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Could it be? Defense...

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  • Could it be? Defense...

    My love of football is on the offensive side of the ball, particularly the offensive line. The blocking and the pride these guys have when they jel into one unit, usually without much in the way of credit.

    But silently this team's defense just keeps getting a little better. If these guys can stay healthy and build a little pride in keeping the offense off the field Spags may turn this group of nobodies into something to get excited about.

    I've never had a great defense to watch on Sundays. It was always time to grab a snack and a cold beverage. It could be a life changer for some of us.
    Look away. I'm hideous. __ Cozmo Kramer

  • #2
    Re: Could it be? Defense...

    I'm excited about our defense. Fred Robbins looks like he might be productive, not just another La'Roi Glover. Long is really coming into his own after a slow 24 games to start his career. It's encouraging that Clifton Ryan, a player that fans have been praising after his performance last year, isn't even cracking the first team (shows depth).

    I'm still skeptical due to our cornerbacks. We're fine at the safety and linebacker positions, but we don't have a proven corner. Bartell was awful last year (while struggling with injury) and it's unclear if he'll return to his 2008 form. Fletcher was good in the few games he's played, but he's unproven. Jerome Murphy hasn't exactly had an encouraging training camp, and Justin King is unproven.

    Bradly Fletcher did have a great game against Randy Moss on Thursday, which makes me believe he can be good. I want to believe in the other three guys, but I can't. Defense will be better, but we still need another long-term solution at outside linebacker. Grant and Laurinaitis are fine, but Diggs won't last very long (probably not more than a season). Vabora isn't good enough to be a starter, and Bobby Carpenter is terrible at football.

    Overall, we still need another long-term solution at defensive end, the tackle positions are fine, two of the three linebacking positions are fine for years to come (and we are fine for this year), the safeties are fine, but the cornerbacks are the weak spot. Also, it's yet to be seen if the starting 11 can really play well together over the course of the season.

    I predict that we'll be better at defense, but still not top-15 in the NFL.


    • #3
      Re: Could it be? Defense...

      I too think the Rams are making small strides in improving their defense. The run D looks better in the middle, and the LB's are filling the gaps, not over pursuing as much and tackling better.

      However, their pass defense is still a problem. Already this season the Rams have given up far too many big pass plays, usually due to blown coverages. Plus, w/o a blitz, they can't get enough pressure on the QB. ...and when they do blitz, they don't disquise it well, nor do they scheme it well because too many times this preseason, Rams blitzers are just climbing on the back of other defenders and not getting to the QB. It leaves our mediocre DB's in coverage and as we've seen, that's not a good thing.

      It's a pattern I've watched all too often with the Rams in recent history. The Rams will hold them, hold them, and then...........bam, a big play and another set of downs.

      This defense will be better, but once again the pass d will be our weak link. Big plays will sink the Rams until they can get a better pass-rush with the front four.


      • #4
        Re: Could it be? Defense...

        I also love how our defense looks this year and I think they will do great. They have showed that they are capable of stopping some good offenses and give us something to look forward too.


        • #5
          Re: Could it be? Defense...

          I think the run defense is promising. The keys on defense will be (1) rushing the passer, and (2) healthy CBs.


          • #6
            Re: Could it be? Defense...

            We are banged up at CB right now and we aren't completely healthy at DE outside of Long. Those are going to be 2 huge keys in having a good overall defense. I think we will have a breakout player in each fasset of defense Chris Long on the d-line Grant at LB and Flethcer in the secondary


            • #7
              Re: Could it be? Defense...

              I actually think corner is one of our strengths as far as depth this year. We have Bartell and Bradley as starters. We also have King, Murphy and Q Butler as backups. The reason our stats look so bad is that none of our starters played in the first preseason game. We gave up a huge chunk of yards to Minnesota. I think we'll be fine at corner as long as we generate a pass rush. No corner can cover a decent receiver for a long period of time, the rules just are skewed towards the receiver's advantage. I think we will see a much stronger defense this year.


              • #8
                Re: Could it be? Defense...

                The starting defense has been very impressive so far this preseason... the main flaws I can think of are one drive against Cleveland near the end of the 1st half, and that drive by New England at the end of the 1st half (that required two Top-10 plays, by the way, lol). It seems to be the base defense has played great, but when teams try to get in a passing groove near the end of the half they seem to struggle. The defensive backs seemed to struggle in coverage in those situations, but then again, we are banged up a bit there.

