Gordo Live 5/19
Rich: I read Al Saunders wants to make Jackson the focal point of the offense which makes sense. However, I am concerned the Rams don't have a proven north-south runner on the roster to help share the load like Stephen Davis did in the 06 season.
Alexander was done in by too many carries and Larry Johnson and Tomlinson appear to be well on that path and I can see the same thing happening with Jackson in the next year or two especially considering his injury history.
Jeff Gordon: Davis was OK as a back-up, gaining 4.4 yards per carry. Neither Brian Leonard or Antonio Pittman were THAT effective last season, although the offensive line woes contributed to that. With Leonard seemingly ticketed for a bigger special teams role, that moves Pittman front and center in this discussion. He doesn't have the thunder thighs, but he could become an intriguing No. 2. It's hard to judge his '07 work because he came to the team on the fly and played in a chaotic situation.
He will get the ball a LOT during the preseason. If he doesn't step up, the Rams could be in the market for another big back as other teams make cuts. After all, that is how they got Pittman in the first place.
Fresno Ram Fan: Hey Gordo,
When is the F.O going to realize that Chavous isnt what he once was? I believe in order for this defense to get better, we need hard hitting safeties who will punish WR's when they come up the middle. Any word of any free agent cuts?
Jeff Gordon: Nothing sexy right now on the safety front, but I agree with you -- Chavous was OK, I suppose, but this defense could use a bigger playmaker in that spot.
Gabriel 2 Snow: Hey Gordo, Is the atmosphere & attitude among the Ram players & staff really much better than the previous 2 years? Or is this overblown?
Jeff Gordon: The mood was better -- but then again, anything would be better than how the team felt at the tail end of the 3-13 collapse. Saunders and the other new assistant coaches bring new life. Devaney is a positive guy, too. But are the players really buying in? We'll know more about halfway into training camp when the team is trying to improve for real.
jeredwinfrey: HI JEFF, I WONDER HOW HASLET AND DIFFERENT PEOPLE REFER TO BROWN AS OUR BEST CB? I THINK NFL QUARTERBACKS USUALLY STAY AWAY FROM YOUR BEST CB. I WATCH ALL OF THE RAMS GAMES AND IT SEEMS TO ME WHEN EVER BARTEL IS IN THE GAME QUARTERBACKS STAY AWAY FROM HIM, THEREFORE THE RECIEVERS HARDLY GET ANY CATCHES. I ALSO DON'T SEE HIM BEEING BURN'T FOR TD'S VERY MUCH. LIKE WHEN HE WAS COVERING OWENS, GALLOWAY, AND ETC. THEY REALLY HAD NO EFFECT ON THE OUTCOME OF THE GAME. WHEN BROWN TOOK HIS STARTING ROLE BACK OVER IT SEEMED LIKE THE QUARTERBACKS LOVED THROUGHING HIS WAY AND WITH MUCH SUCCESS THE REST OF THE SEASON.
ONE EXAMPLE BUT I COULD CHOOSE MANY IF I WANTED TO IS WHEN HE WENT UP AGAINST BRAYLON EDWARDS AND HE HAD 10+ CATCHES AND ALSO TD'S. WHY WOULD BARTEL NOT START AND WHY WOULD THEY CONSIDER MOVIN HIM TO SAFETY? THANKS
Jeff Gordon: Bartell is OK, but the coaches don't believe his overall cover skills match up to Brown and Hill. He has made himself a solid NFL cornerback and he does have the size, as you mention, to match up against some of the bigger receivers. If Ron becomes a better CB than Brown or Hill, he'll play -- because a lot of jobs are at stake this season.
Little Ed: Greeting Gordo
There are some players on the market that could help our Rams out like, Gregg Wesley from K.C. he could help Tye out , Joe Horn is wanting out of the ATL and he could bring some help on the reciever core we have. Takeo Spikes could bring also some extra help to the LB position. These players
have the talent, just need a team, STL. could be a good fit.
Jeff Gordon: The folks in Atlanta say that Horn's legs are gone. The Falcons will cut him at some point and take the hit, but I don't see him coming here. Caldwell looked surprising good at WR at the minicamp and the Rams like their rookies.
