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Winless Rams having trouble with mistakes

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  • Winless Rams having trouble with mistakes

    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

    “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.

    Spagnuolo was comfortable with Bulger as the backup against the
    Vikings after watching him progress during the practice week. He
    said Boller got the start because he had taken snaps with the
    first string all week.

    “I love both of them,” wide receiver Keenan Burton said.
    “Whoever’s out there I’m definitely going to try to make plays.”

    Defensive tackle Gary Gibson will miss the rest of the season
    with a broken left ankle sustained when he got his leg caught
    under his body after he tumbled to the turf after a late block
    in the third quarter. Gibson, who’s due to undergo surgery
    Tuesday, is the second defensive tackle to land on injured
    reserve after Adam Carriker was hurt in the preseason.

    Spagnuolo was hopeful rookie offensive tackle Jason Smith
    (bruised left knee) and safety James Butler (sprained left knee)
    could return to the lineup this week. Smith was active on Sunday
    but did not play.

    Spagnuolo said defensive end Chris Long (chest) would undergo a
    CT scan but Long said he felt fine. Defensive back Justin King
    (knee bone bruise) is likely out.

  • #2
    Re: Winless Rams having trouble with mistakes

    You know, I do see positives with this team. They fix those turnovers against the Vikings, the Rams win.

    How would you like to be a fan of the Titans? A team that wasn't supposed to be bottom feeding right now but that's where they are.


    • #3
      Re: Winless Rams having trouble with mistakes

      I believe the team can turn it around to if it fixes those turnovers woes. The Titans has to be the most disappointing team, and there are some bad 0-5 teams and all 0-5 are not created equal.


      • #4
        Re: Winless Rams having trouble with mistakes

        I think the mistakes and miscues are the most frustrating part about this season, aside from the losing of course. In the last three games, the Rams went toe-to-toe with their opponents until the mistakes and turnovers turned each game around. Forget what some are saying about this team being one of the all time worst teams. That's BS. This team has guts, they're playing their butts off and it will get better.

        ...and this is the single biggest reason I think the Rams will turn it around, beginning this season. The mistakes and miscues are a result of a young team and players that are thinking too much, and pressing too much. ...and this is because the Rams have a new HC, a new OC, and a new offensive scheme and they're taking in too much and it shows. Sooner or later, things will begin to click and they'll get more confortable, which in turn will allow them to react and just play, and you'll see a different "comfort level" that will translate into wins.


        • #5
          Re: Winless Rams having trouble with mistakes

          I feel pretty confident that Bulger can actually lead this team right now. I'm hoping we can get a win this coming week vs the Jags.


          Related Topics


          • eldfan
            Bulger affirmed as Rams' top QB
            by eldfan
            By Jim Thomas

            There is no quarterback competition, much less a quarterback controversy in St. Louis.

            "Marc's the quarterback," Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said Monday.

            Kyle Boller had played most of the past three games after Bulger suffered a bruised rotator cuff in his right shoulder late in the first quarter against Green Bay on Sept. 27. Boller started against San Francisco and Minnesota but left the Vikings game early in the fourth quarter with what Spagnuolo termed a mild concussion.

            The Rams didn't plan to play Bulger against the Vikings, or he would've started. The idea was to give the shoulder one more Sunday off. Obviously it didn't work out that way, and now Spagnuolo thinks Bulger will be ready for this week's game in Jacksonville.

            "Again, I'm going to be careful because he took a hit in there, too (against Minnesota)," Spagnuolo said.

            Assuming Bulger is fit and looks good throwing the ball Wednesday when the team returns to practice, Spagnuolo said Bulger will start against the Jaguars.

            "I would think, yeah," Spagnuolo said. "But we have the luxury of having two guys that know how to manage the game; I think two guys that the offense has confidence in."

            Maybe so, but now there's uncertainty about Boller's health after he was dinged by Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards. Boller is scheduled for a neurological exam today and won't be cleared to play unless he passes it.

            Bulger and Boller have played roughly 10 quarters apiece this season, with the Rams scoring 14 points with Bulger in the game and 20 points with Boller playing. Boller's mobility was an asset, but his turnovers were a problem, with three interceptions and a lost fumble in his 10 quarters of play. Bulger has no interceptions and one lost fumble this season.

            Two of Boller's turnovers were returned directly for touchdowns, including the lost fumble against Minnesota on a play where the ball squirted out of his hand while Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams was bearing down on him.

            "When a ball slips out of your hand, and you miss a routine handoff, those are tough things to explain," Spagnuolo said.

            The "routine handoff" was a reference to a lost fumble on a first-and-goal play from the Minnesota 1 early in the second quarter on what was supposed to be a run by Steven Jackson. Jackson took the blame for the play, but it might have been caused by a botched exchange from Boller.

            As for the earlier Boller fumble, which was returned for a TD by Vikings defensive end Jared Allen in the first quarter, the play was supposed to be a screen pass. Right guard Richie Incognito was supposed to let Williams through to set up the screen but was supposed to get at least a piece...
            -10-13-2009, 11:38 AM
          • r8rh8rmike
            QB Decision May Be Needed
            by r8rh8rmike
            QB decision may be needed

            BY BILL COATS

            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, 05:20 PM
          • r8rh8rmike
            Backup QB Boller Aims To Eliminate Mistakes
            by r8rh8rmike
            Backup QB Boller aims to eliminate mistakes
            By R.B. FALLSTROM, AP Sports Writer
            4 hours, 43 minutes ago

            ST. LOUIS (AP)—If Kyle Boller is auditioning for a new deal with the St. Louis Rams, he has yet to impress.

