Rams in sync heading into week 2 match-up with Arizona Cardinals

So much for the first stringers having issues by not playing during the preseason.

It took all of one half of the first regular season game for the Rams (1-0) to get clicking; offensively and defensively.

All of the Rams starters on offense and some on defense had to navigate through the rust of not playing until Monday’s season opening win in Oakland against the Raiders. The Rams trailed the silver and black 13-10 at halftime, made proper adjustments outscoring Oakland 23-0 in the second half in the 33-13 win.

Continue reading “Rams in sync heading into week 2 match-up with Arizona Cardinals”

Los Angeles Rams 2018 Season Prediction

GOFF BEHIND

Maybe the third time’s the charm in this second incarnation of the Los Angeles Rams. They kick-off the 2018 season – their third back in L.A. after relocating from St. Louis – tonight in Oakland against the Raiders.

Let’s remember back to the Rams inaugural season back in the City of Angels in 2016, Los Angeles jumped out to a 3-1 record only to lose 10 of its last eleven finishing at 4-12. Jeff Fisher was fired as head coach with three games left and the Rams tabbed Washington offensive assistant Sean McVay as the team’s new head coach when the season was mercifully done.

The 31 year-old “Wunderkid” guides the Rams to an 11 -5 record and the teams first NFC West Championship in more than a decade only to fall at the Coliseum in the divisional round of the playoffs to the Atlanta Falcons.

So, here we are. Season three.

Continue reading “Los Angeles Rams 2018 Season Prediction”

Ex Rams QB Ferragamo on New Rams QB Jared Goff

The Los Angeles Rams believe they’ve found their franchise quarterback as they get ready for their return to Los Angeles.

He’s Jared Goff selected with the top overall selection in this year’s NFL Draft. The Rams acquired the top pick from the Tennessee Titans for a huge ransom of draft picks including this year’s 15th overall pick as well as next year’s Rams first round draft pick.

Continue reading “Ex Rams QB Ferragamo on New Rams QB Jared Goff”

L.A. Rams get offensive with five of six draft picks. QB Jared Goff cornerstone

The Los Angeles Rams got offensive with five of their six 2016 Draft picks trying to upgrade a passing game that ranked dead last in the NFL last year.

The jewel in the draft haul is quarterback Jared Goff out of Cal taken with the top overall draft pick.

According to Rams head coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead, Goff has all the traits of being an elite NFL quarterback justifying the trade they made with the Tennessee Titans for the top pick and some lower round selections in return for a bounty of draft picks which included this year’s 15th overall pick and the Rams top pick in next year’s draft.

To hear from Snead and what made Goff that missing quarterback piece in a possible championship puzzle, click on the video above.

With no picks during day two, the Rams made five selections in the drafts last day. Here are the Rams selections:

  • Jared Goff QB Cal. round 1, #1 overall, #1 in round
  • Tyler Higbee TE Western Kentucky, round 4, #110 overall, #12 in round
  • Pharoh Cooper WR South Carolina, round 4, #117 overall #15 in round
  • Temarrick Hemingway TE South Carolina St., round 6, #177 overall, #2 in round
  • Josh Forrest MLB Kentucky, round 6, #190 overall, #15 in round
  • Mike Thomas WR Southern Miss, round 6, #206 overall, #31 in round

The Rams have a young and stellar offensive line that gave up just 18 sacks last season and a running back in Todd Gurley III who galloped his way to the 2015 rookie of the year award. Adding the wide receivers and tight ends selected in the later rounds to these weapons are designed to help Goff succeed during his upcoming rookie season. He won’t have to do much because of that line and running game. Goff will just have to be a good game manager his first season learning on the fly, which is one of the attributes Rams brass said he demonstrated throughout his college career at Cal.

Adding a middle linebacker in Josh Forrest gives the defense added depth at that position after the Rams chose not to resign veteran linebacker James Laurinaitis.

The Rams also added rookie free agents to this draft class with all rookies heading to Oxnard next weekend for a rookie orientation.

