Questions and answers from ask Gordo

Mark Cockerell: Gordo! When do you think Bulger will be resigned with the Rams? I have to believe the Rams know his value and even more know how much they lose without him next year. I think more important than Bulgers stats, is his calmness and composure on the field and the fact he never panics even when they are behind. I have never seen a calmer quaterback.

Mark Cockerell

Jeff Gordon: By all accounts, both sides are trying to get this thing done. Bulger has a good agent (Tom Condon) and the Rams president Jay Zygmunt is an expert at massaging the salary cap, so it takes time. But the Rams have no choice but to get this done. Bulger is a precious commodity.
dick stephens: Gordo-now with brown suspended for four games for violating the substance abuse policy who do you see replacing him at cornerback opposite tye. I'd like to see bartell with that size and speed. Looks like he's improving dramatically from his first year. dick

Jeff Gordon: Bartell gets the first shot because he is coachable. But he is raw -- and moving back and forth from safety to corner hasn't helped. Wade has much to learn. Walls would be just a stopgap if he moved into the role, but the Rams are glad he's here to provide depth.
Rob: Jeff,
Let's talk about Marc Bulger and this new contract issue, I am a big fan of the Rams and while I am a fan of Bulgers and I hope the Rams sign him I dont think he should make more than KW did when he was here. I could be wrong but I think Kurt made about 7mil with a very good signing bonus but I have to admit I do not remember for sure. KW did more than Bulger to this point has in less time than Bulger. KW could pull a game out when we really needed one like the magical year the Rams went to the Superbowl, he snatched victory from defeat numerous times over his few years here.

I have not seen this from Bulger as of yet, yes he is a very good Quarterback but I don't feel he is a great QB just yet. He now has more talent on the O side of the ball than he ever has so it will be interesting to see what he does. I still think he should not make more than Warner did but I don't want to see him leave either. Should the Rams pay Bulger whatever he is looking for? There doesn't seem to be much behind him if he leaves.

Jeff Gordon: Bulger's market value relates to QBs around the league, not to his predecessor. Nobody was able to do what Kurt did a short period of time. That was highly unusual. But Bulger ranks somewhere behind Brady, Manning and Palmer as one of the Top 5 or 6 quarterbacks in the league. He takes care of the ball, which is what Scott Linehan wants first and foremost.
Kurt: Of the Rams, Cardinals, and Blues which team do you see the most cause for optimism for the next season and say, for three years from now and why? Same question on the pessimism side. Please consider regular season, post-season, and championship possibilities.

Jeff Gordon: The Rams are a legit playoff threat for this season -- but that team could also face a rebuilding task in three years on as key players age. That team has the shortest window to win among the local teams.
Mike: I read the Rams aren't planning to punish Brown. That idiot could cause them to miss the playoffs! These guys are supposed to be professionals. They should act like it. What do you think?

Jeff Gordon: The league took care of it with a four-game ban. He is one violation removed from a year-long ban. There is no need to do more.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Teo: Dear Sir, What exactly was found in Fahkir Brown's system?
Why does he serve a harsher penalty then Shawn "Juiced up" Merriman?

Jeff Gordon: Don't know what was in his system, but I do know that his previous problems put him in position to get this ban.
Rams1380: Gordo,
With camp rapidly approaching I'm beginning to get worried about our d-line.Out of boredom I went back and read about our previous 1st rd flops Lewis,Kennedy,and Pickett.There clippings were the mirror image of what we have been reading about our current defensive lineman from this years draft.All is good ,Carriker is the man and then I looked at Picketts review(same) and I really got a pit in my stomache when I read about Damone Lewis' quickness and that was on par for Byars jr. Say it aint so Gordo are the loyal fans of the Rams Nation being hoodwinked again?

Jeff Gordon: Carriker is more of a worker than Pickett, Lewis and certainly Kennedy. Those three were drafted on potential they never fully realized -- although they are all still in the league. The concern with Carriker is whether he can really add the size and strength needed to play inside. His heart isn't a concern.
Yarko: Do you think the Rams will (Hope they do) sign Bulger to a new contract? Also If the worsthappens and he doesn't get a new contract, who do you think would be a good fit as Rams quarterback?

