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Archuleta moved back to SS (1 Viewer)


From the blogger...

Rams move Archuleta back to strong safetyBy Jim Thomas Of the Post-Dispatch08/22/2005In mid-February, the strong safety job belonged to Pisa Tinoisamoa. Not long after the draft, fourth-round draft pick Jerome Carter moved to the top of the depth chart. And now, less than three weeks removed from the regular-season opener, the Rams have gone full circle. That's right, Adam Archuleta is back at strong safety. "We're going to move Adam back to strong safety," coach Mike Martz said Monday. "When it's all said and done, Adam's probably better down inside than back - particularly in our nickel package. He's such an instinctive and quick read guy in the running game. We miss him being up there." After finishing the 2004 season with what was diagnosed as a herniated disc in his back, Archuleta made his exhibition debut Sunday against San Diego playing free safety. Advertisement As the game went on, Archuleta seemed to get more comfortable. According to unofficial press-box stats, he led the Rams with six solo tackles. Late in the second quarter, he forced Chargers quarterback Drew Brees into a hurried incompletion on a blitz. But the most noticeable play involving Archuleta in the 36-21 loss to San Diego didn't turn out well. He was the last line of defense on LaDainian Tomlinson's 55-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, a play in which Tomlinson juked Archuleta and then ran by him to the end zone. "When it gets to the free safety, he has to make that play," Martz said after the game. "That's just the way it is." Perhaps. But given Tomlinson's speed and skill, and the fact that he had plenty of daylight once he broke the line of scrimmage, it would have been a tough play to make for any safety in the league. In any event, moving Archuleta back to strong safety may be more a case of wanting to shore up the run defense after the Rams were gouged for 215 rushing yards by the Chargers. On the Tomlinson run, the Rams were in an eight-man front and overran the play. Middle linebacker Chris Claiborne stepped into the hole near the line of scrimmage but was unable to make the tackle. Later in the first quarter, backup running back Michael Turner gashed the Rams for 55 yards on a nonscoring run. The Rams were in their nickel defense on the play. Turner made a cutback to elude Carter, and defensive back Michael Hawthorne missed a tackle on the play. All told, Martz said there were "six real bad plays on defense." But the problems with run defense Sunday may have had as much to do with how the unit was lining up as any shortcomings in personnel. "What we do in the preseason, at least in the first two games, is we look at different packages on offense and defense," Martz said. "Particularly on defense. And we went into this game to try and look at a couple coverages, and some fronts." And just kind of see what happens. "Now, you can do that in the preseason and not have it cost you anything," Martz said. "So what it becomes is a catalog on both sides of the ball that you draw from for the rest of the season." But after what happened on defense against the Chargers, the Rams plan to throw a couple of things out of the catalog. "Some of the stuff that we're doing front-wise, we're going to get away from," Martz said. "We don't like it. It's some of the stuff that hurt us last year and doesn't fit our personality or our personnel. So we're going to change some of those things." Martz wasn't specific, but the Rams were especially susceptible to cutback runs a year ago. And cutback runs are easier to make when a defensive front is shaded to the strong side (the tight end side), leaving less help weakside in the cutback lanes. No matter how the Rams line up, Martz thinks putting Archuleta back at strong safety - and ahead of Carter on the depth chart - will help the run defense. "The reason we put him at free safety is related to his back," Martz said. "But he got through this (game) fine. So as long as he's OK with it, I'd like to make that move. ... And I think he really kind of wants to be back down there in the action so to speak instead of in the back." Players were off Monday, and Martz hadn't had a chance to meet with Archuleta. Archuleta couldn't be reached for comment Monday by the Post-Dispatch. With Archuleta back at strong safety, who's the starting free safety? "There's several guys back there that I think are going to be really good," Martz said. "So I'm not really concerned about it. We're trying to identify guys, give them opportunities to make plays on both sides of the ball and on special teams, and see what they do. Now we've got a pretty good book on everybody." For now, Hawthorne appears to be the logical choice at free safety. But rookie Oshiomogho "O.J." Atogwe, who was held out of the Chargers game with what Martz termed a slight groin injury, also could challenge for the job. And converted wide receiver Mike Furrey also is in the mix. "Mike Furrey's really played well," Martz said. "He's going to factor in on defense, particularly our nickel stuff."
I love the way of thinking,"Instead of knowing what our philosophy is and practicing it, we like to try a bunch of really goofy stuff. You know, spend weeks on end practicing formations that have very little chance of success. Then, once the regular season comes, we scrap all that goofy stuff and spend the first half of the season working out the bugs of our base system." :yucky:

