Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

About All The Rams Have Left Is Their Composure

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

  • About All The Rams Have Left Is Their Composure

    About all the Rams have left is their composure

    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    10/28/2009

    So far, anyway, the Rams have handled relentless adversity in a professional manner.

    They don’t have their star running back spewing insults via Twitter and barking homophobic taunts at media types, as the Chiefs have.

    They haven’t rendered their head coach a lame duck and forced him to surrender play-calling responsibilities, as the Redskins have.

    They haven’t had the head coach accused of assaulting one of his assistant coaches, as the Raiders have.

    They haven’t had the wife of a deposed general manager insulting current management on local radio shows, as the Titans have.

    All in all, the Rams have maintained their composure through their 0-7 start. But that doesn’t mean the players are happy about it -– or that they are immune to the immense frustration that builds while a team loses 17 games in a row and 34 out of 39 overall.

    “This has been a brutal stretch the last 2 ˝ years,” said defensive tackle Clifton Ryan, who has been along for every bit of this suffering. “We have to keep believing in ourselves, believing in the coaching staff and believing in the philosophy they are putting in place.”

    Of course, that is easier said than done. The Rams need a breakthrough performance to keep from moving closer to the disarray we’re seeing elsewhere.

    The Rams need to beat the 1-5 Lions. They just do.

    Yes, the Lions are better than the Rams right now. Yes, they are hosting the Rams on Sunday. They are favored to beat Steve Spagnuolo’s battered team –- and rightfully so.

    Former Rams coach Scott Linehan is probably staying up nights devising some newer and slightly less vanilla offensive plays to beat his old team. Detroit’s first-year offensive coordinator wants this game big-time.

    “This is not a game we can take lightly,” said Ryan, a Michigan native who has heard all the Lions jokes while visiting his family between seasons. “Everybody wants to downgrade the Lions . . . there are some talented players on the Lions. They competed with the Saints for two and a half, three quarters.”

    But some how, some way, the Rams have to win this game. They just do.

    Losing takes a heavy mental and psychological toll. So does the mounting casualty list, which got longer with the demise of cornerback Bradley Fletcher -– who could be sidelined well into next season with a massive knee injury.

    Fletcher was just starting to arrive as the physical cornerback the Rams need to play “press” coverage in this defense. Now he faces two surgeries and a long and difficult comeback to regain his full speed and mobility.

    This was a huge loss, just as the demise of top receiver Laurent Robinson punched a hole in the offense.

    Long-snapper Chris Massey suffered a season-ending knee injury Sunday. Potential fourth receiver Brooks Foster got wiped out during training camp. Defensive tackles Adam Carriker and Gary Gibson suffered season-ending injuries, too, as did special teamer Eric Bassey.

    Guard Richie Incognito could miss a few games with a foot injury. Cornerback Ron Bartell and receiver Donnie Avery have played through nagging injuries. Tackle Jason Smith and safety James Butler have missed time, too.

    One bad thing after another has happened to this team. Just as good teams tend to make their own breaks, bad teams find ways to fail.

    You saw the cumulative effect of all that Sunday, when the Rams lost their edge in the fourth quarter of that 42-6 loss to the Colts. After reviewing game video, Spagnuolo believed the collapse was confined to a short stretch of the final quarter.

    “It was probably three minutes of not quite the intensity that we had,” Spagnuolo told reporters at his Monday media briefing. “I don’t know why that is, but that has not been this team. For six games and three and a half quarters, that has not been this team. I’m banking on these guys to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

    That’s hard to do in the midst of a prolonged losing streak. So the Rams must ACTUALLY WIN A GAME to keep their spirits up.

    Almost beating the Redskins was a step. Forcing the Jaguars into overtime was another step. But near-victories aren’t the same as real ones.

    Week after week, month after month the Rams have worked to make things better. Now the team needs to see that progress reflected on the scoreboard at game’s end.

