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What do the Rams have to do to win a championship this year? (1 comment)

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Rams Fan

The 2014 Saint Louis Rams posted by Rams Fan

The question for the Rams going forward is whether Sam Bradford will become a franchise quarterback or not. The quarterback did have a good rookie campaign four years ago but he has been pedestrian in the past three years. He has also missed 15 games since his rookie year. He has never had a YPA more than 6.7 and while he has a touchdown to interception ratio of 14:4, most of these scores were made during garbage time.

The problem is that Bradford is paid like a superstar but he has not performed like one. Most recently it was announced that Bradford is out for the season with a torn ACL, and that could be it for his career in St. Louis. In his stead, veteran Shaun Hill will be starting for the Rams.

The Rams did add former number two overall pick Greg Robinson last spring with the hopes that he’ll contribute in offense. He could team up with left tackle Jake Long, Scott Wells, Rodger Saffold, and Joseph Barksdale up front.

Another new acquisition that could help their cause is Kenny Britt. A very talented receiver, Britt has had personal issues and injuries but could thrive under coach Jeff Fisher. If Fisher can do so, he might make Britt and Tavon Austin quite a good pair.

The Rams did improve their defense by picking interior disruptor Aaron Donald with the 13th pick in the 2014 Draft. Donald will make the Rams defense more frightening and could pose problems to top quarterbacks like Colin Kaepernick.

Donald could boost the Rams’ sack total this year. Last year, Robert Quinn had 19 sacks in his junior year and the 24-year-old figures to be better this season. Chris Long had 33 sacks over the past three years and should contribute as well.

Continue reading "The 2014 Saint Louis Rams"

Charles Bisbee

Another Unpredictable NFL Season On the Way posted by Charles Bisbee

With the 2012 NFL season fast approaching, pundits are busy serving up another round of fearless predictions. I enjoy reading these predictions because 1. they are bold and 2. more often than not they prove be woefully inaccurate.

This is the great thing about the NFL: no one has a clue and anyone who says they do is full of baloney. The league has mostly been a crapshoot over the past 10 years (save for the Pats, Steelers, and Manning-lead Colts), with teams jostling for position like ping pong balls in a lottery draw.

And still some writers insist on using phrases like “up and coming” and “back of the pack” in an attempt to project a team’s un-chartable trajectory. History should have taught us that in the NFL the up and coming team is generally an illusion. Look at the Buccaneers, for example, who went a “promising” 10-6 in 2010 and then fell to 4-12 in 2011 (despite having largely the same roster). Now’s Don Banks predicts new head coach Greg Schiano  “easily will better the Bucs’ record of last year and have [the] club being identified by year’s end as one to watch in 2013.” Only in the NFL can a team go from up-and-comer to bottom of the pack to up-and-comer again in the span of 12 months.

The 49ers, on the other hand, flipped the script after a dismal 6-10 campaign in 2010, hired a new coach and finished 13-3 in 2011. Meanwhile, the Rams went a "promising" 7-9 under rookie quarterback Sam Bradford in 2010, kept the roster largely intact and then finished 2-14 last year. Where is the rhyme? Where is the reason? What can account for this anual see-saw?

Continue reading "Another Unpredictable NFL Season On the Way"

Les Leonard

Big Daddy Prefers Touchdowns posted by Les Leonard

     Does anyone have fingernails after last weekend? If there are any Saints fans who haven’t been contending with chest pains watching these close-to-the-vest games, they don’t have a pulse. The 2010 Saints remind Big Daddy of the Jim Mora era. Unlike now, those Saints owned the league’s best defense and Morten Andersen drilling clutch 3-pointers. Even though the battles usually came down to the wire, the “Dome Patrol” and the “Great Dane” gave Saints fans a sense of security. Injuries in both the offensive and defensive backfields have the Saints fans hoping Capts. Benjamin “Hawkeye” Pierce and John “Trapper John” McIntyre would bring their M*A*S*H* unit down to Saints Headquarters to patch up our beloved Black ’n’ Gold troops. Since Hawkeye and Trapper John aren’t coming, Big Daddy will just need to find that magical Leprechaun with a pot full of Valium until the Saints get back to full strength. In this edition of the Section 645 Saints Beat, Big Daddy recounts the insanity in Death Valley, delivers a Section 645 report, recaps the Carolina game, attends the 2nd annual Pat Ramsey Hospice Benefit, and releases his World Famous Pregame Information.

