RFL's challenge to the board:

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This topic contains 40 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by zn zn 1 year, 6 months ago.

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  • #28948
    rfl
    rfl
    Participant

    Did you see any evidence of a Top 10, let alone Top 5, defense in OAK?

    I mean, actual EVIDENCE! Like, “I could SEE it …” Not hopes and expectations and calculations. But manifest signs of the sort of dominance that makes offenses dread games against actual Top 5 Defenses.

    If so, I’d really like to hear what it is that you saw.

    By virtue of the absurd ...

    #28949
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    No, i did not see “evidence of a top ten defense versus Oakland.”

    But, while i think its a fair question, I also think its
    fair to “expect” a top ten (or better) defense, given
    the totality of the circumstances (talent, experience, etc)
    that weve all talked about over and over.

    I simply do not place much weight on the FIRST
    pre-season game. I just dont. I’d say that
    if they had won the game 52 to 0.

    I will be watching the second game
    closely though. And the third.
    And the fourth.

    w
    v

    #28950
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    My take on the Oakland game is that the Rams did not prepare themselves with a specific, studied, game-planned attack against either the Oakland defense or the Oakland offense. They no doubt had a general idea of what they wanted to run, but for the most part, their intention was just to do what they said they wanted to do—watch young players under the stress of a game situation in order to make personnel decisions. I am not even sure how long the Rams defensive 1s were in the game.

    In contrast, it looked to me like the Raiders almost certainly gameplanned the Rams defense. That is, they designed and practiced an attack with specific plays meant to counter that defense. That would be easy enough for them to do—not only do they have film on that defense, which of course is not different overall from last year;s, but they have the same offensive coordinator in place that they had last year when the Rams and Raiders played. Moreover, the Raiders kept their offensive 1s in for what looked to be virtually the entire 1st half.

    Oakland would have a motive to gameplan, too—it’;s Del Rio’s first year and so it looked to me like they wanted to come out of the gate looking good in their first pre-season game.

    This has come up before. The Rams tend not to go into early pre-season games with a specific gameplan designed to attack an opponent’s specific schemes and personnel. There’s no real film study or detailed gameplan work. They tend to do more of that kind of thing later in the pre-season.

    So what I saw in that game, IMO, is what happens when a team with a good offensive line deliberately gameplans a defense in the pre-season, while the defense in turn doesn’t approach the game that way.

    #28951
    rfl
    rfl
    Participant

    I also think its
    fair to “expect” a top ten (or better) defense, given
    the totality of the circumstances (talent, experience, etc)
    that weve all talked about over and over.

    Absolutely. We absolutely should expect it.

    The question is … do we see it emerging? Will it become a reality?

    I get what you’re saying about P/S games. But you know, I think they show you a lot. You see who the team is emerging to be.

    Way, way back in time, the 80s, I think, I was looking idly at a Viking P/S game. They had been poor, but they had some new pieces on defense. I think John Randle was a key part of the package.

    Anyway, they looked awesome in that P/S game. The defense did. They just dominated. I remember thinking, “Aw, don’t worry. This is P/S. It won’t mean much.” But you know, a completely mediocre team emerged that year as a dominant defense. What I saw in that P/S game was the goods.

    Also consider last year. The Rams showed us in P/S what they would be for half the season at least. You could SEE it. It foretold the season on the defensive side of the ball. It really did.

    My friend, here’s essentially my response to your basic point.

    If you have a legitimate, Top 5 defense, people can SEE IT. Sure, P/S is weird, but the competitive character of a truly elite unit is there to be seen, at least as long as the players expected to contribute keep playing. There’s no mistaking an elite defense. I actually think all football fans know it, deep down.

    Anyway, I appreciate your frankness. You say …

    A) There was no evidence.

    B) But the absence of evidence doesn’t say anything.

    I agree with A but not with B.

    By virtue of the absurd ...

    #28952
    rfl
    rfl
    Participant

    My take on the Oakland game is that the Rams did not prepare themselves with a specific, studied, game-planned attack against either the Oakland defense or the Oakland offense.

    I’ll take that as a no.

    There was no evidence.

    But that can be explained by X, Y, and Z.

    By virtue of the absurd ...

