Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Are the Rams really making progress?

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

  • Are the Rams really making progress?

    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 blocks like Laurent Robinson, Bradley Fletcher, Brooks Foster and Adam Carriker to significant injuries.

    Along the way, the team has added some useful young players who could help, guys like Brandon Gibson, Danny Amendola, Craig Dahl, LaJuan Ramsey and Daniel Fells.

    The result of the wholesale change is a younger, less talented but (presumably) hungrier group that could grow together. The trick will be facilitating that growth during the remaining eight games, adding only fringe players (like new cornerback Danny Gorrer) on the fly.

    “We’ve got enough talent here,” Spagnuolo said. “We’ve got guys that want to work at it, we’ve got guys that can make plays. We’ve just got to keep plugging away. We are going to play some good football teams here and hopefully we will be playing some good football, too.”

    Reinforcements will arrive during the offseason, with the addition of veteran free agents, another wave of draft picks, the return of injured players and the arrival of new faces through every other means possible.

    Between now and then, the Rams must keep making progress. They must find new ways to win games, rather than invent new ways to lose.

    For the first eight games, they learned from their mistakes. For the last eight games, they need to learn more from success.

    Their mood is good today. But the mood must be even better on Jan. 3 to keep this regime moving forward.
    :ramlogo:

  • #2
    Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

    Is it me or does everyone look to spin the complete and utter disarray of the organization called the Rams. This team is horrible and going nowhere fast. St Louis post dispatch, please start calling it like it is. If it smells like it, tastes like it then guess what, no surprise, it is it! worst team in football two years running showing no promise.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

      you keep the ball on the ground and i'm convinced we can rally around sjax and we will play good football
      LA RAMMER

      It's Jim not Chris
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HNgqQVHI_8

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

        Originally posted by macrammer View Post
        Is it me or does everyone look to spin the complete and utter disarray of the organization called the Rams. This team is horrible and going nowhere fast. St Louis post dispatch, please start calling it like it is. If it smells like it, tastes like it then guess what, no surprise, it is it! worst team in football two years running showing no promise.
        You seem to have got the Rams confused with the Cleveland Browns
        @EssexRam_

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

          I think this team has made progress, the offensive line has made progress, Bulger has more time than he had at the beginning of the year and they are opening holes better for Jax to run through. The defense is playing better although it doesn't always show on the scoreboard. The biggest thing I see is the attitude, you don't see guys giving up like last year and that's encouraging. Let's face it, the win against the Lions was good for this teams morale but in the big picture the Lions aren't a very a good team and if not for the efforts of Jackson who knows how that game could have ended up. Spags has these guys playing with the correct mentality, now it's Devaney's job to get him more talent.
          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

            Originally posted by macrammer View Post
            Is it me or does everyone look to spin the complete and utter disarray of the organization called the Rams. This team is horrible and going nowhere fast. St Louis post dispatch, please start calling it like it is. If it smells like it, tastes like it then guess what, no surprise, it is it! worst team in football two years running showing no promise.
            We are better then the.
            Browns
            raiders
            chiefs
            lions
            redskins
            buccaneers
            And those are just my opinion, if you want what the "experts" on nfl.com think that would be.
            Chiefs
            Lions
            Browns
            Bucs

            So your worst team argument is invalid.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

              Originally posted by macrammer View Post
              Is it me or does everyone look to spin the complete and utter disarray of the organization called the Rams. This team is horrible and going nowhere fast. St Louis post dispatch, please start calling it like it is. If it smells like it, tastes like it then guess what, no surprise, it is it! worst team in football two years running showing no promise.
              It's you pal ..

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

                This team is horrible at the moment, one of the least talented in the league.
                Devaney and Spags would never admit it, but this season and next season were sacrificed for the future of the organisation. Hence, getting rid of the older, higher paid, arguably better players for these cheaper, younger, Id call stop gap types until the right players are brought in for their system.
                The new Rams brass are trying to build something that will last, like what N.England, Indy and Pitt, Baltimore have built.
                To anwser the question about progress being made, Ill be honest, I dont know. But for the first time since Vermiel, I feel the organisation has a blueprint, with leaders brave enough to not waver from their plan.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

                  Originally posted by GROUND DOG 39 View Post
                  To anwser the question about progress being made, Ill be honest, I dont know. But for the first time since Vermiel, I feel the organisation has a blueprint, with leaders brave enough to not waver from their plan.
                  The nitty gritty here IMO, is whether or not Billy and Spags will prove to be good enough talent evaluators to acquire some really good players with which to replenish our depleted roster. Next year's draft and the free agency period will go a long way in answering that question.

