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  • Mentally, Rams Are A Lost Cause

    Mentally, Rams are a lost cause

    Columnist Jeff Gordon
    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    10/04/2009

    The Rams have enough physical ability to win a few National Football League games this season. Really, they do.

    But mentally . . . well, let’s just say the Rams appear to be a lost cause.

    Football is a game of myriad details and techniques -– there isn’t one of them that the Rams can’t screw up. When they take the field, they are one giant mistake waiting to happen.

    They made one blunder after another, turning a low-scoring defensive struggle into a dispiriting 35-0 loss at San Francisco.

    In this game, they were flagged 10 times for 73 yards. Coach Steve Spagnuolo noted that the team earned just one penalty in 210 practice plays this week -– and then failed to carry it over to the game.

    “We have to play disciplined,” Spagnuolo told the Rams Radio Network after the game. “We have to keep working at it.”

    Quarterback Kyle Boller threw an interception that resulted in a TD. He also muffed a handoff exchange, resulting in another ***** TD.

    “It is hard to overcome turnovers and giving them points,” Spagnuolo surmised.

    The Rams (0-4) took another huge step backward while losing for the 31st time in 36 games. Whatever progress made in Week 2 is long forgotten now.

    In their last six quarters, opponents have outscored the Rams 49-3. Forty-nine to three! The Rams have been shut out twice in four games.

    Their defense held the ***** to 229 yards. San Francisco converted just four of 13 third-down plays. But the Rams offense gained just 177 yards and never even reached the red zone in this game.

    Spagnuolo doesn’t want to talk about the past. But the Rams seem intent on reliving their last two season collapses no matter how many incumbent players are run off.

    Let us review the gaffes they committed Sunday:

    * The Rams opened the game with Danny Amendola’s 91-yard kickoff return. But . . . blocker Anthony Smith got flagged for holding, bringing the ball all the way back to the Rams 22.

    * The Rams earned back-to-back offensive penalties in the first quarter, a holding penalty on tight end Daniel Fells and a five-yard call for having 12 men in the huddle.

    * Cornerback Jonathan Wade prolonged a ***** drive by earning a pass interference penalty while trying to cover Josh Morgan.

    * The Rams' punt coverage team accidentally kicked the ball into its own end zone. Quincy Butler got to the loose ball first, but failed to scoop it up on the fly. Then the ***** swarm arrived and fell on the ball for a touchdown. That was the only score of the first half.

    * Alex Barron destroyed a scoring drive by failing to line up correctly. His five-yard penalty for being behind the line of scrimmage negated a timely blitz-beating completion to Amendola, a play that would have put the Rams in prime scoring position. Spagnuolo benched Barron in the second half.

    * With the Rams trying to run one more play in the first half, Donnie Avery got flagged for an illegal shift penalty. That resulting clock run-off ended the half.

    * The Rams defense should have earned a quick stop to open the second half, but a pass interference penalty gave San Francisco a third-down conversion. Here is what was especially galling about this play: Rams defensive end James Hall hit the arm of ***** quarterback Shaun Hill on that play, causing the ball to flutter far short of the target.

    * Fill-in left tackle John Greco got downfield too soon and got whistled for being an ineligible receiver. That penalty negated a completion to Steven Jackson, one that would have moved the chains.

    * Trying to make something happen, Boller scrambled right, then tried to throw the ball back across the field. Linebacker Patrick Willis was just waiting for that. He easily picked off that ill-advised pass and returned it for a touchdown.

    * On a Kenneth Darby kickoff return that only reached the 15-yard line, tight end Billy Bajema committed an illegal block. That moved the Rams back to their 7-yard-line.

    * A Harry High School offensive play gave the ***** another easy touchdown. Boller faked one end-around handoff, then tried to give the ball to receiver Danny Amendola as the second end-around. The pint-sized Amendola didn't get the handoff cleanly, then Manny Lawson crushed him to make sure the ball came out. ***** defensive end Ray McDonald scooped up the loose ball and scored, so San Francisco had a 35-0 lead.

    These were just some of the highlights (lowlights) of this team’s poor football acumen and apparent lack of focus. There were plenty of missed blocks, blown tackles and misfired passes to go around.

    Until the Rams get their heads in the game, they aren’t going to win one.

  • #2
    Re: Mentally, Rams Are A Lost Cause

    That's what we need to work on. Get your damn head in the game! Start cutting pay and benching players who can't make things happen. I'm glad that Barron got benched. That'll show him, but we have to warn the entire team.

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    • #3
      Re: Mentally, Rams Are A Lost Cause

      Good point Mooselini. I think the coaching staf needs to step up and be more assertive. Fumbles, missed blocking assignments, stupid penalties, inexcusable plays, should all result in time on the BENCH. I think overall the morale from last year's terrible season is still lingering in the locker room. I think in all our games so far, we have just gotten screwed over by unfortunate events that have just plumeted our hopes at winning those games. For example, the called back TD we got right before half against the Seahags that resulted in a TD for them. Also, the muffed punt for a TD that the whiner's got right before the half to take the lead. Our defense has also made great plays only to be killed by a 3-and-out by our offense. Ughhhh so much improvement needed its not even funny

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      • #4
        Re: Mentally, Rams Are A Lost Cause

        Interceptions and fumbles are going to happen just hopefully not to often. However all the penalties are a total lack of discipline. Spags has got to come down harder on these players and I don't care who it is that's the offender.
        Letting Pace and Holt go may have hurt our team from a leadership perspective more than even Spags anticipated.
        sigpic :ram::helmet:

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        • #5
          Re: Mentally, Rams Are A Lost Cause

          Well, Mr. Gordon, you have managed to make me just as mad at you as I am at Bernie. Your attitude and name calling will not bring anything positive. Kicking people while they are down is not the answer. It only makes things worse.
          sigpicThis is for Randy! GO BRM!

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          • #6
            Re: Mentally, Rams Are A Lost Cause

            All this stuff is mental mistakes that is why it is so sick to watch the rams right now

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