St. Louis Rams – Blog

Rams Ready for Redskins

Posted by nickwagoner on September 30, 2011 – 7:06 PM

– The Rams just finished their Friday practice and have completed their week of work leading to Sunday’s game against Washington.

– Like last year, the Rams find themselves searching for their first win against the Redskins, though it’s a week later in the season. The Rams have enjoyed some success against Washington in recent years, including last year’s 30-16 triumph at the Edward Jones Dome.

– There seems to be good news all around on the injury front for the Rams as RB Steven Jackson (quad) made it through practice all week and is poised to resume his role as the workhorse of the offense.

– The rest of the injury report…

Questionable: WR Danny Amendola (elbow)
Probable: Jackson, TE Hoomanawanui (back), DT Darell Scott (thumb) and RB Cadillac Williams (hamstring)

– In addition, it appears DE C.J. Ah You (wrist) will also be available.

– For a game like this, it’s all hands on deck. The Rams need it. And they know it.

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Rams-Redskins to be Televised Locally

Posted by nickwagoner on September 29, 2011 – 9:23 PM

– The Rams announced Thursday that they have met the league’s sellout requirements and their game against Washington on Sunday will be televised in the St. Louis area.

– The game has a noon kickoff from the Edward Jones Dome and can be seen on KTVI- FOX 2 in the area on Sunday. Chris Myers will handle the play by play and Tim Ryan is the color analyst.

– There are still limited tickets available for the game by calling 314-RAMS-TIX or by going through the ticket section of this site.

– As always, the game can also be heard on 101 ESPN with Steve Savard on the play by play and D’Marco Farr on the color.

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Amendola Gets Involved

Posted by nickwagoner on September 29, 2011 – 9:20 PM

– The Rams returned to practice Thursday with WR Danny Amendola back in action for the first time since suffering a dislocated elbow against the Eagles in week 1.

– Amendola was limited but did some work in team drills. He’s not at full strength and had some trouble catching some balls thrown his way early in the workout but the Rams and Amendola got a good gauge of where he is.

– It’s still seemingly unlikely the Rams would use Amendola this week but rest assured he’s pushing for a return.

– RB Steven Jackson (quad) was also listed as limited. But he too continues to do more and more. He says he’s expecting a bigger workload this week.

– TE Michael Hoomanawanui (back) was the only other player limited by injury.

– DT Darell Scott (thumb) and RB Cadillac Williams (hamstring) were listed as full participation.

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Rams Begin Redskins Prep

Posted by nickwagoner on September 28, 2011 – 10:00 PM

– The Rams returned to the practice field Wednesday and coach Steve Spagnuolo expressed his pleasure with how the team bounced back and practice coming off last week’s loss to the Ravens.

– Spagnuolo says he always likes to judge his team on Wednesday after a loss to see if they are down or slacking. He says he didn’t see any of that on Wednesday, which is a good thing…

“This group, I tell you what, this is a resilient group,” Spagnuolo said. “I’m tremendously proud of this group in that regard. And I have said this before, I’m always interested and curious as what it’s going to be like on a Wednesday morning and coming out to Wednesday’s practice. But these guys love playing football. They’re grinding through it. We are going try to scratch and crawl our way back. We just want to win a game. That’s what we’re trying to do, win a game.”

On the injury front, the Rams appear to be getting better. Here’s how it broke down for Wednesday…

Did Not Participate: WR Danny Amendola (elbow) – But Amendola did do some individual work and walk through. He’s clearly making progress and says he hopes to play on Sunday against Washington. That is probably unlikely but it’d be pointless to rule Amendola out right now.

Limited Participation: RB Steven Jackson (quad), RB Cadillac Williams (hamstring), DT Darell Scott (thumb) and TE Michael Hoomanawanui (back) – All participated and did quite a bit of work. Jackson was as spry as he’s been in a practice in quite a while and to have him back on a Wednesday workout is a positive sign.

