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Rams have slipped, Miami DE says--injury front

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  • Rams have slipped, Miami DE says--injury front

    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch

    Three years ago, Miami defensive tackle Daryl Gardener offered these words of warning before a Dolphins game in St. Louis: "We've got speed, quickness, strength and size. We've got it all. When we get (to St. Louis), just take the key, lock the door, and let's see what happens."

    After St. Louis pulverized the Dolphins 42-10 in that 2001 contest, Rams coach Mike Martz presented each of his players with a "Key to the Dome" plaque - complete with a metallic-style key attached.

    Gardener is no longer with the Dolphins. But defensive end Jason Taylor is.

    On Wednesday, Taylor provided some, uh, food for thought in discussing the Rams' offense with Dolphins reporters. The Rams play the Dolphins on Sunday in Miami.

    "They're a good offense," said Taylor, a two-time Pro Bowler. "They're not unbeatable. I mean, I don't think they are what they were a few years ago with their whole 'Greatest Show on Turf' thing. They have some quality players, and we have some quality players, too. I think it's a good matchup for us. We'll get a glimpse of where we are at this point."

    Taylor was then asked what was different about the 2004 Rams compared to their earlier offensive juggernauts.

    "They're not what they were before," Taylor said. "They've made some changes. Kurt Warner is gone. They had it rolling back then. They were scoring 50 points a game. ... Don't get me wrong, they're still a darn good offense. They might not be scoring 50, but they can put up 49."

    Taylor probably is right in his assessment, but will the Rams - who had Wednesday off - take it that way?

    T. Fisher, Kennedy are upgraded

    For the first time all season, cornerback Travis Fisher and defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy aren't listed as "out" on the Rams' official injury report. Kennedy is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game in Miami, meaning there's a 25 percent chance he'll play. Fisher is listed as questionable, meaning there's a 50 percent chance he'll play.

    Fisher, who suffered a fractured forearm in the Rams' Aug. 23 preseason game against Kansas City, has been cleared to play. He has done a lot of drill work during practice in the past couple of weeks and could play at Miami.

    Kennedy, who has been doing running and drill work on the side, probably is a little farther away from game readiness. He suffered a broken foot Aug. 5 during a joint practice session with the Chicago Bears in Macomb, Ill.

    Tyoka Jackson is questionable

    Defensive lineman Tyoka Jackson is listed as questionable with a hamstring pull that kept him out of the Tampa Bay game. He's not expected to return until the New England game Nov. 7.

    Linebackers Robert Thomas (ankle) and Trev Faulk (hamstring) are listed as probable, and both are expected to play against Miami after sitting out the Tampa Bay contest. Also listed as probable is offensive guard Adam Timmerman (knee).

    Extra points

    After cutting LB Tony Newson from the active roster to make room for K Jeff Chandler, the Rams have signed Newson to their practice squad to fill the spot created by Tuesday's release of OT Matt Morgan. ... After missing the Dolphins' past two games with knee and ankle injuries, former Rams offensive tackle John St. Clair returned to practice Wednesday and is listed as questionable by the Dolphins.

  • #2
    Re: Rams have slipped, Miami DE says--injury front

    I know that our offense is starting to click, but shouldn't we be setting a higher goal for points scored on offense?

    Just reading this article makes me remember that the GSOT put up 30+ points EASILY. If we put up 30 these days, it seems like we had a scoring fest.

    I know that part of it is where you set your sights, and shooting for 45 points per game is one way to assure you get 30.

    I know we take our shots, but it seems to be a bit more predictable. We need to do a better job on first down, get more 2nd and shorts, and go for the jugular.


    • #3
      Re: Rams have slipped, Miami DE says--injury front

      Actually, I thought Taylor's comments were pretty mild. Thomas is just trying to stir something up.


      • #4
        Re: Rams have slipped, Miami DE says--injury front

        Originally posted by AvengerRam
        Actually, I thought Taylor's comments were pretty mild. Thomas is just trying to stir something up.
        Have to agree w/your stirring the pot theory there. IMHO, if grown men need bulletin board material to get up for a game, why are they being paid so much money to "play"?


