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  • A couple of more comments on the defense

    I think that robert thomas has been a big disappointment. He just does not seem to be able to stay healthy. Archuleta is playing hurt, so on that basis, i cut him slack, but i will say that while he still makes some spectacular plays, i believe his fundemental tackling skills are not at the pro bowl level for a safety. his miss in the atlanta game was a critical play.

    I also think that aeneas has not played at anywhere near his previous level. I love aeneas, but i see a lot of marshall comments on this board regarding dropoff and not much on aeneas. Again, i am not saying he is no good, merely that there has been a material dropoff in his performance. He still makes some plays, but has missed some relatively easy chances that have really cost us. Specifically, i cite the dropped INT at the end of the saints game and the ball that hit him in the hands at midfield against the dolphins. His play on the flea flicker against miami was an abomination.

    Call it harsh if you will, just trying to call them as i see them. You cant overlook the fact that in the three losses we have ZERO takeaways, and this defense lived on takeaways last year. When the ball hits you in the hands, you have to make the catch, whether that is a DB on an int or an open reciever.

    general counsel

  • #2
    Re: A couple of more comments on the defense

    Thomas hasn't been the fill in for London Fletcher (dad gum it, what a loss) that the front office thought he would be. Polley is on/off more than a water faucet. Butler is turning out to be an expensive save; to me WR's are open just being lined up across from him. Coady isn't an answer at S.

    Lots of holes. However, the front four is turning out to be ok and may even get pretty good as the season comes around. Hargrove, B. Fisher, and even Pickett and DLew have stood out. So, let's give some other young uns some PT. Chillar and Faulk, get ready but I don't want to take them off the ST's. The secondary? I don't know if a genie granting three wishes could help.

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    • #3
      Re: A couple of more comments on the defense

      Right now, I've come to the conclusion that the Rams' biggest need this offseason will be an impact LB, probably for the MLB spot. The DB will also need an infusion of talent. Surprisingly, as Tx said, the DL seems to be the least of our problems, talent wise.

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      • #4
        Re: A couple of more comments on the defense

        I was surprised this offseason to see so much concern for the DL. These guys aren't bad and now they're playing pretty decent. Pickett and D-Lew have stepped up, Hargrove is getting a feel for things, B. Fish is plugging Wistrom's gap. Excluding the Seattle game, they haven't give up more than 3.4 yards per carry in over a month. The concern has to be the secondary.
        The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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        • chiguy
          Breaking down the Rams defensive needs
          by chiguy
          As I read the threads on this forum, I'm finding out that you folks have a much different view of the Rams defensive unit than I do. I'm stunned there is so much support for putting a lot of picks into the LB corps. I just don't see it that way.

          First, CB is the deepest position on the defensive side of the roster and it has guys who can play. No stars, mind you, but guys who can play in Fischer, Butler, Bartells, and Ivy. That's decent depth and not the biggest need. In fact, I think with the right scheme (e.g., an effective zone package) and an improved pass rush, they would be good enough. The Colts almost have it right about CBs in my opinion.

          Second, we have a ton of cap money invested in LB. We couldn't trade Claiborne if we tried and, besides, he didn't completely suck in his previous seasons. Pisa is the only playmaker we have on defense, and Chillars and Faulk aren't bad depth players. If Coakley doesn't retire or get put on the unable-to-perform list, that's even more money at this position. As bad as our defense was, do we want to try to make this group work better in a new scheme or throw more money at it?

          Third, we don't have one safety on the roster who has proven he is a starter. Atogwae and Carter might be good enough, but its not clear at this point. Arch isn't under contract and I don't see us bringing him back. Furrey simply isn't good enough in zone coverage or run support to be counted on. Safety is a big need.

          Fourth, our line has been mediocre for years. Pickett played well this year, but I'm not sure he's worth the $4 million he's asking for ... especially because he only played well in the contract year. Hargrove hasn't shown he can do anything and, at a minimum, Little can't do it alone. Kennedy is a waste of space and Lewis isn't anything better than a backup.

