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Scouting report: Rams' running defense

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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Here is Press-Gazette reporter Pete Dougherty's scouting report on the Rams' running defense: Coach Steve Spagnuolo runs the same scheme he did as coordinator for the New York Giants while winning the Super Bowl in the 2007 season. Itís based on the varied and complex 4-3 blitz scheme of former Eagles coordinator Jim Johnson. But without anything like the Giants' deep talent on the defense line, the Ramsí defense has been a disaster this season. It ranks last in rushing yards allowed and second-to-last in points allowed. The biggest problem is age, beginning at defensive tackle, where Fred Robbins (6-4, 325), signed from the Giantsí in í10, and Justin Bannan (6-3, 312), signed from the Broncos this year, no longer can hold the point at ages 34 and 32, respectively. The best player is middle linebacker James Laurinaitis (6-2, 247), a third-year pro who might be a Pro Bowl candidate on a better team. Former Packers linebacker Brady Poppinga has been fine playing the run as the starter at strong-side linebacker, but weak-side linebacker Ben Leber has been a free-agent bust at age 32 after 10 years with the Vikings.
   
 

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