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Tuesday Edition... Saints @ Rams.........(long)

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  • Tuesday Edition... Saints @ Rams.........(long)

    Rams fans.... this is the first in my weekly posts that I do for the upcomong weekend. This is just to offer the game from another perspective. I always enjoy going to the enemy forums and checking out the different takes on the game. It is not intended as smack, that is what smack boards are for. I watch tapes of just about every game that I can get my hands on, and between myself and 2 other coaching friends we usually tape 8-10 games a week. Take it as it is.

    So, here we are as little as 3 weeks ago this looked like a possible clash between NFC elite. The battle for NFC West ( and NFC ) supremacy. It has turned into a wild-card hopeful vs. a Super Bowl expectant. Is this realistic ?
    Yes and no. The season is still very early, the inevitable injury bug is starting to hit every team in the league and many team fortunes will be won or lost by undrafted or unheralded young back-ups and grizzled veterans hanging on for one more season as back-ups. That being said, the Rams are playing very well. The improvement in speed on D is evident and they force teams out of their normal gameplans early, in effect, not having defend near as much field or scheme, think of it as defensive offense.

    So what can we expect ? Depends on what New Orleans team shows up and how big the loss of both Willie Roaf, to injury, and Aaron Brooks missing confidence are.

    Let's take a look at the Rams. The first question is, "Are they vulnerable and where ?" The answer came in the most suprising tape of all. The Detroit Lion game. I watched this Monday night tilt live and remember James Stewart taking the Lions straight down the field only to have Batch throw that pass to I don't even know who , for an INT. When watching on tape, I found something WAY more interesting. Stewart got almost all of his yardage (6.8 ypc ) straight up the middle. A-gap.When the Lions ran the stretch or slide plays off-tackle, the Rams swarmed them with LB's and Little off of the backside. Lots of speed. So, my objective was clear, watch the other 5 games and see where guys got yards. Lo and behold the Jets blowout gave me these numbers ( Curtis Martin 4.5, LaMont Jordan 8.5, and Richie Anderson 6.5 ypc ) 9 (of 24) rushes inside the OG's and a 74 % of their rushing yardage on these carries. LaMont Jordan had good success up the gut. The Dolphins and Chan Gailey never went away from the stretch and Smith was bottled up all day by a fast, aggresive defense that was unconcerned with Fiedler.
    So, what does this give the Saints? A liltte hope. The Saints can be effective running the football UP THE GUT. The Rams D is fast and it does hit, and it is improved, so the running game will have to come right up the middle, although I am interested in seeing a team run the counter tre' right at L.Little. Seems like you could take his upfield speed and the pursuit of the LB's and use it against them by trapping him upfield. So, why haven't we seen someone beat the Rams this way ?? One word. A big one ..........
    PANIC.
    I watched all of these teams have some success running the ball up the middle of the Rams, I have seen teams complete high %'s of passes vs. the Rams, and then they all go away from it. ( All but the 9ers actually ). Teams become psyched out by a quick score or the Rams answering and start the shotgun " gotta do something to keep up " and take themselves right out of the game.
    In the 9ers game you saw the one thing that is separating the Rams from the rest of the pack right now. Holding on to a lead. How did they do it ? Well, the 9ers were on fire late, and the Rams got the ball back with 6:35 on the clock. Enter the running game. The front 4 of the 9ers were not able to stand up to the pounding running game late after rushing the passer all game. For all of the media's talk of the "quick strike" capabilites of this offense and the basketball on grass playbook, the most impressive drive I saw from all six games didn't even yeild points. The Rams ran 10 TIMES and threw 2 short ( high % ) passes to move the chains , move the clock and ran all 6 + minutes off of the clock. Even though the 9 ers had timeouts AND momentum. Very Impressive.

