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The Official Rams 2011 Season Thread

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  • I agree with your assessment in general.

    One thing that I think Spags understands is that you can overhaul a team too fast and the results will be worse if you have too much youth. While Tampa Bay is making huge strides with their youth movement, I don't think anyone really believes they are going to win the Super Bowl with a bunch of 24-year olds.

    The Rams have increased their talent level steadily over the course of the last three offseasons, building a strong core of key players at key positions. Are they still missing pieces? Yes. I think next offseason they will address the defense with a stud OLB and the offense with an explosive weapon. They will continue to add talent and the systems will become more comfortable for everyone. I look at this season as a year for the team to really gel and come together. The outlook is definitely a positive one.

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    • Originally posted by Beano View Post
      I think FA has gone pretty well, started really well, but some since then I just think won't work out at all. Mikkel and Dahl are great pick ups. Bannan's decent, Sims Walker could work but I think his past performances have been massively over hyped. Diles was mince last year, but was apparently pretty decent the year before, so maybe I was a little harsh on him. Poppinga is OK as well, just has general health concerns, Al Harris is 37 coming off an injury plagued year, if he is an upgrade why not spend some time going after Carlos Rogers who's perfect for the nickel position anyway? Muir is a terrible pick up imo, both Williams and Norwood have serious health issues, and Williams I think just looks a shell of the player he was.

      I'm closer to B than A if I were to grade FA alone. I think generally in the Spags/Devaney era the positions they target are generally spot on, I just think sometimes they could do with trying a bit harder to bring some genuine proven talent in. Rather than taking flyers on low risk, low reward guys.
      1. Al Harris was brought in more as a mentor to the younger defensive backs like Justin King, Jerome Murphy, Mikail Baker. Because he knows this defense so well, he's like having a coach on the field. I bet the contract is for the minimum and wouldn't even be surprised if he didn't make the final 53-man roster. Just nice to have someone in there right now who knows the scheme and can help prepare the young guys, especially in a situation like this where the team is trying to throw so much at these players because they have less time to prepare for the season than they did in years past.

      2. I don't know what's not to like about Bannan or Muir. Both have starting experience, they add much needed depth to the defensive line. Heck we were rolling last year with Gary Gibson and jermelle Cudjo.

      3. Caddy and Norwood may come with injuries but I would rather have that than see Keith ****** Toston or Kenneth Darby carry the ball for this team again. At least the two guys we got are still young and have had some kind of success in this league.

      4. In Spags' defense the outside linebackers are probably "least" important. He went to two super bowls with below average linebackers on the outside.

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      • Originally posted by holt_bruce81 View Post
        1. Al Harris was brought in more as a mentor to the younger defensive backs like Justin King, Jerome Murphy, Mikail Baker. Because he knows this defense so well, he's like having a coach on the field. I bet the contract is for the minimum and wouldn't even be surprised if he didn't make the final 53-man roster. Just nice to have someone in there right now who knows the scheme and can help prepare the young guys, especially in a situation like this where the team is trying to throw so much at these players because they have less time to prepare for the season than they did in years past.
        Surely Ron Bartell or Mikkel could be that mentor? I personally wanted another CB brought in, because our nickel play last year was pretty poor, hence my Carlos Rogers point. Plus I think this off season has shown that Bartell is a leader on this football team. I think the combination of both Bartell and Mikkel means the need for more leadership or a mentor isn't there at all.

        Originally posted by holt_bruce81 View Post
        2. I don't know what's not to like about Bannan or Muir. Both have starting experience, they add much needed depth to the defensive line. Heck we were rolling last year with Gary Gibson and jermelle Cudjo.
        Bannan is a 2 down stuffer, which I said is decent. Muir by the accounts I've read, is just flat out terrible, regardless of how much he started.

        Originally posted by holt_bruce81 View Post
        3. Caddy and Norwood may come with injuries but I would rather have that than see Keith ****** Toston or Kenneth Darby carry the ball for this team again. At least the two guys we got are still young and have had some kind of success in this league.
        If they work out, then I agree they're both upgrades. The problem I have with it is it's yet another if, and it should be a genuine concern that we're bringing in a 29 year old guy with a history of some terrible, terrible knee injuries and a guy who's had issues staying on the field pretty much every year he's been in the NFL. You wouldn't find many people happier if Williams found even some of the spark he had when he burst onto the scene, because he became one of my favourite players in the NFL in that period.

