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  • From Pro Football Weekly...

    • Word is the Rams are excited about the return to the lineup of second-year DT Jimmy Kennedy, who made his season debut vs. the Patriots last Sunday after being sidelined since early August with a broken right foot. We hear Kennedy looked a lot quicker and more explosive in the practices leading up to the Patriots game.
    • Rams OL Chris Dishman, who hyperextended his right knee in Week Three vs. New Orleans, has regained the starting OLG job from second-year pro Scott Tercero, but don’t be surprised if Tercero moves into the starting lineup at right tackle, where we hear Grant Williams is on an increasingly short leash.
    The Rams’ overall performance on defense left a lot to be desired the first half of the season. But one position that our sources believe could become an area of strength during the second half of the season is defensive tackle, in great part due to the steady play of former first-round pick Damione Lewis, who has been completely healthy for the first time in his four-year pro career. “It (being healthy) definitely has made a big difference,” Lewis told PFW last week. “I think I’ve played decently, but I need to continue improving my handling of double-teams, and I always feel I could do better against the run. And I think that we all can do a lot better job of tackling and finishing plays.” When asked about the difference between first-year defensive coordinator Larry Marmie and his predecessor, current Bears head coach Lovie Smith, Lewis said the main thing was that Smith kept things a lot simpler. Said Lewis: “Larry’s playbook is a little thicker. But he really believes in his system, and every week we’re getting a better handle on what he’s looking for from us.”

  • #2
    Re: From Pro Football Weekly...

    Said Lewis: “Larry’s playbook is a little thicker. But he really believes in his system, and every week we’re getting a better handle on what he’s looking for from us.”
    Ah, now the picture becomes more clear. The defense is having to stop and think about every play (Marmie ball) instead of just making the play (Lovie ball). Having a defensive unit that has to react instead of just going off instinct would make them look slow and sluggish. Time to dumb it down Larry.
    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: From Pro Football Weekly...

      Originally posted by HUbison
      Ah, now the picture becomes more clear. The defense is having to stop and think about every play (Marmie ball) instead of just making the play (Lovie ball). Having a defensive unit that has to react instead of just going off instinct would make them look slow and sluggish. Time to dumb it down Larry.
      Wouldn't it be nice if it was that simple? It may explain a few things, but, I think most would agree we need to pick up at least one, preferrably two, impact players in the secondary next year in the draft or FA. Still, it is helpful to gain alittle insight from the players perspective.

      GO RAMS!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: From Pro Football Weekly...

        Originally posted by AvengerRam
        Rams OL Chris Dishman, who hyperextended his right knee in Week Three vs. New Orleans, has regained the starting OLG job from second-year pro Scott Tercero, but don’t be surprised if Tercero moves into the starting lineup at right tackle, where we hear Grant Williams is on an increasingly short leash.
        That sounds like some good news to me. I'm excited to see what Tercero can do at the right tackle position, although I would prefer him to take over for Dishman. I guess though when you have two glaring weaknesses on the O-line, you can't fill both of them.

        If Tercero works out at right tackle, that'd clear the path for the Rams to draft David Baas (who I'm now high on apparently, since I drafted him in my Madden 2005 'chise).

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: From Pro Football Weekly...

          Originally posted by viper3
          Wouldn't it be nice if it was that simple? It may explain a few things, but, I think most would agree we need to pick up at least one, preferrably two, impact players in the secondary next year in the draft or FA. Still, it is helpful to gain alittle insight from the players perspective.

          GO RAMS!!!
          It may not be the whole puzzle, but doesn't this sound like a big piece? I mean how else do you explain veterans who have played together since, at least last year, if not longer in most cases, who go from a pretty decent unit one season to absolute crapola the next. Watch them on the field. They look absolutely lost. And I'm not talking about rookies, I'm talking about the Polleys, Littles, Thomases, & Arches that are a step late to every play.
          The more things change, the more they stay the same.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: From Pro Football Weekly...

