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  • Looking back - 'Stats are for losers': Raheem Morris wants M.A.D. plays, not numbers

    'Stats are for losers': Raheem Morris wants M.A.D. plays, not numbers

    Cameron DaSilva
    August 6, 2021 5:43 am PT

    Statistically, the Los Angeles Rams had the best defense in the NFL last season. They ranked first in yards allowed, points against, first downs allowed, passing yards and touchdowns allowed, average opponent drive time and yards per drive. It’s clear as day that there was no defense better than Brandon Staley’s last year.

    But with Staley gone and Raheem Morris stepping into his role as defensive coordinator, Morris isn’t worried about numbers and stats. He wants his players making “M.A.D. plays,” as he calls them.

    It stands for “make a difference plays,” which every defense (and offense) wants. They’re impactful plays that can change a game and be the difference between winning or losing. Putting up big numbers obviously helps, but Morris wants his guys making game-changing plays this season.

    This was Morris’ assessment of the defense after Wednesday’s practice.

    “It’s really hard to say where you’re at on defense. You’ve got to go play against some other people,” he said. “But I like where we’re at with the energy. I like where we’re at from a learning curve. I like where we’re at from a mentality standpoint. And the guys buying into what we’re trying to sell. We got to go out there and we got to make those splash plays and those plays that make a difference in the game. We like to call them M.A.D. plays. ‘Make A Difference’ plays, right? So, if you go out and you establish that culture and you establish those things, you’ll be the best defense. Statistically, everybody gets caught up in those things. My saying is ‘stats are for losers.’ But if we can go out and make those memorable plays, those plays that make a difference in the game to help us win football games, that’s all I’m here for and that’s all I care about.”

    It’s easy to see where Morris is coming from and why he thinks the way he does. If an opponent drives 65 yards down the field on the Rams’ defense but Jalen Ramsey picks off the quarterback and returns it 40 yards, the stats will say it was a poor defensive drive by Los Angeles. But Ramsey’s difference-making play took points off the board for the opposing team and probably helped the Rams score.

    Rushing the quarterback is one of the best ways to create game-changing plays, either by getting sacks, forcing fumbles or pressuring the quarterback into a bad throw that leads to an interception.

    Morris likes what he’s seen from the Rams’ edge defenders, calling Leonard Floyd a “special player” and a leader among the young pass rushers.

    “You definitely want pass-rush and...
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  • Curly Horns
    started a topic Rams getting thin at RB

    Rams getting thin at RB

    Skyler Carlin
    December 4, 2021 11:40 am PT

    The Los Angeles Rams have been ailing at the running back position all season, and their injury woes continue to ravage their depth in the backfield. Ahead of Sunday’s game versus the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Rams have placed Buddy Howell on injured reserve, also activating Mekhi Sargent and Brandon Powell from the practice squad.

    With Howell headed to injured reserve, he’ll miss at least the next three games. Besides Howell, Raymond Calais, Xavier Jones, and Jake Funk suffered various injuries that will keep them sidelined until 2022.

    Also, it remains to be seen if Cam Akers can suit up this season due to an Achilles tear he suffered before training camp. So there’s a legitimate chance Los Angeles will have lost five running backs to season-ending injuries.

    Given the team’s moves on Saturday, it’s apparent that Darrell Henderson Jr. — who is dealing with a thigh injury — is in real jeopardy of missing Sunday’s game against the Jaguars. Sony Michel could draw the start this week if Henderson is unable to play.

    Sargent could be the No. 2 running back on the depth chart on Sunday if Henderson is inactive. Throughout the season, Sargent has logged only 15 total snaps (13 on special teams, 2 on offense), with all of them coming with the Tennessee Titans.

    As the Rams prepare to make a strong push in the latter part of the season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them search free agency for more depth at running back sometime in the near future.
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  • Rams' Sony Michel: Could be busy with Henderson iffy

    Rams' Sony Michel: Could be busy with Henderson iffy

    By RotoWire Staff
    23 hrs ago1 min read

    Michel may move into the lead backfield role with teammate Darrell Henderson (thigh) listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Jaguars, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic reports.

