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  • Rams Report Card @ Detroit

    by Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    QUARTERBACK: Although he wasn’t sacked and rarely pressured, the numbers put up by an erratic Marc Bulger weren’t impressive: 17 of 35, 176 yards, no TDs, an interception and a passer rating of 51.6. The pick came in the red zone, with the Rams in position to move in front by 17 points. Bulger came up a yard short on a slide that should’ve resulted in a first down. Bulger earned points by wisely calling a timeout before the fake field goal for a TD. Plus, he was in charge for the decisive four-play, 62-yard drive that won it. Still, this was hardly one of Bulger’s better days. GRADE: D

    RUNNING BACKS: In a word, Steven Jackson was fabulous. He ran with heart and intensity all afternoon in rolling up a season-high 149 yards. His 25-yard TD burst was the game-winner, but he had several other key carries. He also caught three passes for 17 yards. The Rams moved 6.6 yards every time Jackson touched the ball. Simply put, Jackson willed the Rams to victory. GRADE: A

    RECEIVERS: WR Keenan Burton had five catches for 54 yards. He was particularly effective early. Billy Bajema’s first two receptions of the year picked up 43 yards, and fellow TE Daniel Fells raced 36 yards to the end zone with a catch off a fake field goal. TE Randy McMichael had a drop, and he probably should’ve held on to another ball near the goal line. WRs Donnie Avery and Danny Amendola were quiet, with just one reception each. GRADE: C-

    OFFENSIVE LINE: Arguably the best outing of the year for this group, even with RG Richie Incognito (foot) on the sideline (Adam Goldberg started in his place). It kept Bulger clean and provided some room for Jackson, especially in the second half. Alex Barron was solid at LT, rookie Jason Smith was stout at RT, and Mark Setterstrom filled in nicely at LG after Jacob Bell left with a probable concussion late in the third quarter. GRADE: A-

    DEFENSIVE LINE: Another impressive showing by DE Leonard Little, who recorded a sack, another tackle for loss and three quarterback hits. DE Chris Long notched his first sack of the year, as the Rams got after rookie QB Matthew Stafford pretty effectively. In the run game, the Lions’ primary backs averaged just 3.3 yards per carry. GRADE: B

    LINEBACKERS: Rookie MLB James Laurinaitis was credited with a team-high seven tackles in the unofficial press-box stats. WLB Paris Lenon had six stops despite problems with his back. SLB David Vobora didn’t do much in his return from a four-week suspension. GRADE: C

    SECONDARY: The absence of dangerous WR Calvin Johnson (knee) was a boost for the Rams, whose coverage was impressive: Lions WRs were targeted 14 times and caught just two balls. CB Quincy Butler was solid in his first career start in a “base” defense. S James Butler intercepted a pass in the end zone, came out a yard or two, then inexplicably retreated back and was dropped for a safety. He also dropped another sure pickand cost his unit at least half a letter grade. GRADE: B-

    SPECIAL TEAMS: A fake field goal couldn’t have worked any better than the one the Rams pulled off, K Josh Brown throwing to Fells for a 36-yard TD. Brown hit from 41 yards on his only FG try. P Donnie Jones didn’t have great stats — 44.6 average, 37.6 net. But he dropped three of his five punts inside the 20, including a crucial 39-yarder that pinned the Lions at their 6-yard line with 4 minutes left. The Rams coverage was good, their returns just so-so. GRADE: B+

    COACHING: Kudos to special-teams coach Tom McMahon for detecting the flaw in Detroit’s kick defense that prompted the fake field goal and TD. Also, to HC Steve Spagnuolo for allowing the attempt to take place. DC Ken Flajole did a nice job of dialing up different looks that featured different personnel. For the most part, OC Pat Shurmur wisely kept the ball in Jackson’s hands. Not enough shots downfield in the passing game. GRADE: B
    :ramlogo:

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  • r8rh8rmike
    Rams Report Card: D+ For Coaching; D For Secondary
    by r8rh8rmike
    Rams Report Card: D+ for coaching; D for secondary

    By BILL COATS
    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Here are the St. Louis Rams' grades after Sunday's 23-20 overtime loss to the *****:

    QUARTERBACK: Sam Bradford had a few errant tosses. But overall, there's little to quibble about. He completed 71 percent of his passes, didn't throw an interception for the fourth game in a row, and compiled a solid passer rating of 94.4. He also was solid on the late drive that sent the game into OT. GRADE: A-

    RUNNING BACKS: Still playing with a broken finger, Steven Jackson piled up 148 yards -- 81 rushing on 20 attempts, 67 receiving on eight catches. GRADE: B+

