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  • Spagnuolo vs. Talent

    Turf Show Times
    By Ram-rod Blog


    I had some rattling in my brain and I thought it would be worth discussing. Steve Spagnuolo has his philosophy, which is great. He has his schemes and he's brought in people he thinks share his philosophy about coaching. I'm assuming that statement is correct, so I have a question.

    How much has Steve Spagnuolo helped our defensive line? They are unarguably playing horrible. Whether you watch the games or see that stats on paper, you have to agree. Now, it's quite obvious the Rams don't have the talent that the Giants did in 2007 on the defensive line. But then again, they weren't exactly stars in their own right. Look at Justin Tuck. He played with the Giants for the previous two years, and in that time (through 20 games) notched 41 tackles and one sack. The year Spagnuolo came? 65 tackles and 10 sacks. The next year? 66 tackles and 12 sacks. He hasn't had the same production since Spagnuolo left. Look at Michael Strahan. He was definitely a star, but the previous three years before Spags' came to town (33 games) he notched 18.5 sacks and 153 tackles. Most of those numbers came from his great season in 2005. It would be safe to say that he was on the decline (the season before those three, he had just as many sacks. In one season.) It's safe to say Spagnuolo had influenced them, is it not? Is it safe to say Spagnuolo immediately influenced those players?

    Now, I'm not one to compare (O.K., yes I am), but the Rams players just CAN'T be that bad. There are even similarities. The Rams have Leonard Little (Michael Strahan comparison, obviously.) Who is our Justin Tuck? Chris Long? Spagnuolo was here for this draft- he had a say in who got picked. Obviously, you can't expect all of the rookies to make an impact like Animal Jr. has made on defense. But Chris Long? Clifton Ryan? Wasn't Spagnuolo supposed to whip them into run stuffing, sack masters? Chris Long was obviously thought well enough to be picked with the second pick in the draft- if we didn't, some else would have. He obviously has/had the talent to play at an NFL level, or so people thought.

    Spagnuolo seems to be a good coach and is entirely capable of taking this team in the right direction. But did everyone overestimate his prowess with the defensive line? Are the Rams defensive lineman simply that bad?
    :ramlogo:

  • #2
    Re: Spagnuolo vs. Talent

    Originally posted by eldfan View Post
    I have a question:

    How much has Steve Spagnuolo helped our defensive line? They are unarguably playing horrible.

    Spagnuolo seems to be a good coach and is entirely capable of taking this team in the right direction. But did everyone overestimate his prowess with the defensive line? Are the Rams defensive lineman simply that bad?
    I believe both Chris Long and Clifton Ryan were selected under Linny's reign; to be sure, Billy D. was working for the Rams at the time, but with no where near the authority he wields now. After all, John Shaw is good buddies with Howie Long, so it is still unclear as to how badly Devaney wanted Long.

    You bring up interesting points about the progress certain Giant players achieved under Spag's tutelage, versus the apparent lack of progress the current group of Rams' defensive linemen have demonstrated this season. What is hard to determine though is whether or not the Rams' players are on the same level talent wise as the Giant's guys. I tend to think the Giants' players may have a significant edge, but that's just my opinion.

    As pertains to your question, I believe we need the 2010 free agency and draft to ascertain Spag's effectiveness in molding our D-line according to his particular scheme. We simply don't have an abundance of D-line talent available at this point. There hasn't been a great deal of continuity either with the exception of Ryan and Long. Little and Hall are no longer in their prime, and the rest of the group so far are just "guys." I'm in favor of reserving judgement on Spags and Billy until midway through the 2010 season.

    I believe Spags, Shurmur, Flajole, Devaney and even Demoff are learning on the job, and will all be much improved in their particular individual capacities next year. At this point I'm hoping we grab one of the two top defensive linemen come April .. We'll see .. If we end up with Suh or "The Real McCoy", it will be interesting to see how quickly Spags can develop said player.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Spagnuolo vs. Talent

      It is a combination of a lot of things but I will say this about our talent level.

      I think we have seen so much bad over the years that we tend to over elevate the good.

      We have a lot of good, a couple of really good and one great player. In the NFL these numbers just don't add up to winning.

