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Howid Ballzuh

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by -X-, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. -X-

    -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    .... wrote another article. Lots of stuff about press conferences and coaches on the hot seat, and blah blah blah. There's only so much a guy can write, and only so many ways to expand upon player quotes. I don't fault Balzer for writing an article that's remarkably similar to every other article out there these days. I mean, what can you do? Everyone has the same concerns, everyone has the same observations, and he's got a quota to make with 101ESPN.

    So, in his 1000+ word article today, which you can find here,

    I plucked this one line out of it.

    "... when the reality is that decisions don't win or lose games; players do."

    That doesn't mean that I absolve coaches for making what we perceive to be wrong decisions. Far from it. I have problems with 4th & whatever situational calls like everyone else. But. Ultimately. The decision, in and of itself, does not define how a game turns, or in this case, ends. Mainly because we don't have the benefit to see how it turns out if the decision went the way we "wanted it to go."

    Case in point. Rams on their own 36, 4th & 1. Down by 3. 3 minutes remaining.

    The decision? Punt.
    The logic? The defense should shut it down, force a 3 & out, and we get it back with better field position.
    The result? Didn't work. Defense didn't hold (twice). Game over.
    The alternative? Go for it and extend the drive for another 40 yards, and tie it (or, go 64 and win it)
    The best case scenario? They convert and march down to tie it up (or win).
    The worst case scenario? They don't convert, Arizona scores 7, and goes up by 10 with a minute remaining (or less).

    My worst case scenario? They don't convert, Arizona eats some more clock, forces the Rams to use their remaining time-outs, and scores 3 to go up by 6 with very little time left. The Rams would then be forced to go (probably) 80 yards in a minute or less, with no time-outs, for the win (with a TD). When, up to that point, the offense was anything but 80 yard drivers in 60 seconds (or less) with no time-outs, throughout the course of the season.

    So the call was what it was. It was made. The PLAYERS (specifically, the defense) didn't uphold their end of the bargain. Who do you have more faith in as the head coach? The defense who let Beanie gash them all day, or the offense that can't seem to do much of anything on a consistent basis. Spagnuolo played the odds - or at least what he perceived to be the greater odds. And like any "gamble", you throw the dice and hope it comes up 7. Because once the dice leaves your hand, you have no more control over the roll.

    Yet another example of circumstances that could very well make him a victim.
  2. -X-

    -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    Well, let's examine that. Rather than speak in absolutes. I'm not into absolutes as much as you.

    The regime (we'll limit that to GM and HC) is indeed in charge of providing the talent to execute the decisions made on the field. So why is it talent deficient? Is it injuries? Is it because they didn't hold onto that 7th rounder from this year's draft? Is it because the offensive line was completely discombobulated this past game? If so, why was the line the way it was? And do you expect them to be a well-oiled 4th & whatever converting machine?

    Your "short" version of your absolute isn't as absolute as it is short. Sure, they've had 3 years. Is that, in your opinion, enough time to get 17 solid starters? Is it enough time to do it given the scope of the last 3 off-seasons? If it is, then I guess you think we have the talent. Which would render your first point invalid. See the dichotomy there?

    I didn't count the post-third-round guys we have contributing. But. How many post draft guys do we have contributing (UDFA's, mid-season trades, etc)? If a GM/HC tandem isn't very good at spotting talent in rounds that go beyond the 4th, then why are they able to get guys that didn't even get drafted to contribute? Plus there's the trades they made that yielded some favorable players. That window of premiere talent (rounds 4-7) isn't necessarily the honey pot. That's about a 10% hit rate. And in order to develop those guys, you have to have good starters in front of them. Is that what you think? We have very good starters in front of them?

    The FA pickups that helped have been (in no particular order)

    Brandon Lloyd
    Danny Amendola (before he got injured)
    Brandon Gibson
    Danario Alexander (before he got injured)
    Darian Stewart
    Cadillac Williams (before he got injured)
    Harvey Dahl
    Jacob Bell
    Josh Brown
    Donnie Jones
    Mark Clayton (before he got injured)
    Bryan Kehl
    Justin Bannan
    C J Ah You
    Fred Robbins
    James Hall

    But instead of calling our roster talent "poor", instead tell me how you would have made it better with all of the wealth of knowledge you have about talent evaluation and hindsight drafting. Start with 2009 (off-season and draft) and go from there. Fill in the blanks and make this a playoff team. I'd really like to see that. See, everyone knows the team is bad. Anyone can say that and be accurate. Nobody (and I mean NOBODY) has an answer as to how to fix it.

    Other than, "Fire ___________".
  3. RamFan503

    RamFan503 Grill and Brew Master

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    Obviously YOU haven't seen my yoyo dice.

