Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

What's Wrong with the Rams? Not That Good

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

What's Wrong with the Rams? Not That Good

Article excerpt

As he discussed his puzzling team on Monday, bewildered Rams coach Rich Brooks looked like he wanted to start chewing on his microphone.

And that was before someone asked Brooks why the coaches apparently would prefer bringing Lawrence McCutcheon out of retirement before handing a live football to rookie Brent Moss.

What's wrong with the Rams?

The condition that bedevils this team sounds like the opening to one of those daytime trash-TV shows:

They play in a sold-out stadium.

They're loved by an entire city.

They have a chance to make the playoffs.

And they sleepwalk on Sunday - driving their coach nuts.

Next, on Geraldo: Choking football teams that can't get motivated.

I'm here to tell you what's wrong with the Rams, who have lost five of the past seven games:

NOTHING.

The reason for their demise is actually quite simple, and here's my crazy little theory: The Rams aren't that good.

After a 5-1 start, they've gradually worked down to their natural level. There are too many holes. And the major free-agent acquisitions - Dwayne White, Anthony Parker, Carlos Jenkins, Alexander Wright - haven't filled them.

So the Rams are back to where they ended the 1994 season: a promising nucleus but not enough talent. And so 6-5 is about right. If the Rams can win two more games and finish 8-8, that's close to what the pundits predicted. And .500 represents an improvement, because the Rams had lost 57 of 80 games in the 1990s before moving to St. Louis.

Had the Rams cobbled together this 6-5 mark - winning and losing in increments - we'd be pleased right now. But by soaring out to that 5-1 start, the Rams raised our hopes. This was the ultimate trick play of the season, and we fell for it. We started believing that the Rams were a superior team.

And as soon as opposing quarterbacks stopped donating stupid turnovers in bunches, the Rams had to win games the old-fashioned way: mano-a-mano competition, guided by a coaching staff that adapts and makes changes as a season evolves. …

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