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Spagnuolo hopes Rams leaders will step up

Indianapolis Colts v St. Louis Rams Getty Images

The Rams finished the 2010 season winning one of four games.  They’ve started the 2011 season winning none of four games.  And after their Week Five bye, the Rams face the Packers, Cowboys, and Saints.

Hello, 0-7.

But coach Steve Spagnuolo believes he has the right men on the team to turn things around. “Absolutely,” Spagnuolo said Monday in comments distributed by the team.  “I know we’ve been hurt with injuries.  But I’m sure, you guys probably know better, is there a team in the league that hasn’t had some kind of injury?  We’ve had some key ones, but we’re not going to use that as an excuse.

“Somebody’s got to step up and play and just like what you were talking about, you get your core veterans leading and get your so-called elite players making plays and make sure we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot.  We talked a lot this morning about missed opportunities in all three phases.  I put them up on the film.  There wasn’t really anything that our opponent did.  It was we didn’t exercise certain skills, basic skills.”

Spagnuolo will keep his efforts to improve the team’s performance internal. “I don’t do it in the media, I do it in the meeting room,” Spagnuolo said.  “Just like if my wife and I had a fight and I was upset at her I wouldn’t come out and tell the rest of the world.  I just think that’s how you do it.  I respect these guys.  Now, they know that I demand a certain level of effort and excellence.  And I think every player understands that, but that’s just the way I choose to do it.”

Though he’s using the right approach, the bottom line is that the Rams are getting the wrong result.  They lost only by seven to the Redskins on Sunday, but the Rams trailed 17-0 before waking up.

In all, the Rams have been outscored by 67 points, 113-46.  Meanwhile, the 49ers are 3-1, and the Rams won’t get their first crack at closing the gap directly against San Francisco until December.

By then, it could be too late.

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28 Responses to “Spagnuolo hopes Rams leaders will step up”
  1. trbowman says: Oct 4, 2011 8:18 PM

    When you talk about team leaders who need to step up, look no further than Spags himself.

  2. jimbobobjr says: Oct 4, 2011 8:19 PM

    I blame Josh McDaniels. He’s a curse.

  3. cmb79 says: Oct 4, 2011 8:26 PM

    Translation: “Please save my job. I’m probably not getting another one if we blow a relatively easy chance at a crappy division.”

  4. nineroutsider says: Oct 4, 2011 8:33 PM

    He needs to reign in McDaniels (I would fire him); he is the junior version of the “mad scientist”, except Martz has a Ph.D. and junior has a A.A. from the local community college.

    I swear he puts his game-plans together by playing next week’s opponent on Madden…

  5. paulienyram says: Oct 4, 2011 8:33 PM

    I know Spats is getting crushed by the fans but how does the GM Devaney get a pass? He assembled this mess and have let other draft choices walk like Atogwe and Carriker, who performed pretty well against them…

  6. packersareandwillalwaysbebetterthanthebears says: Oct 4, 2011 8:37 PM

    They are gonna be so bad they will get Justin Blackmon

  7. commandercornpone says: Oct 4, 2011 9:01 PM

    they arent going to close the gap with arizona. they better work on that first.

    seattle, they might can catch them.

  8. schmitty2 says: Oct 4, 2011 9:07 PM

    Oh get off the “let’s blame Mcdaniels’ crap. We all know he was a lame headcoach but its not his fault the best wr and rb got hurt. It’s not his fault the O-line can’t block for crap and it’s not his fault we lost 2 db’s. Come up with new material

  9. clavette says: Oct 4, 2011 9:20 PM

    how can you say the cowboys are a gaurenteed loss?

  10. ramsfanjoe says: Oct 4, 2011 9:40 PM

    Spag’s is done, stick a fork in him! Just have to wait till offseason. Can we say Fisher, Gruden, or Cower anyone?

  11. dolphins4 says: Oct 4, 2011 9:41 PM

    The Eagles hope Spags gets fired so he can go back and be the defensive coordinator and replace the offensive line coach.

  12. hendeeze says: Oct 4, 2011 9:59 PM

    Bradford played with a hand tailored handicapped offense to play to his strengths the first year. He’s a good QB, but not elite like the media wants to portray him as.

    Now he has a Mad Scientest at OC, All his weapons are gimp the 4th week of the season. The D is in shambles. “1-15 here we come” (again)

  13. scudbot says: Oct 4, 2011 10:21 PM

    schmitty2: Unfortunately McDaniels is ultra-controlling, very rigid and emotionally negative. Players fit into his system or get chucked aside. His system was developed when Tom Brady was an established QB and Belichick actually ran the show. He is poison.

  14. cowboysfaninbuffalove says: Oct 4, 2011 10:22 PM

    @clavette

    Because the cowboys are a better team and will be healthy when they beat the rams

  15. canjura says: Oct 4, 2011 10:52 PM

    In my opinion, the NFL lock out is the biggest problem the Rams have/had. With that said, Sam Bradford has been just as much to fault as all the injuries on the team. Bradford is, plain and simply, holding on the ball way too long and looks confused and hopeless out there. I understand its a tough, tough system to learn (ask Ochocinco), but I don’t understand how Bradford gets absolutely no blame ever while all you hear from all the football “experts” is say how much Ochocinco ‘can’t graps the offense’. They’ve both been in the system for literally the same amount of time and they’re both playing just as bad in it. If we expect this guy to be the future of this franchise, we have to stop giving him free passes if he isn’t what we thought. ESPECIALLY when, the way the Rams are playing, they’re going to be drafting in the top 10 (I’m still a Rams fan, can’t accept the 1st overall pick again) in a draft that will have quite a few good quarterbacks.

