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.
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.