    Henderson's injury isn't thought to be serious, but he was held out of practice Wednesday and Thursday, which likely puts him on the wrong side of questionable ahead of a game in which the Rams are heavy favorites. There's also a scenario where Henderson is active and starts, but shares more of the workload with Michel than usual. When healthy, Henderson typically has handled a three-down role, with a large portion of Michel's snaps either coming in garbage time or when Henderson was banged up. That said, head coach Sean McVay made it clear he trusts Michel to lead the Rams' rushing attack and keep the team on schedule, even making a comparison to 2018 when C.J. Anderson stepped in for the more explosive Todd Gurley and helped the Rams reach a Super Bowl. The team doesn't expect Henderson to miss an extended period the way Gurley did that season, but it sounds like Michel could be busy for the next week or two....
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  • Odell Beckham Jr.'s status for Rams-Jaguars up in the air due to hip injury

    Odell Beckham Jr.'s status for Rams-Jaguars up in the air due to hip injury

    Published: Dec 03, 2021 at 09:38 AM
    Kevin Patra Around the NFL Writer

    Odell Beckham could miss Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday that OBJ's status for the Los Angeles Rams' Week 13 tilt is up in the air due to a hip injury.

    Beckham was limited in Wednesday's practice. On Thursday, however, he was downgraded, missing practice.

    Rapoport added that the injury isn't considered major but might be enough to keep him out this week.

    Beckham has played in two games with the Rams since his release from Cleveland, catching seven of 13 targets for 99 yards and a score. Beckham appeared in pain during L.A.'s loss in Green Bay on Sunday but still played 61 snaps (98 percent).

    If OBJ can't play this week, Ben Skowronek, who missed last week's game, would figure to see an increased workload in the Cooper Kupp-led Rams receiver corps....
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  • Sean McVay stunned by Rams fans' negativity in comments while recording podcast

    Cameron DaSilva
    November 30, 2021 11:44 am PT

    Sean McVay often says he doesn’t pay attention to outside noise, whether the Rams are playing well or struggling. He didn’t give in to the hype of Los Angeles being a Super Bowl contender this summer, and now that the Rams are on a three-game losing streak, he’s also not succumbing to the criticism.

    But while McVay was recording a podcast with J.B. Long and D’Marco Farr for the “Coach McVay Show,” he couldn’t help but notice the negativity in the comments while streaming on YouTube. McVay even interrupted Long twice to point out how critical fans were being in the comments section.

    “We gotta get this group chat – man, we’ve got some tough fans. Oh my goodness. Hey, glad you guys are really supporting us. Jeez,” McVay said. “I love it. I love it.”

    After continuing to read the comments, he was taken aback again.

    “Guys, take it easy on people, man. Jeez. This is why I don’t look at stuff. Hurt my feelings,” he said.
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  • svh01
    started a topic Otis Anderson Jr.

    Otis Anderson Jr.

    Otis Anderson Jr. who was in camp with the Rams was killed. By all accounts he was shot by his father. Reminds us that losing a game means nothing in the grand scheme of things. Prayers to the family and his loved ones.
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  • Jalen Ramsey explains how offenses are 'doing their homework' to beat Rams' defense

    Cameron DaSilva
    November 29, 2021 12:28 pm PT

    When Brandon Staley, Troy Hill, John Johnson and Morgan Fox all left the Rams this offseason, a regression was to be expected. Few people believed the Rams would have the No. 1 defense in the NFL again after suffering those losses, and now 11 weeks into the season, it’s clear that this isn’t the same unit that carried the team last year.

    Opposing offenses are figuring out ways to attack the Rams’ weaker players rather than going at guys like Jalen Ramsey, Aaron Donald, Von Miller and Leonard Floyd. They’re getting the ball out quickly and targeting linebackers and safeties in coverage, which is something Aaron Rodgers and the Packers did quite often on Sunday afternoon.

    Ramsey and Davante Adams was supposed to be the marquee matchup at Lambeau Field but when they were lined up across from each other, Rodgers only targeted Adams five times – completing five passes for 41 yards – the most yards allowed by Ramsey to a single receiver since Amari Cooper in Week 1 of the 2020 season.

    After the Rams’ 36-28 loss, Ramsey shared some insight on how offenses are attacking Raheem Morris’ defense by picking and choosing their matchups strategically.

    “Offenses are definitely trying to get matchups where they think may be best for them. They’re definitely trying to scheme up certain little things a little bit differently to have us potentially playing things a little bit differently. I mean, they’re doing their homework. They’re being an offense,” Ramsey said. “And then when you have a guy like Aaron Rodgers who, Hall of Fame guy, one of the best to do it, he also has a command with his offense to be able to even at times have communication with his receivers and they just go out and make it happen. So it is tough but it’s NFL football, it is what it is.”

    The Packers used a lot of pre-snap motion to keep Adams away from Ramsey in coverage, which worked in their favor. On a key third down in the first half, Adams lined up across from Troy Reeder, who was in zone coverage and didn’t get outside quick enough to prevent the reception. Later in the first half, Ramsey was lined up across from Adams in the slot, but the Packers motioned Josiah Deguara to that side of the field and split him outside. That caused Ramsey to follow him to the perimeter, keeping Dont’e Deayon in the slot on Adams, one-on-one.

