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Wrapping Up San Francisco

Posted by nickwagoner on December 27, 2010 – 9:43 PM

- Rams HC Steve Spagnuolo just wrapped up his Monday afternoon news conference and he already seems focused in on Seattle though he also acknowledged how excited he is about the challenge.

- As you loyal readers know, the “Wrapping Up” blog is usually intended to put the finishing touches on the game that just happened. There will be some of that today but let’s face it, it’s all about this week for the Rams. If you’re a fan, you have to be excited about what this week will bring.

- Before we dive into that, let’s run through the (short) injury list for the week.

- TE Michael Hoomanawanui is going to work to get back this week. Spagnuolo said the Rams were “hopeful” he’d be able to return to action but there was no guarantee. He will work with head athletic trainer Reggie Scott on Wednesday and then the Rams hope to have him back in the mix in time for Thursday’s practice.

- CB Jerome Murphy has a broken left pinkie but is expected to be OK to simply wrap it up and play this week against the Seahawks.

- DE Chris Long made it through the game on his bruised thigh just fine and should be ready to go for a full week of practice though it’s possible he could take it easy for safety’s sake.

- DE Eugene Sims had his injured knee examined further and it was revealed to be just a bruise. He should also be OK moving forward.

- Other than that, the Rams will have their full complement of players for the biggest game of the season.

- Now, the last time the Rams won a playoff game, they did it in Seattle at the end of the 2004 season. They went to Qwest Field and knocked off the Seahawks in the wild card round. This week, they’ll have to do the same if they want to make it to that round.

- Coincidentally, that was also the last time the Rams won in Seattle. Let’s hope it’s a good omen for the Rams.

- For those that like history of that sort, it’s also interesting that the last time the Rams had to win a game in the last week to get into the playoffs, it was that season against the Jets in the final week. The date of that game? Jan. 2, 2005. The date of this week’s game? Jan. 2, 2011.

- On Monday, Spagnuolo discussed the primetime game and gave his usual, stoic answer about it not mattering when or where the game is because it’s all the same sport…

“Primetime? We’ll be lining up and playing the game between the white lines and away we go. I guess the lights will be on instead of the sun so I don’t think that will make any difference. We’re always ready.”

- The Rams will not be adjusting their travel schedule at all. They will travel on Saturday afternoon to Seattle and get in around the same time they normally would. The only change is a little different game day because of the wait for the game. But other than that, it will be business as usual.

- Spagnuolo said things won’t change much even on game day, too. They might do a little something Sunday morning for a few minutes but he doesn’t want to stray from what has worked this season.

- One thing Spagnuolo did address Monday was the so called “conservative approach” of the offense at the end of the game and after jumping out to a lead. Spagnuolo said he often dictates the way that goes and he says the approach is based on the game and its ebb and flow. It just so happened that in Sunday’s game, he believed in his defense and its ability to get the job done.

“There may be another game going forward here where we’ll do it differently. That’s all on me. I’ll take the full “blame” if there is blame when you put it that way.”

- A couple of quick notes from the coaches’ evaluation of film…

 - DE James Hall was credited with two sacks after getting 1.5 in yesterday’s breakdown. That brings his total to 10.5 for the year.

 - The other two sacks were credited to Fred Robbins and Long, respectively.

 - Sims was credited with the safety.

- Across the board, the defensive line had one of its best performances of the season. Everyone graded out extremely well and there were no miscues of any type. A big, big day from that group.

- That’s all for today. Plenty of coverage to come this week as the Rams prepare for the showdown in Seattle.


Posted in From the Sidelines | 1 Comment »


One Response to “Wrapping Up San Francisco”

  1. By Rachel Stivers-Stewart on Jan 2, 2011 | Reply

    POSTED FOLLOW-UP RESPONSE SATURDAY, NEW YEAR’S DAY (1-01-11, 6:50PM) & “TEAM RAMS” WISH!

    “RAMS GET BIG WIN WHEN IT COUNTS…” Yes, indeed as the St. Louis Rams remain the NFC West front-runner! I loved seeing that headlined caption in big, bold letters that spanned a jubilant game photo on this Website earlier in the week as our Rams clinched the “must win” week sixteen divisional rematch over the San Francisco 49ers on 12-26-10. Great job, Rams! What a complete home field victory by all three units! I will share later on in my follow-up response how this played “meaningful football” game was extra meaningful to this fan!

