Monday, December 31, 2007

"Happy New Year"

Good riddance 2007.

This was the absolute worst season I have ever endured as a Rams fan.

Sunday's game was the epitome of the 2007 season. The Rams defense gave up 48 points, the most in 30 years for the Arizona Cardinals.

Edgerrin James had over 100 yards rushing, and Kurt Warner had a 300 yard passing day with three touchdowns. Typical of the entire season.

The Rams defense was never on the same page this year. The defense would stop a team from getting a hundred yards on the ground, but would allow the QB to throw for a boat load on them, or visa versa.

The Rams defense allowed an average of 27+ points per game for the season. This is the NFL, and that won't cut it.

It will be interesting to see what changes are made in the off season. Speculation is that there will be some coaching changes. There has to be some personnel changes, because what we have now is not working.

The next few weeks should be interesting, we will see if the Rams are serious about contending again, or are happy with the status quo.

Any way it goes, it can't get any worse than 2007. Hopefully 2008 will be a happy new year for all Rams fans.

"see you on the hit side" #21

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Good Scheme

Finally, this late in the season, the Rams found a good defensive scheme to run against the Atlanta Falcons. Jim Haslett showed Rams fans how it should be done on Sunday.

Atlanta is by no means a powerhouse of a team, but have the Rams been this year? After going up 21-0 in the first half, the Rams tried to give another game away.

The defense was solid in the first half.

Looking at the Falcons, the Rams played the correctly. Talking heads throughout the country were picking Warrick Dunn as a sleeper for this game. He ended up with 17 yards on 10 carries. The Rams stopped the run and focused on part two of the scheme, Joey Harrington. The Rams sacked Harrington 3 times and picked him once. The Rams threw various blitz packages at them and they were totally confused by the Rams defense.

In the second half, Atlanta made a quarterback change and brought in Chris Redman. Redman played well, and got Atlanta back into the game. They got into the game due to Rams turnovers and field position, not because the Rams defense let up.

The Rams defense kept up the pressure on Redman, sacking him once and picking him off. The interception on Redman was the game. Oshiomogho Atogwe's pick with 1:31 left sealed the win for the Rams. This Sunday I will be in Cincinnati for the Rams game. With an offense like the Bengals have, I hope the Rams come up with another good scheme for the defense.

"See You On The Hit Side" #21

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Another Win

Two in a row? There were some interesting things that happened late Sunday in San Francisco. First of all the Rams won their second game in a row, to improve to 2-8. Secondly, the Niners lost their 8th in a row.

I never thought the Rams would be tied for last place in our division with the way they started at 0-8. How did that happen?

The Rams played sloppy on offense, but well on defense. The Rams didn't allow 100 total yards until the 4th quarter. It came down to an interception in the last minute at our goaline to insure the victory. Call it a nail biter.

When you hear Bulger say "It's became pretty evident in the third quarter that they were going to struggle to score, and we were going to put it on our defense." Say what?

Am I hearing that right? The starting quarterback of the once known
greatest show on turf, is relying on the defense to win the game?

How things have changed in Ramsville. We almost blew it Mr. Bulger. Haslett loves going to the prevent defense, and in the last two games it has almost cost the Rams the win.

The Rams stuffed Frank Gore for 32 yards on 15 carries. The Rams sacked Dilfer 3 times. The Rams had 2 interceptions. But
the Rams allowed two long drives in the last 4 minutes that almost cost the game.

If the Rams are deciding to let the defense win the game, we better
buckle up for a hell of a ride. Because if that is what is going to happen, it might be a long time before the Rams see another win.

"See You on the hit side" #21

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What Was That?

Am I dreaming, should I rub my eyes? Was that a win? A win at an away game?

Until Sunday's game at New Orleans, the Rams were averaging less than 5 points a game on the road. Less than 5 points a game.

With the expectations high going into the season, the clouds finally parted and a ray of sunshine came through the clouds. Going into the game the Rams had lost their first eight games and were facing a Saints team that had won four games in a row.

The Rams came off their bye week and showed up to play.

