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"All teams deal with injuries"

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by -X-, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    Right. But you know what gets lost in this obligatory "nod" that people give the Rams in that regard? Most teams that deal with injuries have the depth to compensate. They have guys on their roster who have some experience in the system. The Rams, on the other hand, are pulling guys off the streets and have a good deal of players on the depth chart right now who weren't even on the roster when the season began. Well, hell. EVERY team should be able to do that. Right?

    From Howard Balzer's article earlier today.
    [textarea]http://101sports.com/category/hbalzer-blogs/20111114/Special-Teams-Gaffe-Goes-Rams%27-Way/

    What was also brutal were the never-ending injuries that continue to deplete the roster.

    Already playing without right tackle Jason Smith, who missed his third game because of a concussion, left tackle Rodger Saffold exited on the second official snap of the third quarter with a head injury and did not return.

    Said coach Steve Spagnuolo, "I'm not calling it a concussion. It was just a head injury so they (doctors) were being careful. (They) didn't want to put him back in there."

    We'll find out Monday if it is "just" a head injury and not a concussion. Mark LeVoir, signed by the Rams on Oct. 26, took Saffold's place. Once again, the Rams could be faced with a difficult roster decision if Saffold will miss some time, but not the rest of the season.

    When Smith was originally hurt, it wasn't known how long he would be on the shelf. To sign LeVoir, the Rams waived promising linebacker Jabara Williams, who was then claimed on waivers by the Bears. If Saffold and Smith aren't available next Sunday against Seattle, there is no backup tackle on the roster, although Ryan McKee is on the practice squad.

    At cornerback, the carnage also continued when Al Harris went out on Cleveland's sixth offensive play of the game. An MRI Monday is expected to confirm that the injury will end Harris' season. He would be the ninth cornerback placed on injured reserve by the Rams since the start of training camp. Harris' injury left the Rams with Justin King, Marquis Johnson and Josh Gordy at cornerback. Rod Hood was inactive. Nate Ness is on the practice squad.

    Still, there's more. Tight end Mike Hoomanawanui suffered a serious knee injury as he gained 15 yards on a reception on the final play of the third quarter. He is also expected to miss the remainder of the season. With Lance Kendricks out with a foot injury, the Rams' healthy tight ends are Billy Bajema and Stephen Spach. Ben Guidugli is on the practice squad.

    Safety Darian Stewart suffered a neck injury, linebacker Chris Chamberlain a stinger and wide receiver Brandon Gibson was hampered by a quad injury during the game and quarterback Sam Bradford left for one play in the third quarter when he took a helmet to his thigh.

    Of course, the most bizarre injury happened when running back Cadillac Williams suffered a quad injury as he was running onto the field to give running back Steven Jackson a breather.

    Said Spagnuolo, "That one's hard to believe."

    The coach also said his team will continue to battle through whatever hits them.

    "They're all going to be like this," Spagnuolo said. "Every one of these wins, every one we're going to get the rest of the season, is going to be a scratch, crawl, grab, and try to survive just like we did here. Find a way to make a play at the end. Maybe a little luck, we'll take that too. It's going to be challenging, but I know we have a bunch of guys in that locker room that will meet that challenge. They're just going to keep playing."[/textarea]
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    So when the Rams pull off an "ugly win", we should probably keep in mind they're doing it with basically a carousel of players shuffled in and out of the line-up. That's further complicated by using guys who have zero familiarity with the systems they're being thrust into. And thanks to the brand spanking new CBA, they get to practice it once a day (three times a week) and not TWICE a day like they used to. Honestly, for them to win anything is a minor miracle. And that speaks to coaching.

    Quite a bit, actually.
     
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  2. Angry Ram aka Captain RAmerica aka the OG Rammer

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    I've done a complete 180 on this coaching staff. I looked back, saw who they played against, when the played against, and who were the players. They haven't done that bad.

    Next year...man, next year....
     