    #28956
    bnw
    bnw
    Blocked

    I do not share your pessimism since it was the first preseason game and on a field on which the Rams didn’t want to play on parts of it. Relax. The work is what counts in preseason not the wins. No injuries is the biggest battle.

    The upside to being a Rams fan is heartbreak.

    Sprinkles are for winners.

    #28958
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    My take on the Oakland game is that the Rams did not prepare themselves with a specific, studied, game-planned attack against either the Oakland defense or the Oakland offense.

    I’ll take that as a no.

    There was no evidence.

    But that can be explained by X, Y, and Z.

    I would say it means more like this—for me, there’s nothing to base the question on yet.

    #28959
    Agamemnon
    Agamemnon
    Moderator

    My impression of the Rams DL is that Oakland pushed them around a bit. I expected the Rams to do the pushing. But then it was just 2 possessions in the first preseason game. If this defense isn’t top 10, it is Williams fault. They have too much talent. They need a running game to be top 5. imo

    Agamemnon

    #28962
    rfl
    rfl
    Participant

    I would say it means more like this—for me, there’s nothing to base the question on yet.

    OK, you can reject the premise of the question. That’s fair enough.

    I do find it remarkable that one would argue that one should expect to actually SEE NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER of a unit that one hopes/expects to be emerging as a Top 5 competitive force. I find that remarkable indeed.

    By the way, the “our dog ate our game plan” excuse makes little sense to me. But then, I’m pretty far out of step with this board’s view of the team.

    Well, I’ll still welcome the first instance of someone somewhere showing me evidence that this team is capable of doing anything more than jabber and fight.

    By virtue of the absurd ...

    #28964
    rfl
    rfl
    Participant

    My impression of the Rams DL is that Oakland pushed them around a bit. I expected the Rams to do the pushing. But then it was just 2 possessions in the first preseason game. If this defense isn’t top 10, it is Williams fault. They have too much talent. They need a running game to be top 5. imo

    Thanks for your honesty.

    And, yes, I agree. It would be Williams’ fault.

    As for the running game, I think that’s true in terms of statistics. But then, statistics in football offer a limited view of things. The league has known numerous cases over the years of defenses that everyone recognized as elite even if the offense let them down and their stats weren’t actually Top 5.

    By virtue of the absurd ...

    #28968
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    I also think its
    fair to “expect” a top ten (or better) defense, given
    the totality of the circumstances (talent, experience, etc)
    that weve all talked about over and over.

    Absolutely. We absolutely should expect it.

    The question is … do we see it emerging? Will it become a reality?

    I get what you’re saying about P/S games. But you know, I think they show you a lot. You see who the team is emerging to be.

    Way, way back in time, the 80s, I think, I was looking idly at a Viking P/S game. They had been poor, but they had some new pieces on defense. I think John Randle was a key part of the package.

    Anyway, they looked awesome in that P/S game. The defense did. They just dominated. I remember thinking, “Aw, don’t worry. This is P/S. It won’t mean much.” But you know, a completely mediocre team emerged that year as a dominant defense. What I saw in that P/S game was the goods.

    Also consider last year. The Rams showed us in P/S what they would be for half the season at least. You could SEE it. It foretold the season on the defensive side of the ball. It really did.

    My friend, here’s essentially my response to your basic point.

    If you have a legitimate, Top 5 defense, people can SEE IT. Sure, P/S is weird, but the competitive character of a truly elite unit is there to be seen, at least as long as the players expected to contribute keep playing. There’s no mistaking an elite defense. I actually think all football fans know it, deep down.

    Anyway, I appreciate your frankness. You say …

    A) There was no evidence.

    B) But the absence of evidence doesn’t say anything.

    I agree with A but not with B.

    Fair enough. Let us hope we see something beginning to emerge
    in game two. I ‘expect’ we will.

    w
    v

    #28970
    NERam
    NERam
    Participant

    I don’t get too too excited either way when looking at preseason. Case in point, 2011.

    Rams go 4-0 in preseason, then drop a 2-14 clunker the rest of the year. I can’t draw too much in the way of PS results. Better to just look at talent, and potential.

    I agree with Ag also. Way too much D talent to be abysmal.