About freakin time.

The Rams defense came with a new game plan, it's called a blitz. The Rams blitzed on the first 16 out of 18 defensive plays. Where has that been all year?

With the Rams up 34-7 going into the fourth, Haslett went to the prevent and the Saints made it close. I hate when coaches try to out think themselves. Stick with the plan please.

The stats were skewed due to Drew Brees and the Saints playing comeback football in the fourth quarter. The Saints ended up with 308 total yards, but an inflated 6.4 per play.

The stat of the day was the rushing yards. The Saints had a team total of 43 yards. Reggie Bush had 7 carries for 17 yards. He also had 5 receptions for 27 yards. Anytime you hold a teams major weapon to 44 total yards, your odds of winning are greatly increased.

Stick to the plan.

Next week we will see if this was a fluke or a beginning of a new trend. I would hope the latter, I can get used to asking "what was that"?

"See you on the hit side"#21

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halfway There

Well the Rams season is officially half way over, and it has been one to forget.

At 0-8 the Rams have had their worst start in their history. At the beginning
of the season I had them going 10-6 and making the play-offs. Now it looks
like the only chance of winning anything is beating the Miami Dolphins for
the first pick in next years draft.

Everyone was happy to see Steven Jackson return to the starting lineup against
Cleveland, but one man does not make a team.

"The injured Rams" as they have been called all year,lost another offensive
lineman (Incognito) which left the Rams with only one, day one starter on
the offensive line. That will always hurt the best of teams.

The defense had another day of miscues and misfortune. The Rams defense
again allowed over 100 yards rushing. The Browns had 132 yards for a 4.6
average per carry. You can't allow that in the NFL.

To make matters worse, the Rams defense allowed Derek Anderson to throw
for 248 yards and 3 touchdowns. Derek Anderson will not make the hall of fame,
but the Rams defense will make anyone look like they can.

Watching the game, I couldn't find one bright spot on the Rams defense.
They played awful.

Well, the season is halfway there, so the misery of this season is getting
closer to the end. I guess that is a bright spot.

"See you on the hit side"#21
~Cromwell's Corner~

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Recipe for 0-7

What a disappointment. The 2007 Rams have now accomplished
what no other
Rams team has done in 70 years, starting a season
at 0-7. This has become

I was worried at the beginning of the season that the Rams
dreadful defense from last year, would show up this year.
How wrong I was.

As you probably notice, I take pride in defense. Who could
imagine though,
that after 7 games it's the Rams OFFENSE
that is ranked 30th in the league.

The Rams tight end Rand McMicheal said it perfectly
"Right now I am embarrassed to be a Ram. It is pathetic."

I feel the same way as a fan.

Seattle beat the Rams 33-6 on Sunday. The score looks
bad from a defensive
standpoint on first review. Statistically,
it wasn't that bad on the
defensive side, it was the offense
and special teams that let everyone down.

The Rams "D" got to Hasselbeck and nicked him pretty good.
He ended up with
only 195 yards. Shaun Alexander has been
banged up this year and the Rams "D"
held him to 47 yards on
19 carries. The Seahawks only had 100 total rushing

yards for the game. They only managed 289 total yards
for the entire game.

I can't fault the defense at all for that. With 5 turnovers and
a returned
kick for a touchdown, the Seahawks took advantage
of field position and
opportunities GIVEN to them. The Rams
showed the rest of the league the
perfect recipe to go 0-7.

Watch out Cleveland, we'll be looking for 0-8 next week.

"See you on the hit side" #21
~Cromwells Corner~

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I was two years old in 1962, and I admit I didn't know
who the Rams were then. It was about five years later
that I got bit by the Rams bug and have been a fan ever

Great times back in the late 60's, Roman Gabriel, the
"Fearsome Foursome" etc...

But 1962 was an awful year. The Rams started 0-6.
Sound familiar? This 2007 Rams team has tied the
1962 Rams for the worst start in franchise history.

With the Seahawks coming up this weekend, I have
to believe they will set a new record.