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  3. Anonymous Guest

    Really? Browns couldn't score a TD and would have beaten our Rams with FGs if they didn't blow a chip shot FG with 2 min remaining. WTF is there to be proud about our coaching staff? Rams didn't force their will on the Browns. The Rams got stupid lucky. It's a W.....but it isn't progress.
     
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  4. RamFan503 Grill and Brew Master

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    Good perspective man. I think a lot of us lose track of just how many players have gone down and the difficulty that brings in trying to scheme and work a system.

    Really makes you wonder though why we always seem to have more injuries over the past two regimes than seemingly anyone else. It would be interesting to find out if the conditioning program is different in some meaningful way than what teams with far fewer injuries are doing. It's just bizarre.
     
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  5. Anonymous Guest

    Lots of teams have injuries. If there is some fire to it.......I would suspect the practice and game surfaces more than conditioning. Unless it's over conditioning which NO ONE wants to address.
     
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  6. RamFan503 Grill and Brew Master

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    And teams have gotten stupid lucky against us at times to beat us. I'm not sure that many of us see progress. More that you still see a team fighting for wins when virtually every week they are playing along side a stranger.
     
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  7. RamFan503 Grill and Brew Master

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    Only problem is that they are getting injured everywhere they play. I get it that stressed joints and such don't necessarily pop at the time they are receiving the most stress but....
     
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  8. -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    Then you're missing out. It's that simple.

    Maybe you're overconditioned by the GSOT days and you'll accept no substitute. That sounds like the problem, IMO. What other reason could there be for you to NOT enjoy a win that was scraped together by a team fighting for their very lives?

    No LT, no RT, 9 corners on IR, no Amendola, no Salas, no Kendricks, no Hoomanawanui, new center, a dinged up Chambo, dinged up Gibson, Jax playing hurt, Bradord pulling himself up off the ground and missing ONE play, 40 MPH winds, defense holding to field goals ALL day, guys running in and out of the lineup, and the result was a W. You have no idea that the Rams couldn't have gotten into winning position (again) if the Browns hit on that FG. There was 2 minutes left and Bradord put them in FG range twice against a much better AZ team the week prior.

    Anyway, big freaking deal that it wasn't done in extraordinary fashion. This is a team that goes to war with farmers and blacksmiths they pick up on the road on their way to the battlefield (figuratively speaking). They war FOR each other, and they war WITH each other. I'm proud of what they're able to accomplish under that kind of adversity. If you're not, then whatever. We all have different views on what football should "look like."
     
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  9. ljramsfan Well-Known Member

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    Ding Ding Ding!! I agree. I hope if one thing changes or that is being monitored is the conditioning of the team. I dont think this is on Spags, but you have to wonder what is happening.
     
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  10. Angry Ram aka Captain RAmerica aka the OG Rammer

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    I am very proud of this coaching staff, and what they done w/ all the starters (STARTERS) on IR.

    And WHO they played against. Last 2 SB champs, NFC East leading Giants, the Cowboys w/ the top defense, a healthy Eagles team.

    Browns couldn't score a TD, sure...b/c the Ram D prevented that. I don't care if the Browns "shot themselves in the foot." The Ram D prevented a TD.
     
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  11. RamFan503 Grill and Brew Master

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    So THERE! :neener: :neener: :neener:

    :7up:
     
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  12. -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    I disagree. While injuries aren't the PRIMARY reason for poor production, you can't turn a blind eye to a team that loses it's only check-down receiver, and then his backup. This team would be markedly different with little to no injuries and (at a minimum) the time afforded a team to learn a new (and more complicated) offense. Meaning, a full OTA schedule and camp. Lots of people like to point at the 49ers and how their miracle coach is performing miracles of miraculous fashion, but nobody looks further than the record. That team had MUCH talent on defense, and their primary focus on offense was to simply the offense and take sight adjustments away from the receivers and QB. Simple stuff led by a strong rushing attack. That defense was always going to be good. They just needed a coach who understood what it takes to get guys to play together in harmony.

