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Run defense continues to struggle

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

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    Jim Thomas
    <a class="postlink" href="http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2011-11-30/st-louis-rams-team-report-run-defense-continues-to-struggle#ixzz1fFo76atF" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2 ... z1fFo76atF</a>

    ST. LOUIS—DeMarco Murray (Dallas) and Beanie Wells (Arizona) already have set single-game rushing records for their respective teams against the Rams.

    Beginning Sunday at Candlestick Park, San Francisco RB Frank Gore will have two shots at doing the same to St. Louis. (The teams also play in the regular-season finale, Jan. 1.)

    Run defense, or lack thereof, has been one of the biggest disappointments of this Rams season.

    Counters and cutbacks continue to plague the Rams, exposing situations when the linebackers fail to fill the proper gaps.

    The play of the defensive tackles against the run also has let the team down.

    Justin Bannan, who has done the best job on run defense among the tackles, missed the Arizona game with a shoulder injury and didn't practice Wednesday.

    Veteran Fred Robbins, who was so good as a free-agent pickup from the New York Giants a year ago, hasn't gotten much done this year. He was slowed by a back injury coming out of camp, but age (he's 34) could be catching up with him.

    Darell Scott showed promise as a rookie in 2009 but has had trouble staying healthy and hasn't always held up at the point of attack.

    Gary Gibson provides quickness inside with a high motor and is a helpful role player, but he occasionally gets overpowered in run defense.

    So once again, it looks like the Rams will be looking for defensive tackle help in the offseason.

    Notes: WR Danario Alexander (hamstring) returned to practice Wednesday after missing five games and was full go. The Rams have been missing a reliable second option to Brandon Lloyd since the mid-October trade with Denver that brought him here. A long strider with deceptive speed, Alexander is the closest the Rams have to a deep threat—he's averaging 18.5 yards per catch—and at 6-5 can get up and grab the jump balls. Any contribution by Alexander down the stretch will help open up the passing game.