  • #2
    Re: About All The Rams Have Left Is Their Composure

    It's true: There is no substitute for victory. Eventually a team must see the fruits of its labor pay off or what's the point? They become in danger of giving in to human nature and caving, abandoning the principles and the system the coaches have been trying to instill. With a running 17 game losing streak, morale will only get worse.

    There are no more "almosts", there are no more "moral victories", and no more "nice efforts". We must win NOW.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: About All The Rams Have Left Is Their Composure

      Originally posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
      It's true: There is no substitute for victory. Eventually a team must see the fruits of its labor pay off or what's the point? They become in danger of giving in to human nature and caving, abandoning the principles and the system the coaches have been trying to instill. With a running 17 game losing streak, morale will only get worse.

      There are no more "almosts", there are no more "moral victories", and no more "nice efforts". We must win NOW.
      As individuals the players have to fight that giving up feeling. Spags has already made alot of player changes and will make a ton more. He has to unless this team starts winning all of a sudden. I for one wouldn't give the headcoach a reason to cut me loose. Lack of effort will be magnified in the coaches mind. The players have to keep believing in what Spags is selling.

      GO RAMS!
      sigpic :ram::helmet:

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: About All The Rams Have Left Is Their Composure

        Yea but we have the best bunch of boy scouts money can buy.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: About All The Rams Have Left Is Their Composure

          Originally posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
          It's true: There is no substitute for victory. Eventually a team must see the fruits of its labor pay off or what's the point? They become in danger of giving in to human nature and caving, abandoning the principles and the system the coaches have been trying to instill. With a running 17 game losing streak, morale will only get worse.

          There are no more "almosts", there are no more "moral victories", and no more "nice efforts". We must win NOW.
          I would agree my thoughts exactly.


          laram0 As individuals the players have to fight that giving up feeling. Spags has already made alot of player changes and will make a ton more. He has to unless this team starts winning all of a sudden. I for one wouldn't give the headcoach a reason to cut me loose. Lack of effort will be magnified in the coaches mind. The players have to keep believing in what Spags is selling.

          GO RAMS!

          He may have to make some more changes but if the players are running his systems and the losses keeps growing and most important we keep getting our hats handed to us, than that’s on hm in some ways. It will be hard to keep telling the player to stay on the ship and the ship is taking on water and going down by the head.
          Last edited by eldfan; -10-29-2009, 08:36 PM.
          :ramlogo:

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: About All The Rams Have Left Is Their Composure

            I must commend the rams (ESPECIALLY STEVEN JACKSON) for hanging tough. They aren't flipping out, they aren't losing their composure and Spags is trying his hardest to find a right fit for our team. Though I was thoroughly pissed and alomst refused to watch the rams play after they traded one of my favorite defensive players (witherspoon), I'm still hanging in there just like my boys are.

            But, a "good game," "maybe next time," "you gave it your best," and "we'll see what we can do next game" just ain't gonna do it


            W

            W


            W

            W

            W

            W

            W

            we need a win bad....really bad

            Comment

            Related Topics

            Collapse

            • eldfan
              Gordon: Can Rams fight through their frustration?
              by eldfan
              / Sports / Columns / Jeff Gordon


              Gordon: Can Rams fight through their frustration?



              Rams defensive end C.J. Ah You swooped in on Derek Anderson and delivered another crushing blow on the Cardinals quarterback. He jarred the football loose.

              It bounced away from the Arizona line of scrimmage.

              Defensive tackle Clifton Ryan scooped up the ball on the Arizona 23-yard line and took off for the end zone. At 325 pounds, he is built for power, not speed. So this journey was going to take some time.

              Speedy Cardinals receiver Steve Breaston gave pursuit. Had Ryan felt Breaston closing in, he would have covered up the football with two hands.

              But he is a defensive tackle, not a running back or tight end. He lacks the instincts of an experienced ball carrier.

              As Ryan chugged inside the Arizona 5, Breaston arrived to chop the ball away from him. It bounced into the end zone.

              Naturally the Cardinals, not the Rams, recovered the ball during the ensuing melee. Arizona undid that turnover and escaped with a touchback.