     Everybody has seen what transpired at Tiger Stadium in the waning moments of the Tennessee game by now. What were your thoughts immediately after that “Chinese fire drill,” prior to the zebras flagging the Volunteers for too many men on the field? Big Daddy wondered if Les Miles would make it home alive. The only thing better than Miles’ clock management skills is Delaware Senate Republican nominee Christine O’Donnell’s enlightened view of evolution. Based on recent history, every time Les brain farts in crucial situations, the Tigers respond with a very inspired effort the next time they take the field. Maybe that’s a good thing, because they travel to “The Swamp” this Saturday for showdown with Florida. Ratings figure to be through the roof as all the Americans addicted reality TV will click over to ESPN to see what “The Mad Hatter” will screw up next.

Continue reading "Big Daddy Prefers Touchdowns"

john howard

Big 12 or Big 10? posted by john howard

The dust has started to settle and it looks like the Big 10 in now the Big 12 and vice versa.   The Big 10 will finally get to have it's championship game with Nebraska now on board.  Weather they pick up any more teams is speculation and rumor right now.  But, the excitement of a championship game and the revenue it will bring will be spectacular.  There is one catch with a championship game, it elminates champions. 

 What I mean by that is simply this:  There have been times in the Big 12 and the SEC where a team destined to play for the National title failed to do so because it lost this championship game.  It also makes for bad BCS matchups.  For example, let's say Penn State wins it's division with a 9 and 3 record.  And plays the winner of the other side that has maybe Ohio State and 11-0 and Wisconsin at 10-1. If Ohio State wins in this scenario, they go to the title game and Wisconsin who is probably a top 5 goes to a very good BCS game.  But, if Penn State pulls of the upset, Wisconsin is going to a much lower bowl and a much less appealing matchup of a 10 and 3 going against maybe an undefeated Boise State.

The new Big 12 on the other hand has what the Big 10 used to have.  Everyone plays everyone.  This will really help with the southern division of the Big 12.  For years, they have been the better half of the division.  Oklahoma State has been 3rd in the south many times and most likely the 3rd or 4th best in the conference.  But, wound up being treated like the 5th or 6th best team.  Also, teams won't get caught playing a tougher or easier scheduale.  There have been years when you had to play 3 teams in the other division. And, that year those were the 3 better teams while your division opponent played 3 easier teams.

Continue reading "Big 12 or Big 10?"

john howard

Sweet 16 Fun Facts and more.... posted by john howard

This year's sweet 16 has some fresh faces in the field.  If you compare this year's group to last year's things are different. I want to look at the trend of the sweet 16 over the last 10 years.

Duke, Michigan State, Syracuse, Xavier, and Purdue were in the field last year. 

Ohio State, Xavier, West Virginia, Tennessee, Butler, and Washington have all been there within the past 10 years.

Northern Iowa, Kansas State, Cornell, Baylor, and St. Mary's are all new faces.

Who are the best programs in the last ten years?  What I did to answer this question was simple. I gave a point for each team that made the sweet 16.  4 points for making the final 4. 5 points for the runner up and 10 for the champion.  Including all the teams that make the tournament would take too long and really wouldn't change the overall outcome.  The same goes for the field of 32. What people really remember is who made the final four.  And, who made the sweet 16.  Unless you are a fan of a school, your'e not likely to remember that they made the elite 8 three years ago.  (This list includes this year's field of 16. So, teams may move up this list in the next couple of weeks.)

So, whithout further ado, here we go:

1--N Carolina 25pts   This team has won 2 titles and just ended a streak of 3 straight sweet 16 finishes. They didn't even make the tournament this year.

2--Kansas  23 pts.  The second most 16 appearances in the past 10 years with 7. They also had 3 final fours.