Full Participation: QB Sam Bradford (toe) – No issues here. Bradford says he’s surprised his toe ailment was ever even mentioned.

– For the Redskins, the only player of note on the report is WR Anthony Armstrong, who was limited by a hamstring injury.

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Wrapping Up Baltimore

Posted by nickwagoner on September 26, 2011 – 9:25 PM

– Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo just finished his Monday, day after game press conference and offered some insight into what went wrong (among the many things that did) in yesterday’s loss to the Ravens.

– Before we dig into that, let’s take a look at the injury front.

– RBs Steven Jackson (quad) and Cadillac Williams (hamstring) came out of the game fine and are expected to begin resuming a bigger role in practice. Spagnuolo said Jackson will likely be able to take on a bigger workload in this week’s game as well.

– LT Rodger Saffold got hit in the chin but all indications are that he’s OK.

– CB Justin King had a stinger but had full strength when he woke up Monday morning.

– QB Sam Bradford has a sprained toe. There were X rays on the toe but nothing is broken. He will have to be treated and cared for this week but it’s not believed to be serious.

– TE Michael Hoomanawanui had some tightness in his back this morning. He’s also expected to be OK but he’ll be monitored day to day.

– DT Darell Scott suffered a thumb injury. He will see a specialist to ensure that his ailment isn’t too serious.

– S Darian Stewart has a strained tendon in his finger. He finished Sunday’s game and is expected to be fine.

– WR Danny Amendola is going to get a new, thinner brace for his injured elbow this week. Spagnuolo said they will evaluate where he is after he gets the brace but indicated the team would likely hold him out another week and give him the chance to return after the bye week.

– So at least the injury news is mostly good and it appears nothing serious came from it.

– On the game, Spagnuolo reiterated that going into the game the Rams had their attention focused on Ravens RB Ray Rice. Rice is the guy that makes the offense go and the Rams wanted to bulk up to stop the run, something they hadn’t done in the first two weeks.

– The Ravens were missing their No. 2 and 3 wideouts and Spagnuolo believed it started with stopping Rice. Of course, the Rams didn’t get the job done covering on the back end and we saw the results with Torrey Smith and Joe Flacco.

– Spagnuolo credited Flacco for his game. He did a great job of reading blitzes and getting the ball out quick and he threw some outstanding deep balls. In Spags’ words, Flacco was the guy that beat the Rams.

– On the other side of the ball, Spagnuolo expressed disappointment in essentially every fact of the offense. The receivers didn’t get enough separation for the game as a whole or catch the balls thrown their way. The offensive line didn’t open enough holes in the run game and didn’t protect Bradford well enough. Bradford didn’t make quick enough reads and get the ball where it needed to be quickly.

– All in all, there’s little need to rehash what happened because there was no one thing to point to as the problem. It was a team loss and it’s going to take the whole team to dig out of the hole that’s been created.

– Spagnuolo said he spoke with Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa on Sunday. He wished the Cardinals luck this week in Houston as they pursue the wild card and said there is a lesson to take from what the Redbirds have done in battling back from 10 1/2 games down to claw within one game of a playoff berth.

– The Rams get back to work on Wednesday as Washington comes to town this week on a short week. The Redskins and Cowboys play tonight on Monday Night Football for anyone wanting to get a peek at the Rams’ next opponent.

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Rams With Much to Fix

Posted by nickwagoner on September 26, 2011 – 1:55 AM

– If in the first two weeks the mistakes that cost the Rams were self inflicted, it was evident that those errors would be exploited by teams like the Eagles and Giants.

– But any mistakes they made Sunday against the Ravens were really put front and center as the Ravens took advantage as they jumped out to a 21-0 lead on the way to an easy 37-7 victory.

– The loss drops the Rams to 0-3 and raises more questions than answers provided.

– Now, the Rams must find a way to get back to work and focus solely on getting that first win. To avoid an avalanche, they know they’d be best served to do it next week against Washington.