              This unhappy turn of events looms large over the Rams today. It symbolizes their years-long futility.

              If the Rams score there, they beat Arizona easily. Their 20-10 lead would have held up nicely against the Gridbirds, who desperately miss retired quarterback Kurt Warner.

              Today we would be celebrating the dawn of a new Rams era, Fans would be hailing rookie quarterback Sam Bradford.

              But the Rams didn’t score there, so they lost – falling for the 43rd time in 49 games.

              Once a losing aura envelops a NFL operation, it’s there for the long haul. Erasing it usually takes years of persistent work.

              The sense of doom becomes oppressive. It becomes a force of nature, continually pulling a team down like gravity.

              Ask the Detroit Lions about this phenomenon. They, too, cannot catch a break. They haven’t created their turning point despite trying very, very hard.

              They appeared to beat the Bears with a spectacular last-second touchdown pass to receiver Calvin Johnson, only to see it negated by an idiotic rule interpretation.

              The Lions also lost quarterback Matthew Stafford to a shoulder injury in that loss at Chicago. Such is the life of an NFL loser. Something always goes wrong.

              The Rams’ downward spiral began during the second half of Scott Linehan’s first year as coach. It continues into the second year of the Steve Spagnuolo Era.

              This team keeps finding ways to fail. Ryan’s fumble wasn’t the only costly mishap in the game. Rookie Michael Hoomanawanui whiffed on his block on the field goal unit, costing his team an almost-certain three points early on.

              Later, cornerback Ron Bartell dropped an easy interception, one he would have returned into...
              -09-13-2010, 10:37 AM
            • r8rh8rmike
              How Did The Rams Get This Bad?
              by r8rh8rmike
              How did the Rams get this bad?

              Columnist Jeff Gordon
              By Jeff Gordon
              STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
              11/30/2009

              The Rams are 1-10 and racing toward 1-15, with little hope of actually winning another football game.

              If this team couldn’t beat the reeling Seahawks at home, then you can't expect it to beat anybody left on its schedule.

              The thoroughness of their futility is stunning. How did the Rams get THIS bad?

              Four predominant factors are to blame:

              1. To speed up the rebuilding process, the Rams football operation unloaded much of the remaining big-money veteran talent.

              From the end of last season into the middle of this season, the Rams cashiered tackle Orlando Pace, receiver Torry Holt, receiver Dane Looker, linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa, defensive tackle La’Roi Glover, linebacker Chris Draft, cornerback Tye Hill, safety Corey Chavous, linebacker Will Witherspoon and others.

              True, many of those guys played their way off the team. But that is a LOT of veteran talent to lose in such a short period of time.

              2. Once again, the Rams suffered an inordinate number of costly injuries.

              The offensive line was coming together nicely this season, but tackle Jason Smith, guard Richie Incognito and center Jason Brown all went down. Once again, the Rams are forced to use a patchwork approach up front.

              Rookie cornerback Fletcher Bradley was emerging as a solid “press” coverage player, but he suffered a catastrophic knee injury. Quarterback Marc Bulger, receiver Keenan Burton, receiver Laurent Robinson, defensive tackle Adam Carriker, receiver Brooks Foster, defensive end C.J. Ah You . . . the list of casualties goes on and on, with new victims appearing on the injured list every week.

              3. The Rams lacked the depth to withstand all these losses.

              For a variety of reasons, this franchise failed to build and maintain a critical mass of talent in recent years. As the Greatest Show on Turf aged, the Rams failed to develop viable replacements.

              The Rams became stunningly deficient in almost every area. They didn’t have worthy prospects ready to replace all the departing veterans. And when injuries hit, general manager Billy Devaney was forced to fetch fill-ins off practice squads and off the street.

              As a result, this season has turned into an extended training camp with youngsters and fringe veterans coming and going at a dizzying rate.