    Keys to the game are simple.
    Contain the RB ( Faulk or Canidate ) , you can give them some yards, just don't miss tackles.
    Pressure Warner. He has taken a LOT of hits this year.A Lot, ask a Ram fan, I still can't figure out why he was in the Lions gaem after the 3rd qtr !!!!!!!! In the Lions game he was sacked but once , but sent to the ground OFTEN. We all know about the Giants putting pressure on him as did the 9ers. If you can knock him around, as with any QB, you can help your DB's vs. the deep ball, and maybe create turnovers. Look for some pressure from the DT's as the Lions, Dolphins,and 9ers were able to get upfield pressure from the DT's.
    Stay in the gameplan. If the Rams get up by 17, don't go 5 wide shot-gun ..... stay in your plan. The 9ers did it, and had a good amount of success against the D in the second half. They are fast , but they are small, so try to keep them on the field and push right at them.
    Make tackles. The Rams have playmakers. They are going to be open and they are going to get yards. Don't give them any extra. Play physical, but make the play above all else.
    NO TURNOVERS in the kicking game.The punt return team is like a circus, and at this point, I'd like them to just put Kevin Mathis back there and let him field the punts. Duece is not capable, and turning the ball over deep will get you beat, ask the Eagles.
    Keep RW involved in all phases of the offense. Every week, this one is true. 30 + touches means a beaten down defense.
    Use Willie Jackson's big frame on the slant. The Rams like to use A.Archuleta as a rover on first downs and in short yardage, he is not strong in coverage, so use motion to get Willie the oppurtunity to take advantage of the space created by Archuleta being near the LOS. He will be up to try and contain RW !!
    Get Aaron out of the pocket to get him more comfortable, and to slow the fast but undersized DE's rush upfield. Get him outside of contain EARLY ( as in the first drive!!! )to put pressure on the DE to CONTAIN, not just rush.
    Get the ball down filed at least twice a qtr. Use play-action in max protect and get the ball over the top to Horn and/or Connell. Force the Rams into making a play on the ball. Williams will probably lock up on Horn most of the day and this should be a good battle.
    Utilize Cleeland. Chad Lewis and Anthony Becht had good success finding open space above Fields, use this to get the LB's and AA off the LOS a bit, to give RW space.
    So, what does all this mean, really ??
    Simple, we have to play football up to the capability of our personnell, we haven't played that way for 4 quarters in any game yet, so .........

    Rams 34
    Saints 23

    Here's to hoping I'm wrong .......
    I'll be back to talk about specific match-ups later in the week ............
    Last edited by Coach_Largent; -10-23-2001, 07:18 AM.

  • #2
    Hmmm, interesting...

    Coach Largent, impressive analysis - very interesting, especially regarding the running strategy against the Rams.

    As you said, here's hoping you're wrong too --about the score, that is-- take 6 points away from Aints. Thanks.

    GO RAMS!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you Jorge .....

      .......here's an interesting note on the game. I don't think Ricky Williams has ever suited up against the Rams. Ditka ran him into submission in year one and last years broken ankle was in week 10. We played all three with you guys after that.

      Weird .....

      Comment


      • #4
        interesting note

        Comment


        • #5
          NICE

          You have a very nice reading piece of work coach....

          However,

          What makes you different from an NFL coach? Don't you think every coach in the NFL has thought of the same thing and just can't seem to accomplish the task. I have been hearing the same thing from many "coaches" but it doesn't seem to work.

          I like your ideas and thoughts, but I really think the Rams make great adjustments through out the game and seem to pick any stratagys opposing coaches can dish out. Couple things to note.

          1) Your not going to stop this offense once it starts clicking

          2) You are making the same statments that people have been making for 3 years about the defense. I PROMISE YOU one thing, this IS a different defense and it IS coached better than any thing previous. The reason the niner's stayed with the Rams is they are getting better and better and I think they rate in the top 4 teams in the NFL right now.

          Comment


          • #6
            J - Ram .....

            ... thank you for the compliments.

