Around the NFC West: Rams struggle

September, 14, 2009
9/14/09
9:02
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando




Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Steve Spagnuolo's handling of Richie Incognito shows how much the new coach values passion and intensity. Burwell: "It wasn't just Incognito. Marc Bulger bounced up off the ground after getting smashed by a couple of Seattle defenders and tried to take on three Seahawks when they got in his face and started woofin'. Yeah, that's right, the quarterback you love to hate, the QB you swear has all the emotion of a sun dial, the guy you all swear is too low-key, too emotionally detached, was ready to rumble."

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch details Incognito's penalties and the Rams' plans to bring in former Giants receiver David Tyree for a physical examination. Thomas: "Baltimore and Jacksonville also are showing interest in Tyree, who was one of the Super Bowl heroes for New York two seasons ago with his 'Helmet Catch' on the game-winning touchdown drive. Tyree also has a reputation as an excellent special teams player."

Also from Thomas: He lists some of the problems that dragged down the Rams in Seattle.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says C.J. Ah You was the 12th man on the field for the Rams when he blocked Olindo Mare's field goal try. Spagnuolo: "I'll take the blame for that. I'm sure guys will be accountable and tell you it was their fault, but I always put that on me. It's from the top down."

Also from Coats: a report card featuring a D-minus grade for Spagnuolo and the Rams' coaching staff. Coats: "There were problems getting personnel into the game, which cost the Rams a couple of timeouts. HC Steve Spagnuolo had a generally rough debut, but he earned points for temporarily benching, but not burying, Richie Incognito after his second personal foul. OC Pat Shurmur’s play-calling was timid and uninspired. The Rams failed to capitalize on the three early turnovers that DC Ken Flajole’s unit provided. The defense remains soft vs. the run, and there was little pressure on [Matt] Hasselbeck. Tom McMahon’s special teams committed a couple of major gaffes."

Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com says during a postgame chat that Bulger kept fighting.

Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com says penalties were largely responsible for the Rams' problems in Seattle. Spagnuolo: "I’m obviously disappointed in the result. I’m not disappointed in the effort. Sometimes it’s hard to see. But on the sideline, I could see it, the passion in those guys’ eyes. I told them in there, we have passionate football players on this team and that’s a good thing. We turn that passion into productive play and we’ll be OK."

Also from stlouisrams.com: Spagnuolo's postgame news conference.

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