3--Duke 20 pts.  How spoiled people get.  Critics have been complaining that Duke has finally made it back to the 16.  They were only gone for 2 years, yielding the most appearances in the past decade with 8. They have 2 final four appearances and one championship.  That championship was 10 years ago and they will drop a ways down this list if they dont win this year.

Continue reading "Sweet 16 Fun Facts and more...."

Richard Kagan

Bears Break Losing Streak With Win Over Rams posted by Richard Kagan

The Chicago Bears got back to the Victory Column with a queasy win over the futile St. Louis Rams, 17-9 last Sunday.

They didn't do it easy either.  One would think this would be a sleep-walk win.  Not with this team.  The Bears won, because St. Louis was that bad.  The Bears got touchdowns from Earl Bennett and Matt Forte, backed by a careful Jay Cutler, to earn the win.  The defense played better, holding the Rams to 3 field goals.  However, this is the Rams, and not the Vikings the Bears defeated.  Chicago (5-7) is a mediocre at best team this season.  The holes are finally showing. 

If this was a good Bears team, the score would be close to 34-3.  They eked by with a win to diminish the pressure off of coach Lovie Smith and the entire team.  Betcha coaches and players got a good night's sleep.  It would be nice to see the record reversed, but this is not the case. 

It's a strange season.  But that is the way the ball bounces in Lake Forest.  Perhaps players can get a taste of victory to feel how good it can be.  If the Bears can find a way to win two more games, that would be a successful finish.

Continue reading "Bears Break Losing Streak With Win Over Rams"

Les Leonard

Big Daddy Feels Turbulence on Cloud 9 posted by Les Leonard

     New Orleanians began their work week all smiles again Monday morning courtesy of the Saints’ record-setting 9-0 start. Even though our wallets were decimated for the ninth straight game, Saints fans ain’t complainin’. As the Saints aim to complete their second of three triumphant visits to the Sunshine State Sunday, Big Daddy mentally prepares to go where Who Dat has gone before. In this week’s edition of the Section 645 Saints Beat, Big Daddy congratulates former U.S. Representative from Louisiana’s 2nd District William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson, reports the action live from the Kingpin, recaps the Tampa Bay game, examines recent Saints scares, forecasts the New Orleans Hornets season, and releases his World Famous Pregame Information.

     Who wasn’t relieved when U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III made his wise decision? Wednesday Ellis ruled that William Jefferson will remain free while he appeals his 11 count federal conviction. Obviously, Dollar Bill isn’t a flight risk because he’s such a devoted God-fearing family man. Bill’s ability to spend priceless family time during Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Mardi Gras, and the Saints first Super Bowl with his wife and kids has to be the feel-good story of the year. Do you think Lifetime will make a syrupy holiday special depicting the Jefferson’s tight-knit family? Perhaps the made-for-TV gem would teach struggling Americans how to afford Ivy League educations for their offspring like the Jeffersons did with their five amazing children. Since locals love “making groceries,” the movie could show people where to find those special frozen pie crusts that chemically react when ordinary freezers transform them into extraordinary devices that produce cold hard cash.

Continue reading "Big Daddy Feels Turbulence on Cloud 9"

Jeremy Housewright

There's Little left from Super Bowl team posted by Jeremy Housewright

Sure he may be the last man standing at Rams Park, but Leonard Little has earned it. I know that Torry "Big Game" Holt was the 'man' on offense, but face it, the Rams had to get younger. Am I mad that Holt is gone, YES. Do I think that the Rams made a mistake in letting him go, YES. But, I can see their reasoning. It's about youth. The Rams have quickly become one of the youngest teams in the NFL. That is good and bad. We in Rams Nation may have to suffer through another tough season. Well, it's got to be better than listening to the bumbling and stumbling...........Scott Linehand. Sorry, I really did already forget his name. Such a boring man. With Steve Spagnulo running things, the last man left is Leonard Little. Some may wonder why? Well let me tell you why. The guy is a constant team player. He never complains about things. When healthy, he does his job well. The key term there is WHEN HEALTHY. Do I think Little still has enough in his gas tank to give the Rams a 10 sack season? Probably not, but he could get 5 or 6 and show the youngsters, ie. Chris Long how to become an All-Pro. So, keeping Little around makes sense and it's a good thing to do. Rams fans may not have a heck of a lot to cheer about in 2009, but atleast we know that with the youth movement, there may be light at the end of the tunnel.Continue reading "There's Little left from Super Bowl team"

