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The Official St. Louis Rams 2009 Season Discussion Thread

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  • #16
    Originally posted by GB12 View Post
    Well he was our 5th WR last season and was cut this year in favor of Brett Swain. However he is a lot better than you would think from that. He has had a career path that's very unusual. He has progressed and improved each year, but has also seen a decline in playing time each year. He had a nice rookie year where he worked his way up the depth chart to the #3 WR and even made a couple starts. Then we drafted James Jones and he was pushed back to 4th. He played better than his rookie year and caught 4 TDs, but both his catches and yards decreased. After 2007 we took Jordy Nelson and Martin slipped to 5th on the depth chart. He only saw time in our Big 5 set and specialty package due to how many good receivers we had in front of him. Then this season it was really a shock that he got cut. He was clearly the better receiver than Swain, but I guess the coaches wanted to keep Swain for his special teams and wanted to get Finley involved in the Big 5.

    He is a big receiver at 6'4" 220lbs, and can be the endzone threat that his size would lead you to believe. Of his 6 career TDs 4 of them were inside the redzone, and he has also caught a two point conversion. He can also get it done outside of the redzone though. He does have a career average of 14.4.

    Ruvell Martin will be at least your #3 as soon as he learns the St. Louis offense and should be a starter before the year ends. He is easily better than every receiver on the Rams besides Donnie Avery.

    Besides football, he is also a great person. I think what the coaches and players said about him after he was cut explains a lot.


    He was also very involved in the community and participated in all the charity events ran by the Packers or his teammates. He's someone you want to root for and I really hope he does well in St. Louis. It sucks to see him go, but it'll be cool for him to get a real chance and get to play rather than be the 5th WR in Green Bay.

    I know I'm talking him up quite a bit, and that's not normal to do for someone who was cut, but he really is a good guy and good player. I'm suprised we couldn't trade him for a pick rather than cutting him. There are a number of teams that he could be the #3 WR on.
    Thanks for the write-up. Hopefully he emerges and becomes this team's #3 receiver. I have a hard time believing a guy cut during the season is going to come in and start, especially with the way Laurent Robinson is playing and played during the pre-season. But I wouldn't be shocked at all if he takes the third job from Keenan Burton, who has done next to nothing so far.

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    • #17
      Well, I thought that the Rams showed a couple of positive things that they can build on in Washington. I thought they looked better in a number of areas. I think they showed that they're building in the right direction, and might be able to be more competitive even by later in the season. They're just not quite there yet.

      Bulger looked good, IMO. He was under duress most of the day, but the primary reason he was only sacked once was because he was firing the ball out of the there very quickly. He stepped up into the pocket to make throws, threw with defenders in his face, and threw knowing he was going to get clobbered. Except for 2-3 throws, he made very good, accurate decisions. His fade TD pass was well executed.

      Jackson had a good day as well. I thought he ran with a good deal of authority, although he bounced the run outside a few times when he should have followed his blockers. On the play prior to Avery's fumble, Jackson could have had a first down if not a touchdown had he ran forward into the large hole in the middle of the line. Instead he bounced it outside and was stopped for no gain. But this was a small complaint on a day where Jackson passed the 100-yard mark in large part thanks to a huge run that was opened on the right side of the line. I'd still like to see Jackson more involved in the offense, especially since this game was never out of hand. The Rams running game appeared to be getting stronger at the end of the day than it was at the beginning; some more runs in the second half may have helped the offense move the ball more effectively and score.

      The offensive line appeared to be slightly better than the Week One showing but I don't think they made huge improvements. Pass protection was still iffy, and the run blocking showed flashes but was hardly consistently good. Incognito had another penalty but it was declined. The only times I noticed Richie were (1) Jackson's big run, where he made two nice blocks, and (2) the 4-5 other times when he didn't do his job and it was painfully obvious on replay. Barron did not have an exceptionally good day, with two holding penalties. Jason Smith was still a bit hot and cold but I think he's improving.

      Laurent Robinson is stepping up to be this team's #1 receiver. Great acquisition. I just hope he can stay healthy, because so far, no one else has really shown the ability to make an impact. After a promising rookie season, Donnie Avery's only impact this year has been for the other team. He had a number of drops this weekend and fumbled the ball inside the Redskins 10-yard line. If the Rams don't turn the ball over there, it's very probable they come away from that drive with points, which puts them in the lead. Who knows how the game goes after that. Avery has not had a strong start to the season, but he's talented and has a good head on his shoulders, so I hope he rebounds. Burton showed some flashes but I wouldn't be surprised if Martin overtakes him as the third receiver. Stanley has now been cut (per Twitter) and replaced by Danny Amendola, who according to Rotoworld, "has a history with coordinator Pat Shurmur." It sounds as if he'll be the kick/punt returner at this point.

