Just like last year when the Rams lost to the Colts 38-3 in the preseason opener in Indianapolis, they fell to the Browns 27-19 Thursday night in what was not the prettiest of football games that's ever been played by this organization. The Rams turned it over three times, lost the time of possession battle (by more than seven minutes) and allowed a 91-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter.
But if you think head coach Jeff Fisher is about ready to panic regarding the expectations of his team in 2013 think again.
“It’s the first preseason game, so if expectations are affected just based on the production or lack of production the first preseason game, my recommendation would be just be patient,” Fisher said.
Sam Bradford in particular was terrific by throwing for more than 100 yards in just three series. Chris Givens hauled in three passes for 82 yards including a 59 yard catch that showed once more why he's such a threat stretching the field. So, there were plenty of positives.
One big negative was the injury to Rodger Saffold in the first quarter when he dislocated his left shoulder on the second play from scrimmage. He's expected to miss just a couple preseason games and then be back in action.
Overall, Fisher says he was encouraged by the first time out on the field in a competitive environment.
"We got a lot of good work from the standpoint of two-minute drives, those kinds of things on both sides of the ball," Fisher said. "We put our defense in some difficult situations on third down to see if they could make some plays. We, obviously, gave up the one touchdown pass. But, when you sit back and look at all three phases – the offense, defense, and special teams – there’s a lot of things to learn from, a lot of mistakes to correct.
"As coaches you would rather have it that way than the other way where you play a perfect and you just move on to the next one. Overcoming a punt return for a touchdown and why that happened. I think it’s important that the young guys understand that we have rules and responsibilities and we have coverage lanes and we have guys that have to contain and guys that have to go to their landmarks," Fisher said.
The Rams take the field once again a week from Saturday when the Green Bay Packers come to the Edward Jones Dome.