    The result was a 43-yard catch over the top with Deayon trailing Adams from behind, setting up the Packers’ second touchdown of the game to go up 20-10.

    The Rams tried to adjust by keeping Ramsey on Adams more often in the second half, but the Packers still figured out ways to keep the ball away from No. 5 by targeting players such as Taylor Rapp, Troy Reeder and Deayon.

    Ramsey said...
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  • Were we tricked by that 7-1 start to the season

    Is because of that cupcake schedule in the beginning? This 3 game losing streak has shattered any hope for me this season. I was literally thinking Super Bowl after that 7-1 start....
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  • Rams pounded by packers 36-28; The Good, Bad and Ugly

    In a game that was certainly not as close as the final score indicated, the "all in" Rams lost their third game in a row on the road at green bay to drop their record to 7-4. Coming out of the bye, and with green bay badly banged up on the offensive line and down three starters, the Rams were favored by one point at game time and yet lost 36-28. Alas, once again, the Rams dug themselves an early hole and self destructed throughout the game, turning the ball over three times (including a pick six by stafford for the third week in a row), getting double up in time of possession, and were incapable of getting to rodgers. Despite a very shaky first half, the Rams were down only 20-17 at the break, but allowed an 8 minute td drive to start the third quarter and at the start of the fourth, the Rams were down by 19 and essentially out of the game. For the third straight week, the Rams could not get to a one possession deficit in the fourth quarter, let alone get a lead, scoring some points and gaining some yardage in what was essentially garbage time. A very discouraging performance and while the Rams are certainly injured, so are many other teams. Our top heavy win now approach over time is clearly biting us in terms of depth and this slump in coming at a very bad time. The Rams have dug themselves an enormous hole in the division and if they dont play a ton better they are going to be one and done in the playoffs.

    The Good

    79 yard td pass to jefferson
    54 yard td pass to obj
    7 yard td pass to henderson
    A lot of courage by obj playing with what was obviously a painful back injury
    kupp 7-96 (albeit a decent amount of that in garbage time)
    Near sensational td pass from kupp to jefferson, but alas, one foot out of bounds in the end zone stopped rams taking the lead
    Rochelle recovery of fumbled punt
    Gay hit a couple of field goals
    Miller had one tackle for loss and one qb hit (but see below) and donald played reasonably well, but didnt wreck the game at all.
    Nice catch by kupp on the two point conversion
    D held green bay scoreless in the minute and half before halftime to keep it a 3 point game (after an offsides on the punt by howell which was ridiculous)
    Pretty nice game for gaines who had our one sack on a nice tackle of rodgers who was trying to run for the first down (he had 7 tackles for the game)

    The Bad

    Stafford played poorly again today, despite the three td throws. Is he injured? Who knows. Does he miss woods? Of course. Is the offensive line allowing us to run and use play action? Not well. But so what? We traded a fortune for him and he is missing way too many throws. He is not taking what the defense gives him. Had a ton of misses today on open receivers, higbee, kupp, jefferson, obj, etc. IF the Rams are going to snap out of it, Stafford is going to have to play about a hundred times better than...
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  • Fifteen Observations About the Rams

    1. The offense is lost without Woods.
    2. We cannot win with Stafford making the mistakes he's making. This is why we ostensibly unloaded Goff.
    3. The Special Teams are awful and should be embarrassed at what they've done this season.
    4. Kupp and Henderson are the only guys right now doing a decent job offensively. Jefferson has potential to be a solid #2 if he continues to progress.
    5. I appreciate what Hekker has done for us over the years, but he should have been cut in favor of Bojorquez.
    6. We have too many guys who are not ready for prime time: Reeder, Koski and Rapp, among others, come to mind.
    7. Rams have not shown the necessary heart or stones to overcome adversity and injuries. This is not a tough-minded football team.
    8. The defense is a shell of what it was last season. Not even a little bit scary.
    9. Why are we wasting Ramsey's man-to-man defensive talents by having him play in zones much of the time?
    10. Has Vonn Miller made even one positive play of significance since he arrived?
    11. Anyone expecting Odell Beckham to play at an all-star level for the remainder of the season is dreaming.
    12. We have currently beaten one team...ONE, with a winning record.
    13. Matt Gay has exceeded expectations.
    14. Aside from allowing for more healing time, it's obvious the Bye does very little for many NFL teams in terms of performance.
    15. I'd have never guessed we'd struggle this badly after a 7-1 start. We are currently a terrible football team.

    Very disgusted and frustrated watching this team now. The way this team is playing, even the Jacksonville game is in question.
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