– To get that win, the Rams will be forced to correct a lot of things and make some major improvements in the next week.

– On defense, they will be forced to find ways to stop opposing passing attacks. The Ravens attacked the Rams through the air early and often, taking the Rams a bit by surprise consdiering Baltimore’s ground and pound nature.

– In the process, they exploited some weaknesses in the secondary that to this point hadn’t been so blatantly obvious. Of course, the blame doesn’t all fall on the secondary. In order to throw deep, you have to protect the quarterback. And the Rams couldn’t generate enough pass rush to force Baltimore QB Joe Flacco into getting rid of the ball early.

– Once the Ravens got the lead and had stretched the field, they were able to do just about anything they wanted underneath because the Rams had to protect themselves.

– Tip of the cap to Flacco who threw some excellent deep balls and to Torrey Smith. It’s putting it mildly to say that kid is fast.

– Ray Rice had just eight carries but influenced the game in many ways like he always does. What a player.

– Three games, three sacks for Chris Long. The rest of the crew and Long have to find ways to more consistently generate that pressure, though.

– On offense, the Rams couldn’t get much of anything going. Cadillac Williams and Steven Jackson both deserve kudos for toughing it out and they actually ran pretty well against a tough Ravens run defense. Unfortunately, they fell behind so early, the Rams had no choice but to take to the passing game.

– The passing offense has plenty of blame to go around as well. The offensive line struggled to keep QB Sam Bradford protected, the drops continue to happen and Bradford pointed the finger at himself.

“We just weren’t very effective throwing the ball,” Bradford said. “I think it comes from a lot of things. I’ve got to do a better job of making reads, getting the ball out quicker. And then when we do have one on one matchups, we have to win. We have to take advantage of that when people call plays like that.”

– The Rams go back to the drawing board this week in search of that first win. We’ll wrap this one up quickly tomorrow with updates from Coach Steve Spagnuolo’s day after game news conference.

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Running Blog: Rams vs. Ravens

Posted by nickwagoner on September 25, 2011 – 6:20 PM

Fourth Quarter

– Pettis chipped in with a 5-yard catch to move the chains to Baltimore’s 45.

– A penalty, a muffed snap and a sack ended the Rams’ hopes and they had to punt it back with 11:22 to go.

– Baltimore takes over at its 22.

– Another pass to Rice was good for a long gain to the Rams’ 49.

– Three passes went incomplete and the Ravens had to punt again.

– The Rams were unable to get anything going and lost the ball with a turnover on downs.

– Baltimore appeared poised to score again starting deep in Rams territory but that possession was thwarted by a sack from Chris Long followed by a sack from Chamberlain, who forced a fumble Quintin Mikell recovered and returned to the Rams’ 22.

– Bradford hit Alexander for a gain of 15 yards.

– On first and 10 at the 37, Bradford was hit and fumbled. Haloti Ngata recovered it and returned it 22 yards for a touchdown. Baltimore leads 37-7 with 4:58 to play.

– That would do it for the scoring as the Ravens ran the ball and the clock to finish it out.

– Baltimore wins it 37-7.

– The Ravens improve to 2-1 on the year. The Rams fall to 0-3 and face a major must win next week at home against the Redskins.

Third Quarter

– Using the screen game to Rice, the Ravens opened the second half by moving quickly into Rams’ territory to the 20.

– Flacco misfired three consecutive times though and the Ravens settled for Cundiff’s 38-yard field goal to make it 30-0 with 10:29 to go in the third quarter.

– The Rams pieced together their best drive of the day as Bradford hit Kendricks twice and then Hoomanawanui for 10 to Baltimore’s 19.

– A chop block by Jacob Bell pushed the Rams out of the red zone again, setting up first down and 25 at the Ravens’ 34.