            In return,

            What makes me different is the calibre of my players and, of course, my paycheck :rolleyes:

            Seriously, I am saying some things there that you may be missing. The defense is much improved. They take people out of their gameplan. They take away East-West running, and stuff the strecth. Those are huge compliments, and huge changes to that defense from last year. I didn't say this was some brand of magic that would let any NFL team smite the Rams. Or that the Saints could make it work.
            I know what I'm saying is not revolutionary, what I'm saying is that there is room in the middle to run. The tapes were clear on that. Does that make a gameplan ? Hell no. Does that mean a coach as good as Lovie would let it keep happening. Hell no. I was just pointing out things that could be exploited by the Saints personnell. I try to be fairly unbiased when writing up the weekly. I did see the middle give yards. I did see Warner get hit too much. I'm sure you have seen the same things. I AGREE completely with the fact that this defense is better. WORLDS better than last years porous quitters. Carter really is a cancer ...........

            Lovie is a great half time adjuster. All you have to do is look at the 3rd qtrs of the Rams games this year to see pure evidence of that.

            I listed things the Saints need to do, and places they will try to work to try and win. Not what the Saints WILL do ....... just what I saw watching the tapes ............

            Comment


            • #7
              Coach:

              I echo my fellow Rams fan's sentiments; impressive analysis.

              Question for you: Do you think the "run up the gut" strategy will be effective in terms of clock management? That is, can the Saints afford to plod 3-5 yards/play, taking a long time to score in light of the Rams explosive audience?

              Isn't there an incentive to throw, and throw often, if the Saints get behind on the road early? How would that throw off your game plan?

              I appreciate your input, especially since I know you're a knowledgeable football mind.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hey Coach -

                How about putting together an analysis for what the Rams need to do to stop the Saints?

                (With a CC to Mr. Martz )

                Comment


                • #9
                  Coach, you were right on the money. Teams are starting to run straight up the middle on us, but that may be because we aren't stuffing the middle with an LB. Arch is trying to stuff the middle on the run, and he has come a long way. However, I thought I did see the Giants and the Jets push the D line back and no LB to fill the gap. Instead of Arch, I believe that either Fields or Fletcher needs to come up a little instead of protecting the outsides.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think the Rams objective is to stop Williams and the running game,but the key to the Rams success defensively has been stopping teams in the red zone.So far,the Saints havent had a lot of red zone success and the Rams have kept teams from scoring.So lets see what happens.This game,in my opinion,will be decided by turnovers.Not as far as quantity of,but when and where they occur.


                    GO RAMS! STAY FOCUSED! WIN!
                    Last edited by Aries51; -10-23-2001, 10:55 PM.
                    ST.LOUIS RAMS:THE MOST FRUSTRATING TEAM IN THE NFL!!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by guitarboy51
                      I think the Rams objective is to stop Williams and the running game,but the key to the Rams success defensively has been stopping teams in the red zone.So far,the Saints havent had a lot of red zone success and the Rams have kept teams from scoring.So lets see what happens.This game,in my opinion,will be decided by turnovers.Not as far as quantity of,but when and where they occur.
                      Right on all counts. Red zone Rams has been good , and the Saints O has been average in the red zone.
                      When and where in the T.O. batlle will be very key.

                      LonghornRam - I think the key will be to not plod through but use the yards in the middle ( if they can get them ) as a jumping off point, in the same way the Rams use that little 3 step slant to Bruce to go deep to the Y WR off the pump fake. A kind of building block, but you are right, if they take 6 minutes of clock and get 3 ......it's not going to do much .... they obviously need to convert 3rd downs and get TD's when given the oppurtunity.
                      The pitfall teams get into against you IS throwing more than normal, chenging their gameplan. The goal I think is to force the issue by getting ahead early and then taking those 6-7 minute drives ( the key is getting points on those long drive. ) If the Saints start a track meet with the Rams, well "Katie bar the door" ( Keith Jackson - whoa nelly reference ) the Rams would ut up 50 ...........

                      I think the D for one or both teams will probably score, they both have been good at FORCING turnovers.

                      txramsfan - arch was a great pickup and is helping that defense vs. perimeter running, Fields while giving you a lot of speed is still scraping too close to the LOS and getting caught up in blockers on plays going away from him and overpursue the on-side plays. It's the price you pay for his speed and the 2-3 big plays a week. When AA is playing that well, you can afford those mistakes .... Fletcher is staying blocked too often.
                      you guys know the saying "Being blocked isn't a sin. Staying blocked is." It's true ............

