Robert: Jeff,

Long time RAMS fan I cannot believe that this team is this bad, I think USC can put come in here and put a lick on this team. How long can I see this offense play this poorly there should be no excuse even with an patch work offensivly line that they can't seem to get in the endzone. I blame the coaching staff because this team has no fire no intensity,not even pride or fortitude to play the game. This organization starting with the GM/owner and coaching staff needs to be held accountable for this mess.

Just a ticked off RAMS FAN FROM Orange County!!!!!!

Jeff Gordon: There may be some lack of direction or belief, but I wouldn't question character. Most of the original offensive unit is either injured or playing hurt. You do want to see more from Barron, Klopfenstein and Byrd -- three of the young guys with no reason not to do more.
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Mike N.: The Rams pass rush --especially the front four -- was ineffective. But it seemed that I saw at least five or six obvious holding penalties go uncalled against the Cowboys. Was I seeing things or were the Refs turning a blind eye? I know with slo-mo instant replay it is much easier to see things than when viewing the play at game speed on the field.

Jeff Gordon: Well, there is always some level of holding out there. To get those calls, a defensive front has to get a consistently good push. The Rams didn't have that Sunday.
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LandShark: Gordo,
Now that some of the emotion of another bad loss has subsided and I can think clearly, what in your opinion is the number of wins a coaching staff has to get to in the NFL to keep their jobs? Vermeil and company were on the hot seat in season 2 with 5 wins. Since the NFL is a business and this current team is a public relations nightmare, I am thinking anything less than 4 wins should be the end of the Linehan coaching days.

Jeff Gordon: It's tough to put a number on it because of all the injuries. And the front office is not inclined to make a quick move. But with this team in dire straits, it'l be interesting to see how Linehan handles the adversity. Right now, more than ever, he must prove he can really lead.
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infocusf8@earthlink.net: Rams fans should stage a total no show game day so Rams front office will know what it could be like if the Rams continue their poor decisions.

Jeff Gordon: Empty seats will get management's attention. So will selling tickets to the other side. John Shaw's patience could evaporate if The Ed goes south on this franchise.
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Jay: What is up with the continued miscues by Bennett? He has "bust" written all over him thus far. With McMichael, at least you can say he isn't getting opportunities, Bennett isn't making the most out of his.

Jeff Gordon: We know Bennett can play in the NFL. But he hasn't been healthy and he certainly hasn't flourished within this offense. Kevin Curtis he is not.
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Jay: Greg Olson is becoming Linehan's Marmie. Why? That is the question that surrounds this man's play calling. Why does he insist on running after a failed first down pass attempt every time? Why is he running on 2nd & 25? Why did it take 4 weeks to add that quick hit route to Bruce? Why have we not scored an offensive TD in 2 games? Why did we sign McMichael and refuse to use him in the redzone?

The Linehan boat is taking on water fast, and if I were Scott I'd unload that anchor of an offesive coordinator, if for no other reason than to buy himself some time.

Jeff Gordon: Olson's play-calling is a reflection of Linehan's clearly stated offensive philosophy. Scott doesn't want his play caller to be a daredevil, especially with so many guys hurt.
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Buzz: Gordo,
1) I stopped counting the missed tackles yesterday. The final count must have been close to 100. I define a missed tackle as getting two hands around the opponent, sliding down and falling on your face. Can you get turf burns on your face from that?
2) A theory on the Rams collapsing in the second half of games. Bulger's ribs bother him more and more as the game progresses, making his downfield throws (if any) inaccurate. The opposing D sees this and pinches in, preventing the run and short passes. Our D loses heart and starts missing tackles, resulting in some nasty facial burns. What do you think? Thanks.

Jeff Gordon: That about sums it up. Bulger really struggled as that game progressed. The Rams D lost hope about the time the Cowboys smelled blood.
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Joe Nopatiance: Wow!!! what a game.How long can it last before lendahand is a thing of the past?

Jeff Gordon: The coach does need to come up with some answers. He sure didn't have many after the game in Dallas.
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Martok: When did the Rams change their name to St. Louis Lambs?

