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    Gordo Live: 8/20/07

    Adam: What are your thoughts of the Rams pre-season play so far? Who wins the starting job at center Romberg or McCollum? Do you think Hagans wins the 5th or 6th receiver job or at least a roster spot?

    Jeff Gordon: Romberg has played very, very well -- giving himself a chance to start. This would move Andy McCollum into a back-up center/guard role and likely move rookie Dustin Fry out the door. I believed a healthy McCollum would beat out Romberg and endanger his spot on the team, but Romberg has made the most of his opporunity. The same goes for Hagans, who has starred while Dominique Thompson has been injured. Derek Stanley has done nice things, too, but he may be a candidate for the practice squad.
    Dave Fish, Roch N.Y.: You know 30-13 even in pre-season is unforgivable. Preseason is preseason but hopefully players are being held accountable. I don't watch preseason football is not fun to watch but I do keep track of the Rams with all the good Karma that was suppose to be in camp you think this game would not go this way. Marc Bulger missing Holt and throwing and interception says to me more red-zone practice what happend to all the other tools they sould still should have been on the field. I always believe my Rams will win the superbowel and I still do.

    Jeff Gordon: The offense needs to be better, but it will be once Jackson is running the ball and McMichael is integrated into the offense. There were negatives, like Bulger's end zone INT and those two huge hits he took in the pocket. On the other hand, Bennett showed his value and Klopfenstein reminded us he is another offensive option.
    Rick: What's your take on our two starting safeties ?? In both preaseason games both look extremely slow to the play, and show up a bit too late to make any kind of a game changing hit. Not too much has been said about their play so far in camp.


    Jeff Gordon: Yeah, Chavous got caught chasing quite a bit in coverage. That was not good. Atogwe had his moments, especially on the blitz, but it's still tough to assess how good he could really be. I'm not sure Carter has made much progress,either. This position bears watching.
    clyde: Good morning Jeff, Thank goodness for the internet so I can follow the Rams from Idaho. I saw the last 2 1/2 quarters of the San Diego game. I would say the Rams have a ways to go to catch the elite teams in the AFC. But considering the turn overs, I don't think the Rams are as far behind as some would think. What is your opinion? Thanks, Clyde

    Jeff Gordon: When a team drives the ball twice, only to turn it over in scoring position, the score will look worse than the game itself. But I was disappointed with the run blocking, the run defense and, of course the punt coverage. That was a pretty feeble effort on Sproles' play.
    Gone Gator: Hey Gordo, after Saturday I'm pretty saddened on the Rams "effort". I understand it's preseason, but one has to ask, "what reason do we have to believe this year will be any different than last?"

    Jeff Gordon: The defense will give up some points, especially with the kids having to lean on the fly at cornerback. But I do think the offense will figure out its red-zone issues once everybody is playing a lot. The Rams can still move the ball all day and eat up the clock -- and that is your reason for optimism.
    Loren: I am worried about getting a slow start on offense again this year because Linehan is afraid to show his hand before the first game. He is ultra conservative now but I don't believe he will be once we start for real. I don't think you can just turn on the offense and it will go. Timing in practice is one thing but its always different live. What is your take.

    Jeff Gordon: I'd like to see them throw the ball downfield against Oakland. We saw some of that Saturday, but not much. It was check-down city for the most part. Bulger needs to extend himself against the Raiders to make sure he can dial up the deep plays when the real games start. There is a way to do that without giving away your new offensive wrinkles.
    Julian: Jeff,
    Do college and NFL teams ever consider using a position player for the kickoff? A field goal kicker is more of a precision kick. It is like asking a good iron player in golf to also be able to hit the longest drive. Kicking off is primarily leg strength and a position player would have a more reasonable chance to make a tackle.

    Jeff Gordon: There are still isolated cases in college, particular smaller schools, where one of the big kids will haul off and kick off. But consistently nailing the ball deep in varying conditions is tougher than you think. That is why pro and college teams often go the other way and have a second kicker specializing in kickoffs.
    Stevo: Hey Jeff, Man thanks for the forum. It helps me stay awake on the job after lunch break.

    Is Dane lookers job secure?

    Is he the only person holding for Jeff Wilkens?

    Jeff Gordon: He is a great holder, so unless his back injury is worse than believed, he figures to be OK. The Rams don't use a lot of four-WR sets, so they can have specialists like Looker and Hall eating up roster spots. Looker is still a capable possession receiver when healthy.
    Jon Roswurm: Hey Jeff thanks for your great job covering the Rams. I was wondering if you had any more about Marshall Faulk returning to the Rams in a coaching capacity. He was amazing and I'm sure taking advantage of his knowledge would help the team. Thanks, Jon

    Jeff Gordon: Marshall has tremendous respect for the coaching profession. He wouldn't mind serving in some front office capacity, but he isn't interested in the long hours of coaching. He knows what they go through. As long as he can use his insight in the broadcast realm, that's the direction he ought to go. He has a lot of say as an analyst.
    John: Gordo

    Now that the preseason is 1/2 over, how and why do you rate the Rams improvement this year compared to the NFC West and the NFC overall, None or negative, 0-10%, 10-25%, 25-50%, over 50%?

    In which game (preseason or regular) do you predict that the offense will come together and why?

    Jeff Gordon: I'm in the 10 percent range, with my standing prediction of 9-7. The offense will be fine during the season opener. Why? Because the key players won't come off the field unless they are hurt. That will allow the Rams to work out all their kinks.
    Alex Alvidrez: Richie Incognito might be the nastiness offensive lineman we've ever had. Do you think his nastiness has rubbed off on some of the other young O line guys. Personally, I think that is what we need, in order to raise their game.

