[caption id="attachment_1366" align="alignright" width="194" caption="Ted Warren/AP"] [/caption] St. Louis Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo talked to Seattle-area reporters buy conference call this morning, and gave us his evaluation of this year’s Seahawks.
Spagnuolo said he’s been more focused on watching film of this year’s team because of all the personnel changes Seattle made during the offseason.
“The two things that jump out right at me is they’re getting into a groove running the football,” Spagnuolo said. “They got three good running backs. So we have a tremendous amount of respect for that. And then as soon as you turn on the defensive tape it seems like every time I watch the sideline view I see the line of scrimmage being reestablished on the other side of the offense.
“There are, in my opinion, very stout, active and aggressive up front. And I think that’s how you play good defense. I think they do a very good job of it. So we’ve got a great deal of respect for those two phases.”
Spagnuolo talked about his team’s struggles this season. With high expectations heading into this year after finishing 7-9 last year, the Rams sit at 2-7. However, St. Louis has won two of its last three. The Rams’ struggles partly can be chalked up to injuries. St. Louis has 10 players on the season-ending injured reserve list, tied for the third-most in the league.
They’ve went through five cornerbacks, including projected starters Ron Bartell and Bradley Fletcher, who are both on IR.
“We didn’t get off to a very good start,” Spagnuolo said. “We lost some tough ones. And we’ve been battling the injury bug. We do not use that as an excuse. Every team is battling injuries, but it’s been hard for us to find a groove or get any kind of continuity with kind of the interchangeable parts that we’ve been going through for really 10 weeks.
“I can only recall one Tuesday morning, or really Monday morning when we weren’t talking about shuffling personnel or changing the 53 (53-man roster). I think it was after the New Orleans game.”
Spagnuolo talked about dealing with Seattle’s big corners in Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman.
“We try to do it, except that ours that are big like that are on the injured reserve list,” joked Spagnuolo. “But I agree with that philosophy, and I’ve got a lot of respect for Seattle’s defensive coaches and what they do. And there’s no question that the length of their arms and how long they are as corners, I think that helps. They’re press guys and it makes it difficult. It’s going to be a challenge for us. We realize it.
“The one thing I hope that helps us is our guys have gone against that, not in the last few weeks. … We like the same kind of type. We’ve got the same philosophy that they do. We may have to adjust a little bit. But I kind of like the way they operate in that regard.”
Spagnuolo also talked about his defense’s struggles stopping the run. St. Louis allows a league-worst 150.6 rushing yards per game.
“You are very kind with the a little bit of a struggle,” quipped Spagnuolo. “It hasn’t been good. It’s something that we take a lot of pride in. There are various amount of reason and yet, we’ve had games where it’s not an issue because our guys play like we all think we’re capable of playing.
“Part of it has been good running backs. Part of it has been what you noticed that when you’re behind games, and we’ve been behind in a lot of games, teams tend to run the ball a little bit more, so the numbers are higher. That has to be corrected.”