For the second installment of this new weekly segment on the St. Louis Rams, this week’s suggestion box is filled with requests for the team to stick with the run on offense. Much of the club’s troubles arise from an ill-equipped passing game still not ready for primetime. Coming out of the gates with a clear dedication to the run would instill a sense of confidence in the offense as a whole and wear down opposing defenses as a result.
Now clearly any offense has to have some amount of balance, but Head Coach Jeff Fisher knows that this Rams team has to be skewed toward the run-heavy side rather than vice versa. The team seems to begin every game with that type of mentality as illustrated by Sunday’s contest with the New York Jets, but somewhere along the way, things get out of whack and the Rams start chasing the scoreboard rather than running their offense.
As clear evidence, the Rams began by scoring a touchdown on their opening drive of the game during which Steven Jackson had five carries. For the remainder of the game, Jackson had just seven mores carries and the offense stagnated. This is more of a rhythm issue than anything else as the team still attempted to establish the run in early downs, but were ultimately derailed by penalties or incompletions. Therefore predictable play-calling will be the team’s biggest enemy moving forward.
Of course offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer’s connections with the Jets may have had something to do with their ability to read what was coming this past week, but many teams have been able to do that at least part of the time against St. Louis this season. Schottenheimer needs to focus on staying ahead of the down and distance and keeping this club moving. Being unpredictable is only half of the battle when penalties, incompletions, or dropped passes get in the way.
Suggesting this and seeing results are two different things, but it’s clear that more third and long running calls would help this offense. If Schottenheimer can realize that he doesn’t always have to adhere to his chart and deviate from his standards on occasion, maybe opposing defenses will have to think out of the box as well.
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