Looking at the game against the Ravens, I can't fault
the defense for this pitiful run at the record book. The
Rams held Baltimore to 248 total yards. The defense
also held the Ravens to under 100 yards rushing. 77
rushing yards on 31 attempts for a 2.5 yards per carry
average, is more than respectable. The Rams were
plagued by the Frerotte disease. Gus had a disastrous
day, and turned the ball over 6 times. You can't blame
the defense for that abortion.

The Rams defense held their ground and limited the
Ravens offense to one touchdown and five Matt Stover
field goals. It could have been much worse than the 22
points the Ravens scored.

The Seattle game is in Seattle this week, so the Rams
will be fighting a hostile crowd. Let's just hope they fight
off the hostile ghosts of 1962.

"See you on the hit side" #21

~Cromwell's Corner~

Monday, October 8, 2007

Out of Town

Sad to say, we believe that he witnessed in person this past weekend, the continual demise of our beloved Rams.

Should be back next week.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


I think on Sunday I would have rather been at the dentist getting my gums
scraped than watching the Rams vs. Dallas game. What a painful experience.

The Rams didn't post on either side of the ball. The Rams "D' has had some
bright spots in the beginning of the season, but not that day. Watching the
first quarter, I felt that the Rams had a shot at staying in the game. One
play erased that concept immediately. On a third and three play the Dallas
center snaps the ball over Romo's head. Romo ends up kicking it farther
backwards. Did he fall on the ball? No, he picks it up and starts running. 33
yards later he gets a first down.

Where was the defense?

Can't you sense that something strange is going on when a single play
lasts 45 seconds?

At that time, the score was 7-7. After that play, Dallas scored and went on to
put up 28 unanswered points.

The Rams 'D' gave up 502 total yards. They allowed 171 yards on the ground
with an average of 5.2 yards a carry. They allowed 331 yards passing and 3
touchdown passes.

I will be traveling 16 hours this weekend to go to St. Louis to see the Rams
and Cardinals play. Me and my buddies will be staying on the "Landing", partying
and having a large time on Saturday and then the Rams game on Sunday.
I'm not sure which day will be more brutal.

"See you on the hi side" #21

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What a Long Strange Trip It's Been

Now I've never been a "Dead Head", but I admit
I did see them twice. It's amazing what the mind can
see under such colorful circumstances. After the
first 3 games of the season, I'm wondering if the
Rams have stashed away some old "Jerry Garcia
secret punch". Maybe they order mushroom pizzas
before the games. I can't figure this team out at all.

Bulger signs a new deal and gets "happy feet". Marc,
the money was for football, not the ballet. I understand
that the O-line is beat up, but hang in there and play
the game.

The worst news is that Steven Jackson has a groin pull.
There might be more to it than what the Rams are saying,
stay tuned.

On the defensive side, there wasn't much to brag about
either. The Rams gave up 182 total rushing yards with an
average 5.7 yards per carry.

Is anyone on the Rams coaching staff looking at the
trend here? Tampa Bay is not an offensive powerhouse.

Next is Dallas. After they took apart Chicago's defense
Sunday night, the Rams are in for a long day. It's been
a long strange trip, but I'm ready to come down at any time.
Any Rams want to join me?

"See You on the hit side" #21

Monday, September 17, 2007

Blown Opportunity

People always say that football is a game of inches.
I have always hated that phrase, until Mike Jones
made his stop, clinching a Super Bowl victory
for the Rams.

Well yesterday, I have decided that I hate that
phrase once more. Jeff Wilkins 56 yard attempt
with less than a minute to go, fell inches short.
I can't blame him, he has always been solid. I
really can't put the blame for this loss on anyone
in particular.

Dante Hall drops a punt that allows San Francisco
to kick the winning filed goal. The Rams second team
line allowing Bulger to get pounded all day. Fumbles,
sacks and penalties. Blame it on everybody. The Rams
"D" played very well. The only hiccup they had was
when they allowed Frank Gore to run 43 yards
for a touchdown on a 4th & one play. Besides that, they
only allowed San Francisco a total of 186 net yards.
That is how defenses should play.