      For instance I really like Atogwe and Bartell but they have not achieved superstar status. This off season, however, we as fans elevated them to superstars with our fear of losing them. Their value was determined less about what they can produce and more about how bad the rest of the team was and is.

      Now multiply this by 10 with a lot of our other players. Hope, praying and a new coach can only take players so far.

      Heck we are so desperate for talent we have people wanting to see a 3rd string rookie qb from a d2 put into the mix. I think this says a lot about our talent level.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Spagnuolo vs. Talent

        If I'm not mistaken, Spags is the coach. Not the defensive coordinator. He has a whole slew of new responsibilities. He can't just sit there 24hours a day and whip the D line into shape.

        While he is partly responsible, it isn't exactly the same situation as it was in New York.
        The Rams... Where dreams go to die.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Spagnuolo vs. Talent

          Spags makes a pretty big difference. Just look at what happened to the Giants defense this season after he left. They have pretty much the same players but they don't resemble the great defenses from the previous 2 years when Spags was in charge. Spags can't magically make turn every player into a sack machine. You need good players to win and the Rams simply don't have good players.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Spagnuolo vs. Talent

            Originally posted by jmk321 View Post
            Spags makes a pretty big difference. Just look at what happened to the Giants defense this season after he left. They have pretty much the same players but they don't resemble the great defenses from the previous 2 years when Spags was in charge. Spags can't magically make turn every player into a sack machine. You need good players to win and the Rams simply don't have good players.
            AMEN! In fact, the Giants even upgraded their defense by bringing in big names. No Spags = no dominating D for the Giants.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Spagnuolo vs. Talent

              spags can't make great players out of nothing..i know a lot of people like ryan, but this guy is not a very talented football player. the starter and backup that would be playing next to him are both out for the year, and we still don't really have a RE. the line was no doubt playing above expectations for a stretch but injuries and opposing teams' gameplan has shown what little we have to work with there and it's kind of caught up with us for the last couple of weeks. i would imagine 2 or 3 new guys will be on the team starting for us next year.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Spagnuolo vs. Talent

                Originally posted by Rambunctious View Post
                It is a combination of a lot of things but I will say this about our talent level.

                I think we have seen so much bad over the years that we tend to over elevate the good.

                We have a lot of good, a couple of really good and one great player. In the NFL these numbers just don't add up to winning.

                For instance I really like Atogwe and Bartell but they have not achieved superstar status. This off season, however, we as fans elevated them to superstars with our fear of losing them. Their value was determined less about what they can produce and more about how bad the rest of the team was and is.

                Now multiply this by 10 with a lot of our other players. Hope, praying and a new coach can only take players so far.

                Heck we are so desperate for talent we have people wanting to see a 3rd string rookie qb from a d2 put into the mix. I think this says a lot about our talent level.

                This is an excellent and well-thought out post. This is exactly what I and, no doubt, the majority of Rams fans have been doing. Kudos to you, Rambunctious for pointing this out.

                I think I need to rep you for this one.

                WHAT SAY YE?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Spagnuolo vs. Talent

                  Personally, I think the only good players we have are JL, SJax and OJ.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Spagnuolo vs. Talent

                    Plain and simple: WE NEED MORE HELP.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Spagnuolo vs. Talent

                      Ryan & Long are good players...tho Long definately needs to be moved from RDE to LDE where he can help stop the run more...but just like the O-line ,they need to play as a cohesive unit..for years weve had one or two good O-linemen but we still had a poor line overall..the D-line is the same..
                      you just cant get by with just 2 good players on it..especially in a 4-3..
                      also even on teams with good D-lines the RB can get past them from time to time..but on other teams they have outside LB`s who can stop a RB for 4 yard gains instead of 20plus..
                      our D-line needs improvement for sure with more good players added to it..but we need to have more than one linebacker who can make tackles also.
                      every position in football needs other positions to help them out to be succesful.

                      i got plenty of faith in Spags and Billy D to correct all the problems we have..they just need time...and in the final 3rd of a season is not the time to expect major improvements..it`ll come in the off-season.