– On the next play, Bradford made a big time throw after he was flushed from the pocket. Rolling to his right, Bradford threw deep for Gibson who came free in the right corner of the end zone. Gibson hauled it in, tapped his feet and broke the Ravens shutout.

– With 5:14 left in the third quarter, Baltimore leads 30-7.

– The Rams got their first stop of the day and Baltimore punted for the first time with about two minuted to go in the quarter.

– The offense continued to have a little rhythm as Bradford and Gibson continued to connect and Alexander made a grab to give it to the Rams at their 45.

– Bradford and Gibson just missed on a deep connection that might have been a touchdown as Gibson just couldn’t quite hang on at Baltimore’s 1.

Second Quarter

– Flacco calmly delivered a third down strike to Dickson for 5 yards and a first down.

– He then took off for 9 more yards to set up third-and-1 at the Rams’ 45.

– Flacco misfired on third down but ran for 5 yards on fourth to keep the drive alive to the Rams’ 40.

– They moved to the Rams’ 32 and attempted a 51-yard field goal where Cundiff missed again.

– The Rams take over at their 41 in desperate need of some points.

– The run game got it going as Williams picked up a first down on third and 1 to Baltimore’s 48.

– Bradford and Gibson connected twice to move the chains for a first down at the Ravens 38.

– On fourth-and-3 at the 31, the Rams opted to go for it and a defensive pass interference call gave the Rams new life with a first down at Baltimore’s 25.

– A 9-yard run by Williams for another first down was essentially wiped out as Jason Smith was flagged for a very questionable penalty to push the Rams back 15 yards.

– Two plays later, Alexander couldn’t get off press coverage, stumbled off the line and Bradford was intercepted by LaDarius Webb at the 3.

– Another red zone trip with no points.

– The Ravens got a first down on an 11-yard strike to Smith to their 16.

– A 50-yard run by Rice combined with a 15-yard facemask penalty got the Ravens deep in Rams territory where they settled for a 21-yard field goal from Cundiff, who converted to make it 24-0 Ravens with 3:05 to go in the half.

– The Rams went three and out again.

– Offensively, they are having major protection issues and Bradford is struggling to get through his progressions quickly.

– Baltimore in total control takes over at its 38.

– Cundiff hits from 31 yards out. Ravens lead 27-0 at the half.

First Quarter

– The Rams received to start the game.

– After a touchback, the Rams started at the 20 and Sam Bradford took off for a gain of 16 yards and a first down.

– But that was all for that drive as an 8-yard loss by TE Lance Kendricks on second down forced the Rams to punt.

– Jackson did pick up 12 on a third down rush but was 6 yards short.

– The Ravens begin their first drive at their 22.

– Baltimore wasted no time scoring as Joe Flacco hit rookie WR Torrey Smith for 74 yards and a touchdown on the second play of the possession.

– Just like that, Baltimore leads 7-0 with 12:20 to go in the first quarter.

– The Rams started again at their 24 and went three and out.

– Baltimore takes over at the Rams 44.

– The Ravens got to the Rams 29 with a 15-yard completion from Flacco to Boldin. But the drive died there as a holding penalty and a 2-yard loss set up a 51-yard field goal attempt from Billy Cundiff.

– Cundiff left the quick wide right and the Rams get a new start at their 41.

– The Rams got a quick first down as Williams ripped off a run of 16 yards to Baltimore’s 43.

– That would be it though as the Rams got a 4-yard completion to Brandon Gibson and then had to punt it away.

– Jones’ punt hit in the end zone and the Ravens started from their 20.

– Baltimore moved into Rams territory with completions for gains of 10, 11 and 9 before Flacco went up top again for a 41-yard score to Smith.

– The Ravens take a 14-0 lead with 3:38 to go in the first quarter.

– Flacco is picking on Justin King, sucking the Rams in with play action and using Smith’s speed over the top. Rams must find a way to help over the top, probably at the expense of their run defense.

