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  1. #1
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    CHatting with Gordo 8-6-07

    Nick Jones: Hey Gordo!

    What are your impressions on Scott Linehan as a coach? I think he has done an excellent job so far. He has systematically addressed his team's weaknesses (defense, special teams, red-zone inefficiency) while improving upon its offensive strength (the rejuvination of the O-line, and adding Bennet, McMichael, Leonard to an already potent bunch). He got Tinoisamoa, Little, and especially Bulger extensions where it seemed like under Martz, the team would drag its feet and lose their core players to other teams.

    He also knows how to take care of his veterans, which many young coaches fail to realize is as important as it is. What impressed me the most was his relinquishment of play-calling duties to Greg Olson, something "offensive-minded" coaches have a real hard time doing. While it's too early to tell if it translates into wins on the football field, I think ultimately, he's going to be a a top-tier coach in this league. You? Thanks.

    Jeff Gordon: He not only admitted some shortcoming last year, he acted on them. He learned a lot. I believe the players responded to a guy that wasn't such an egomaniac.
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    Scott from So. Cal: Good Morning Gordo :

    Does Brock Berlin have a realistic chance of grabbing the #3 QB job, or did Linehan just bring him in for an extra camp arm ?

    Jeff Gordon: Berlin has some Dolphin ties, so he is not just an arm. Tate would have just been an arm. But Fitz has the brains and the mobility to be an effective No. 3 guy for another year.
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    RB Ramfan: With the success of offensive coordinator's Olsen play calling during the second half of last season and his continuing success this year, it would be probable to think that he would be looked at as a coach somewhere and sometime in the near future. If that were to happen, who would be another OC to consider for the Rams? How do you think Linehan would respond given his lack of interest in dealing with the OC position and instead being a head coach to oversee things?

    Jeff Gordon: We're getting away ahead of ourselves. Let's see how the playcalling goes this season and go from there.
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    James Wylie: I was just wondering how Claude Wroten is progressing during training camp? All the talk seems to be about (understandably) Adam Carriker and Jonathan Wade, while there has been little to no mention of Wroten since his brush with the law. Has he reacted positively? Also is there any word on Brown's appeal? Thank you from a UK Rams fan!

    Jeff Gordon: Brown as a good story for his appeal, but the players haven't gotten many of those overturned. As for Wroten, he is still on track to become an impact player this year.
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    Doug: Gordo: Thanks for the great forum for allowing us to ask the "important questions".

    I was wondering how the battle between Ryan and Jackson is going right now for a spot at DT? Do you see one or possibly both of them making the roster? Also, was wondering if fry is still working at center or if he is learning the guard position to back up Cogs?


    Thanks again

    Doug

    Jeff Gordon: Fry's calling cards are size and versatility. He has a chance to make it as a C/G. Ryan is off to a better start at DT than Jackson and I suppose putting both on the roster will be tough -- especially if the Rams land another vet at some point.
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    Keith Ramsey: Why is Nolan Cromwell not the H.O.F.? Also,should we expect Jon Alston to work himself onto the defence this year?

    Thank-you for your time.
    Keith

    Jeff Gordon: Ah, Nolan Cromwell. I'd old enough to remember him as a Jawhawk QB. I've never heard his name mentioned as a H of F possibility, so I guess he didn't rise to the level of greatness needed.
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    Stevo: Hey Jeff, Im not one to keep things going, I just want to know, did Jackson open a can of whipin' on O.J?

    Jeff Gordon: Luckily nobody broke any bones swinging at helmets and shoulder pads. Incognito had Jackson's back, so he was going to be OK.
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    ANGEl REYES: hey jeff,

    baring major injury to the defense, do you think a starting tandem of wroten & carriker is gonna cut the mustard? if not are there any veterans free agents still available.

    10-6 record is my lowest expectation, what would be your highest?