Jeff Gordon: About the time Linehan went for a 56-yard field goal try instead of one more first down.
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James Arnold: Jeff:

Can you give me an assessment on the college players coming out and if there is a no-brainer #1 pick? At this point I believe we have to be realistic and settle in to the idea that we are a very very bad team and receiving the #1 pick is all we have left to play for. In addition, my fear is that Shaw will be too cheap to ever draft the number 1 overall and will screw it up by trading down for 2 #2's or worst a 2 and 3. Thoughts? Finally, I realize that you still defend Linehan and his coaching but I must reiterate that he is not a NFL head coach. What are the chances of us signing Marty or Cowher?

Jeff Gordon: Interesting, Mel Kiper Jr. ranks three quarterbacks among his top seven players for the next draft: Brian Brohm of Louisville, Andre' Woodson of Kentucky and Matt Ryan of Boston College. Just saying . . .
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Frank: Why didn't Linehan replace Bulger? Bulger was/is obviously hurt. Linehan needs to learn how to make adjustments on the fly...

My hat is off to the defense for a great first half...it would have been nice to have had some offensive support...

Gordo-- Have you heard anything on Wilkins? Is he hurt?

Thanks
Frank (Richmond)

PS.. How about the Fighing Irish 0-5...the perfect season continues...Fight On!

Jeff Gordon: No sympathy for the Irish, none at all. Wilkins has no real explanation for his struggle. And you're right about Bulger.
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William G: It's not very often that you get to make a funny joke, ask a serious question and make a critique about 1 team let alone two but here it goes.

Who gets a win first, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish or the St. Louis Rams?

Jeff Gordon: Touch schedule for the Irish. I don't see any wins until November. Surely the Rams will win first.
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Steve W: Hi Jeff,

Regarding the Rams, what happened..again?? I like Jim Haslett, but not the rest. Even with the injuries, this is still the core of the geatest show, isn't it??

Jeff Gordon: Poor Rams. The Greatest Show is a distance memory. No comparisons now.
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jay l.: Where is Hagans? He was the only exciting player in the pre-season and he is nowhere to be found now. I think the Rams could use some spark on offense. Also, why not give Timmerman a call at this point?

Jeff Gordon: We may see Hagans now that Looker has a bruised thigh and Bruce is sore.
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Brian R: Abysmal as it has been, I'm not as down on the coaching as most fans around here. I think the Rams' greatest problems are talent (as Bernie so correctly pointed out) and accountability. If they lack the talent, they're going to get beat like a drum Sunday after Sunday. And there is little doubt that the injuries, bad drafts and bad signings/non-signings have depleted the talent in a devastating way.

That said, coaches, players and front office alike have to be held accountable for their failures. I do not understand AT ALL why Walls and Klopfenstein have jobs this morning. NOT AT ALL. If either Linehan or Zygmunt is responsible for taking no action to rid the team of these two talentless wastes of roster space/cap room, Shaw should separate the responsible party from HIS job. And if Shaw won't do that, Georgia should separate John from HIS job.

And if Georgia is unwilling to do that, every fan should separate his dollars from her. No more ticket sales. No more merchnadise. And maybe then she will restore accountability to this franchise.

Jeff Gordon: Walls is taking a beating for his lousy play, but he is just a depth guy. The Brown suspension and Hill injury put the No. 5 cornerback on the team in play. Klopfenstein and Byrd are flops, given their inability to do anything in this offense. But give most teams this quantity and quality of injuries and their personnel shortcomers will be exposed.

Pace, Jackson, Incognito, Hill, Brown, Setterstrom, Steussie, Wroten, Tinoisamoa -- these are pretty big hits.
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Greg: I was at the Gridbirds vs. Steelers game yesterday, it's nice to see Warner playing efficiently with 1) a healthy thumb, 2) a decent o-line, and 3) no pressure to be the savior of the team (with a capable Leinert available to come over the boards during a line change). I see these comments about Martz and Warner and have to laugh. Martz is who we thought he was...an excellent OC who was in over his head as head coach and talent evaluation. His time in STL was over when it ended, ditto for Warner, for various Martz-related reasons by the way. STL fans need to quit pining for folks like Whitey Herzog and Brendan Shananhan everytime the current regime slips up. That being said, Linehan and Co. seem to be similarily over-matched and you hope that the timeframe for change doesn't spread out over multiple wasted seasons.

