Monday, December 28, 2009

The End Will Soon Be Here

How sad this season has been. No one really expected a real good season, but I don't think that the team would end the season with just one win. Which it probably will be same time next week.

There are some things we've found out during this painfully long season.

1. We do NOT have a quarterback that can lead this team.
2. We only have one superior player in Steven Jackson.
3. Our receiving corp will never be anything like the that of Bruce & Holt.
4. The defense still can't figure out to stop the run.
5. Even with Spags the team seems undisciplined with all the mistakes they continue you make week after week.
6. Shurmur is not the answer with his more often than not vanilla and predictable offensive scheme.
7. About the only unit on the team that doesn't need help is Special Teams.

Spags has a lot more work to do in the off season and he and Devaney had better get it done right or his career as a head coach in St. Louis could be over sooner than expected. Some sort of improvement must be seen in 2010.

Go Rams!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Steven Jackson, He's What's Right With Football

I will not claim to have written the following because I didn't. But I felt it should be shared in case you didn't see it. And because I agree with every word of it. My hat's off to SJ!

By Doug Farrar
Yahoo Sports

St. Louis Rams halfback Steven Jackson has never enjoyed a winning season since he was drafted in 2004 -- the best the Rams have done is two 8-8 seasons in Jackson's time there, and they've won a grand total of six games in the last three years. Amid severe personnel and coaching turnover in the last few seasons, Jackson has been the team's one constant -- he's never rushed for under 1,000 yards in a full season, even when he was sharing time with Marshall Faulk early on and running behind patchwork lines and working with aging or inept quarterbacks more recently.

But for all his team's troubles, you'll never see Jackson give anything less than full effort. In St. Louis' 16-13 loss to the Houston Texans today, Jackson rushed for 82 yards on 20 carries in the face of a defense focused almost completely on him. Because when your quarterback is the legendary Keith Null, opposing defenses can commit eight to the box without question. Jackson can counter all that attention because he still has every bit of the speed and strength that has made him one of the NFL's best at his position.

Jackson also has an ability to transcend his surroundings and play above the efforts of those around him. His team is 1-13 and he's got a back injury that has prevented him from practicing for the past month. Friends and family want him to stop and recuperate for next season, but Jackson is having none of it.

"I love football, I love this team ... "(Shutting it down) has been whispered in my ear, and that's from people on my side looking out for what's best for my future, but I love to play. I only have two more games to play this season. I'm just going to gut it out.''

Against the Texans, he also exchanged a little smack talk with safety Bernard Pollard and then got into a fight with Pollard that left Jackson with a fat lip. It didn't stop him from giving his all. Nothing does.

"I think he instills it in everybody else," Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo told Steve Korte of the Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat. "He's fiery, and you have to love that in this league. He gives us that all the time. He's never changed that way, and I hope he never does.''

It's easy, and even understandable, for players on horrible teams to gear it down as the season comes to a close. But the guys who don't understand anything but all-out effort under any circumstances should be recognized and appreciated, and that's exactly what Steven Jackson is.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What More is There Left to Be Said?

I mean really? It's the same thing over and over and over again. Every week. It's like you just naturally say each week "So who are they going to lose against this week?" How much more losing can any one of us take? I know that it is wearing me out.

It's the same thing QB, no matter who he is seems to be allergic to the red zone. Never fails, drive the team down the field, but god forbid that you remember how to play once you get in scoring position. Boller is no better than Bulger. Boller, Bulger, Bulger, Boller, wouldn't matter, matching bookends for QB's. It's so sad that our team has become such a joke in the NFL.

It is time to put the kid in, Null. Come on, they need to stop using the excuse that he's not ready. I don't know about the rest of you, but did Bulger and does Boller ever look ready? How could he do any worse. Neither one of the others can win so what's the big deal if Null does the same thing? But he's never going to know if he himself is ready if they don't let him play.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Guess It's Never Going to End

Well at least not this year. Doesn't seem to matter what QB you throw in, how much some of the young receivers improve, or how damn hard Jackson works, this team simply can't seem to find a way to win.

It is almost looking like the one win that they have thus far was a fluke. What else could it have been?

Even when they seem to have improved from week to week, they still can't seem to hang in there to win. Boller started off well and gave a lot of Rams fans hope early in the game, but just like Bulger he just didn't seem to have what it takes to keep it going for four quarters.

The Red Zone woes just seem to continue. They can drive the ball, there doesn't seem to be a problem there, but once they hit that Red Zone it's as if they are allergic to something in that 20 yard space of turf.

Spags has got more than a lot of work a head of him, he might be in need of a miracle if he can't find himself a quarterback especially, that can run this team and lead them to more than one or two victories a year.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Jackson Is the Man

Time has come for some of the people of St. Louis, who for whatever reason have never warmed up to Steven Jackson, to let it go.

It's time that they pay attention. He's the face of the franchise now. It's time to stop entertaining the thoughts of using him as trade bait and picking up players that may not even come close to what he has to offer. He IS the face of the franchise.

Jackson's time has come. He has quieted his critics, he has opened the eyes of the NFL to his brilliant talent, it's time that folks in St. Louis give in and finally realize that the future of this franchise rests on the back of Steven Jackson and from here on out the team will be built around him.

This is a man that despite the teams losing record has still managed to gain respect all over the NFL, has been able to become a franchise leader historically with his 5th consecutive 1000+ yard season just this week and still has 6 more games to go.

He makes no demands on his coaches, works harder than anyone on the team, never gives up, doesn't whine to the press and keeps his nose clean off the field. What more could a group of fans want?

Steven Jackson deserves respect. It's time that it's truly given to him.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Losing This One

Just didn't quite feel the same as all the other, often times embarrassing losses this year.

In fact this game actually gave us hope. The Rams had us believing again that they could win, that they had improved. Even down to the last few seconds they had us believing they could pull it off.

Of course it didn't happen and it really wasn't expected that we would against a team that is almost the equivalent of the long gone Greatest Show. But they did however; play much improved football where even they believed they could win.

