Embarrassed. There isn't any other way to describe the St. Louis Rams after a needless loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Watching the Rams' coaches wrestle with decisions on the field like a 15-year-old's first fight with a bra hook deflated the smallish crowd inside the Edward Jones Dome. Reading the comments about the decision making from the coaches after the game embarrassed even the most rudimentary of fans.
From fourth-and-inches in the third quarter, Spagnuolo defended the decision to punt:
Just way too early (in the game), I thought. Third quarter. We were on our own 30, right? I thought it was just too risky there in my opinion.
And the fourth-and-1 late in the fourth quarter?
We had three timeouts; that was really the decision. I thought if we held them, didn't let 'em get a first down, we were going to get the ball back. It's a 3-point game.
Don't forget, Spagnuolo learned clock management from Andy Reid. #Yeah #Really
But what really took the cake was the Keystone Kops routine over the decision to wind down the second quarter...
In a way, the whole incident sums up the Rams season better than all 16 bloody awful games ever could. With 43 seconds on the clock in the second half, Spagnuolo was planning to retreat into his fuzzy blue turtle shell where he has an extra stove to make Sleepy Time Tea when crunching Rams game tape demands a little chicken soup for the weary coach.
But wait, what was that whisper? Why it was Spagnuolo's offensive coaching staff, led by a man who might still owe Tom Brady royalties for making him look so good, clamoring with the coach for one more shot at the end zone. After all, they doubtlessly reasoned, maybe that old kook forgot to carry the one when he came up with that Mayan calendar thing.
Unfortunately, this debate went on while the clock wound down, eating away what cushion they had on the clock. They stopped the clock with 12 seconds left, made one more shot that ended with a bad Bradford throw and settled for the field goal.
Spagnuolo quickly brought the offensive staff into the equation.
We were a little bit in disarray. And then as the offensive coaches talked they said, ‘Let's take one shot,' so I thought maybe that was a good thing to do.
Oh brother. Positively Rumsfeldian.
And is that the vaguest notion of tire tracks across McDaniels' back? We all wondered about the picture of a very paranoid Spagnuolo clashing with a stubborn Belichick disciple. Something to keep an eye on as things fall apart at Rams Park.
This was a bad day for the Rams coaching staff, an embarrassing day. It was also another rough day for fans desperate for a little dignity.
Firing leaders is only the first part of the equation. Finding the right leaders going forward is far more difficult than deposing of the last next big thing. But it is at least a start.