– The Rams started again from their 20 in need of a sustained drive. This could get away quickly if they don’t find a way to move the ball and get some points.

– So much for that. Rams go three and out as Pernell McPhee gets the sack on third down to force the Rams to punt.

– Baltimore starts again at its 45.

– Flacco hit Boldin for 9 and Ricky Williams broke off a 28-yard run.

– Flacco hit Smith again, this time from 18 yards out.

– The Ravens lead 21-0 with 1:48 to go in the first.

– Rams go three and out again. This quarter can’t end soon enough for the Rams.

– Baltimore starts again at its 34.

– A hands to the face penalty brought up a second and 20 but Rice ripped off a gain of 17.

– At the end of the first quarter, Baltimore leads 21-0 facing a third-and-3 at its 41.

Pregame Notes

– Greetings from the Edward Jones Dome where the Rams and Ravens are preparing for today’s showdown.

– Good news on the RB front as Steven Jackson is ACTIVE and will start as expected. Big to have 39 back in the lineup, especially down in the red zone.

– Cadillac Williams is also active.

– Inactives for the Rams: WR Greg Salas, WR Danny Amendola, S Jermale Hines, RB Quinn Porter, LB Jabara Williams and TE Stephen Spach.

– With Salas inactive, fellow rookie WR Austin Pettis is active. Don’t be surprised if Pettis handles punt return duties with Salas out.

– With Porter inactive, the Rams have the use of Williams, Jackson and Jerious Norwood. Norwood is most likely to handle kick return duties.

– One quick roster note for this game: The Rams will start Darian Stewart in place of Craig Dahl at safety.

– For the Ravens, some inactive notables that alter how they do things a bit.

– WR David Reed, CB Jimmy Smith, CB Domonique Foxworth, G Ben Grubbs, T Mark LeVoir, WR Lee Evans and LB Sergio Kindle are inactive.

– Andre Gurode starts for Grubbs inside.

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Rams Ready for Ravens

Posted by nickwagoner on September 23, 2011 – 6:54 PM

– The Rams just wrapped up Friday’s practice and have completed a short week turnaround of preparation for the Ravens following Monday’s game against the Giants.

– The word of the week around here has been “physical.” As in, the Rams know the Ravens are one of the league’s most physical teams and they are going to have to match that intensity to get a win.

– The game will be broadcast Sunday on CBS KMOV-Channel 4 with a 3:05 kickoff time set.

– Kevin Harlan will handle play by play with Solmon Wilcots on color.

– The Rams will have an interesting situation at running back as Steven Jackson and Cadillac Williams didn’t do a whole lot in practice this week. Jackson took a few reps on Thursday and Williams did the same on Friday. But the bulk of the work went to Jerious Norwood and Quinn Porter.

– Both Williams and Jackson are expected to be game time decisions though Williams seems a little more certain to play than Jackson. Both are officially listed as questionable on the injury report.

– Porter and Norwood both boast excellent speed and would seem to be solid options to take on the Ravens run defense. That group is very stout, but especially up the middle. Norwood and Porter are more suited to working the edges, a place teams have had more success against the Ravens.

– Elsewhere on the injury report, WR Danny Amendola (elbow) is listed as doubtful but not expected to play.

– LB Ben Leber (groin) and DE C.J. Ah You (wrist) are also questionable. Both did a little more work Friday and it’s possible they could both play, especially Leber. Ah You is wearing a big cast on his hand but he’s seemingly ahead of schedule on his return.

– TE Mike Hoomanawanui (calf) and WR Greg Salas (ribs) are probable.

– The Ravens have a few more questions marks on the injury fron…

Listed as OUT: WR Lee Evans (knee), WR David Reed (shoulder) and CB Jimmy Smith (ankle). None participated in practice on Friday.

Listed as QUESTIONABLE: G Ben Grubbs (shoulder), CB Chris Carr (thigh). Carr was limited in practice for the third day in a row. Grubbs did not practice again.