The Rams only allowed Frank Gore 81 yards on 20 attempts,
if you take away the one big play he had, he averaged two
yards a carry.

Alex Smith only had 126 yards passing for the game, again
very respectable. They put pressure on Smith throughout the
game and sacked hem four times and recovered two fumbles.

This was one of the best statistical days the Rams "D" has
had in a long time. It's too bad that it had to come on
a blown opportunity for a win.

"See you on the hit side" #21

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Two Games in One

For anybody that watched the Rams/Panthers game on Sunday,
we got to see two games for the price of one.

The Rams defense came out in the first half, flying around,
making plays, not embarrassing themselves. The Panthers
got an early score due to a pass interference call that
allowed them to continue the drive.

For the rest of the first half, the Rams defense played
well enough to shut the Panthers out.

Halftime. The Rams were up 10-7.

I think as the second half progressed that Rams fans
were wondering why they did not have to leave the stadium
and come back in and pay for another ticket.

Was this a new game? New teams playing each other?

After the Rams scored another 3 to make it 13-7, the
Panthers scored the next 20 to make it 27-13. Game over.

The Rams didn't show up in the second half. The Panthers
defense did. The Panthers only allowed 76 yards rushing.

The Panthers had just over 100 yards in the first half,
but they ended up with 387 total net yards. Again the
Rams defense made two mediocre rushers combine for 186
yards for a 4.9 average.

The Rams defense better get it together. If they keep
playing two games in one, it will be a long season.

"See you on the hit side" #21

Monday, August 27, 2007

Pros and Cons

Preseason football, you either love it, or you hate it. I am stuck on the fence for this one. First of all, I enjoy seeing football again. Who cares if it is the 198th pick trying to win a spot on the roster, he is still in a Rams uniform. That makes me want to watch the game.

As it gets closer to the first regular season game, I start to care less about Mr. 198th and hope the starters start playing like they are #1.

Secondly, I don't want anyone to get hurt. This is the dilemma of preseason football.

Fridays game was a combination of good and bad (I'll get off of my defensive horse later).

The Rams played the hapless Raiders and lost 20-10.

There are positive things that came out of this. The Raiders ran the ball 46 times for 172 yards. That is a lot of attempts for any team in the league. The Rams held them to a 3.7 yard average, not spectacular, but not like last year either. The Raiders starting running back Lamont Jordon, had 41 yards on 18 carries for a 2.3 yard average. That is impressive, but it is the Raiders.

The Rams 'D' had 4 tackles for loss and 4 sacks. That's good too.

Now the worst part, the pass defense was terrible. Tye Hill had 3 calls against him and the Rams had FIVE pass interference calls. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. This kept drives going that could have failed due to the Rams ineptitude, not the Raiders skill.

Now to get off of the 'D' horse. The Rams 'D' cannot stay on the field for that long whether it is preseason or not. The Rams starting offensive unit has only scored 3 points in 11 drives so far. I understand that Steven Jackson and Tory Holt aren't playing, but that is sorry. Next week the Rams final preseason game is against the K.C. Chiefs. The Chiefs will not win 4 games this year.

The Rams should start all of their first stringers for most of the game.

I see all the pros and cons of preseason, but I am ready to see what we are really capable of against Carolina when it counts.

"See you on the hit side" #21

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Strange Game

Saturday night was a different kind of game. I have to admit, that I was determined to watch as much as I could and report that the Rams were great, and I got a clear view of what was happening. Well, sometimes life throws a curve ball. I was invited to a bachelor party at a friends house, for someone I had never met. I was assured that when the game started, there would be no problem for me to watch the game. Wrong.

At 8:00 pm I went into the living room and turned on the game. At that point I was informed that the host had turned off his cable, because he was going to get a dish. Well, I was not happy. I rigged his TV so I could try and see it via antenna, needless to say I was stuck with a snow covered screen. Well I convinced myself that I could deal with that. I sat 2 feet in front of the screen and tried to devote all of my attention to the game, with all of the craziness going on around me. Wrong again.

