15 Jan 11 St. Louis Rams Scott Linehan Torry Holt Marc Bulger Mike Martz

It wasn't that long ago that the St. Louis Rams were known as the 'Greatest Show on Turf.' Kurt Warner was airing it out, Marshall Faulk was running wild, and Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt were catching passes and streaking to many a touchdown. Led first by one white-haired guy, Dick Vermeil, and then another, Mike Cincinnati Bengals jersey
Martz, the Rams went to two Super Bowls in three years, winning in 1999 and coming up just short in 2001. Martz was the man behind it, with his innovative offensive schemes taking advantage of all of the talent that he had at his disposal. How quickly things change. Since that Super Bowl loss to the Patriots, the Rams have missed the playoffs in two of the last four seasons (and failed to get past the divisional round when they made the playoffs in '03 and '04), and a number of things have gradually changed. Marc Bulger has since replaced Warner, who was beset by a number of injuries and then ineffectiveness that led him out of St. Louis. Time, age and injury took its toll on Faulk, whose status as the NFL's best all-purpose back dropped with dwindling production. Martz began to gradually wear out his welcome in St. Louis, and a health scare last season gave both he and the Rams the perfect opportunity to make a change. Martz is now in charge of trying to make offensive magic in Detroit, and the new man in charge in the STL is another offensive guru, Scott Linehan, who was offensive coordinator under Nick Saban in Miami last season. It's plainly obvious now that the 'Greatest Show on Turf' is no longer what it once was. And that might not be bad news. It looks like the Ram front office took a little advice from Sheryl Crow, about how good change might be for you. The speedy Faulk has been replaced by the bigger, more physical Steven Jackson, who in his third season has a chance to flourish with Faulk out for the season and possible done for his career with knee problems. Faulk was the perfect back for Martz's offensive scheme; Jackson is the perfect back for Linehan's power-based running attack. Even with the new offensive scheme that will make things far more balanced than they were under Martz, that doesn't mean that the receivers will be neglected, in the least.Remember, Linehan was the man behind Daunte Culpepper's monster 2004 season, and that be nothing but good news for the aerial attack. His last two teams had 552 (2004 Vikings) and 556 (2005 Dolphins) pass attempts, compared to 580 (2004) and 599 (2005) for the last two Ram teams. Before I go too far, you might be wondering why the Rams' new head man is so well-renowned. Looking Cleveland Browns jersey
at the differences in both rushing and passing numbers for the 2004 Vikings and 2005 Dolphins, your perspective on Linehans's skills may be a little skewed, but a) the 2004 Vikings didn't have a capable run game to complement Culpepper (not like he needed much of one with the receivers he had), b) the 2005 Dolphins weren't a passing juggernaut, as judged by the much lower numbers they put up with less attempts than those '04 Vikings. Considering that the Rams have a) a talented quarterback and deep receiving corps and b) a talented running back, then the real potential of Linehan's schemes has a chance to show itself, with the right personnel at his disposal. The one-two punch of Bruce and Holt could see a little change, with the emergence of a new talent in the ranks. The new No. 2 to No. 81 looks like it could be former Utah State Aggie Kevin Curtis, who caught 60 passes last season and should see plenty of balls thrown his way this year. Bruce will still be a productive receiver, but he is 34 and may have more value to the team as a slot or possession receiver than a primary guy. The new gameplan will ensure that the Rams' depth (Holt, Curtis, Bruce, Shaun McDonald and the rookie tight end duo of Joe Klopfenstein and Dominique Byrd) is utilized, much in the same way the Colts make use of Harrison, Wayne, Stokley and Clark. While that may mean a slight downturn in individual numbers, there won't be much (if any) drop-off in Holt's production. While the ball is going to be spread around relatively evenly, there won't be any questions about who the number one target will be. The only offensive question mark is about who'll be throwing all those passes this season, and it's not a talent-related issue. Bulger can be a fantasy leaguer's best friend, but that's only when he's healthy, and that's not a certainty. He missed the last six games of 2005 and eight games total due to shoulder problems. While the Rams were known for an extremely high-powered offense, they were also known for having their issues on defense (remember the Super Bowl where they went into prevent mode against the Pats, which allowed Tom Brady to lead the game-winning field-goal drive). The Ram defense was 30th in the league last season, but addressing those issues was a priority in the offseason. They signed defensive tackle La'Roi Glover, who's looking to rediscover his All-Pro form that was lost in his time in Dallas. To strengthen their linebacking corps, they signed Will Witherspoon, formerly of the Panthers. Witherspoon is one of Dallas Cowboys jersey
the top young linebackers in the league, and he could be a star in St. Louis. To improve the defensive backfield, the team signed veteran safety Corey Chavous from the Vikings and drafted Clemson cornerback Tye Hill with the 15th overall pick in the draft. To bring out the best in your players, you need the right coach, and Linehan made it happen, bringing in former Saints coach Jim Haslett, who is one of the league's top defensive coaches. The new Ram defense may not hit the top 10 in the league, but getting above the 20s would be a great improvement. They've been replaced by the high-flying Colts as the 'Greatest Show on Turf,' and it may take a little while for them to regain that title, with some growing pains inevitable. But if you're a St. Louis Rams fan, you have to hope that Ms. Crow is right. (0)

15 Jan 11 St. Louis Rams Alex Barron Kyle Turley
内容: After a two-week holdout, St. Louis Rams offensive tackle Alex Barron has inked a five-year deal with the team. Because of the holdout and the time it takes to learn blocking schemes, Rams coach Mike Martz said he doesn't expect Barron to be an opening day starter for the Rams when they begin their regular season on September 11th against the San Francisco 49ers.In recent days, Martz had been highly critical of Barron's agent, Roosevelt Barnes for not getting a deal done so that Alex Barron could get into camp. Towards the end of last season, Martz got into a physical confrontation with the man that Barron is hoping to replace at right tackle, Kyle Turley. Turley missed all of the 2004 season with a back injury, but Martz felt that Turley wasn't really hurt as much as he claimed.Alex Barron was a standout on Denver Broncos jersey
the offensive line at Florida State before he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams with the 19th overall selection in the 2005 NFL Draft. He was a finalist for the Outland Trophy in his senior season with the Seminoles. He was also a consensus All-American selection, as he average eight knockdowns per game. Scouts say he has great balance for a man his size, but they also noted that he lacks aggressiveness at times. He struggled early on in Rams mini-camp, which played a part in Martz decision to move him down on the depth chart. Grant Williams will begin the regular season where he ended 2004, as starting right tackle. (0)