    The next two Headlines I loved seeing, also earlier in the week, were “Rams-Seahawks Week 17 Matchup to Air in Primetime” and “Rams Readying For Primetime… With the NFC West Division crown on the line, the Rams already turned their focus to Seattle and Sunday Night Football” to be broadcasted on NBC. As was explained in print, I am glad “the NFL utilizes flexible scheduling on Sundays in Weeks 11-17,” specifically a week 17 playoff implication game. On Thursday (12-30-10), I opened up my delivered USA TODAY NEWSPAPER, which is still available as a holiday weekend edition, to the Sports Section to check out the Week 17 NFL Preview on page 7C and there pictured was an intently focused, poised Rams QB Sam Bradford along with the Rams-Seahawks 1-02-11 game highlighted as “The one to watch” for this very exciting NFL Sunday.

    Wow, Nick! It sure is nice when Christmas gifts that can each be considered a “winner” keep coming after the 25th, especially football related gifts, such as the following: (1) The Rams’ “total team win” the day after Christmas as RB Jackson described it. (2) FOX SPORTS televising this Rams-Niners game in my geographical area (which my dad had phoned me from Nebraska during the game to let me know this as I was actually in St. Louis attending this game and his having phoned a friend to record it for me!). (3) The upcoming Rams-Seahawks prime-time game announcement with surrounding NFC West Division discussion and picked game/Division winner with the Rams as the main pick to win; the overall NFL playoff picture to date, certain highlighted Rams’ team members and announced Pro Bowl participants as I heard and/or read such pro football news earlier in the week on ESPN; ESPN2; ESPN Monday Night Football; NBC Tuesday Night Football as rescheduled from Sunday Night Football; the NFL NETWORK, specifically by “the Playbook crew” (great posted video 12/29/10, “Playbook: Resurgent Rams); NFL.com; USA TODAY NEWSPAPERS & SPORTS WEEKLY; and of course, this specialized Team Website, STLOUISRAMS.COM. As there is a lot of excellent Rams Football news to keep up with, I have some informational catch-up work to do so am glad this Website offers continual complete coverage of this 2010 season with current and past multimedia selections to access and/or review at one’s convenience with an appreciation.

    Congratulations to our Rams star RB Steven Jackson for his third Pro Bowl berth. As I heard indicated as a named Pro Bowl punter alternate, congratulations to our Rams efficacious P Donnie Jones. Congratulations to our Rams dexterous QB Sam Bradford who was listed as a Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week finalist for a third time, having received the honor twice to date and most recently setting a new NFL record for completions in a rookie season. I offer congratulations to our WHOLE TEAM OF RAMS for their continued pursuit of performance mastery, individually and collectively, which continues to move into action the Team’s established “track record” of accomplishments during this 2010 season.

    Nick, before setting the stage for my weekly “TEAM RAMS” WISH, which is for the 1-02-11 Rams-Seahawks game, I would like to comment on my most meaningful fan experience at the Edward Jones Dome on 12-26-10, including my quick trip to St. Louis, which was a Christmas present to myself! On Tuesday, 12-21-10, I decided I was going to have to make time in my challenging work schedule to attend the last home Rams game of the regular season, which fortunately happened to be the special “Fan Appreciation Game,” and by phone, I purchased my game ticket, booked an airline flight and made a hotel reservation. Sadly, on 12-25-10, I missed my Southwest Airlines flight, who fortunately has a tremendous “customer-centered” customer service flight cancellation policy so I can reuse my round trip ticket at a later date. So, I owe a huge thanks to my parents and grandmother who I called upon to assist me in quickly mobilizing an all-night road trip from eastern Nebraska to St. Louis, Missouri as I was bound and determined to see the Rams play in person! I give thanks to God because through prayer strength was supplied and much more as I was running on very little sleep due to some prior work project deadlines and as this “plan b” road trip went very smooth. If I ever own a racehorse someday, I am naming him Ezekiel, as this name means “God Strengthens.”

    As I saw advertised on the home page of stlouisrams.com, “Official Hotel of the St. Louis Rams,” the splendid “city view” room was booked with Phyllis in reservations at the Hilton, St. Louis at the Ballpark; I appreciated Phyllis’ congeniality and conscientiousness. I checked in at around 3am at the front desk with Mark I. on duty whose vivacious personality included a fun greeting of “I will fight for you!” I call that excellent customer service and no wonder that is the “fighting” Rams’ official hotel for fans!

    As the Edward Jones Dome is obviously within walking distance from the Hilton, a good walk or jog, I made it there, to the “Home of the Rams” on that exciting “playoff mode” game day and as Stevie Ray Vaughan sings, “The House Is (was) Rockin’!” Thanks to Terra with the Rams Ticket Office who arranged to have my ticket held for me at Will Call. When inside the Dome, I first stopped at the Receptionist’s desk and was pleasantly greeted by Willie; she was most gracious to me in answering my questions and from there I proceeded to find my terrific seat in Section 149, with friendly Dome staff eager to help direct along the way.