                If the offense improves this year, the defense won't have to be on the field near as long as they were last year. In a few games it looked like the D just ran out of gas, but the offense was going three-and-out many times and never gave them much of a break.


                Related Topics


                • Curly Horns
                  Defending the defense while offending the pessimists
                  by Curly Horns

                  Defending the defense might seem like a tough task to a lot of Rams fans these days. Why I choose to take on such a low, down, dirty task is beyond me. Maybe I'm the consummate Rams fan. The type that has always been in love with a bit of an underdog. Hey, if you have been a Rams fan for very long, you know what I'm talking about.

                  So where does one begin to defend this defense amongst all the pessimism? Since we can not predict the future, I say history is the best option.

                  Most of us remember what it was like to be a perennial basement dweller only to rise to the top after the '99 season with a shiny new Lombardi and high hopes for a repeat the following season.

                  And why not a repeat? We had the GSOT and a pretty good defense. Granted the defense was not the best, but it was no slouch. The majority of defensive starters returned, the defensive coordinator returned, the same scheme returned, and yet we all know that the bottom fell out in 2000.

                  Hmmm. Just goes to show how easily a group of players can rise and fall from season to season. Scheme, coaching, talent level are certainly factors, but ultimately it comes from within the group of players. They can rise. History has proven it.

                  So how good does this defense really need to be to win a championship? Our own Rams history and very recent history has proven they do not need to be the best defense in the league. They simply need to be good enough when it matters most.

                  Let's look a little deeper into that magical season of '99. There are those who claim that your best defense is a potent offense. I'm quite sure this is not entirely true. However, we have seen it work to our advantage. The potent offense of the '99 squad certainly helped the defense. The offense was able to score quickly and often. This put the defense in a good position against opposing offenses as they were forced to play catch-up. Our 2007 offense has the ability to be quite potent. This can help the 2007 defense. History has proven it.

                  Now Let's look at recent history. Most of us know that Baltimore had the #1 defense last season and where that got them. Did most of you also know that the Raiders had the number #3 defense in the league? I'm sure we all know where that got them. Our Rams of course came in at #23. Not good enough, some might say. Okay let's look further. Remember the Colts of last season? They finished at #21. Well, the Rams have no pass rush, some say. True, to some extent, however they were #8 in pass defense and #3 against receiving. Ah, but the Rams run defense is crap, some might add. Well that is correct. The Rams run defense finished just ahead of the last place Colts run defense.

                  Hmmm. How good does the defense need to be to win a championship? Certainly not the best. History has proven it.

                  Ultimately the best way to defend our...
                  -03-12-2007, 08:43 PM
                • Nick
                  Rams are big on defense, literally and figuratively
                  by Nick
                  Rams are big on defense, literally and figuratively
                  BY JIM THOMAS | Posted: Saturday, September 11, 2010 12:20 am

                  As the Rams' starting defense huddled during practice Wednesday, cornerback Ron Bartell couldn't help but notice.

                  "I said, 'Man, we're a lot bigger in the front seven than we've been in the past,'" Bartell said.

                  At defensive tackle, the Rams have added a 325-pound run stuffer in former New York Giant Fred Robbins. At outside linebacker are two new starters this season: former Carolina Panther Na'il Diggs (6-4, 240) and Larry Grant (6-1. 251).

                  "Yeah, we've got a little bit more size, and I think guys have got a little bit more confidence," defensive coordinator Ken Flajole said. "I think they understand you can play faster when you know what you're doing instead of trying to think on the run."

                  While quarterback Sam Bradford and the offense have gotten most of the attention and garnered most of the headlines during the preseason, the Rams' defense has effectively gone about its business.

                  Members of the Rams' starting defense were on the field for only two touchdown drives all preseason, and in both cases against New England and Cleveland reserves were sprinkled into the lineup for at least part of those series.

                  Run defense, long a soft spot, was noticeably improved, although there was some sloppy tackling at times. Granted, Adrian Peterson didn't play for Minnesota in the exhibition opener, and the Rams didn't see Ray Rice or Willis McGahee against Baltimore. But in the first half of games this preseason, which is when the starting defense would've been on the field, the Rams yielded just 1.95 yards a carry.