    Jeff Gordon: Again, 9-7 is my expectation. Other veteran DTs will get cut lose as the preseason drags on. Whether the Rams act on that depends on how Ryan comes along.
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    Tom: Hi Jeff! A fair amount of press has been devoted to Adam Carriker switching from his college position of DE to NT with the Rams. From what I have read recently, Cliff Ryan looks really good at NT as well. Do you think there is a possibility that as the season goes on they might swap? NT is Cliff's natural position, and he has the size and build to excel there. It seems that Carriker has the skill set to roam anywhere on the D-line and therefore could be used accordingly to keep opposing teams guessing. What is your take on this?

    Jeff Gordon: Ryan should spell Carriker, but I would expect Wroten and Glover to handle the other post unless an injury occurs.
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    grahame bell: Do you think the Rams have any interest in having a look at Simeon Rice?

    Jeff Gordon: He used to be Leonard Little. But now he's not anymore.
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    JY ED IB Fan: Just wondering about the offensive line for the Rams. They have added a lot of size and attitude to the interior and are big at the tackle position. I have no doubt they will be brute maulers in the running game but is there any indication that the pass protection will be improved this year? Have these big guys shown improvement in that facet of their game?

    Jeff Gordon: You assume pass protection improvement from year to year with young people. But the power running game and two-TE looks will go a long way to helping the OL protect. Linehan won't put nearly the pressure on these guys that Martz did with his four wides and his empty backfields.
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    Stevo: Hey Jeff, Thanks for the forum, its the best!!!

    Which of the four Tight Ends gets left out in at the end?

    Has Dane Looker been the only holder working with Wilkins?

    Is it me or can Cal Ripken and Bruce Willis pass as Brothers(Ha Ha)?

    Jeff Gordon: Yeah, Cal is showing lots of scap these days. At tight end, Byrd has a to prove -- but unusual talent, if he gets focused. I'd like to see him shine on special teams, if he has it in him. If he doesn't have it in him, I don't see him making the team.
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    John: Hi Jeff,
    What's your take on C. Wroten this preseason? I've read everything from he's constantly being yelled at for mistakes in camp to he's re-committed, mature and a heck of a physical force to be reconned with in the middle. He along with Carriker are going to be integral in stopping the run this year--so what's your opinion of his progress? Boom or Bust?

    Jeff Gordon: We'll see now that the heavier lifting is under way. But he is a disruptive physical force. If he can mature into a consistent performer (unlike his predecessors), he could earn himself HUGE money going forward. He has that potential. But then again, he has baggage, too.
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    Mark Cockerell: Hey Gordo! Why is it that year after year we never hear much about the Rams on NFL.com, Inside the NFL or other football shows? They always talk about the same players and the same teams and some of them had terrible records. Does the NFL not like the Rams? Is it Georgia? It also seems when they do write they never have anything positive to say about them.

    Also just for the record. I am over the Mike Vick thing, it is everywhere and all the headlins are about players with drug problems or have been arrested. Get rid of him and lets talk about the great athletes and the good they do, I don't want my son reading about him or any others that have problems with drugs/police

    Jeff Gordon: You're talking about a .500 team with a boring (to the media) head coach. Nothing glamorous or ugly about this bunch. That could change if this group takes a bigger step than many of us expect this season.
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    Larry Arce: Dear Mr. Gordon, why are there are so many detractors of the Ram front office? Every year they do a bang up job of managing the cap allowing the club to sign free agents and pay the core players but still people on this sight continue to moan how sub-standard the front office is.

    Jeff Gordon: The front office believes the Rams have been competitive since the Super Bowl years. Fans complain the team has been mediocre. The line between the two is thin. The Rams have seldom been awful, which happens a lot in this league. On balance, I say the front office (Shaw/Zygmunt)has done a nice job keeping the football operation on course through difficult times. Players age, players get hurt. Teams rise and fall. This is the NFL.
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    Jason: hey there,
    Everyone is always talking about the rams amazing offense,sure their offense is amazing but they haven't had a winning season in 3 years. Everyone is looking to Carriker to solve the rams woeful run defense,along with James Hall (who came from terrible Detroit) and Chris Draft.We've already seen Kennedy,Picket,and Lewis go,they were all former first rounders too.is this the year the rams actually get it together on defense or are we just going to watch the rams score 30 a game while giving up 35.