    These problems WE have on defense are getting resolved. Why do you suppose it takes a team a little longer to get adjusted to losing all three of their starting corners? And then 6 backups? If you're going to insinuate that coaching is the issue, then how does an inept coach get a bunch of strangers unfamiliar with the defense, playing together at a high level? They're starting to understand it. For 3 consecutive weeks they've been shutting down offenses.

    On offense, a lot of the stuff is self-inflicted. No doubt. But why is it that way? What makes a team regress? The head coach got dumber? Players got dumber? FIVE separate guys on the offensive line got collectively dumber? What changed? What could have changed that would have made them all suddenly become more tentative and unsure of what they're doing? What, oh what, could it be? Easy.

    To your points though...

    OLB struggled with Leber and Poppinga. Chambo and Kehl (who ARE familiar with what they're doing) performed better. Leber is picking it up now, and he's playing better. Poppinga is getting more familiar, and he's doing better.

    DT's. Have you been monitoring that situation? You did know that prior to this game, the Rams were in danger of only having two DT's TOTAL for the Browns game, right? Why would that be? Injuries? No team carries two DT's, so that's the obvious answer.

    You didn't see an issue with Smith AND Saffold out yesterday? Nothing? Why did Feeley come in then? Was he bored? Once the offensive line started falling apart Sunday, the play selection got scaled back pretty good. And because of that, the game was boring and predictable, and painful and ugly. Funny how that works.

    What's wrong with the run defense? 3 straight weeks without a 100 yard rusher.

    Dropped passes? Not such a big issue the last 3 weeks, was it? See what happens when players start to absorb what they're learning? It's not a NON-ISSUE either, but it's not like the Rams lead the league in drops either. All I'm saying is, too many people discount the issue of installing a new offense. It's a very real 'thing.' It happened. It had consequences.

    Norwood has a hamstring injury. Wanna trot him out there anyway?

    How do you develop players when you need to cut them in order to sign veterans at other positions of need in the middle of the season? It'd be nice if they made it back to the practice squad, but that can't always be the case. I'd love it if they could keep their 7th rounders (Williams) and develop them, but at what cost? What if they didn't sign LeVoir and had both tackles out? Can Williams play OT?

    No issues with discipline and gap assignment anymore. Coaching has something to do with that.

    For every condemnation, I can find a reason. If that makes me an excuse maker or apologist, so be it. I'll say this though. I would NEVER be able to excuse a team playing poorly that had 2 years familiarity in a system, minimal injuries, and a full off-season to work on their schemes. There would be no 'reasons' for poor play under those circumstances. So I either ignore it and join the lynch mob, or I continue to point those things out.
     
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  13. Ramhusker Well-Known Member Pit Boss

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    Well Hell! At least we are all still watching. Good points everyone. I say things start looking up from here on out!!!

    Matter of fact, I'd be willing to bet by the time we line up against the 49ers the last game of the season, we will banging our heads against the wall saying, "Only if we didn't screw the pooch against the Giants and again against the Cardinals".
     
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  14. bluecoconuts Well-Known Member

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    If you check the injury report, Norwood has been listed as a hamstring injury for some time now. I think he originally tweaked it in the Giants game, but I might be wrong there..

    The 49ers didn't really install a new offense, it's te same kind, and really it's very dialed back to help limit Smith's potential mistakes. He also has one of the better TE's in the game helping him out.

    And Amendola started getting all the coverage last year. I think with a healthy Clayton, DX, and Lloyd on the team, Amendola would be getting a lot of passes thrown his way. Last week the Browns (who have a very good secondary, one of the best actually) had to cover Lloyd, and then kind of watch Gibson and keep Pettis contained. Only Lloyd was getting any type of separation on a consistent basis. Something Amendola is able to do, and Salas/Pettis is learning how. Clayton is healthy can do it, and Gibson... Well as much as I love him, I feel that what we see is what we'll get.

