Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Rams Keep Effort Up

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
    No photos found.

Related Topics

Collapse

  • eldfan
    Spagnuolo's wish: 2 more wins
    by eldfan
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    12/22/2009

    It's the season for Christmas cards and holiday greetings, but Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo is getting more than that in his mailbag these days.

    "I get some great letters and some great comments" from fans, Spagnuolo said. "It makes me feel good. I'm human. And I hope they still feel that way. If they can just remain faithful, that will be appreciated."

    Of course, not all of the cards and letters are complimentary, and Spagnuolo gets more than a few suggestions as well.

    "I like the ones that I get with the designed plays on them," Spagnuolo said, laughing. "Oh, I get a lot of designed plays … (on) small little index cards. We've had a few in there — all the good ones we've run."

    Anything for a victory, right? With just two games to play in his rookie season as an NFL head coach, it's no secret what's on Spagnuolo's wish list.

    "Two wins," he said. "Two wins. And it's two NFC West opponents, which I think is important going forward — how you play against the people in your division."

    If the Rams are going to improve, there's no better place to start than their own division. Since the conclusion of the 2004 season — the Rams' last playoff campaign — they are 4-24 against the NFC West, which breaks down to 0-10 against Seattle and 2-7 against both Arizona and San Francisco.

    The Rams play their final road game of the season Sunday at Arizona and then close out with a Jan. 3 home game against San Francisco.

    Given the Rams' depleted roster, the team's troubles in the NFC West probably will spill over into next season. On Monday, tight end Daniel Fells became the 12th Rams player to go on the injured reserve list, with a fractured thigh bone. Three other Rams basically are out for the season, although they haven't been put on IR yet: quarterback Marc Bulger (shin bone), offensive tackle Jason Smith (concussion) and cornerback Quincy Butler (knee and ankle).

    The injuries to Fells and Butler took place in Sunday's 16-13 loss to Houston, which dropped the Rams' record to 1-13.

    The team's depth and talent are questionable, and Spagnuolo is running out of players.

    "Yeah, slowly but surely. Anybody have any eligibility left?" he asked reporters Monday. "We're pretty banged up. The list is long. But it just gives another guy an opportunity. I know it sounds like a cliché, but it does. It gave some guys an opportunity (against Houston). And that'll happen again this Sunday."

    At least it looks like the worst of last week's illnesses and swine flu is behind the Rams.

    "I believe so," Spagnuolo said. "... There's some normal cold and flu going around."

    They don't give medals for trying...
    -12-22-2009, 10:02 AM
  • Alec22
    Rams Staying the Course
    by Alec22
    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    By his own admission Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo can often have the sound of a broken record.

    Each week, win or lose, rain or snow, no matter the circumstance, Spagnuolo squares his jaw, focuses on the task at hand and approaches every game the same way.

    More than halfway into his rookie season as a head coach, Spagnuolo has never strayed from the team-first ethos he installed from the day he arrived in St. Louis way back in January.

    In the face of plenty of adversity, Spagnuolo has uttered nary a discouraging word and anyone looking for a full-throated, raging outburst should look elsewhere. And a little prosperity hasn’t had the opposite effect, either as Spagnuolo hasn’t come close to any type of braggadocio.

    “I have had my moments (of frustration),” Spagnuolo said. “But I think there’s a professional way to do it. I think everybody in this business should be respected for the jobs they have. I think any business is about respecting each other. I don’t see any reason to go off the cuff. I keep that to myself. Part of what we talk about as a team is being a poised team. You can’t be a poised team if the head coach isn’t poised.”

    Regardless of the record, if there’s one thing that has remained constant in this first year under Spagnuolo’s guidance it’s his and his team’s uncanny knack to remain unfazed by any possible distractions.

    Spagnuolo’s message reaches to the team, too. There have been no locker room or sideline blowups, only players staying relentlessly positive and focusing on the single goal of coming together as a team with the sole focus of finding ways to win football games.