    Jeff Gordon: There has been a lot of turnover, so there is hope. Haslett cycled out much of what he didn't like last year. Now the unit is young, but there seems to be plenty of life.
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    Guard: Gordo,

    I have heard that Hill, Adeyanju, Chillar, Bartell, Baron to name a few have all had a great camp thus far, and showed great improvement. As you have observed camp thus far, who has improved the most in your opinion?

    Jeff Gordon: The coaches would say Hill, who now looks capable of being the lead CB. He was lost at this point last year.
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    Guard: Gordo,

    I've heard that the only starting position still up for grabs is between McCollum and Romberg at Center. Does this mean that Chillar will be the starter at SLB? Did Draft's illness during camp have an impact?

    Jeff Gordon: The kid isn't headed to the Pro Bowl. Once Draft gets rolling, let's see how set Brandon really is.

    But, yes, the coaching staff does like Chillar.
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    Mike: Gordo,
    It's time to quit talking about the Cardinals and begin ramping up for the Rams season. How have the linebackers looked in camp? Is Pisa fully healthy and will Draft challenge Chillar for a starting spot?

    Jeff Gordon: Nice piece on Chillar in the Post. It reminds that the coaches liked his progress last year against the run. But, yes, Draft will push him once he can really get to work. Chillar could move around if an injury hit, as could Draft or Witherspoon.

    Pisa is healthy, for now. Rams Nation hopes he doesn't go through another season of playing with one arm.
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    Guard: Hi Gordo,

    So Torry Holt says that his rehab is at about 75%. Any concern in the Rams organization that Torry may not be at 100% by start of season?

    BTW, hope that you are feeling better... best regards.

    Jeff Gordon: I sound like I'm dying on the radio. Sorry about that. I don't really feel bad, it's just congestion. As for Holt, the season is a long way off. I would not worry about him. He learned the offense last year and he and Bulger won't need much full-speed work to get their timing back.
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    Andrew Carini: How has the defense been performing in practice against the run, an area of weakness last year? Any noticable improvement?

    Jeff Gordon: It's just camp, but you see young, physical DTs banging around against the young, physical guards. Draft hasn't done much because of his physical condition, but he will be a big factor in all this, too.
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    Bryan: Could the Rams be preparing to switch to a 3-4 defense in certain situations? I could see Little, Carriker, and Hall on the line, with Carriker also moving over to end for Glover to take the DT spot. Linebackers would be Alston, Draft, Witherspoon, and Pisa. Would it be a viable option for the Rams or am I looking too much into some of the roster acquisitions?

    Also what do you think are the chances of Missouri State's mens basketball team ever getting to play Mizzou in the next 5 years?

    Jeff Gordon: Haslett talked about doing that last year, but he didn't have the people. There is a good chance he will use some 3-4 principles this year. We will see mostly vanilla stuff in camp, but he could pull some stuff this season.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ivon: Could you give me an update on the Rams secondary? How is the rookie db from Arkansas doing Darius Vinnett?

    Jeff Gordon: Vinnett earned lots of early love, which is good for him. That means he will see preseason action -- giving him a chance to make the group. Hill, Bartell and Wade are holding up at CB, but if somebody gets hurt . . .
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    TODD VAN WICKLEN: WHAT OPPOSING DEFENSE THIS YEAR MATCHES UP WITH THE RAMS OFFENSE.IN A NUT SHELL,WHO CAN STOP ALL OF OUR WEAPONS?

    Jeff Gordon: Just about every team in the league could stop the Rams in the red zone last season, so let's not get too excited about this team until it consistently finishes off drives with TDS and not just field goals.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Russ: Hi Jeff,

    I am very disappointed in the Rams decision to close all practices to the public. I have had to cancel a travel plans as a result. This is move is a slap in the face to fans. Do you think that the some practices will be reopened before camp breaks?