Todd F. Dixon

Giants release Plaxico, Redskins talking to Leftwich posted by Todd F. Dixon

New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg 4 months ago, apparently in more ways than one.  With charges pending, the possibility of spending 3 years in jail was a little too much for the Giants.  Its hard to let your superbowl hero and number one receiver go, but the Giants just had enough.

 "I am an optimist, and I believe most situations can be worked out," Giants general manager Jerry Reese said in announcing the decision. "We hung in there as long as we could in hopes that there could be a resolution to this situation other than the decision we made today to release Plaxico.

"It wasn't to be, so now we have to move on. Like everybody else here, we want nothing but the best for Plaxico, and we are appreciative of the contributions he made to this franchise."

Apparently Plaxico's attorney thinks it was a huge mistake.  Isn't your agent supposed to say things like that?  Not your lawyer?  If you have your attorney speaking on your behalf and not you agent, you are doing something wrong.

Should the Redskins go and get Plaxico?  Hell no, we have enough headcases in the house with Alberto Haynesworth, President Clinton Portis, and Money Train Hall.  No no no

Vin Dieseldorf spoke with Campbell on another note, and said basically that the Skins went after Cutler, it didn't work out, and you are our man.  Also, The Danny sat down and explained to Campbell that it was mostly him who wanted Cutler, uh......DUH!  The only difference here between us and the Broncos is, we sat down and talked everything out and its all good now.  No wining, no avoiding, no little head-games.

Continue reading "Giants release Plaxico, Redskins ..."

Matthew Grimm

Jim Haslett is the Rams Man posted by Matthew Grimm

     This  has taken us Rams fans over like Obama and McCain.  OK well maybe not that extreme but you know what I mean.  There are so many problems with this team sometimes I think the head-coach is the least important.  But knowing that is were it all starts, it has become the hot topic.

     Jim Haslett took over a team that was lost and tired of playing for Scott Linehan. He promptly won two in a row and had whispers of playoffs abounding.  They were good wins over Dallas and Washington.  Then it spiraled out of control to the tune of 10 straight loses.  Although the Rams were in some of those, others they should not have bothered dressing.  But when I learned upon Haslett taking over that he had small things like having bushes trimmed at Rams park done, well that tells me he understands that a culture of losing is a disease and takes strong antibactics and most importantly time.  I know all the arguments.  His Defense was garbage, and I concede that.  He certainly has had some influence on draft picks that have not played to potential.  And 10 loses in a row is something that some sports writers could have avoided.  But with all that said, who else you going with?  Jim Fassel is the biggest name that is going to be courted.  No Marty, no Cowher and No Shanahan.  Now the rookie head coach arguement is a compelling one.  Mike Smith, John Harbaugh and Tony Saprano have the idea very sexy.  But for every Payton Manning there is a Ryan Leaf.  Can't say I am a big fan of this coin flip.  So that leaves us Mr. Haslett.  Just ponder this for an instant.  Jim Haslett had to lead a team in the most difficult season in the History of the NFL.  From San Antonio and the Bayou Bengal to working out of buses.  I refer to Katrina and the Saints.  I can not think of more credit deserved than not only juggling an NFL team, but wondering if his players houses were safe or maybe there families lives.  I am saying just this.  Two year deal with a club option to buy out the second year.  This will give us the best measuring stick  for Haslett and honestly the worst that can happen is another top 5 pick.  Take the chance, roll the dice and hope for a Yahtzee.  If not, throw the bank at Bill or Marty next year and take Colt McCoy with one of the top 3 picks.  After all, the worst thing that can happen is we have to sit through another debate about who to take with the number 2 pick.  Not all bad.....

Continue reading "Jim Haslett is the Rams Man"

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