there goes jerome carter's value.
no doubt, bloom.it vanished in redraft & took a hit in dynasty.

though archuleta might still be pretty iffy. b4, when arch was at SS, it looked like atogwe was guy to get... now we seem to be back to that... though there was blurb at kffl that hawthorne was now favorite to start at FS. not sure if atogwe starts right away, or in-season or next year, but he seems more talented... guys like hawthorne & stone seem like jouneyman types who were valued partly because DC marmie & DB coach schottenheimer new of them from prior stints at ARI & GB.

marmie's defense is supposedly more complicated than lovie smith's, so it is possible that the rookies aren't a good fit right away, or even at all this year. than again, atogwe is a bright guy who majored in biological systems at stanford, & studies subjects like cellular signaling. :)

i suspet atogwe will see field sooner than later, but stanford graduated late & he is behind on reps. it also didn't help that they wasted time with arch at FS when they could have been giving reps to someone else.

archuleta is in a walk year next season i am pretty sure. with his back, neck & spine health in question (might be big shot away from retirement or extended absence?), obviously we would expect them to take wait & see with him. if he looks great & all the way back, maybe they will try & sign him to long term extension.

the fact that they drafted two safeties & a CB (bartell) that can play safety, brought in stone & hawthorne in FA, converted WR furrey to safety... could all be for the one safety position opened with aeneas injury & expected retirement (he still hasn't, but it would seem a little late to come back now... this season, at least)... or for depth... their secondary has been crushed with injuries past couple seasons.

but it reminds me of when PHI drafted sheppard, michael lewis & sheldon brown a few seasons before they knew they would almost certainly be parting with vincent & taylor.

it may be that they are preparing for life after archuleta. so it is possible that atogwe could start this season, & carter could join him next... maybe sooner, as no guarantee his back holds out.

some of this is speculative (except arch contract status), & part about drafting & otherwise bringing in cast of thousands at safety is inferential argument, so take for what it is worth.

it really can't be anything but speculative as we haven't seen arch play much... that in itself could be interpreted as bad sign, but he did have bad injury, maybe fact that he pure rehabbed instead of surgery delayed recovery?

i have a feeling one of rookies will be starting by end of season... if arch muddles thru at SS, it will likely be atogwe. but it won't surprise me to see both of them by 2006.

safeties don't usually go in first round (boulware, sanders, sean jones, pool, bullocks & collins all went in second round past two seasons), so a high third & fourth on atogwe & carter is reasonably high investment in a pick... they certainly are not so deep that they couldn't have used those picks elsewhere (or at least one of them... S & RT were consensus two most glaring needs... they tried to trade up to get thomas davis & were rebuffed... i think cost was a second or third to move up few slots... as rams fan, i am glad barron fell to them unexpectedly)...

BTW, after looking good initially, i was hearing that carter had regressed & was looking overwhelmed... these same reports suggested, though, that he seemed to be having hard time grasping the defense... he seems to have good tools, physical skills, athleticism, no doubt is tough... so maybe when things slow down (later this season, next season?) he should be fine.

little i saw on film his first step, reflexes, read & reaction seemed just a hair slow... almost imperceptible but i was looking carefully... plus it was at time i was preparing FBG Rookie IDP (DB) article and was watching a lot of davis, rolle, jackson, pool, rogers... i suppose a lot of SSs would suffer in comparison with CBs & FSs.

when i looked at his bio, it did look like he had injury history (i don't recall exactly, but i think he had both shoulders worked on at FSU).

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