                  The team is playing hard for Spags, and the locker room appears to be in harmony for the first time in a long time.

                  When a drain gets clogged up, one can try various remedies (plunging, Drano, etc), but if there's really something stuck in there, someone must roll up their sleeves, get out the roto rooter, and muck the whole thing out. It appears that this is what Billy and Spags are doing, and it's been long overdue ..
                  Last edited by MauiRam; -11-05-2009, 01:06 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

                    Spot on fellas. One thing I'm noticing is that unlike Miami and Atlanta who have had sort of quick-silver turn around stories without the noticeable expulsion that we've seen, the Rams are really getting down to the nitty gritty.
                    It gives me hope that maybe we'll see some home grown talent similar to what Pittsburgh does.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

                      My sentiments exactly, talent evaluating is similar to a game of poker. Somewhere along the line we'll need a bit of luck, or a lot I should say. This is the part that worries me?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

                        Oh, i stand corrected. i was looking at the point differential between points scored and allowed as well as the 3 and 21 record past 1.5 seasons.

                        I thought 144 was simply horrendous and no other organization is even close to that. I believe we are on a record pace for that dubious distinction.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

                          Originally posted by macrammer View Post
                          Oh, i stand corrected. i was looking at the point differential between points scored and allowed as well as the 3 and 21 record past 1.5 seasons.

                          I thought 144 was simply horrendous and no other organization is even close to that. I believe we are on a record pace for that dubious distinction.
                          144 PA is horrendous, However does that necessarily mean that we are the worst team? No, if we were the worst team we would be 0-16 by the end of the season. Last time i checked that is impossible.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

                            They are STARTING OVER !! It needed to be done, period. I believe the right people are in place to turn this thing around. It took 10 years to wreck it, it will take more than a few years to FIX IT !!! Is it painful football to watch, absolutely. We are just starting to collect the pieces. Hold on for the painful ride or let go !!!

                            Maineram -

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Are the Rams really making progress?

                              Originally posted by maineram View Post
                              They are STARTING OVER !! It needed to be done, period. I believe the right people are in place to turn this thing around. It took 10 years to wreck it, it will take more than a few years to FIX IT !!! Is it painful football to watch, absolutely. We are just starting to collect the pieces. Hold on for the painful ride or let go !!!

                              Maineram -
                              Well put!!! This is going to take awhile to fix, so enjoy the games as best you can. I love to watch the Rams on Sun but if they lose it in no way affects the rest of my week. It's considered to be entertainment and I look at it as such, I think a few people on here might want to go have a beer or seek some female companionship so they can chill out and get a new perspective on life.
                              sigpic

                              Comment

                              Related Topics

                              Collapse

                              • 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.
                                ...
                                -12-01-2009, 11:45 PM
                              • Bralidore(RAMMODE)
                                Rams Learn Lessons for Future
                                by Bralidore(RAMMODE)
                                "For 16 weeks this year, Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo has had a laser-like focus on one thing and one thing only: the next game.
                                That tunnel vision trickled down from Spagnuolo to the rest of the team and any discussion of something beyond the next contest was immediately dismissed upon mention.
                                When Spagnuolo woke up Monday morning, though, he was left with the sobering realization that there won’t be another game to plan for until the start of the 2010 season, months and months away.
                                “I wish we were getting ready to play another game,” Spagnuolo said. “I just want to play another game. When you lose, you crave and you hunger for the next opportunity to win. I talked about this a lot during the year. There’s nothing like being in a locker room of an NFL team after winning just because of everything that goes into it during the week and what the guys do together, just the craving for that feeling. Unfortunately, we will have to wait however many months that is to get that feeling again.”
                                So it is that Spagnuolo and the rest of the Rams have already turned the page on the 2009 season and begun their preparations for the next step. Those steps include preparing for the start of the free agent period, scouting and evaluating college prospects and then making the first selection in the 2010 NFL Draft.
                                But before any of that can happen, the Rams will review what happened in 2009 and glean as many lessons as possible from what happened to improve their performance on the field in 2010.
                                To each man in the Rams’ locker room, those lessons were different but the overlying theme remains the same.
                                “Through all of the adversity we went through, unless I am missing something, the team, there wasn’t anybody jumping ship, pointing fingers, going off the deep end and that is a credit to them,” Spagnuolo said. “To me, that is the biggest thing.”
                                Indeed, through the difficulties that inherently come with a 1-15 season, it would have been easy for any player or coach to go off the reservation and explode be it in the media, on the field or anywhere else.
                                Beyond that, though, even when the chips were down and the Rams were long-since removed from contention for the postseason, the team continued to fight and battle as though it were in the thick of the race for the playoffs.
                                While simply having a good attitude and remaining competitive when it’s tough won’t win you any games it is certainly a big part of the fabric of successful teams.
                                “I learned something about the guys on this team,” defensive end Chris Long said. “We don’t have any quitters. You see it every week on television. You watch teams and things aren’t going well and people quit sometimes. I don’t feel like we quit. We have to get the football ironed out. That’s execution and stuff like that but I don’t fault anybody for their heart or their...
                                -01-04-2010, 07:44 PM
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Veterans Need Not Apply At Rams Park
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Veterans need not apply at Rams Park

