During a normal practice week, the
So on Wednesday, the Rams' did their "Ram-ball" drill in the red zone, instead of in the middle of the field.
In other words, there's no scout team element to it. It's the Rams' starting offense against the second-team defense, and the Rams' second-team offense against the starting defense. They do it every week.
"But today, we did it in the red zone," Spagnuolo said. "And the emphasis was to play faster in the red zone on both sides of the ball. The only way to get better on something is to go back and work at it."
And the Rams’ red zone offense needs work. A lot of work. Their 20 percent TD rate in the red zone (1 of 5) is second worst in the
"It’s getting to the point where it’s on the players, and I think everybody’s kind of realizing that," fullback
Particularly galling is the fact that these Rams drives aren't stalling at the 18_ or 19-yard line. They've had to settle for field goals twice after having a first-and-goal at the 1. Another drive stalled out at the 7; yet another at the 9.
"It's a point of pride down there," Miller said. "It's man-on-man."
"When you get down to the 1, I don’t care what they line up in, we should be able to score," quarterback
There is no one simple explanation to the team’s red zone failures. On a couple of Bradford throws, receivers simply couldn’t get enough separation. On a couple of others, a more accurate throw would’ve resulted in a touchdown. Against Philadelphia, Bradford didn’t see
"It comes down to execution," Bradford said. "I've got to be better. I missed a couple throws this week that would've resulted in touchdowns. When you get down there it's just too important in this league to score touchdowns and not kick field goals. That's definitely a point of emphasis for us going forward."
Interestingly, the Rams ran the ball only four times in 12 red zone plays against the Giants. Maybe they would’ve run it more had
"For an offensive lineman you really want to be able to punch it in on the ground," left tackle
The Giants also did a fair amount of blitzing in the red zone, which complicated matters for the Rams.
"We're going to have to beat 'blitz zero' in order to score," Saffold said. "We know this."
Blitz zero coverage always brings in one more pass rusher than you have blockers. As a result, it means there are no extra defenders in coverage; for every receiver that's out on a pattern, there's just one defender to cover him.
"You’ve got to beat one-on-one coverage in the red zone," wide receiver
Because the red zone area is obviously more condensed, everything happens more quickly. That means the execution has to be crisp. Information has to be processed even more quickly than normal, and sometimes, instincts just have to take over _ and take over quickly.
Bradford liked the idea of doing red zone work during the high-speed Ram-ball period, even if it was just a handful of plays.
"The more (work) in the red zone, the more beneficial it'll be for us," he said. "That's the one area that you don't usually get a lot of work on during the week. It's usually a one-day-a-week deal. So any time we can steal a couple reps, whether it be on a Wednesday or a Thursday, I think it's going to help us on Sunday."
So "finishing" was the word of the day Wednesday at Rams Park. The offense is moving the ball pretty consistently between the 20s, but that's just far enough to get you beat, as was the case Monday night.