    RFL, to your original question, I think I’m placing a pretty high emphasis on how they start out the Regular Season, more so than the PS numbers and effort. And I know that sounds trite.

    Will they be sluggish and uninspired, disciplined and consistent, or a dominating wrecking crew? First couple of RS games should be more telling.

    #28971
    rfl
    rfl
    Participant

    RFL, to your original question, I think I’m placing a pretty high emphasis on how they start out the Regular Season, more so than the PS numbers and effort. And I know that sounds trite.

    OK, Man.

    Of course, whether it’s trite is in the eye of the beholder.

    I wasn’t sure what I would find posting this question/challenge. I just wanted people to engage the current state of the team.

    I am pretty amazed, though, at the apparently universal agreement that one really shouldn’t look for any indicators whatsoever in the pre-season games. I find that remarkable. I wonder if folks would feel the same way if the national press dubbed the Whiner defense elite while it stunk up the P/S gridiron?

    By the way, please note that I did not refer to the loss. Or even the Offense. I was distinctly referring to some sign of elite qualities in the defense. After all–that is what the consensus seems to assume–that it will be elite. No one has proposed any. That actually surprises me as well.

    If nothing else, I hope to leave a bee in our collective bonnet: when is this apparently elite unit going to start playing like one? It’s a question that was not widely asked last year, and I think it led to completely unjustified expectations of what that team would be.

    By virtue of the absurd ...

    #28972
    rfl
    rfl
    Participant

    I agree with Ag also. Way too much D talent to be abysmal.

    PS. I like what people are saying about this. But it brings up a hobby horse of mine.

    Talent is very important. But talent does not guarantee performance. One can have a very talented group that fails to compete effectively. That’s why I always resist assumptions that added talent will lead to better performance.

    Remember, remember, remember, remember …

    Last year, Sack City boasted a TON of legitimate talent. And it added AD!

    AND … it set an NFL record for pass rushing futility over, whatever it was, 5 games. I never cease to be blown away by that fact. And I am even more amazed at how no one seems to find it worthy of comment.

    So, I HOPE I understand your comment thus:

    Way too much D talent FOR IT TO BE ACCEPTABLE FOR THIS UNIT TO PERFORM ABYSMALLY! (As it did last year until the season was lost.)

    I hope you don’t mean this:

    Way too much D talent to turn out to be abysmal.

    ‘Cause, you know, it MIGHT be just that! It was for half of last year!

    By virtue of the absurd ...

    #28973
    InvaderRam
    InvaderRam
    Moderator

    not really too bothered at this point. but if these problems keep coming up in game 3, i’ll be disappointed.

    but no. they did not look like a dominant defense in the less than 1 quarter that they played against oakland. not sure what that means though.

    #28976
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    I am pretty amazed, though, at the apparently universal agreement that one really shouldn’t look for any indicators whatsoever in the pre-season games….

    By the way, please note that I did not refer to the loss. Or even the Offense. I was distinctly referring to some sign of elite qualities…

    Well i for one, didnt say i dont look for any indicators “in the preseason games” — I said, i dont look for anything in the FIRST preseason game. I mean the starters just don’t play very much in game one, blah blah blah.

    I do agree with you about not paying much attention to “losses” etc, but instead to “elite qualities” etc. Its an important distinction and veteran, hardcore, longtime fans can discern salient qualities in preseason games. That of course is different than just looking at the score…

    RFL-posts are often as much about “how fans interpret things” as much as the Rams play. I happen to like that myself, LoL.

    w
    v

    #28978
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    I do find it remarkable that one would argue that one should expect to actually SEE NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER of a unit that one hopes/expects to be emerging as a Top 5 competitive force. I find that remarkable indeed.

    I did see elements of a top defense though I personally am not hung up on “top 5.” I just don’t think that basing anything on that game counts for much.

    What I saw was this. Oakland deliberately gameplanned an attack on that defense while at the same time, the Rams defense itself was just lining up and playing. Plus of course the Rams did not keep their 1s in the game while Oakland kept their 1s in during I think the entire half.

    If both sets of 1s had gameplanned, then, the Rams would have an attack designed to go after Oakland’s personnel and tendencies, and in addition, anything Oakland did, they would counter. As opposed to what did happen, which is that Oakland had an opening day, regular season attack prepared, and the Rams just lined up and played.

