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MTK 08-23-2004 02:00 PM

Rams next up

The [url=""][color=#0000ff]St. Louis Rams[/color][/url] will be facing a quick turnaround when they host the Washington Redskins on Friday in the third preseason game for each team. The Rams play the Kansas City Chiefs tonight at Arrowhead Stadium in the Missouri Governor's Cup game.
Tailback Marshall Faulk is scheduled to get some limited playing time tonight and, if all goes well, could get some more extensive action against the Redskins as he prepares for his 11th NFL season. Faulk has acknowledged that he could face a decision about whether to retire after the season, and there have been rumblings throughout the league that the deteriorating condition of his knees could severely hinder him. But Rams Coach Mike Martz, the former quarterbacks coach for the Redskins under Norv Turner, has said that Faulk looks better now than he usually does at this point.

The Rams used the 24th overall pick in the draft in April to select Faulk's would-be eventual successor, Oregon State tailback Steven Jackson, and he looked good in the preseason opener, rushing for 73 yards on 15 carries in a sloppy 13-10 overtime loss to the Chicago Bears 11 days ago.

Martz comes from the same coaching tree as Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs. Both use a version of the old "Air Coryell" offensive system utilized by Don Coryell with the San Diego Chargers, and Martz is extremely close to Redskins coaching consultant Ernie Zampese. Martz's offense is a revved-up version of Gibbs's, relying less on the power running game and using more formations with three or four wide receivers, but the basic concepts are the same.

Martz has turned over his offense to young quarterback Marc Bulger, who threw for 3,845 yards and 22 touchdowns last season in helping the Rams to a 12-4 record. But Bulger threw 22 regular-season interceptions, and Martz demonstrated a lack of trust in the young quarterback when he played for a tying field goal at the end of regulation in the team's double-overtime loss to the Carolina Panthers in an NFC semifinal. Still, the Rams signed Bulger to a four-year, $19-million contract extension in the offseason and released two-time league most valuable player Kurt Warner, leaving veteran Chris Chandler to back up Bulger. If Bulger and the Rams falter, Martz's job security could come into question by season's end.

The Rams' biggest concern for now is their patchwork offensive line. Left tackle Orlando Pace has not reported to the club because of contract dispute. Right tackle Kyle Turley has a career-threatening back injury, and center Dave Wohlabaugh was released after undergoing offseason hip surgery. The biggest question on defense is whether the team will be able to generate a consistent pass rush after losing end Grant Wistrom via free agency.

[i]By Mark Maske[/i]

MTK 08-23-2004 02:01 PM

Does anyone know if this is a nationally televised game?

Cush 08-23-2004 02:03 PM

yup, it's on FOX

SKINSnCANES 08-23-2004 02:27 PM

awesome, ive got my plans for friday night now.

BrunellFan 08-23-2004 02:48 PM

This should be a little better test for the defense, since I think the Rams starters will play a half...

cpayne5 08-23-2004 02:54 PM

This may be the most fun preseason game to watch. Interesting to see if Tory Holt and company can "blow the doors off" Sean Taylor.

Big C 08-23-2004 02:54 PM

ill prolly miss it again, damn

Gmanc711 08-23-2004 03:03 PM

Yeah I took off of work for this one.

Big C 08-23-2004 03:45 PM

since i got to college i cant watch the damn games, sucks

cpayne5 08-23-2004 04:06 PM

[QUOTE=Big C]since i got to college i cant watch the damn games, sucks[/QUOTE]
You should be able to see the Rams game on Friday, since its a national game. The local Fox station down there plays several Skins games throughout the season, as well. Every time I've been in Blacksburg, I've always been able to find the game.

illdefined 08-23-2004 04:18 PM

this one's really gonna test our defense..

SKINSnCANES 08-23-2004 04:19 PM

Im glad its nationally televised. I have had NFL sunday ticket but since im selling my house and am not sure where I will move I didnt get it this year...Its going to suck not having it...ill have to figure somethign out once the season starts.

Big C 08-23-2004 04:20 PM

i dont have the time anymore to watch it, thats what i meant

SKINSnCANES 08-23-2004 04:20 PM

no time for football?!?! What could possibly be more important, school? work? not good enough reasons in my opinion, heh

SmootSmack 08-23-2004 04:27 PM

As my dad likes to say, "There are 24 hours in the day, find the time!" No excuses, Big C!!

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