    Amendola is a big part of this team, I expect Lloyd to resign, and I expect Clayton and Amendola and Salas and Pettis to start the year 100%. After that (DX, Gibson, etc) I don't know. Hell, maybe Clayton doesn't sign, but I won't be shocked to see him stick another year. I also expect the O-Line to play better, Kendricks and Uh-Oh to be healthy and ready to contribute, and the defense to get improved.

    Needless to say, I expect the 2011 Rams to try hard, and play their best, and hopefully get a win anyway they can. I expect a healthy 2012 Rams team to light up defenses as Bradford throws for 300+ yards often, as they become a high flying, high scoring, hard hitting, stingy defensive team that people see on their schedule and go "Ah crap, we have the Rams coming up..."
     
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  15. -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    Amendola isn't the reason we could score more points. He's the reason the chains would keep moving though. Normally, anyway. I can't imagine what Brady would do without his underneath guy. The guy who's going to shatter the receptions and yardage record if he stays on point. Salas was coming along nicely as the replacement, but....... yeah, he's gone too. All I'm saying is, taking away your safety valve takes away a lot of your options.

    Avery and Gilyard simply aren't that good. Pains me to say it, because I thought Avery was going to light it up BIG TIME in this offense. But, all I know is, he's fast. He's not doing anything in a different offense, and is Gilyard even in football anymore? I don't know -- I just don't feel they would have made any difference. Regarding Johnson, you hit the nail square on the head. "If you build the team right." How many YEARS did it take for Houston to build the team right? Devaney and Spagnuolo have had less than 3 years to do that. Again, I have to take into account the reason why they couldn't do jack crap in 2009 or 2010. 2011 was the only year they had the means and resources to start reinforcing the team with veteran depth.


    Spot on. Sorta. I think there's more to the Avery decision than we're being made aware. Again, he's disappeared off the face of the map. Gibson is a disappointment, but he's far from a liability. When his number gets called, he does his job. There were also a few instances of him running free and nobody saw him, and I'd love for those opportunities to have been capitalized on. But the rest of the offensive ineptitude has to do with either McDaniels' reluctance to phase in his offense, or the mistake of keeping the same offensive line coach who had ZERO experience in the scheme being implemented.


    Actually, you CAN beat a team while scoring 13 or less. Just happened. I wouldn't count on that being the norm or a winning formula, but it does reinforce Spagnuolo's idea that ball control and a stout D can equate to wins. I think we'd both like to see McDaniels' offense materialize right in front of our eyes, but look at what he was dealing with. We almost ran out of players on offense yesterday. Imagine that? Almost ran out. Of course he had to scale things back and rely heavily on the run & 3-step drops. That said, it bothers me that he's not moving the pocket around right now. That was a great tool last year.

    Honestly. You HAVE to examine the differences between Harbaugh's offense and McDaniels' offense. It's not even close. Alex Smith had responsibilities taken away from him. Bradford had them piled on. SF's O-line had to focus more on the short game and pounding the ball. The Rams' O-line had to focus on protection changes and holding blocks longer.

    Lloyd is the ONLY receiver who knows what this offense entails. Salas and Pettis were both benched for not understanding it and suffering through poor production due to being overwhelmed. It took 6 weeks or so, but they both are starting to understand it more. It's a shame Salas got injured because he was starting to trend up big time. Hopefully Pettis can continue to ascend as well. MSW got cut. Had to happen. Alexander isn't that big a liability. He too needs to understand more than the 9 route. This year he started running more crossing patterns than he ever saw last year. I'm not worried about his hands. Just his health. Gibson? I don't know. He could be really good if he was consistent. I honestly don't know why he's not involved more.