Jeff Gordon: The Rams will get this done. The options for 2008 are not appealing, unless Daunte Culpepper revives his career and wants to reunite with Linehan.
Howard F.: So we are down one CB for 4 games is it that big of a deal, meaning is this a reason for conern? We have so many CB's right now, one of them should be able to step in and perform at the same or even higher level than F.Brown. It isn't like he's the Pro Bowl type. Next why are we not making any moves for getting more beef at DT in terms of veteren leadership and experience. I understand we have good young talent but there needs to be some experience their to help the development. I believe that was the prob. with Kennedy. Amongst other things. What do you Say? Oh are they really considering not paying Bulger or trying to under pay him?

Jeff Gordon: The guys you would get at DT now are either disgruntled (Jenkins) or marginal. If the young guys fail in camp, the Rams will have options. As for the missing CB, Brown is the best cover guy on the team -- so his loss is big, even for just four games.
Mike Dietrich: The Rams had a francide reunion this past weekend and there was no mention of it in the ST Louis papers. Why is that?

Jeff Gordon: This was a big deal in LA, where a lot of the old-time players came back. Here, most of the great Rams of this era are still around the franchise or the league.
Mickey B: I get the definite impression that a lot of people feel Adam Carriker is some sort of savior on the d-line, even before he's played a down in the NFL. With the Rams' recent experience in drafting 1st round DTs, exactly what is supposed to be different about Carriker, to the point where they're "sure" he's going to help?

Jeff Gordon: Haslett was instrumental in this pick, as were the other coaches. Carriker is big, hard-working kid. If he stays healthy, his energy level alone will make the defense better. He doesn't have to make a lot of plays, he just needs to occupy the offensive line so the LBs can have a chance to do their jobs.
RCJ: What was Linehans reaction to Browns suspension? Linehan has positioned himself as a no-nonsense sort of coach that won't tolerate off the field issues. Will his response be consistent?

Jeff Gordon: Brown's league punishment was harsh. If he screws up again, he's gone for a year -- so there is nothing more for Linehan to do.
bash-on: On the surface, it would seem that Scott Linehan and Jim Haslett have totally different personalities; one firey and in-your-face and the other cerebral and low keyed. A real `Odd Couple'. How do they get along?

Jeff Gordon: Fine -- and that's why this combo works. If the D Coordinator had Linehan's personality, the whole team might fall asleep before games. Haslett's fiery demeanor is a great complement to the stable head coach.
Dr. Bruce Porfilio: How would you desrcibe Marc Bulger's relationship to rising superstar Steven Jackson? Faulk and Warner had tremendous mutual respect and support for each other but I get a sense that the Bulger-Jackson bond might be detrimental to team chemistry.

Jeff Gordon: Jackson is kind of his own guy, but that's fine. He and Marc click very well in the check-down passing game. Marc appreciates the new offense, since he takes less of a beating.
WV Ram: Jeff,

Marc Bulger has always struck me as a stand up guy. If his current contract has 1 year left, then he'll play out this year and not be a hold out. Am I wrong? What do you predict the numbers will be if he and the Rams F.O. get the deal done?

Jeff Gordon: Either way, he will be a Pro Bowl quarterback if he stays healthy. The Rams will have a better TE option with McMichael and Klopfenstein and a better third-down back in Leonard. Bennett will help, too, as will the better offensive line.
Dustin Johnson: Thanks Gordo, do you see Ron Bartell playing a big role on the Rams D. Is he in line for the nickleback spot? He did good the last 3 games of the season, do you see that continuing?

Jeff Gordon: With Brown out, Bartell gets first crack to start in his place. This should be his job to lose.
chuck: Jeff, I appreciate your coverage of the Rams, you do a great job.

I am greatly concerned about the Rams lack of depth at the RB position. It seems like we are just one injury away
from catastrophe at that position. What can you tell me about Jacksons back-ups that would ease my concerns ?

