Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

18 Nov 2005

Rams Angry at Anonymous Source

When confronted with a quote from this week's Sports Illustrated, Rams interim head coach Joe Vitt said, "I don't know who the anonymous player was, and I will tell you this: I'm here to answer football questions - not tabloid questions." He was referring to this passage from the first paragraph of an article by Michael Silver:

"[M]ost of the Rams jogged briskly across the slippery Qwest Field turf seeking shelter from the storm. One disgusted veteran, however, took his time heading to the tunnel, stopping in the end zone to lay some blame for the maddening decline of a onece-lofty franchise.... [T]he peeved player pointed a finger at defensive tackles Jimmy Kennedy, Ryan Pickett and Damione Lewis."

It's no secret that I'm not a fan of the way Sports Illustrated uses anonymous sources, but in this case I fail to see how a source can stay secret if he talked to Michael Silver in the end zone after the game. Either his teammates know who he was because he was the last player into the tunnel, or they know who he was because they saw him talking to Silver.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 18 Nov 2005

10 comments, Last at 19 Nov 2005, 1:46pm by BlueStarDude


by B (not verified) :: Fri, 11/18/2005 - 1:18pm

It was probabally Scooter Libby.

by mshray63 (not verified) :: Fri, 11/18/2005 - 1:59pm

LOL! Good one B.

At least they can't blame it on Kurt Warner's wife anymore.

by Slippery Pete (not verified) :: Fri, 11/18/2005 - 2:00pm

I've always felt that the reason the Rams defense sucks is because of their Defensive Coordinator, Larry Marmie. When Lovie Smith was in St. Louis, the Rams actually had a good defense. The Rams' defense in DVOA ranked 3rd, 9th, and 6th his three years with the Rams. Since Larry Marmie took over, it has ranked 30th, and so far this year 29th. And there hasn't been that large of a turnover in personnel either.

Under Larry Marmie, it seems as though his schemes are excessively complicated, and players are always out of position. If there was a stat for it, I swear that the Rams would lead the league in busted coverages. Also after games when defensive players are asked questions about why they didn't play well, they always seem to reply that they need to learn the scheme better or not make mental mistakes. When Martz was questioned about the defense, he seemed to frequently reply that the coaches need to teach the scheme better and that players are confused about their assignments. One last note about Marmie. He came from the Cardinals, ranked 31st and 29th in defensive DVOA the two years prior to joining the Rams.

by JonL (not verified) :: Fri, 11/18/2005 - 3:31pm

RE: #3

I don't know much about the new DC, but the Rams have also had to replace a bunch of players on that side of the ball, particularly in the secondary.

by HLF (not verified) :: Fri, 11/18/2005 - 3:55pm

I mostly agree with #2 (slippery pete) -- but I would add to that repeated recent defensive draft failures.

by HLF (not verified) :: Fri, 11/18/2005 - 3:56pm

Oops, #3.

by Devin (not verified) :: Fri, 11/18/2005 - 4:10pm

RE: #2:

Darn, I loved blaming Kurt Warner's wife! She's so fun to hate!

by Rick "32_Footsteps" Healey (not verified) :: Fri, 11/18/2005 - 5:02pm

I'll go out on a limb and say that the player remains anonymous because he's not the only one who feels that way, and other guys are covering for him.

by someone (not verified) :: Sat, 11/19/2005 - 7:14am

Michael Silver is the worst NFL journalist I've ever read the content of

by BlueStarDude (not verified) :: Sat, 11/19/2005 - 1:46pm

I haven't gotten to watch much of the Rams so far this year - anyone know how the Dexter Coakley signing is working out for them?

I thought they really overpaid for his services, and that he was a basically a backup-level-player at this point in his careeer, but a number of John Clayton types seemed to think it was a good move to shore up the defense.