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  • Rams keep turning over the same old leaf

    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    10/12/2009

    Here's all you need to know about the state of Rams football, 2009:

    At halftime Sunday, the Rams had outgained mighty Minnesota by 50 yards. Steven Jackson had outrushed Vikings super back Adrian Peterson, 48 yards to 35. And Kyle Boller had a passer rating that was 21.3 points better than fabulous Brett Favre.

    Yet the Rams STILL trailed by two touchdowns entering the locker room at halftime, 17-3.


    "We can't get a break," cornerback Ron Bartell said. "Every flag, every call's going against us. Everything you can think that's bad is happening right now. So we've just got to try to battle and play above it, and just keep playing hard."

    In the second half, the thoroughbred took over in the unbeaten Vikings (5-0), a team that currently has the look of NFC title contender. Minnesota had touchdown drives of 90, 80, and 80 yards in the final two quarters to pull away to a 38-10 victory.

    Yes, Marc Bulger was seven for seven for St. Louis in the fourth quarter, including a 27-yard TD pass to Donnie Avery in relief of injured starter Kyle Boller. But by then, the Vikings were treating the game like a preseason contest in mid-August. Only one of their 11 defensive starters was on the field.

    So let's go to the tote board. The Rams remain winless for '09 at 0-5; their franchise-record losing streak has been extended to 15 games. And they have been outscored 146 points to 34 this season.

    "In order to be a good football team, you can't turn the ball over," Bartell said. "Can't have penalties. Same thing that's been beating us all year. Right now, we're not a good football team."

    Not even close. Nonetheless, the Rams had several chances to make a game of it in the opening three quarters. In this, the 300th game in "St. Louis" Rams history — a total that includes preseason, postseason and regular-season contests — the Rams found a new way to lose.

    Of their four turnovers Sunday, St. Louis' offense had three inside the Minnesota 10 against a Vikings defense regarded as one of the league's best.

    "I don't know if I've ever seen that before," left guard Jacob Bell said.

    — On first and goal from the Minnesota 1 early in the second quarter, Jackson never seemed to gain control of a handoff from Boller, with defensive end Jared Allen recovering the loose football at the 4. It looked like a botched exchange but Jackson took the blame: "It's on me, dropping the ball," he said.

    — On second and 6 from the Minnesota 8 late in the second quarter, Boller completed a pass to tight end Daniel Fells inside the 5. But Vikes linebacker Chad Greenway popped Fells from behind, the ball popped out, and fellow linebacker E.J. Henderson recovered at the 2.

    "Ultimately, I've got to hold on to the rock," Fells said. "I can't let something like that happen."

    — On fourth and 6 from the Vikings' 9 early in the fourth quarter, Boller's pass intended for Keenan Burton was intercepted by safety Tyrell Johnson in the end zone. Burton and fellow wide receiver Danny Amendola were in the same area on the play; in fact, they practically ran into each other. So one of the two must have busted a route.

    Last week against San Francisco, the Rams didn't get into the red zone. Not once. Against the Vikings, they treated the football like a hot potato whenever they got there. "That hurts you," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "You can't do it and expect to win the game because it's hard enough getting down there. And that's a good (Minnesota) defense. Offensively, you look at the silver lining, we moved it all the way down there. The guys did something right to get it inside the 10, it's just from that point on in."

    The Rams have now committed 10 turnovers in the past three games and have been minus 3 in all three contests in takeaway-giveaway differential.

    The first St. Louis turnover Sunday came on just the Rams' fifth offensive play of the game. Minnesota defensive tackle Kevin Williams raced past an attempted block by Richie Incognito to sack Boller. But before Williams even got there, Boller delivered an air ball. The ball slipped out of Boller's hands — coming out before his arm was going forward. So it was a fumble, not an incomplete pass.

    Allen scooped up the ball and raced 52 yards for a TD, giving Minnesota a 14-0 lead just seven minutes into the game.

    "It's just amazing our luck now," defensive end Leonard Little said. "We don't seem to get any breaks. You're supposed to make your own breaks, but this is a hard-working team. We work hard every week in practice. And we're just not putting it together on Sunday. I don't know."

    Little's words reflected some of the frustration that's creeping into the locker room. His frustration boiled over late in the game when he confronted a Vikings fan who had been heckling Rams players all afternoon. "I don't have to put up with that at home," Little said afterward.

    The frustration bubbled over when Bartell was asked to explain a 34-yard pass interference call on him in the fourth quarter that seemed to negate good coverage. The penalty jump-started one of the Minnesota scoring drives.