                      These are of course nit-picking coach style things. As a whole seeing the improvement of your D on tape is stunning. I can't imagine Lovie not getting some run this year for a HC job somewhere, don't you think.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The rumors out of St. Louis are that Lovie's HC stock is moving up quickly, especially because of his abilities to put various personalities together into a cohesive unit.

                        In today's free-agency NFL (where a team is lucky if they can keep their nucleus for 2+ years), that is a skill in high demand. While we would obviously love to keep him, I can't imagine he won't get the nod to be a head coach in the next 2 years.

                        Nice Keith Jackson reference; hopefully Ricky won't be "rumbling, bumbling, and stumbling" against the Rams.

                        Any thoughts on OU-Nebraska Saturday? Need a 'Husker win to give the Horns any chance at all at the Rose Bowl.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Longhornram ....

                          the OU/Neb game will be intersting. Neither of them looked very good last week.
                          As far as hopes for UT, you have to hope that someone can beat UCLA and Wash St. both, and V-tech beats Miami. I think UT can squeeze past VT undeafeated. But in that scenario it would be a UT-OU rematch, and as long as Mr.Overrated is QB'ing, I'll take OU in that one. I've been getting AMPED up about a Texas-Florida Sugar Bowl. I mean, THAT would be the most exciting bowl match up of the season, IMHO. Those 2 teaams showcase more speed than 1/2 of the NFL teams do. There would be a hell of a lot of 1-3rd rnd giuys on that field, from freshman to senior.

                          As for this weekend, I'll take OU as well. Sadly. Grudgingly. Painfully. I think Nebraska needs one other offensive player to step up and they haven't had it. Crouch is amazing but OU's safeties are better than 2/3 of the NFL duo's. Their LB's are better than 1/2 of the NFL teams, and that freshman kid at DT is simply brutal. How can he be so dominant already ???

                          As for RW, I hope he does get to showcase his talent.
                          I feel bad for him so far. It's the same scenario as Crouch right now. How far can one man take you ???

                          I can't imagine Lovie making 2 more years. Of course, at the time I thought he might get the Texans job ............ How he has made it this long is beyond me. I know you guys would like to keep him, but I wouldn't expect him to be there long.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Absolutly excellent post

                            Loved your post Largent..I agree the Rams running defense
                            is weak when you go right at them as I feel Williams can.
                            But the Saints will need alot more then Williams to win.
                            I feel the Saint secondary will be your downfall. The Saint front four will not be able to pressure Warner like the Giants did.
                            Strahan is an exception and their is no one else like him. The Saints will have to gamble and blitz.TheRams will counter with quick passes to Trung Akim etc...This game will be won in the Saints secondary. If they fall behind early..running up the gut with Williams will not get them back in the game. The only reason the Niners were successful was because the Rams blew some oportunity's to blow the game open on dropped passes !
                            The Saints need Brooks to be as good as McNair played in Super Bowl to have any chance. Your defense will not decide this game but how effective your offense will...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by txramsfan
                              Coach, you were right on the money. Teams are starting to run straight up the middle on us, but that may be because we aren't stuffing the middle with an LB. Arch is trying to stuff the middle on the run, and he has come a long way. However, I thought I did see the Giants and the Jets push the D line back and no LB to fill the gap. Instead of Arch, I believe that either Fields or Fletcher needs to come up a little instead of protecting the outsides.
                              This is a very temporary situation here. Lovie Smith had some beef in Tampa Bay at DT in McFarland and Sapp and the result was a less vunerable DL. This offseason, via the draft or free agency, Smith (or his successor if he gets an HC gig) will find a 300+ lber that begs for a tandem block on rushing attempts between the OTs.

                              That happens and the rest of the League is in big-time trouble.