                      Comment

                      Related Topics

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                      • r8rh8rmike
                        It's Early, But Spags Has Shown Potential
                        by r8rh8rmike
                        It's early, but Spags has shown potential

                        Sports Columnist Bernie Miklasz
                        ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                        09/06/2009

                        Having learned a few embarrassing lessons along the way, I'm hesitant to hype rookie NFL head coaches. I don't get worked up over what happens in training camp. So I'll hold off on trying to nominate new Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

                        Let's see him in a real game. Let's see what happens when the injuries cut into an already thin roster, or when the squad is shaken by the inevitable losing streak. Let's see how the young coach responds if players question him or ignite a controversy. Let's see if he grows rabbit ears or develops overly sensitive skin when there's a feeding frenzy among frustrated fans or media.

                        So what do we make of the Rams and Spagnuolo a week before the regular-season opener in Seattle?

                        To state the obvious: The roster still has gaping holes, and only time and better judgment will fill them. Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney didn't create this roster; they inherited much of it. And they are turning it over as fast as they can.

                        Quality, intelligent leadership eventually will take the Rams higher. So what about Spagnuolo as a leader?

                        I haven't seen any signs of panic. Spagnuolo's stability is an attribute considering that three NFL head coaches (Kansas City, Tampa Bay and Buffalo) freaked out last week and fired their offensive coordinators.

                        Spagnuolo is demanding but sincere and that earns respect. He's run a peaceful, orderly and businesslike camp. That may not have people rushing to the ticket windows, but this is a welcome change for an organization that was undermined by constant dysfunction. And compared to some other rookie coaches around the NFL who are yapping a lot or trying to project some tough-guy persona, Spagnuolo seems comfortable with who he is. He doesn't seem to feel a need to put on a show, or to draw attention to himself. I don't see Spagnuolo firing ego bullets in some misplaced display of authority.

                        Here's the most important thing: Spagnuolo has gotten the players to embrace his approach. So far — and I repeat, more severe challenges are coming — Spagnuolo is receiving the necessary commitment from his players. That was a constant (and failed) struggle for Scott Linehan, the previous rookie head coach brought in by the old regime at Rams Park.

                        Spagnuolo is connecting.

                        "I think we've got a bunch of hungry guys," Spagnuolo said. "I think it's good to be hungry. It's a hungry football team that wants to be a team. We've talked a lot about it and I think the guys have embraced it. At least their actions and the attitudes and what comes out verbally says that to me. So if we can rally around that, that would be good."

                        That's why Spagnuolo thanked the squad...
                        -09-06-2009, 10:47 AM
                      • RamWraith
                        Spagnuolo's system
                        by RamWraith
                        By Jim Thomas
                        ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                        Thursday, Mar. 26 2009

                        DANA POINT, CALIF. — Steve Spagnuolo's expertise, obviously, is defense.
                        According to longtime team official John Shaw, Spagnuolo is the Rams' first
                        defensive-oriented head coach since Ray Malavasi 30 years ago. So there's a
                        level of expectation that Spagnuolo, as a "defensive whiz" with the New York
                        Giants, will at least be able to straighten out that side of the ball.

                        "Don't fall for that," Spagnuolo joked Wednesday at the NFC coaches breakfast.
                        "We had good players in Philadelphia and New York, and we'll have some good
                        players here in St. Louis. You believe in a system, and believe in what you've
                        done defensively.

                        "You have good people installing it, good players executing it — we hope to do
                        that. But we're not going to make any bold predictions, or look into a crystal
                        ball here."

                        As he looked at Rams game film from last season, Spagnuolo didn't cover his
                        eyes and wonder: "What have I gotten myself into?"

                        Believe it or not, Spagnuolo was pleasantly surprised with some of what he saw.

                        "When you watch like the last four, five games of the season I never saw a team
                        — especially defensively — that quit," Spagnuolo said. "I thought those guys
                        were playing right till the end. That's a tremendous credit to what they were
                        doing here a year ago. And I think we can build on that."

                        So even from the ashes of that 2-14 disaster, there's a starting point.

                        Apparently, Spagnuolo's ego isn't so large that the defense is going to be his
                        way or else. Make no mistake, he will have plenty of input on that side of the
                        ball. But it looks like defensive coordinator Ken Flajole will do the
                        play-calling on game day.