The next thing I knew there were two strippers entertaining the groom, right behind me. Now normally, I would not mind that distraction, but I had copped an attitude, and they were not honoring their promise that I would not be bothered while I was watching the game.

I did get to see most of the first half. I saw that even without L.T. the Chargers could run the ball. I didn't get a real good look at the touchdown catch in the first half, but I thought Corey Chavous had the coverage and it was a close call.

I did notice that the Rams "D" settled down a bit and played better ball. I am concerned that the Rams allowed over a hundred yards on the ground and 4.4 yards per carry. Maybe next week I can sit in peace and really get a chance to dissect it correctly. Hopefully it won't be another strange game.


Cromwell's Corner

Monday, August 13, 2007


It's here! RAMS football.

During the offseason, it is hard to write about speculation
and what are things to come.

I have never admitted I have a crystal ball and I will try not
to. As I have stated before, I DO have hope.

After last years dismal and disappointing season, the Rams
defensive had to get better. Their performance was one of the
worst I've witnessed in a long time. They finished next
to last in the league against the run.

In my opinion things could only get better. God help us if
it gets worse.

So going into Fridays game, I was optimistic, but apprehensive.

I try to think of myself as a realist. I realized a few things
about the first preseason game.

First of all I realize that the starters would only be in there
for the first 2-3 series.

Second, that some may not start at all.

Thirdly, that the Vikings are not an offensive powerhouse as they
once were. So what happened?

Jim Haslett's defensive unit gave up three first downs & 59 yards
in two series, but no points. I'll take it.

Adam Carriker was impressive in clogging up the middle & stuffing
Adrian Peterson early on. Carriker held his own against five time
all pro center Matt Birk Matt told Linehan after the game,
"He's a load, he's a handful. He's a heck of a player"
High praise indeed for a rookie from a pro bowler. Adrain Peterson
ended up with 33 yards on 11 carries. Overall the Vikings ended up
with 87 yards on the ground and 215 total net yards. Very
respectable indeed, but it was only the first preseason game.

As I said, I'm a realist. Do stats lie? We'll see.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Can Haslett Do It?

In two days the Rams open their training camp, and the 
depression of winter is brushed away in an instant. Rams
football is back.

Training camp is a long process, as all fans know. It
is time to evaluate rookies and free agents and re-evaluate
veterans coming back. I was excited when Jim Haslett signed
on to be our defensive coordinator last year. I also realized
he had a lot of work to do and things to learn about the
personnel he had acquired.

I did not envy him in his new role, I almost pitied him.
One of the first articles I wrote for Planet Rams, was
"Stop the Run". The Rams did a horrible job of that last
year. But, I have faith. Rams fans always have faith at the
beginning of a season, and this one is no different.

If you look at Hasletts' past coaching records, one in
particular stands out. When he was the defensive coordinator
at Pittsburgh in 1997, they were number one in the league
against the rush that year. I'm not saying that he can make that
happen this year, but it gives me hope.

With the draft, acquisitions and the veterans all pulling together,
and learning
Hasletts system, they should be much improved
this year.

So Rams fans, can Haslett do it? Have faith and patience Rams
fans, I think he can.

"See you on the hit side" #21

~Cromwell's Corner~

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


This article is a little different than my usual defensive slant on the Rams.

In 1973 when I was in 8th grade in Dayton Ohio, a new kid moved to town. My friends and I were playing football one Saturday when the new kid showed up on his bike. He watched us play for a while and then followed us home.

We began to talk about music, sports etc... the typical things that 13 year old boys talk about. During the conversation we both found out that our favorite Pro team was the Rams. What a great thing to have in common especially in Ohio. We instantly became friends.

When we played pick up football games in high school and even later in life, we took on the names of our favorite Ram. He was Jack Youngblood and I was Nolan Cromwell.

When the Rams moved from L.A. we started to go to St. Louis every year with other friends for at least one game. I got a hold of two tickets for the NFC championship game the year the Rams won the Superbowl and I knew exactly who I was going to take. We loved the city of St. Louis, the people and the fans as well as staying at Lacledes Landing.

