Well fellow TSTers if there is ever a more bizarre way a football game can unfold you can bet the next fumble that the Rams are going to be the team making it happen! The Rams last night found a whole new way to silence their critics to the point where most when asked to break down the Monday night game sat with a blank stare on their face then uttered a single word...."Weird".
But I have some thoughts on why the game happened the way it happened and what the Rams have to do to cure their cranial rectal insertion syndrome.
Greg Salas...you are the last man on the planet I would want to be right now. I know just about everyone is out to get this guy, but I blame the coaches more for Greg Salas than I do Greg Salas. Firstly, the Rams have issues returning punts and kickoffs because they screwed around with Marty Gilyard all the way up to the Regular season. He was the guy that got all the preseason practice until they finally succumbed to the obvious way to late and let him go. This put Amendola back there and then he got injured so now the coaches don't have much choice but to start rookies on special teams! Because Amendola was out with injury, Salas was the next man up. So this poor rookie with no OTAs or minicamps gets pressed into the second game of the season returning punts with very little practice and second team practice work to replace Danny Amendola. Greg got flat out dumped on by the coaching staff and its obvious they didnt give him enough attention last week to get him ready for the game.
All that being said, there is alot to like about Greg Salas and I think this guy is going to make up for this game on the backside of the Rams season. I liked his route running and he was getting open and he had that nice 1st down catch. He caught 4 balls even though he dropped the others, Salas was targeted alot...probably because he was getting open. He is a rookie and you can tell he has alot to process and is trying to do to much...because the coaches are putting alot on this guy.
What does concern me is the other wide receivers not named Danario Alexander. Considering the Banged up Giants secondary, where was Brandon Gibson? He caught 4 balls, but that is all he was targeted for. This was the guy the Rams were absolutely raving about in the off season and this guy has yet to make an impact. The secondary isnt going to get any easier than that. Mike Sims Walker had 92 yards on 6 balls which I think is much better and some of his catches kept drives alive. I just hope he didn't have a good game just because the Giants are banged up. I guess we will see vs the Ravens.
The Rams offense is still in the off season, that is obvious. You could see receivers holding their arms out after the huddle because they didnt know where to line up on the play. There is basically one player thankfully that knows what hell is going on and that is Sam Bradford.
Oh guess how you beat the vaunted 2 tight end offense of Josh McDaniels Rams? You blitz it! Thats right just blitz so the tight ends have to stay in and block and cant go out and run their routes. That is what the Giants did every time the Rams went into that formation and tried a play fake pass out of it.
The only defensive issue I saw was of course King. This is just an issue the Rams are going to have to roll with. On a positive note while King wasn't defensing passes, at a later point in the game he settled down and he was at least making sure tackles to prevent yards after the catch. If he can just do that consistently next game, it will be huge. Some of his flags were BS so I don't expect much of that next game.
So what do the Rams need to do to fix their problems?
The Rams need to do whatever they have to do to get Salas ready for the Ravens. He has alot of responsibilities and they need to give the rookie easy solutions to situational football scenarios and run through them. Greg Salas just needs to settle down and relax.
The Rams have to get the tight end portion of their tight end based offense off the ground.
As Steve Young pointed out in the post game, the Rams need to do alot of 7 on 8 drills in the redzone till the cows come home so they know what they want to run down there (it was obvious the Rams had no idea what they wanted to do down there play wise)and can execute it properly.
I think its time for Bradford to start putting is foot in player's backsides when they are having mental lapses.
Hopefully Jackson's leadership will provide a little more stability on offense next week.
The Rams WR situation could be dire if they don't get production out of Gibson and MSW vs decent secondaries. Alexander gives the team breathing room on drives, but he cant play a full game so his contribution is going to be spotty. The solution for this is to hang on till the bye week. Mr photogenic memory better have every molecule of the playbook memorized for week six. Week six should be a huge leap forward for this team as they get 2 weeks prep to hopefully iron out the rest of the offense, they get Clayton and hopefully others get healthy.
Lastly...the Rams did a good job getting veteran talent signed on for depth. The problem is we are in week 2 and the bench is not prepared to play. This goes for offense as well as defense. Al Harris has been in this league a long time. How come this guy isnt ready to play corner for the Rams defense? Cadillac dropping the lateral...you could tell he had no idea that was comming his way... The Rams have to get these guys ready to play!