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Wild Card Weekend was underwhelming, save for Seattle's 24 unanswered points in the final game of the weekend. But at least we still have the Divisional Round. 

RAMS NEWS
Since we last met, the Rams announced they will not welcome back captain of the Bounty Gate, Gregg Williams. The team also fired Gregg's son, Rams linebackers coach Blake Williams. I'm a fan of both moves. No need to include the tainted family name in the progress of the Rams revival. 

Blake Williams represented the lone weak spot on the Rams defense, though I'd blame that more on personnel. James Laurinaitis was his usual self and improved in pass coverage in 2012, Jo-Lonn Dunbar was mean and nasty at times but Rocky McIntosh isn't a starter. I'd look for linebacker along with free safety to be the primary offseason needs for the Rams defense. 

In other news, Steven Jackson won the
team's MVP award as voted on by his teammates and coaches. He also won the team's spirit award. 

Janoris Jenkins captured the team's rookie-of-the-year honors. What, no love for Rakevious Watkins? 

The defense's total of 52 sacks was the most for the club since 1999, when the World Champion Rams tallied 57 sacks. It also tied with the AFC-favorite Denver Broncos for first in the NFL. And it
raised $52,000 for St. Patrick's Center, which is a good thing.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON SAM BRADFORD

Ron Jaworski has left his film vault and unleashed his final quarterback rankings for the 2012 season.
Here's what he said about Rams quarterback Sam Bradford. 

"I'd rate Bradford somewhere between OK and good this year. It started to look like he has regained his form from his first season. I think there's plenty of potential here still, and if the Rams can get him some more help in the draft, he clearly can move up these rankings."

Also noteworthy, comments from NFC West writer at ESPN
Mike Sando: "I've felt as though a player drafted as early as Bradford was drafted -- first overall in 2010 -- should occasionally dominate a game. There should be times when the opponent leaves the stadium thinking something along the lines of, "Hey, when Sam Bradford gets hot like that, there's not much anyone can do about it."

We'll find out in the 2013 season if Bradford is able to dominate a game. 

STEVE SPAGNUOULO GETS RIPPED BY HIS OWN PLAYER
From the category "Reasons to be thankful Jeff Fisher is in charge" comes the news late last week of an anonymous Saints player tearing into Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. The player told the New Orleans Time Picayune the following:

"Trust me all the guys were being politically correct this season when answering questions. It's bad. To give up what we gave up (yards/points) can't be all talent. Look at where his units (have) been ranked before. I think one top 10?"

The Saints finished last in the NFL in total defense, last in run defense, 31st in pass defense, 31st in points allowed and tied for 29th in sacks.

"Players have no say in anything. It was complete opposite from before where it was a simple D that players had lot of control and say. We couldn't suggest (expletive)...Nothing ever changed. It was his way only. Don't even get me started on lack (of) ability to adjust during games. Bad, bad, bad."

"He does have that good-guy persona, but he is a control freak and treats people like crap. (Spagnuolo has) no patience and zero personality. (He) has a way of pissing players and our defensive coaches off with how he says and does things. (I) think it's even harder after having Gregg (Williams), who guys enjoyed."


So Spagnuolo gets the power-hungry, control-freak label once again. This is what plagued the Rams during Spagnuolo's time in St. Louis according to those in the know. 

I'd have to assume former Rams Equipment Manager
Todd Hewitt approves this message.

As far as other Saints players endorsing the message, defensive captain Jonathan Vilma is not a fan ... of the method to the message. 

"Don't give me 'anonymous source' bs, say who said it ... I'm bothered you reported it. We're not the Jets who run to the media for everything."

Then when asked if the player's comments were wrong, Vilma said,

"That's not the question or the point. If he's man enough to tell you, he should be man enough to put his name on it. And you should do the same."

Apparently the point still remains: Spagnuolo is a control freak. 

WILD CARD PALOOZA

Top Wild Card Games in NFL History as told by Patrick Imig (that guy's a superb storyteller). Spoiler alert: all of the games listed were better than this weekend.

"As we celebrate Ravens Ray Lewis, don't forget murder victims." -
Read it here.

Nice dose of reality for those in love with the idea Ray Lewis is a heavenly sports figure.

Speaking of Ray-Ray, I posted this for my pigskin primates not remembering that the Lewis murder scandal involved the stabbing of the liver. Even more appropriate.


LET'S GO BLUES!
I don't know about you, but I have the urge drink wax shavings in a warm beer while a foghorn blares just to feel the season a little more. 


If you missed our Blues highlights list from several weeks ago, fear not.
It's right here.

Tweet
@patrickimig.

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