OK, so it was only a moral victory, but it was a type of moral victory that this young team can feed off of. I guess you could say it was a win within a loss.

I hope that this positive trend will continue throughout the season and help them build a brighter and more successful season in 2010.


P.S. Bulger still has to go.

Monday, November 2, 2009

We Won, We Won, We Won!

Funny though, doesn't feel as good as I thought it might feel.

Maybe, it's because the same glaring problems still exist and beating our counterparts, the Detroit Lions simply made you realize just how glaring those problems are.

I'm glad we won, I'm glad we're not headed for 0-16, because had we not beat the Lions, that's where we'd be going. It's just that winning one game doesn't take away the following facts:

Bulger just stinks it up. You can make all the excuses you want to make, bad offensive line, still learning Spags' offense, whatever. None of the changes the fact that the man sucks it up as a quarterback. Even Josh Brown can throw for a longer pass that ends in a touchdown! All Bulger can do is throw INT's in the red zone.

We have no true wide receivers that stand out as being well, really good. With all the injuries that Avery has had, he's not beem able to prove anything except that he's a walking accident waiting to happen.

Pat Shurmur still has miles to go before his offensive scheme will be a threat to anyone, but then his cast of characters aren't anything to write home about either. But still you'd think Bulger could do something with it, it doesn't look too complicated that's for sure.

The only true talent to this very day that we have on offense is Steven Jackson. Even those who seemed to always find a reason not to like Jackson are now beginning to appreciate the talent this young man brings to the team. And heart, no one should ever question his heart. Jackson is a true leader and he's doing it without any help whatsoever. Reminiscent of the days when the great Barry Sanders played for a Lions team that had the worst offensive line in the NFL for the entire time Sanders played the game.

Yes, it was great to finally get a "W" in the win/loss column but somehow it's bitter sweet knowing that it might be the last one we get for the rest of the season.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Just Close the Coffin On This One

End the misery already will you?

I tried drinking the kool aid that GeezerRam is drinking but just tastes too bitter to me to even swallow. Guess he forgot to put the sugar in it. (just kidding with you Geezer)

Seriously though, it's a tough season to digest, just when you thought that last year was the worst, this year comes around and slaps you right back into reality.

Only thing to hope for is no wins and get the #1 pick.

Oops, wait a minute, this is the Rams drafting isn't it?


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Does it Get More Heartbreaking?

Just when I thought the season couldn't get more heartbreaking, along comes this game against the Jaguars.

One of the best games of the season for the defense. Heck they even tried to win it themselves with their grit, heart and Leonard Little showing them just how it's done, how not to ever give up, to play until the final whistle blows.

With all that the defense did for the offense, for it to end in yet another loss is almost too much to take. But to play so hard that you take it to OT and lose, it simply rips your heart out as a fan.

One thing that is so glaringly obvious is the fact that must be faced by Spags soon, not next month, not in the off season, not next week, but now....that the big bad truth is Bulger is one of the biggest problems we have on offense. How can you play with a guy that looks scared to death to play even when being protected well, or can't muster up a pass any farther than 8 yards. This pathetic display of leadership and skill or lack there of is more than this team can handle. I truly believe that with Bulger the Rams need to accept the fact that they are NOT going to win a game this year.

No Boller is not the answer, but why not try the kid out, why not give Knull at least one game and see what he can do. What can he do worse than Bulger, lose? Bulger isn't winning so where's the risk?

Just a thought.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Can It Get Any Worse?

Just when you think it couldn't get any worse, it does.

It's just incredible how many mistakes this team continues to make each week. I just don't get how you can't learn from them and stop repeating them!

If you were to look at the stats alone, you would have thought the score would show that the Rams won the game. But it's hard to win a game when you gift wrap 21 points and hand them over to the opposition. 21 points should NOT have been on the scoreboard for the Vikings. It just leaves you with an empty, sick feeling.

This is my team, and yes, I will continue to support them, but I've decided to go into each game knowing that it's going to be a loss. Perhaps that way, when and if a win should come our way, it will be a pleasant surprise. And if it's yet another loss, well the let down really isn't there if you went into the game expecting a loss.

Let's hope that Spags and company though can figure out how to show these guys how to win, especially since there are only a couple of players left on the team that have ever seen the Rams win a game!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hanging Themselves

Shooting themselves in the foot is too kind of a statement to express just how horrendous our team has become.

I sat through the entire Chiefs game waiting for the Rams game this week and while watching it I thought to myself "Wow, this team is really bad. I've never seen the Chiefs play worse than this. Man they might just be worse than the Rams.

Well that thought of the Chiefs being worse than the Rams got silenced once the Rams got on the field. After this recent debacle with the Rams, I'm afraid I've got to admit that the Rams have got to be the worst team in the NFL. How sad is that? I've been following the Rams since 1964 and this is the worst team I've ever witnessed. They actually surpass the dismal squad of the terrible 90's.

Every time they turn around they are doing stupid things. Not just an occasional oops but just downright stupid things. They pretty much hang themselves each time they go out onto that field on Sundays.

Maybe the horns on the helmets should be replaced with a noose.

Monday, September 28, 2009

It Was Bad Enough....

That I had to try and write something for the website.

It's just so tough to try and stay positive in a sea of negativity.

I hope that the coaches eyes have been opened regarding Bulger. He really needs to be benched injury or no injury. I think given time Boller can get the team to respond even more. He seemed to inspire the team a little more than Bulger does.

It's worth a shot. What's it going to hurt benching Bulger and starting Boller? Another loss? Big deal we're use to that.

You want to improve a team, you can't play it safe, you have to take chances. That's the bottom line.


Monday, September 21, 2009

A Lesson in Futility

OK, your star running back gets over a 100 yards rushing and you can only muster up 7 points on the scoreboard? What's wrong with this picture?

On the other side of the ball you have a unit stopping the opposing team over and over again in the red zone, holding them to mere field goals or even forcing punts from inside the end zone. There's half a team doing it's job. What's up with the other half?