          I look at this situation and can't understand why most people don't come to one of two conclusions:

          1. Find a way to shore up the line, preferably by finding a pass rusher. A better pass rush would make the corners and safeties automatically look even better. If its a DT we get, it would automatically make the LBs look better by giving them clean shots at the ball carrier.

          2. Find a safety who can tackle, hit, and make plays.

          If an AJ Hawk falls into your lap, you take him of course. Ditto a top notch corner. But that's not likely to happen. I think the route we pursue is going to depend a lot on what kind of defense the next coach is going to implement.

          Anyway, just my $.02 after reading the board for two days.
          -01-04-2006, 09:46 PM
        • general counsel
          Post #2828- 28 Ramming Thoughts
          by general counsel
          To many, post #5,000 is a milestone. For me, post #2828 has great spiritual significance, as it represents the duplicate number of the greatest player EVER to wear the horns in the history of our storied and beloved franchise. A few thoughts on post 2828:

          1) I love this board. Thanks again to Dez and the Mods for making it all possible.
          2) Marshall Faulk will be back for at least one more year.
          3) We need help at tight end, but not at the #11 pick. We NEED defense if we are going to contend. No team in the cap era has a weapon at every position on both sides of the ball. The key is balance. Our defense was awful last year and while we added some help, we lost our best run stuffer and have not replaced him. We are very very dependent on the emergence of jimmy kennedy and that scares me a lot more than having one less offensive weapon.
          4) Bulger and steven jackson will both have great years If the offensive line blocks for them.
          5) Ditto point #4 as to our red zone productivity.
          6) Wilkins is money. I love the guy. However, i think his kickoffs are often short and that hasnt helped us coverage wise.
          7) The emergence of our young players on defense is even more important to the success of our team than the addition of the guys we signed. Bartell, Hargrove, Chillar, Kennedy (first and foremost), Groce, OJ etc. These guys dont have to all be stars, but they have to improve.
          8) Injuries, which are largely luck, are critical to the success of any nfl team. How our injured guys return to action is also important to us, namely butler and fisher.
          9) Can leonard little assume a dominant role again? Hard to say. Pass rush from the other side would sure help.
          10) Defensive backs in the nfl, within a pretty broad range and with a few notable exceptions, are as good as the pass rush. I dont care how good you think your corners are, if the qb has all day to throw, the defense is going to have major problems.
          11) The QB cant throw from flat on his ass. Given time, bulger is as good as anyone. I like the idea of less 4 receiver sets. Same point with the tight end argument. I will gladly trade less weapons for more time for bulger to throw. I think holt, bruce and curtis are going to be open down the field 99% of the time if bulger isnt getting killed. Jackson/Faulk are outstanding checkoff options.
          12) I miss tom nutten. One of the guttiest guys ever to wear the horns.
          13) We will move the ball plenty. The key on offense is the red zone, and as i already stated, that will be all about the offensive line.
          14) Back to the offensive line. If productive, and jackson gets the running game going (i believe the two go hand in hand) bulger will be even more effective. Play action has been virtually non existent for us for two years since we havent been able to establish a running game. If we are able to effectively use play action,...
          -04-18-2006, 05:53 AM
        • AvengerRam_old
          One Trial, One Potential Position Change, and Two Safeties
          by AvengerRam_old
          Could those four things be the only things between the Rams and a greatly improved defense? I'm beginning to think so.

          For starters, I think there can be some encouragement drawn from the fact that (apart from the Falcon game fiasco) the Rams defense played much better last year towards the end of the year when Travis Fisher returned from injury and Jimmy Kennedy and Tony Hargrove were inserted into the starting lineup.

          So, the four factors that will determine next year's defense are:

          1. One Trial
          Despite having a somewhat off year, Leonard Little remains the biggest playmaker on the Rams' defense. If he is not available due to the outcome of his upcoming DUI trial, the Rams will probably have to expend a high draft choice in the hope of finding a suitable replacement. If he is available, the starting D Line of Little-Kennedy-Pickett-Hargrove (with D.Lewis backing up both the DE and DT positions) has quite a bit of promise.

          2. One Potential Position Change
          All indications seem to be that the proposed move of Pisa Tinoisamoa to SS may be aborted. If that is the case, you have to like the potential of the Rams' LB corps of starters Coakley-Claiborn-Tinoisamoa, and a second team of Thomas-K.Faulk-Chillar.