    So my take is that the duo of BD and Spags has not had much success - why thank you Mr. Obvious. I don't look at decisions like the 4th & 3 punt as having any great roll in that, except for the fact that it showed a total lack of confidence in the offense and maybe a delusional view of what the defense had been able to do at that point and that they would somehow be stronger that late in the game.

    Yeah players have to get it done on the field. But coaches have the responsibility to put them in and push them toward situations where they can succeed. And GMs need to get players in that can fit a scheme that allows for success as well. So far, there have been all too few hits and way too many misses. And my biggest problem with that is that I just don't see any great plan or scheme that tells me the coaching staff has a real game plan. It's almost like our coaches are waiting to see what the other team is going to do and then see if they can slow down their progress while hoping to score a few points.

    I have always been a Spags and BD supporter. I think everyone here knows that.

    Unfortunately, I can't overlook the fact that no one but NO ONE can be excused for some of what we see on the field right now. Injuries have plagued us - yes. But we just got gashed for record yards on the ground when our D-line is pretty much what we signed to start the year. Our offense is unfathomably bad. And it was bad last year as well - just not AS bad. Our offense was pathetic in '09 - almost as bad as it is now.

    If Stan decides to stick with BD and Spags (who I think are joined at the hip - like it or not), I will pull like hell for them to succeed. But at this point, I would not be the least bit surprised to see them go and I have to admit that I would probably be energized by a fresh approach.

    The one thing I don't see is quit in this team. Whether that is just the mentality of a few players coming through or if Spags is the driving force behind it - I have no idea. I suspect Spags has a lot to do with it. I love seeing that but as much as players want to fight and die for their coach, I also hate seeing their blood wasted on the battlefield because their General doesn't know how to channel that enthusiasm to win the day.
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

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    Aliens, specifically Klingons. They're not homesick and work for bloodworms and maggots.
  5. RamFan503

    RamFan503 Grill and Brew Master

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    I suppose here is one of the areas where I would disagree with you. This regime took over and job one was to gut the roster and get out of salary cap hell. Their next season, they were faced with essentially no free agency to speak of. When you have virtually no depth of talent and no FAs to pull in, you just lost a real shot at a few of those solid players. Combine that with a void in leadership from the owners and I think they were put in a pretty rare situation. Add to that a change in OC and no off season this year.

    In the NFL there is really a pretty small margin between a good team and a bad team. We are a bad team. Could another coach and GM have done better than what we have seen? Maybe. Should this offense be scoring at least some points given all these situations? I sure have to think so.

    I am not offering up excuses for this regime. But I also can see that they have been in a pretty unenviable position from the time they got here. With all I have said lately, I still would be inclined to want to see what BD and Spags can do with a "normal" season. I have been a Ram fan for far too long to look at the last three seasons under BD and Spags and think we couldn't have done worse. Georgia, Shaw, and Ziggy proved that.
  6. -X-

    -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    I had a whole "thing" typed out to address the many repetitive questions thrown at me again, but I've decided to not repeat myself. You've done a rather good job of saying what I've been saying with this response. Everybody has the answers relative to how they'd build this team, and how that Madden-like team would be successful, but nobody ever has the wherewithal to tell us HOW they'd do it.

    I hate this season. I hate the record. I hate the fact that this team had to be blown up when it was just a few years removed from its second Superbowl. I don't like the way the previous braintrust (ha!) ruined my team. I don't like the way Spagnuolo and Devaney have to take undue criticism from knee-jerk fans who think it was ever so easy to just flip a switch and bring us a playoff team. And I especially hate the fact that no matter what Spagnuolo tries to do, it's of no consequence. This was the guy who was brought in to turn things around. It hasn't happened yet. Maybe it won't happen at all. But it CERTAINLY has nothing to do with his ability to coach players or keep a team focused on a goal. And the worst of it is, if he is fired at the end of the year, some coach is going to step into a fully healthy team next year and reap the benefits thereof. OR. He's going to get saddled with the same enormous level of bullcrap that has plagued Spagnuolo, and he too will be run out of town. Continuity shmontinuity. Just get me someone else.
  7. -X-

    -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    Balls.

    Do it then. Build a competitive roster with the same amount of injuries, and YOUR preferred roster. Injuries don't matter, because they happen to every team, so fill it with your players and then cut their knees out from under them. I know your coaching style is "yell and grab facemasks", so you can do that too. Yell at some ACL's and MCL's. But make sure you have the depth (that's so easy to build) on this team. Tell me who you drafted and who you signed in free agency since February of 2009. You must have an idea of who those players would be. List them. THEN, show me all the teams that did that inside of three years. Just list the teams that did it. List the teams that had to be scrapped in 2009, and then built a winner by 2011. List them. That's all you have to do.