For those who really try on this team, it's got to be heart wrenching to still see L's in the win/loss column. It must bring a feeling of futility. How long will it be before the entire team begins to totally give up again?

For all who seem to want to defend Bulger with their last breath, let's just try to give up on that awhile and look at what he's done for this team. Hmmmmm, I'm looking, I'm looking. In all my attempts to find something that I can bring up on his behalf, my search just ends in futility. So, since he's done zippo, nada, nil for this team, why is it unthinkable or unfair to bench him? Why?!! Didn't seem to bother anyone when someone who DID do something for this team (KW), was benched in favor of little ol' Bulger. I think his time has come and gone and it's time to try some new blood.

If we don't at least try, we'll never know the truth about Bulger. If the team wins without him that would be glaring proof, if not then nothing lost. But the team and the fans deserve to know.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Fire Is Out Already

St. Louis Rams. Matt Hasselbeck was nice enough to spot the Rams two interceptions, but the Rams appreciated the gesture so much that they turned right around and said, "You know what? Why don't you go ahead and just beat the hell out of us?" And then they did. The Seahawks almost doubled up the Rams in first downs and in total yards. Hasselbeck, after a rough start, rebounded for a nice day. (Yahoo Sports)

Well, that pretty much sums up how I feel right now about our first outing on the big stage. Pretty damn humiliating if you ask me.

For some strange reason, I was all fired up for the first game, but thanks to the ineptitude of our offense and the Seahawks, that fire was put out, not even leaving an ember left for next week.

I really hope that this is the beginning of the end of Bulger's career with the Rams because this Rams fan has simply had all she can take of him.

Unless Spags can work a miracle within a week, not only is he in for one very long season, so are the fans. And the fan base in St. Louis will be thinner than onion paper when wet and 2014 won't arrive fast enough for the fans there. Because they'll be packing the Rams bags for them.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Offense Vanilla - Defense Getting It Done

I don't know what to say except that Spags is beginning to look like a defensive genius. Sure he has a defensive coordinator but....that does not mean that Spags' hands aren't all over this defense.

Even though the team did not register as many takeaways as they did against the Bengals, when they did register them, they were crucial to the Rams pulling off this win.

Also the strength that the Rams defense showed in holding the Chiefs to just field goals is a statement on it's on. Last year it wouldn't have mattered who the team was, the defense would have folded like a cheap lawn chair.

As always, my concerns still lie with the inability to stop the run, but if they can continue to stop teams in other ways, like they have been doing, this unit may end up as one of the most improved units in the NFL.

As for the offense. Still a lot isn't known about this unit right now. They're pretty vanilla at this point, but I realize we need to see a regular season with Jackson and I would assume Gado in full action.

Thumbs up to the D for yet another powerful performance.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Did Someone Wake Up?

OK, three weeks into the pre-season and we've already won as many games as we did all season last year. You say, so what? It's just pre-season. This may be true, but any kind of win is going to build your teams confidence and that's what this team needs.

I think that Samkon Gado definitely is making a statement on who should be the back up to Steven Jackson. His performance in Thursday's game was flawless and pretty to watch as well. The Giants use to have their two back running game called Thunder and Lightening and now, I think we've found ours. Not to take anything away from Jackson, but Gado appears to be more of a compliment to Jackson and not just a back up. This could be our one, two punch that our offense needs. With type of running game, the QB is going to live a lot longer.

The defense was very impressive with their aggressive play against the Bengals with 2 batted passes, one INT, 6 sacks and 4 fumbles. Now that's what I'm talking about! This is the kind of defense we've been missing since the days of the "Greatest Show" was around. And kudos to James Butler with his 73 yard TD dash! And Laurinaitis is showing some real promise and may end up actually being one heck of a rookie impact player this year, this kid is impressive!

Only drawback with the Rams defense AGAIN is the running game. Still to this very day they have a tendancy to allow long bursts from runners no matter who the runner is. I don't know if they have problems reading the running plays or just don't get it, but something needs to be done, it's really old hat.

All and all though the Rams and all their units did well against the Bengals.

P.S. Just discovered Bengal fans are worse than Rams fans. With still about 5 minutes left in the game the stadium was all but empty, by the 2 minute warning, it was empty except for probably some Rams fans, media and the teams. Pathetic. Pre-Season or not that was pathetic!


Monday, August 24, 2009

Ouch! What Happened?

It's hard to say what really happened in this past game. I even got to see it this week and I was hoping to see some of what I read about from last week's game. But alas, I was utterly disappointed. The defense that seemed to have improved overnight, from what I could see had dropped back down to it's "norm" of unable to stop the run. The over tackling was just out of control and it didn't help that we started piling up the penalties this game.

It was like night and day.

But not to fret, there were a couple of very bright spots, especially at wide receiver. I was truly and utterly impressed with Laurent Robertson! This guy is a talent and it's more than obvious he will be starting along side Avery when the season opens. He is pure talent, has great hands and speed. It also looks like we may once again have a player that actually has YAC even with Bulger throwing the ball, we might see some YAC this year.

We also appear to perhaps have a semi-bright spot in the return game with Kenneth Darby. Although he didn't show much in the running game, once they put him on returns he began to show some flashes of talent there. We've not had a return game in eons. Would be nice to see it come to life!

All and all, it's way too soon to be judging the team. They have one more week to fix some of the bugs in the new system. But come the final pre-season game, dress rehearsal for the season, we can begin our more critical evaluation of the team.

Go Rams!

Monday, August 17, 2009

O-Line Still Needs Work ~ D Improving

From the few highlights and excerpts I've been going over, it looks like the offensive line is still in some need of improvement.

I understand that it's only preseason but three sacks are an indicator that we've still got some issues there.

At least for now if I were the coach I would really focus on this problem prior to the season hitting full swing, otherwise rookie Null may be seeing playing time well before anyone expected.