      Defensively, this was the ultimate bend-but-don't-break performance. And there was a lot of bending. Except for the near-safety, the Rams didn't get much pressure on Jason Campbell at all. The new DT that the Rams got from waivers - LeJuan Ramsey, I believe - showed some good push from the interior line. But Leonard Little and Chris Long need to do a better job getting some pressure from the edges. The few times they did, it seemed like Campbell had no problem stepping up into the pocket because there wasn't much push there. Many of the Rams' blitzes did not get to Campbell, leaving holes in the secondary that he exploited quite easily.

      Linebacker-wise, I wasn't blown away. Witherspoon seemed to be blocked out of many of the running plays way too easily, but he made a nice deflection at the goalline to prevent a touchdown. I didn't notice much of Laurinaitis until the final fourth-down stop near the end of the game where he was all over Portis when Clinton tried to cut the play wide. Overall I thought the Rams played the run well when the Redskins tried to run it laterally, but were gashed a good bit on plays up the middle or through the B or C gaps. For two weeks now, it appears that when teams want to run on the Rams, they can. That's not that good.

      In the secondary, aside from the turnover forced by Atogwe/Bartell, I don't remember seeing a whole lot that stood out. The Rams seemed very willing to give up plays in zone coverage; I remember Cooley making an easy catch in a hole next to Jonathan Wade who didn't even seem to know Cooley was around him. Most of Campbell's incompletions seemed to come from poor throws rather than great coverage. Bartell got away with some defensive holding in the endzone on one play in which the ball was rightfully ruled uncatchable, but it looked on replay as if he committed the penalty prior to the throw. Ah well. The only thing I remember of Justin King's play was in one coverage situation where he let Cooley run right by him on a go route and couldn't close afterwards, result was an easy completion. This team seems to have trouble defending the tight end, a problem we've seen for years now.

      Up next is the Packers, who appear as if they may be having some protection issues of their own. So perhaps this is the game where the Rams finally get some solid pressure. They'll have to if they want a chance at beating Aaron Rodgers, because otherwise I think he tears this defense up. It's the first 3-4 defense that Shurmur's offense will go against this season, so I'm interested to see how they respond. I hope the Rams are going to lean heavily on Steven Jackson both in the run and passing games. It'd be nice to see some long, sustained drives that keep Green Bay's offense off the field. I don't like how the Rams' receivers match up with the Packers secondary, and after watching how poorly the Rams protected against the Jets' 3-4 defense in the pre-season, it could turn into a rough home opener.

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      • #18
        I like the Amendola acquisition.

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        • #19
          good write up NG, i didn't get catch any of the game and I'm glad to see what you had to say

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          • #20
            Great to see us compete on Sunday. Nearly pulled out another upset over the Skins, and if u listen to people around DC, we did beat them. A couple things go differently, and we would have won. And nice to see us get on the board, and our defense hold a team to 9 points. Like Seiler brilliantly said last week, this is a work in progress, and we defntly progressed from week 1 to week 2. And the Packers, they did lose to the Bengals, and they play the Vikings after us on Monday night, perhaps they could be overlooking us?

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            • #21
              Originally posted by yodachu View Post
              Great to see us compete on Sunday. Nearly pulled out another upset over the Skins, and if u listen to people around DC, we did beat them. A couple things go differently, and we would have won. And nice to see us get on the board, and our defense hold a team to 9 points. Like Seiler brilliantly said last week, this is a work in progress, and we defntly progressed from week 1 to week 2. And the Packers, they did lose to the Bengals, and they play the Vikings after us on Monday night, perhaps they could be overlooking us?
              I wonder if Ruvell Martin brought any good intel with him when he joined? :)

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              • #22
                How has Marc Bulger played through 2 games so far? Looking at the stats it doesn't seem like he's doing quite well... but he hasn't thrown an interception yet.. so he can't be doing all that bad.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Auron View Post
                  How has Marc Bulger played through 2 games so far? Looking at the stats it doesn't seem like he's doing quite well... but he hasn't thrown an interception yet.. so he can't be doing all that bad.
                  He's playing about as well as you'd expect a QB to do on this team, to be honest. The protection isn't good, and he basically only has one receiver (Robinson) who shows more than a flash here or there. His completion % is down mostly because (1) he's throwing the ball away more and (2) his receivers have had some drops. I counted maybe three bad throws during the entire Washington game. Give this guy protection and some weapons and I think he can still be quite good. The problem is the protection isn't there yet and the weapons are sparse. He didn't get sacked much in Washington but got hit a lot, and if that doesn't improve, he might revert to some bad habits. But right now, he's fighting and playing tough, smart football.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by NGSeiler View Post
                    I wonder if Ruvell Martin brought any good intel with him when he joined? :)
                    It worked for the Jets against the Patriots.....

