- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams' run-first offense is stuck in the past. This has everything to do with personnel. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur came from a pass-first offense in Philadelphia. The Rams' offense must run though Steven Jackson until the team develops more consistency at receiver. At quarterback, Marc Bulger doesn't seem to be the problem or the solution. Drafting a quarterback early makes sense only if an elite one is available. Drafting one early just to draft one early sets back franchises and gets coaching staffs fired. The question for the Rams in 2010 is whether they can find a quarterback as good or better than Bulger for considerably less than Bulger's steep price tag ($8.5 million base salary in 2010). Any rookie they drafted might need a year or two of seasoning.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams might have allowed 40 points instead of 21 if the Cardinals' Kurt Warner hadn't left the game late in the first half. Thomas: "The St. Louis defense gave up an astounding 327 yards in the first half. When Warner wasn't working his magic to Arizona receivers, the Cardinals were gouging the Rams on the ground."
Also from Thomas: Steven Jackson set a Rams franchise record with his fifth consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season. Thomas: "After gaining 116 yards on 24 carries, including a fourth-quarter TD on Sunday, Jackson has 1,031 yards rushing in 10 games. He's on pace for 1,650 rushing yards, which would be the fourth-best single-season total in franchise history, and the best for someone not named Eric Dickerson."
Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams' wide receivers showed promise against the Cardinals. Arizona had some problems, particularly after losing starting cornerback Bryant McFadden to a knee contusion. Coats: "The four wideouts combined for 14 receptions and 192 yards: Brandon Gibson, five catches for 61 yards; Donnie Avery, four for 65; Danny Amendola, four for 61; and Ruvell Martin, one for 5."
Also from Coats: Warner treated fans to quite a show in the first half.
More from Coats: a report card featuring a "C-plus" grade for the Rams' coaching staff.
Norm Sanders of the Belleville News-Democrat quotes Jackson as crediting Cardinals safety Antrel Rolle for an excellent play at the end of a 48-yard run. Karlos Dansby also made a good play on the touchdown-saving tackle. Jackson: "Actually, when I caught the ball, I thought it was a touchdown but Rolle did a great job of cutting my angle off. Rolle really did a good job of bee-lining. He really cut my angle off at the pylon and Dansby, he grabbed my legs. It was a heck of a play by those two defenders."
Also from Sanders, with Steve Korte: The Rams' Adam Goldberg was surprised when officials flagged him for a crucial personal foul late in the game. Goldberg: "Anybody who knows me knows that I am not a cheap player. I think that is my first-ever personal foul in my seven-year career. In those situations, quarterbacks scramble and quarterbacks pull up, and when you’re playing tackle and you're running the guy up the field, you have no idea when the ball is gone, you have no idea when the play is over. You're going to error on the side of protecting your quarterback, and that’s what I did."