On a more positive side. From what I can tell, the defense is immensely improved, especially against the run. Something we've been so far behind on the past few years, it was refreshing to see that the defense actually kept it to where we had the most rushing.

Also, from what little I saw, I'd say that this defense is being trained to be extremely heavy hitters and are very hungry for the ball. This is a good thing. But to be expected from a coach that once coached the Super Bowl Champion Giants defense.

All and all it appears the Rams did fairly well for their first outing under Spags.

I have just one beef though. The media. Even though the Rams won, it was the Jets that got all the "kudos". So what the Rams were terrible last few seasons. This is a different team with a whole set of new coaches. You'd think there would be some interest in that.

Flying low under the radar, maybe is a good thing....hopefully this time will carry wins under their shoulder pads as well.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Quaterback Concerns

News out of camp, especially regarding a recent scrimmage the Rams had is that our QB's aren't anything to write home about.

Bulger appears to not be picking up too well on the new offense and it had been hoped by many. Still continues to be intercepted and this is just a simple scrimmage.

Boller I hear is simply ineffective and we may have been better off getting an old timer like Jeff Garcia.

Berlin, same old same old. Absolutely worthless.

The only QB that seemed to halfway impress anyone was Null. Seems he has a very strong arm, great accuracy with great poise in the red zone. Seems he's the only one that could get a score during the scrimmage.

I don't know about anyone else, but this doesn't sound very promising. Yes, it's just a scrimmage but that should not matter about how well you play. If you can't perform well in a scrimmage how do you expect to perform well under true pressure!

I think we need to be very concerned about this position. Doesn't look good.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A New Tougher Team

It's great to hear that Spags is not all talk and no action type of coaching. Something we've been lacking for quite some time. After all, if you have a coach that doesn't go for the one, two punch, it stands to reason that the team won't either.

But since the beginning Spags has come across as a hard nosed, no nonsense kind of guy and the type that doesn't believe in being soft on any player no matter who he is on the team.

From the beginning with Spags the Rams are going to have their character and stamina tested by Spags and it's either going to be sink or swim. There won't be any life preservers thrown out to them by this coach.

By far this is what this team has needed for years. After they get through this grueling training camp, I think we're going to be seeing a far tougher and nastier team than anyone is expecting.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Where Are They Now? Part 4

Vince Ferragamo

Vince Ferragamo started his collegiate career at the University of California, Berkeley in 1972, but transferred to the powerhouse Nebraska Cornhuskers in 1974. Starting out at Cal, Vince became one of only three quarterbacks from Cal and the only quarterback from Nebraska to start in a Super Bowl. At Nebraska he was coached by the legendary Tom Osborne and led the team to the Fiesta Bowl in 1975 and the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl in 1976.

Vince was an All American and established himself as one of Nebraska’s premier quarterbacks when he set the Husker record for most touchdown passes in a season-22. Although he came to the Huskers 7th on the depth chart he soon became a starter and led the Huskers to a 10-2 overall season and tied Oklahoma for the Big Eight Title. He achieved academic honors as an Academic All American and All Big Eight Academic. He was also a National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Scholarship Award winner. He was one of 6 Huskers drafted in 1977.

Vince went to the Los Angeles Rams joining football greats Jack Youngblood and Jackie Slater. In 1979 Vince took over the starting job and led the team to SuperBowl XIV. In a game that is still talked about as one the top SuperBowl clashes, the Cinderella Rams went toe to toe with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers prevailed, but the Rams gave a great performance with Vince at the helm. Before leaving the Rams, Vince set many individual and team records including: Most Passes attempted in a season-404 in 1980, Most Passes completed in a season-274 in 1983, Most Touchdown Passes in a Season-30 in 1980 and he passed for 509 yards, completing 30 of 46 passes against the Chicago Bears in 1982.

Although Vince spent time with the Montreal Alouettes, Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers, his greatest years were with the Los Angeles Rams. He retired from the NFL in 1986 and began a career in Real Estate.

Vince now makes his home in Anaheim California where he owns and operates Touchdown Real Estate and End Zone Mortgage Companies. He remains active in football by doing color commentary for NFL preseason games and local high schools. He runs a football academy, tutoring young quarterbacks throughout the year and has hosted week long youth football camps.

He is a leader in the community, hosting charitable events including a celebrity golf tournament that generates funds for children’s charities. The Vince Ferragamo Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic is in its 23rd year and has benefited the Special Olympics, Speech and Language Development Center, Ronald McDonald House and many others.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Where Are They Now? Part 3

Dennis Harrah Offensive Lineman

Invited as a guest by his one-time Los Angeles Ram teammate Jackie Slater to attend the recent NFL Hall of Fame ceremony, Dennis Harrah thoroughly savored his three-day visit to Canton, Ohio.

During the inductions of Slater and another Ram teammate, Jack Youngblood, Harrah even heard his name mentioned in the speeches given by Youngblood, Slater and the gentleman who introduced Slater, John Robinson.

"There I am sitting in a crowd of thousands of people right next to my wife, two sons and mom and dad at this great event, and my name keeps popping up," relates the six-time Pro Bowl guard who played 13 seasons with the Rams and retired in 1988. "What a great feeling. At least people haven't forgotten me."

How could anyone forget Dennis Harrah, as colorful a character who ever played for the Rams, a 6-foot-5, 280-pound bulldog of a blocker who helped escort Eric Dickerson to a NFL-record 2,104 yards in 1984, who scratched, clawed, gouged, fought and gave every ounce of his energy on a football field, who was a wise-cracking, fun-loving party guy of legendary proportions during the 10 years he resided in the Long Beach area?

Indeed, it would seem only just and proper that one day Dennis Harrah is able to return to Canton not as a guest but as a Hall of Fame inductee himself, a deserving honor considering the exemplary work he dispensed during his career.

"Oh, that would be nice to make it into the Hall of Fame," acknowledges Harrah. "But it's something I don't even think about, or even worry about. I'm just glad I had the opportunity to take my two sons back to Canton, and to see some of the old guys like Fred Dryer, Mike Fanning, Vince Ferragamo, Lawrence McCutcheon, along with Slater and Youngblood.