    To my pleasant surprise, an awesome married couple showed up in the seats next to mine, Lori and Bob, who are dedicated Rams’ fans and we hit it off, having fun cheering, visiting and exchanging high fives during big plays made by our Rams! After the game, Rams’ fans Mel and Paul complimented me on my standing often to root for our Rams during all four quarters! Yes, our section was definitely into the game and contributing positive noise so it was great to see some Rams’ defensive players raising their arms as a signal for us fans to root louder and great to hear in postgame press conferences, Coach Spagnuolo and players like QB Bradford and WR Robinson acknowledge the fans’ strong cheering presence and excitement during this game so keep it up Rams fans! I know we are all glad the Rams won this “must win” game!

    So, Nick, as you can tell I had an inspirational blast with an A+ Game Day experience at the Home of the Rams, and as I headed back to Nebraska following the game Sunday evening, I reflected on the amazing quick trip filled with superb football game memories, excellent customer service and uplifting interaction with wonderful Missouri people from start to finish. Lastly, while I did not win any of the neat fan giveaway prizes during the game, I did score a lot of good deals on Rams merchandise and memorabilia that was marked 50% off and added to this memorable NFL experience. My thanks to the Retail 147 Missouri Sportservice people, Devon, Latasha and Kaylin, who went the extra mile in staying late to ring up our fan purchases after the game so we could depart as fully happy, satisfied fans. One of my favorite purchased Rams’ items, displayed on my office wall, is the inspirational Isaac Bruce Celebrate 80 NFL Collector Player Pennant. Thanks to the Rams’ Organization for the complimentary Rams poster, which is also on display in my office with my Rams poster from training camp and other Rams goods and pictures.

    Now, in moving on to our RAMS’ NEXT “MUST WIN” GAME TOMORROW AT SEATTLE, I am sticking with a “climbing the mountain” performance theme as analogous with the Team goal of reaching the top by winning the NFC West Division this 2010 season and as referred to by Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo and by certain Rams players during various interviews, most recently Linebacker James Laurinaitis. It is an awesome performance theme as a football team like a climbing team is anchored in fundamentals, intangibles and field-tested teamwork that allows for on-going fluid movement that is free to execute cleanly and experience new, higher levels of proficiency.

    In SEATTLE, WASHINGTON people can see from a distance this state’s HIGHEST PEAK (over 14,000 feet), MOUNT RAINIER, which Native people in this geographical area have long called TAHOMA, “the BIG MOUNTAIN where the waters begin.”

    As a trail runner, nature enthusiast and National & State Parks advocate who loves the game of football, this week I will take some literary freedom in quoting in the following paragraph above and below from THE NATIONAL PARKS, AMERICA’S BEST IDEA / AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY book by Dayton Duncan and based on a film by Ken Burns, published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2009 and c.2009 by The National Parks Film Project, LLC, quotes from pages 85, 51 and 86.

    In the late 1800s, John Muir with a team of men climbed the grueling yet rewarding 14,000-foot peak where “Muir often found himself leading the group and encouraging them onward . . .This is a good mountain to prove one’s mettle,” he told them. When they reached the top, theirs became the sixth recorded ascent of Mount Rainier. The climb, he said, had left him with ‘heart and limb exultant and free’. Of all the fire-mountains which, like beacons, once blazed along the Pacific Coast, Mount Rainier is the noblest in form.”

    As you know, Nick, I see our St. Louis Rams as a noble team with mettle, capable and worthy of winning the NFC West Division. Yes, the Rams can take control of a historic opportunity to once again claim the title of NFC West champions, as you pointed out in your “Rams Readying for Primetime” article on 12-27-10, and be recorded in Rams’ Franchise history with this ascent. So, it makes perfect sense to me that the Rams-Seahawks divisional field of honor for the NFC West title should take place at Quest Field in Seattle with Mount Rainier in the backdrop during Sunday Night Football on NBC on Sunday, January 2, 2011.

    “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast.” – Hebrews 6:19 NASB

    Wishing EVERYONE the world over a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    Wishing “TEAM RAMS” CONTINUED TEAM ASCENT on the SUCCESS of EACH and EVERY VICTORY this 2010 season, KEEPING EYES PEELED on every play, KEEPING PACE with the EXECUTED GAME PLAN in ALL THREE PHASES THROUGHOUT ALL FOUR QUARTERS and PLAYING FOR KEEPS in this DIVISIONAL REMATCH against the Seahawks at Seattle with MOUNT RAINIER as the TEAM’S CLEAR-SIGHTED GOAL REMINDER.

    May the ST. LOUIS RAMS FINISH TOGETHER the FINAL CLIMB of this NFC WEST “MOUNTAIN” with a SECOND WIN over the Seattle Seahawks this week seventeen and CLINCH the NFC WEST TITLE at the SENSATIONAL PANORAMIC SUMMIT!

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

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