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Running Game % at 6-1

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  • Running Game % at 6-1

    We are about 5 percentage points below our offensive balance percentage when it comes to running the ball compared to the Super Bowl season. This has taken more than just a psychological effect on Warner and the sacks, the WR's are dropping balls more often it seems due to the type of pass routes across the middle and know they are going to get leveled.

    When Faulk comes back, do the Rams run the ball like they have tried with Canidate, or does Faulk's receiving abilities make it so much more attractive for Martz to throw? Not sure, I think we need to run more.

    Suggestions?

  • #2
    Getting inside Martz head, you know he's gonna keep going for the air game. It's what he likes. I enjoy it myself, I just do. I know the dangers in an unbalances offensive plan, but it's more entertaining. From a coaching perspective, it really does depend on the defense you are up against. I have to bow to Martz and his other coaches in this respect, because I can't read a defense at all. But let's hope he keeps more options open from here on out.

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    • #3
      Martz said he doesn't care about the %s or balance, so I think we will continue doing what we have been doing. I agree that we should run more, especially looking at our yds per carry stats. One thing that I've liked over the past couple years is that, despite the public opinion to the contrary, we could grind it out when we really wanted to.

      In 1999, we played an incredibly easy schedule, so maybe that explains the increased running % back then? This year we've run up against the defenses of New Orleans and the Giants that are tough against the run, so we only ran 16 times in each of those games.

      But against Detroit we could have run more; I think that was showtime, tho! Hopefully against Carolina we'll get a heavy dose of Faulk, Canidate, and even some good ol' Holcombe...

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      • #4
        Run Forrest! Run!...

        Good study question, TXRamfan.

        Yes, I'd like to see more Ram running production, even with some double-back formations for short yardage plays -- but NOT only for a "2nd and inches" or a "3rd and goal from the 1" situations.

        Ok, we have the league's best duo in the category of all-purpose, truly versatile RBs in Marshall Faulk and Trung Canidate, excellent receivers. Apart from that we also have good, hardnose, reliable backs in Watson, Holcombe and Hodgins for more traditional running plays. Besides, our OL is good and Coach Hannifan knows running plays, from old fashion [very old] to high tech!

        It's fine if Rams remain an aerial attack team. That's their forte and trademark since 99. Everyone knows by now that their potential with such arsenal is among the NFL's all-time best ..."a la Air Corryell." But it would be nice though, if we could just convince Mike Martz to do some more running to keep opponent D's guessing.

        GO RAMS!!!
        Last edited by RealRam; -11-06-2001, 05:52 PM.

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        • #5
          I loved the playcalling we used against the Jets.I think that was a very balanced attack.Of course, the Jets are also very weak against the run.I love the "pass to set up the run "philosophy,and I would like to see the Rams run the ball without becoming overly conservative.No need to worry there though.I dont see Martz ever becoming conservative,but I do think we need to grind it out sometimes,especially in the 2nd half with a good lead to protect.


          GO RAMS! STAY FOCUSED! WIN!
          ST.LOUIS RAMS:THE MOST FRUSTRATING TEAM IN THE NFL!!!