"What a blast we had, and no one enjoyed it more than Clyda Geraldine Harrah, my mom. She just loves football, and when she saw Fred Dryer, she hugged him and started hanging out with him. She had become a big fan of Freddie when he was doing 'Hunter.',"

Dennis Harrah these days lives on a five-acre spread 12 miles from Temecula with his wife, Teresa, considered one of the top aerobic teachers in the country, and two sons, Tanner, 14, and Blake, 11.

He is serving as a volunteer coach with the Temecula Valley High freshman football team, and closely monitors the progress of Tanner, a cornerback candidate.

"Tanner hasn't had his growth spurt yet, and is only 5 foot 4 and weighs about 123 pounds," says Harrah. "I also was a late bloomer. But the genes are there for my sons. My wife is 5 foot 8. And I'm 6 foot 5, so my sons figure to eventually have some size."

Since his retirement from the Rams in 1987, Harrah has dabbled in the health club business in his native Charleston, W.V. - he still owns a 300-acre ranch in the area - and operated a resort motel in the Florida Keys.

Now he's peddling real estate in Temecula for a company called All Star Realty that he and a partner started.

"I studied more in three months in preparing for my real estate test than I did in the four years I attended Miami," says Harrah, who did wind up with a degree in business for his efforts in college. "There was no way I wanted to flunk the test and for people to say, 'Ol' Dennis Harrah is just another dumb football player.' I might be dumb, but at least I'm book smart."

Harrah has even been conferring with Vince Ferragamo, who owns Touchdown Real Estate in Orange County, about pooling their companies' resources.

"We're looking for some multimillionaires interested in building a tract of homes, and using our services to sell them," says Harrah. "I think people might remember who we were, and would feel comfortable buying from us. At least that's the thought."

Even when he was playing with the Rams, Dennis Harrah always was business oriented.

He and John Morris started Legends, and he also owned another Belmont Shore saloon called the Acapulco Inn.

"I had a lot of great memories in Long Beach - at least the ones I can remember," he says.

He is now the consummate Family Man, doting on his wife and sons, tending to his yard ("killed seven rattlesnakes last year") and taking care of his two horses and two dogs.

He has a natural sense of humor, and eventually would like an opportunity to do some broadcasting.

That might be in the near future, since ESPN radio has been interested in him doing a local football show.

"No one ever has called me boring," says Dennis Harrah. "And no one can ever say I've lived a boring life, except perhaps at this stage of it."

Dennis Harrah was among one of the most elite offensive lines the NFL has ever seen!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Where Are They Now? Part 2

This week, we did some research on RB Cleveland Gary and found out the scoop on what he's been up to since he retired.

Financier Cleveland Gary will be hosting The Cleveland Gary Show. The show will focus on entrepreneur empowerment.

The former first round NFL all pro running back has become one of the most recognizable faces in the financial world. He is Chairman of the first and only Urban TV Shopping Channel (Black Shopping Channel) in America. He has created opportunities for small business owners across America to promote their products and services to an international buying audience.

He is also chairman of the Healthway Shopping Network which promotes natural products for a healthy lifestyle.

He is Chairman of AMI Capital Group which funds small businesses up to $1 million dollars. He is on the cutting edge of commercializing social networking opportunities for individual business owners to build wealth and establish a presence across the globe.

Mr. Gary is also a best selling author of "The Truth Behind the Ball".

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Where Are They Now?

I thought I'd do something different for the next few issues called Where Are They Now. What I'll be doing is researching some past Rams and see what they might be up to these days.

Does anyone remember #39 Robert Delpino? Well below is where he is now.

CORONA - As a running back in the National Football League for six seasons, Robert Delpino carried the ball 502 times for 1,815 yards. He had 18 rushing touchdowns and nine touchdowns when he caught passes.

Now 43, the Corona resident has a second, off-the-field career in social work. His chosen pursuit is not unlike the life work of his mother, Reva, who raised eight children on her own after her divorce.

Delpino, a former Los Angeles Ram and Denver Bronco, who had a peak annual salary as a player of $700,000 in 1993, is trying to help young people with the difficulties in their lives.

Delpino is the program services manager for the LeRoy Haynes Center for Children and Family Services in La Verne that assists 80 abused, disadvantaged and probationary boys ages 8-18.

He is responsible for extra-curricular, athletic and artistic activities, as well as tutoring and campus safety.

"He has the passion and energy that is necessary for that position," said Derrick Perry, who as director of program services supervises Delpino. "He's responsible for all the enrichment activities... He used to play pro football. He has an influence over the boys who want to enter into the athletic arena. If they have questions or doubts, he emphasizes the importance of education and remaining motivated."

Reva Delpino, 67, supplied the energy that still drives her youngest child. To support her family, she stamped packaged meat in a meat packing plant in Dodge City, Kan. She worked on early computers in an insurance office.

There were times when she couldn't afford to pay all the bills and the power would be turned off to their home. Robert Delpino said his mother never let her children sink into despair. He said he can "directly connect" his determination to his mother and "how she survived."

"She provided for us," he said. "On a deeper level, she was able to convince us that first of all we didn't have it that bad. If we ever started feeling sorry for ourselves, she was able to instill in us a belief that we can get through it."

His mother said: "I raised my kids to believe in life, to be thankful for every day you wake up is a gift from God. If you live everyday with a positive attitude, you can't go wrong."

She added that Robert is like his seven siblings -- "They all have the same work ethic. They all love children and love people."

Now divorced, Robert said he remains involved in the lives of his two children, Darionne, 12, and Robert Jr., 9. He recently chaperoned a student dance at Corona Fundamental Intermediate School where Darionne is a student. He said he loves to take his children to movies.

Delpino said he wanted to be a social worker while attending the University of Missouri on a football scholarship. However, he fell behind in his academics and left in 1988 without a degree.

