Another extremely poor offensive output inspires more changes in St. Louis.
The St. Louis Rams have relieved offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti of his services Monday following yet another embarrassing [lack of]display of offense. It’s the first time in coach Fisher’s 20-year career that he’s let a coach go during seasonal play. Cignetti was the Rams’ QB Coach under the previous offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer. This was his first, and most advanced coaching position in the NFL.
The Rams’ offense currently ranks next-to-last in scoring and total yards, and is arguably playing worse than the 49ers in recent weeks. In fact, San Francisco’s win over the Bears Sunday put them equal in wins and losses only separated by a Rams victory face-to-face.
RAMS FIND PERFECT SCAPEGOAT AFTER 27-3 LOSS
At the start of the season, the Rams opened with promise, beating the Seahawks with what looked like a new and more creative playbook that was only going to get better when Todd Gurley took over ground control. They were making great strides in getting the explosive receiver/returner Tavon Austin in the mix, and it seemed to be working. What happened next is somewhat of a mystery outside of injuries to the O-line and key defensive players. Besides the obvious, why weren’t players getting better the more familiar they got with the offensive system? Why did it take Fisher and staff so long to insert Brian Quick after he was cleared to play after week 4? Even at this point I (and now others) ask, what is so wrong with draft pick Sean Mannion that Fisher won’t even put him on the field?
So, the loss to the Cardinals and, more specifically, the lack of production on offense for the 5th straight dismal outing (and 8 of 12 games this season) is the last straw…this week.
The sad part here is that Sunday’s Rams performance was not their worst of the season. St. Louis played their mostly-usual competitive defense, holding the Cardinals’ explosive machine to only a 10-0 lead at the half. Unfortunately, their offense also played their mostly-usual non-competitive way, and by the end of the third quarter you knew that the D-unit was running on fumes.
Of course, when you have a makeshift O-line, non-prolific route-running receivers and a QB that probably couldn’t get the whole ‘timing’ thing down if they’d signed Julian Edelman and Odell Beckham the past off-season, what’s to be expected? That said, the St. Louis Rams first announce — directly after the game, not the next day — that Case Keenum will start next week. Then the very next day they fire offensive coordinator Frank Gignetti. Why? Because he’s not a miracle-worker, of course. Cignetti’s magic wand failed to turn Nick Foles into the second coming of Kurt Warner at least. Because he apparently can’t keep quality offensive linemen on the field, or perhaps because, behind the scenes, he was the mastermind in that blockbuster trade that sent Sam Bradford to Philly for Foles. No, wait, I’ve got it…because firing offensive coordinators is ‘trending’ this season, and Rams fans can now expect Keenum to play like Matthew Stafford has the past few weeks, Brian Quick to play like Megatron, and this will make opposing defenses back off recent meetings with Todd Gurley in the Rams’ backfield to discuss his weekly fantasy starters at running back.
Forget all that, let’s find a solution.
And the solution is…
Assistant head coach Rob Boras has now been named as offensive coordinator. Yes, that Boras, the ex-Tight Ends coach…because tight ends Jared Cook and Lance Hendricks have been so good, apparently. Boras was promoted to Assistant Head Coach For Offense when Cignetti [beat him out for OC and]replaced previous offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer.
Lose lips can sink locker room ships.
Coach Fisher is quoted afterwards saying, “For whatever reasons he’s (Cignetti) no longer here, they (the players) have to take some responsibility for that.” He is right, and fairly placed blame on everyone involved, but some players might consider this getting thrown under the bus…Interesting to see how the team responds against next week’s opponent, the suddenly-hot Detroit Lions, who have won 3 or their last 4 games since firing their offensive coordinator.