St. Louis Rams – Blog

Wrapping Up Kansas City

Posted by nickwagoner on December 20, 2010 – 8:41 PM

– Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo just completed his Monday media briefing and again emphasized that the Rams are now officially in a do or die situation. It’s win or go home from here on out and that’s the message he wants his team to carry with it.

– Quickly on the injury front, the news is as feared as FB/special teamer Brit Miller is out for the final two games and beyond with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Tough loss for the Rams. Miller has been a force in special teams coverage. LB David Nixon, coming off a hand injury, will likely have to step in this week. That could also mean a return to active duty for FB Mike Karney, who has been inactive in recent weeks.

– DE Chris Long suffered a bruised thigh in the game. He’s sore today and expected to be day to day this week though Spagnuolo indicated he’d likely be ready for this weekend.

– Spagnuolo is “hopeful” that  RB Kenneth Darby (ribs) and TE Michael Hoomanawanui (ankle) will be able to return to practice this week. Both did some light work on Monday and the possibility exists that one or both could return to game action this week according to Spagnuolo.

– CB Ron Bartell (shoulder) made it through the game OK and is fine moving forward.

– DE George Selvie suffered a toe injury but is OK and shouldn’t miss time this week.

– As for the game, Spagnuolo again couldn’t help but express his disappointment in how things played out.

“We are all disappointed in the performance. That’s the first thing. Along with that we will all acknowledge that we are all accountable for it. That was the message to the team. I think they embraced that. I am also very disappointed for the St. Louis Rams fans, obviously.”

– On the pass protection issues from yesterday’s game, Spagnuolo said it can be attributed to a number of things, including receivers not getting open consistently as well as the line not holding up long enough.

“Some of those were good rushes by them. Some of them, guys technique-wise didn’t do very well. I don’t believe there was any scheme issues. I know there weren’t.”

– Some numbers to know that I was unable to get to after yesterday’s game…

– QB Sam Bradford completed 21-of-43 passes for 181 yards to give him 3,065 on the season. Bradford is just the third rookie in NFL history to pass for 3,000 yards and he now has the third most passing yards by a rookie in NFL history, trailing only Peyton Manning (3,739) and Matt Ryan (3,440).
– Bradford also moved into third place all time among rookies in completions (307) and attempts (517).

– RB Steven Jackson scored his fifth touchdown of the season and 45th of his career on a five-yard run in the fourth quarter. Jackson’s 45 rushing touchdowns ranks third in Rams history, trailing only Eric Dickerson (56) and Marshall Faulk (58).

– WR/PR Danny Amendola tied a season long punt return with a 42-yard punt return in the first quarter. It was Amendola’s seventh return of 20 yards or more this season, which is tied with Chicago’s Devin Hester for the most in the NFL this season.

– This week is the final voting for the Pro Bowl. The players and coaches did their duty today. You still can at Jackson, Donnie Jones, James Laurinaitis, Chris Long, James Hall and Fred Robbins some names for your consideration.

– The Rams get back at it on Wednesday with a practice in preparation for Sunday’s game against the 49ers. If last week’s game was big, this one is bigger. The season rides on it…

Posted in From the Sidelines | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Wrapping Up Kansas City”

  1. By Rachel Stivers-Stewart on Dec 25, 2010 | Reply

    (12-25-10, 11AM) & “TEAM RAMS” WISH!

    Nick, something very interesting happened Thursday evening! The clock was heading toward 10pm with sleet lightly raining down when I made a mad dash to nearby Scooter’s Coffeehouse drive thru to order my usual large Coffee Americano with an extra shot of espresso, to wake up my brain with caffeine in preparation for another extended work project night!

    As I was waiting and singing along to a “warm island in the sun” version of Jingle Bells, I could not help but notice the Dallas Cowboys license plate frame on the vehicle in front of me. Isn’t that where the Super Bowl is going to take place… in Arlington, Texas at the Cowboys’ Stadium?! How is that for an optimistic OMEN for RAMS’ 2010 POSTSEASON PLAY?! As recently headlined on this Website with the caption, “RAMS IN MUST WIN SITUATION,” our Rams’ team goal of winning the Division and moving on from there depends on CLINCHED WINS “from here on out,” which our CAPABLE RAMS PLAYERS, COACHES, other contributing STAFF and us cheering FANS can ALTOGETHER MAKE IT HAPPEN!

    Yes, NFL “MUST WIN” PLAYOFF MODE FEVER is in the air! What’s not to love about it?! It feels good to DREAM BIG! As I regularly give myself reality checks, I know not all wishes come true but wishing sure beats the alternative, not wishing, so I will continue to wish for good, especially with my “TEAM RAMS” WISHES!

    Since the Rams first preseason game aired last August which I enthusiastically watched on television, I waited all season to finally watch another televised Rams game in my geographical area which occurred on 12-19-10 as the Kansas City Chiefs had traveled to St. Louis for that week fifteen game. My thanks to CBS SPORTS for broadcasting this game and to TV announcers Ian and Dan as I greatly enjoyed listening while watching. Nick, I still checked in with for game updates before, during and after as this season I have become accustomed to following Rams games online!

