Monday, December 5, 2011
Around the NFC West: Kroenke's approach
By Mike Sando
"Silent" Stan Kroenke wasn't so silent following the St. Louis Rams' 26-0 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 13.
Brian Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the team's second-year majority owner visited with players individually in the locker room, a sign of engagement from the owner as the season drags on. Burwell: "The man is not taking all this losing lightly. You could see it in his expressions as he moved around the locker room. People who know him well say he is extremely frustrated by what has transpired in his second season as majority owner and at the proper time -- which is not in the middle of the season -- he will decide what needs to be done. They say he is paying very close attention but feels no overwhelming need to prove that he is some boisterous ownership tough guy who needs to stand in front of microphones and TV cameras calling subordinates on the carpet."
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says it's tough to see even "a glimmer" of hope for the Rams after their first shutout defeat since the 2009 season. Steven Jackson: "We knew what we were facing. And we knew we were facing a team that was looking to clinch the NFC West, so we knew that we were going to get their best. Hats off to them."
Also from Thomas: Sam Bradford hoped to play Sunday, but the Rams decided to hold him out.
Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com offers a postgame Rams report card featuring a "C" grade for the defensive line. Gordon: "Chris Long played on a bum ankle and still earned a couple of sacks. DT Justin Bannan came back from his shoulder injury and helped inside against the run. The group delivered an impressive goal line stand in the second quarter and made several nice stops while holding San Francisco to a 9-0 halftime lead. Unfortunately, the 49ers offense kept coming onto the field . . . and in time the Rams defensive front wore down. These guys are only human." Noted: Long ranks tied for third in the league with 12 sacks, a career high. Only DeMarcus Ware and Jared Allen have more.
Note: Kroenke did not change his name. I changed it for him after mistyping his first name initially.