Random Ramsdom: October 1: St. Louis Rams - Living To Fight Another Day

Sam Greenwood

A ten day break is a welcome relief, for a Rams team struggling in all aspects of the game. We are only a quarter of the way through the season, and there is plenty of time to right the ship. The Rams face the Jacksonville Jaguars this coming weekend, at home. They are the weakest opponent remaining on the Rams' schedule. Can the Rams bounce back, as they did after the London debacle [versus the Patriots] in 2012?

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Cortland Finnegan's take on the Rams' (and his) current struggles:

He can't practice for at least six weeks before returning; however, the news could have been a lot worse:

One of the bigger reasons I believe the Rams are struggling:

I had a good laugh reading this one, if for no other reason than the irony:

A Motivational Message For The Rams: 101 ESPN

Former Ram D'Marco Farr (a member of the Rams' Super Bowl team) delivers his message to the young Rams team, neatly summed up in one sentence:

"You can’t quit now. None of you."

Not sure I like the message, nor its delivery...neither does TST's Ryan Van Bibber (link).

In a passing league, as Jeff Fisher said of being able to run: "Everything spins off of that.": Howard Balzer - KSDK

Do the Rams miss Steven Jackson more than we thought they would? The answer is yes. I couldn't agree more with Mr. Balzer on this one.

And Now, A One-Handed Catch Off The Kickoff: Deadspin

You don't get to see this too often...from the Georgia - LSU game on the weekend. Very smooooooth.

Sam Bradford: Not quite bad enough to make a team give up on him... yet: Pro Sports Daily

Jason Lisk discusses the merits of the Rams keeping Sam Bradford. He has 12 games to make a case for the Rams moving forward with him, according to Lisk. This is in direct contrast to reports of the Rams wanting to extend Bradford's contract. Sam Bradford has shown me plenty in the last 20 games, enough that I want to see his contract extended.

Rookie Highlight Reel: Cody Davis

Cody Davis Texas Tech #16 Senior Highlight Cutup 2012 (via Cody Davis)

Upon Further Review

St. Louis Rams - Week 4: ESPN NFC West

San Francisco - Week 4: ESPN NFC West

Seattle - Week 4: ESPN NFC West

Arizona - Week 4: ESPN NFC West

The correspondents at ESPN take their weekly, in-depth look, at each of the 4 NFC West teams.

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Re-focus: 49'ers at Rams, Week 4: Pro Football Focus

Notes about the Rams from the game against the 49'ers: Sam Bradford is stuck in neutral, Robert Quinn and Chris Long were neutralized, and John Hekker was the Rams' best player.

Mike Florio breaks down Rams/49'ers - Video: Rams New Now

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio breaks down the game between the Rams and 49'ers last Thursday, suggesting the Rams' offense has not improved at all this year.

Ram Soft: Sports Illustrated - MMQB

What's wrong with the Rams' defense? Tim Walton and the secondary must shoulder the blame, according to Robert Klemko.

Rams' First Quarter Report Card: Rams 101

A whole bunch of improvement is needed for the Rams to boost these grades. The offense gets an "F", the defense a "D", and special teams a "C".