    “Being a guy who has been here with the Rams now going for five years,” safety Oshiomogho Atogwe said. “Some of the younger guys and some of the vets need to see loyalty and faithfulness from the guys that have already been here and that’s going to carry over throughout the locker room so you just build a team that is really focused on one goal and one purpose and being one.”

    BUYING IN

    At Spagnuolo’s initial news conference when he was introduced as the head coach, he made it clear the way he and general manager Billy Devaney wanted to build the team back into a winner.

    Topping the list was finding a way to build a team that was all about team. A team that would fill the locker room with players that care as much about the guy next to them as they do themselves.

    Spagnuolo put the Rams through a rigorous training camp that had them tackling in full pads from day one and continued to put the emphasis on building the team concept every day.

    It was easy enough for the players to buy into the system then because they knew Spagnuolo’s impressive resume coming from winning programs in Philadelphia and New York.

    “I think...
    -11-04-2009, 11:32 AM
  • eldfan
    Rams Building Recipe for Late Season Success
    by eldfan
    Rams Building Recipe for Late Season Success
    By Nick Wagoner/Senior Writer



    As one of the people in the Rams locker room with experience playing big games in December, Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo knows plenty about what it takes not only to play in those contests but also what it takes to win them.

    And though the recipe for late season, playoff push success doesn’t require anyone to re-invent the wheel, it’s a recipe that not every team has.

    While Spagnuolo’s 2010 Rams are still putting all of those ingredients together, Sunday’s 19-6 win against the Cardinals in Arizona gave his team an idea of what it’s going to take down the stretch to reach the postseason.

    In a locker room that following wins has been alternately joyous, boisterous and downright giddy, the feeling after Sunday’s victory was much more businesslike and blue collar.

    “That’s a good sign,” Spagnuolo said. “That’s how it should be. Because as soon as you wake up the next day it’s on to the next one. That’s what this business is all about. You get too wrapped up in yesterday you miss out on today’s opportunity so the players have been good like that to their credit. That’s a big time compliment for this team.”

    Following Sunday’s win and all of the action that took place around the league on Sunday, the Rams remain in a tie for first place with Seattle at 6-6 and riding a two-game road winning streak heading into a difficult matchup this weekend at New Orleans.

    There’s no doubting that taking on the Saints will be a tall order, especially at the Superdome, but Spagnuolo believes that if you look closer at how his team won against the Cardinals, you can see the signs of a team that understands what it takes to win those types of games against good teams.

    Almost from the day he was named head coach, Spagnuolo has emphasized the fundamentals of the game and doing all of the little things necessary to get wins. That means limiting penalties, winning the turnover battle, converting on third down on offense and getting off the field on third down on defense.

    In Sunday’s win, all of those details broke the Rams way. They were penalized just twice for 15 yards. They turned the ball over just once and came up with a pair of takeaways. They converted six-of-17 on third down and held the Cardinals to just one third-down conversion in 11 tries.

    “We do always talk about winning the turnover ratio and protecting the football, especially at this time of year,” Spagnuolo said. “But I am probably most proud of the football team if the lack of penalties is a reflection of disciplined football that’s a good thing. Smart, tough football, when you play it together usually you have got a chance to win some football games.”

    Those are some of the more tangible elements needed to win, especially late in the season but there are...
    -12-07-2010, 01:11 PM
  • MauiRam
    Rams try self-analysis to stem their troubles ..
    by MauiRam
    By Jim Thomas Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    As the Rams' bye week begins, coach Steve Spagnuolo and his staff are in the midst of self-scouting. During a normal game week the focus almost entirely is on that week's opponent. But this week, the staff will look at its team from within.

    "I can tell you the things I know we're going to look at," Spagnuolo said Monday. "Certainly protections. Certainly third down on both sides. Certainly the run fronts on offense. These are the things that just stick out. You guys (in the media) can probably list another five or six of them."

    Sure can. Red zone offense, red zone defense, dropped passes, run defense, first-down offense, kickoff returns, false starts, slow starts all come to mind. If the Rams really wanted to self-scout all of their problems, they might need three bye weeks to work through everything.

