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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is online now Superbowl MVP
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    10 Questions With Jim Thomas

    10 Questions with Jim Thomas
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS
    02/09/2010

    Here are 10 key questions and answers about the Rams from today's "Jim Thomas Live" chat:


    Question: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being certain, what are the odds that the Rams get Michael Vick?

    Jim Thomas: I'm not going to put odds on it, because I'm not sure about the competition. But all signs are that the Rams are seriously interested in Vick. I've mentioned that previously on this chat.

    I was one of a few reporters around Spagnuolo on Friday at the Super Bowl media center, and Bernie has also written either in the newspaper or on his blog of the Rams interest. So I think it's pretty well established.


    Q.: Do you believe that Marc Bulger has any trade value? How do you see the Bulger situation working out?

    Thomas: I think Bulger does have some trade value, but it would be hard to see the Rams getting more than. say. a fourth-rounder for him, given his three-year slump. There still seems to be some support in the organization for Bulger, so I guess it's possible he could be back if none of the other scenarios materialize (Vick, etc.).


    Q.: If the Rams do choose a quarterback with their first pick, who do you think it will be: Bradford or Clausen?

    Thomas: Bradford will be at the combine, but won't throw at the combine. I don't think he's going to be able to throw until March. I think the Rams like both Bradford and Clausen. I have a hard time believing they would take one of them at No. 1 overall.


    Q.: What is your take on Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen? We really need to take Suh, and some of the Clausen slobber I hear is getting on my nerves.

    Thomas: Here's the thing that bugs me about Clausen. I've seen some of the Notre Dame games. I know about his impressive TD-to-INT ratio. And obviously I know the Notre Dame defense wasn't great. But if he is truly a franchise QB, the kind who can take you to the Super Bowl, how did the Irish finish 6-6? Is there something missing here in terms of leadership, intangibles, personality?


    Q.: I've always wondered about the situtation with the estate of Georgia Frontiere upon her death, that is leading to the potential sale of the Rams. Why was the inheritance tax not taken care of through insurance, etc.? I would have thought that John Shaw would have created a plan to cover the transfer of the club to the children.

    Thomas: Obviously, I'm not an expert on estate law. But I believe Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez currently are only paying interest on the estate taxes. I think it's about $1 million per yer. But in about 3 years, they have to start paying principal on the estate taxes, which is about $17 million a year. When it reaches that amount, it basically eliminates the per year profit made by the team (now that they're in the bottom fourth of the league in profitability).

    Although Chip and Lucia live comfortable lives, they are not independently wealthy -- to the point where they can absorb breaking even on the Rams. Thus, the pressure to sell the team. I know the family did take some measures to limit the impact of the estate taxes, so it could've been worse.


    Q.: Do you know how many Rams that went on IR and visiting players were injured at the Jones Dome?

    Thomas: Off the top of my head, this season Marc Bulger (shin bone), Keenan Burton (knee), Daniel Fells (thigh), Bradley Fletcher (knee), Gary Gibson (ankle), Chris Massey (knee), and Laurent Robinson (leg) all suffered season-ending leg or foot injuries at the Dome. Among visiting teams, I know Super Bowl hero Tracy Porter of New Orleans suffered a knee injury that sidelined him for more than a month.


    Q.: What is your take on the players going on strike for more of the owners money?

    Thomas: Actually, the players don't want any more of the owners' money. The owners made a bad deal in 2006 on the current extension, and they realize it. Roger Goodell acknowledged as much during his state of the league address last Friday in Fort Lauderdale. It is the owners, who had the players under their thumbs for so long, who want the players to give some money back.


    Q.: What is your reaction to the pictures of former Rams greats being removed at Rams Park?

    Thomas: I understand what Spags is trying to accomplish with the whole "team first" thing, but there are times when I think the football people at Rams Park are trying to forget the past instead of embracing it. To me, the photo of Warner and Faulk in the team room sitting side by side with the caption "Back to Back" (signifying when they were back to back league MVPs) would be a reminder of what the Rams franchise has achieved, and what the level of expectation should be -- to be the best.

    The picture of Ricky Proehl that once hung in the team room making his incredible "Catch for the Ages" against Tampa Bay could be a reminder that role players are just as important to the team as stars, and that it takes an entire team to win at the highest level. And also, on a more general theme to "be ready when needed." (That catch against the Bucs in the NFC title game was Proehl's first TD catch of the year.)


    Q.: Why wouldn't the Rams just talk with Bruce and Faulk and see what kind of tips or any other assistance they can offer?

    Thomas: I think the Rams have talked to Faulk in the past. My impression is he wants a big title right away -- something the Rams aren't willing to offer. Still, maintaining a pipeline with these greats, who obviously still care a lot about the organization, makes all the sense in the world.


    Q.: Have you heard any more about the possibility of the Rams picking up CFL DE Ricky Foley? Would he compete for the starting job in camp?

    Thomas: According to a colleague of mind who works for the Vancouver Sun, Foley visited the Chargers on Sunday or Monday, and was supposed to be in Seattle today. He's leaving for a vacation in Brazil later this week, so I would think he'd make the decision before he leaves. I think the Rams feel Foley would be more OLB than DE because of his size. I don't know about starting, but I'm sure he could at the least compete to be a situational pass rusher.


  2. #2
    LA Rammer's Avatar
    LA Rammer is online now Registered User
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    Re: 10 Questions With Jim Thomas

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Mike Vick
    Jim Thomas: I'm not going to put odds on it, because I'm not sure about the competition. But all signs are that the Rams are seriously interested in Vick.