When his professional playing days ended after the 1993 season, he had to play catch up to earn his degree. He squeezed work, school and family responsibilities into a very busy life. He earned his bachelor's degree in social work from the University of La Sierra in 2004. He received an administrative certificate in 2005. He plans to start work on a master's degree at Cal Baptist University in Riverside.

He said his work is very satisfying.

"You're contributing to a kid's life on a daily basis," he said. "You're helping that kid overcome developmental difficulties. Sometimes it's physical. Sometimes it's emotional. Sometimes it's mental. More so than not, it's all combined."

His career in social work has some of the teamwork that football had.

"You're working with a team, psychiatrists, psychologists, teachers, managers, educators," he said. "You're developing treatment plans that improve the quality of his life. That's so fulfilling to see that come into fruition."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Headed For Another Long Season

I predict that this season with regards to the over all record, won't be much better than it was the past couple of seasons. But it won't be for lack of trying.

The majority of the team now are young pups without all that much experience and this year will be a learning year for most of them

Fans need to ready themselves for a slow start out of the starting gate again this season and must be patient with the new coaches and new players.

As the season progresses, we will probably see improvement as the end of the season approaches which will lead them into a high note going into the 2010 season.

I also predict that the Rams will finally tire of Bulger and sever ties with him in 2010.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Top Five Wide Receivers in the Draft

Here's a quick look at the top five wide receivers available in this years draft.

1. Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech – Has all the tools to be the best receiver to come out of this draft. His production in two seasons is unmatched by any wide out ever. The only questions about him center on speed and his ability to recover from a Jones fracture in his foot.

2. Jeremy Maclin, Missouri – Scintillating performer who has blazing speed and excellent return ability to complement his receiving skills. Still, hasn’t proved he can run NFL-caliber routes and some scouts question his desire to go over the middle.

3. Percy Harvin, Florida – Play maker who was used in a variety of capacities for the Gators. His speed and elusiveness make him dangerous when he has the ball but some wonder what position best suits him in the NFL.

4. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Maryland – Perhaps the best combination of size and speed in the draft. Isn’t terribly strong and struggles against press coverage making him a bit of a boom or bust prospect.

5. Hakeem Nicks, North Carolina – Great strength and balance make Nicks one of the best in the draft at run after the catch. Not the fastest guy around but draws comparisons to Anquan Boldin for his ability to catch anything thrown his way and make something happen after the catch.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Holt Gone...Avery Must Carry Load

And that my friends is a load of crap! Avery is good mind you but he definitely has NOT had enough NFL experience to be the lead receiver on this team. What the heck was this organization thinking by leaving the offense without a high caliber veteran receiver?

And wow we cleared $1.75 mil in cap space by releasing Holt as well. Man, that really helps a bunch.

And leading our offense we're still stuck with the "deer in headlights" $65 mil dollar stick in the mud QB.

I think I need a padded wall because I'm really getting tired of banging my head against the wall each time the Rams make a decision. Now not only do we need to pick up a top notch OT we also now need to pick up a top notch, experienced WR to work alongside Avery.

But hey, Spags has sure gone to work on that defense.

Hmmmm, maybe they'll be able to score us some points too!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Draft Is Coming

With the draft just little over a month away I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at some of the candidates that seem to be high on the Rams list this year.

Aaron Curry OLB

Overall Football Traits

-Production- Wake Forest red-shirted Curry in 2004. He started 10 of the 11 games he appeared in during the 2005 season finishing with 45 total tackles, 28 unassisted tackles, 7.5 tackles-for-loss, one sack and five pass breakups. Curry started all 14 games of the 2006 season finishing with 83 total tackles, 52 unassisted tackles, 8.5 tackles-for-loss, three sacks, three pass breakups, one interception and one forced fumble. He started 12 of the 13 games of the 2007 season finishing with 99 total tackles, 61 unassisted tackles, 13.5 tackles-for-loss, three sacks, four pass breakups, four interceptions including three he returned for touchdowns and two forced fumbles. (1)

Curry has the blend of height, weight and speed and NFL teams covet at the outside linebacker position. (1)

-Durability- Curry is a three-year starter who has yet to miss a game with an injury. (1)

-Character- Wake Forest didn't start Curry in the 2007 Navy game because he missed a class earlier in the week. (3)

OLB Traits

-Instincts/Recognition- Locates the ball carrier quickly. Doesn't always see pulling offensive linemen when tight end blocks down and can get kicked inside. Doesn't always take sound pursuit angles. (3)

-Pursuit/Point of Attack- Aggressive and quick enough to disrupt running plays in the backfield. Plays with adequate leverage, extends arms once locked on and can set the edge though occasionally turns shoulders too quickly creating a seam for the back. Shows a strong punch and can shed blockers in time to make a play. Shows sideline-to-sideline range but effort in pursuit is a little too inconsistent. (2)

-Tackling- Squares up to the ball carrier, wraps up and drives legs once in position though can wrap up too high and struggles to stop ball carrier's forward momentum when that happens. (2)

-Pass Coverage- Reads quarterbacks' eyes and shows above-average range but doesn't always get deep enough when asked to drop into zone coverage and doesn't appear to read routes all that well either. Takes too long to open hips and is going to have some problems turning and running with some NFL tight ends. (3)

-Pass Rusher- Explosive enough to turn the corner at the NFL level and shows ideal closing speed. Shows good body control and can recover when gets knocked off balance. Active hands and relentless but may rely on quickness too much and needs to become more polished in terms of pass rush moves. (2)

Jason Smith OT

Overall Football Traits

-Production- 2004: Baylor red-shirts Smith was redshirted. 2005: Appeared in all 10 games (eight starts) at tight end, recording six catches for 70 yards and and a touchdown. 2006-07: Moved to left tackle and started in 19 games. (3)

-Height-Weight-Speed- While neither is ideal, he does possess adequate height and bulk for an OT. He also shows above average top-end speed for position. (2)

-Durability- Missed five games with an MCL injury last year. (3)

