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Old 12-25-2011, 09:10 AM   #1
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Default Post-Rams thoughts

NFL from the sidelines

After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop. Dale can also be heard as a sometime host on ESPN 970-AM. Follow him on Twitter at dlolleyor.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Post-Rams thoughts
http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot.com/
Not a lot to say about this one. The Rams flat-out stink other than Steven Jackson.

As much as Maurice Jones-Drew is Jacksonville's entire offense, Jackson is the same for St. Louis.

It is somewhat troubling that, knowing that, the Steelers still permitted Jackson to rush for 100 yards and the Rams to go for 164 as a team.

The defense had been trending toward better showings against the run after some horrendous efforts early in the year.

It took a step back in that regard Saturday.

Rashard Mendenhall takes a lot of flak from Steelers fans, who apparently prefer their runners to be 250-pound plodders.

But he made some outstanding runs in this one.

Yes, it was against St. Louis, which is awful against the run.

But coupled with Mendenhall's recent efforts - including a strong game last week at San Francisco and you have a unit that has to at least keep opponents on edge heading into the playoffs.

Mendenhall's yards and carries are way down this season - 890 on 220 heading into Week 17 but he's been kept fresh from having just one 20-plus carry game all season.

Chris Kemoeatu played an entire game without a penalty

There's your early Christmas gift.

Charlie Batch played OK in this one. Not great, but not bad.

But he didn't enough to show me that he would have led the Steelers to a win at San Francisco last week.

I'll stick with my original feeling that starting Roethlisberger in that game gave the Steelers the best chance to win. It didn't work out that way, but it's the truth.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin send a message to rookie offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert, benching him because he wasn't happy with his preparation.

I've got a feeling, however, that if Baltimore would have been the opponent, Gilbert would have been out there.

Kudos to Antonio Brown for breaking the team record for all-purpose yards in a season.

Merry Christmas everyone. Enjoy your friends and family if you have the opportunity.
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: Post-Rams thoughts

I disagree with your statement about Batch.
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Old 12-25-2011, 01:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Post-Rams thoughts

The win and the shutout are the only stats that matter. Not rushing yards given up. Even with Steven Jackson going for 100+ yards, the Rams were only in a position to score 6 pts during the game.
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Old 12-25-2011, 01:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Post-Rams thoughts

I agree with everything. And Batch wasn't perfect, but he got the job done. Good backup. Good post!
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: Post-Rams thoughts

no, he's right on the money about Batch. Charlie played fair, but that was a REALLY pathetic team he played against. He would have got slaughtered against SF.
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:38 AM   #6
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Default Re: Post-Rams thoughts

I think the Rams game pointed out what I've believed all along in that we have talent that we may not have thought we had and that we have a lot of it.

What I see is:
  • Batch may never be a hall of famer, but he's way more than just a backup. He has a skill set around which we can build an actual game plan rather than simply sending him in to manage a game or to "not lose" a game.
  • John Clay showed that he can run and that he has the size and power to be a future consideration (or even a present day answer) to Mendenhall
  • Trai Essex proved to be an excellent center and maybe he can now be seen as more than just a left-tackle
  • The team as a whole plays like a team and does not "need" any particular player in order to win
  • That our receivers - given the chance to work with him - can adjust to Batch and his particular style and are not only effective when Ben is out there
  • Our Defense showed some weakness against a power runner but is able to adapt and "bend" rather than allow that to become a major problem

We still have some issues, but overall I think that we're in far better shape than many other teams in terms of depth, coaching and we have a bench that can step up and play without having to radically alter a game plan.

We may not be a pretty team to watch and we may not be able to run plays with the precision that other teams seem to.
But we don't quit, we don't fall apart if a key player goes down and we play more in the true sense of what a team is than any other club out there and win or lose, whoever plays us knows they played a football game against a solid opponent.

I like our chances a lot!
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Post-Rams thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by FanSince72 View Post
I think the Rams game pointed out what I've believed all along in that we have talent that we may not have thought we had and that we have a lot of it.

What I see is:
  • Batch may never be a hall of famer, but he's way more than just a backup. He has a skill set around which we can build an actual game plan rather than simply sending him in to manage a game or to "not lose" a game.
  • John Clay showed that he can run and that he has the size and power to be a future consideration (or even a present day answer) to Mendenhall
  • Trai Essex proved to be an excellent center and maybe he can now be seen as more than just a left-tackle
  • The team as a whole plays like a team and does not "need" any particular player in order to win
  • That our receivers - given the chance to work with him - can adjust to Batch and his particular style and are not only effective when Ben is out there
  • Our Defense showed some weakness against a power runner but is able to adapt and "bend" rather than allow that to become a major problem

We still have some issues, but overall I think that we're in far better shape than many other teams in terms of depth, coaching and we have a bench that can step up and play without having to radically alter a game plan.

We may not be a pretty team to watch and we may not be able to run plays with the precision that other teams seem to.
But we don't quit, we don't fall apart if a key player goes down and we play more in the true sense of what a team is than any other club out there and win or lose, whoever plays us knows they played a football game against a solid opponent.

I like our chances a lot!

I agree with most of what you just said to a point......i do, except for maybe building a game plan w/Batch. Most other times he's been in he's been awful, so i'd have to see alot more to make that call. The only problem is that those points came on a win to the really, really, bad Rams team.....they were actually worse than i even thought/expected. We would have to duplicate that against a real team of some sort to actually buy into any of that.
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Post-Rams thoughts

I'm with the majority on this one... Not much thought is being put into this one.
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Old 12-26-2011, 04:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Post-Rams thoughts

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Originally Posted by TRH View Post
I agree with most of what you just said to a point......i do, except for maybe building a game plan w/Batch. Most other times he's been in he's been awful, so i'd have to see alot more to make that call. The only problem is that those points came on a win to the really, really, bad Rams team.....they were actually worse than i even thought/expected. We would have to duplicate that against a real team of some sort to actually buy into any of that.
I understand what you're saying and to a certain extent you may be right.

What I mean in terms of Batch is that unlike many backups, he has a deep understanding of what we do and is capable of running a full-fledged game plan as opposed to some "dumbed-down" version.

He is certainly no replacement for Ben, but he also doesn't need a trail of bread crumbs to follow in order to find his way and he has enough talent to operate the offense without significantly affecting the team's ability to use the entire playbook.

In other words, as backups go, we could do a lot worse than Charlie Batch.
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:33 PM   #10
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Default Re: Post-Rams thoughts

the play by Brown on the fake punt was very nice. He covered a lot of ground in little time. they make that first down and who knows what happens next. the game was still close at that point.

I'd like to see more of Clay. maybe he's the guy to go to when it's third and one at the goal line.
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