St. Louis Rams – Blog

Wrapping Up New Orleans

Posted by nickwagoner on December 13, 2010 – 9:04 PM

- Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo just finished discussing his team’s loss to New Orleans on Sunday and again expressed disappointment that his team beat itself up with self inflicted mistakes.

- Spagnuolo truly believes in his team and he is always going to be upset when it doesn’t live up to the standard that has been set and that he knows it is capable of. He thinks the Rams aren’t that far off against a team like the Saints and he wants them to see that by winning.

- Still, Spagnuolo was able to acknowledge that despite the 31-13 loss, the Rams are right smack in the middle of the race. He still won’t use the word playoffs and bristles at the mere mention of the word but he did give credence to the concept that this week’s game against Kansas City is the biggest of the season and that each week is only going to get bigger.

- That said, Spagnuolo is expecting his team not to dwell on the loss to the Saints. Rather, he wants to see his team come back more focused and sharper than ever before in Wednesday’s practice.

- On the injury front, linebacker David Nixon’s hand is indeed fractured. He will be monitored day to day but likely won’t be able to return to practice in a cast until later in the week. He was scheduled for surgery Monday afternoon.

- Guard Jacob Bell was the only other ailment to come out of the game. He has a bruised knee and will also be day to day though Spagnuolo indicated that it didn’t appear to be anything too serious.

- As for players returning from injury, Spagnuolo said he was hopeful that CBs Ron Bartell and Justin King – both of whom are battling shoulder ailments – should be able to return to practice this week at least in a limited capacity. He also said King is “ahead” of Bartell in terms of a return though Bartell’s injury is such that he could wake up and feel better and stronger instantly.

- With that treacherous three game road swing in the rearview,  the Rams now move on to the next step which is Kansas City this week.

- It remains to be seen if the Chiefs will have QB Matt Cassel at their disposal against the Rams as he comes off an appendectomy. Most people coming off that particular surgery miss physical activity for at least two weeks. If he were to play Sunday, it would be right at 10 days. That doesn’t mean he won’t be available but it’s going to be difficult.

- The Rams then close with two division opponents, at home against San Francisco and on the road against Seattle.

- The quick breakdown of what those two teams have left on the schedule as Seattle sits tied with the Rams and the 49ers are just a game back:

Seattle: vs. Atlanta, @ Tampa Bay, vs. Rams.

San Francisco: @ San Diego, @ Rams, vs. Arizona.

- For the Rams to come out of that stretch with a divisional crown, Spagnuolo wants to see his team get back to the basics of winning the turnover battle, blocking and tackling.

- One area that must improve used to be a strength. In the past three games, the Rams have been outscored 30-0 in the first quarter. This team built a reputation for starting fast early in the year and must reclaim that in the coming weeks.

“It’s not good,” Spagnuolo said.

- The other thing is the Rams must return to getting off the field on third downs defensively and staying on it offensively.

- For now, the focus for the Rams is on moving on and preparing for a good Chiefs team that boasts one of the best rushing attacks in the league. It’s a tall order but it’s an important one.

- That’s all for this one. The Rams get back to practice on Wednesday. Be sure to send in your questions to the mailbag by tomorrow.


Posted in From the Sidelines | 1 Comment »


One Response to “Wrapping Up New Orleans”

  1. By Rachel Stivers-Stewart on Dec 18, 2010 | Reply

    POSTED FOLLOW-UP RESPONSE SATURDAY MORNING (12-18-10) &
    “TEAM RAMS” WISH!

    [ Preface: Please know, I wanted to respond to this blog entry earlier in the week. I have been burning the midnight oil on a work project throughout this week so I hope this later post date is still befitting. The overall response content should remain relevant so I will still comment as I enjoy being a contributing Rams fan!]

    “Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle ALL THE WAY …” Do I sound like Boomer on ESPN as my mind favorably replays from past broadcasts his energetically emphasizing a ball carrier to have run “all the way” to the end zone for a TOUCHDOWN score?! Nick, this week, for real, I am singing Jingle Bells! What are you singing?! As we know, in December going the distance, all the way, rings true exceedingly for NFL teams and fans which adds even MORE excitability for all of us! What can I say; I, like so many people, love the game of football and am grateful to be able to receive and give CHEER by being a fan!

    I think we can agree that whether a game’s outcome results in a win or loss, retaining an interactive ratio between fun and seriousness with hard work is of utmost importance in applying perspective and staying invested as routine business. In retrospect, I had the pleasure of attending the Rams’ last “open to the public” afternoon training camp practice back on 8-24-10 which was a most inspirational experience to see, hear and feel firsthand this healthy ratio in play. To date, as I have been rooting for each of the three units’ collective success as well as individual team member accomplishments and following the Rams’ team progress every week, I realize this healthy ratio has continued throughout this season. What an appealing, behooving positive that is!

    From a fan’s perspective, I offer the following comments on the Rams-Saints 12-12-10 game at New Orleans. First, Saints QB Drew Brees definitely represents the SI Sportsman of the Year award with elite distinction and integrity on and off the field. On the field during Sunday’s game, the Saints earned the win as they shielded their home turf, performed as the current defending Super Bowl championship team and outscored our Rams with more negotiated plays that put points on the board. Directly following the game, I remained online and compared stats between both teams from this Websites’s Rams Game Day NFL GameCenter. Unlike what the score gap itself implied, those stats revealed an overall “neck and neck” ball game where both the Saints and Rams were knee-deep in effort throughout all four quarters.