Jeff Gordon: The Rams spent a high pick on Leonard to fill in as the feature back, should Jackson get hurt. He will also be the third-down passing down back and third-down short-yardage back, in some formations. He is a north-south runner with great hands and decent wheels. He is a big upgrade from Stephen Davis.
John Van Amburg: Gordo,

The four-game suspension of Fakhir Brown is most unwelcome news. During the first four games of the season, the Rams will face two of the most dominant receivers in the league: the Panthers' Steve Smith and Terrell Owens of the Cowboys. Yikes! In your eyes, has Brown's suspension turned these winnable games into probable loses?

Jeff Gordon: It IS a concern, but the Rams will win or lose based on

1) Stop the run, to get the ball back to the offense.

2) Their ability to move the ball, control the clock and score points -- thus forcing teams to play catch-up.

3) Their ability to force mistakes when teams play catch-up. Brown's loss will hurt, especially if somebody else goes down during his absence.
jerome: hey Gordo now there is rumor that the rams and panthers are still talking trade talks about Jinkens.If we get him what will the rams do with carriker?

Jeff Gordon: Carriker starts, regardless. Jenkins was getting pushed for work by Damione Lewis, so don't get too excited about him. If Carolina lowers its asking price, he could push Wroten and Glover for work. Remember, this team may not go with a true nose tackle.
Brad: Jeff...out of the 4 centers who is the guy? I know Andy is back but i see the rams trying to go with a youth movement up front. Would be nice to find a guy who can play there for several years like Doug Smith used to.

Thanks Jeff

Jeff Gordon: Romberg is a solid fill-in guy, but Fry could be the next Setterstrom -- a big guy that makes his push into the rotation. The Rams have had way more luck developing young OL than young DL.
John D.: Will Fakhir Brown be guaranteed a starting spot after serving his suspension? Do you think that Ron Bartell will be able to start and retain the starting position if he continues where he left off last year?

Jeff Gordon: If Bartell plays great in Brown's absence, then he will keep the job. He has the size and work ethic, but he lacks Brown's cover skills. Let's see if that changes.
Tyler: Jeff,
How will Marc Bulgers contract extension effect future talks with Steven Jackson about an extension and how will they all fit under a shrinking salary cap over the next 3 years of the T.V. Deal?

Jeff Gordon: There is always money for Pro Bowl players. Always. Bulger and Jackson are rare commodities.
Greg: I just read this from the article in the paper "coach Scott Linehan said Saturday from Los Angeles, where he was attending a reunion marking 70 years of Rams football." Last time I checked the Rams played in St. Louis. Why would the Rams have this reunion in LA and not in St. Louis? Wouldn't fans in Arizona be upset if the Cardinals held a similar reunion in St. Louis?

Jeff Gordon: The Rams spent a LOT of time in SoCal and many players retired there. That was a cool thing to do.
Frank Santopadre: Jeff -

Obvious question: Are the Rams kidding themselves by relying on 3 rookie Defensive Tackles to plug holes in that porous D-Line?? Thanks!

Jeff Gordon: If they play hard and play big, why not? Besides, Wroten and Glover will be keys to this D-Line as well. You can always get a veteran that somebody else doesn't want. If they need to do that, they will do that.
John D.: Was Brian Leonard a necessity in the second round for the Rams this year? And why do you think he was rated as highly as he was in the draft? He started for three full seasons and never producing a thousand yards rushing. Minus Brian Leonard's receiving yards his stats are similar to those of Jackie Battle who signed as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Cowboys.

Jeff Gordon: Look at his size/speed combination and his hands. He wasn't drafted to start at RB, he was drafted to play FB, third-down receiving back, back-up RB and maybe some H-Back. Linehan likes a power offense and he fits that mold.
Del: If a CB who averaged 4 int's during his 6yrs in the NFL and was nothing great vs the run is worth 8 yr 80 mil with 24 mil signing bonus and a DE who has 5.5 sacks his last 20 games and plays on the NFL's worst run D team worth 6 yrs 72 mil with 2 15 mil signing bonus' one now and one before the 08 season. That is Clements and Freeney. What in the world will it take to get Bulger's signature and will he sign it? Or do the Rams play out the game and tag him before the 08 season? If the latter were the case would anyone give up 2 first rd choices for him?

