By Jeff Gordon
Monday, June 4, 2007 01:00 PM CDT
Join columnist Jeff Gordon for a live chat from 1-2 p.m. about the Cards, Rams, Blues, Mizzou, SLU or whatever sport or team is on your mind.
John Zaccone: In your opinion, what will the Rams do if Alex Barron Keeps up his false start issues? Will they look in a new direction next year?
Jeff Gordon: He is such an imposing player -- and such a top, top prospect, that you will see a heavy commitment toward him here. This is annoying problem, yes, but hardly insurmountable. And he could become an absolute force in this league.
Doug: Will the RAMS be better than 9-7 this year? I keep seeing where people are predicting a 9-7 year for the Rams, even though they were 8-8 last year. Has the Rams done enough to win only one more game than last year?
Jeff Gordon: The Rams ought to be better, health permitting, but the Seahawks, ***** and Cardinals could all be tougher, too. The division landscape has changed.
Howard F.: I know you have a ear for what's really happening at the OTA's so I was wondering a few things. Now that almost everyone is in, are there any glaring holes surfacing on the defense that the staff must take care of in training camp? Is the secondary as stout as it needs to be? Is there any one or two unexspected players that been completely impressive, seeming to set up for a break out year? And in your opinion will Haslett be able to get the defense to be consistently effecttive this year, his second year?
Jeff Gordon: I still wonder about the physical play of the safeties and linebackers -- and about depth at the latter postition. I believe their front wall will be better even if they don't sign a Sam Adams or trade for a Kris Jenkins to add more beef there. They really believe Adam Carriker will shore up the "D."
Guard: Hey Gordo,
Who do you feel will be the most improved player on the offense and on defense for the Rams this year?
Jeff Gordon: Most improved: Tye Hill on defense, Richie Incognito offense.
Joe Horvath: What arte your feelings on the punting situation. I really liked Turk and was dissapointed that the Rams did not resign him. I don't know much about the kid they signed from Miami.
Jeff Gordon: He's another Linehan guy from Miami. I, too, liked Turk and wondered why the Rams would screw around with a good thing. But they got a younger guy the coaches like on a long-term deal -- and Scott argues that the team could actually realize an upgrade.
Scott from Southern California: Good am Gordo -
With the DL depth still in question, are there any other veterans ( other than Jenkins or Adams ) that the Rams will take a serious look at ?
Jeff Gordon: You always want to know all the players out there, for comparison's sake. If everybody stays healthy and everybody gets to camp in great shape, there may not be a great need there for front-line help. Had they not drafted Carriker, I believe they would already acquired Jenkins or Adams. I don't know that there is another compelling candidate out there.
Mark Byrd: I am a long-time Rams fan since my childhood days of watching Roman Gabriel and Jack Snow. My question is: "with this year's schedule as challenging (if not more) than last year's, what will Coach Linahan and staff do to avoid the same consecutive loss pitfalls that doomed last season.
Jeff Gordon: Good question. The Rams must generate momentum early, when they get the chance, and hope the team development allows them win one or two of the really tough games in the middle of the schedule. If that happens, the Rams could finish better than 9-7. But if they get beat up physically and go into another slider, we all know how difficult it will be to pull out of that. We saw it last year. The schedule dynamics are huge.
Alan: Hey Gordo,
I keep reading about how Jon Alston has all of this "potential." It is hard for me to beleive that a 3rd round pick with all of this "potential" can ride the pine all of last year merely because he missed rookie camp. It does not add up to me. A tweener with no real position as a 3rd pick? I hope he proves me wrong but that is a high price to pay for a mid level special teams guy.
what are your thoughts?
Jeff Gordon: They saw more of that potential late, as was the case with Byrd. In Jon's case, his work since then makes them believe he could become a special weapon in this year's defense. That Haslett can switch to some 3-4 principles and move players around helps. He wanted to do this last year but didn't have the personnel.
keith: What is the latest on Sam Adams?
Jeff Gordon: The Texans and Broncos are also taking a look. Other teams may join the parade as they assess what they have -- and don't have. If the Rams were really hot on him, they would have paid up to get him already. The coaches still want to leaern more about the young guys they have.
Jeremy (Denver): Gordo,
First, I just want to say that I really appreciate these chats.
My question is this...with only 3 legitimate DE on the roster, why not make a run at Wistrom as a pass-rush specialist and team leader? Makes too much sense to me!
Jeff Gordon: IF Grant decided he wanted to play again and IF he wanted to come on a trial basis, I suppose it wouldn't hurt. I just wonder much lifting he does these days and how much he weighs. He could fall out of football shape fast, as Kyle Turley did.
Chris Scruggs: Jeff, with the Rams wide reciever corp starting to get long of tooth, in particular Bruce whose tenure with the team has to be considered on a year to year basis, one has to ask are the Rams positioning themselves well to reload at WR when the time comes? I personally am very concerned about the lack of young recieving talent on the team. I know Linehan likes to use fewer wideouts, but I see no heir apparents to Bruce and Holt.
Jeff Gordon: There are WRs in every draft. They don't take long to developed. Bennett could tap in for Bruce, should Ike finally lose some steam.
Geno: Do you think K.Jenkins,G.Jackson or S.Adams is still a possibilty? If not do you really think are DT's right now can get the job done?