            Originally posted by HUbison
            It may not be the whole puzzle, but doesn't this sound like a big piece? I mean how else do you explain veterans who have played together since, at least last year, if not longer in most cases, who go from a pretty decent unit one season to absolute crapola the next. Watch them on the field. They look absolutely lost. And I'm not talking about rookies, I'm talking about the Polleys, Littles, Thomases, & Arches that are a step late to every play.
            I'm with ya HUBison...it could explain alot! I still think we need some help in the secondary though.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: From Pro Football Weekly...

              If Tercero works out at right tackle, that'd clear the path for the Rams to draft David Baas (who I'm now high on apparently, since I drafted him in my Madden 2005 'chise).
              Keep in mind that Brad Smith (Mizzou's QB) is a top 3 pick in that game. That should be enough to show you the failings of EA with regard to their rankings in NCAA.

              I think Tercero is the answer at Guard for next year, but he hasn't been impressive at all from what I've seen all year at the tackle position.

              Comment

              Related Topics

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              • RamWraith
                Several young Rams already at crossroads of careers
                by RamWraith
                BY JEFF GORDON
                Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
                11/29/2004

                Online Columnist Jeff Gordon


                The Rams have time, with six games left on their schedule. They have opportunity, with so many NFC teams playing like they are in the Big 12 North this season.

                So what’s it going to be? Are the Rams going to overcome their pedestrian 5-5 start and battle into postseason play?

                Or are they going to stagger toward an offseason of heavy reconstruction?

                The Rams have been all over the map this season, so it’s tough to label the Monday Night Football game at Green Bay as a defining moment of the season.

                An upset would help the Rams, of course, but only if they followed it by dismissing the under-skilled ***** next week.

                A loss would hurt the Rams, obviously, but this is shaping up as a season where 9-7 or even 8-8 might be good enough.

                Will the Rams make it, or break? We’re guessing this season will go right down to the end, with plenty of good and bad surprises still in the offing.

                But this much is for sure: Many Rams are running out of time to make an impact for this franchise.

                There are lots of promising first- and second-year players on this team -- Mike Martz’s last two drafts have been OK -– but plenty of young veterans have reached the crossroads of their careers here.

                To wit:

                Damione Lewis, DT: He has made some big plays here and there, but he hasn’t become a defensive force. Lewis has NOT played like a first-round draft pick. When Martz elected to start street free agent Brian Howard ahead of him, that is a warning flare.

                Lewis is healthy now. There are no excuses.


                Jimmy Kennedy, DT: He is the same story. Foot problems slowed him earlier, but now he is healthy. He is overdue to become a force inside. At the very least, he needs to become a reliable run-stopper.

                On an otherwise under-sized front seven, he should make a big difference. But he hasn’t. Martz has been encouraged by Kennedy's improved work ethic, but that hasn’t been followed by improved productivity.


                Ryan Pickett, DT: He has shown more than the other two first-round picks -- largely because he has stayed relatively healthy -– but he hasn’t become special. Martz often says that defensive tackles take a while to develop, but at what point must an organization concede that a player has hit his plateau?

                It seems like we’ve about reached that threshold with “Big Grease.”


                Adam Archuleta, S: Remember when he appeared destined to become a regular at the Pro Bowl? That’s a faded memory. He is no longer a ferocious run-stopper and he hasn’t improved his coverage skills.

                Nagging back problems have certainly affected his play this season, but his ordinary play is still a concern....
                -11-29-2004, 02:02 PM
              • RamDez
                Due for a makeover
                by RamDez
                Due for a makeover


                By Bill Coats
                Of the Post-Dispatch

                08/28/2005


                The searing memory of Atlanta's Warrick Dunn, Michael Vick and T.J. Duckett running virtually unhindered through the flailing Rams defense in the NFC semifinals last January has faded a bit. But it certainly hasn't been expunged.

                The Falcons' stampede totaled 327 yards, within range of the NFL postseason rushing record of 382 yards by the 1940 Chicago Bears. But the defensive unit that went belly-up vs. Atlanta has been restocked, and coach Mike Martz is downright giddy about its potential.

                "I'm really excited about where they are," Martz said. "Who knows what's going to transpire from here, but this is as excited as I've been about a defense here."