                                Columnist Jeff Gordon
                                09/23/2009


                                The Derek Stanley Project was well into its third year at Rams Park, offering great promise but generally thin results.

                                That ended abruptly Tuesday. First-year coach Steve Spagnuolo’s patience with the Division III speedster officially expired.

                                The 0-2 Rams have gotten nothing from their return game. Their depth at wide receiver is underwhelming, too.

                                So Stanley got clipped and former Texas Tech star Danny Amendola came aboard, arriving from the Eagles practice squad. During his days with the Red Raiders, he earned All-Big 12 honors as a return specialist and had a 103-catch season.

                                Starting Sunday, Amendola, 23, will get an opportunity to earn the kickoff and punt return job here.

                                Such is life in a rebuilding program. The Rams have lost 29 of their last 34 games, so change will remain constant and thorough until the losing stops and the winning begins.

                                Stanley did nothing with his opportunity to return kicks. Samkon Gado and Kenneth Darby weren’t great on kickoff returns. Poor offensive field position has been just one more problem keeping the Rams down this season.

                                Fans see these shortcomings and clamor for veteran additions. For instance, one persistent participant in the STLtoday.com chats practically begged the Rams to trade for Bills receiver/return specialist Roscoe Parrish.

                                Others have campaigned for Marvin Harrison. (So far, anyway, your cyber-correspondent hasn’t heard from anybody backing yesteryear NFL quarterback Jeff George. But that could come.)

                                Hiring stopgap veterans does not fit the M.O. that Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney are using to mill the lower half of the Rams roster. They are looking for young, hungry and talented players capable of adding new life and the ability to grow with the organization.

                                Defensive tackle LaJuan Ramsey is a classic candidate. The newcomer didn’t play a whole lot at Washington, but blew up a couple of Redskins plays and got himself noticed on the game video.

                                He recorded a tackle and an assist. In his previous 19 NFL games, he had 10 tackles and two assists. The Rams are offering Ramsey a chance to play his way off the fringe.

                                If he keeps progressing, he will keep playing. If not . . .

                                Meanwhile, young veteran Victor Adeyanju has been inactive for the first two games. He is battling to get back into the defensive line rotation -– and, realistically, to keep his spot on this team.

                                Adeyanju has been a hard worker since coming to the Rams, but now he has to become a difference-maker -– or he will join the alumni club.

                                Like we said, change is constant. Everybody currently employed at Rams Park must be dedicated to turning this football team around. Everybody...
                                -09-23-2009, 02:55 PM
                              • RamWraith
                                Rams players look for Spagnuolo to change the losing culture
                                by RamWraith
                                Columnist Jeff Gordon

                                STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
                                02/03/2009

                                Piece by piece, the new Rams regime is taking form.

                                New coach Steve Spagnuolo is busy hiring and deploying his new staff. All but a few openings have been filled at this point and most of the failed ’08 staff is long gone.

                                Mike Williams, the new pro personnel director, is analyzing the still-developing free-agent marketplace.

                                Kevin Demoff, the new money guy, is taking over the business side. As manager of the salary cap, he must assess the current payroll and seek ways to create more cap room for general manager Billy Devaney.

                                The wheels are turning. The New Regime is preparing for the 2009 NFL Draft, which ought to yield several impact players for this team.