    Clausen
    Thomas: Here's the thing that bugs me about Clausen. I've seen some of the Notre Dame games. I know about his impressive TD-to-INT ratio. And obviously I know the Notre Dame defense wasn't great. But if he is truly a franchise QB, the kind who can take you to the Super Bowl, how did the Irish finish 6-6? Is there something missing here in terms of leadership, intangibles, personality?
    I'm worried the Rams would waste a perfectly good opportunity to get Suh for the likes of a QB in the first round. This is a sound argument. The whole Vick situation makes sense if you want to save some cash, but he isn't the solution.

    I still feel that there will be a solid arm in later draft possible Colt McCoy with great mobility.
    LA RAMMER

    It's Jim not Chris
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HNgqQVHI_8

  3. #3
    NJ Ramsfan1 is offline Registered User
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    Re: 10 Questions With Jim Thomas

    I will be VERY PISSED if the Rams get Vick for two main reasons: One, is that while I am not an animal lover, I think what he did was despicable, and regardless of the penalty he's paid, I don't want that type of guy around my organization. And two, he wasn't a good passer BEFORE he went to jail, what makes people think that 3 years later he's going to be the answer to our problems?

    The price of winning and putting fannies in the seats shouldn't include compromising your principles by getting a guy like Vick. It would be awfully hard for me to root for a guy like that.

    And to those who dismiss the Vick thing as "rumor perpetuated by Bernie Miklasz, you're wrong. It has been talked about by several guys in the know, including Jim Thomas, who believe Spags and Company are quite serious about this option- leading me to believe there's a good chance it will happen, staining the organization yet again.

    Whether it's the first round, second, third or whatever, the Rams need to identify a QB they think can be around for the next 10-12 years and draft him- period and end of story. Forget the pundits, the Mel Kiper Juniors, etc who all have an opinion- rely on your talent evaluators and GET IT RIGHT. Don't tell me "well, he'll have the same problems Bulger had, blah, blah, blah". The offensive line is improved and will get better. The Rams have a top two back in Steven Jackson. And hopefully they'll draft a good receiver while guys like Robinson, Martin etc. stay healthy. Hope Bulger will take a pay cut and keep him around for another year. If he's unwilling to do this, get a Chad Pennington or a player of his ilk to warm the seat for the guy you draft. Forget Vick.

  4. #4
    RebelYell's Avatar
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    Re: 10 Questions With Jim Thomas

    In regards to a lockout they asked the president of the union to rank from 1-10 the odds of a lockout in 2011. He said he'd put it at 14. Thomas made a comment that an uncapped 2010 is almost a certainty. If that happens, a lockout is supposedly almost a guarantee at that point because the mountain to climb to reach an agreement is massively higher after March 5th. This is why I'm doubtful when guys like Bernie say a sale will be done before the draft. It's such a massive financial question mark without a labor agreement in place.

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    Azul e Oro is offline Registered User
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    Re: 10 Questions With Jim Thomas

    I certainly hope the Rams are considering Vick. I hope they are seriously considering any & all possible moves to improve this team. Since Vick is one of the very few vet QBs with any kind of winning pedigree who might hit the market, anything else would be asinine. There's nothing insightful about JT's comment.And there's a big difference between standing next to Spags at an interview session & being "close" in the sense of being in his confidence...good grief.

    The observation about ND's overall record being a red flag on Clausen's individual caliber is exactly the kind of thing that undermines JT's credibility as a knowledgeable football writer for me. Peyton's Colts were a .500 club over his first 4 years collectively-2 good years, 2 bad. Guess he should have been doomed to mediocrity at that point.

    Specific to ND's record last year, i don't think that team ever lost a game by more than a TD. Over his 3 years, Clausen's numbers just got better every year until his defensively atrocious & pass pro-crummy team finally broke a nine year bowl losing streak largely due to his efforts. if you're going to hold one player responsible for the overall team bad stuff, don't you have to give him credit for the good,esp when the numbers are so stark?

    I watched a couple of ND games as well. Versus Navy- a game I'd have thought JT would have seen; aren't his sons in the swabbie academy?- Clausen threw for over 450 yds overall with one INT & 2 TDs in the last five minutes. ND gave up 348 yds rushing & only gained 60 on the ground. Clausen & Tate kept them in that game. Ditto vs Stanford where JC threw 5 TD passes but all in vain as Gerhart shredded the ND defense on the ground.

    I'm not sure either QB , all things considered, would be a better choice for The Rams than Suh but Thomas is not isn't even close to considering all of them with that observation, never mind making a football smart assessment,imo.

    I'm so over Photo-Gate. You either get the concept of team or you don't. JT clearly doesn't.

  6. #6
    KoaKoi is offline Registered User
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    Re: 10 Questions With Jim Thomas

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    I will be VERY PISSED if the Rams get Vick for two main reasons: One, is that while I am not an animal lover, I think what he did was despicable, and regardless of the penalty he's paid, I don't want that type of guy around my organization. And two, he wasn't a good passer BEFORE he went to jail, what makes people think that 3 years later he's going to be the answer to our problems?

    ....

    Forget Vick.

    i'm with you there. besides, forget the frickin dogs... Vick flipped off the Falcon fans for booing. For boooing!

    richie "un" incognito put his hand to his ear when the dome booed and got crucified for it. haha

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