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        • RamDez
          Dolphins 31, Rams 14
          by RamDez
          Dolphins 31, Rams 14

          STEVEN WINE

          Associated Press

          MIAMI - Jay Fiedler threw a game-clinching touchdown pass, then sprinted the length of the field to join his teammates in an end zone celebration, waving his index finger as he ran.

          No, the Miami Dolphins aren't No. 1. But they do have victory No. 1.

          Winless no more, Miami jump-started its sputtering offense with a succession of big plays and occasional trickery to beat the explosive St. Louis Rams at their own game Sunday, 31-14.

          "You almost forgot what it felt like," Fiedler said. "We were down in the dungeon of the NFL, and we were able to play a full game. This is a big victory for us."

          After enduring the worst start in their 39-year history, the Dolphins (1-6) took out their frustration on the Rams (4-3), who had at least five players hurt. The much-maligned Fiedler threw for two touchdowns, embattled coach Dave Wannstedt made some risky calls that paid off, and Miami held the Rams' high-powered offense in check.

          "Enough is enough," said defensive end David Bowens, who said last week he expected Miami to win its final 10 games. "At some point you've got to draw a line in the sand and be a man about it."

          The Dolphins are the last NFL team to win this season.

          "Every dog has its day, and today was their day," Rams defensive tackle Damione Lewis said. "You never know. They could run off six straight wins now. That's the NFL."

          Fiedler was booed during the pregame introductions, then went 13-for-17 for 203 yards. He shrugged off five sacks and threw touchdown passes of 42 yards to Randy McMichael and 71 yards to Chris Chambers, with the latter clinching the win.

          The conservative Wannstedt, his job in jeopardy, took some uncharacteristic gambles to keep St. Louis guessing. A 48-yard pass by receiver Marty Booker set up the game's first score, and Miami also pulled off a fake punt and tried a halfback pass.

          "We opened up the playbook today," McMichael said. "Coach Wannstedt said he was going to run them all, and they all came out positive."

          Miami, which entered with a league-high 17 turnovers, committed none. A replay review overturned a fumble lost by Chambers in the fourth quarter, and instead the drive produced a field goal for a 24-7 lead.

          "The guys play hard every week," Wannstedt said. "We just didn't make as many mistakes today."

          The Rams' lone turnover was costly, with Marc Bulger intercepted in the end zone when they were threatening to tie the game in the third quarter. St. Louis totaled 372 yards but converted only two of 13 third-down situations.

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        • MauiRam
          Could the 2009 Rams Duplicate the 2008 Dolphin's Season?
          by MauiRam
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          FOX Sports on MSN - NFL - Dolphins are one win from complete turnaround

          Dolphins are one win from complete turnaround by Alex Marvez.

          Alex Marvez is a Senior NFL Writer for He's covered the NFL for 14 seasons as a beat writer and is the president of the Pro Football Writers of America.

          The Miami Dolphins highlights airing on a locker room television caught Vonnie Holliday's eye.At this time last season, the Dolphins defensive end would have turned away. The only Dolphins footage being shown was future material for a "Football Follies" special. And now? Miami can complete the greatest turnaround in the NFL's 88-year history Sunday by defeating the host New York Jets.

          As Terrell Owens would say, getcha popcorn ready.

          "To be in December and have people talking about the Dolphins in a good way is what I'm most proud of this season," Holliday said Wednesday at team headquarters. "Here we are in the thick of things. Last year, we were the butt of jokes. This year, we're for real. "Really.. By defeating the Jets, Miami (10-5) would win the AFC East. Snow in South Florida seemed more likely entering the season. No one-win team had ever rebounded to post double-digit victories the following year, let alone make the playoffs.