            The backup quarterback is getting extended playing opportunity, perhaps the rest of the season, given that Marc Bulger(notes) is on crutches with a fractured left shin bone. But Boller realizes the game-changing mistakes that have marred his play must be weeded out.

            Boller threw two interceptions last week, including one on a tipped pass that was returned for the go-ahead touchdown in last weekend’s 27-17 loss to the Seahawks, and is responsible for seven turnovers in only 14 quarters. His other pick Sunday was in the end zone, negating a scoring opportunity.

            “I wish a ball would pop 10 feet in the air and hit the guy in stride for a touchdown,” Boller said Wednesday. “That’s the way it goes. You have to protect the ball but I’m still going to go out there and try to make plays.”

            Boller, who landed with a one-year free agent contract after sitting out 2008 with a shoulder injury in Baltimore, isn’t going to change. Despite the mounting mistakes, he said there’s no way he’ll go conservative this weekend at Chicago when he makes his second straight start.

            “I’m not going to play scared, that’s when you do turn the ball over,” he said. “I don’t foresee that being a problem.”

            The Rams (1-10) pretty much have to count on Boller improving, since rookie Keith Null is the only other quarterback on the roster. Coach Steve Spagnuolo doesn’t believe Null, a sixth-round pick, is ready and would just as soon he not play this season.

            “I’m sure if you ask Kyle, certainly the second one, he’d like to have a better throw,” Spagnuolo said of the interceptions by Seattle. “I know Kyle would like to have both of them back.”

            The coach has been able to say that a lot. Four of Boller’s turnovers have been returned for touchdowns, and two came in the red zone.

            Of course, it’s not all the quarterback’s fault. The Rams have been inexperienced at wide receiver all season and the offensive line was minus three starters much of the game against Seattle. Boller was constantly on the run and was sacked four times, so he’s had to work through more than the usual soreness.

            “Sometimes your best throws are when you get hit and you lay on the ground and hopefully they’re applauding when you play at home,” Boller said. “It was a little harder this week, definitely.”

            Center Jason Brown is expected to make his 56th consecutive start, although he grudgingly missed the first practice of his career on Wednesday with a sprained right knee.

            “It’s a humbling experience,” Brown said. “I did not want to miss this practice, not at all, but it’s all about doing the smart thing.”...
            -12-02-2009, 09:04 PM
          • eldfan
            Rams keep turning over the same old leaf
            by eldfan

            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.

            -10-12-2009, 12:53 PM
          • MauiRam
            Boller is showing the Rams his mettle ..
            by MauiRam
            By Jim Thomas

            Perhaps enticed by the sight of the end zone barely 40 feet away, quarterback Kyle Boller was a little late on his slide. Cincinnati linebacker Keith Rivers made him pay with a hit so jarring it knocked Boller's helmet off his head.

            Rams running back Samkon Gado was immediately on the scene, telling Boller to stay down and take a minute to recover his thoughts. Boller would have none of it.

            "Oh, he's a tough kid," right guard Richie Incognito said. "He popped right up. He got right back in the huddle and he kept going. It didn't even faze him. I would've taken a second to shake that bad boy off; he took it right on the chin."

            Boller later conceded things might have been a little bit fuzzy for a few seconds. But you wouldn't have known it by the way he acted in the huddle.

            "He said, 'We're going to take this ball in the end zone right now,'" center Jason Brown said. "And that's exactly what we did."

            It took three plays to score, but you get the point. Boller showed the kind of bravado the big grunts up front love to see from their quarterback.

            "Of course," Brown said. "Not only do we like to set the tempo, but when we see that the skill position guys have just as much enthusiasm as we do, that is very encouraging."

            Boller's 8-yard scramble advanced the ball to the Cincinnati 12. After reuniting his helmet with his head, Boller completed a short pass to Laurent Robinson, then handed off to Gado for a short gain. Next came pay dirt: Boller tossed a shovel pass to Gado, totally fooling the Bengals' defense, with Gado scoring untouched from 2 yards out.

            The Rams had a 14-7 lead with 4 minutes, 51 seconds left in the first quarter and never looked backed in what became a 24-21 triumph at Paul Brown Stadium.

            A few months from now, none of this may mean a thing. But that sequence, and Boller's play in general Thursday, showed his teammates that he can get it done.

            "I gained a lot of respect for him; a lot of respect for him," Gado said. "It was a pretty hard hit because I was right there. I saw it firsthand."

            The performance didn't go unnoticed by the Rams' coaching staff. Coach Steve Spagnuolo agreed with the suggestion that, if anything, the team now has more confidence in Boller's ability to lead the offense for a game or two — or more — should something happen to Marc Bulger in the regular season.

            "Yeah, I think he's kind of proven that," Spagnuolo said Friday. "I think the guys do rally around him. You know, he said it best. How did he say it? It's not his first rodeo. So he's been through it. That's important. I think that's a good thing to have."

            Boller has started 42 NFL games since...
            -08-29-2009, 02:32 AM