                              Comment

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                              • djccon
                                Now That I've Cooled Off...
                                by djccon
                                The results of the game with the 'Aints are inexcusable and unacceptable. That means I am inconsolable. There cannot be any consolation from this game, nor do I see any positives coming from it. However, here are some observations that I have come away with now that I've had some time to cool off and think objectively:

                                1) I am FED UP with hearing regularly about the "ball maintenance" drills these guys run every DAY in practice, only to watch them cough it up week after week. Obviously it isn't working - so, Mr. Martz, FIND SOMETHING THAT DOES!

                                2) I never cared for Bobby April when he was in Pittsburgh. I liked him less in Atlanta, even less in New Orleans, and I am convinced he must have pictures of someone naked with a hooker to be able to stay in the NFL. Who deemed this guy a guru? Every week we can count on opponents starting at least 2 possessions outside their own 35 after kickoffs. You can look it up.

                                3) Was it just me, or did Canidate seem totally exhausted by half time? I thought Martz said he planned to rotate backs a little more. I think being tired contributed greatly to his struggles. As tired as he looked, I just KNEW it was only a matter of time before he put it on the carpet.

                                4) The dropped passes are unforgiveable. When you get that much $, catch the dang ball, ESPECIALLY when you're trying to keep control and move the chains.

                                5) 1st and 10 near midfield, up 24-6, and a fumble. The defense holds on 4 straight downs, again near midfield, and an INT. Control the @#$% ball, and put the game away ASAP! Blowing a 24 point lead at HOME is unforgiveable.

                                6) I don't care what those two-toothed, cousin-marrying morons in Louisiana say, all the 'aints proved Sunday is they need 8 turnovers to beat us. Had they gotten only 7, they'd STILL have lost. How does that sit with you 'aint fans - knowing you only got 1 or 2 "takeaways" - you know @#$% well those were "giveaways" (i.e., you didn't TAKE, we GAVE)?

                                7) This game convinced me of one thing - the only team good enough to beat the Rams, is the Rams. There is no consolation in this, neither do I consider it a positive since they were SO @#$% willing to do just that.

                                Out for now. Peace!
                                -10-30-2001, 05:43 PM
                              • ramhard
                                Perspective from Live at the Lions Game
                                by ramhard
                                Stream of consciousness from game:

                                How in the heck could the Lions have given Matt Millen a contract extension as GM? The team has stunk and continues to stink, yet they extend his contract. Using his first round pick on Mike Williams? A good player, but they already had players like him on the squad, they had many other needs. Think they could use DeMarcus Ware, Shawn Merrimen, Derrick Johnson, or Thomas Davis? With all the Martz bashing, Mariucci has done nothing with the Lions.

                                Ok, to the game. Since the TV would be showing all the skill positions I focused on the big boys mostly, and other stuff that would be out of the frame.

                                Views of the OL. Played well, but surprisingly Pace got beaten a couple of times on the rush. RTís played fine, mostly hold your position type of play, I think it was mainly Tucker at RT. Lotís of chipping with the TE. The line gets in trouble when they try to use the inside guys to do a lot of pulling and trapping. Our current OGís just arenít that athletic. When it works, can spring a big game, but saw lots of penetration on those plays. Barron sure does look the part. He and Pace look like big and little brother. Barron also is amazingly fast for a lineman. When he drops back to past protect he gets back much faster than anyone else, including Pace Ė nice feet. I donít think his problem will be outside speed rushers. However, he got beat twice on inside moves where the guy swims under him. This is where his lack of strength hurts, and how they use his speed against him (get him going back and duck underneath). He is not ready, and is not a force on run offense (kinda a lean into him blocker right now), but you can see the gifts. He was also very attentive even when he wasnít playing. Listening in huddles, watching the play, I was impressed by he and Terrell.

                                Speaking of Terrell, I never thought I would say this about a man, but he has an amazing backside! He looks like a traffic cone with legs.

                                Other O thoughts. I canít see Collins being more than a practice player this year. He looked tentative and lost on O, and just okay on special teams. Maybe its the new position, but no instinctive moves or spark. Seemed to be a concentrated goal to use the TE more in the game. TEís were open all day, even when they werenít thrown the ball. BM had a couple of good plays in the pass game and a couple of lost opportunities. If he can become even somewhat consistent he will have a huge year. That is the position that defenses are giving up to cover the WR's plus Faulk.