Jeff Gordon: Kurt's not too fired up for this week's game, is he?
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jeff fin: Mr. Gordon,
How can one team fall so far? Without a doubt this is the worst group in the NFL. I feel one must look straight to the top. They kicked Mr. Martz to the curb, a true innovator and offensive genius. A man, I might add, with a mind for football and not cheap CIA tactics. The Ram's are surely getting their just dessert. Go Lions!!!

Jeff Gordon: At this point, could the Rams beat the Dolphins? That would be a heck of a game, no?
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Tim: Jeff,
Why isn't McCollum in their to help out the OL ? 14 years expirence and I think he can provide some leadership. How about getting Timmerman back. He's not playing for another team is he? the Donut brothers could help solidify the OL and plus Icognito maybe back next week. It wouldn't be the first time the ram's coaxed a journymen out of retirement if the money is right. Who Knows.

Jeff Gordon: Andy was the last healthy guy standing Sunday, so he may have to play guard now -- although that thought may not excite him. As for Timmerman, why would he want to come back to this mess?
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Ryan: How about Donnie Jones on Sunday. Can you imagine the impact that guy would have for a good team? Also, I'm glad the "Greatest Woe On Turf" is still setting records this season such as 31 straight drives without a touchdown. Now that's an accomplishment!!!!!!

Jeff Gordon: How bad would that score been had Jones not crushed all those punts? At least two guys (counting Hall) had a good day.
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Ken (I don't believe anymore): AS I see it these are 4 possibilities:
1. Linehan is fired after the cardinals beat us 49 to 3 (Wilkins goes 1 for 4 inside the 20) and Haslett replaces Linehan as interim coach
2. Linehan completes the season and then is fired and we get the # 1 draft choice after an 0-16 season.
3. Linehan gets one more year because he had so many injuries that that management can believe it is his fault he went 0-16. We have another terrible year, making it a record that will never be broken (0-32) Linehan gets fired at the end of the third year, we get the #1 draft choice for the second year in a row.
4. The Football gods finally have enough and come down and give Linehan a football brain, he realizes that passes to the flat don't work; he has to throw over the middle, using timing pattern; that Gus Ferrote actually is paid $2 Million to play Quarterback when Bulger is hurt; that the 20 yard line is not the goal line. And amazingly Linehan starts to win some games and saves his job.

Which do you think is most likely to happen?

PS. Did you see Hedgecock play for Giants? He looked pretty good. Any more talent Linehan can give away before he leaves.

Jeff Gordon: Hmmm . . . No. 4 sounds like the most appealing option, as you present them. Why we didn't see Gus earlier in Sunday's game is a mystery.
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John B: Do you think Pace is done? Since it has not been his legs, I am wondering if he can come back refreshed and play better if he can heal. This version of the Rams seems pointless. Dallas gave the Rams a chance in the first half to put some points up but Bulger was shot and the play calling [run on third and 23] was mind numbing. I think Frerotte with intelligent plays equals a chance to win. In fact, you wonder if the play calling was based on Bulgers inability to throw. Pick one to explain this miserable start. Injuries. Bad luck. Questionable coaching decisions. Bad team. Just one.

Jeff Gordon: Pace has had a couple of unusual injuries. You would hope that he has not become brittle as a NFL veteran, because the team sunk large cap dollars into him and great left tackles are hard to find -- as we can see.

As for the team's failure this year, it is a combination of all the above. Injuries are a big factor, but a lot of players failed to do their job. And the coaching has lacked as well.

Jim: Given the demise of the O-Line / loss of the season, the Rams should have a little fun. Put Hagans in at QB and run an option offense. Desperate times call for desperate measures. What's the worse that could happen, they'd lose?

Jeff Gordon: It might be cool to see him do it for a series or two. I'd like to see him play some WR and some life the group.
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Ruby O'Quinn: Hello. I have a comment about the Rams. Is it possible that we need another coach that has more experience in coaching a professional football? I know we have the talent needed to win games, but something is hendering the Rams from succeeding.

Jeff Gordon: Until he proves otherwise, Linehan's lack of head coaching experience a huge problem for this organization. He suffered growing pains last season and this year speaks for itself.
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valhalla: Gordo-

Could you give me some info where I can fill out an application for a Guard position? I figure at this rate, I'll be starting by early Novemeber.