    As I usually offer some comments on the last game, I will keep it brief as there is no need to strain a point with the Rams’ underachieving points loss to the Chiefs who prevailed in that game. First, my belief in the Rams as a legitimate contender continues to remain constant because of our Rams’ strong points. As demonstrated since the preseason, I trust in the Rams’ systematic process to straighten things out by doing the necessary diligent sharpening work during practices that hammers out details with better execution as part and parcel of the new game plan.

    In regard to the “at issue” current discussion about whether or not a team with a losing record should be allowed to compete in the playoffs, I will weigh in on this issue by saying YES. I agree with the “school of thought” that a team with a losing record or .500 who WINS their DIVISION SHOULD ADVANCE to the PLAYOFFS for continued winning opportunity. My rationale with this opinion centers around EMULATION & ALL-OUT EFFORT. [Side note: I double checked Webster’s Dictionary for a key definition of emulation, which is “ambition or endeavor to equal or excel others (as in achievement).” I needed this clarification reminder!]

    Throughout the season I have observed a consistent team identity that emits emulation and all-out effort to win collectively and individually by the ST. LOUIS RAMS who remain as the FRONT-RUNNER in the NFC WEST DIVISION. As we know and are reminded of by certain people in this 2010 season, the NFC West has been labeled as “the worst division in the League” because of more team losses than wins at this date or an earlier .500, which can happen with team rebuilding, etc.

    As we know, the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE is comprised of thirty-two different teams who battle competitively for the CHANCE to win on a given game day, creating and/or taking hold of opportunities. ALL TEAMS want to have a WINNING RECORD. Obviously, nobody wants a losing record yet LOSSES are part of competition and life so we learn to HEAL and FIGHT THROUGH CHALLENGES, FINDING A WAY TO WIN. This is what I see the ST. LOUIS RAMS doing and admire very much.

    This week, I will highlight one selected positive game moment and there were a number of positive game moments as you noted some above, Nick. This past Sunday I was awe-inspired by Rams defender #24, LCB Ron Bartell who at incredible full speed and meaningful distance ran down and tackled the Chiefs ball carrier near the goal line, both opponents momentarily collapsing from exhaustive exertion as part of an exciting footrace with a demonstrated competitive will to win! I remain thankful for the WHOLE TEAM OF RAMS and that characteristic will to win that stands firm in the face of adversity, fights with united persistence, exercises valor and continues to run strong with a stride of advancing the Team’s goal and vision.

    As a trail runner who sprints the straightaway at the end of an often grueling yet rewarding run in all seasons of weather and can relate to the maximum effort it takes, I was once again in a HEYDAY while watching and seeing replays of Bartell’s explosive, protective run, like having watched exceptionally fit 2010 Winter Olympic cross-country skiers in serious contention sprint the homestretch, some to the point of finish line collapse, in all-out pursuit of a strong finish, medal and place in world sports history, proudly representing their team and country. Thanks to NBC SPORTS daily broadcasts and USA TODAY NEWSPAPER publications, along with other media, for the 2010 WINTER OLYMPICS FANtastic coverage back in February!

    To my knowledge, every Olympic athlete was informed that he or she could COMPETE with a FIGHTING CHANCE to win advancement to a final medal event upon qualifying regardless if he or she had an initial high or low ranking among world-class athletes and teams who had made it to the Olympic Games in the first place as eligible Olympians! (To hear otherwise, as in being denied opportunity to compete for advancement because of a low ranking despite having won in competition to get there, would have definitely aroused a “C’MON MAN!” type of response as voiced with emotion on ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown!) I think there is an Olympic Games – NFL Playoffs comparison of a fighting chance to win advancement! What do you think, Nick?

    So, in closing with an additional point of fact with the issue of winning off a losing or adverse record, I turn to and reference THE PERFECT MILE (THREE ATHLETES, ONE GOAL, AND LESS THAN FOUR MINUTES TO ACHIEVE IT) as authored by Neal Bascomb c.2004 and published by Mariner Books in 2005. The audio book narrated by Nelson Runger in 2004 by Recorded Books, LLC is awesome, too! Yes, I have taken literary freedom to arrange the abstracted quotes from the Prologue page xi in the following paragraph. This is one of my favorite legendary sports stories that was before my time so thanks to the media who at that time closely documented it so anyone today who so chooses can relive this inspirational historical milestone of an incredible feat and enduring character that further paved the way for athletic triumphs of all kinds to be attempted and achieved.

    “In 1953 and 1954, as Santee, Landy, and Bannister attacked the four-minute barrier, getting closer with every passing month, their stories were splashed across the front pages of newspapers around the world… When each runner failed -and there were many failures- he was criticized for coming up short, for not having what it took. Each such episode only motivated the others to try harder. They fought on, reluctant heroes whose ambition was fueled by a desire to achieve the goal and to be the best. After four soul-crushing laps around the track, one of the three finally breasted the tape in 3:59.4, but the race did not end there…”

    Just like personalizing favorite sports stories in becoming a better athlete and a better person, anyone can choose to personalize the Christmas Story in one’s own life which has an empowering message about breaking barriers and being set free to become complete, which feels good, like a team’s complete win! “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” -2 Corinthians 9:15 NASB.

    Wishing EVERYONE around the world Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas! I have a flight to catch!



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

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