    It’s as if one fighter just got into the ring to spar, and the other had studied his opponent and had a fully worked out plan of attack backed by detailed study.

    I mean what can you tell about either side when it’s like that?

    For example, there’s no way in a regular season game that the defense would just line up the same way with the same basic playcalling play after play and just LET the other team scheme Donald out of the picture that way. They would counter it in some way, plus have a plan of attack to go after Oakland. And the Rams weren’t doing that this time because…they didn’t care. They did not have a plan of attack worked out specifically to counter Oakland. They were in it to get a look at personnel. They just lined them up and got themselves some film to watch.

    I think your question is fair, but not for that game. Not just because it was game one, but because Oakland pre-planned a 1st home pre-season game for its new coach knowing full well the Rams weren’t going to have the same kind of opponent-specific preparation. I think after game 3 it’s fair to ask the question. In this case, it’s like asking about the skills of the boxer who just entered the ring to spar against an opponent who prepared himself with a detailed plan of attack.

    But either way…good discussion.

    #28980
    InvaderRam
    InvaderRam
    Moderator

    well i think the key is that the first team did not play much. it’s just not enough of a sample size to make any kind of judgment. they could have easily dominated that first quarter, and i still don’t think it would have meant anything.

    but i also think this defense has a lot to prove. last year they were very inconsistent. so ya know. until they can prove otherwise. it’s legitimate to question whether they have shown any indication that they can be a dominant defense this season.

    #28994
    lyser
    lyser
    Participant

    No, I don’t think we have seen “evidence” of a top D yet this preseason.

    I also agree that I would feel a lot better if I AT LEAST saw guys dominating 1 on 1 match-ups and showing “flashes” – my impression is we have not seen that either. Therefore, I share your concerns after preseason game 1.

    However, I also know everything in preseason must be taken with a substantial grain of salt simply because we do not know where “winning” falls on the priority list for either side. It would be easy for me to believe Oakland game-planned and prioritized winning much higher than the Rams for this game.

    That’s why they say we won’t know much at all “until the real bullets fly”.

    MOB SQUAD UP BITCHES!!!!

    #29006
    joemad
    joemad
    Participant

    is this freaking serious? Evidence in preseason game ONE???? REALLY??????

    Well, if it matters that much to you.

    The last time that the Rams faced the Raiders to open up preseason and allowed 18 points, they won the Super Bowl.

    #29007
    lyser
    lyser
    Participant

    is this freaking serious? Evidence in preseason game ONE???? REALLY??????

    Well, if it matters that much to you.

    The last time that the Rams faced the Raiders to open up preseason and allowed 18 points, they won the Super Bowl.

    Sweet! That settles it then!

    Seriously though, that preseason WAS a foreshadowing of things to come – course it ended up being Warner leading the O instead of TG, but that offense was balls out in the preseason.

    MOB SQUAD UP BITCHES!!!!

    #29010
    nittany ram
    nittany ram
    Moderator

    Way, way back in time, the 80s, I think, I was looking idly at a Viking P/S game. They had been poor, but they had some new pieces on defense. I think John Randle was a key part of the package.

    Anyway, they looked awesome in that P/S game. The defense did. They just dominated. I remember thinking, “Aw, don’t worry. This is P/S. It won’t mean much.” But you know, a completely mediocre team emerged that year as a dominant defense. What I saw in that P/S game was the goods.

    I’ve seen the opposite scenario unfold too. I’ve seen teams play well in preseason only to morph into patsies when the games began to count. The Cowboys in Jimmy Johnson’s first year come to mind. There have been many others.

    I will not believe this defense can dominate until it actually does. Even if they exhibit evidence of it in the next several preseason games it won’t really tell us how they will perform when the real season starts. Until they do it when the games matter it’s really evidence of nothing.

    #29012
    joemad
    joemad
    Participant

    Steve Spagnulo…..

    10-2 preseason record with RAMS….. how’s that for evidence?

    #29015
    rfl
    rfl
    Participant

    is this freaking serious? Evidence in preseason game ONE???? REALLY??????

    OK, I’ll just try to explain what I am looking for.

