With as much progress as the St. Louis Rams have already made this season, it’s easy to overlook the fact that they have now gone five straight games without picking up a victory. The winless streak has featured its fair share of highs and lows along the way, but one thing has been constant in every game; penalties.
Many have pointed to the coaches for this area of weakness and often times teams that habitually commit penalties are lacking discipline in other facets as well. This all reflects poorly on the coaching staff as a whole and in particular on the main figure head of the regime, Jeff Fisher.
His clubs have been noted for their borderline aggression during his career, but many of the Rams’ fouls have been for complete lack of attention to detail. Any pre-snap penalty shows a lack of preparedness and a shortage of leadership being provided by the coaches.
Much of the team’s difficulties this past Sunday can be blamed on the New York Jets and Rex Ryan’s familiarity with Rams’ new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer‘s play-calling tendencies. The lack of offensive success that the Rams had from start to finish was very discouraging as they failed to adjust on the fly to what New York was throwing at them.
According to Fisher:
“They kept changing things up on us. They covered us. They pressured us when they needed pressure and we just didn’t make the consistent plays.”
Certainly this is an accurate account of the game, but Fisher and his staff need to be just as malleable as their opponents on a weekly basis. Coming into a game with one plan set in stone is not a winning formula. Coaches must be able to make adjustments as the flow of a given contest plays out and give their players the best chance to win.
While penalties have been the focal point of the coaches’ shortcomings with the Rams of late, the inability to adjust and provide the team with the necessary information to succeed as a game moves along is just as big of a problem. If the Rams’ offensive gameplan was that easy for the Jets to key in on and shut them down, why couldn’t every opponent do the same thing on any given Sunday?
This Rams team needs to gain a better grasp for dictating the game to their opponents rather than the other way around. Until the coaching staff provides the players with a better plan to achieve that goal, things could continue to skid in a less positive direction for this club.
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