  16. goldsteel says: Oct 4, 2011 11:15 PM

    I hope the Rams can find their footing and turn things around. It’s a good team with the offense learning a new offensive philosophy that has worked in the past. Maybe, the bye week came just at the right time?

  17. ramcountry says: Oct 5, 2011 6:14 AM

    @Paulein

    I haven’t seen Devaney get a pass.

    But no one cares about letting Carriker go.

  18. fin72 says: Oct 5, 2011 7:00 AM

    “I know we’ve been hurt with injuries. But I’m sure, you guys probably know better, is there a team in the league that hasn’t had some kind of injury? We’ve had some key ones, but we’re not going to use that as an excuse.”
    ___________________________

    You just did moron!

  19. semperfi24 says: Oct 5, 2011 8:43 AM

    Look on the bright side of things, when Dallas is up by 20 points in the 3rd quarter, Romo will give the game away, and 0-7 will become 1-6….

  20. 1captain1 says: Oct 5, 2011 9:45 AM

    The Rams are soft.

    Chris Long= over-rated
    QB Shawn Michaels (eye)= 2nd pro offensive system
    Road Warrior= Expected to do too much
    Secocndary= pitiful
    Jackson= glass hamstring

    All equals 4-12

  21. thejabronisayz says: Oct 5, 2011 10:24 AM

    First off, the Rams have always been a finesse team, even dating back to their GSOT days. Look at the 3 times they lost in 2001: Bucs, Saints, and Pats, all three of whom played extremely physically and pushed them around. It’s stupid to call the team “soft” and use that as the reason for their record, because they have always been that way (and i’m not saying this to knock them down, simply a matter of fact – some teams play more physically than others).

    Secondly, the defense has zero depth. Who were the Rams top to DBs last year? Ron Bartell and OJ Atogwe. They’re both gone (Bartell injured, Atogwe in Washington). Teams have now picked on the secondary early, gotten leads, and then have run the ball the rest of the game. It’s hard for the D-Line to get sacks when the other team is playing with the lead and running the ball.

    Thirdly, stop the nonsense with McDaniels. He’s not the head coach; we all know that some guys are meant to be coordinators, and some are meant to be head coaches. McDaniels isn’t meant to be a head coach, I get it. But he is not to blame for the offenses’ performance. When Bradford places the ball perfectly and it’s DROPPED by his receivers, how is that McDaniels’ fault? Rookie Lance Kendricks has dropped countless TOUCHDOWN passes during the first four games. Mike Sims-Walker dropped three passes on ONE DRIVE last week. No matter who’s coordinating the offense, drops will KILL any offensive rythem.

    Furthermore, when the other team gets a big lead (see above: the defense sucks), the Rams need to throw the ball more. When you throw the ball more, you put the OLine in a terrible position because the other team KNOWS you’re going to throw. There’s no more guessing. So when Bradford is forced to step back to throw the deep ball, playing from behind, the OLine is underperforming, AND the other team knows that the offense is going to throw and adjusts accordingly, it’s extremely difficult to see any sort of results.

    The only game this year where the OLine played somewhat decently was the Giants’ game, and you saw how effortlessly the Rams moved the ball. Therefore, stop placing all the blame on McDaniels. He is not the problem.

    Spagnuolo needs the leaders to step up, but he himself also needs to step up. I have always been a fan of the guy, but if he can’t produce a team this season that at least shows effort and can prove to be competitive, even in losing efforts, then it might be time for him to go.

  22. jwh8541 says: Oct 5, 2011 10:34 AM

    1captain1 your analysis is a bad as the Rams play has been. Long aint rated let alone over, who is shawn michaels, laurinitis has been outstanding and jackson has quad issues. other then that good job.

    Spags is a micro-managing control freak who hasn’t allowed others to flourish including McDaniels. Anybody who’s seen what McDaniels did last 2 years can see that.

    The team plays tight uninspired afraid to make mistakes so they make nothing but mistakes.

    Now Spags wants people to step up? Litttle to late.

  23. mhalt99 says: Oct 5, 2011 10:43 AM

    Spags please come back home….we have a cheesesteak with whiz waiting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. mezter says: Oct 5, 2011 10:49 AM

    This is the 49ers division now anyways. They are playing really well now, so this is really bad timing for the Rams to be falling apart. Niners division by December, and the Rams being 0-7 here soon will have knocked them out completely.

  25. cosmoman11 says: Oct 5, 2011 11:01 AM

    Let’s spread the blame around…

    Devaney – failure to get adequate back up RB until this year (still not sure about Cadillac), failure to get competent WRs, failure to get depth at DB, draft busts??

    Steve Loney – failure to get improvement from high-priced OL (or is this a Devaney problem?)

    Nolan Cromwell – I have a lot of respect for Cromwell as a player but for a WR coach I want a former WR, not a former DB. Bring back Henry Ellard who never should have been let go.

    Spagnola – in over his head? maybe. Got a little too dictatorial at Rams Park. Fired long term employees for no reason other than to flex his muscles. Still hoping that Kronke forces Spags to make some coaching changes during the bye week.

    McDaniels – who knows. Is he really an offensive genius? When has he proved that? Not in NE because you know that BB was really in charge.

  26. tinbender2000 says: Oct 5, 2011 11:03 AM

    Do you poor Rams fans realize Spags will have to be there another forty years so he can blame the equipment manager again?

  27. leftcoastnative says: Oct 5, 2011 11:40 AM

    Spags may have the right people on the field, but his problem is that he has Josh McDaniels coaching the QBs and serving as OC and play caller. Hence, this season will be disaster and a year to forget, especially after how promising the club and Bradford looked last year on offense.

  28. schmitty2 says: Oct 5, 2011 2:57 PM

    thejabronisayz says:
    Oct 5, 2011 10:24 AM

    WELL said!

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