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Bleacher Report Take Down Part 2

So, as soon as I read my first article on Bleacher Report about the St. Louis Rams, I knew that there were many more misinformed and awfully written articles out there for the dissecting.  And lo and behold, one falls right into my lap.  It is titled, “St. Louis Rams Headed in Right Direction, But A Dog’s Age Away From Contention”.

This article is no where as bad as my previous Bleacher Report takedown, but I needed to “defend the shield” and represent for the Rams.

All the goodness is after the jump.

First let’s analyze the title, “St. Louis Rams Headed in Right Direction, But A Dog’s Age Away From Contention”.

I’m unclear what dog were are talking about with “Dog’s Age”.  What if it is a new born pup?  Can we say that the Rams are that dog’s age away from contention?  If perhaps we think further about this, maybe the author meant “Dog’s Years”.  But one human year is equal to seven “dog’s years”.  So, does the author mean that the Rams are 1/7th of a year away from contention?  If so, that is great!  Next article!  No, wait, that’s just an urban legend.  This site suggests that dog’s are the equivalent of 10 years old after 5 months.  Does the author mean the Rams will all age 10 years in the next 5 months?  No no, that cannot be it.  This is a long shot, but maybe the author is suggesting that the Rams are seven years away from contention?  Seven years?  I know that very few people have the Rams in contention for a playoff spot in 2009, but the Rams have a few things going for them.  First, this is the NFL and teams turn around in three years at the maximum if it is done right.  Secondly, the Rams play in the awful NFC West which could be won by any team any year.

[Spagnuolo] has a long way to go to turn around the team.

This is not because is anything less than a top-notch coach. No, the Rams will stink for years to come because the team cannot draft decent defensive players to save their collective lives. In fact, the only Rams defensive player to make the Pro Bowl in the last decade is Leonard “Vehicular Manslaughter” Little.

Leonard Little is an easy target and that’s a very cheap gag, but that sentence is completely and utterly wrong.  The Rams have had other Pro Bowlers on their defense over the past decade.  Let’s see what doing a little research gets us.  Rams cornerback and safety Aeneas Williams was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2001 and 2003. That was not too hard was it?  However, the truth is not dramatic enough for the author.

If Spagnuolo has any hope to turn this team around, he has to get the Rams’ front seven to live up to their potential. He can’t help but improve the defensive line, which registered only 19 sacks last season.

There are some first-round names on that unit (Chris Long, Adam Carriker) who haven’t come close to living up to their lofty billing.

Absolutely correct.  A lot is expected from Long and Carriker this season.  I disagree however that Long hasn’t lived up to his billing as defensive ends take about 2-3 years to make an impact in the NFL.  Carriker has a very important season in 2009, but I think he struggled in 2008 due to injuries.

Arguably worse is the linebacking corps, who were led in tackles by weak-side LB Pisa Tinoisamoa. Yeah, that Pisa Tinoisamoa. The legendary one. It’s hard to totally destroy formerly-solid middle LB Will Witherspoon for only making 72 tackles in 2008. He got no breathing room from his DTs.

Still, dude finished at just about the bottom of the barrel in tackles for starting Mike ‘backers, so you kinda have to give him hell. Spagnuolo will have to dig deep into his bag of tricks to cover for this lot.

Tino is a solid player who finally had a healthy year.  He was not quite “legendary”, but instead he was up and down all year.  He had a few great games, a few ok games and a few terrible games.  Will Witherspoon didn’t have the tackle talent to play effectively at MLB, that is true, but he was also down in tackles because he was injured for a chunk of games in 2008.  And Will Witherspoon has already been notified by the coaching staff that they will be moving him to outside linebacker, where he can use his speed and his lack of size is not a problem.  So, we do not have to “give him hell” about having less tackles, even though tackles is a very arbitrary stat that demonstate all that a middle linebacker does.

QB Marc Bulger is washed up, so expect something to happen at that position

I would argue that Marc Bulger is less washed up than Kurt Warner when he left St. Louis.  There is a lot to say for a strong offensive line and a offensive scheme that accentuates the quarterback’s talents.  That’s what happened in Arizona when they surrounded Kurt with talent.  The Philadelphia Eagles were very successful with Donovan McNabb, a group of no-name receivers and a pro-bowl running back.  Sound familiar?

…and St. Louis will almost definitely take an offensive tackle with the No. 2 pick in the draft.

I agree with this statement, however, if the Rams pick Aaron Curry to play middle linebacker – they are building their team for the next 10-15 years with the “can’t miss” prospect of the NFL draft.  Provided Curry is not picked by the Lions.

[Offensive Coordinator Pat] Shurmur’s tenure in Philly points toward some run-heavy variation of the West Coast offense, though the Rams really need to find a quality possession receiver for that approach to work. Avery is a speed guy, and not really built for the quick slants of the West Coast scheme.

What does one need to run “quick slants”?  Quickness.  Which is something Donnie Avery has in spades.

All in all, this was a positive article about the Rams, but it still held some miscalculations that I had to debunk.  Better work Bleacher Report, but keep in mind…I’m watching you.

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2 Responses to “Bleacher Report Take Down Part 2”

  1. Eric nagel says:

    I think what the man was trying to say was that the only player drafted by the Rams in the last decade to go to the pro bowl was LL.

    But that was a cheap stunt…

    I don’t think Bulger is watched up…Smack a dog enough times, and the dog is scared whenever you raise your hand…. Thats what happens when you see Richie Incognito and Nick Leckey on their asses…

  2. KristinQL31 says:

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