Monday, September 26, 2011
Around the NFC West: Rams disaster
By Mike Sando
The item Saturday detailing struggles for the 2009 NFL draft class needs some updating after the St. Louis Rams' 37-7 home defeat to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3.
Tackle Jason Smith, the second player chosen in that draft, wound up getting benched for Adam Goldberg.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Smith acknowledged his struggles against the Ravens on a day when the Rams could do little right. Smith: "It wasn't my best game. And the coaches pulled me out. I had some penalties in crucial situations. ... And I need to play better so I can help the team." Seattle's Aaron Curry, chosen fourth overall in 2009, lost his starting job heading into Week 3. San Francisco's Michael Crabtree, the 10th pick that year, had a touchdown nullified by a controversial illegal-touching penalty. He finished with three catches for 24 yards. Arizona's Beanie Wells, chosen 31st overall, was a last-minute scratch with a hamstring injury.
Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Sam Bradford took a beating against the Ravens as the Rams emerged from this defeat dazed and confused. Burwell: "[Bradford] emerged from the training room with several parts of his body wrapped, bandaged and patched, limped like an old man and later admitted this was as bad a pounding as he'd taken in a while. The winless Rams are a fragile team flirting with a full-blown disaster, and it's going to take a lot to prevent this thing from sliding south in a hurry. The offensive line can't protect Bradford well enough when they face physical, intimidating defenses like they've encountered the first three weeks. He's been sacked 11 times, including five by the brutish Ravens, and roughed up and bounced around probably 10 or 12 more times. And it's starting to look a lot like maybe this newfangled Josh McDaniels offense is not going to create the instant miracles we all envisioned." Noted: Some of the Rams' problems are directly related to the significant injuries they suffered at running back, wide receiver and in the secondary. Still, I expected better from both of their lines.
Dan O'Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says even the Ravens seemed surprised by Torrey Smith's big day against the Rams' defense.
Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com gives the Rams several "F" grades on a brutal postgame report card.
Howard Balzer of 101ESPN St. Louis expected the Rams to adjust once Smith beat cornerback Justin King for touchdowns early in the game. Balzer: "It's understandable that the coaching staff didn't expect Flacco and Co. to call 36 pass plays in the first half and run the ball only eight times. However, what is difficult to understand is how the coaches saw King being torched by Smith and didn't immediately put Bradley Fletcher on him. Of course, the unfortunate reality is that King is starting only because Ron Bartell and Jerome Murphy have been lost for the season. All told, the Rams currently have five cornerbacks on injured reserve, and the next one up might be untested Josh Gordy to see what it can do. Heck, it can't be any worse."