Jeff Gordon’s Rams Chat Highlights –Sept. 28
—Coordinators Fired During Season? I’d be surprised. This is the NFL. Fisher has a long-term deal. He is not going anywhere. It is his responsibility to make positive changes. Many of the players failing the most are guys he personally wanted.
—Rams O-line worst in NFL? No, because they allowed no sacks the first two weeks. Plenty of teams stink this year. They Giants have been outscored 115-54 and now they had to K.C.
—Will the Rams will audition every unemployed running back in North America in the coming days? There must be somebody who can move the pile.
—The Rams’ collective lack of belief in their offense is most alarming. These guys entered the second half with no expectation of success.
—If Rams don’t improve at RB, they should just empty the backfield and take their chances in the David Yost spread offense. Can’t do worse.
—Draft 2014? I go OT first. Gigantic need. Jake Long has broken down and the injury-prone Saffold wants to exit in free agency.
—Finnegan to Safety? Finnegan would be fine in run support and with his blitzing, but he would be Dahl-like in coverage.
—Actually, the Rams had some nice defensive calls vs. the run. And they had some big stuffs, including some for losses. But giving up the occasional big play killed this team. That is Gore’s M.O., too. He gets nothing, gets nothing, gets nothing . . . and then boom! Giving up one big play negates all those solid defensive plays.
—Nothing about Shotty’s play calling makes it impossible to block. Bradford threw for 651 yards and 5 TDs in the two games he got protection. You saw what happened the last two weeks without it. It’s not like this scheme puts unusual pressure on the offensive line, as the Air Martz scheme did.
—Why is the Secondary Struggling? Finnegan got old, Jenkins is a bit unruly and the team went with green safeties. I all added up on the Rams.
—It’s been a decade since the Rams used a fullback well. They had one in Hedgecock and ran him. He got the last laugh at the Super Bowl.
—The Rams could be a little more creative. Also, they could resume blocking people. That would probably help.
—I kept saying before the beginning of the season, “no proven playmakers.” Peter King keeps talking about all these weapons the Rams have. What weapons? What have Quick, Pead, Bailey and Stacy done? Pettis is no Amendola and Givens hasn’t take a big step forward either.
—Rams threw the ball over the top of the SF defense when the game was still there to be had. Went for Quick, but Quick did not win the battle. Had Pettis streaking to the end zone behind the D, rushed the throw under pressure and missed.
—The Rams have a lot of money invested in Fisher/Snead players who are failing the group.
—Sam got flustered easily in this game. The lack of protection was glaring, but his play was disastrous. Lucky he didn’t have 3 or 4 picks.
—I don’t see this team as broken until 2014. I don’t see the regime as a failure. But I see a team that has regressed during a season that was supposed to be growth. And until this game, little of that trouble was injury-related.
—Poor blocking plus tentative running led a series of wasted plays. Regression by the O-line and by Daryl.
—Management can go back to evaluating Bradford after it fixes the league’s worst ground game and patches up the offensive line. We all know that Bradford is not good when everybody around him fails. Most QBs are in the same category. But can he develop with competent help? Once the Rams get competent help, then the evaluation can resume.
—Rams Draft a QB in 2014? Unlikely. Bradford threw for 651 yards and two TDs in his first two games. He was on schedule for a big year. Then the offensive line collapsed, a poor ground game got terrible and the kid went all Marc Bulger again. If the Rams ruin this guy, will they want to rush another kid into the fray over and start over again?
—Rams had a lot of good stuff defensively. They got up right on the receivers and denied some quick hit stuff. They had Laurinaitis dropping deep into coverage to take away some over-the-middle stuff. The blitzed Kaepernick and got clear shots at him in the backfield. But . . . Finnegan couldn’t cover anybody and the front seven had some massive breakdowns vs. the run. It’s not like SF beat the the Rams with tactical wizardry.
—We saw Bradford throwing the ball around during the first two games and some still-developing players making some plays. So there is that hope. Also, Quinn is a Pro Bowl-caliber pass rusher. The D-line looked good for a while and clearly Alec Ogletree has a giant future.
—Sometimes Bradford stepped up. Sometimes he scrambled quite well, bought lots of time and still could not make a connection downfield. Nothing worked. It was all a mess. He looked like a guy getting pulled slowly in a sinkhole. Interesting extended work week awaits these guys.
—Coaches have to do better work for sure. But, again, NO PROVEN PLAYMAKERS ON OFFENSE. Been saying it for months. Still the case.
—Different coaches, different players, similar problems. It speaks to how difficult it is to assemble and keep a good offensive line in the salary cap era.
—Cunningham didn’t start. But he did play ahead of Stacy, which tells you where Zac stands right now.