Coaching change means more running

Ron Jaworski discusses the Rams' newfound commitment to running the football since Joe Vitt has replaced Mike Martz.

Updated: November 1, 2005, 2:36 PM ET
By Ron Jaworski | ESPN Insider
Since the unfortunate and temporary departure of Mike Martz due to heart troubles two weeks ago, assistant coach Joe Vitt has taken over the reins of the St. Louis Rams. Since then, the team has gone 1-1, including a loss to the Indianapolis Colts in which they controlled the game in the first half before losing Marc Bulger to injury.

Whenever a coaching change happens, even one such as this one where it's only temporary, it's inevitable that the new head coach is going to try to make his mark. Vitt and offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild have made a concerted effort to get more balance back in the offense. Clearly there has been an accentuation to the running game and the types of runs they now use with Vitt in charge and Fairchild calling the plays.

One of the express differences has been the way they run block. They've changed from a stretch running team out of spread formations to a power running team. They've done that for a few reasons: They want to have more balance on offense, they hope to use the talents of Steven Jackson, and they need to adjust after injuries hit their wide receiver corps.

Ron Jaworski

NFL analyst / writer
Ron Jaworski is one of the most popular and knowledgeable analysts covering the NFL today. Since joining ESPN in 1990, the former standout NFL quarterback has covered the league from virtually every angle -- sideline reporter, game-site reporter, host and both studio and game analyst. From 2007-11, Jaworski occupied one of the most coveted positions in sports as a Monday Night Football analyst.