                Those are bold words, considering that the 2004 Rams gave up more points than all but seven teams, an average of 25.5 points a game, and, at minus 24, had the worst turnover differential in the league. That occurred during defensive coordinator Larry Marmie's first season as Lovie Smith's successor. The changeover was far from smooth.


                "Last year, it was more of a transition from getting out of what Lovie wanted," tackle Jimmy Kennedy said. "You had guys questioning certain calls, just because we knew what Lovie probably would've called in that situation. . . . We don't second-guess anything now. (Marmie) calls it, let's play it and let's play it all out."

                Said safety Adam Archuleta: "We weren't attacking last year, and we weren't aggressive. I think that was indicated in our turnover margin. Now, it doesn't seem like we're playing on our heels anymore. We feel good about ourselves, we're more confident and we're flying around. Guys are looking to make plays."

                The original plan was to move Archuleta, a fifth-year pro, to free safety from strong safety, replacing Aeneas Williams, whose contract wasn't renewed. But Martz decided after the second preseason game to leave Archuleta at strong safety. Still, going back to the 2004 opening day lineup, six other spots on the unit are likely to have new starters when the Rams square off against the ***** on Sept. 11 in San Francisco:

                Middle linebacker Chris Claiborne, in place of Robert Thomas.

                Weakside linebacker Dexter Coakley, in place of Tommy Polley.

                End Anthony Hargrove, in place of Bryce Fisher.

                Kennedy, in place of Damione Lewis.

                Cornerback DeJuan Groce, in place of Jerametrius Butler, who is out for the season after knee surgery.

                An undetermined newcomer in Williams' spot at free safety.

                Veterans Claiborne and Coakley were free-agent pickups in the offseason. Hargrove, in his second season, steps in for Fisher, who went to Seattle as a free agent. Kennedy supplanted
                ...
                -08-28-2005, 03:48 AM
              • RamDez
                Veteran steps in for his injured teammate
                by RamDez
                Veteran steps in for his injured teammate
                By Jim Thomas
                Of the Post-Dispatch
                08/07/2004





                MACOMB, Ill. - Don't look for Bernard Holsey in an instructional fitness video any time soon. The veteran defensive tackle was doing a plyometrics workout during the offseason when he lost his equilibrium.

                "It was one of those freak accidents," Holsey said. "I was doing box jumps and kind of lost my balance. I fell down and my leg kind of stayed up on the box."

                He suffered a torn quadriceps tendon in his left leg and underwent surgery in February. Which is hardly the best way to begin the offseason as an unrestricted free agent.

                Because of the surgery, Holsey wasn't expecting to hear from NFL teams until the start of training camp. Much to his surprise, the Rams signed him to a one-year, $660,000 contract on June 18.

                "I really wasn't expecting that," Holsey said. "The Rams came out of the blue on that one. I really appreciate their trust and faith in me that everything's going to work out for the best."

                For the most part, Holsey had been a spectator during the first nine days of camp as he continued rehabilitation work on his leg. Now, it's time for Holsey to reward the Rams for that "trust and faith."

                Thursday afternoon, defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy was lost for 10 to 12 weeks with a fractured foot. On Friday afternoon, Holsey took part in his first full-scale practice with the Rams.

                Kennedy wasn't going to start this season; Ryan Pickett and Damione Lewis will handle those chores. But Kennedy had shown enough to merit a spot in defensive line coach Bill Kollar's rotation.

                "Obviously, he still had a ways to go," Kollar said. "But he was getting better and working pretty hard."

                With Kennedy shelved for at least half the season, Holsey becomes the No. 1 candidate for the No. 3 spot at defensive tackle.

                "To me, starting is not that important," Holsey said. "I'm here to play. And the way Coach Kollar rotates his guys, I'm going to get to play a good amount."

                Given Lewis' injury history, Holsey could play even more than he thinks. An eight-year veteran from Duke, Holsey has played for the New York Giants, Indianapolis, New England and Washington. He has started only 33 of 104 games over that span, but started all 16 games last season for the Redskins.

                "He's a stout-looking guy and stuff," Kollar said. "I know he's a tough guy, which we like."