Spikes is sort of the same deal. He just isn't the guy he once was. The Rams do like their younger LBs, although you have to wonder if Culberson really offers enough competition/depth.
Eric<----: Hey Gordo, thanks for taking the time. Rams question. I recently read that RB Lance Ball was added, is there a possibility he makes the team? He put up good #'s in college, why'd he go undrafted? Also, How is Antonio Pittman doing in camp? Is he a lock behind Steven Jackson, assuming Leonard's play fullback...By the way, did you know "Gordo" means "fat" in spanish? Cali Rams fan...
Jeff Gordon: Yes, I know Gordo means "fat." In the old days of the KFNS Chevy's Press Box, Chevy's Fresh Mex had a "Gordo Platter" that I took much ribbing over.
Pittman is positioned for a big role, but let's see what he really does with the Saunders offense. As for undrafted linebackers, these guys are typically productive college players who are either too small or too slow to star in workouts. Culberson fit that category and he had a great '07 camp. Sometimes these guys are just good football players . . . unlike the workout warriors.
tim: What position do you think Grecco will be best at in the NFL?
Jeff Gordon: Right tackle. The coaches like his adaptability, but this team's need is on the outside and that is where the Rams see him. Athletically, he could struggle at left tackle against the elite pass rushers.
Thanks again for taking the time. I am still somewhat concerned with the Rams depth at Offensive Tackle. Do the Rams plan on adding a Veteran or does Todd Steussie have anything left? At this point if something were to happen to Pace would the plan be Barron at LT and Goldberg at RT? Am I the only fan that would be concerned with Adam Goldberg at Right Tackle? I realize that maybe John Greco could be in the mix as well, but is he more of a Guard?
Jeff Gordon: Goldberg the at RT and Barron played LT in the minicamp, since Pace was still on the mend and limited to individual stuff. But Greco is very much being counted on to play RT next season, with Goldberg sticking in a utility role.
Mark in NY: Gordo,
What's with Bernie M. mentioning that Linehan was trying to send a message to Jim Haslett (stop ripping the head coach behind the scenes) by "flirting" with Gregg Williams of the Redskins? I have not read anything about this. Are the assistant coaches (along with the players) disrespecting Linehan too? Your thoughts please. Thanks!
Jeff Gordon: Haslett speaks his mind to reporters, on or off the record. There was tension for sure at the end of last season. And Haslett made it pretty clear he wanted Dorsey over Long in the draft. So it will be interesting to see how the group moves forward, with a still-learning head coach flanked by two strong coordinators head coaching experience/aspirations.
Joseph R: Jeff, I'm still not real excited about the Ram's draft results, after hearing the company line from Ram's park. Have you seen or heard anything since then that has increased your enthusiasm for their choices? Thanks.
Jeff Gordon: I believe the Rams found guys to fill needs. Long will be a pleasant surprise to a lot of fans expecting a mere "effort" guy at defensive end. Avery will be the subject of much skepticism until he adapts from the collegiate spread offense to the highly detailed Saunders offense.
With the drafting of Chris Long and the reemergence of Leonard Little-little has been said about the progress of Clifton Ryan and Claude Wroten. I know it is May and we have 2 months before the start of training camp-but can you give us the buzz around the Rams organization about these 2 players? I think they will have a huge role in the play of the defensive line this year. Wroten appears to have been given one more chance to prove himself-here's hoping he takes advantage of the opportunity while Ryan showed some flashes of potential in 07-08. Thanks.
Jeff Gordon: Ryan is a solid football player. As for Wroten . . . well, we'll see. The ability is there. The opportunity is there, since the team passed on Dorsey. But he IS down to his third strike with this organization, for sure.
Thomas Turniawan: Hi Jeff;
So what ever happened to the Rams' plan to draft a young QB to groom for the future? Last I checked, we didn't even sign an undrafted QB after the draft.
Jeff Gordon: The pool of young QBs was very shallow and it dried up in a hurry. Linehan tried to convince some street FAs that he really will keep three QBs this season, but nobody bit after the draft.