    Jeff Gordon: The Rams have brought in some players with an edge. Incognito's personality, along with Linehan's commitment to a power running scheme, creates an atmosphere where this team can start blocking downhill.
    Jake G.: The first unit offense didn't look sharp on saturday, with no points to show for. What do you think was the problem?
    Who do you think will start at center againist Carolina September 9th?

    Jake G.
    Chino Hills, CA.

    Jeff Gordon: Center is still a coin flip, as we're stated. The offense had no trouble until it go to the red zone, where the first unit failed to finish. Running Jackson and throwing to McMichael ought to change all that.
    R.C. martin: Why can't the RAMS SHOW some serious interesat in Simione Rice?????? our "D' would be concidered one of the top FIVE WE NEVER SIGN ANYONE WITH Big Game even if he is a little up there

    Jeff Gordon: Rice is interesting -- but at this stage in his career, he is in no shape to transform a defense. If he was, he would be playing for somebody. I didn't James Hall Saturday night. The Rams really need another guy like that, but I'm not sure Rice is willing or able to fill that sort of role at an appropriate price.
    Hang Time: Is Haslett on the verge of being dump at the end of this season? How would you describe the working relationship between Haslett and Linehan? Body language on the sidelines suggests anything but a warm rapport. Is Haslett peeved about the organization's IMHO dumb decision to invest in the offense more than in the defense during the off-season? Is Haslett a happy camper?

    Jeff Gordon: Haslett wants to be a head coach, no doubt about that. But the Rams did use the draft to shore up the "D" and the team moved out guys he really didn't want any more. Had there been more quality available in free agency, the Rams might have made more moves there. As it was, they added some ability and energy at LB and DE.

    Haslett is like Linehan's alter ego, which makes it fun to watch them. Give Linehan credit for bringing in a strong defensive coordinator. Also, give him the time needed to get his sort of players to the front lines.
    John: Gordo,

    I am very sad to hear of the passing of Kathy Garrett, the wife of Rams tight ends coach Judd Garrett. On behalf of all the Rams fans please convey our condolences to Judd, his four young children, and all the Rams family who are dealing with this tragedy.

    How did she die? How is this affecting the team? Do you know what is going to be done to move beyond this distraction?

    Jeff Gordon: This is still a private matter, but everybody is shocked. The other coaches will have to pick up for him. Linehan is a family guy himself and he likes to keep that atmosphere on his staff. In times like this, I would expect him to shine.
    bash-on: Strange... I knew eventually that Orlando Pace would fall off at the left tackle position but I had hoped that he would have out-lasted Walter Jones in Seattle... if for no other reason than to validate the move up in the draft the RAMS made to take him first overall while Jones didn't go until pick seven. It seems his recent pre-season and practice performances aren't at the level they have been in the past despite the fact that he reportedly came into camp at a lower weight and with more mobility than he's had in years. Should we be concerned?

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

    Jeff Gordon: The team went slow with Pace this camp as he works his way back into real playing shape. I wouldn't worry about him unless his play is subpar in a real game -- or until he gets Bulger hurt during a preseason game.
    Bryan: After watching the game on saturday, im wondering why so many people seem to be out of position and and tackling poorly, especially with the talent they have. Is it bad coaching or is Haslett's defensive scheme to complex?

    Jeff Gordon: There were some rough times for the young cornerbacks, for sure. Jonathan Wade had a memorable miss in the open field. We did see the speed and the pursuit capability of the linebackers, but he also saw that this team still lacks a run-stopping hammer at safety. Haslett would like to run a more complex scheme, but his issue is more personnel than anything. The Rams are still finding out about some of these guys.
    Jeremy (Denver): Gordo,
    I'm curious to get your thoughts on the Rams OL at this point in pre-season. Do they look dominating, above average, average?

    Jeff Gordon: Maybe above average, which is disappointing. Saturday night was just average. But I do like some of the individual progress, like the way Romberg is battling McCollum for the center job.
    Wendal Dorsey: I watched the game (broadcast on a secondary channel here in Dallas) Saturday night, and I have 2 questions: 1. Although Carriker looks good, San Diego's second string running back shredded us again (I know he's good, and their good, but...); is the run defense still as questionable as it looked Saturday night? 2. Where is Randy McMichael in the offense?????

    Jeff Gordon: McMichael is a veteran -- and all the vets ease in. Overall, the Rams first D-line did get handled by the Chargers first O-line early on. I liked Wroten in the second half, though.

    I'm sure the Rams will keep a close watch on the waiver wire as some of the late cuts stack up.
    Jeremy (Denver): Gordo,
    I'm concerned about the CBs on the Rams with Brown out. Can we survive the first few weeks with this young group until Brown's suspension is over?

    Jeff Gordon: I don't know. I would be concerned about the young corners, too, after this game. The kids are working hard, but the Rams will see some top receivers during the first four weeks.
    Jeremy (Denver): Gordo,
    If you had to bet one paycheck, who would you bet will be the Rams starting C in week 1?

    Jeff Gordon: I wrote earlier that it is a coin flip right now. I don't bet paychecks on coinflips. Now, fixed NBA games, that is another matter . . .
    Just kidding.
    Gavin, Redcar, England: Hi, Jeff. A question from England:

    Where does the intense battle between Romberg and McCollum for the starting center job leave Dustin Fry?

    How has Fry shaped up in camp, does he have a chance of making the roster as a back-up center/guard?

    And if so, where does that leave Terrell and other interior linemen who are on the bubble?

    Jeff Gordon: As Jim Thomas wrote in the P-D, