The wackiness continues at Rams Park. As 3k posted just a few minutes ago, the Rams have handed starting CB Fakhir Brown his pink slip. To replace Brown, the Rams signed the just released Saints CB Jason Craft.
A bit of context. The Saints pass defense is only slightly better than the Rams this season. New Orleans has allowed 4 receiving TDs this season, compared to the Rams 7. Opponents are averaging 258.7 passing yard per game against the Saints, second worst total in the NFC; the Rams, the league's worst, are allowing 272.3 passing yards per game. Last season, the Saints allowed 32 passing TDs, tied with the Lions for the most in the NFC, and 258.2 passing yards per game, second worst in the NFC. The Rams last season, also illustrating the strange failure of their d-backs this year, allowed 25 passing TDs and 225.8 YPG, ninth in the NFC.
Ah ha, a clue. Brown's talent has been MIA this season, even though he ranks as probably the most talented CB the Rams have. But ESPN's Mike Sando noticed something in the Seattle game:
The 19th note taken during the Rams-Seahawks game questioned Brown's effort defending a deep pass during the second quarter. Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw deep left for Billy McMullen for a 34-yard gain to the 6.
I'm always reluctant to question effort without knowing a player's responsibility on a play...
After rewatching the play several times on video today, Brown doesn't look any better. First, he does nothing to slow McMullen at the line. He gave McMullen a 5-yard cushion, stepped forward after the snap, turned back to the quarterback, stopped briefly and then jogged as McMullen ran into the clear for a 34-yard reception. Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe made the tackle at the St. Louis 6. The jogging part stood out.
This is a message that half-assed efforts won't be tolerated. This isn't hte first time the team has taken steps to weed out potential poison pills; although, we still don't know for sure that was the case with Brown. Brown's had problem with banned substances before, and many expected Brown to be suspended for the season heading into this year.