RamRice: First thanks Jeff for all your valueable info and opinions. I have four questions for you 1) What is the skinny on Dustin Frye? Coming out of Clemson he seemed to have the size and the smarts to be a immediate solid starting center in the league. Has Dustin been giving the opportunity to outshine Romberg? Romberg seems to allow to much push up the middle. Yes I understand the offensiveline injury situation last year.
These next two got together.
You talked about receiving responses from Chip that showed that he at least reads his email. Can you drop him a message about increasing face time of the team to fans via internet? It has gotten better each year but every year the Rams are out performed by other teams by putting more photos out from mini camp and video of camp the kinda things that fans crave. Iím not asking to give away game plan just more photos of players catching, blocking, tackling, etc. Why is this? Whom can fans contact to start the ball rolling on change?
Lastly, the columns have been portraying Torry in this disgruntle, seriously disgusted light. We havenít seen the happy, smiley Torry since last year. In your opinion is he all in or just going through the motions?
Jeff Gordon: Rams insides expect Torry to be in a good frame of mind for camp. The 3-13 was no fun and losing Bruce was no fun. But he is an "up" guy by nature. Saunders ought to bring him around, since Al knows how the Rams got the most from Torry during the glory days.
As for Fry, he was just awful in camp last year. The Rams kept him around as a practice squad guy because of his physical attributes and his collegiate productivity, but he REALLY struggled with the adjustment to pro ball. For Year Two, he faces heavy competition. The Rams have Romberg plus starting-caliber guards capable of playing center.
Kiko: Can you explain the process of signing draft picks? Its seems like the team should be working on getting them signed now instead of the days leading up to camp, why do they wait so long to get this process started?
Jeff Gordon: Teams would love to sign these guys early. But there a slotting process that starts at the top of the first round. In its next CBA, the NFL ought to establish rookie salary guidelines like the NBA and NHL has. This would free up more cap dollars to veteran players who have really earned it.
Carlos Galvan: Morning Jeff,
In taking a look at the Rams of "today" and assuming no major injuries (a big if)...I see one very large hole. From your perspective, is there anything in the works regarding Mr.Chavous? Realize the lad is a "pillar of the community", however it would seem that his skills have deteriorated dramatically.
Jeff Gordon: For the record, Haslett disagrees. And the team hasn't taken steps to replace him.
The Sheriff: Hey Gordo,
The Post ran a story mentioning some upgrades to the Dome shortly after this past season. I was at the cave the Rams call home for their Draft Day party and saw no upgrades or signs that gave me reason to believe that the Dome would get a modest face lift for this upcoming season.
The story mentioned skylighting, new jumbotrons, and a brighter coat of paint to help brighten the cave up. Is this still supposed to happen? At the least can we get a nice new widescreen HD tv on each side of the field instead of the nightmares that currently reside in each endzone?!
Thanks for your time!
Jeff Gordon: I believe the big improvements could come after next season, if all went according to plan. There should be some facelifting for this season, but not a dramatic change.
wotownramsfan: jeff with the release of odell thurman, and the rams needing a linebacker, why not take a chance on this guy. i know the rams front office is trying to go with the more high character guy, but it is more important to win now then worry about the character of someone. is there anyway they could sign him and have his contract be incentive based on his play or how many games he plays?
Jeff Gordon: The Rams just went way out of their way to draft Eagle Scouts, so I really don't see them gambling on a suspect character. The Rams still have a few remaining player on that bubble.
Teddy ballgame: Gordo,
Now that the Ram's have not selected Dorsey out of LSU or acquired a run stuffing tackle how do they plan on stopping the run better this season?
Jeff Gordon: By having Ryan and Carriker stuff the run as they did last season. The Rams were much more stout against the run. Adeyanju could also factor into that.
Dorsey's bigger strength was ability to cause havoc with his inside rush -- although he can blow up the run as well.
Vito Corleone: Why is Holt so testy these days? Can Linehan get a handle on it? Also, what's your take on the izzy situation?