Stat Facts Of The Week: Toxic Differential

Toxic Differential Leaders

Team


Turnover Differential


Big Play Differential


Toxic Differential


1

Kansas City Chiefs

9

5

14

2

Philadelphia Eagles

-2

16

14

3

Seattle Seahawks

7

6

13

4

Tennessee Titans

9

2

11

5

Indianapolis Colts

6

4

10

6

Detroit Lions

4

5

9

7

New England Patriots

4

2

6

8

Green Bay Packers

-2

8

6

9

Carolina Panthers

1

4

5

10

New Orleans Saints

2

3

5

11

Buffalo Bills

4

0

4

12

Houston Texans

-4

7

3

13

San Francisco 49ers

-4

6

2

14

Chicago Bears

5

-3

2

15

Oakland Raiders

-2

3

1

16

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

0

1

1

17

Denver Broncos

1

0

1

18

New York Jets

-10

11

1

19

Cleveland Browns

0

0

0

20

Miami Dolphins

2

-3

-1

21

Dallas Cowboys

3

-4

-1

22

Atlanta Falcons

-1

-2

-3

23

Cincinnati Bengals

-2

-2

-4

24

Baltimore Ravens

-2

-3

-5

25

Arizona Cardinals

-1

-5

-6

26

St. Louis Rams

-1

-6

-7

27

Pittsburgh Steelers

-11

4

-7

28

Minnesota Vikings

2

-10

-8

29

San Diego Chargers

-3

-7

-10

30

New York Giants

-9

-4

-13

31

Washington Redskins

-1

-19

-20

32

Jacksonville Jaguars

-4

-19

-23

On August 19, I wrote about the importance of the "toxic differential", in an article for Turf Show Times (link). The Rams, after 4 games, rank 26th in the league in this vital statistic. It's evident there is a correlation between the "toxic differential", and an NFL teams success on the field. The chart is courtesy of "Sporting Charts".

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The Pressers

Jeff Fisher Press Conference - September 27

Sam Bradford Press Conference - September 26

Jeff Fisher Press Conference - September 26

All press conferences are courtesy of the St. Louis Rams Official Website.

The Jeff Fisher Show - September 30

Coach Rick Venturi criticizes the Rams' performance against the 49'ers.

Former Ram great Torry Holt offers his assessment of the Rams' play calling.

Tony Softli: Rams are definitely well coached.

Roger Goodell Announces NFL Will Be Collecting Players' Sperm: The Onion

A tongue-in-cheek look at the NFL's new "breeding" program.

"Goodell then cryptically added that two players from each of the NFL’s 32 teams had already been selected "to serve as the vessels."

2014 NFL Mock Draft For Top Ten Picks: S.I. - NFL Mocks

It's way too early to be contemplating the 2014 NFL Draft; however, it's interesting to see what the early mocks look like for the Rams. In this "top ten" mock, the Rams pick 6th and 8th, taking QB Tajh Boyd, and OT Taylor Lewan. A sign of things to come?

2014 NFL Mock Draft - Charlie Campbell: Walter Football

Continuing with the same NFL draft theme, Charlie Campbell presents a three round early mock. The Rams select OT Cyrus Kouandjio and RB Lache Seastrunk in the first round, S Dion Bailey in the second round, and CB Justin Gilbert in the third round. I can see these positions being chosen by the Rams in the first three rounds; just in a different order [no RB in the first].

Too early to call Bradford a bust?: KMOV

Yes...it's way too early to call Bradford a "bust". Enough said.

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Is Brian Schottenheimer the right fit for the St. Louis Rams: Rams 101

The Rams' offensive coordinator has come under fire this season, for the offensive scheme and perceived misuse of a talented arsenal of weapons. He comes under more fire in this article, where many issues are brought forth that question his fit for the Rams football team.

The deterioration of Sam Bradford: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Bernie Miklasz notes Sam Bradford's performance decline from Week 1 through Week 4 this year. The specter of "Battered Quarterback Syndrome" also rears its ugly head.

Plight of the Rams fan in 2012: Should I care?: RamsHerd

For some, apathy has set in with respect to the Rams. For me, hope and a positive attitude remains the same, as it has for 43 years.

No reason to rush Sam Bradford extension: ESPN NFC West

I love all of the pundits suggesting what the Rams should do, regarding a contract extension for Sam Bradford. The Rams have commented publicly on an extension, and the timing is for many reasons. Reasons that I will go into in an extensive upcoming article. It never fails to amaze me, how many people can speak about contracts and money, yet know virtually nothing about them, or the mechanisms and timing of how they work in the NFL.

On This Day In Sports History

1922 - The former Chicago Staleys play their first game as the Chicago Bears, winning 6-0

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Examining Tavon Austin's Struggles With The Rams: S.I. Audibles

Tavon Austin has not had the impact many imagined, when he was made the number 8 overall pick by the Rams in the 2013 NFL Draft. What happened?:

"The explanation comes from a combination of factors, all of which coincidentally are contributing to St. Louis’ offensive struggles as a whole: no run game, poor line play and vanilla play calling."