                  "We've spent a lot of time on (run defense)," Flajole said. "I was encouraged when our first defense played against first offenses in the preseason. We're not near where we need to be yet, but we have sold, and our players believe in my opinion, that you don't win in this league until you can stop the run, until you can make an offense one-dimensional."

                  That's where the added size has come in handy, particularly the addition via free agency of Robbins and Diggs.

                  "Those are veteran guys that have played a lot of football," Bartell said. "So to bring those guys in to help lead us out of this rut, I think is big." (Pun unintended.)

                  Robbins was one of the Rams' most impressive preseason performers, regardless of position. He shared the team lead with two sacks and added a pass breakup, a fumble recovery and a tackle for loss.

                  "Freddie obviously gives us a little bigger body inside, which I'm sure the linebackers appreciate," Flajole said. "Because those big bodies chew up blocks a lot of times in the run game."

                  Despite the signs of progress, it's...
                  -09-10-2010, 11:25 PM
                • AvengerRam_old
                  Wake up and smell the defense (hint: it doesn't stink!)
                  by AvengerRam_old
                  Here are some stats that may surprise you.

                  Rams rank (NFL) in defensive categories:

                  Yards/Game: 16th
                  Rushing Yards/Game: 14th
                  Passing Yards/Game: 20th
                  Points Allowed/Game: 10th
                  3rd Down %: 5th
                  Sacks: 6th
                  Forced Fumbles: 2nd (tied)

                  I'm just going to come out and say it... the Rams have a pretty good defense.

                  There is a lot going into this mix. In no particular order, I'd say the key factors are:

                  *Second year in Spagnuolo/Flajole system
                  *Great contribution from veterans (Robbins, Hall, Atogwe)
                  *Development of young players (Long, Laurinaitis, Grant)
                  *Nice addition of role players from rookie crop (Selvie, Murphy)
                  *Solid CB play from starers (Bartell, Fletcher)
                  *Willingness to blitz

                  While the Rams need to acquire more depth at the offensive skill positions, they should not neglect to continue to build up this defense. They may be only a couple of players away from being a top defense in this league.
                  -10-18-2010, 08:33 AM
                • chiguy
                  Rams defense...we still have a ways to go
                  by chiguy
                  In a thread posted on here two weeks ago discussing the defense, I said that they were clearly improved but that we should temper our excitement because we hadn't been playing very good offenses. Yesterday, we faced a pretty good offense so I thought it would be a good time to revisit the subject.

                  Although we didn't get torched yesterday, I do think it showed that we had a way to go. First, despite shutting down the passing game, I think we can all agree that some of that has to do with the fact with the weather yesterday. The CBs played decently except for a few notable lapses (the dropped INT, e.g.), but I'd like to see them play that well in decent weather before I get *too* excited. The visions of Lenny Walls getting burned in Dallas are too recent for me to fall completely for these guys just yet. We also really need a safety who can come up and cover too.

                  Second, we have no pass rush. Although we didn't blitz a ton yesterday, the Bengals offensive line did a good job of keeping us away from Palmer. Indeed, it showed that if our blitzes get picked up right now that we can't generate much pressure on the QB. If we got more from the ends in particular, it would help the defense take that next step.

                  Finally, despite much improved play by the interior defensive line, they still have work to do. They absolutely got manhandled in the 4th quarter yesterday. Carricker is for real and Ryan is proably -- at worst -- a very good rotational player. Still, we need at least one other guy we can count on. I wonder if they've considered getting Adeyanju some reps at DT because he seems made for running downs and is a reliable tackler.

                  In short, while the defense is obviously better, we're still a couple of players away from being "good" in my opinion. I'd really love to see a playmaking defensive end, better rotational depth on the interior line, and another safety. Interestingly, linebacker is at the bottom of my list...when was the last time we weren't concerned about linebackers?
                  -12-10-2007, 06:31 AM
                • r8rh8rmike
                  Do We Have The Makings Of An Opportunistic, Turnover Creating Defense?
                  by r8rh8rmike
                  Say what you want about the defense, but through the first three preseason games, they look to me like a hard hitting, aggresive, opportunistic group that can take the ball away from opposing offenses. Multiple turnovers in all three games for a total of nine, I'm really hoping this trend can translate to the regular season because turnovers are game changers.

                  Now if we can only get that tackling thing down.....
                  -08-28-2009, 11:01 AM