Seriously, has Linehan lost his mind, this team or both? There is no way Bulger should have started that game, let alone go as long as he did. He was inaccurate, evidently in pain and making poor decisions due to the ribs. If Frerotte doesn't start this week, I already have my Scott Linehan effigy started in the garage and I'll be burning it a the next home game.

How's the O Line health, currently? Who's the next contestant on "Who Wants To Tear Tendon?" (Sarcasm emitter turning off now) -RIC-

Jeff Gordon: Goldberg's injury was a tough blow, because he wasn't bad at RT, under the circumstances. Now Brandon Gorin is getting tested. Yikes! This would be a great time for Incognito to recover from his high ankle sprain so Brown could return to this utility role.
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The Ghost of Eric Crouch: I guess ownership & Shaw will support Linehan thru next year and that's a shame. If they use injuries as the only excuse for the 0-4 start...they are blind. Linehan continues to show his faults, week in and week out. During the offseason it was the inability to procure decent talent from the draft (especially 2006, take a look at those stellar picks in rounds 2 and 3) and free agency. During the preseason it was his decision to NOT play the starters to prepare them for game action. During the season its: clock management, anesthesizing of the offense, lack of direction, etc. Plus other decisions that scratch your head (his propensity to bring in ex-Vikes and his hiring of a high school coach as special teams coach - although yesterday was probably their best performance of the year).

I picture this team on an 0-8 start. The cracks of Linehan's competence as a head coach are getting larger and larger each week. Not only does the team need to improve, but his head coaching/decision making too.

Jeff Gordon: Who could have guessed that his special teams coach would be the one guy whose stock is trading high after four weeks?
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Jay: Who was responsible for the 2006 draft?

Jeff Gordon: The coaches had a big part in that, so the inability of Klopfenstein to progress has been especially vexing. He seemed to have impact potential last year.

That young players like Byrd and Wroten have maturity issues isn't a surprise, give their issues in college. But it's up to the coaches to make those picks work. When you draft for athletic potential, it's up to the coaches to instill some character and work ethic.
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Cory: There seems to be "more than meets the eye" when it comes to what ails this Rams team in 2007. We all know about the high number of injuries that have plagued this team. And I'm sure by now you have answered 20 questions about play calling, or the lack there of. But do you feel like something is going on internally with this Rams team? Are the Rams going to have a house cleaning this offseason and bring in younger players that want to play? And does that mean we might be seeing the last of veteran players like Isaac Bruce, La Roi' Glover, and Leonard Little?

One last question. Have you ever seen a NFL player embarassed like Joe Klopfenstein was yesterday against DeMarcus Ware? They showed a replay package in the fourth quarter of the game where DeMarcus Ware ran over Klopfenstein 4 or 5 times.

Jeff Gordon: The current players -- or at least those left standing -- want to play. But some housecleaning will be in order, as always, due to the advancing age of some players.
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Matt: How long do you honestly see linehan as the rams head coach? Also regarding blowing up the offense and starting over are you saying we need new players or a new scheme...I still think we have the talent to have a potent offense I just don't think whatever linehan is trying to instill in this offense fits the personality of its players

Jeff Gordon: Blow up the scheme, for sure. And there will be personnel changes too -- better TEs behind McMichael, a better No. 4 WR, a better fullback and additional offensive line help as well. Also, the team needs to move a real QB prospect into the No. 3 role next year.
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Richard Mosteller: What do you think, are the Rams on the clock?

Jeff Gordon: It's getting close. As I noted earlier, there are hot QBs at the top of the draft. Some nice defensive linemen, too.
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Nick: I am getting tired of hearing the injury excuse. The inability or refusal to make the most basic adjustments was a problem before the injuries started. The inability or refusal to throw a pass to tight ends was a problem before the injuries started. (Why have we invested so much in tight ends when they are being utilized about as much as Martz did?) The inability or refusal to utilize the strengths of this team was a problem before the injuries started. I believe that 20-something seam route to Bruce was the first we have seen this year. That pass was the core of the Rams' PAST record setting performances. (If it was covered, dump it to the running back in space and let him get the first down.)