3 Rams Defensive Players On The Hot Seat: Ramblin' Fan

3 Rams Offensive Players On The Hot Seat: Ramblin' Fan

Many players on the Rams team are on the hot seat, more than anticipated before the season started. 4 are familiar veterans: Cortland Finnegan, Chris Long, James Laurinaitis, and Sam Bradford. The remaining two? RB Daryl Richardson, and rookie WR Tavon Austin.

2014 NFL Draft: Rams Must Find A Feature Back: Rant Sports NFL

Do the Rams need to select a feature RB in the 2014 draft? Can Daryl Richardson become the feature back? Is a running back-by-committee approach the best route to take?

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Rams-Niners Study Session - Offense: ESPN NFC West

Problems with the Rams' offensive line, and running game, highlight the Nick Wagoner study session.

Sam Bradford, and ranking QB's by Yards per Completion: Football Perspective

An in-depth look at QB's and how important YPC is.

"But the issue with Bradford is his low YPC is paired with an unimpressive 58.3% completion rate, and he’s been below league-average in completion percentage every year of his career."

Rams Must Get More Production From Veteran Leaders: Bleacher Report

The biggest problem the veterans are creating? They may be holding back the success of the talented younger players:

"The Rams have an incredible group of young talent at their disposal, but with no leadership and no example to follow, there's no shot at success."

2013 Rams: Looking for someone to blame: RamsGab

Looking for someone to blame? Look no farther than Jeff Fisher and upper management, according to Mark Peterson at RamsGab.

A nostalgic look back at the Rams' Super Bowl season:

Road to the Superbowl - XXXIV (via zr0hero83)

Fisher has endured two of his toughest weeks: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

In a career dating back to 1994, Jeff Fisher has never endured a two week period any tougher than the last two weeks. The next few weeks will speak volumes about how he rebounds from this type of setback.

Rams/Niners Study Session - Defense: ESPN NFC West

Lack of blitzing ability, and containment/setting the edge problems with the line, highlight Nick Wagoner's study session.

Fisher Says Rams Will Focus On Running Game: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Why the focus on the running game?

"Fisher pointed out that over a five-day period against the Cowboys and the 49'ers, the St. Louis defense defended 75 running plays."

"And that (takes) quite an effort, quite a toll," he said. "That’s because we either didn’t do well enough against the run, or we’re not keeping the ball offensively because we’re not running it."

Solutions hard to find for Rams in run game: ESPN

The solutions are hard to find for establishing the running game offensively. Why? Here's why:

"The offensive line hasn’t opened many holes, and there isn’t a running back on the roster who has proved capable of making anyone miss or picking up yards after contact on a consistent basis."

St-louis-rams-logo_medium

Rams Chat Highlights: Jeff Gordon - Rams News Now

Insightful and in-depth analysis, of the current state of the Rams, with Jeff Gordon of the Post-Dispatch.

Rams vs. 49'ers - Gray's Grades: 101 ESPN

Shane Gray hands out grades to each Rams unit, for the loss to San Francisco. Not surprisingly, there were many "F" grades. The highest was a "C+".

Rams Coaches On the Hot Seat: Ramblin' Fan

Jeff Fisher and his coordinators are all on the hot seat, with much fix and expectations to fulfill:

"The Rams coaches have a lot to fix if they don't want this season to get completely out of hand."

Jo-Lonn Dunbar loss big reason for defensive woes: CBS Sports

As Jason La Canfora notes, not only was Dunbar a fine linebacker last year for the Rams, he was the emotional and spiritual leader of a young defense. That has been sorely missed in the first four games of the season.

2013 NFL Grades - Week 4: CBS Sports

Will Brinson hands out his weekly game grades. Guess which grade the Rams received?

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NFL could expand playoffs to 14 teams as soon as 2014: CBS Sports

"With the competitiveness of the league, you see teams get hot the second half of the season. A reasonable argument could be made that there are teams that should qualify for the playoffs and don't and could win the Super Bowl," Goodell said, via NFL.com. "I don't think we want to expand just to have more teams. We want to create more excitement, more interest and give teams a chance to win the Super Bowl."

On Sam Bradford And His Recovery From Battered Quarterback Syndrome: RamsHerd

Is Sam Bradford suffering from BQS? Can that be part of the problem he is facing on a weekly basis, heightened by the 11 sacks he has endured in the last two contests?

