Posted on August 10, 2013 at 3:02 PM
(FOOTBALLStL) - Preseason games have a way of getting fans unnecessarily excited or disappointed depending on the outcome and the process by which that outcome happened. If you take the Rams 27-19 loss to the Browns Thursday night as a whole, sure, it wasn't pretty.
Too many mistakes were made. They lost the time of possession battle. But there's a lot more to these games than meets the eye. For instance, some teams game plan a heck of a lot more than the other.
And that's exactly what took place in Cleveland. While Jeff Fisher chose to be extremely vanilla in his preparation for the exhibition opener, his opponent did quite the opposite. The Browns mixed up their coverages, they blitzed on several occasions, and they even attempted to switch alignments along the defensive front to cause confusion.
That's called playing to win. The Rams chose not to go that route. They wanted to evaluate individual players while keeping their scheme private. So, all in all, Fisher was happy with how his offense did in the face of some unexpected competition.
“I thought they did a good job. Unfortunately, if we don’t put the ball on the ground I think you look at the offense and say, ‘Had a pretty good day’ considering what we were up against and the type of things we were getting out of them," Fisher said. "Sam (Bradford)’s third down completion to Chris (Givens) – there’s eight guys and gaps and overload blitzing and Sam hung in there and made the play. I thought overall the first group did well. Jake (Long) was good. Jake and Chris (Williams) did well together. I thought Scott (Wells) was good. Considering we didn’t do a lot of game planning, I thought they handled things pretty well.”
That raises this question: Why don't opposing coaches get together before preseason games and go over how much they plan on blitzing for the sake of safety?
“No there’s not, and the league frowns on it and we just play," Fisher said. "Sometimes you prepare for the worst and then if it’s a basic, vanilla-type approach defensively based on your opponent then so be it. We looked at things; we just didn’t work them on the field. We looked at a lot of tape and anticipated some things. That gave us a chance.”