    Make sure that team was broke in 2009, and make sure that team *couldn't* sign anyone in 2010. There's a lot of them, so take your time.
  8. Lesson

    Lesson Well-Known Member

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    Huh? Britt Miller was never on the same team Spags coached for. He was signed after the 49ers cut him
    Diggs was never on a Spags coached team, either. His connection to the staff is through Flajole.

    You mention "FOSS" yet you left out Mikell, among others.
  9. -X-

    -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    No. You listed 4 guys the Rams cut and your point is made? I should have listened to you earlier when you said we should just wait and see. The further you entrench yourself in these debates, the worse you make yourself sound. You never account for all the facts, and you use very weird logic.

    Like.

    We should have drafted more players than we were allowed to draft instead of signing Diggs? Then you name FOSS that really aren't. Then you pimp guys from the later rounds that aren't doing anything anywhere, without naming the other hundreds of guys that were drafted in those rounds that aren't doing anything either (for other teams). The draft is a crap-shoot, everyone gets that. You're suggesting they defy the odds continuously and develop depth like, say, Green Bay does (who has a wealth of starters already and can AFFORD to do that). Really, man, you can't keep comparing this team to teams that were WAY better off to begin with. It just doesn't fit. I know you didn't mention Green Bay. I'm just using them as an example of a team that can afford to take a different approach in the draft.

    I'll concede this. The drafts have not been awe-inspiring, and the free agents weren't either. You'll, at some point, have to concede that this team was a wreck going into 2009 and stop suggesting that it's simple to replace an entire team in 3 years (that includes starters AND depth). But, I don't really think you're willing to do that.
  10. SunTzu.v.Camus

    SunTzu.v.Camus Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate your posts about Spags and this season and find solace that I'm not alone and there are other, rational fans out there. Thanks for making this site and being a shelter from the storm.
  11. RamFan503

    RamFan503 Grill and Brew Master

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    Man! Great examples. And how many of these players stuck with the team that drafted them? Even funnier - how long did Lee Evans stick with the team that drafted HIM?
  12. Selassie I

    Selassie I H. I. M.

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    Man I have to take exception with some of what you're saying here X...

    1) Spags and Devaney deserve criticism for their job performance. Saying that it's "undue" ,,, C'mon.

    2) I question Spags' ability to coach players based on the regression I see with a number of players who are supposed to be cornerstones for our team. The replacement secondary is the one area of this team that I would like to think that Spags has made a positive coaching impression. That's not enough for me.

    3) You seem to believe that Spags is also able to keep a team focused on a goal. With the continuing pattern of stupid penalties, inability to stop the run, and giving up big plays ALONE - I find this almost impossible for me to believe. This pattern has been constant since Spags has been HC, and there's no improvement really. What GOAL does he have them focused on that you can see? If you're going to say the team is playing Hard,,, I would just like to say that many of these "hard playing" players are playing for their football lives (their jobs). I would submit that these players are playing hard for the almighty $ more than they are for Spags.


    I wish I honestly had a feeling of confidence in Spags that many of you are apparently able to have. It's long gone for me. I guess if I did, I would also (tambien) be torn right now given the state of the team. Nobody feels good right now. This crap freaking sucks.


    I've also been getting the feeling that Fans who are ready to move on from the current regime are considered part of the Mob, knee-jerk, Madden football IQed, or just plain Leper like around here lately. Maybe I might feel better if I start throwing a few barbs too, maybe I could relieve some of this tension I've got built up inside?
  13. -X-

    -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    And there it is. The Super Bowl winning Green Bay Packers vs the rebuilding St Louis Rams comparison.

    TKO.

    I have nothing else to offer. Everything should be exactly the same as a team that is the poster child for continuity and stability. I mean, hell, if Green Bay can do it, why can't the Rams? They both had the same amount of depth. Both drafted REALLY well going back to 2000, and both have solid starters with room to groom younger developmental players. Yes, they're exactly the same. I surrender to your better knowledge once and for all.

    Oh, and not for nothing, but Morgan Burnett didn't get injured the year after he was drafted and subsequently placed on IR during the off-season. He also was called upon to step into a starter's role right after he was drafted. He played FOUR freaking games to Murphy's FOURTEEN. So for that, you're absolutely right. Burnett IS better.

    Or is he?

    Burnett - 2010:
    12 solo tackles, 1 interception, 1 pass defensed.

    Murphy - 2010:
    25 solo tackles, 1 interception, 3 passes defensed.

    Guy. Just stop. This team is what it is for a number of reasons. Spagnuolo may be a part of the problem, but you need to be a calculus major to figure out how he alone factors into the big picture. This is Vermeil 1998 all over again, and it's equally as tiring. I truly do give up on trying to reason with you anymore.

    ... the Packers. :roll:
  14. -X-

    -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    Fair enough.