L.A. Rams’ Fisher ecstatic after picking Cal QB Goff with top overall pick

The Los Angeles Rams used the first overall pick in the NFL draft Thursday selecting California quarterback Jared Goff. He becomes the face of a franchise back in the City of Angels for the first time in 22 seasons. The Rams called St. Louis home for 22 years. They were L.A.’s first pro team calling Los Angeles and Anaheim home from 1946 to 1994 prior to the move east.

Goff is the 22nd quarterback taken with the first overall pick in the common draft era (since 1967) and the first Cal quarterback to land in the first round since the Green Bay Packers took Aaron Rodgers at No. 24 in 2005.

In choosing Goff, the Rams are hoping he’ll be able to take over quarterback group that ranks last in the NFL in Total QBR since 2007. The Rams haven’t had a quarterback go to the Pro Bowl since Marc Bulger in 2006. The Rams bottomed out at the position in 2015 and ranked last in the league in passing yards (2,805), QBR (35.6), yards per attempt (6.2) and passing touchdowns (11).

At 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, Goff was the starter for the Cal Golden Bears for three seasons rewriting the Cal record books with more completions, passing yards and touchdowns than any quarterback in school history. He threw for 4,719 yards and 43 touchdowns in 2015 and owns 26 school records.

He excelled in Cal’s “Bear Raid” spread offense in which he spent more than 99 percent of his time taking snaps out of the shotgun. That means he’ll have an adjustment to make upon arrival in Los Angeles, as the Rams were in shotgun or pistol formation on fewer plays than any other team last season.

To hear from Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, general manager Les Snead and the top pick Jared Goff, click on Eric Geller’s video report from Rams draft headquarters.

Clippers look to win 5th straight without Griffin hosting Memphis

The Los Angeles Clippers (37-19) have won four straight averaging 118 points per game all without Blake Griffin in the line-up. The All-star has been sidelined with a staph infection in his right elbow since just before the all-star break and will, most likely, be out a few more weeks.

Los Angeles will be tested tonight when they host the Memphis Grizzlies (40-14) and their front line that includes all-star center Marc Gasol and former Clipper Zach Randolph. As a team, the Grizzlies give up just 92 points per game.

In the meantime, the Clippers have been able to weather the storm without Griffin thus far with a much more fluid offense. Shooting guards J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford have combined to average a little over 40 points per game sans Griffin in the line-up.

Center DeAndre Jordan has been putting up huge numbers since Griffin’s been sidelined. In the last four games the seven year veteran is averaging 21 points and 20 rebounds.

“I’m not playing any differently, “ said Jordan at the teams morning shoot-around. He continued, “I’m picking my spots letting the game come to me and I’m in the right spots at the right time.”

To hear more from DeAndre Jordan as well as Jama Crawford and Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, click on the video with this story.

This is the second meeting between these two western conference rivals this season. The Clippers fell to the Grizzlies in Memphis this November, 107-91. Tip-off is set for 7:30 at Staple Center.

This L.A. kid remembers Deacon Jones

On Any Given Sports Day

“Just like Ray Charles was born to sing the Blues, I was born to rush the quarterback.”

-Deacon Jones

Deacon Jones, the anchor of the famed Los Angeles Rams defensive line known as the Fearsome Foursome, died this past Tuesday of natural causes at the age of 74.

I don’t remember seeing Deacon Jones play for the Los Angeles Rams. I’m not old enough. He was traded to the San Diego Chargers prior to the 1972 season.

To continue reading this story please click here for the link.

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“Bloop Singles”

A new feature of mine with quick thoughts or jabs on stories that don’t really need a thousand words. ENJOY!!

-Strange twist of positive irony. Kobe Bryant set the new Lakers all-time scoring mark by scoring 44 points in Monday’s 95-93 loss at Memphis. Jerry West, the Lakers guard he replaced atop the list,  of course, wore number 44.

-My five greatest all-time Laker Players I, actually, saw play: 1)Jerry West. 2)Magic Johnson 3)Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 4)Kobe Bryant 5) James Worthy……………………I, unfortunately, never saw Elgin Baylor.