Today's NFL Really Is A "Passing League": Sports Grid

The NFL has indeed become a passing league. Sports Grid charts the evolution of the passing game, and how it's overtaken the running game in today's NFL offenses.

NFL Protects The Pocket As Black Quarterbacks Transcend It: New York Times

The irony noted in this article speaks volumes about the ever-evolving quarterback position:

"The statue-like pocket passer is becoming an endangered species. The logical antidote would be a quarterback who could run as well as pass, putting defenses back on their heels."

"Instead, the N.F.L. has put in rules to protect quarterbacks in the pocket while allowing defenders to annihilate those who dare to venture out of it."

NFL Power Rankings: Week 5: Bleacher Report

The Rams are ranked 22nd in the latest edition of BR's power rankings. Given their performance in the last 2 weeks, that ranking almost seems generous. Hopefully, the coming game against the Jacksonville Jaguars will jump start the Rams back up the rankings.

NFL Power Rankings: Shutdown Corner - Yahoo Sports

The Rams find themselves ranked 28th, in the latest version from Frank Schwab. I don't put a lot of stock in these types of rankings; however, here's hoping the Rams find their way back into the teens very shortly!

Hot New Thing In The NFL: Ancient Big Ten Offenses: Wall Street Journal

In the ever-evolving NFL, offenses and defenses are forever trying to stay a step ahead of one another. Sometimes, the past can influence the present...and the future:

"Find the biggest players you can find and run simple, powerful schemes. It is a trend that former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah, now an analyst for the NFL Network, said was the story of the off-season—the explosion of bigger players to counter the shifty speedsters."

Foot, ankle injuries lead to questions about shoes: CBS Sports

On October 12, 2012, there were 99 players on injured reserve. On October 1, 2013, that number has risen to 171. Concussions, knee injuries, etc. are occurring at approximately the same rate as 2012. The possible causes for the dramatic increase in injuries: shoes and field surface.

"Last Friday's medical report had 55 players with some form of a foot injury, including turf toe, Lisfranc, Achilles, ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, metatarsal stress fractures or those simply labeled "foot injury." There are 26 bones in the foot with many ligaments and lots can go wrong."

St. Louis Rams Weekly Salary "Re-Cap"

The Rams currently have $442,374 in Available Cap Space, lowest in the league. Injuries to T.J. McDonald and Matt Daniels have dramatically lowered available cap space. The Rams are getting perilously close to a situation where a contract or two will need to be restructured.

Where Cortland Finnegan ranks in average salary-per-year among NFL cornerbacks:

Name


Team


Total
Value


APY


Darrelle Revis

Buccaneers

$96,000,000

$16,000,000

Champ Bailey

Broncos

$42,500,000

$10,625,000

Brandon Carr

Cowboys

$50,100,000

$10,020,000

Cortland Finnegan

Rams

$50,000,000

$10,000,000

A bit of history from the GSOT days [ESPN]:

"St. Louis averaged 33.8 points per game in 2000, about a point more than in 1999, when the Rams were also an offensive powerhouse, and a couple more than in 2001. Those three years together guarantee the Kurt Warner-Marshall Faulk offense a permanent place in NFL history, but what makes the 2000 season stand out is that the offense did it with relatively little help from the D, which was the worst in the NFL. In their first six games, the Rams averaged 43.7 points a game. Then they were thrown for a bit of a loop when Warner missed five games with a broken pinky."

"But Warner, who played only 11 games, averaged 9.9 yards per pass attempt, and his backup, Trent Green, played eight games that would have been, statistically, the envy of just about any other NFL starter. Together, the two QBs combined for 5,492 yards in the air. Faulk, meanwhile, scored 28 touchdowns; he ran for 1,359 yards, averaging 5.4 yards per carry; he also caught 81 passes for 830 yards, averaging 10.2 yards a catch. Wide receivers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce each caught 80-plus passes."

Blast From The Past: Alt Rock Tuesday: Buckcherry - Lit Up

Buckcherry - Lit Up (via BuckcherryVEVO)

Have a great Tuesday and a Ramtastic week!!

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