    RECEIVERS: Though he had eight catches for 72 yards, WR Brandon Gibson inexplicably twice failed to surge upfield after making catches near the first-down marker. Danny Amendola was his usual solid self, with seven catches for 51 yards and a TD. TE Daniel Fells couldn't come up with the grab at about the 7-yard line in the final seconds of the fourth quarter. He might've scored and regained the lead for the Rams. GRADE: C+

    OFFENSIVE LINE: Bradford was sacked three times, but generally was pretty well protected. The run blocking was lacking early, but got better later. Renardo Foster filled in nicely at LT after Rodger Saffold left with an ankle injury. GRADE: C+

    DEFENSIVE LINE: Three of the Rams' five sacks were by d-linemen -- Chris Long, C.J. Ah You and James Hall. The Rams got good pressure on QB Troy Smith, but he often was able to wriggle out of trouble. The ***** mustered only 98 yards on the ground. GRADE: B

    LINEBACKERS: MLB James Laurinaitis had a sack. SLB Na'il Diggs had a couple of good moments, and a couple of not-so-good ones. WLB Chris Chamberlain didn't do much is his first career start. GRADE: C

    SECONDARY: Although it wasn't totally the d-backs' fault, Troy Smith torched the Rams for 356 passing yards, easily the highest total against them all season. CB Kevin Dockery was beaten badly two times in the first quarter, for 32 and then 65 yards. The Rams also committed two costly pass-interference penalties that added 60 yards. S Craig Dahl was credited with 13 tackles in the unofficial press-box stats. GRADE: D

    SPECIAL TEAMS: Donnie Jones was outstanding; the ***** didn't return any of his nine punts. The ***** averaged just 14 yards on three kickoff returns. The Rams' returns were just so-so. Josh Brown hit on both FG tries, but also booted a kickoff out of bounds. Bryan Kehl blocked a field goal. GRADE: B+

    COACHING: OC Pat Shurmur opened the game with four-wideout sets on three of the first four snaps. He stayed creative early, but again turned conservative as the Rams tried to hold a lead. DC Ken Flajole oddly chose to go with four-man rushes on a number of crucial pass situations. HC coach Steve Spagnuolo could be challenged...
    -11-15-2010, 07:29 PM
  • Nick
    Report card: Defensive line earns an A, coaches an A-
    by Nick
    Report card: Defensive line earns an A, coaches an A-
    By BILL COATS | Posted: Sunday, October 3, 2010 5:22 pm

    St. Louis Rams 20, Seattle Seahawks 3

    QUARTERBACK: Sam Bradford threw a bad interception in the end zone, and a few of his tosses, especially early in the game, were off target. But that's quibbling in what overall was a solid effort by the rookie. His 15-yard TD pass to WR Brandon Gibson was a laser shot, but Bradford also showed a nice touch on the large number of screen passes that were called. GRADE: B

    RUNNING BACKS: Steven Jackson gets extra credit for a gritty performance. Playing with a sore groin, Jackson gutted out 124 yards from scrimmage -- 70 rushing, 54 receiving. Kenneth Darby scored a 21-yard TD with a nice run after a screen pass. GRADE: B+

    RECEIVERS: Another strong outing by WR Mark Clayton (5 catches, 72 yards). WR Danny Amendola also had 5 receptions, including a stunning one-handed catch. WR Brandon Gibson was effective, with 3 catches for 50 yards. TE Daniel Fells averaged 11.7 yards on 3 catches. GRADE: B

    OFFENSIVE LINE: The pass protection was spotty. Bradford was sacked four times and scrambled out of trouble on a few other occasions. The run blocking improved as the game went on. GRADE: C+

    DEFENSIVE LINE: A stellar performance, featuring a number of big plays. Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck was harassed all afternoon, and mostly by a four-man rush. He was sacked four times. The Rams were stout against the run, especially in the second half, when RB Justin Forsett mustered just 16 yards on eight carries. GRADE: A

    LINEBACKERS: David Vobora had a sack. Na'il Diggs was the most active he's been all year. Laurinaitis was solid, it not spectacular, in the middle. Nice job on dangerous TE John Carlson, who had just one catch. GRADE: B+

    SECONDARY: CB Bradley Fletcher had an interception for the second consecutive game. Ron Bartell was strong in coverage again. With Oshiomogho Atogwe getting limited time, Craig Dahl and James Butler did a nice job at safety. GRADE: B

    SPECIAL TEAMS: The Rams thwarted a fake field goal, Kevin Dockery hauling down the ballcarrier. Donnie Jones dropped four of seven punts inside the 20. K Josh Brown hit on both FG attempts. Rams coverage against Seattle's dangerous return units was good. GRADE: B+