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          • Fargo Ram Fan
            Mike Martz...great O C....bad HEAD COACH
            by Fargo Ram Fan
            Ok ...we are all in mourning today. What a shamefull experience. I have nothing but LOVE for this team...and have for nearly 30 yrs...but Mike Martz is NOT a good HEAD COACH! Who among us COULD NOT SEE that the pass protection(Jones out,Tucker and Pace banged up) was NOT WORKING yesterday
            ?? Who among us COULD NOT SEE that OUR BEST PLAYER WAS NOT GETTING THE BALL ENOUGH!!!!!
            Gimme a BREAK MIKE!!! We have the acknowledged BEST PLAYER IN THE GAME and he gets 17 carries in THE SUPER BOWL...with the passing game having a TOUGH DAY???? The man was averaging nearly 4.5 yds per carry!!! He was DUE to break off a BIG ONE at ANY MOMENT!!! 17 CARRIES?? I dont get it...Im sorry...YOU NEED TO ADJUST!!! When the tackles are banged up and they are getting pressure from the corners ITS TIME TO GASH THE MIDDLE. The couple times they ran right at them we saw good things happen. Then it was PASS PASS PASS. No disprespect to New England but 8 games out of 10 they ARE NOT the better team,didnt we beat them in THEIR HOUSE? If Faulk sees 31 carries(or anything close to it) as in the EAGLE game...I see them HOISTING THE GOLDEN FOOTBALL...AGAIN! Sure there are other things that went wrong but STEVIE WONDER could have seen the OBVIOUS and made the adjustment in the GAME PLAN. Dont get me wrong...I dont want to see Mike go...hes an offensive genius and has revolutionized the game to a degree...but he has shown REPEATEDLY that he is NOT a good GAME DAY head coach. Poor clock/timeout use...bizarre use of the replay challenges...leaving STARTERS in BLOWOUTS...and a real UNWILLINGNESS to adjust the game plan. Damn shame that it came down to this. Had they fed MARSHALL the damn ball I dont think we are enduring this today. As a side note...who isnt sick of seeing DEXTER(TOAST)McCLEON getting BURNT in EVERY GAME??
            What a WEAK LINK. If he doesnt get BURNT he gets FLAGGED. Smear penut butter on him and send him packin. Sorry...just have to vent.:angryram: Theres still a bright future!!:shield:
            -02-04-2002, 08:16 AM
          • RamDez
            Sunday's victory shows importance of running game
            by RamDez
            Sunday's victory shows importance of running game
            By Bryan Burwell
            Of the Post-Dispatch
            Monday, Sep. 13 2004

            Of all the days on a pro football calendar, Mondays are usually the best
            indicator of the delicate, almost razor-thin line that separates winners from
            losers in the National Football League. All across the NFL map yesterday, 32
            head coaches stood in front of banks of microphones for their Monday
            post-mortems, with the losers offering begrudging excuses and regrets and the
            winners tossing around compliments free and easy.

            It hardly mattered how many mistakes were made, how many yards were gained, how
            many tackles were missed or made. The harsh reality of the NFL is based on one
            simple fact of life:

            Did you win or lose on Sunday?

            On Monday afternoon at Rams Park, Mike Martz was one of the lucky ones,
            comforted in the knowledge that winning cures all the evils of the somewhat
            bumpy road his Rams encountered in their 17-10 season-opening victory over the
            Arizona Cardinals. Martz knew he could stand there at his afternoon news
            conference armed with the only statistic that mattered now that the race for
            Paul Tagilabue's silver Super Bowl trophy has begun.

            The Rams won.

            They are 1-0 and everything about this Monday just felt a lot better than last
            year's Day After Opening Day. Remember how after last year's 23-13 loss to the
            New York Giants, Martz spent most of that uncomfortable day trying to explain
            why Kurt Warner's head was all scrambled, and why Marc Bulger was now going to
            take the starting QB job after Warner's six-fumble disaster in the Meadowlands?

            Yet oddly enough, there are still some odd similarities between those two
            Mondays, because there's just as much uncertainty about exactly where this
            young season is headed as there was this time last year.

            Sure, there are plenty of positive signs, such as an offense that showed an
            impressive mean streak with a dominant running attack, and a defense that
            limited the Arizona offense to only 10 points. But there are still just as many
            question marks about a team still too prone to turnovers and so prone to
            injuries that you have no idea how long any of this good stuff will last.

            But right now, being 1-0 is still a lot better than being 0-1. So Martz smartly
            accentuated all the positives of his undefeated patchwork Rams. And the thing
            that he accentuated the most - and with good reason - was his surprisingly
            productive offensive line, whose nickname ought to be The Musical Chairs for
            all the position switches that these guys have gone through over the past few
            weeks because of injuries, retirements and contract squabbles.