-Character- N/A

OT Traits

-Strength/Toughness- A tough, aggressive finisher. Shows good overall strength. Gives excellent effort and will play to the echo of the whistle. (2)

-Agility- Covers a lot of ground when working as a second-level blocker. At his best moving forward but lateral mobility is below average. Struggles to adjust on the move and has some problems getting into position as a result. (3)

-Awareness- Continues to improve with more experience at the OT position. However, he recognizes and reacts to pressure quickly. Shows ability to recover when caught out of position. (2)

-Pass Protection- Uses long arms and strong punch to keep rushers at bay. Gets set quickly but lacks ideal mirror-and-slide skills. Gets caught on his heels too much. Struggles to hold ground working against bull rushers. (2)

-Run Blocking- Uses long arms and strength to cut off defenders. Stands up too much and struggles to root defenders off the ball when they are able to get under his pads. (3)

Eugene Monroe OT

Overall Football Traits

-Production- Monroe appeared in every game of the 2005 season seeing time at left tackle and right guard. He started six games at left tackle and appeared in all 12 games in 2006. Monroe started 10 of the 11 games he appeared in at left tackle during the 2007 season. He also missed two games two games with an injury (see durability) that year. Monroe started all 12 games as a senior in 2008, earning second-team All-America honors from the AP. (2)

-Height-Weight-Speed- Monroe has adequate-to-good height and adequate bulk. Has the frame too add more weight if necessary and he shows above-average range for his size. (1)

-Durability- Monroe dislocated kneecap in the spring of 2006, underwent surgery to repair the injury, slowed by knee injury during the 2006 season and missed two games with a knee injury during the 2007 season. He did stay healthy as a senior in 2008, though; starting all 13 games for the Cavs. (4)

-Character- Has never had an off-the-field issue to our knowledge. Battled back from some early career injuries. One of 16 children in his family, including 11 boys. (2)

OT Traits

-Strength/Toughness- Doesn't dominate the point of attack like should. Lacks ideal base to anchor. A finesse OT that doesn't look to dominate the point of attack as much as we would like to see. He does, however, have long arms and a strong upper body. Displays a powerful punch and will control DL once he locks on. (4)

-Agility- Excellent feet. Gets set quickly, shows elite agility and plays with outstanding overall balance. One of the premier athletes at the OT position in the 2009 class. (1)

-Awareness- Has really improved when it comes to picking up stunts/blitzes. Wasn't a major issue but called for two false start penalties in four games we watched of him as a senior. (2)

-Pass Protection- Excellent in pass pro. Can mirror and slide with some of the best pass rushers CFB has to offer. Was able to keep USC's Clay Matthews and Brian Cushing in check early in 2008 season. Shows active feet and can slide with defender once he gets his hands on him. Shows a quick kick step, has a wide frame and uses long arms to ride edge rushers past the pocket. Only real concern in this facet is that powerful bull rushers will give him some minor problems at time. (1)

-Run Blocking- Not physical enough. Not going to drive defenders off the line of scrimmage. Lacks ideal mean streak for the position. Plays too high and is going to have problems driving NFL defenders off the ball until learns to play lower to the ground. However, he gets in position and does a decent job of walling off the defender as a run blocker. Doesn't always take sound angles to downfield blocks but reaches the second level quickly and can adjust to moving targets in space. (2)

Andre Smith OT

Overall Football Traits

-Production- Started every game (49) of his three-year career at Alabama (2006-'08) prior to his suspension for the 2009 Sugar Bowl. A consensus All-American and Outland Trophy winner as a junior in 2008. (1)

-Height-Weight-Speed- Adequate height for a tackle. Massive wide-body who could stand to lose a few pounds in the interest of improving his agility. (2)

-Durability- Some concern regarding potential weight issues. However, he never missed a game due to injury during three seasons as fulltime starter for the Crimson Tide. (2)

-Character- Was suspended for 2009 Sugar Bowl vs. Utah for improper dealings with an agent. Otherwise, he has had no off the field issues and coaches/teammates speak highly of him as a person. (2)

OT Traits

-Strength/Toughness- Massive OT prospect. Thickly built. Good upper-body strength and elite lower-body strength. Can create a new line of scrimmage in the run game and can anchor versus powerful bull rushers when set in pass pro. Rarely loses a battle at the point of attack. Plays with a mean streak at times but is a bit inconsistent with his motor. (2)

-Agility-Displays good initial quickness and agility for his size. Shuffles well laterally when coming out of his stance and when working in one direction (either right or left). But he struggles when asked to change directions. He will occasionally be a step late getting into position as a second-level blocker. He lunges a lot when moving forward and struggles to recover. (3)

-Awareness- Shows adequate-to-good awareness. Understands assignments and picks up the blitz consistently (from an awareness standpoint). If he misses an assignment it's almost always due to physical, not mental. He knows the angles and where he's supposed to be almost always. He will stick with a play and find someone to hit if the ball carrier changes direction back his way. (2)

-Pass Protection- Can anchor versus top bull rushers when he's set with leverage. Shows adequate quickness in his pass pro set. Usually gets in position to protect the edge initially, but doesn't show ideal mirror-and-slide skills. Struggles to adjust to quick second-move. Falls off far too many blocks. Doesn't jar DE's with his hand punch as effectively as he should. (3)

-Run Blocking- An absolute mauler. Overpowering at the point of attack. Takes solid angles and is almost always in position if the block is at the line of scrimmage. Shows good upper-body power and even stronger in the lower body. Drives defenders off the line of scrimmage. Only small concern here is that he sometimes is a bit slow getting into position as a second-level run blocker. (1)