    Here's why I say it's undue. Because it's misplaced. Your second point reaffirms that. Players don't regress unless something drastically changes. The regression we're seeing on the offensive side of the ball is due to a new offensive coordinator. We saw improvement in 2010, and now we're seeing regression. To put that all on Spagnuolo is undue criticism as far as I'm concerned. He hired him though, so I guess that's justification for calling for his head? But..... are we sure it was HE who hired McDaniels? They interviewed several WCO offensive coordinators as well. Which would seem like the more likely fit for someone like Spagnuolo?

    As far as keeping the team goal-oriented, no - I wasn't going to say "playing hard." The goal is always the next game. No matter how good you are, or how bad you are. I know we've all seen teams just flat out quit after losing several straight, but that doesn't happen here. They come prepared for the next challenge. That may be a small consolation, but I see it as much more than that. Are rookies, Steven Jackson, Bradford and a banged up secondary, banged up O-line, and banged up receivers enough to win? Of course not. It would be nice if they could go ahead and win in spite of all that, but that's unrealistic. So the fact that the team KNOWS they're behind the 8-ball every game and STILL comes to play, speaks a lot to me. If that's not enough, then it's not enough. It just means a lot to *me*.

    Finally, if you feel like you're being attacked by differing opinions, then I apologize for that. It was, I thought, a consensus that this board would provide refuge from the mass hysteria that plagues other boards. And by hysteria, I mean multiple threads with the words, "Fire", "Cut", "Sucks", "Loser", etc in every title. Maybe I'm trying to hard to keep that crap out of our house here. If it makes you feel convicted inside when I go to war over crappy arguments, then I suppose I could just dial it back a little.

    But you know me. You know my post history. You know my passion. Did you expect me to lay down?

    Not if you know me.

    I don't have a problem with people who say things like, "You know, I think this whole thing needs to be rebooted. Get rid of the HC, GM, all the assistants, and let's see what happens with some new blood." That actually doesn't bother me. It's just someone saying they want to try something radically different. But to formulate crappy arguments to place blame in one spot when it should be evenly distributed. That bothers me. Making up reasons why a coach is "an idiot" or "lacks balls" or "is a pussy", isn't going to go unchallenged by me.

    You don't say that. So you have nothing to feel offended by. Hell, you've said this team needs an enema a few times already, and each time I chuckled. It's descriptive and it gets your point across. You're not taking pop shots at anyone, and you're not making up stuff to fit your agenda. You just want to flush and start over. More power to ya, man. No matter what happens, I think we both want the same results in the end (no pun intended).

    One love, baby.
  15. Lesson

    Lesson Well-Known Member

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    Eh?

    Spags was never on the hot seat this off season or at any point last season.

    I get what you're saying, but this isn't Spags second season(though I do wish he would stay in 2012).
  16. -X-

    -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    I know. It's the same arguments, and the same forced justifications. Entirely different circumstances, but it's like Deja Vu all over again.
  17. Stranger

    Stranger How big is infinity?

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    Weren't the players ready to revolt againt Vermeil after his 2nd year? I don't get that sense at all with Spags.
  18. Lesson

    Lesson Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't Vermeil forced to make changes to his staff?
    The Rams have already made a rather large change in staff(one I don't think they planned on making) last offseason.

    And this is regarding the "Kroenke Way". I think he'll give Spags one more season, as well as Devaney. The Avs were terrible last season(I believe they also had many players fall like flies as well), yet both the GM and HC remain. They also acquired a rather good goalie. The HC and GM were in their current positions when the Avs made the playoffs the season before, now the Rams didn't make the postseason last season BUT they improved their win total by 6 wins. You can't over look that.
  19. Lesson

    Lesson Well-Known Member

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    Not the exact same thing, but the players were about ready to kill Linehan. They absolutely despised him.
  20. bluecoconuts

    bluecoconuts Well-Known Member

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    The Rams haven't been afforded the luxury of developing players like Green Bay has.

    The Packers also had a much stronger roster in 2008 following. In 2007 they went to the NFC Championship game, and lost in OT to the Giants. In 2008 they transitioned to Rodgers on offense, and started to revamp their defense a bit. Suffered a setback but was able to come back the next year.


    You can't really compare the two, because the Rams have been pretty lackluster since the Greatest Show on Turf days. That's a long time of crappy drafting, and FO decisions, and it doesn't fix easily. 2009 was basically a wash for Spags, he tried to get some older guys who understood his defense (former Giants, etc) to help teach it to the players, and tried to rebuild the team on both sides of the ball. We can see the defense making improvements (although the run game needs to fix itself) and the offense shows flashes. We still need talent and most of all stability on both sides of the ball though. Which is why I want Spagnuolo here for another year.