          "I don't think if you would have looked at our roster at the beginning of the season that you would have seen a 10-5 team," Dolphins cornerback Andre' Goodman said. "But the fact is we are a team. We lift each other up. You didn't feel that last year. "Goodman admits he couldn't have fathomed such a reversal of fortune when the 2007 Dolphins were sitting at 1-14 heading into a season-ending home loss against Cincinnati. What a difference......a year makes. The Dolphins have gone from 1-15 to 10-5 and in the playoff race. A look at the statistical turnaround:

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          Points scored 267 321
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          Turnovers 29 12
          TO margin -7 +14
          Pass YPG 207.4 237.4
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          -12-27-2008, 01:38 PM
        • DJRamFan
          [Dolphins] Not the time for change
          by DJRamFan
          Despite being the last winless team in the NFL, coach Dave Wannstedt doesn't plan to alter the starting lineup.

          BY DAVID J. NEAL

          [email protected]

          Perhaps you figure the silver lining in the ever-expanding winless cloud over the Dolphins is now you'll see some of the Dolphins young players getting more game time.

          You want to see that, you better have PlayStation or Xbox. The coach of the live action Dolphins isn't planning on doing things that way for now.

          Not only did Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt restate that Jay Fiedler would start at quarterback this Sunday, he digressed into this at the end of answering a question about the defense:

          ''As hard as our players are playing, as hard as our players are working and practicing, my commitment to them, my obligation to this football team, is do whatever we can do to reward that type of effort, to try win this game on Sunday,'' Wannstedt said. When asked bluntly when it's time to give untested players more time, Wannstedt said, ``As long as these guys keep working as hard as we're working, we have to give them the best opportunity to win today.''

          Of course, the guys getting the playing time now are 0-6. Not only is that 5 ½ games back of a potential playoff spot, it's 37 percent of the way toward an offseason in which the Dolphins have to decide on certain players.

          Making such analysis without having an adequate sample size is called ``guessing.''

          There's Quarterback A.J. Feeley, for example, who has played 10 quarters this season. Linebacker Eddie Moore, the 2003 second-round pick, is essentially in his rookie season after missing all of 2003 with an injury. Rookie offensive lineman Vernon Carey has started two games while starting right tackle John St. Clair has been out with a sprained ankle.

          There's also the issue of stalling development of what talent young players do have.

          Feeley shrugged, ``It's [Wannstedt's] decision. That's just the way it is. What it is is what it is.''

          But at this point in your career, how much good does being on the sidelines do?

          ''Anytime you're not playing, you can learn,'' Feeley said.

          Moore is parked on the depth chart behind Morlon Greenwood and Junior Seau. Greenwood will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Seau is a future Hall of Famer who still brings a strong game, but he's 35.

          ''There's no use in trying to change up and make drastic changes right now,'' Moore said. ``The ball just isn't rolling for us right now. Eventually, it will be.

          ''Eventually, my time will come,'' he said.


          Today's NFL trade deadline should bring minimal activity both with the Dolphins and around the NFL.

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          -10-19-2004, 01:33 PM
        • RamDez
          Miami at a Glance
          by RamDez
          Miami at a Glance
          Friday, October 22, 2004

          By Nick Wagoner
          Staff Writer

          After a tumultuous offseason in which its best player suddenly retired, Miami has clearly been reeling from the effects.

          The Dolphins are off to a 0-6 start, worst in the league and appear poised to live the dream of the undefeated 1972 team in reverse, only this would be much more of a nightmare than a dream.

          Miami has struggled to create any kind of offensive cohesiveness in spite of solid defensive performances. It seems there is a new player starting at running back every week and the quarterback tandem in place has struggled to make any big plays.

          The offseason gave many fans in Miami hope that there could be improvements, but then running back Ricky Williams retired to go on tour with Lenny Kravitz and offseason acquisition David Boston went out for the season with an injury. The defense continues to be a mainstay, but without much offensive production, the Dolphins will continue to struggle and coach Dave Wannstedt’s seat will only get hotter.

          COACHING: Wannstedt is in his fifth season as Miami’s coach, making him the second-longest tenured coach in Dolphins’ history behind the legendary Don Shula. He is 3-3 in his career against the Rams and 0-1 against St. Louis with the Dolphins.