    Norwood was inactive October 27th due to (illness)
    <a class="postlink" href="http://blog.stlouisrams.com/2011/10/27/johnson-working-way-back/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://blog.stlouisrams.com/2011/10/27/ ... -way-back/</a>

    Every game after that it was (thigh) or (hamstring). It was hamstring last week too. If Norwood had shown more than someone else, I'd like to think he'd be active in their place. All we can do is speculate. I'd rather see Norwood over Porter. I think everyone would like to see that. I can't compare Porter/Curry to Norwood/Gilyard/Avery without the benefit of seeing all the practices and game film. All I know is, our special teams is lights out with the exception of one BIG return by AZ (that happened on the heels of Curry getting held). My only complaint is Porter taking balls out of the endzone when he clearly has no top end speed. If Norwood can get healthy, I expect to see a change there. Porter is pretty good on kickoff coverages though, and Curry is often the first guy down there.


    I'd rather not have to try and explain these things, but that's just how I'm wired. If something goes wrong, it's actually my job to find out why. I get paid to do that "in real life." As such, that part of my life gets transferred to my freaking hobbies too. I'd much rather watch dominant football and flat out enjoy it. But since that's not the case, I'm more or less forced to figure out why that is. I'm not saying I'm right about this stuff. It's just what I'd put into a report if I was paid to figure it out.

    Someone pay me. This is too much like work. :evil:
     
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  16. Ramhusker Well-Known Member Pit Boss

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    Agreed. Funny how we all used to think the WR position was a major weakness on this team.(Still is if we are talking staying healthy) Now, if the Rams are in a position to take Blackmon, do they pull that trigger? :uhh:
     
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  17. Anonymous Guest

    No don't be honest. This Rams team has had the worst record of injuries ever....of any team....of any year....of any sport.....in the history of sports! It's the INJURIES.

    This is the Gospel of X.

    (BTW RRF I agree with your post. Injuries hit all teams and coaches are paid to develop players to fill those slots and play disciplined football.)
     
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  18. -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    Don't do that. If you have a problem with what I'm saying, or with my opinions, then you take it up with me either in PM, or debate my OPINIONS. You know full well that I never equated our situation to some sort of NFL record in the injury department. But since you're debating this phantom fact that I allegedly introduced, go ahead and find me a team that had to put NINE cornerbacks on IR in one season. I'm willing to bet that IS a record.
     
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  19. Anonymous Guest

    Well I didn't run with your war analogy......

    Injuries do not account for the bad play, bad decisions etc. as listed by RRF. We've seen this each year with Spags teams. Why they woke up against the Saints is anyones guess. AZ game outcome is all too familiar. Browns game outcome is a head scratcher in that we caught a huge break. That I'll grant you has been a rarity the last few years.

    So do you believe this win bolsters Spags bid to remain HC? I say no. I'd also question playing SB if he's at risk of complicating his recovery from the HAS. I thought that was why we kept Feeley.
     
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  20. -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    And I didn't say injuries were the ONLY reason why this team had floundered early on. Did I. If people want to believe that injuries piling up on a team that didn't have a whole lot of depth to begin with is inconsequential, then so be it. I simply don't see the comparison to other teams that weren't saddled with the same circumstances as being a relevant comparison. Never will. Put Harbaugh in as HC on this team before the season started, and give him the same problems (OC included). He's 8-1 still? Similarly, put Spags in at SF this year. He's 2-7 still? Hardly. He'd have that defense utterly dominating.

    I've already covered what I deemed to be the problem with poor play and poor execution. I don't feel like repeating myself there. As far as bad decisions go, I think we're gonna be alright. I mean, really, how many bad decisions do you see being made that puts it "out of the norm" in comparison to the rest of the league? I don't know if he keeps his job. That's a business decision. If it were MY business, I'd have already taken into account the things that are a hindrance to success. I weigh those against what's expected had they not transpired. I look for improvement and try to determine if the structure in place is a detriment, or if it's a model for success.

    I think Spags has too much responsibility. I don't like his decisions concerning the roster. But I'm looking at this situation as an Elevator Consultant. I'm not looking at it with a qualified background in Football Operations or Sports Management/Ownership. So, do *I* think he keeps his job? Yes. Do *I* know how Kroenke views the situation? Not at all.
     
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