    "I don't want to get fined," Bartell said. "(The official) said I cut the guy off, which if I beat the guy to the spot, I don't understand how it's pass interference. I think right now, the way things are around here, they've kind of predetermined. ..."

    Bartell didn't finish the thought.
    :ramlogo:

  • #2
    Re: Rams keep turning over the same old leaf

    "an attempted block by Richie Incognito"

    That's being kind.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Rams keep turning over the same old leaf

      I really don't know why Cogs is still on this team. Trade him away for a draft pick. It can be a 10th round pick for all I care! Play Greco there.

      The team moved the ball better against one of the top defenses in the league. I'm impressed. Practicing some redzone routines will be on the agenda this week. We play the Jags next week, who can be a solid team on some weeks. So we can't just sit here and assume we will win. Their fans are thinking the same thing.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Rams keep turning over the same old leaf

        I love how Bulger's 7-7 performance was discounted as being nothing more than a pre-season game at that point. Why people still pine for Boller is beyond me. We have seen enough of him. He has zero accuracy and missed a possible td to Burton on two seperate occasions. The first time he flat out over threw him by 10 yds and the second he threw a laser instead of leading Burton to the endzone with a little air under tha ball. People wanted to see if Boller was better than Bulger well the answer is no. The offensive line has played surprisingly well the last few games so I think Bulger will be fine for the rest of the year. The o-line held the Vikings d-line pretty well Sunday. Bulger should start next week hands down.
        Aim high Willis, Aim High!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Rams keep turning over the same old leaf

          Originally posted by rammiser View Post
          I love how Bulger's 7-7 performance was discounted as being nothing more than a pre-season game at that point. Why people still pine for Boller is beyond me. We have seen enough of him. He has zero accuracy and missed a possible td to Burton on two seperate occasions. The first time he flat out over threw him by 10 yds and the second he threw a laser instead of leading Burton to the endzone with a little air under tha ball. People wanted to see if Boller was better than Bulger well the answer is no. The offensive line has played surprisingly well the last few games so I think Bulger will be fine for the rest of the year. The o-line held the Vikings d-line pretty well Sunday. Bulger should start next week hands down.
          In no way would I rather have Boller start than a healthy Bulger, but let's not forget that Boller hasn't played regularly in well over a year (actually closer to 2 years) and he's had exactly 2 weeks of practice with the first team offense. I think some people expect miracles and are being way too hard on Boller.
          Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Rams keep turning over the same old leaf

            Originally posted by Yodude View Post
            In no way would I rather have Boller start than a healthy Bulger, but let's not forget that Boller hasn't played regularly in well over a year (actually closer to 2 years) and he's had exactly 2 weeks of practice with the first team offense. I think some people expect miracles and are being way too hard on Boller.
            The problem is, does Boller look any different than he looked in a Raven uniform? On top of that Bulger is afforded no excuses so neither should Boller. Our offensive line has even given Boller time the last couple weeks and I dont really see a different result. If they afford Bulger the same protection I see no reason this team can't win a few games. Our defense is playing well enough to keep us in most games. Bulger comes in cold off the bench and goes 7-7 with a touchdown. Sure it was garbage time but you could see right off the bat that Bulger is far more accurate than Boller. I havnt seen anything in Boller this year or any of his seasons with Baltimore that tells me he is going to be a good starting qb.

            There is no doubt in my mind that the Rams are drafting a qb with their first pick next year. Whether they trade or release Bulger after the season I dont know, but it's gonna happen. Does anyone know the cap hell from releasing or trading Bulger before next season? The Rams need to get out of the cycle they are in right now. Drafting in the top 5 will hurt us fom being successful in free agency due to the huge jack we have to pay these top flight rookies.
            Aim high Willis, Aim High!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Rams keep turning over the same old leaf

              I don't think there will be any cap ramifications as next year is a cap free year. Could be mistaken though.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Rams keep turning over the same old leaf

                Originally posted by txramsfan View Post
                I don't think there will be any cap ramifications as next year is a cap free year. Could be mistaken though.
                Thats right I forgot. Unless they work something out of course. So now there is even less doubt about Bulger being let go. Little is out the door too,he has lost a step even though he's the only one getting sacks but he isnt a force anymore.
                Aim high Willis, Aim High!

