Back in the saddle. Apologies for no post yesterday, the day job took me out of town - to Ste. Genevieve, a nice little town if I do say so myself - and I had no laptop, so...
Of course, that's the thing about being a Rams fan in a 2-9 season, it's not like you're going to miss much news, beyond the latest injury update. Turns out, injuries were once again the big news in Rams pasture, specifically the news that Marc Bulger is out for the Atlanta game. I don't think anyone's surprised, and there's absolutely no reason to have the team's premier investment push it in a what can now legitimately be called a meaningless season.
Meaningless, unless of course you're Scott Linehan. Injuries likely contributed to his midseason reprieve (and a November two game win streak had us all wondering if he just might have beaten the odds for a third year at the helm). However, I doubt that Bulger's injury buys him any time, being as though Frerotte is indeed Linehan's guy, the backup QB he hand picked and got the team to fork out a cool $2 mill for.
Haslett's not helping his head coach's cause. At several points throughout PD beat writer Jim Thomas' chat this week, participants pointed out how well the defense has adjusted in the wake of injuries, particularly to Leonard Little. On Monday, TST even remarked on the surprise of a three sack day from the Rams defense without Little. On the other side of the ball, there's been nothing positive, save for the New Orleans game and the first half of the SF game, in the wake of key injuries. Now, to be fair, I think a defense can make plays differently (like say putting together a 3-4 to blitz the hell out of shaky QBs) when injuries befall certain positions, whereas an offense loses their ability to make plays in the wake of key injuries, particularly on the offensive line. Still, I doubt there's anyone out there, fan or pundit alike, that hasn't seen at least a few things that might have been done differently, or at least experimented with, to improve the offense: staying with Rob Pettiti at RT instead of Brandon Gorin, avoiding throws in the middle of the field, yada, yada, yada.
There have been 17 NFL head coaches canned in the last two seasons; how many more names, including Linehan's, join that list this winter is still anyone's guess.
Speaking of questionable decisions on the line, I'm even more dumbfounded about the decision to start the returning Todd Steussie at RG rather than RT. According to this piece in the Post-Dispatch, Steussie claimed he wasn't fully adjusted to starting at guard after just three practices and 14 games at tackle last season. Lord knows, we could have better used him at right tackle. To me, this is a bigger red flag as the Pettiti over Gorin at RT issue talked about so much in the wake of Sunday's game. Were they maybe concerned with his long layoff effecting his speed and his ability to pull? No explanation was offered.
Red zone troubles, bah. Being the 26th worst team in the league when it comes to converting on 3rd down and short might be a better indicator of the offensive illness that's befallen this team. Obviously, that has something to do with the O-line. ESPN is still predicting a Rams win.
Get the rundown on all things Falcons from the Falcoholic. We'll be swapping QnA with Dave the Falconer ahead of this week's game too.
Remember Bo Jackson? He still leads the sporting life, and cooks too. This is a pretty interesting read.