                                Some D thoughts. Green may have started but Hargrove got most of the first half play. So much so that I wondered whether Brandon had gotten hurt. Hargrove still has one move Ė the bull rush, but if you give him time, he will beat you. He was the most animated guy pregame and on the sidelines. Hargrove isnít an around the edge speed rusher...
                                -08-30-2005, 11:28 AM
                              • Raptor
                                Rams @ Hawks..Through My Eyes
                                by Raptor
                                I gotta tell ya, this game will be exciting, as have pretty much every past meeting between these two teams. Last years games were all out thrillers, both very close, undecided until the very end. This one and probably the next in your house will be the same.

                                Looking at last years games, either team could have won or lost both games. In Seattle, had the Rams not been called for defensive holding on that last drive, who knows if the Hawks would have scored to win. In St. Louis, if that ref didn't take Bobby E out on that play, who knows if he wouldn't have scored. I hate it when refs decide the outcome by the way...both games had defining plays defined by the stripes.

                                Back to this game...The way I see it.

                                The Rams need to change their defense up...allot. Show as many different looks as you can, blitz as much as humanly possible. Holmie doesn't seem to react very well, play-calling wise, when things are happening that he does not expect. A great example of this was the Tampa game. Holmie had to game plan for their defensive speed, but I think the amount of blitzing surprised him. The lack of ability to change the game plan due to what the defense was doing is a cause for concern. Holmie stuck to it, either through an inability to adapt to what was happening or a reluctance to stray from what he "knew" would work. The result was the worst offensive showing in the past three years. Moving around Little like you did last week is a good example something that I feel will cause the offense trouble.

                                Offensively, you guys are still very tough. You can never discount your playmakers on any play. While I sometimes question the split-second decisions Bulger makes, he still has the skills and the smarts to hurt any defense. Our D needs to play fast, as fast as they did against the Saints and SF. The D line can't give Bulger any time, they need to harass him all day. They have the ability to do so, but while your O line is not what it was, they are still good enough to make this task difficult. We need Simmons to shadow Faulk in everything he does, we can't let you get anything going on the ground. Another concern is the LB's ability to cover your TE's, this could be pivotal. There will be a give and take in regards to the WR - DB match ups, I think we see big plays by both sides.

                                I feel this will be a shoot-out guys, maybe even down to the last team who has the ball winning the game. The Hawk (I'll never call it qwest field) is different place since the last time you were here, but considering how wishy-washy Seattle fans can be, a few big plays to start the game could take the wind right out of them.

                                There is allot about this game to be concerned about, but one thing is for sure...it will be exciting.

                                Just Win Blue.
                                Raptor aka Blitzfan
                                -10-09-2004, 02:06 PM
                              • jjigga3000
                                PUTTING THE SLEEPER TO BED (LONG READ) but good read
                                by jjigga3000
                                PUTTING THE SLEEPER TO BED.
                                By Bill Simmons
                                Page 2
                                www.espn.com

                                After five weeks of the 2006 NFL season, we've only learned 10 things:

                                1. If you're a QB, and you blow out a knee or smack your body up in a motorcycle accident, definitely take your time coming back. No rush. Seriously.

                                2. The Bears have a chance to be historically good.

                                3. The Raiders have a chance to be historically bad.

                                4. Drew Bledsoe has added a degree of difficulty for blowing big games. In the old days, he'd just throw a back-breaking interception at the worst possible time. But since everyone knows that's coming now, he added a fascinating wrinkle: An improbable play to throw us off and make us forget he's about to blow the game (like last week's fourth-and-18 bomb to Glenn), followed by the back-breaking interception that becomes doubly back-breaking because of the preceding events.

                                WEEK 5 REDUX
                                Last week's picks found me on the wrong side of three killer gambling moments:

                                1. With the Pats giving 10 and headed for a push, Maroney gets a game-clinching first down inside Miami's 20, only nobody tackles him, so he keeps going and it looks like he's going to score ... NO! He gets pushed out at the 4-yard line. That's followed by three Brady kneels.