                Comment

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                • eldfan
                  Winless Rams having trouble with mistakes
                  by eldfan
                  By R.B. FALLSTROM
                  AP Sports Writer

                  ST. LOUIS — Marc Bulger is expected to start this week for
                  the St. Louis Rams, whether or not backup Kyle Boller gets
                  cleared from a mild concussion.

                  Whoever’s taking the snaps on Sunday at Jacksonville, the larger
                  problem is cutting down on the epidemic of mistakes that are
                  dragging down a winless, rebuilding team that has little margin
                  for error.

                  The Rams (0-5) committed four turnovers in Sunday’s 38-10 loss
                  to the Vikings, three of them inside the Minnesota 10, and have
                  totaled 10 giveaways the last three weeks.

                  “Right now I think that’s the only thing that’s separating us
                  from winning games,” defensive end Leonard Little said Monday.
                  “The mistakes we’ve been making, it’s something we’ve got to
                  correct.

                  “We always correct them in practice but in the games it seems
                  like everything falls apart for us.”

                  Coach Steve Spagnuolo said at his weekly day-after news
                  conference that it was “correction day.”

                  Every Monday, it seems.

                  “The ball slips out of your hand, you miss a routine handoff,
                  those are tough things to explain,” Spagnuolo said. “We’ll hone
                  in on them, get better at them and move on.”

                  The Rams (0-5) had a 400-377 edge in total yards over unbeaten
                  Minnesota (5-0) and rolled up 27 first downs. Boller and Bulger
                  were a combined 27 for 38 for 297 yards with one touchdown and
                  an interception, and the offensive line limited the dangerous
                  Vikings pass rush to two sacks.

                  The giveaways negated those numbers, in a big way.

                  Jared Allen had a 52-yard fumble return for touchdown after the
                  ball somehow slipped out of Boller’s hand as he dropped back for
                  a screen pass. Boller and Steven Jackson didn’t connect on a
                  handoff from the Vikings 1. Tight end Daniel Fells tried to back
                  into the end zone after a catch and got stripped. Boller threw
                  an interception in the end zone.

                  That was more than enough to ensure the Rams’ 15th straight
                  loss, the longest slump in the NFL. They’ve been outscored by a
                  whopping 146-34 on the season.

                  Jackson took the hit for the fumble, although it officially went
                  to Boller.

                  “It really hurt the team and our momentum, and I think after
                  that we just snowballed downwards,” Jackson said. “We just have
                  to get over this spell of turnovers.”

                  Boller, starting for the second straight game in place of Bulger
                  (shoulder), was injured early in the fourth quarter and will
                  undergo testing Tuesday to determine his availability. Though
                  Boller moved the offense, Spagnuolo said there’s no competition
                  for the job and if Bulger’s OK he’ll be back as the starter.
                  ...
                  -10-13-2009, 10:46 AM
                • MFranke
                  RamView, 10/12/2009: Vikings 38, Rams 10 (Long)
                  by MFranke
                  RamView, October 11, 2009
                  From Row HH
                  (Report and opinions from the game.)
                  Game #5: Vikings 38, Rams 10

                  The baseball Cardinals bowed out of postseason after an abysmal lack of production in scoring opportunities, and today, the Rams topped that. Three turnovers inside the 10 were their undoing in a loss to the Vikings that should have been a lot closer. St. Louis has a bad sports hangover right now, and more hair of the dog isn't helping any.

