Monday, October 12, 2009
Around the NFC West: Rams making progress?
By Mike Sando
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Tim Klutsarits of examiner.com takes issue with the Rams' approach and questions whether they're headed in the right direction. Klutsarits: "I don't question that Steve Spagnuolo is doing everything in his power to make this team better. I am beginning to question whether or not Spagnuolo is doing enough to reach the players and the team. He knows defense. There is no question about that. But there are too many mistakes again and again to accept. It comes down to he isn't either coaching the entire team properly or the players aren't listening and can't execute. Knowing that the team is talent deficient may be a reason but it can't be an excuse."
Brian Stull of 101ESPN Seattle says the Rams aren't interested in moral victories or silver linings. Too bad, guys. My usual Silver Linings file on the Rams is already finished and scheduled to appear on the blog in a bit.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams know it's bad when they can trail by two touchdowns at halftime despite holding the edge in widely cited statistical categories. Thomas: "Yes, Marc Bulger was seven for seven for St. Louis in the fourth quarter, including a 27-yard TD pass to Donnie Avery in relief of injured starter Kyle Boller. But by then, the Vikings were treating the game like a preseason contest in mid-August. Only one of their 11 defensive starters was on the field. So let's go to the tote board. The Rams remain winless for '09 at 0-5; their franchise-record losing streak has been extended to 15 games. And they have been outscored 146 points to 34 this season."
Also from Thomas: None of the Rams players he approached would go on the record with anything about the NFLPA's condemnation of Rush Limbaugh's potential ownership stake in the team. Thomas: "Limbaugh would be a limited partner -- not the controlling partner or lead investor -- in an ownership group that includes St. Louis Blues owner Dave Checketts. Because of that limited partner status, one league source believed that NFL club owners wouldn't object to Limbaugh's inclusion in a St. Louis ownership group."
Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams could have a decision to make at quarterback. Bulger: "I'm just glad we could go in and get some points and escape without hurting the shoulder again."
Also from Coats: The Rams' receivers enjoyed their best production of the season Sunday.
More from Coats: a report card featuring a "B" grade for the Rams' offensive line.
Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams made progress Sunday, but not without giant flashing disclaimers. Steven Jackson: "We know it's fundamental football that you have to hold on to the football. I'm not making light of that. But once we turn that around, I think we can play with any football team. That was a very competitive, talented football team we just played, and if we don't (give away) those 21 points it would be interesting to see how that ballgame would have turned out."
Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com says the Rams should have played Keith Null instead of Bulger once Kyle Boller got hurt. Going that route would have ruled out Boller and Bulger for the rest of the game, however.