          Wannstedt’s teams have always played hard, but without the talent in place, it has been hard for Miami to generate any kind of momentum. Wannstedt could be in his final season with the Dolphins, barring a dramatic turnaround that would probably involve Miami somehow winning out. Wannstedt isn’t really to blame for the awful start this season, after all, it wasn’t his fault that Williams bailed on his teammates, Boston got hurt and the team made some poor decisions in the trade and free agency market.

          OFFENSE: This is clearly Miami’s biggest problem area. It isn’t just struggling to run the ball in Williams’ place or throw it without Boston, but the offense in general. The Dolphins are putting up just 243 yards per game and has scored just four touchdowns.

          Jay Fiedler starts at quarterback, but has fought off A.J. Feeley most of the season. Fiedler has an anemic passer rating of 51.1 with two touchdowns and six interceptions. Feeley wasn’t much better with a 57.2 rating, two touchdowns and five interceptions. That combination simply isn’t getting the job done and it will be difficult to improve with a depleted receiving corps and inexperienced offensive line.

          The running game has been the only area of the offense worse than the pass. The Dolphins have put up only 69.5 yards per game on the ground using a rotating door at running back. So far this season, former Ram Lamar Gordon, Travis Minor, Brock Forsey, Leonard Henry and Sammy Morris have gotten the bulk of the carries at various times. Henry leads the team in rushing with 136 yards,...
          -10-23-2004, 01:51 AM
        • RamDez
          Notebook: St. Clair eager for shot at Rams
          by RamDez
          Notebook: St. Clair eager for shot at Rams

          By GREG A. BEDARD

          Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

          Friday, October 22, 2004

          DAVIE — Dolphins right tackle John St. Clair doesn't have a completely healthy right ankle, but he's doing everything he can to be in the lineup against the Rams on Sunday.

          St. Clair spent his first four seasons with the Rams, who made virtually no effort to re-sign him when he became an unrestricted free agent.

          "When you get an opportunity like I did this year, I want to prove to everybody that I'm a good player," St. Clair said. "Playing against your old team, I want to be out there."

          St. Clair missed the past two games because of the ankle he sprained against the Jets. He is listed as questionable on the team's injury report but practiced Wednesday.

          Rookie Vernon Carey has started in place of St. Clair; however, coach Dave Wannstedt said the veteran would be back in the lineup if he continues to practice.

          St. Clair's tour with the Rams was tumultuous at best. All 16 of his appearances as a Ram were starts in 2002. And during his time in St. Louis, the coaches shuffled him among all five line positions and tight end.

          "It was an awkward situation playing different positions like that," St. Clair said. "But at the same time they helped me mentally and physically to do what I'm doing now.

          "I learned a lot. It's one of the hardest offenses in the NFL, man, and playing all the positions helped me out, especially in free agency."

          St. Clair said he's still close with several Rams, including left tackle Orlando Pace and defensive end Tyoka Jackson.

          "But I'm on the Dolphins now so I want to win this weekend," St. Clair said. "We need a win."

          Injury report: Free safety Antuan Edwards (groin) did not practice and is doubtful. Wannstedt said Arturo Freeman is "ready to go" if Edwards doesn't improve.

          Edwards and Freeman had the most intense position battle during training camp. When Edwards was named the starter, Freeman made no secret of his disappointment and that he would welcome a trade.

          Edwards registered a season-high 10 tackles against Buffalo and had an interception overturned because of a penalty. But Edwards, who was stiff-armed by Bills running back Willis McGahee on a fourth-quarter run, has admitted he needs to play better.

          Running back Travis Minor, who practiced, is questionable with a high ankle sprain. Defensive tackle Tim Bowens (back) is probable after seeing his first action Sunday. Matt Bryant will kick again in place of Olindo Mare (calf).

          Noteworthy: The Dolphins terminated the contract of defensive end Chidi Ahanotu and signed defensive tackle Josh Shaw to the practice squad. Ahanotu, who was also fined...
          -10-23-2004, 01:51 AM