                  * QB: If Kyle Boller (20-31-209) could wave a magic wand and change a handful of plays, he would have won the starting job for the rest of the season today. One play he'd like to forget was his pratfall that turned the Rams' opening possession into a Vikings TD. He motioned to dump a screen pass over a madly-charging Kevin Williams' head and lost the ball on the way up in classic Football Follies fashion. And, of course, with the Rams' luck this year, the ball went to Jared Allen on a clean bounce, and he scooped and ran for a 52-yard TD. Boller perservered, though. He led the Rams on a 93-yard, 7½-minute drive that started late in the 1st quarter. A 62-yard drive got the Rams inside the 10 late in the half. Boller led a 15-play, 72-yard, 6-minute drive late in the 3rd. From all that, you'd think the Rams would have come away with a lot of points. Plus, Boller had the screen pass working, was finding his tight ends, and was even getting the ball downfield successfully and stretching the defense. He did miss one big chance to make a play. 3rd-and-2 at the Viking 16 during the first drive, he rolls right and tucks and scrambles for a yard, missing Avery breaking open in the corner of the end zone on that side. Much of the time, though, the Rams looked opportunity right in the eye, and opportunity poked them the eye Three Stooges-style. The 1st-quarter drive ended when Boller and Steven Jackson blew a handoff at the one-yard line and Allen (again) recovered the fumble. Boller hit Daniel Fells at the 3 just before halftime only to see the young TE lose the ball. After nearly getting his head ripped off by Kevin Williams during the 3rd-quarter drive, Boller toughly hung in to finish it out. But Bennie Sapp made two plays to deny the Rams TDs. He broke up what would have been a 44-yard TD bomb to Keenan Burton down the sideline, and a few plays later, broke up what would have been a 9-yard TD pass to Donnie Avery. Boller's throws were perfect; sometimes, the defense just makes a play. But after that, Tyrell Johnson picked Boller off in a crowd in the end zone. Likely still feeling the effects of Williams' personal foul, Boller was done for the day. That brought Marc Bulger back to the field, and he put up impressive numbers in the 4th - 7-for-7 for 88 yards and a TD – though against a Minnesota D playing much softer than they were in Boller's three quarters, as their multi-touchdown lead dictated. Avery came back for an intentionally-underthrown 27-yard pass...
                  -10-12-2009, 10:36 AM
                • r8rh8rmike
                  QB Decision May Be Needed
                  by r8rh8rmike
                  QB decision may be needed

                  BY BILL COATS
                  ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                  10/12/2009

                  Concerning the quarterbacks, it could be an interesting week at Rams Park.

                  Between Marc Bulger and Kyle Boller, which — if either — will emerge as the healthiest? And which — if either — will be running the No. 1 unit when practice resumes Wednesday?

                  The odds probably are with Bulger. Yet throughout the bulk of Sunday's 38-10 home loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Boller appeared to be pushing hard to hold on to the starting job he's had the past two weeks while Bulger recovers from an injured shoulder.

                  That changed on the second play of the fourth quarter. Boller was clobbered by defensive end Ray Edwards just as he released a pass into the end zone. The ball was intercepted and Boller was shaken up.

                  "I took a pretty good shot and I was a little fuzzy, a little dizzy," Boller said. "I don't think I was out completely ... (or) a hundred percent concussed."

                  Still, he was dazed enough that coach Steve Spagnuolo turned to Bulger, who served as Boller's backup after suiting up as the No. 3 quarterback last week.

                  "I don't think (playing) was the plan," said Bulger, who suffered a bruised rotator cuff Sept. 27 vs. Green Bay. "But when it happened to Kyle, we had to do it."

                  Although he was going against Minnesota's defensive reserves with the Vikings cruising 24-3, Bulger came back with a bang: He hit on all seven of his passes for 88 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Donnie Avery, and compiled a "perfect" passer rating of 158.3.

                  "I'm just glad we could go in and get some points and escape without hurting the shoulder again," said Bulger, who added that he believes he'll be sound enough to return to the lineup Sunday at Jacksonville.

                  "It's getting close," he said. "I still need a little more velocity throwing the ball. You never know till you get hit, so we'll see. But ... I think I'll be ready to play the game next week."

                  If asked, that is. Should Boller bounce back quickly, Spagnuolo might have a decision to make.

                  Boller was at the helm most of the way as the Rams cobbled together their most productive offensive showing of the year. They rolled up 400 yards, including a season-high 278 through the air, against the NFL's 11th-ranked defense. Four turnovers, three inside the Vikings' 10-yard line, snuffed scoring chances.

                  "Both quarterbacks looked really sharp," running back Steven Jackson said. "We were able to move the ball. We actually were able to stretch the field, and our receivers made plays."

                  Boller wound up completing 20 of 31 passes for 209 yards, with the interception; his passer rating was 70.5. He also lost...
                  -10-12-2009, 04:20 PM
                • r8rh8rmike
                  Rams Quarterback Laments Mistakes
                  by r8rh8rmike
                  Rams quarterback laments mistakes
                  BY BILL COATS
                  ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                  10/05/2009

                  SAN FRANCISCO — A former California high school player of the year who went on to a record-breaking college career at nearby Cal-Berkeley, Rams quarterback Kyle Boller was happy to be home again.

                  "It's always fun to be back in California and San Francisco," Boller said late Sunday afternoon at Candlestick Park. "But I don't care where you are, losing is no fun."

                  The Rams are having no fun these days.

                  An error-filled 35-0 spanking at the hands of the San Francisco ***** dropped the Rams to 0-4 for the season and extended their franchise-record losing streak to 14 games.