    Last P/S, the consensus among virtually everybody was that our D was going to be elite, Sack City. Then, in the P/S games, it played passive, conceding football. Everybody said, “Aw, it’s just P/S.” Then they went out and played lousy, passive, bad record breaking football for the first quarter of the real season. And people dismissed that, too. They kept talking about adjustment time, new kids making mistakes, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    This year, again, the assumption is, “Elite Defense.” Peter King in a vid posted below, simply assumed it would be Top 5.

    I keep wanting to challenge those assumptions. I want folks to think about what it actually means to have a truly elite unit. I want to highlight the huge gap there is between potential and realized achievement. And I want to establish the responsibility owned by a unit aspiring to greatness to actually play like a great unit. I want the standards we hold our defense responsible to to be as high as they actually would be for a great unit. ‘Cause less than that is at best on the high side of mediocre.

    And I will simply point out that not a single poster in this thread has claimed to see any evidence of genuine excellence. Not one flash, not one play. Nothing. I find that telling regarding a unit expected to be elite.

    Of course, it was game 1. Of course I know that, and I know the limitations of what Game 1 can tell us. The point is that this unit did not put a foot on the path to excellence in OAK. It has a chance to do so Sunday. Then another and another. When it starts showing us its excellence, then we can all feel good.

    But they never did last P/S. They took more than a month of the real season to do much of anything. They turned in a forgettable, mediocre season apart from 2 great games against poor teams. And right now, they haven’t done a damn thing yet.

    I challenge us to talk about this unit remembering these cautions.

    By virtue of the absurd ...

    #29016
    rfl
    rfl
    Participant

    I’ve seen the opposite scenario unfold too. I’ve seen teams play well in preseason only to morph into patsies when the games began to count. The Cowboys in Jimmy Johnson’s first year come to mind. There have been many others.

    Well, I’m not really talking about “playing well.” I’m talking about the emergence of that special thing that makes a unit elite.

    I will not believe this defense can dominate until it actually does. Even if they exhibit evidence of it in the next several preseason games it won’t really tell us how they will perform when the real season starts. Until they do it when the games matter it’s really evidence of nothing.

    Love this: “I will not believe this defense can dominate until it actually does.” Amen, Brother.

    And of course you’re right–only the real season actually counts.

    But I continue to hold that genuine excellence announces itself. You see it coming, as we saw the GSOT start to become something special in that P/S.

    By virtue of the absurd ...

    #29017
    nittany ram
    nittany ram
    Moderator

    Steve Spagnulo…..

    10-2 preseason record with RAMS….. how’s that for evidence?

    Yeah, but those preseason teams hadn’t been decimated by injuries yet.

    So his preseason roster had a lot more talent than his regular season roster. If he had to go into preseason with the roster he had at the end of the regular season of that same year you can bet that record would be a lot less gaudy. 😉

    #29018
    rfl
    rfl
    Participant

    Steve Spagnulo…..

    10-2 preseason record with RAMS….. how’s that for evidence?

    It’s not evidence of anything I’m talking about.

    W/L records in P/S really do mean nothing at all. And I haven’t referred to them at all.

    I’m specifically not talking about general team play. I make no reference to the offense, because no one is assuming they’ll be great. We do want to see evidence that the kids can play, but that’s about it. STs? I know they can play.

    Spagnuolo won P/S games, but NEVER did anyone assume that any unit of his teams was on track for greatness. People are assuming that about our current defense. I think it’s a very unwise assumption.

    By virtue of the absurd ...

    #29019
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    I will not believe this defense can dominate until it actually does.

    You know, Jesus just wants you to
    Believe.
    w
    v

    “Doubting Nittany”

    #29021
    InvaderRam
    InvaderRam
    Moderator

    i’ll also say this though. i saw evidence last season. particularly in the second half. that this defense can be dominant. there was a stretch where the defense was shutting every opponent down. i saw evidence that mcdonald and ogletree could become elite playmakers. the d line was completely transformed in the second half. so i think i’ve seen flashes for sure. just not this preseason.

    #29024
    nittany ram
    nittany ram
    Moderator

    I will not believe this defense can dominate until it actually does.

    You know, Jesus just wants you to
    Believe.
    w
    v

    “Doubting Nittany”

    I’m just not falling for the hype anymore.

    scott

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