Today Big Blue View previews the St. Louis Rams.
2007 Record: 3-13 (4th, NFC West)
Head Coach: Scott Linehan
Last time they met: Giants trounced the Rams 44-24 at Giants Stadium in October of 2005
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Al Saunders
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Jim Haslett
OFFENSIVE TEAM RANKS: 25th rushing, 19th passing, 28th scoring
DEFENSIVE TEAM RANKS: 20th rushing, 21st passing, 31st scoring
KEY ADDITIONS: QB Trent Green (from Dolphins), WR Donnie Avery (2nd Round, Houston), WR Reche Caldwell (from Redskins), TE Anthony Becht (from Buccaneers), G Jacob Bell (from Titans), OL John Greco (3rd Round, Toledo), DE Chris Long (1st Round, Virginia), CB David Macklin (from Redskins), K Josh Brown (from Seahawks)
KEY DEPARTURES: QB Gus Frerotte (to Vikings), WR Isaac Bruce (to 49ers), TE Dominique Byrd (released), TE Aaron Walker (to Ravens), C Andy McCollum (not tendered), G Milford Brown (to Panthers), T Todd Steussie (not tendered), DE Trevor Johnson (not tendered), LB Brandon Chillar (to Packers), LB Raonall Smith (not tendered), S Hanik Milligan (not tendered), K Jeff Wilkins (retired)
Notes and Quotes:
- In the aftermath of a debacle like the 38-3 Sunday loss to the Eagles, everything is questioned. Coach Scott Linehan was criticized for deferring on the opening kickoff after the Rams won the coin toss. However, Linehan was not alone in that decision.
Of the eight road teams that won the toss in Week 1, four other teams in addition to the Rams deferred: Arizona, Dallas, Tampa Bay and Cincinnati. The three teams that didn't were Denver, Houston and Carolina. Of the eight home teams that won the toss, only Tennessee deferred.
- There were many questions about the team's lack of enthusiasm against Philadelphia, most notably by Fox sideline reporter Tony Siragusa. Said coach Scott Linehan, "I think we lacked in our ability to execute and I think you get enthusiasm through execution. You can say anything you want. You can sit there and cheerlead all you want on the sideline, but if you're not staying on the field and converting third downs and getting positive plays and making plays, you're not going to have enthusiasm. The only answer to that is we have to play a heck of a lot better. Part of that statement I agree with because we didn't execute.
- Asked what disappointed him the most coming out of the game, Linehan said, "The fact that it was a lop-sided game. I expected it to be much more competitive, I can say that. I was very surprised at the outcome and again you can sit here and come up with all kinds of reasons, but the bottom line is, the opponent we played had a nearly flawless game and we didn't do anything to combat that. We didn't play good in any phase to make it the kind of game we expected it to be. We are going to have to play a whole lot better in the upcoming games if we expect to win them. We can't expect to win any kind of game if we play like that."
- Giants FB Madison Hedgecock plays his first game against the Rams, the team that cut him after the opening game of the 2007 season. Asked how good a fit Hedgecock has been, Giants coach Tom Coughlin said, "Excellent fit. A physical, blocking, lead-blocking fullback that has good hands, can be a factor in the play-action pass game, has done an outstanding job on special teams in basically the same kind of capacity. He has been a very, very good fit."
- When Rams QB Marc Bulger was asked about Hedgecock in a conference call with the New York media, he said, "He was a friend of mine. He is a great player. We got him in here and certain situations just don't work out. But I knew he would land on his feet somewhere and quick. So I'm really happy for him that it worked out for him because he is too good of a player not to be in this league. And I think he has shown you guys what he can do."
BY THE NUMBERS: 219-51 -- The Rams have been outscored by that margin in their seven road losses beginning with the 2007 season.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I want to prove we're not that bad." Marc Bulger, Rams QB