                  Boller was given the opportunity to help stanch the bleeding, as he started in place of Marc Bulger. A bruised rotator cuff in his right shoulder relegated Bulger to emergency duty as the No. 3 quarterback.

                  New quarterback. Same result.

                  "It's very frustrating," said Boller, a seven-year pro making his first start since 2007 with Baltimore. "I felt like in the beginning, we were moving the ball a little bit, and then we'd have something that'd ... kill our drives."

                  The Rams mustered just 177 total yards, a low-water mark in this rapidly sinking season. The turndown came just a week after the offense produced season highs of 336 yards and 17 points against Green Bay. Boller took over when Bulger was injured late in the first quarter of that game.

                  Inopportune penalties stifled the Rams' progress vs. the *****. "Sometimes when we got some plays, there was either a flag or we did something to move it back," Boller said. "We could just never get in any rhythm."

                  Nine of the Rams' 13 possessions lasted three plays or fewer. A nine-play, 62-yard drive moved them to the San Francisco 33-yard line in the first quarter. But their chance to grab the lead fizzled when Josh Brown's 51-yard field goal attempt fell short.

                  The Rams would cross the 50 just twice more, poor field position plaguing them most of the day.

                  Boller completed 13 of 24 passes for 108 yards; his passer rating was a meager 48.6. He was intercepted once, and it stung: Linebacker Patrick Willis cut in front of wide receiver Keenan Burton and raced 23 yards for a touchdown that made it 21-0 with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the third quarter.

                  "I was trying to make a play, but ... I've been in this league long enough to know you never want to throw the ball across your body like that," Boller said. "I can't give them an easy score like that."

                  Boller also was charged with a lost fumble on a handoff that wideout Danny Amendola was unable to corral on a reverse play. Niners defensive tackle Ray McDonald grabbed the loose ball and scampered 11 yards...
                  -10-05-2009, 07:25 PM
                • Nick
                  Rams quarterback laments mistakes
                  by Nick
                  Rams quarterback laments mistakes
                  BY BILL COATS
                  ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                  Monday, Oct. 05 2009

                  SAN FRANCISCO — A former California high school player of the year who went
                  on to a record-breaking college career at nearby Cal-Berkeley, Rams quarterback
                  Kyle Boller was happy to be home again.

                  "It's always fun to be back in California and San Francisco," Boller said late
                  Sunday afternoon at Candlestick Park. "But I don't care where you are, losing
                  is no fun."

                  The Rams are having no fun these days.

                  An error-filled 35-0 spanking at the hands of the San Francisco ***** dropped
                  the Rams to 0-4 for the season and extended their franchise-record losing
                  streak to 14 games.

                  Boller was given the opportunity to help stanch the bleeding, as he started in
                  place of Marc Bulger. A bruised rotator cuff in his right shoulder relegated
                  Bulger to emergency duty as the No. 3 quarterback.

                  New quarterback. Same result.

                  "It's very frustrating," said Boller, a seven-year pro making his first start
                  since 2007 with Baltimore. "I felt like in the beginning, we were moving the
                  ball a little bit, and then we'd have something that'd ... kill our drives."

                  The Rams mustered just 177 total yards, a low-water mark in this rapidly
                  sinking season. The turndown came just a week after the offense produced season
                  highs of 336 yards and 17 points against Green Bay. Boller took over when
                  Bulger was injured late in the first quarter of that game.

                  Inopportune penalties stifled the Rams' progress vs. the *****. "Sometimes when
                  we got some plays, there was either a flag or we did something to move it
                  back," Boller said. "We could just never get in any rhythm."

                  Nine of the Rams' 13 possessions lasted three plays or fewer. A nine-play,
                  62-yard drive moved them to the San Francisco 33-yard line in the first
                  quarter. But their chance to grab the lead fizzled when Josh Brown's 51-yard
                  field goal attempt fell short.

                  The Rams would cross the 50 just twice more, poor field position plaguing them
                  most of the day.

                  Boller completed 13 of 24 passes for 108 yards; his passer rating was a meager
                  48.6. He was intercepted once, and it stung: Linebacker Patrick Willis cut in
                  front of wide receiver Keenan Burton and raced 23 yards for a touchdown that
                  made it 21-0 with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the third quarter.

                  "I was trying to make a play, but ... I've been in this league long enough to
                  know you never want to throw the ball across your body like that," Boller said.
                  "I can't give them an easy score like that."

                  ...
                  -10-05-2009, 08:38 AM
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