            "They haven't missed a beat,"
            ...
            -09-16-2004, 12:10 AM
          • RamDez
            Martz looking to open up passing attack
            by RamDez
            Martz looking to open up passing attack
            By John Clayton
            ESPN.com

            Macomb, Ill. -- The success of the Rams offense has naturally become its worst enemy. For five years, defenses have schemed to stop "The Show." Each year, more defenders hang back in zones. Cornerbacks developed tricks to slow down Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt. First, it was the Cover 2 (zone).

            "We started calling it the Cover 2 Hold-em zone," Bruce said. And "hold-em" they did. Cornerbacks waited at the eight-yard area and grabbed Bruce's jersey so many times that he would come back to the huddle with his shoulder pads sticking out. That didn't stop Martz. He'd still send three-to-five receivers into coverages of seven or eight. Passing is the strength of the Rams no matter the strategies against them, and in five years, the Rams have finished no lower than third in the league.

            But things change. Offenses evolve. Guys get older. Bruce is now 31 and in his 11th year although he looks no worse for the wear. Holt has established himself as a Pro Bowler at the age of 27. Marshall Faulk is 31 and you're starting to hear speculation about him retiring because of a bad knee. And now, Kurt Warner is gone, and Marc Bulger is at the helm.

            The Rams Show may be getting older, but it's reloading to a certain degree. The other day, Martz incorporated some aggressive running drills in which backs hit holes hard and linebackers crashed into bodies to stop them. There is a new emphasis on trying to run the ball. No, this isn't Ground Chuck. The Rams remain a passing team, but Martz wants more physical, aggressive play from his offensive line to bring some changes in the coverages he sees.

            The idea is if the Rams can run the ball better, defenses won't keep an extra safety in deep coverage.

            "We need to run the football extremely well," Holt said. "I think Coach has a big emphasis on that this year. We need to establish the line of scrimmage. If we can dominate up front, maybe we will see eight in the box and get some one-on-ones for the receivers. I can count on one hand the number of times I see eight in the box against us in a game. If we are running the ball five and six yards a pop, teams might bring that eighth man in the box and make it easier for Marc Bulger."

            Despite making a playoff run with Bulger last season, the running offense grounded to a halt. Part of that was the health of Faulk, who fought through another year of knee troubles. Part of that was strategy. Backs ran the ball a little less than 23 times a game. That's a half sometimes for Ricky Williams, which is one of the reasons he's retired in Asian watching his NFL career go up in smoke.

            What Martz is stressing is more production from the running offense, which averaged only 3.6 yards a carry. That average needs to go up to anywhere from 4.5 to 5 yards a carry. Faulk's...
            -07-30-2004, 03:30 PM
          • RamWraith
            St. Louis ready to Ram it down opposition's throat
            by RamWraith
            By Larry Weisman, USA TODAY

            ST. LOUIS Imagine the St. Louis Rams with a big, power rusher featured in a grind-it-out offense and a coach willing to call one running play after the next. The first part is a reality called Steven Jackson. The second is almost too weird to consider. And that last suggestion? Mike Martz in love with the run? Maybe next lifetime.
            But it could happen considerably sooner than that. Like now. Revolution is in the air, or on the ground. With the 6-2, 231-pound Jackson stepping in as the starting running back in place of Marshall Faulk, the Rams, with a hammer in the backfield rather than a slasher, may change their philosophy.

            "You try to take advantage of whatever your strengths are," says Martz, whose team closes out the preseason Friday night at home against the Kansas City Chiefs. "We've retooled our offensive line, and I'd love to give that ball to Steven and pound it in there and pound it in there and take our shots downfield when we feel like it. That's fun football. That means we've got control of the game."

            The Rams lacked that last season, when they were 8-8 and a wild-card playoff qualifier. They scored 319 points, down from 447 in 2003, and were held to 17 or fewer in half of their games. Their quarterbacks were sacked 50 times, the most since Martz became head coach in 2000.

