. That could turn out to be significant. (And Seattle, which would have had the 8th pick by losing, will draft 21st overall.)

                  2. Rams GM Billy Devaney will have to get a wide receiver or two for this team to give the passing game an upgrade and more dimension. I think Devaney would have done that, anyway. But the futility of the passing game and the terrible performance by the receivers in the 16-6 loss to Seattle was valuable in reminding everyone that Sam Bradford needs some help to get this offense to a higher level. The Rams simply cannot come back and peck away with small ball again in 2011.

                  3. The loss should give owner Stan Kroenke even more motivation to get involved and push his football people to be more aggressive.

                  There's much more to it than that, of course. We'll elaborate in Tuesday's column...

                  MOVING ON ...

                  * When he meets with the media Monday afternoon, expect Rams HC Steve Spagnuolo to defend the limited use of Steven Jackson by citing the team's many three-and-out drives. And how that made it difficult for the Rams to get into their full stride, which would have included more runs for Jackson. This is pretty much what Spagnuolo told reporters after the game in Seattle.

                  Well, I don't think I'm buying it. The Rams had seven three-and-outs Sunday. And Jackson handled the ball on only three plays during those series. He didn't touch the ball at all on four of the seven three-and-outs. So I'm not sure what the coaches were waiting for. The Rams had one very nice drive in the game, going 13 plays and 83 yards for a FG that cut Seattle's lead to 7-3. Jackson got the ball six times on the march: four carries for 26 yards and two catches for 15 yards. He handled the ball on six of the first nine plays on the drive, including one sequence of four consecutive plays where he ran it or caught it. And the Rams put together an impressive drive (well, at least until it stalled in the red zone.) I don't think this was a coincidence. Because of the defense that the Rams were facing, Jackson should have had a more extensive...
                  -01-03-2011, 11:24 AM
                • Nick
                  Bernie Bytes: Rams not smart with Jackson
                  by Nick
                  I don't know that I've ever agreed with a Bernie article more than I do this one. I feel like I should be calling a hotline so someone can talk me back to sanity, but I think he really nailed this one. Love the Hanifan comments....
                  -01-04-2011, 03:48 PM
                • MauiRam
                  Rams run defense set to meet challenge vs. ***** Frank Gore
                  by MauiRam
                  BY JIM THOMAS Thursday, November 11, 2010 12:00 am

                  No single number says more about the Rams' improved defensive play this season than their current No. 8 league ranking in run defense. It has been nearly a decade since the defense has been that stingy against the run.

                  The Rams haven't finished higher than 20th in run defense since the 2002 squad finished the season 14th. And they haven't finished in the top 10 in run defense since the 2001 NFC championship squad finished third. (The 1999 Super Bowl championship team led the league in run defense.)

                  Through eight games this season, the Rams have allowed only one 100-yard rusher — Oakland's Darren McFadden, who had 145 yards on 30 carries in Game 2. Last year, the Rams allowed six 100-yard rushers, and two other opposing ball carriers finished in the 90s.

                  But as coach Steve Spagnuolo points out, a statistic never made a tackle. The Rams' players are going to have to do that, and do it against one of the best in the business Sunday in San Francisco running back Frank Gore.

                  "It just goes back to basic run-game defense," Spagnuolo said. "Stay in your gap — or win your gap — and tackle the ball carrier. That's about what it comes down to. ... But our guys take a lot of pride in it, and they know we've got a good challenge with Frank Gore and this particular offense."

                  Although Gore has missed a few games over the years because of injuries, most of the Rams' veterans have played him several times and know what to expect. Gore is a patient runner, a physical runner who breaks tackles and does his best work between the tackles.

                  "When you hit him, you feel him," defensive end James Hall said. "He's a one-cut guy, and he's downhill. He can hurt you. I've got a lot of respect for the guy playing him over the years."

                  Gore certainly has had his moments against the Rams. The last time the NFC West rivals met, in the 2009 season finale, he rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-6 San Francisco victory. He has had four 100-yard rushing games against the Rams and has scored four TDs in his past two outings against them.

                  "I've always thought that he was one of the more underrated running backs," said linebacker Larry Grant, who spent half of the 2008 season on the *****' practice squad. "Coach (Mike) Singletary feels like Frank is his Walter Payton. And that's how he uses Frank. And if you ask me, I think he has all the ability of being a guy like that in the future."

                  Since Mike Johnson replaced the deposed Jimmy Raye as offensive coordinator in late September, there has been a little bit more variety in the *****' offense. The ***** are stubborn about running the football, and it's still all about Frank Gore. No running back by committee here.

                  Gore rarely leaves the field and, except...
                  -11-10-2010, 11:11 PM
                Working...
                X