                        "Oh, yeah," Spagnuolo said. "I've got a lot of confidence in the defensive
                        coaches and the staff."

                        At the NFL owners' meetings here, and even before this gathering, Spagnuolo has
                        picked the brains of several head coaches who have defensive backgrounds:
                        Carolina's John Fox, Cincinnati's Marvin Lewis and Atlanta's Mike Smith to name
                        a few.

                        "All of us feel that as the head coach, you've got to concern yourself more
                        with managing the game," Spagnuolo said. "It's kind of hard to call defenses on
                        game day and still be able to worry about the clock. It's a little easier to do
                        when you're an offensive coordinator because you have the ball, so you kind of
                        control the game a little bit."

                        Even though the draft is fast approaching, Spagnuolo has been to very few pro
                        days to watch prospects work out at their college campuses. Instead, he has...
                        -03-26-2009, 05:18 AM
                      • Bar-bq
                        Rome wasn't built in three years
                        by Bar-bq
                        I've been reading a lot of posts lately trash talking Steve Spagnuolo and what the fans perceive as his inadequacies as the head football coach of this team. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about - posts to the tune of:



                        or



                        I think it's a really interesting reaction to the Rams 2011 season not being the Playoff cake walk many of us thought it would be. And as many fans call for Spagnuolo's head at or before the end of the season, I think that an important question is being overlooked:

                        Are the Rams actually any better since Spagnuolo came aboard?

                        If you measure 'better' by strict wins and losses, as it is fair to do, then the answer is a resounding 'no'. Steve Spagnuolo has a higher losing percentage than his predecessor, Scott Linehan, who may well be the most hated Rams head coach of all time. If you look at it this way, it's easy to point the finger at Spagnuolo as the losingest coach in recent memory, and, under these guidelines, I can see why a firing would be justified.

                        However (and don't pretend you didn't know there wasn't a great big 'However' coming ... ), there is a second way to look at this picture.

                        Consider, for a second, the state of the Rams roster at the conclusion of the Linehan/Haslett debacle. With the (eight) exceptions of Steven Jackson, James Hall, Chris Long, Adam Goldberg, Jacob Bell, Ron Bartell, Donnie Jones and Josh Brown, I can't think of a single other player still on the Rams roster of 52 from the conclusion of the 2009 season.

                        Speaking mathematically, since the end of the SLOP era, Spagnuolo has had to fill 44/52 roster spots with new guys, including 16/23 starting positions. That's 85% of a football team, and 70% of a starting twenty three.

                        Sure, there were guys who stuck on for a little while - Marc Bulger and Leonard Little on their last legs, Victor Adeyanju and Laurent Robinson trying to find theirs - but the majority of this team has been overhauled since Spagnuolo arrived. Which begs the subsequent question:

                        If Spagnuolo is fired, will he leave the roster be in a better state than it was when he was hired?

                        Resoundingly, this answer is 'yes'. I don't know how you can tell me that a roster that boasts Bradford, Lloyd, Jackson, Saffold, Dahl, Bell, Long, Quinn, Lauriniatis, Mikell, Bartell, Fletcher, Murphy and Stewart - in addition to Jones and Brown - is in a worse shape than the aging, ragged wreckage Linehan sped away from.

                        Of course, there are still holes - some of the players team Spags have brought in have not been able to do the job (I hope you are enjoying dropping balls back in Jacksonville, Mr. Sims Walker ...), and some started out hot but got got (c)old quickly (has anybody seen Fred Robbins' walking stick?), but undoubtedly, the roster is in a better shape than it was three years ago.

                        ...
                        -11-29-2011, 06:24 AM
                      • BM_Face
                        Spagnuolo hopes Rams leaders will step up
                        by BM_Face
                        Posted by Mike Florio on October 4, 2011, 8:17 PM EDT


                        The Rams finished the 2010 season winning one of four games. They’ve started the 2011 season winning none of four games. And after their Week Five bye, the Rams face the Packers, Cowboys, and Saints.

                        Hello, 0-7.