Jeff Gordon: Again, I'd like to see the young guys get first at this. If they make it at their modest price, the Rams could save some dough in case they need another LB.
john hall: what is status on the kris jenkins signing
Jeff Gordon: Would the Panthers still deal Jenkins? Probably. But if he is expendible cause Damione Lewis is outplaying him, what would the Rams trade to get him? Before the draft, they were willing to spend a second-round pick. But then they drafted Carriker to fill the same role.
Are the Rams planning any official Thank You presentation at any of this year's home games for Marshall Faulk, and do you think that they will ever retire his jersey number?
Jeff Gordon: I don't know, but I'm sure something will be done. Marshall is on very good terms with the organization.
Richard: What are the odds that Adam Timmermann will return to the Rams next season? And land with another team?
Jeff Gordon: Little chance here, a 50-50 chance elsewhere. He wants to play and you know somebody will get hurt somewhere.
TD51: Gordo - Do you think C Terrell is going to win back a starting spot? Beyond B Leonard getting in the mix, who is the other RB(s) do you see getting in there to give SJ a break & how productive do you see the backups being? Do you see J Butler sticking w/ the team and if so, where will he fall on the depth chart w/ Hill, Brown starting and other young guys stepping up behind them? Do you see J Hall holding the starting DE job or Victor A getting plenty of reps - I personally think VA is going to be a very good player. Thanks!
Jeff Gordon: I'm a big Victor fan as well. He is a worker and he should be tougher on the run this year. None of the other RBS excite me beyond Leonard; it's a real grab bag. Terrell has started before, so, sure, he could start again if his wrist is OK and he gets over his Alex Barron Disease with false starts.
Ben 13-80 Lanzo: Gordo,I have been arguing on different forums with the 49er fans about what team improved the most in the off-season.In my opinion the 9ers improved but Tully Banta Cain,,D-jack,Lelie,and Lewis are not great players .I like Clements but how many elite wrs did he face in the AFC EAST?The Rams landed,Hall,Draft ,McMichael,Bennet,and three solid backups for the secondary.All these guys were productive starters for their respective teams.Whats your take on the 9ers/Rams offseason and who came out on top? Lanzo 13-80 OUT
Jeff Gordon: Too soon to tell that. The Niners have done a better job upgrading over the last four years or so, which is how they closed the camp. How will the '06 addition fare this season? That will be a better story. And we still have to see how Bartell, Alston, Atogwe, et al pan out.
Mike: How does Claude Wroten fit into the Rams plans this season? Will he be exclusively a rotation tackle or will he see time at end since they are thin?
Jeff Gordon: If he makes it, he'll play both -- the Rams love his versatility.
Lenn Perdomo: will the rams run a two T.E. set in the red zone more this year?
Jeff Gordon: Absolutely. McMichael was a huge pick-up. He and Bennett (at WR) could both upgrade the red zone offense, in their own way.
Patrick Bower: Any word yet on Bulger contract extension?
Jeff Gordon: No, but the Rams could talk during the season. That precedent was set last year. Linehan will push to get something done sooner than later -- and the front office listens to him.
I don't recall the Rams holding on many third downs last season(let alone creating them). Did we bring in enough talent to create more plays at or behind the line of scrimmage?
Jeff Gordon: To me, pass rush is a bigger need than the run-stuffing DT - thanks to the draft. All this Alston talk is a response to the need for more pass pressure. He and Hall could give the D a little more outside pressure.
AJ: Hi Jeff,
Just wondering what your thoughts were on how much the Rams would involve Brian Leonard in the offense this Year? Does he have the potential to be a Chris Cooley type H-Back?
Jeff Gordon: Linehan compares him to a young Jon Alstott. Look for a pass catcher, occasional runner and solid blocker. He would be just OK as the feature back, but he could be great on third downs and in the red zone.
gustav erickson: is st louis ready for a repeat of 1999 with the rams? or does st louis no longer care about the rams , as the redskin game was blacked out in st louis even though the rams still had a shot at the playoffs, better watch out the rams might go back home to la if st louis doesnt show up
Jeff Gordon: Fans care, but this team is a LONG way from '99. Or '01 for that matter. If they contend for the playoffs, fans will come back. Last season's death spiral was alarming.
Re: Gordo Live
That losing streak in the middle of last season killed us and the fans. Rams need to avoid any long losing streaks if they want to keep the fans behind them for the entire season. Excluding me of course, I'm on the bandwagon no matter what!!!:r
Re: Gordo Live
Yeah, I'm sure we all remember that stretch...
First we lose to the Hawks in a contest that might have determined first place in division...
....then we lose to KC
"I'm a little disappointed because I feel we did leave 200 yards of rushing on that field. The way we were going out there and just pushing them backward and shakings things up, we should have done even more."--Larry Johnson
...then we lose to SD
"If I lost a step and had a day like this today, I'd hate to see if I was a young man what I would have done today with the kind of holes I ran through."--Ladainian Tomlinson
...then we play Seattle, who at this point are starting Seneca Wallace at quarterback and Maurice Morris at runningback and we still lose...
...and to top it all off we get shut out for the first time since 1998 against the Panthers before finally winning one.
I can't imagine why people weren't showing up by the time the Redskins came to town. Man, that would kill any fanbase's morale.