Dahl's comments trigger Twitter war between Rams players and 49ers fans

News-DemocratJune 13, 2013 

— A Twitter war broke out Wednesday over comments by former St. Louis Rams safety Craig Dahl, who is now a member of the San Francisco 49ers.

Dahl told the Sacramento Bee that the 49ers' offense was tipping off plays last year against the Rams. The Rams were picking up cues from the 49ers that indicated whether a play was going to be a run or a pass.

The Rams tied the 49ers 24-24 in San Francisco and beat the 49ers 16-13 at the Edward Jones Dome last season. Both games went to overtime.

"It was a few different things," Dahl told the Sacramento Bee. "Some personnel and alignment stuff really were the big keys as far as the giveaways."

Dahl said he met with the 49ers' offensive coaches after joining the team in March.

"It's been addressed and corrected," Dahl said. "They knew most of it before I even got here, and they were just reconfirming it. It's just ongoing self-study and self-scouting stuff that got that cleared up."

Feisty Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan apparently took exception to Dahl's comments, posting on his Twitter page: "Craig Dahl we know how you play thanks for the tips we know who to attack early and often."

Finnegan's tweet drew a firestorm of criticism from 49ers fans.

Rams defensive end Chris Long came to Finnegan's defense by pointing out that it has been 528 days since the 49ers have beaten the Rams.

"I just saw the way Twitter people completely disregard manners and the way they should talk to people," Long said. "Some people were talking very recklessly to Cortland, so I just reminded them of something. Boy, did I get a lot of interesting responses."

Long said he has no beef with most 49ers fans.

"Most 49ers fans that I've met are very nice people and they've treated my family with respect when they are in the stands," Long said. "Seventy percent, I have no problem with them."

Asked if Dahl's comments were true, Long said, "We have great coaches, so we are always going to have a good game plan. The comments I saw from Craig were really generic. These things happen in this league. It didn't really blow me away."

Rams coach Jeff Fisher downplayed Dahl's comments.

"Anytime that there is a player involved in a system changes addresses, there is always going to be some sort of debriefing," Fisher said. "There always is. That's not an issue. I've heard the guys have been joking back and forth, but that's how they are."

The Twitter banter might be a sign that a Rams-49ers rivalry that fizzled when both franchises were struggling has been rekindled.

Fisher knows all about rivalries. As the coach of the Tennessee Titans, he was the guy that Jacksonville Jaguars fans loved to hate.

"Yeah, I wasn't particularly very popular down there," Fisher said.

Asked if that meant there would have been no volunteers to pick up his tab at restaurant in Jacksonville, Fisher quipped, "I probably wouldn't have been let in a restaurant."

Summer break

The Rams have one more day of full-squad workouts before the veterans break until training camp in late July.

Rookies will spend another week at Rams Park, mainly doing conditioning work.

"One more day and everything will be installed," Fisher said. "We'll start all over again with the installation at training camp."

The Rams didn't hold a veteran's minicamp this year, but Fisher still feels the team is ahead of schedule compared to his first season at the helm last year.

"It's just a lot different being in Year 2 in the systems," Fisher said. "There is a much greater understanding at this point, and you're able to look back at things as you install them. We have cutups from the year before. Obviously, our offense is way ahead of where it was the year before."

Quick hits

The Rams have reached contract agreements with all seven members of their 2013 draft class.

Wide receiver Tavon Austin and linebacker Alec Ogletree, the team's first-round picks, received five-year deals, while the other five players received four-year deals.

* Long's Twitter account is JOEL9ONE.

"There is a dude named Joel from my hometown that I looked up to," said Long, who wears No. 91. "He works in a package store. He is inspirational."

Long refused to divulge anything else about Joel.

"Joel doesn't want to be talked about in the media. That's what he told me," Long said.

* Fisher said he wasn't planning any special Father's Day activities with his son, Rams assistant secondary coach Brandon Fisher.

"I'm not anticipating getting a card from him or anything, and he's not getting a raise either," Fisher said.

* Rams second-year wide receiver Chris Givens made a spectacular catch in the end zone against tight coverage from rookie cornerback Robert Steeples during practice.

A brief scuffle broke out between the two players, but it was quickly broken up.

Steeples is a DeSmet High School graduate who initially attended Missouri before transferring to Memphis.

"The background there is he played a lot of nickel and he transferred because he wanted to start," Fisher said. "We worked him out very early and liked what we saw. He's got ability. As is the case with a lot of those guys, his opportunity is going to be heavily dependent on his special teams production in the preseason."

Contact reporter Steve Korte at skorte@bnd.com or 239-2522.

Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service