    COACHING: Odd call by coach Steve Spagnuolo, eschewing an easy FG late in the game. Still, he obviously prepared his team well, despite injuries to his captains, Jackson and Atogwe, and several others throughout the week. Nice game-planning by OC Pat Shurmur, who hurt Seattle with several screen passes, and used a couple of four-wideout sets. DC Ken Flajole kept the Seahawks guessing, with different looks up front and well-timed blitzes. GRADE: A-
    -10-03-2010, 06:03 PM
  • RamWraith
    St. Louis Rams report card vs. San Francisco *****
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch


    Here’s one blogger’s grades for the Rams after Sunday’s 17-16 loss to the ***** at the Edward Jones Dome:

    QUARTERBACK: An interception snuffed a promising final drive with the Rams about 10 yards short of Josh Brown’s field-goal range. Previous to that, Marc Bulger had been OK. He made a nice throw for a 30-yard TD to rookie WR Keenan Burton. A couple of his passes were incomplete because of poor route-running. Bulger gets points off for again failing to rally the offense when most needed. GRADE: D+

    RUNNING BACK: Despite a balky hamstring, Steven Jackson pounded out 108 yards on a season-high 32 carries. Jackson often had little room to operate but was a force between the tackles. Backup Kenneth Darby got 10 touches — five carries for 15 yards and five receptions for 57 yards. GRADE: B+

    RECEIVERS: Isaac Bruce was the best receiver on the field, with seven catches and a TD . . . oh, that’s right. He’s not a Ram anymore. Among the current Rams, rookie Donnie Avery has his best day in a while, with several acrobatic grabs. Torry Holt was effective, getting 55 yards on four catches. Rookie Keenan Burton scored his first NFL touchdown. GRADE: C+

    OFFENSIVE LINE: Rookie John Greco filled in nicely at LG after Jacob Bell left with a bad hamstring. RG Richie Incognito had another holding penalty, and RT Alex Barron added to his false-start collection. Pass-blocking was pretty good; run-blocking was mediocre. GRADE: C

    DEFENSIVE LINE: Niners backs averaged less than 3 yards per carry. DE Leonard Little had a sack. Pressure on QB Shaun Hill was generally OK, but he didn’t face much in the two late TD drives. GRADE: C+

    LINEBACKERS: Pisa Tinoisamoa had a big afternoon, getting a team-high nine tackles (press-box stats), including two sacks. He also had three quarterback hurries. Chris Draft was solid against the run; Will Witherspoon was OK in coverage. Quinton Culberson disappeared again. GRADE: C+

    SECONDARY: FS Oshiomogho Atogwe (interception, fumble recovery) and CB Ron Bartell (two interceptions) produced all four Rams turnovers. CB Fakhir Brown was beaten for the game-winning TD. Overall, coverage was decent. SS Todd Johnson again was effective, especially vs. the run. GRADE: B+

    SPECIAL TEAMS: P Donnie Jones rallied after a slow start. K Josh Brown hit both field goal tries. Returns were pretty good, as was coverage. GRADE: B

    COACHING: Another late collapse damages Jim Haslett’s chances of returning. Still, the Rams played hard despite their woes. Dubious play-calling at crucial times by OC Al Saunders, a recurring theme. Again using a lot of three-man front, the defense was active. Not as aggressive as last week. GRADE: C-
    -12-22-2008, 05:39 AM
  • MauiRam
    Report Card: D-line earns an A, coaches an A minus ..
    by MauiRam
    By BILL COATS | Posted: Monday, October 4, 2010 3:45 pm

    Post-Dispatch football writer Bill Coats grades the St. Louis Rams after their 20-3 win over the Seattle Seahawks:


    QUARTERBACK: Sam Bradford threw a bad interception in the end zone, and a few of his tosses, especially early in the game, were off target. But that's quibbling in what overall was a solid effort by the rookie. His 15-yard TD pass to WR Brandon Gibson was a laser shot, but Bradford also showed a nice touch on the large number of screen passes that were called. GRADE: B

    RUNNING BACKS: Steven Jackson gets extra credit for a gritty performance. Playing with a sore groin, Jackson gutted out 124 yards from scrimmage -- 70 rushing, 54 receiving. Kenneth Darby scored a 21-yard TD with a nice run after a screen pass. GRADE: B+

    RECEIVERS: Another strong outing by WR Mark Clayton (5 catches, 72 yards). WR Danny Amendola also had 5 receptions, including a stunning one-handed catch. WR Brandon Gibson was effective, with 3 catches for 50 yards. TE Daniel Fells averaged 11.7 yards on 3 catches. GRADE: B