I don't wish for Martz who had passed the point of sanity with the Rams. But I would like NFL-caliber coaching, which maximizes the talent and strengths of a team to give it its best chance to win every Sunday. I am tired of this bad high school coaching staff. The Patriots did not beat the Rams in the Super Bowl because they had superior talent. They beat us because they were coached well, played to their strengths, and allowed to tackle our wide receivers with or without the ball (and lord knows what else).

Jeff Gordon: Injuries provide the coaching staff some cover, but they don't excose the wholesale failure of this team.
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Steve: Jeff,

Forget about bad, can it get any more embarrassing this season? The defense played well for 27 1/2 minutes, ST finally does something to keep us in the game and it's 3rd and 3 at midfield. How can Hall and Little NOT EVEN COME CLOSE to Romo? It looked like both were going for the ball even after he picked it up...I am totally disgusted with this team, injuries or not, they're making HORRIBLE decisions every week - Walls going for the ball when the receiver was 3 yds. short of the marker and the Rams in an all out blitz, Linehan reviewing the Hall non-catch. Where's the discipline that both Linehan and Haslett were famous for?

Thanks for letting me vent.

Jeff Gordon: A fair question, for sure.
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Michael Camuso: Jeff, in yesterday's game, Issac Bruce took a viscious helmet to helmet hit as we was going for a pass near the end zone and nothing was called. Do you know if the Rams are going to ask the league to check into this? There is no excuse to try and cripple a player and the offender should not get away with it. I wish everyone played with the class of Issac Bruce.

Jeff Gordon: That was fine-worthy, as the Fox guys noted. The Rams will likely send that in for review.
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Dave: Do you think Greg Olson and Scott Linehan are playing NOT TO LOSE or playing TO WIN. Also, have you ever seen such a boring and unproductive offensive scheme. These guys are making Jerry Rhome look like an offensive genius.

Jeff Gordon: A Jerry Rhome reference -- ouch!
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Matt: Gordo,

I keep hearing that the coaching needs to take part of the blame regarding the rams and that they need to come up with some answers...I do not see any answers being given to anyone, it's almost as if we are hearing the same old "shoot, we'll fix it" without the flair

Jeff Gordon: These guys have no answers, which is scary.
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Glenn: Hey Jeff,
since the rams have so many injuries and our season is basically over, don't you think it would make sense to give some of the younger players like Hagans some experience? Can you tell me when you think Incognito will return?

Jeff Gordon: Can't promise anything about Richie or Marques, but both could have a role this week because of the other injuries.
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bob: Hindsight is always 20/20 but did we interview Wizenhunt (sp?) for the head coaching position or did the Steelers Super Bowl run stop us from at least looking at the guy?

Jeff Gordon: The Rams could have still looked at him, but the front office fell for Linehan. So far, anyway, it looks like Ken is bolder at the helm of his team than Linehan is here.
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Will: Hey Gordo,

How much can one team ask a defense to to over a course of one game? These guys played their rears off for a whole half of football before everything broke down horribly. If the offense would have executed when the chances were there then I do believe the outcome would have been much different. Where is the Rams gameplan-timing-anything? I loved Coach Martz but I'm still a believer in Coach Linehan but I think he may need to take over the play calling for the rest of the season; go for the kill on every play-what do they have to lose.

Coach Haslett is doing a fine job but you got to keep execute when you have the chance and keep these hardworking defensive players off the field when they do their job. Gordo; I know there are no easy answers but when do our highly talented players(on paper) on the offensive side give us the strike we need when needed. Come on Coach-we love you here in Southern Illinois.

Jeff Gordon: I'm sure Scott appreciates the support. He isn't get much of it these days.
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Robert Smallwood: Hello Jeff, This longtime, diehard "true" Rams fan is getting sick and tired of reading these "so-called" Rams/football fans idiotic comments about replacing the head coach, etc... It is very frustrating as a Rams fan to live through this time but we are in this together. I know and agree that the play calling, the idea of leaving Bulger in and other things are mounting up to a terrible season but its not the time to change coaches or even to waste ones time bringing it up. We could use all the excuses we want about injuries and it would be warranted BUT...we are a class team with most of the fans being class people so we won't use the excuses that other teams and fans use but I do think that the players need to do something, anything to make themselves save this season...not for the playoffs (do not even go there) but for PRIDE!