              4. The Rams embarked on this massive rebuilding project with inexperienced leadership.

              From the top of the organization on down, the key leaders are learning on the job. Devaney, president Kevin Demoff, head coach Steve Spagnulo, offensive coordinator Pat Shumur and defensive coordinator Ken Flajole all possess more responsibility than they have ever had before.
              ...
              -12-02-2009, 12:45 AM
            • NJ Ramsfan1
              7 teams in worse shape than the Rams
              by NJ Ramsfan1
              While I am not convinced we've "turned the corner" (it will take several more performances like the past two weeks to convince me as such...) I am VERY hopeful we could be headed in the right direction- and whenever I'm feeling down or angry, I try to remember it could be even worse: we could be one of these teams:

              WORSE THAN THE RAMS:

              1. Oakland- They top the list. The Raiders are an unqualified disaster- from top to bottom. They have an owner once revered for his football acumen who is now regarded as a clueless meddler. They've run through coaches like people go thru socks. They've drafted poorly. They have a QB in whom they've invested a lot of time and money who completely stinks. Their coach is a guy many feel shouldn't have been handed the job and is now under scrutiny for his treatment of women and for decking an assistant coach. And it's been this way since their Super Bowl appearance vs. Tampa Bay. It won't get better anytime soon.

              2. Detroit- They've shown no capacity to make us believe they're making any real progress after a winless season. You could even make the argument that they're WORSE this year despite the 1 win; last year they had several near wins and were close. This year, Stafford has taken a beating and there's still a dearth of talent. Many hard times still lie ahead.

              3. Cleveland- Horrendous. Hard to believe they were the trendy pick only a year ago to make the playoffs. They read their own press clippings, underachieved, and succeeded in getting their team broken up. Derek Anderson showed he's a fluke, but what's worse is this musical QB act by Eric Mangini, who is Bill Belichick minus the winning. Morale is at an all-time low, their offense is dreadful and if you have any doubts as to how bad this team is, hopefully you watched last night's snoozefest vs. Baltimore.

              4. Kansas City- Boy, Matt Cassel certainly was the tonic this team needed, wasn't he? Fans are disenchanted following Tony Gonzalez' departure, the follies involving their idiot running back, Larry Johnson (since cut) and the lack of any real good football being played on either side of the ball. Todd Haley is yet another coordinator who benefitted from tremendous weapons that made him look good (Warner, Fitzgerald, Boldin, Breaston, etc.), became a "hot commodity" and has subsequently done nothing to show the Chiefs will be good anytime soon. And for good measure, they just suspended a reciever for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

              5. Tampa Bay- Despite two decent weeks in succession, I don't see Tampa as a team in good shape. Raheem Morris (God, I'm glad he didn't get the Rams job as a few on the forum hoped) hardly looks the part of a guy who's a leader of men. Stingy ownership, a revolving door at QB, and the loss of quality players like Warrick Dunn, Mike Alstott, John Lynch and Derrick Brooks make this a major rebuilding job.
              ...
              -11-17-2009, 06:49 PM
            • eldfan
              Are the Rams really making progress?
              by eldfan
              Are the Rams really making progress?

              Columnist Jeff Gordon

              STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
              11/04/2009

              Steve Spagnuolo stood on the Rams practice field on a sunny Tuesday afternoon, two days removed from his first NFL head coaching victory.

              He allowed himself to reflect -– for just a brief moment -– on the first half of this 1-7 season and see progress.

              “There were some struggles, there were some good things, but we have built something,” Spagnuolo told reporters. “We talked this morning on the foundation we wanted to build. There is some trust, there is mutual respect, there is unity in the team. I think more than anything, we take that away.

              “It was a rough road, let’s face it, we had seven losses. But to see what the guys did -– I’m not talking about on the field -– what they did as people and what they did together, that probably sticks in my head more than anything.”

              Fans can’t see this sort of progress. Neither can prospective buyers of the franchise, analyzing the situation from afar.

              The players can feel it and insist that it is real. They can point to their collective effort and their unity.

              They can cite the team spirit that spilled out after the team FINALLY won a game, outlasting the Lions on Sunday in Detroit.