Jeremy Maclin WR

Overall Football Traits

-Production- 2006: Maclin is expected to see substantial playing time as a true freshman but sustains a season-ending knee injury during seven-on-seven drill in July. 2007: Maclin starts 12 of the 14 game he appears in catching 80 passes for a total of 1,055 yards and nine touchdowns. He rushes for 375 yards and four touchdowns on 51 carries. Maclin throws two passes and one gets intercepted. He returns 25 punts for a total of 307 yards (12.3 yard avg.) and two touchdowns and 43 kickoffs for a total of 1,039 yards (24.2 yard avg.) and one touchdown. 2008: Maclin starts all 14 games catching 102 passes for a total of 1,260 yards and 13 touchdowns. He rushes for a total of 293 yards and two touchdowns on 40 carries. Maclin returns 23 punts for a total of 270 yards (11.7 yard avg.) and one touchdown and 42 kickoffs for a total of 1,010 yards (24 yard avg.) and one touchdown. (1)

-Height-Weight-Speed- Adequate-to-good height, adequate bulk and exceptional top-end speed. (2)

-Durability- Sustained season-ending knee injury in July 2006. Injures left ankle in fourth quarter of 2008 Illinois game and does not return. (3)

-Character- (2))

WR Traits

-Separation Skills- Quick and fast but doesn't sink hips and explode out of breaks, so is going to have a harder time separating from man coverage at the NFL level. At his best working quick-hitting routes, vertical sideline routes and dragging through zones. But lacks experience versus press technique and has lots to learn in regards to setting up defenders in man-coverage. (3)

-Ball Skills- Can catch waist-high passes without breaking stride. Does a good job of tracking the ball downfield and can haul in over-the-shoulder catches without breaking stride. Times jumps fairly well and shows above-average body control in the air but doesn't always extend arms and snatch ball out of the air when going up for jump balls. (2)

-Vertical Speed- Explodes off the line and has the second gear to run past corners when doesn't get slowed down at the line of scrimmage. (1)

-Run After Catch- Fluid turning upfield, can make the first defender miss and reaches top speed quickly. Great instincts and he can spin away from corners after catching the ball with his back to the defense. Reads blocks well and can turn a bubble screen into a long gain in a flash. Can bounce off arm tackles and flashes an effective stiff arm. Coughs the ball up a little too much. (1)

-Competitiveness and Toughness- sn't afraid to go over the middle. Isn't afraid to launch body and extend ball over pylon. Doesn't appear to take much pride in blocking and lacks a mean streak. At times runs out of bounds when could fight for a couple extra yards. (3)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Spags and Staff Are Ready

The first player casualty was announced a few days ago with the release of Corey Chavous. At least though Chavous knew it was coming and asked to be released early so that he might have a shot at finding a spot elsewhere. Perhaps Chavous was slowing down some and didn't fit the new coaches scheme on defense, but I'm sure that his leadership will be missed by younger players and his committment to the game.

With the first cut under his belt, coach has a long ways to go before he is satisfied with what he's got. Will Holt and Pace be released or will Spags feel there's a need to keep one or both by restructuring their contracts?

Will Bartell and Otogwe be resigned, deservedly so, despite a horrible season for the team, both these young players had record seasons for their young careers and are developing into very good players and deserve at shot at continuing under Spags.

Will Withespoon be kept and moved to his natural postion or will one of the team leaders be let go?

So many questions to be answered and so little time.

Can he do it? Will the team improve? Will the team succeed? How many faces will any of us recognize by opening day?

Only time will tell.

Go Rams!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Could It Happen?

Could Spags turn this team around in one season?

Sure anything is possible, anything. And that gets a lot of fans extremely excited about the 2009 season.

The problem with this newly found excitement in St. Louis is the fact that the fans there are so fickle. Those who have gotten their hopes up and putting everything they've got on Spags could be let down for a rude awakening.

Spags doesn't promise a miracle and that's what the fans should be listening to, not looking around the league to see what other young coaches have done with their teams.

The team has a lot of needs far more than probably be taken care of in one season that is why we need to approach this season with caution. Don't put too many of your expectations on the shoulders of our new head coach. He's got enough to deal with it as it is.

We need to be patient with the new coach and not turn our backs on him the moment it looks like things are going sour.

Spags will be fine, the team will be fine, just don't expect a miracle the first season. And if it does happen, then the surprise will be better than anticipated.

Go Rams!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Spags Has Principles

From the moment he was hired it has been a focal point about his core, character, core values and team first. With principles like that how can we as fans not regain a little hope for our team.

This is a man, similar to Kurt Warner, who is proud to be Christian, doesn't care who he tells, doesn't care if they like it or not because it's the way he believes.

He won't push it onto the team, but those who truly believe in the manner of Spags or Warner, don't have to push it on anyone, what they do and say speaks for themselves and others are touched by it.

Our team has been lacking a type of leadership that brings them closer together in faith, character, core values, etc. Remember the days of Warner when all you would hear would be the character of this team, how high their core values were, etc.? And during that time, that led to a very successful team as well.

Our team has been missing this for some time now and Spags has arrived on the scene as our team lay dying and bleeding lacking in everything from faith in themselves, others and maybe even God. Spags couldn't have come at a better time and being a man of strong faith as he is, I believe that he feels the same way. So many thought that he was out of our reach, that he would go for sure winners or possible winners to coach....but Spags has already shown he's the type of man who goes where he's truly needed.

Welcome aboard coach!

You have a long road a head of you, but we believe you can do it!

Go Rams!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

And the Winners Are....

We have to admit the response to voting was disappointing but we couldn't wait around forever for more votes to come in so we went with what we received and here are the winners for 2008.


Receiving 50% of the votes, our winner this year is...

O.J. Atogwe

Planet Rams 2008 MVP Awards

Special Teams MVP

Hands down....receiving 100% of the votes our winner is

Donnie Jones

Defensive MVP

With a resounding 83.3% of the votes the winner this year for the defensive MVP is

O.J. Atogwe.

Offensive MVP

This one was a tough one and came down to a tie in votes and there is no tie breaker so there are two Offensive MVP's for this season...

Steven Jackson and Donnie Avery

Rookie of the Year

With receiving 100% of the votes, this one was another no brainer...

Donnie Avery

Team MVP

It was a close one, but receiving 50% of the votes we do have our Team MVP....

O.J. Atogwe