    Thanks for you time

    Jeff Gordon: If they move inside -- a good option when it hits 100 degrees -- there is limited viewing space for the public. Ultimately, people would just get in the way. Blame the weather, not the Rams.
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    Hang Time: While I have to respect Stephen Jackson's zealous pursuit of 2500 Faulk-breaking total yards , still, I can't help wonder whether Jackson's ambition is somehow becoming a seed of divisiveness. The recent scuffle in which Chavous broke practice etiquette by tackling Jackson as if it were a playoff game, might be evidence that there's some ill will towards the superstar. Although Linehan says he admires SJ's Supergoal, Linehan also wants to limit Jackson's touches. Coach wants to prolong Jackson's career and make sure he stays fresh going into the stretch drive of the season. Linehan intends to spell SJ with Leonard abd I worry about the outcome. Any clue that Stephen Jackson might be become a "team chemistry" wrecker or more of a "team unifier? I'm concerned!

    Jeff Gordon: Not only will Leonard take away some touches, but TE Randy McMichael will, too, in the checkdown game. In the long haul this will be good for Jackson and good for the Rams' playoff hopes. But Linehan wants to run so much this season that I believe Jackson will ultimately get enough work to keep him happy.
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    Steve Rath: Why didn't the Rams keep one of the two cornerbacks: Jerametrius Butler or Travis Fisher? You can never have too many cb's, and I have a feeling that Bartell, Walls, or Wade is going to get toasted those first four games.

    Jeff Gordon: If the Rams knew Brown was going to get suspended, maybe they act differently. But I doubt - the coaches didn't like either Fisher (work ethic, conditioning, injury history) or Butler (attitude) that much. Right now Darius Vinnett is threatening to come off the street and earn some preseason reps.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Al Freeman: Jim,
    It seems like we have a wealth of defensive lineman that are doing very well. Who do you see winning the starting positions and who will back up who. Thanks!

    Jeff Gordon: Little-Wroten-Carriker-Hall would be the best group to start with, with Glover rotating in at DT and Adeyanju tagging in for Hall on run downs. Jackson or Ryan could move into the middle in short yardage. Other than that, I would say the Rams could still add a veteran DE if the right player shakes out of somebody's camp.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    bash-on: By all accounts, Adam Carriker is going to be a top flight DT. Those DT's that penetrate and get into the backfield to blow up plays seem to make the headlines much more than the stay-at-home type that are tasked to tie up blockers. Which assignment will he draw and which is he best suited for?

    Bash-on Regardless
    `Powder River Let 'er Buck'

    Jeff Gordon: He is a guy that will occupy two blockers and (the Rams hope) stuff the opponents' run game. He is not a penetrator. That job will fall to Wroten and, once and a while, Glover.
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    Loren: I am a lifetime Ram fan and I am more excited this year then I have been in a long time. If our defensive line holds up and we stay healthy. I believe the sky is the limit. You have mentioned many times you predict 9-7. Just today get off the fence say yes the rams will or will not go deep into the playoffs. Is Ryan a true nose tackle that will make a difference this year. like I have been hearing from the posts here.

    Jeff Gordon: I'd be surprised if this team went deep into the playoffs. It could happen, of course, but it's hard to distinguish between the four NFC West teams until we see who gets hurt and which young players step up. The Rams could play a lot better than last season and still end up with just one more victory, given the improvements elsewhere in the division.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Minneapolis Ram: We hear a lot about Carriker: how motivated he is, how big he is, etc. In your opinion, what are the odds that he will actually have a positive impact on the D-Line that helps shore up the well documented problems there?

    Thanks!

    Jeff Gordon: He works harder and has a more aggressive playing style than Kennedy did. He will make a mark more quickly than Pickett did. There is just no comparing the motors on these guys.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    chris g: hey jeff,
    why didn't the rams pursue kris jenkins or another defensive tackle this off season? do they really think adam carikker is gonna be that good? with the offense they have a big defensive player could have made this team a real contender? how far fo you think they can go?
    chris g west orange,nj

    Jeff Gordon: A LOT of big-name defensive lineman have come available. Haslett has a read on all of them and none of them made him drool. Jenkins might have brought some near-term relief, but his injury history -- and the fact Damione Lewis is better right now -- discouraged teams from offering a high pick for him.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    george smith: hey jeff,

    who are the likely to fill the backup sports at DE and DT for the rams this season and who is the future at SS...is it Alston, Todd Johnson, Jerome carter or is it likely to come from the next couple of drafts?