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Auron View Post
                      How has Marc Bulger played through 2 games so far? Looking at the stats it doesn't seem like he's doing quite well... but he hasn't thrown an interception yet.. so he can't be doing all that bad.
                      http://www.stltoday.com/blogzone/rou...-shown-so-far/

                      Here are the stats: after two games, Bulger ranks 32nd among NFL quarterbacks in yards per passing attempt, 31st in completion percentage, and 27th in passer rating. Are all of those numbers on him? No, only a wingnut would conclude that. So far offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur hasnít displayed much flair in his passing game, the offensive line is shaky in pass protection, and the Rams arguably have the worst set of receivers in the NFL. But Bulger shares a big piece of the responsibility. According to film review done by STATS LLC, eight of his incompletions in the Washington loss were the result of poor, inaccurate throws. He has to make more plays when the opportunities are available to be made. And he hasnít done that. For example: only 4 of 9 completions in the red zone. On the plus side, Bulger has done pretty well on third down, completing 12 of 19. And I have no problem with how he is competing.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by NGSeiler View Post
                        I counted maybe three bad throws during the entire Washington game.
                        Originally posted by Bernie View Post
                        According to film review done by STATS LLC, eight of his incompletions in the Washington loss were the result of poor, inaccurate throws.
                        Hmmm, maybe this is why I don't do stats for a living, but having watched the game, I was pretty confident about my count. I'd be interested to see which plays in particular STATS LLC categorized as "poor, inaccurate throws."

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                        • #27
                          So I don't know about you guys, but after seeing the 2nd quarter performance by Kyle Boller I'd like to see more of him. Although he really didn't do anything special the 2nd half I think he earned himself a second look for next week, especially seeing how Bulger's status is still in the air.

                          Also, kind of out of nowhere here but can someone please explain to me why we keep re-signing Richie Incognito?!?!? He repeatedly takes false starts which are bad enough but it seems as though every time we have a big play negated it's either his holding call or personal foul that's hurting us. I think we could do without him, anybody agree or disagree with that?


                          "When your team is winning, be ready to be tough, because winning can make you soft. On the other hand, when your team is losing, stick by them. Keep believing." -Bo Schembechler

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by H.S.stud View Post
                            So I don't know about you guys, but after seeing the 2nd quarter performance by Kyle Boller I'd like to see more of him. Although he really didn't do anything special the 2nd half I think he earned himself a second look for next week, especially seeing how Bulger's status is still in the air.
                            Boller looked great on two drives (one a two-minute drill) in the second quarter, but fell back down to Earth in the second half. I believe his second half QB rating was around 30.7, and his biggest play was for the Packers (the interception). He provided a spark when he first came in, but that spark quickly faded. In the end, I think Boller showed why the Rams signed him to be their back-up QB - he can come in when needed and still gives them a chance. But I don't think he showed enough for there to be some kind of competition.

                            Bulger is all but out for the 49ers game this coming weekend, so Boller will most likely get the start in San Fran. Whether Bulger comes back the week after against Minnesota, we'll have to see. But unless Boller strings together some great performances and, more importantly, some wins, I think this is still Bulger's job.

                            Originally posted by H.S.stud View Post
                            Also, kind of out of nowhere here but can someone please explain to me why we keep re-signing Richie Incognito?!?!? He repeatedly takes false starts which are bad enough but it seems as though every time we have a big play negated it's either his holding call or personal foul that's hurting us. I think we could do without him, anybody agree or disagree with that?
                            I wanted to see Greco challenge for the starting RG job this offseason, but it doesn't sound like Richie really had much pressure on his job. That being said, I'll be surprised if he comes back next year. His mistakes are simply too regular and too costly for this team. And he's yet to prove he can play with control and discipline.

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                            • #29
                              St. Louis Rams LB David Vobora suspended 4 games by the NFL for a violation of league policy involving performance enhancing substances.

                              http://www.stlouisrams.com/article/75074/

                              I like him he adds depth to our LB core and makes plays on Special Teams, sucks to see him miss 4 maes

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                              • #30
                                Well, I guess it's time to see what Larry Grant can bring to the table as a SAM linebacker. Hopefully this is a position they plan to upgrade in the offseason, though.

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