Every year we went made us feel like we were 13 again.

My good friend, David Gregory Lewber passed away on 6-28-07. He was buried in his autographed Jack Youngblood jersey on 7-3-07.

My friends and I are still planning to go this year to a game, but it will be different since Dave won't be with us.

A true Rams fan is gone.

"See you on the hit side" #21

~Cromwell's Corner/Randy Riffle~

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Clock is Ticking

The end of June, turning the corner to July. The last few weeks that fans
have to put up with the anticipation of football.

The Rams coaching staff has a little time left to tweak the playbook
and get ready for the upcoming season. It's that last few weeks the players
can relax and get mentally prepared for what is coming. Stay healthy, and
get focused.

For the rookies, watch as much film as you can. Find a mentor.
Get tutored, and realize it's your job now. Get ready to take your lumps
and learn from your failures. The start of the season is closer than we all
think, the clock is ticking....

"See you on the hit side" #21

~Randy Riffle/Cromwell's Corner~

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

No Word From the Corner

Nothing to report this issue from Cromwell's Corner. Guess he's waiting for training camp.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Draft is Over

There is nothing like the weekend of the draft. For the next week afterwards, fans have a chance to dissect what their teams did, did they improve their chances or were they lethargic and stayed the course of status quo?

After about the second week after the draft, all you hear are crickets. Nothing. Nada. This is the worst time of the year for football fans.

As Rams fans, we hear the things that the players are doing in the community, and what elementary school or hospital they went to visit. Crickets.

Entering the last part of Spring we get to hear things start getting a little louder. Organized 'team' activities begin. Rookie mini camp. New players learning plays and finding where the bathrooms are at the workout facilities.

It's getting a little louder. The veteran players report for mini camp. Now there is some noise. This eases us into the summer, to the arrival of full workouts. Now the noise is cranking and we have something to talk about.

I am glad the draft is over, it's time to go to work.

"See you on the hit side" #21

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Draft

There are a few ways a fan can look at the NFL draft. It can depend on how your team did the year before, the age of your team, the ability to pull the trigger on trades, the maneuvers your team made during the off season and your actual 'needs'.

As I sat and watched the record long draft, I realized again that the Rams never get any respect. All the talking heads were concerned about was where Quinn was going, or if the last player that was drafted was a habitual drug addict or criminal. I guess that is their job, but how many highlights do I need to see of players already drafted on day 1 when it is day 2?

With that being said, let's look at what the Rams did that weekend especially on the defensive side. I knew it was not going to be a 'flashy' draft for the Rams this year. Most experts graded them as a 2 out of 5 or a 'c-'. I totally disagree.

The Rams finished next to last against the run last year and had to try and fix that. It was the priority of the off season and the draft. Round one set the tone. I was very happy with the choice of Adam Carriker. He can play any position on the defensive line, has the size 6'6" 308 to clog the middle and has the speed to bull rush up the gut. I liked the 3rd pick of Jonathan Wade. He is the same size as Tye Hill from last year, but that doesn't concern me, he has the speed! Hill and Wade ran track against each other in high school, so I think the competition will help both players in camp.

With the Rams trading away their 5th round picks for offseason acquisitions, it was good to see them make a trade and get them back. In the later rounds the Rams drafted Clifton Ryan and Keith Jackson Jr. Ryan has the size, 6'2" 310lbs. and Jackson is 6' 292, only a half dozen Big Macs away from 300 lbs. Both are quick off the ball and can handle the inside positions. With the offensive selections of Brian Leonard (Rb Rutgers) , Dustin Frye (C/G Clemson), Ken Shackleford (T Georgia) and Derek Stanley ( WR Wis.-Whitewater) The Rams had completed their draft for 2007.

As I said it wasn't flashy, but I liked it because they drafted what they 'needed'.

"See you on the hit side' #21

Randy Riffle

Saturday, April 14, 2007

On Vacation

Randy of Cromwell's Corner is on vacation will return soon.