                Other possibilities for tackle help off the bench include defensive captain Tyoka Jackson and youngsters Brian Howard, Justin Montgomery and Kevin Aldridge.

                "Over the last couple years, Ty has really done a good job at left end for us, and we really like him out there,"
                ...
                -08-07-2004, 01:54 PM
              • Rambos
                If the Shoe Fits
                by Rambos
                Wednesday, September 21, 2005

                By Nick Wagoner
                Senior Writer

                The improvement on the Rams' defensive line in the first pair of games could be attributed to any number of things, but as Mars Blackman (aka Spike Lee from the old Michael Jordan Nike commercials), would say, 'It’s gotta be the shoes.'

                For a group that has had its development slowed by a number of injuries, particularly to defensive tackles Ryan Pickett, Damione Lewis and Jimmy Kennedy, the solution to keeping the defensive line healthy and productive might have been in their feet this whole time.

                “The first two years they were here, injuries were always an issue,” coach Mike Martz said. “We took care of a lot of that just with the shoes. We started looking at their shoes and they were wearing a pair because they felt light and they looked pretty. Here’s this guy that’s 325 pounds with a pair of slippers with cleats on. He puts his foot on the ground and there’s no support. No wonder he fractures his feet. We made a big deal out of it with the league and Nike and Reebok were kind enough to come out with charts with weight limits on shoes.”

                Those charts had a correlation between the weight of the player and the size and amount of cushioning of the shoe. Mainly, though, the shoes were wider than the ones the group used before, which inherently provided more comfort and cushioning to the players using them.

                Martz even took the results from a study to the competition committee and told them about the problems the narrow shoes were causing to the bigger players.

                “We’ve asked all our linemen to wear hightops and they’ve expanded the shoes,” Martz said. “It’s made all the difference in the world. We haven’t had an ankle injury or, knock on wood, a foot injury since then.”

                The debilitating injuries along the defensive line have made it nearly impossible for the group to find its groove as a unit. You could almost set your watch to one guy getting healthy followed by someone else getting injured.

                Coincidentally, most of those injuries were foot or toe or ankle injuries that might have been prevented by having a better, wider, more-cushioned shoe.

                Perhaps none of the defensive linemen have been as affected as tackle Damione Lewis. Lewis was the team’s 12th pick in the 2001 NFL Draft out of Miami and was known for his quick burst off the line.

                But his progress has been slowed by a number of injuries, most of them in the feet and ankle. He broke his right foot in his rookie year after nine games and missed the rest of the season on injured reserve. He made it through 2002 without a problem, but suffered an ankle sprain that caused him to miss four more games in 2003.

                Lewis recovered to play in every game last season, but Lewis says the change of shoes has made him more comfortable.

                “All of the shoes...
                -09-21-2005, 04:19 PM
              • Tony Soprano
                Have you noticed this phenomena?
                by Tony Soprano
                Have you noticed this phenomena with Rams fans or any fans in general?

                When you speak about players individually they defend them all (or almost all), yet they readily admit we are bad.

                Fans have attachments to players or associate them with positive scouting reports when they were drafted, but, in total, they have no problem with labeling us bad.

                I had a conversation with a guy and Archuleta was a former all-pro with rare talent. Jimmy Kennedy was a bull of a man - a very rare athlete - going to be a great player. Daimone Lewis was from a long line of highly sought Miami players. Anthony Hargrove had the rare speed/size combinations that all NFL teams covet. Claiborne didn't get a chance. He was brought in and then never got to show what he can do. We don't need a new middle linebacker with Claiborne. Pisa's a piece of work.. Flies to the ball with a great attitude.. Heart of a Lion. Ryan Pickett is a pro-bowler - no doubt. We are lucky to have gotten Dexter Coakley with veteran leadership and his LB skills. And on and on.

                And then I say, yeah bet we're like 30th on Defense and they say - Yeah, we stink.

                I have been saying for 3 years that Marmie is terrible. He should've never been promoted. However, even I don't operate under the perception that it's all the coaches fault.

                This guy didn't either but when you walked down the Ram's starting DEF he defended every one of them individually and I've noticed that on here also to an extent.

                .
                -12-31-2005, 02:47 PM
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