        Originally posted by holt_bruce81 View Post
        4. In Spags' defense the outside linebackers are probably "least" important. He went to two super bowls with below average linebackers on the outside.
        We've been set for a while then. ;)
        Last edited by Beano; 08-05-2011, 08:51 AM.

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        • For what it's worth Caddy was impressive last season and exceptional in pass protection.

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          • Originally posted by Caddy View Post
            For what it's worth Caddy was impressive last season and exceptional in pass protection.
            A friend of mine mentioned the same thing about his pass blocking, although he wasn't as complimentary on his running. Although to be fair, he did say he improved a lot once Blount took over the majority of the touches. Which is all good to know. If we allow Norwood to spell Jackson on 1st/2nd down if needed and allow Williams to just take the 3rd down duties or split them with Jackson it could work well.

            But I'm still concerned we'll end up leaning too much on #39, if ever a back in the NFL needs some competent help, it's him.

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            • I'd give the Rams a solid B+ for their free agency, though it's probably inaccurate to try and grade any personnel acquisition until we have a couple of seasons to look back and evaluate how those acquisitions translated onto the field.

              That being said, the Rams added outstanding talent at key need positions at safety (Mikell) and right guard (Dahl). They've added solid starters at linebacker (Diles) and defensive tackle (Bannan). They've also added more depth on the defensive line (Muir) and a contender at wide receiver (Sims-Walker). And they've improved the depth at both the #2 (Williams) and #3 (Norwood) RB positions.

              They haven't gone on a spending spree to get the biggest names, but they've added some solid guys who will fill holes. Only time will tell how well they've actually done, though.

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              • Originally posted by Beano View Post
                If they work out, then I agree they're both upgrades. The problem I have with it is it's yet another if, and it should be a genuine concern that we're bringing in a 29 year old guy with a history of some terrible, terrible knee injuries and a guy who's had issues staying on the field pretty much every year he's been in the NFL. You wouldn't find many people happier if Williams found even some of the spark he had when he burst onto the scene, because he became one of my favourite players in the NFL in that period.
                To spring-board off this point, it is interesting that the Rams are taking chances on a number of guys with injury histories. Diles, Norwood, Poppinga, Sims-Walker, and Harris all either missed significant time last year with injuries or played through them. Williams has a documented injury history.

                It's as if the Rams were wheeling their cart through the grocery, picking up the damaged items because they thought they'd get a discount. ;)

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                • Rams have added Ben Leber at linebacker. Between him, Diles, Diggs, Poppinga, and Vobora, two solid starters at OLB should emerge.

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                  • Originally posted by NGSeiler View Post
                    Rams have added Ben Leber at linebacker. Between him, Diles, Diggs, Poppinga, and Vobora, two solid starters at OLB should emerge.
                    I'm predicting Laurinitus, Diles, and Leber as starters with Poppinga and Vobora as quality depth.

                    We've really done a fabulous job this year in Free Agency.

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                    • What's the deal with Donnie Avery? Is he practicing? Working with the 2s?
                      "I'm Ko Simpson!"

                      - Ko Simpson

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                      • Originally posted by gpngc View Post
                        What's the deal with Donnie Avery? Is he practicing? Working with the 2s?
                        Combination of being worked back in slowly after last year's season-ending injury and he's also been limited with a hamstring issue.

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                        • Originally posted by NGSeiler View Post
                          Combination of being worked back in slowly after last year's season-ending injury and he's also been limited with a hamstring issue.
                          Ugh. One of my keeper league teams was so bad I was considering keeping him at a cost of an 18th round pick. Screw that.

                          At least one of your WRs will be extremely valuable in fantasy. Josh McDaniels will do that.

                          Which one? You all tell me...
                          "I'm Ko Simpson!"

