This may be the high water mark for the Rams this season. With games against the Bengals, Packers, Steelers and Cardinals, it's possible we may have seen the Rams last victory for 2007. Personally, I think Linehan needs two more wins to save his job. If the Rams go on a four game skid, I think Linehan will be history. With that said, there have been a few bright spots for the Rams in recent weeks.
O.J. Atogwe- This guy is finally living up to his promise when he came out of Stanford. He was known as a play maker there and he's showing it in the NFL. Lately, he's been playing as well as any young safety in the league.
Adam Carriker- Adam is playing amazing well considering the Rams are moving the guy all over the defensive line. For a rookie, he's more than held his own. His versatility bodes well for the future. Although I don't think he's a full time DE, it's nice to know he can play there without too much of a drop off. I still believe he's better suited inside.
Clifton Ryan- Certainly Ryan is the surprise player of this defense. He's shown he's suited to play nose tackle and he should only get better with time.
Brandon Chillar- Personally, I think this guy is still an average LB; however, he's shown more speed and versatility lately. I'm not sure what kind of offers he'll get as an UFA, but, based on his play lately, the Rams should consider retaining him...if the price is right.
Will Witherspoon- I'm still not convinced this guy should be a MLB, but, his speed and desire are undeniable. I think he may be better suited on the outside, but, he's certainly a play maker and the Rams need those type of players.
Tye Hill- His small size is a liability; but, he's shown pretty good cover skills lately. If he keeps up his solid play the last four week of the season; I think we're good at one CB spot.
Ron Bartell- This guy flashes now and then, but, he's a bit of a tease. With this size and speed, he should be more of a play maker. If he continues to progress the last four weeks of the season, I think he could seriously over take Fakir Brown as our starting CB.
The defense has played better, but we'll see how they fare against the likes of the Bengals, Steelers and Packers.
In general, this defense could be much better if we had a better pass rush from our ends. Haslett has lived on the blitz and dog packages, but, eventually it catches up with you and you get burned. There's no substitute for a solid pass rush from your front four.
In order for the Rams to elevate the defense, they simply must have a better pass rush. I think we're moving in the right direction with Carriker and Ryan, but we need to improve the rush coming off the edges.