                                2. The Browns are getting 8.5 points and trailing by 11. Fourth down, 15 seconds left. Instead of taking one more crack at the end zone, Romeo Crennel sends out the FG team for the cover. This actually happened.

                                3. The killer of killers: Getting 6.5 points, the Lions are trailing by two at midfield and it's fourth-and-10 with less than 90 seconds to play. Kitna scrambles, two guys pull him down ... and as he's falling, he flips it right to a Vikings lineman, who scrambles untouched for a clinching TD and the cover. I hate gambling.

                                5. You're not winning a Super Bowl with Brett Favre or Steve McNair. They're both washed up. Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it's true.

                                6. San Diego has the most talent in the AFC. Unfortunately, the Chargers also have an uptight coach who runs his team about as loosely as Ted Knight handled his daughters in "Too Close For Comfort."

                                (Note: Sadly, that show was canceled 21 years ago, making the reference Bermanian for everyone younger than 30. Normally I avoid doing this, but I have two defenses: First, it's the perfect comparison. You really had to see the show. And second, Ted Knight was a comedic genius. So I'm standing by the reference. Now if I only had a clip of me and Glenn Frey standing outside the Hotel California. Back to the column.)

                                7. If you're getting points with the Lions on the road and covering in the final minute, and the Lions have the ball, and they're driving, and the only way you could ever lose is if Jon Kitna fumbles a touchdown, throws an interception...
                                -10-13-2006, 10:26 AM
                              • Rambos
                                Coach breaks down the rematch with the *****
                                by Rambos
                                By Rick Venturi

                                For the past three years, Iíve enjoyed writing this column as much as anything Iíve done. It has allowed me to ďstay in the gameĒ, study teams and schemes, and to literally ďcoachĒ my readers on the nuances of the NFL game. Iíve never dumbed it down - because I have too much respect for NFL fans in St. Louis and throughout the country.

                                This will be my last column for a while, as my hip replacement can wait no longer. The good news is that Iíll be like new soon, and though I wonít be a part of your daily morning radio, I hope to be a significant part of 101ís football coverage for years to come. The Coach simply needs to get well, spend more time with the grandchildren in Indianapolis, and hang out on the beach in Florida in those cold winter months. 44 years of hard work give me some liberty here. Three years ago I promised you preparation, insights, and passion, and I hope Iíve delivered.

                                This past Sunday, the Rams finally put some demons to rest. They won on the road, got a bunch of turnovers, and, finally, finished off a team in the fourth quarter. After a poor first half, Fisher regrouped the troops, and aided with Arizona coach Whisenhuntís decision to go with rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley, the Rams got the gifts they needed to get a win. The Rams ended up with a fine total 2nd half performance and a long sought road victory.

                                On the positive side, Amendola gutted it out, and got the Rams a big play, and an emotional lift. Givens continues to establish himself as a big play guy. I was glad to see Kendricks make a ďbig timeĒ play, and I did think Bradford did a solid job. He continues to throw the deep ball better. Jackson continues to run possessed and validates the two back system.

                                The best story for many in 2012 has been the development of the offensive line. They had a superb performance again, and the return of Wells was visible. If there is an assistant coach of the year award - it should go to offensive line coach Paul Boudreaux for transforming a liability into a real strength. I havenít seen a transition as great as this one in a long time. These guys have blocked the hell out of the ***** and Cards, two really good defenses.

                                On the defensive side of it, after another unaggressive first half the Rams, led by rookie corner Janoris Jenkins, turned rookie Lindley in to a turnover machine. I certainly commend Jenkins for two game changing plays, but the game was certainly gift wrapped. Iím not sure where the defense is at this point, as it continues to exhibit a containing, bend but donít break philosophy. I would like to see Jenkins become a consistent player, and I would like to see Brockers show improvement as a rusher as this season winds down.

                                The 49erís havenít changed dramatically on offense, but with Kaepernick at quarterback, the Rams face a much tougher tactical problem. Smith has played well, and was good enough...
                                -11-30-2012, 01:43 PM
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