Jeff Gordon: As I wrote earlier, Holt is still fighting his 3-13 hangover and his mourning of Ike's exit. The insiders I trust at Rams Park insist he'll come around and be his old self. We'll see.
As for Izzy, look for him to take one more run at closing. He was solid last year in that role and solid in April. If he can't cut it during his next attempt, then I would him to pack it in rather than finish his career in failure.
Jason: Gordo.....remind me of the sequence and order of the contract offers between the Rams and Ike Bruce. Did the Rams really try to keep him? Did Ike basically split for the money? Seems like with Saunders "wide-open" offense this coming season, Ike would have flourished!
Jeff Gordon: The Rams decided to cut Bruce rather than keep him under the terms of his old deal. Rather than agree to a new deal for lesser money here, Bruce opted to explore free agency and sign with the Niners. I believe the $4 million he gets in the first year of the Frisco deal is better than what the Rams were willing to do here. But this was probably pride deal rather than pure money deal. Ike figured he had made enough concessions to the Rams over the years.
Steve: The Rams need to focus on the QB and DB positions. You think I'm correct? Let me know.
The Rams could use a better option at No. 3 quarterback. Soon, they will need to add a young guy with legit growth potential. They also need Chavous' successor and another CB, just in case.
UCityDave: Football question: Why do people insist on saying they're evaluating NFL teams' drafts when all they do is count up the number of players a team drafts who stay on that team's roster? That mixes drafting together with a lot of other issues, like how well teams manage the salary cap and whether they can convince their own free agents to stay -- neither one of which has anything directly to do with how well they choose college talent.
It may seem like I'm picking a nit, but I think that this confuses people and leads them to misdirect their anger at a team's college personnel guys when their team is down, when it's the guys who are managing the roster AFTER the draft that are often more to blame. (And yes, I know sometimes they're the same guys.)
Jeff Gordon: Great point. Pickett moved on and played well. So did Lewis. Bly left for big dollars, as did McDonald. Chillar left for more money. The Rams could still have a LOT of earlier picks had the franchise deemed the players worth they money other teams paid them. A more reasonable knock on the scouts would be their inability to draft Pro Bowl-type players.
They have put a lot of guys in the league, but not many great ones.
Tackleberry: It is funny that very little changes have been made with regards to the Rams' linebackers. They have been awful tacklers recently and with the exception of the times when Haslett FINALLY moved Witherspoon to the outside, they seemed to have very little "big play" impact. Why do they seemingly hold pat on this position?
Jeff Gordon: Haslett likes Witherspoon, a lot. Tinoisamoa has been pretty good when healthy, which, admittedly, isn't very often. The Rams believe Draft can start. And the coaches like Culberson. And the personnel guys believe a few of these rookies have a real shot.
We'll see. Bottom line: The Rams didn't want to invest cap space in what was in free agency, including their own guys, Chillar.
Do you think the Rams will be interested in signing Odell Thurman? He is young, cheap and could be the starting SAM immediately.
Jeff Gordon: Thurman insists the Bengals let him go in a dispute over how much time he took attending his grandmother's funeral. The Bengals noted that Thurman, who missed two years due to a league suspension, hadn't taken the "right steps" to compete for a job this year.
I'd be surprised if the Rams wanted anything to do with this much baggage.
That appears to be the last question for today. Catch you all next time!
Re: Gordo Live 5/19
I'm "Eric<---" near the top, i asked him about RB Lance Ball, and he goes on and talks about Linebackers? uh...what the heck Gordo..
Re: Gordo Live 5/19
There was some pretty interesting reads on this one. I do too believe that Pittman will be the back up to Jackson this year. Leonard will be thrown in, but I believe that Pittman is the back up.
But everything else is old news...
Re: Gordo Live 5/19
Ditto. This year is Pittman's ticket / opportunity and the Rams just might end up with a solid, productive BIG TIME running game (adding Leonard to the mix of course).
Originally Posted by Mooselini
Re: Gordo Live 5/19
I'd like to see Pittman be the main no. 2, but then again I'm a bit biased.