    Yes, in this game the Rams had a few blazing scoring drives extinguished as QB Bradford deduced in your 12-12-10 “Rams Fall to Saints” headline article, “Turnovers killed us today” and as RB Jackson delineated, “So we were uncharacteristic today with being careless with the football.” Yet there was no “kill the will” for the Team of unified fighting St. Louis Rams and our Rams’ characteristic “WILL TO WIN” remained strong and continues to remain BIGHORN STRONG. Therefore, my confidence in the Rams remains “ROCK SOLID,” especially as the Rams continue to improve upon their “breakfalling” skills, which are linked to impact, momentum and rhythm as in keeping or regaining it. (Side note: I must give credit for my metaphor usage of the specialized term “breakfalls” to the martial arts or fighting arts. Occasionally, I have to breakfall with my trail running and it has worked!)

    The Rams have demonstrated during this season they know how to fight through adversity in securing a win, which has included ability to land an analogous type of “forward rolling breakfall” in responding correctly to an attack while taking control of upward momentum and precise execution for resuming skillful attack during a game. As observed, the Rams as a cohesive team have also exercised this kind of personalized resilience in regrouping after a loss in dusting oneself off, learning from it, implementing gained experience, arming oneself again and moving forward.

    In paraphrasing from earlier in the season, I recall from a press conference where QB Bradford insightfully mentioned that, while reps and preparation are key, certain aspects of the game cannot be simulated during practice and have to be acquired directly during actual game time experience. So the Rams’ contention with the champion Saints was a sharpening test in that week fourteen game and of necessity for the Rams in further refining and shaping a winning edge.

    As a wise proverb states, as quoted from Proverbs 27:17 NASB, “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Nick, as you know from my regular lengthy weekly responses on this blog, I am a true BELIEVER in our RAMS and embrace the TEAM’S VISION so I am fired up with the thought of a possible rematch between the Rams and the Saints in a few weeks! If that rematch materializes, I will again wholeheartedly cheer on the Rams to find a way to win! As on record, the Rams won their first divisional rematch of the season with a second one approaching the day after Christmas!

    I was relieved and am thankful that the St. Louis Rams remain in first place in the NFC West Division, tied with the Seattle Seahawks as the San Francisco 49ers are moving in on both teams’ divisional lead. What would we do without our multimedia football reportage, commentary, analysis, and announcing/ announcements?! As informative, enlivening newsworthy reports, such as sport specific news, serve as a source of enlightened knowledge that can be entertaining, inspiring and helpful, I am a multimedia consumer who applies the mainstream “buffet” slogan of “take what you want and leave the rest.” As a universal principle, we know we are not going to agree with everything we read, hear and view so we filter, detach as needed (like when one’s team is not favored to win!) and appreciate the good.

    As my main source of Rams football news is stlouisrams.com as a specialized team media source to whom I have praised for the excellent complete coverage, I would like to briefly highlight some recent “at large” specialized media sources since I appreciate seeing and hearing my team, the St. Louis Rams, represented in a positive light.

    I receive daily delivery of the Nation’s #1 Newspaper, USA TODAY and enjoyed the 12-10-10 Sports Section Cover Story on Rams Rookie Quarterback Sam Bradford that featured the positive working relationship between Bradford and Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo as well as the team. I liked reading veteran RB Steven Jackson’s quotes regarding Bradford that reflected his support and encouragement of QB Bradford as the team’s new bellwether, leader of the Rams’ fold. (I interject congratulations to RB Jackson for his achieving another running yardage milestone this season on 12-12-10.) The mention of NFC West teams “in various stages of rebuilding” was a good point in the 12-16-10 Cover Story and included some optimistic quotes from Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis and an impressive photo of Rams Wide Receiver Danario Alexander. On Wednesdays, I purchase USA TODAY SPORTS WEEKLY and was most pleased to find a beaming Rams QB Sam Bradford on the front cover with the headline “Stellar class … Many of 2010’s rookies are ready-made NFL players.”

    During the 12-13-10 ESPN Monday Night Countdown “C’MON MAN!” segment, I was amused with this clip of Bradford running down Harper as QB Bradford deserved credit for his explosive, protective run and I give a thumbs up to Keyshawn for being a “Believer in Rams” from a previous, recent broadcast! I was glad to hear Terry on FOX SPORTS, during the POSTGAME show on 12-05-10, pick the Rams to win the NFC West Division! As I viewed the 12-13-10 posted “NFC West Favorite” video on stlouisrams.com, listening to Warren and Jim talk about the Rams with the Host on the NFL NETWORK was a real analysis treat!

    So, Nick, as you can tell, I am a very happy Rams fan at this time and will continue to enjoy wondrous moments of the season!

    Wishing “TEAM RAMS” a SHARPENED PERFORMANCE with CONTINUED SHARP-SET and SHARP-SIGHTED PLAYMAKING that keeps a NOSE to the GRINDSTONE and has a “NOSE for the END ZONE” in this week fifteen home game against the Kansas City Chiefs. May the St. Louis Rams RING A VICTORY BELL that RINGS TRUE with a COMPLETE WIN over the Chiefs in the GRANDNESS of the Edward Jones Dome.

    Respectfully & Prayerfully, Rachel Stivers-Stewart, RAMS FAN IN NEBRASKA

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