            If Monday night's 37-13 preseason victory against the Detroit Lions means anything, this new model works. Jackson carried 12 times for 105 yards in the first half and finished with 14 for 108. Faulk added three carries for 22 yards in the first two quarters. The Rams ran 39 times and passed 25 on their way to 453 yards of total offense, 183 on the ground.

            "Steven can put a lot of pressure on people," Martz says. "You'll see a different type of approach offensively."

            The Rams under Martz have always thrown before they ran. Martz says he derived his philosophy in part from Norv Turner. He was on Turner's staff with the Washington Redskins in 1997-98 and says he carefully studied the way Turner, now the Oakland Raiders' head coach, attacked as offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys (1991-93), when the Cowboys won consecutive Super Bowls.

            Turner, Martz says, threw the ball on 70% of the first-half snaps and ran it on 70% of the second-half plays. The rationale: "You throw the ball in the first half and they're rushing the passer, rushing the passer, and you start running the ball when you're fresh."

            The switch to Jackson as a starter was suggested by Faulk late last season. While Jackson is younger and less physically worn than Faulk, he must sharpen parts of his game to become a more complete player.

            "I'm still working on my pass routes," says Jackson, the club's No. 1 pick in 2004. "I never had to do it to this extent. In college...
            -09-01-2005, 11:21 AM
          • RamWraith
            It's come to pass: Martz discovers a running game
            by RamWraith
            By Bryan Burwell
            Of the Post-Dispatch
            10/04/2004

            Just before he walked out of the cramped visitors' locker room inside Monster Park Sunday night with a much-needed victory in his pocket, Marc Bulger paused for a moment to recognize the obvious. Something extra had happened on that perfectly manicured grass field of old Candlestick Park, something even more substantial than a mere victory over the pitiful *****.

            "I think we got a little credibility back," Bulger said.

            With a national television audience watching - and probably anticipating (perhaps even hoping for) a big, fat embarrassing Rams meltdown - the Rams had reclaimed no small measure of personal, professional and local pride. The pro football world is filled with all sorts of buttoned-down, less adventurous folks would have liked nothing more than to have seen Bulger's audacious boss Mike Martz get a little comeuppance on national TV.

            But within a blink of an eye, the Rams ruined all those plans. They took complete control of the night, broke out to an emphatic 24-0 first-half lead and gave the unbeaten Seahawks something substantial to ponder as they prepare for next weekend's big showdown in Seattle.

            At last tossing aside his pass-happy, run-thin philosophy, Martz put together the sort of well-balanced, clock-controlling attack that might be able to put the 2-2 Rams back into serious contention against Seattle (3-0) in the NFC West.

            The Rams did everything a good and smart football team is supposed to do in plundering the *****. Martz pragmatically used every one of his offensive weapons of mass destruction. He called running plays when the ***** were looking for passes. He called passes when they were stacking up to stop the run. Instead of fast and furious, he gave us choice blend. Instead of stubborn insistence on guns blazing, he chose a more surgical approach.

            But I'm a pessimist by nature. And even as I kept watching Marshall Faulk galloping all over Monster Park, a little voice in my head kept whispering:

            "How long will this last?"

            We've been to this party too many times before. We all know that just as often as he takes two steps forward, he's just as likely to take three steps back with a few one-dimensional air shows like he did against the Falcons and Saints.

            So again, that's why I keep hearing that little voice.

            "How long will this last?"

            So as a public service, I think it is important that we again bombard Mad (or is it Methodical?) Mike with some valuable numbers to look at in case he gets that predictable urge to stray from running the ball, particularly when some manic defensive coordinator plots out endless strategies to take Faulk out of the game.

            Remember Mike, statistics don't lie. Putting the ball in Faulk's hands is still the surest...
            -10-05-2004, 01:32 PM
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