    "I've learned this over the years," Spagnuolo said. "You can't go searching for things that are not there. And you can't knee-jerk react to things that you find. Because in a lot of instances, it just comes back to fundamentals. I know that's not the glorious answer that you want, but a lot of times that's what it comes down to."

    If true, the Rams must be about as fundamentally flawed as you can get, because they are at or near the bottom of the league in many categories. They are tied for second to last in points scored (46) and in points allowed (113). They're last in rushing defense, last in average yards gained on first down, and in the bottom quartile (or last eight teams) in red-zone offense, kickoff returns, total offense and total defense.

    So the Rams' 0-4 record isn't a fluke. But those expecting Spagnuolo and staff to reinvent the pigskin between now and the Green Bay game Oct. 16 will be disappointed. They aren't going to come out in a 3-4 defense, or switch to a run-and-shoot offense against the Packers. You simply can't make major scheme changes in a week or two.

    "I'll reiterate this," Spagnuolo said. "Both schemes — all three (counting special teams) — have been proven in this league at various places. So we believe in that. I know the players believe. What I do think we need to do is do it better. That's as simple as I can state it. And I believe in that.

    "Will we find a couple of wrinkles? Yeah. But you do that all the time. If we were 4-0, we'd find a couple of scheme wrinkles. But at the core, we're not going to abandon what we do. We're just going to do it better."

    Nonetheless, the staff already has talked about tweaking things. Spagnuolo, for example, said they have discussed rolling out quarterback Sam Bradford more to help the pass protection.

    "We could do that," Spagnuolo said. "Because Sam does throw the ball well on the run."

    And they've talked...
    -10-04-2011, 12:42 AM
  • RockinRam
    Spagnuolo, Rams Expect More Than Just Average
    by RockinRam
    By Jim Thomas, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    Oct. 23--Every Wednesday when the Rams' practice week begins, coach Steve Spagnuolo strikes up a theme during the morning team meeting. This Wednesday, following the day's practice, Spagnuolo dropped it on the media almost casually.
    "I told the guys this morning we're 3-3, which means we're an average football team," Spagnuolo told reporters. "We're trying to get better -- 3-3 says average. Let me help you out with the injuries here ..."
    That's it? Your team registers a big victory, defeating four-time defending AFC West champion San Diego. And you tell them they're average?
    "I don't know what point he was trying to get across to the team by saying that we're average," running back Steven Jackson said. "But I do take this from the speech: We've put together two wins in a row before and we came out and laid an egg. Don't go and look at Tampa Bay as a gimme game. Go about it with the same approach that you prepared for the Chargers and other teams that you've played."

    Slowly but surely, Spagnuolo is trying to change how this team views itself and change its expectations. To wit, he didn't say a lot to the team in the locker room after that 20-17 victory over the Chargers. He didn't glow and gush about their effort, their progress, and that afternoon's achievement. It was more along the lines of: We expected to win, now on to Tampa Bay.
    "I think that just shows that the expectations around here have been set high," quarterback Sam Bradford said. "Obviously there have been some struggles in the past but there's no reason why this team can't have high expectations. He's right, 3-3 is an average team. We had a chance to win those first two games but we didn't, so we've got to continually get better and continue to set the bar high for ourselves."
    "We do not want to be average," center Jason Brown said. "Even though they're a few people out there that even if we finished out the season 8-8 would say, 'Oh yeah, they're rebuilding.' And give us a pat on the back for doing that."
    Actually, 8-8 would be quite an achievement considering the team's 1-15 mark a year ago and 6-42 ledger over the past three seasons. But Spagnuolo is pushing this team. He doesn't want it to settle; he doesn't want it to feel satisfied. Not in late October.
    "What he's trying to say is that regardless of how many games we've won (or lost) in the past, we're 3-3 right now," wide receiver Danny Amendola said. "And that's average. We didn't strive to be average. We're striving to be better than average. We're striving to be a great football team. And in order to get that we're going to have to win more games."
    The Rams were in a similar situation two weeks ago heading into Detroit. They had posted a couple of...
    -10-23-2010, 10:05 AM
Working...
X