                          - Ko Simpson

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                          • Originally posted by Beano
                            I only watched until it was 10-3, as the first pre season game is about as much use as tits on a boar, but if you'd have told me Pat Shurmur was still our offensive coordinator I'd have believed you.

                            Kehl started at WLB fwiw and I still have no faith in Dahl, apart from grabbing a fairly fortuitous Int, he still consistently finds himself chasing runners and making terrible angles to ball carriers. I agree with you about the CB's but then I expected it.

                            Bring on week 1, or at least pre season week 3 so we can see some extended time for the the starters and really get a handle on where we are.

                            You really don't know what the preseason is about do you? Yeah lets open up the offense after two weeks of practicing. And after the starters left is when I became glued to the TV because that was when the real competition began, everyone fighting for a roster spot. The Final 53 is going to be a lot tougher than it's been in years past, Rams are actually going to have to cut some players that are decent nfl players and not just street guys. The Linebacker position really has me intrigued, if the Rams keep six linebackers someone will be cut we didn't expect.....The three I know will make the 53-man roster is Laurinities, Leber and chamberlain. The fourth one to make it is probably going to be Josh Hull, coaches rave about him and he's pretty much the only linebacker who has experience in the middle other than JL. So that leaves two spots or maybe three for Zac Diles, Brady Poppinga, Jabara Williams, Na'ill Diggs and Bryan Kehl.

                            Not sure why you don't like Craig Dahl, he is our best run stopper at the safety position. That's another battle to watch, Darian Stewart has really stepped up and looked pretty good out there last night. I'm just glad James Butler isn't starting anymore, now if Spags knows what's best, he would send Butler packing.

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                            • Originally posted by holt_bruce81 View Post
                              You really don't know what the preseason is about do you? Yeah lets open up the offense after two weeks of practicing. And after the starters left is when I became glued to the TV because that was when the real competition began, everyone fighting for a roster spot. The Final 53 is going to be a lot tougher than it's been in years past, Rams are actually going to have to cut some players that are decent nfl players and not just street guys. The Linebacker position really has me intrigued, if the Rams keep six linebackers someone will be cut we didn't expect.....The three I know will make the 53-man roster is Laurinities, Leber and chamberlain. The fourth one to make it is probably going to be Josh Hull, coaches rave about him and he's pretty much the only linebacker who has experience in the middle other than JL. So that leaves two spots or maybe three for Zac Diles, Brady Poppinga, Jabara Williams, Na'ill Diggs and Bryan Kehl.

                              Not sure why you don't like Craig Dahl, he is our best run stopper at the safety position. That's another battle to watch, Darian Stewart has really stepped up and looked pretty good out there last night. I'm just glad James Butler isn't starting anymore, now if Spags knows what's best, he would send Butler packing.
                              I'll ignore the cheapshot, because I'm too nice a person and move on.

                              I didn't expect the full offense with bells and whistles, I expected to see a flash, a spark, a single play, that was all. What we got was the same stuff that people slated Shurmur week in and week out for. Plus remember, this was all happening around 2 am on a choppy stream, it's real hard for me to be as enthusiastic about the struggles of the guys fighting for roster spots or those that are likely going to end up on ST in that situation. I am however, planning on watching, so I'll be able to enjoy the battles at a more reasonable hour soon though. The week 3 pre season game, I will be glued to, because generally that gives you more of an idea of what to expect.

                              As for Craig Dahl, I cannot agree at all. First, Mikkel is our best safety period. Anything a safety needs to do he's better at it than anyone else on our roster. Second, I don't even consider him good in run support, he consistently takes poor angles on runners (best examples I can think of was v Chiefs last year), he makes a lot of tackles, but he misses plenty as well (best example probably @ Seahawks last year, 4 in total that game I believe). I won't ever fault his effort, because he's clearly a trier, but when I watch him, I saw the same mistakes on those few plays I saw on Saturday, that he consistently made last year. Maybe with some real quality in Mikkel back there people will notice it more, but then again people still think Atogwe was a poor tackler, even though the stats say otherwise. So who knows.
                              Last edited by Beano; 08-15-2011, 06:49 AM.

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                              • Atogwe was weak sauce in the run game. It was one of the main reasons the Rams decided to let him go.

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