    OFFENSIVE LINE: The pass protection was spotty. Bradford was sacked four times and scrambled out of trouble on a few other occasions. The run blocking improved as the game went on. GRADE: C+

    DEFENSIVE LINE: A stellar performance, featuring a number of big plays. Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck was harassed all afternoon, and mostly by a four-man rush. He was sacked four times. The Rams were stout against the run, especially in the second half, when RB Justin Forsett mustered just 16 yards on eight carries. GRADE: A

    LINEBACKERS: David Vobora had a sack. Na'il Diggs was the most active he's been all year. Laurinaitis was solid, it not spectacular, in the middle. Nice job on dangerous TE John Carlson, who had just one catch. GRADE: B+

    SECONDARY: CB Bradley Fletcher had an interception for the second consecutive game. Ron Bartell was strong in coverage again. With Oshiomogho Atogwe getting limited time, Craig Dahl and James Butler did a nice job at safety. GRADE: B

    SPECIAL TEAMS: The Rams thwarted a fake field goal, Kevin Dockery hauling down the ballcarrier. Donnie Jones dropped four of seven punts inside the 20. K Josh Brown hit on both FG attempts. Rams coverage against Seattle's dangerous return units was good. GRADE: B+

    COACHING: Odd call by coach Steve Spagnuolo, eschewing an easy FG late in the game. Still, he obviously prepared his team well, despite injuries to his captains, Jackson and Atogwe, and several others throughout the week. Nice game-planning by OC Pat Shurmur, who hurt Seattle with several screen passes, and used a couple of four-wideout sets. D
    -10-04-2010, 08:01 PM
  • eldfan
    Rams Report Card vs. Cardinals
    by eldfan
    Rams Report Card vs. Cardinals
    By Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    !
    Here’s one blogger’s grades for the Rams after Sunday’s 21-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals:

    QUARTERBACK: Marc Bulger’s statistics — 19 of 37 for 215 yards, 0 TDs, one interception, 57.8 passer rating — suffered considerable damage because his mostly young and mostly new crop of wide receivers weren’t always where they were supposed to be at the end of routes. Still, a couple of Bulger’s passes were off the mark, and he threw a bad interception late in the first half. But this wasn’t his worst day. GRADE: C

    RUNNING BACK: Another determined performance by Steven Jackson, who rushed for 116 yards on 24 carries and became the first ballcarrier in franchise history to top 1,000 in five consecutive seasons. Jackson was targed only twice as a receiver, and he got 0 yards on those catches. GRADE: A-

    RECEIVERS: The young WRs are maturing. Donnie Avery, Brandon Gibson and Danny Amendola combined for 13 catches and 187 yards. Amendola and Avery both made tough grabs in traffic. Gibson occasionally wasn’t in sync with Bulger, not surprising considering his short time with the team. The TEs contributed just three receptions for 23 yards. GRADE: B-

    OFFENSIVE LINE: The unit didn’t have its best outing, although it wasn’t bad, either, against a very good run defense. Bulger was sacked three times and Jackson had to bore out his yardage without much help at times. The absence of RT Jason Smith with a head injury in the second half could’ve been an unsettling factor. Adam Goldberg was whistled for an inopportune personal foul in the late going. GRADE: C+

    DEFENSIVE LINE: DE Chris Long got his third sack in as many games and the Rams put some pressure on the Cards QBs. But the Rams were woeful vs. the run. Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells rolled up a cumulative 184 yards on the ground, including a whopping 126 in the first half, when the Big Red piled up a 21-3 lead. GRADE: D

    LINEBACKERS: Rookie MLB James Laurinaitis was everywhere, getting a game-high 16 tackles (unofficial press-box stats). SLB David Vobora had some good moments, including a forced fumble that the Rams recovered. Paris Lenon did little at WLB. GRADE: B

    SECONDARY: Cardinals QBs completed 19 passes to non-backs, with Pro Bowl WRs Anquan Boldin (8 catches, 103 yards, one TD) and Larry Fitzgerald (8 catches, 87 yards, one TD) doing most of the damage. Rams coverage was spotty: at times, it was pretty good, and at other times, the Arizona receivers were strikingly wide open. GRADE: C-

    SPECIAL TEAMS: Donnie Jones was outstanding, averaging 51.3 yards (46.5 net) on four punts. Josh Brown hit on both his field goal tries, from 40 and 20 yards. Danny Amendola was scintillating on a 40-yard kickoff return to open the second half and averaged an impressive 30.3 on three tries. Rams coverage was...
    -11-23-2009, 05:58 AM
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