If they have an ounce of pride in them and I know most of them do, like the Bruce's, the Jackson's, etc...they will dig deep into themelves and pull off some wins that will make all the Rams fans proud once again. As far as Bulger, doesn't he have the power to pull himself? If one can see that he is not helping the team...sit until next week and do whats better for team. Who knows if Ferotte coming in earlier would have given them a chance but we'll never know now. And one final thing....Get off the Defenses back! Yes, that Romo play was sickening BUT..long before that when the defense was playing with heart and guts...once again the Offense let them down...Once again....

Jeff Gordon: Again, Scott appreciates your support. Nobody has asked for Schottenheimer today, at least not yet.
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JD: Hi Jeff,

Do you think that given the high possibility for a disastrous season on our hands, some players like Bruce, Pace and Little might decide to retire after this season in order to not go through the pains of a rebuilding process ?

Jeff Gordon: I don't see any of those guys walking away any time soon. The latter two have big deals and Bruce is still working on his Hall of Fame resume.
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Rams Supporter: Gordo,

Just a quick note on Rams -- by the way your buddy JT would not answer this question last week. Is he afraid to stir up the pot at Rams central?

Are the Rams VERY WEAK group who care nothing about each other as a TEAM. From afar over the past few years -- this team appears not very close on the field -- RARELY does anyone help the elite players from the field after huge hits. Other teams regularly help each other from the field on tough hits -- Just seems that these Rams players care very little for their team mates on the field --- ????? Another can of worms for the Rams.

Jeff Gordon: It's hard to make that judgement from watching sideline shot on TV or viewing the group from 100 yards at the stadium. Tgoetherness is the least of this team's problems. Health, talent, direction from the top -- those are bigger concerns.
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Glenn: I would like to see some hitting on defense. The Rams are playing decent defense(until yesterday) but we don't have any snot knockers. All the other teams I watch go out there hit every play. It sets the pace, I guess we don't have the passion, but we need it.

Jeff Gordon: Dallas is much better on D, across the board. Better players, more momentum, the whole deal. Put a lot of these Rams defenders in a better situation and you see them flying around too.
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Steve: Jeff,

Do you think we'll be seeing more of Clifton Ryan in the upcoming games? He seems to be the only one on the D-Line making any plays.

Jeff Gordon: He will continue to get a bigger role, even if Wroten returns.
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Damien Domingo: Hey Gordo,

Granted the coaching needs a little work as far as the playcalling goes but everybody needs to look at the real issues here. After you coach and gameplan, the players have to execute. So far we've had two of Steven Jackson's fumbles costing us the Carolina game, fumbles/ interceptions and a missed tackle by Chavous costing us the 49er game, more turnovers costing us the Tampa game, and now the Dallas game where Little and Hall seemed to give up on Romo's high snap recovery. Had they made the effort to finish the play and bring him down instead of waiting for someone else to do it then we would have gotten the ball back in a still competitive situation.

All of this happened at points in each game where they still had a chance regardless of the injuries.
Then when things start to go downhill, they seem to give up and let things steamroll. To me, this is a reflection of the leadership, or lack thereof, ON THE FIELD.

A few years back, Tampa Bay was, I believe, 4-7 and Warren Sapp took the leadership role and "willed" the team to the playoffs at 9-7. Who is the "Warren Sapp" of this Rams team and does he or do they have the fortitude to pull everybody up by their bootstraps and get some wins here? They are three games back of Seattle with twelve games left. I can understand people giving up if they were three back with two games left but c'mon! Where are the leaders- the Jacksons, the Bulgers, the Holts, and the Littles?

If they lead by example and hold on to the ball and tackle like they're supposed to then we can win even with injuries.
Limehan doesn't carry or throw the ball. Haslett doesn't tackle anybody. Let's see the real leaders of this team get mad- madder than us fans- and good things will happen. There's no place else to go but up so let's call them out already!!

Jeff Gordon: This is fair criticism. Now, more than ever, the best players have to be the best players. We'll see who the real leaders are in the weeks ahead.

That's all for now - see you next week!