-My five greatest Lakers on and off the court: 1)Jerry West 2) Magic Johnson 3) Chick Hearn 4)Dr. Jerry Buss 5) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

-As for the Clippers. How do you justify losing to the two worst teams in the league, the Nets and Timberwolves, on consecutive nights?!?!? COME ON, MAN!!!!!!!!!

-Are New York/New Jersey REALLY still in the NBA??

-Does the Pac-10 conference still play men’s college hoops???

-January 20th marked the 30th anniversary of Super Bowl XIV(14) at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The Los Angeles Rams held a 19-17 fourth quarter lead on the defending and three-time champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Terry Bradshaw to John Stallworth, and Franco Harris ended that. The Steelers won 31-19.

-What most people don’t remember is that after the Rams took the 19-17 lead in the third quarter, Rams safety Nolan Cromwell dropped a sure interception with nothing but green between he and the end zone that would’ve put the Rams up 26-17. Alas, he started running before he caught the ball and it fell, innocently, to the Rose Bowl turf.

-One of the great NFL stories. Quarterback Kurt Warner’s rise from un-regarded free agent quarterback, to Arena League and NFL Europe star, to grocery store clerk, to two-time league MVP and Super Bowl Champion with the (gulp) St. Louis Rams.

-Get this. Warner would’ve been one of Brett Favre’s under-study’s in Green Bay had the Packers not cut the then free-agent in 1994.

-Wonder how things would’ve played out had Rams starting QB Trent Green not gotten injured, tearing up a knee, against the San Diego Chargers in the final pre-season game of 1999. Then Chargers safety Rodney Harrison set Warners destiny (or is it density) in motion when he tackled Green.

-Warner was graced with one of the quickest releases ever. He says he learned to get rid of the football as the signal-caller for the defunct Arena League’s Iowa Barnstormers.

-Warner’s style reminded me so much of Colts legendary QB Johnny Unitas. Incredible game-smarts. Not very mobile at all. Able to take a hit, not flinch and still rifle the ball to a receiver in stride. Peyton Manning’s a Unitas clone too.

-Pretty sure Warner will stay retired and will be a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer.

-While working at the Orange County Newschannel some 12 years ago, I was given an old L.A. Rams offensive lineman’s helmet that was going to be tossed by the late and former Rams Equipment Manager, Don Hewitt. I’ve had some former L.A. Rams greats sign the thing after working with them on talk shows. The ONLY (gulp) St. Louis Ram I would EVER consider signing that helmet………Kurt Warner.

-From an L.A. perspective, not adding Lakers’ center Andrew Bynum and/or Clippers’ center Chris Kaman to the West All-Star Team as reserves is just wrong.

-Bynum, who’s healthy and playing well, was the second-leading vote-getter among western conference centers. Kaman, whose play is stellar as well, is statistically one of the top four centers in the entire league.

-On the other hand, there’s always going to be some deserving players left off the roster because the fans vote and there are only 12 active roster spots on each team……………the same amount for regular season active rosters.

-All 30 teams also have three “inactive” players on their rosters.

-30 NBA teams. Should be 15 players on each all-star roster. But not, necessarily, one from each team.

Pro Bowl Trivia.
-For the first time in three decades, Aloha Stadium in Honolulu wasn’t host to the NFL’s annual post-season all-star game. Miami is the first main-land city to host the Pro Bowl since 1979. What main-land city and stadium last hosted the Pro Bowl? (answer in next edition of “Bloop Singles”)

-BTW, this year’s Pro Bowl, played the week after the conference championships and before the Super Bowl, apparently, had an 80% increase in viewership over last years. Hmmmm. How about play it the week after the conference championships before the Super Bowl…IN HAWAI’I!!!

-Super Bowl XLIV(44) between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts is, of course, Sunday in Miami at whatever they’re calling that stadium today. My prediction, Friday.

The “Not Considered Sports Bunt of the Day”
-So, let me get this straight. The Oscar’s increase the Best Picture category from five to 10 films so movies, like comedies that get snubbed most years, have a chance. Then, they snub Golden Globe Best Picture THE HANGOVER?!?!? COME ON, MAN!!!!!!

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