Jeff Gordon: The Rams want to get Bulger done. His money will have to fall in line right at or just behind "Tom Brady money." There is always a way to structure a deal to make it work for both sides. Tagging Bulger wouldn't be a good idea; that distraction isn't worth it.
scott from so. cal.: good am gordo,

the youth movement on the defense side of the ball is a big risk / reward factor for 2007, don't you think ? unless we make any more moves here in the next few months, it looks like, even if we are fortunate enough to make the playoffs, we'll be one and done.

what's your opinion ?

Jeff Gordon: The Rams' goal is to pound the ball on offense, eat clock, score points and then try to force TOs with the D. In that scenario, youth on D is no big issue. But if the offense doesn't control games . . . well, then the Rams could be in large trouble, again.
Stevo: Hey Jeff, Steven Jackson was somewhat unknown outside the division prior to last season. Now he's known. With the talent surrounding him and deffenses keying on him, how effective do you see him as far as fantasy? Thanks

Jeff Gordon: The Rams must get better in the red zone. It is Linehand's preference to use the run down there, so Jackson ought to have strong fantasy value.
Steve: Hi Jeff, Will Jon Alston see the field this year beyond special teams? With his size and speed where would he fit?

Jeff Gordon: He could be the wild-card player in this D, a pass-rushing specialist attacking from multiple angles. He could be a big, big story.
Joe: Jeff,

Do you really see the Rams Defense as a much more improved unit this year? The players we got in free agency are mediocore at best, and we are betting our entire run defense on a rookie NT, who was a DE in college. I just don't see how adding a couple of mediocore players and a rookie to a 26th ranked defensive team is going to improve us much in this league. And I don't see one person on D making it to the probowl. Thank you.

Jeff Gordon: You may be right about the Pro Bowl, but James Hall and Chris Draft should offer upgrades. The loss of Brown was unfortunate, but Adeyanju could take a step forward at DE and Wroten has upside at DT, if he stays out of trouble.
Stevo: How well do you see Pace, Timmerman and Terrell bouncing back from injuries? How far do you see Klopfenstien progressing with the veteran McMichael there to teach him?

Jeff Gordon: Timmerman is gone. Terrell is fighting Setterstrom for a job. The McMichael Klopfenstein combo will be run, because Linehan will use two TEs and throw to them. Pace's return is a huge factor, since he and Barron could lead the downhill charge in the ground game.
Jay: It seems that what the Rams need the most is someone on teh defensive side of the ball to have a "break through" year. When was the last time the Rams got a surprise on defense, like an Incognito/Rhomberg type surprise? I'm afraid if they don't get something from nothing this year they'll be licking their wounds all season in high scoring games that will eventually cause them to collapse.

Jeff Gordon: They need many step-ups -- Bartell, Wroten, Atogwe, Adeyanju, Alston, Carriker, et al -- to become more competitive on that side of the ball.
LT: Hey Gordo,

Although it looks as if the Rams starting secondary will be even younger than in 06'(at least for the first 4 weeks), I believe this makes the acquisition of James Hall even more critical. A good pass rush from both ends goes a long way in helping a young secondary. And remember... the db's held their own without a pass rush last year. What's your take Gordo?

Jeff Gordon: The idea will be to applu pressure with the DEs, blitzes, whatever. That is Haslett's game. He has more athletes (like Alston) capable of doing that.
Marc- Phoneix: With the NBA and NFL both having Salary caps, why does the NFL have holdouts every year and in the NBA the guys always seem to sign right away. Why cant the NFL institute some formula that says if the player is taken here that this is there salary for the next three years or something.

Jeff Gordon: The players don't want it that way, but it would sure beat the current system. First-round picks make way too much, relative to veterans.