Listed as PROBABLE: DT Terrence Cody (head), DE Cory Redding (toe) and C Matt Birk (knee).

– The Rams and Ravens square off Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome at 3:05. Hope to see you all there.

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Jackson Likely a Gametime Decision Again

Posted by nickwagoner on September 22, 2011 – 9:17 PM

– The Rams wrapped up their Thursday afternoon practice indoors after spending the first half of it working in the rain. But to preserve the players and ensure healthy, they moved inside to finish it off.

– In a somewhat surprising but positive development, RB Steven Jackson did some individual work and a handful of limited reps in practice. He is still not ready to completely cut it loose but it’s a step in the right direction.

– That said, Jackson and coach Steve Spagnuolo acknowledged that Jackson would again be a gametime decision this week.

– DE C.J. Ah You (wrist) was also upgraded to limited on the injury report on Thursday. He has a big club cast on his hand and is making progress but still isn’t likely to return this week.

– TE Michael Hoomanawanui (calf) and LB Ben Leber (groin) also practiced on a limited basis. Both are expected to play on Sunday.

– WR Greg Salas (ribs) was upgraded to full participation.

– RB Cadillac Williams (hamstring) and WR Danny Amendola (elbow) did not practice.

– With Williams out of practice, Quinn Porter took some reps along with Jerious Norwood with the first team offense.

– Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels says WR Austin Pettis is coming along well. It’s possible Pettis could factor into the active 46 on Sunday this week for the first time.

– S Darian Stewart and TE Stephen Spach could also have expanded roles this week.

– For the Ravens, there were a few injury upgrades though the list remains long:

Listed as did not practice were: WR Lee Evans, G Ben Grubbs, WR David Reed and CB Jimmy Smith

Listed as limited were: CB Chris Carr, DT Terrence Cody and DE Cory Redding.

Center Matt Birk was upgraded to full participation.

– The Rams gameday captains for this week – no surprise – are DT Justin Bannan and C Jason Brown.

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Rams Get Back to Work

Posted by nickwagoner on September 22, 2011 – 12:25 AM

– The Rams returned to the practice field on short rest following Monday night’s game in New York. The short turnaround forced the Rams to push the practice back to late in the afternoon (4 o’clock) so they could maximize their rest time and get to work on the Ravens.

– Obviously, things won’t get any easier this week with Baltimore and its renowned defense coming to town. The Rams hope to get healthier by then though which could give them a boost.

– The Rams made a roster move Wednesday morning, placing CB Tim Atchison on injured reserve and calling CB Josh Gordy up from the practice squad. The team like Gordy and believes he has some potential. He would’ve been called up last week had he had more than three practices with the team going into that game.

– Gordy spent the preseason with Green Bay, a team loaded at CB.

– The team also brought RB Chase Reynolds back to the practice squad.

– On the injury front, the Rams seem to be in OK shape.

– RB Steven Jackson (quad) did not practice but the Rams remain hopeful he’ll be OK this week to play the Ravens.

– DE C.J. Ah You (wrist) also did not practice. Same goes for WR Danny Amendola (elbow) but he seems to be making strides. He has full range of motion back. Now it’s a matter of some things in the elbow settling and getting some strength back. Not likely for this week but he remains on course to return sooner than later it appears.

– RB Cadillac Williams (hamstring) and LB Ben Leber (groin) also did not practice. Neither injury is considered serious and it’s possible Williams would have practiced had he had normal rest following the game.

– TE Michael Hoomanawanui (calf) and WR Greg Salas (ribs) were limited but expected to be fine.

– For Baltimore, the injury list is long.

Players that did not participate: C Matt Birk (knee), DT Terrence Cody (head), WR Lee Evans (ankle), G Ben Grubbs (toe), WR David Reed (shoulder) and CB Jimmy Smith (ankle).

CB Chris Carr (thigh) was limited.

– Back tomorrow with updates on our more regular schedule.

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