THOUSAND OAKS - In the pre-season, some referees erred during penalty appeals and sent the Rams as always from St. Louis. Unfortunately for the Rams, officials had much practice.
Through three games, the Rams are one of the most penalized teams in the NFL. They rank fourth in most penalties (27 with Oakland atop the list at 31), and third in most penalty yards (249 with Detroit "leader" at 294). The numbers are better oriented to the Rams, but not quickly enough.
"We had a long discussion about that today. It's nice to be able to talk after a win, '' coach Jeff Fisher said after practice Tuesday at Cal Lutheran. "At this rate, it is not good. We need better supervision and we must talk about things. "
It is also not an anomaly. Last season, the Rams ranked sixth and ninth, respectively, in most penalties and most penalty yards. The Rams also ranked in the top three in both categories in 2014.
Part of this was inevitable. Under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, design Rams play aggressive defense, but they have taken things too far. The Rams were called for three 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty. No NFL team has more, and 14 teams have not called for.
The Rams also had two players, defensive linemen Aaron Donald and Eugene Sims ejected because of conduct after the whistle.
The great are those who have nothing to do with the game. That's what gets under the skin of coaches, false starts, defensive offside and the things that happen after the play. You are in control of it.
These are not necessarily the biggest problems Rams however. They were called for defensive holding four times and defensive pass interference four times. That's almost a third of their sentences, and high compared to, for example, only two false starts and exploitation by the attack Rams.
At least the Rams doing (slow) progress. In the first game against San Francisco, they had 10 penalties for 102 which dropped to nine penalties and 78 yards against Seattle, and eight penalties and 69 yards in last Sunday's victory over Tampa Bay.
Arizona, Sunday's opponent, was named for the fifth fewer penalties the league this season (17) and seventh fewest yards (138).