                                But the most important change must come from within the core group of veterans returning from last year’s 2-14 fiasco. That was a hot discussion topic among the Rams down in Tampa last week for the Super Bowl extravaganza.

                                There are more good players on the Rams than fans realize. Seriously, there are. Spagnuolo’s challenge is to prove that point.

                                “We had a good team,” linebacker Chris Draft said.

                                Excuse me?

                                “We had the makings of a good team,” Draft said, correcting himself. “It’s just that we needed a little bit more. You can see that when we played against Seattle, against San Francisco, against Atlanta.

                                “We do have it. It’s there. But we are going to need a little bit more.”

                                The Rams will get more talent, via the draft and free agency. That will help. The real key, though, is getting more from the cornerstone players still under contract.

                                There are still a lot of veterans making lots of money, former Pro Bowlers like Marc Bulger. And there are many younger players (Tye Hill, Alex Barron, Adam Carriker, et al) struggling to meet expectations.

                                “That’s why we have a new coach,” Draft said. “That’s why we have a new staff, to add a little bit more and put us on the right direction.”

                                Spagnuolo appears to be a fiery guy, unlike the mild-mannered Scott Linehan. (Interim coach Jim Haslett tried to rile up the guys, but apparently his message wasn’t fresh enough to inspire maximum effort.)

                                As a position coach in Philadelphia, Spagnuolo learned how to assemble an aggressive defense. As coordinator of the Giants defense, he put those lessons to work.

                                Rams veterans welcomed his hiring in St. Louis.

                                “I’m definitely excited,” Draft said. “Not just what he’s done with the defense in New York, but he is going to come with a swagger. His guys have been playing well, have been playing with passion, playing with physical presence these last few years. That’s what we need. We need to have a swagger to us.

                                “There were some games, those last three...
                                -02-03-2009, 10:17 AM
                              • Nick
                                Burwell: Dose of reality for Rams
                                by Nick
                                Burwell: Dose of reality for Rams
                                BY BRYAN BURWELL, Post-Dispatch Sports Columnist | Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 12:30 am

                                Because they have gone from zero to respectable faster than we expected, the Rams now find themselves in a rather enviable but slightly unfair circumstance.

                                Fans of every stripe, from the unreasonable meatheads to the savvy cognoscenti, have decided to readjust their expectations. In September when considering the potential evolution of this franchise, who wouldn't have been satisfied if the young Rams had just shown us that they were simply capable of walking upright again?

                                But now that they have shown us a glimpse of their true potential — a tantalizing little accelerated peek at what could be for a franchise that had been in the dumps for far too long — it's easy to forget what we're actually looking at.

                                The 4-5 Rams are exactly what their record says they are. So it hurts to see this young team stumble on the winless road (0-4) the way it continues to do. But it helps because we're reminded why the road seems to be so difficult for them. (Simple answer: because they're still not quite good enough to take that next step on their evolutionary trek.)

                                But it hurts to see these oh-so-close defeats because of the way they keep getting oh, so close. Yet it's time to understand exactly what these games mean. It doesn't mean the Rams stink or their coaches are idiots or that everyone should be fired as some Internet deep thinkers would suggest. Just because they flirt with moving up to that next tier does not mean they are ready to move up a notch or that it is a complete failure.

                                Perspective, people, perspective.

                                Stumbling like this is part of the frustrating but ultimately fruitful process of growing. It's not a guarantee that the Rams will take these hard lessons from the road and turn them into a fine championship blend by next season. But history does show us that while worst-to-first rapid ascents do happen in the NFL, the most common road to the Super Bowl is a slower journey paved by harsh lessons along the way.

                                So as Sunday's latest maddening road show in San Francisco showed us, at 4-5, the Rams have improved so much from a year ago that we can see how much better things have gotten. This is the season of The Big Breakthrough.

                                But the down side to The Big Breakthrough is that it also exposes the even bigger tease. Good enough to show you where they're going but flawed enough to remind you where they've just come from.

                                On Monday afternoon at Rams Park, Steve Spagnuolo showed up at his normal day-after-game press briefing to rehash the frustrating aftermath of a 23-20 overtime loss in San Francisco. And if you listened to him talk, you could tell that he has not lost sight or perspective, even if too many people around this team have. "I'll hit you real quick...
                                -11-16-2010, 07:42 AM
                              Working...
                              X