                        But coach Steve Spagnuolo believes he has the right men on the team to turn things around. “Absolutely,” Spagnuolo said Monday in comments distributed by the team. “I know we’ve been hurt with injuries. But I’m sure, you guys probably know better, is there a team in the league that hasn’t had some kind of injury? We’ve had some key ones, but we’re not going to use that as an excuse.

                        “Somebody’s got to step up and play and just like what you were talking about, you get your core veterans leading and get your so-called elite players making plays and make sure we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot. We talked a lot this morning about missed opportunities in all three phases. I put them up on the film. There wasn’t really anything that our opponent did. It was we didn’t exercise certain skills, basic skills.”

                        Spagnuolo will keep his efforts to improve the team’s performance internal. “I don’t do it in the media, I do it in the meeting room,” Spagnuolo said. “Just like if my wife and I had a fight and I was upset at her I wouldn’t come out and tell the rest of the world. I just think that’s how you do it. I respect these guys. Now, they know that I demand a certain level of effort and excellence. And I think every player understands that, but that’s just the way I choose to do it.”

                        Though he’s using the right approach, the bottom line is that the Rams are getting the wrong result. They lost only by seven to the Redskins on Sunday, but the Rams trailed 17-0 before waking up.

                        In all, the Rams have been outscored by 67 points, 113-46. Meanwhile, the ***** are 3-1, and the Rams won’t get their first crack at closing the gap directly against San Francisco until December.

                        By then, it could be too late.







                        I highlighted the sentence that I think matters here. Sooooo many people are complaining that Spags is a big teddy bear that believes all problems are solved with hugs and ataboys. Just let him coach.
                        -10-05-2011, 08:06 AM
                      • MauiRam
                        SpagnoloTaking Rams by the horns .. Boston Globe.
                        by MauiRam
                        Spagnuolo primed for first head coaching job
                        By Mike Reiss
                        June 28, 2009
                        To some New Englanders, Steve Spagnuolo is known as the mastermind behind the defensive plan that derailed the Patriots’ hopes for a perfect season in Super Bowl XLII. But for long-timers in the region, he is much more than that. To them, Spagnuolo is the local guy who hit it big, doing it the right way. He’s the coach who grew up in Whitinsville, attended public high school in Grafton, attended Springfield College, earned his master’s degree in sports management from UMass-Amherst, then diligently worked his way up the coaching ranks - in college and the pros, in the United States and Europe - before landing one of the most coveted jobs in football: NFL head coach.

                        Spagnuolo was hired to lead the St. Louis Rams in January, and true to the three-decade process he followed to land his first head coaching gig, he arrived with a plan.

                        On the lookout for hungry players, he first watched the last 4-5 games of the 2008 season, when the Rams were already eliminated from playoff contention.

                        “Even though they had struggled to a 2-14 season,’’ said Spagnuolo, “I saw a team that continued to play hard in all of those games, and that’s a credit to the staff that was here before and also a reflection of the players that are here. I feel like if you at least have that, and can do some of the right things in building around that, then you have a chance.’’

                        Spagnuolo, 49, has already proven that unexpected things can happen when the right ingredients come together, for few had given the Giants a chance in that Super Bowl.

                        But thanks to a magnificent defensive effort that pounded Tom Brady, and coaching wrinkles such as using ferocious end Justin Tuck in a two-point stance next to the nose tackle, the rush-minded Giants pulled off the shocker. It’s a performance most often associated with Spagnuolo’s name - he was in his first season as defensive coordinator - and one that put him on the fast track to becoming a head coach.

                        To Spagnuolo’s credit, however, he has deflected the praise.

                        In an era when coaches often receive more acclaim - and blame - than they deserve, Spagnuolo has maintained the victory was “about the players.’’

                        “We had a bunch of guys on that day that decided they weren’t going to be denied,’’ he said. “I was just blessed to be a part of it.’’

                        Now the challenge is finding a similar formula in St. Louis.

                        “We’d like to have a bunch of guys that are physical and aggressive and that play with a lot of character,’’ he said. “I believe you can do that. I believe you can be a class group of football players and still go out and be nasty on the field and play physical and play tough.’’

                        Key questions facing the Rams: Can quarterback Marc Bulger rebound? Can a reconstructed offensive line...
                        -06-28-2009, 01:32 PM
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