You can probably pick out any number of things to complain about from the St. Louis Rams sixth consecutive loss of the season last week. Of course, if you have to start anywhere, start with the atrocious run defense. Head coach Steve Spagnuolo cited the missed tackles as the team's biggest problem from that game.
Asked by the New Orleans media on a conference call today about the missed tackles and the Rams' defensive struggles, Spagnuolo parroted his usual coach-speak we've gotten accustomed to after losses.
It's very frustrating. What magnifies all of that is there are two runs, one which goes for 91 because of a missed tackle and one that goes for 43. You can't really say that they don't count. They're in there, recognized it. I think that our guys will respond to fixing it. I have not to that point felt like that was an issue with our football team. I don't think anybody did. But Dallas certainly made us miss tackles or we made ourselves miss them one or the other. What we're doing this week is working on getting that corrected.
Ok, this might be more than typical coach talking points. This might signal some real denial. I bolded the sentence in the pull quote above, where Spagnuolo claims that the missed tackles haven't really been an issue. They have.
Missed tackles have been a big problem for the Rams defense. Pro Football Focus pointed out the Rams' issues with missed tackles against the Giants in week 2. Missed tackles were even a problem in the preseason. If you run back through the box scores, you can see any number of instances where the yards piled up on the Rams thanks in part to missed tackles. Hell, missed tackles were a problem last year.
It's not a one-time problem. Missed tackles are a chronic problem. And clearly Spagnuolo's players are not responding to whatever solutions the coaches are offering to try and fix it. That's a bigger problem than missed tackles.