    Thanks

    Jeff Gordon: There isn't much real depth on the defensive line. The returning contributors,James Hall and most of the rookies will make the team. There isn't much in the way of a camp battle there. As for safety, that position is definitely To Be Announced. Chavous and Atogwe seem OK for now, Johnson and Carter like to hit people and Alston can blitz, but I still see this as a position lacking a long-term impact player.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    tim: It looks like our offense is pretty much set except for the center spot, who do you think is going to win the job this year?

    Jeff Gordon: If McCollum stays healthy, he will be tough to beat out. As we've noted before, Linehan likes having flexible linemen -- so Romberg came to camp with an uphill fight. There are several candidates, including McCollum, capable of playing center and guard.
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    tim: What are the Rams plans with Brian Lenard, Fullback or Running Back? And if its fullback then who is going to back up Steven Jackson?

    Jeff Gordon: Leonard can play some fullback because he can block. But the Rams are more interested in getting him the ball as Jackson's back-up and as a third-down receiving option. I see him getting a fair number of touches this season in a variety of ways.

    Word of warning for the fantasy football crowds: Leonard may not take away much of Jackson's yardage, but he could take away some of the TDs by assuming a red-zone role.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jim Langley: Will Bruce be the #2 reciver all season or will Drew Bennett replace him

    Jeff Gordon: If Bruce stays healthy, he'll see more snaps. But a strong three-man rotation would do Ike and Torry some good as they try to stay well. Drew will be in the middle of things.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Andrew: What will the rams do with Byrd and Kloffenstein could one of them be moving to fullback? Will the rams move Witherspoon back to the outside and draft in the middle?

    Jeff Gordon: Byrd is a fascinating athlete. Not sure if he is a football player. He could move into multiple roles, if he wants to work and learn. The tools are interesting.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Klent Starks: Any updates on if Brown will get to play the first 4 games this season?

    Jeff Gordon: So far, no he will not. He has a good story to tell, if the NFL will really listen.


  2. #2
    rammiser's Avatar
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    Re: CHatting with Gordo 8-6-07

    Is it me am I just a myopic blind Rams fan or is Gordo right? I feel the Rams could win 11 games, maybe even more. I mean even if our defense only improves by 10 positions against the run, our offense is going to be better. It's going to be tougher for teams to stop us on a consistant basis with the upgrades of Bennett and Mcmichael added to our offense. I really am not sold on the NFL's darling whiners, and certainly not sold on the Cards. Yes the Seahawks are still a good team but their wr core is not the best. Branch is good but who else do they have that can put fear in you and for that matter does Branch put fear in you? Gordo keeps saying 9-7, maybe he is superstitious. I dont know but like one of the guys said I am more excited about this team than I have been in a long time. This team could quietly be one of those teams that just bounces back from being mediocre to being very fromidable.
    Just Fix It

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    Re: CHatting with Gordo 8-6-07

    Quote Originally Posted by rammiser View Post
    Is it me am I just a myopic blind Rams fan or is Gordo right? I feel the Rams could win 11 games, maybe even more. I mean even if our defense only improves by 10 positions against the run, our offense is going to be better. It's going to be tougher for teams to stop us on a consistant basis with the upgrades of Bennett and Mcmichael added to our offense. I really am not sold on the NFL's darling whiners, and certainly not sold on the Cards. Yes the Seahawks are still a good team but their wr core is not the best. Branch is good but who else do they have that can put fear in you and for that matter does Branch put fear in you? Gordo keeps saying 9-7, maybe he is superstitious. I dont know but like one of the guys said I am more excited about this team than I have been in a long time. This team could quietly be one of those teams that just bounces back from being mediocre to being very fromidable.
    Yeah, every team in this division has improved (esp. the Whiners). Yes the Seahawks wideouts aren't too great, but they're more balanced because of their defense and have as much a chance as we do. This division is anyone's, though I see the title heading back to St. Louis.

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    Re: CHatting with Gordo 8-6-07

    Yeah, I feel excited about this year (and the next few years).

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