          3. Two Safeties
          While the CB spot is relatively settled with starters Fisher and Butler, the safety positions are in a state of flux. Will Pisa stay at SS? Will Adam Archuleta be healthy and, if so, can he play the FS position, or does he go back to SS with Pisa playing LB? And if that happens, who will the FS be? Will the Rams make a run at Darren Sharper? Will they target a FS in the draft?

          The Rams should be able to address these concerns in the coming months. If they do, I look for a much improved defense in 2005.
          -03-11-2005, 08:48 AM
        • sbramfan
          The Future is bleek...
          by sbramfan
          Jackson has NEVER shed ONE block in the backfield in his entire career. Marshall literally would tell his blockers to take the second guy, because he'll get around the first guy. I think that was clear in this game. Nobody gets Marshall on the first try. Everyone gets Jackson on the first try. I'm sorry, but if you were to ask me what makes a good back, it would things like, finding the end zone, or the first down marker. Finding the hole. Shedding tackles. Jackson has none of this. He has one thing: Give him a big hole, and he'll run through it and it will be hard for the secondary to bring him down once he gets a head of steam. Even the TD he scored was another "hmmm, maybe if I run all the way around the line I'll see an opening". It does work once in a blue moon, but this guy sucks. And the O line is not the excuse because as soon as Marshall comes in, they move the ball on the ground. I'm also starting to think that Steven Jackson is "telling" the defense when he is going to get the ball by his stance, or whatever. He must be. You know, when he stands on his toes, vs. flat footed, or something like that.

          The whole team is full of mediocre players, other than about 3 guys. Even Tinoisamoa is just an average, decent Linebacker. Problem is, since he's the only guy on this defense that can tackle, he almost looks like he could be a star.

          With this many mediocre players, it's impossible to know which one's to keep, and which one's to replace. It will take years. They can only bring in so many new guys. This is not a team that is on the way up, where you just need to fill in a few blanks. This is a team that will patch a few of the holes in the damn next year, only to find more created. Guys on the O'line will start to retiree, as well as Bruce and Faulk, so even if they fix a few holes next year, there will be others to fill.

          There are teams on the rise out there, and the Rams are not one of them. They did not have good luck with the Defensive players they drafted, but they're all busts. Really, it just came down to luck. I mean, if Robert Thomas was the best Linebacker on the board, the Rams had to take him. And the same with Damione Lewis, and Travis Fisher, etc... I mean with 3 first round picks at DT, they should have a great D'line, but they don't. And their other 1st round pick, Archuleta, is in the same league as Coady, and Sorenson. He's a better tackler than these guys, but not much better, if at all, in coverage. Furry gets the "overachiever of the year" award, but not a starting job at free safety in 2006. Sad that he is one of the better players they have on the defensive side. Also, I think the bookends of Little and Hargrove are a liability. They are good passrushers, but the Rams need DE's that are bigger and can stuff the run. Little and Hargrove would be great at 3rd down blitzing, but unfortunately, there's 2 other downs...
          -12-24-2005, 09:02 PM
        • txramsfan
          We don't have the talent anymore
          by txramsfan
          It just isn't there. We aren't as talented as some of you perceive us to be.

          1. Williams on the O line dosen't deserve to be in the NFL.
          2. Faulk is just about through. He dosen't hit the hole like he used to. He dosen't make people miss. He isn't perceived to be a threat in the passing game anymore. He is missing the speed that made him a HOF. The pass he dropped yesterday was right where it had to be.
          3. We are very small in the front seven on defense. We've been getting pushed around all year. The 2001 draft is becoming quite possibly the huge bust we all feared. Pickett and DLew can't stuff the run, and Archuleta has regressed from his first year.
          4. Brooks threw to Butler's side all day yesterday. Whatever WR lined up against Butler was automatically open.

          We just aren't very good right now. Happens in the day and age of the salary cap. My take, let other people "coach up" DT's. Time to clean some office, free up some cap space, draft O line and FA the rest.
          -09-27-2004, 04:16 AM
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