              The Rams note that they don’t feature the locker room drama seen in other struggling teams, like the cross-state Chiefs. Their star player, Steven Jackson, has matured into the ultimate team player when the franchise needed him the most.

              But those of us on the outside can only accept this premise of progress on faith, if at all.

              Is this team really making progress? Are Spagnuolo, his assistant coaches, general manager Billy Devaney and the rest of the football operatives really setting the foundation for future success?

              Are these the right men to lead the attempted turnaround? Are they really up to this enormous task?

              This is the great mystery as the Rams scatter to enjoy their bye weekend. We can’t answer these questions until much later, after the football operation fills in the new framework with more playmakers and sturdier depth.

              This team has lost a lot of talent since the end of last season, including Torry Holt, Orlando Pace, Pisa Tinoisamoa and Will Witherspoon -– leaders who went on to play big roles on other teams.

              This team has run off a bunch of mid- and low-level players, too, like Drew Bennett, Trent Green, Corey Chavous, La’Roi Glover, Tye Hill, Chris Draft, Quinton Culberson, Nick Leckey, Claude Wroten, Todd Johnson, Antonio Pittman, Joe Klopfenstein, Dominique Byrd, Brian Leonard, Derek Stanley, Dane Looker, Anthony Becht, Jason Craft, Fakhir Brown . . . the roll call goes on and on.

              This team has taken some serious injuries hits, losing potential building...
              -11-04-2009, 08:59 PM
            • r8rh8rmike
              It Ain't Pretty, But There Are Reasons To Keep Watching Rams
              by r8rh8rmike
              It ain't pretty, but there are reasons to keep watching Rams
              By Jeff Gordon
              STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
              10/14/2009



              The Rams have been outscored 146-34 this season. They have lost 32 of 37 games and 15 in a row.

              These are mind-blowing numbers. We are witnessing sustained failure of historic proportions.

              It is difficult to be THIS BAD in a league dedicated to maintaining parity, but the Rams have become exceptional losers. Week after week, they discover new ways to succumb.

              Believe it or not, though, the football operation appears to be adding potential building blocks, one by one.

              Second-round draft pick James Laurinaitis appears to be a worthy foundation on which to rebuild the defense. He is piling up tackles week after week and his pass coverage is improving, as he proved Sunday by picking off Vikings quarterback Brett Favre.

              Just five weeks into his NFL career, Laurinaitis is emerging as a leader too.

              “As long as the guys keep the heart that they have, we’re going to be all right,” he told reporters after the Rams lost to the Vikings 38-10 Sunday. “When we’re out there on the goal line stand, you have a lot of guys out there with a lot of heart, who just truly love playing this game and really want to get things corrected and win.”

              General manager Billy Devaney and Steve Spagnuolo keep milling the practice squad and the bottom half of the roster, auditioning new players on a weekly basis.

              Wide receiver/kick returner Danny Amendola appears to be a nice addition. He has produced one home-run return (which, of course, was negated by penalty) and nearly popped several other big gains.

              More impressively, he has emerged as a viable third receiver within a few weeks of his in-season arrival. His quick feet add some life to a generally moribund unit.

              If the pint-sized Amendola can improve his ball security and avoid getting squashed, he will earn a place in this group moving forward.

              The same can be said for tight end Daniel Fells. Sunday’s red zone fumble was a shame, since it overshadowed his emergence as a viable offensive option.

              Fells and Kyle Boller developed a love connection. It will be interesting to see if Marc Bulger bonds with him Sunday at Jacksonville.

              The Rams accumulated some interesting depth on the defensive line, with 25-year-old LaJuan Ramsey making a mark at defensive tackle.

              While it is a shame that journeyman run-stuffer Gary Gibson suffered a season-ending injury, the team was overloaded at that position. Perhaps rookie Darell Scott can step in the breach and build on his solid preseason showing.

              Rookie cornerback Bradley Fletcher has gotten burned here and there, but he is showing some potential to play the “press” coverage favored by this coaching staff....
              -10-14-2009, 01:47 PM
            Working...
            X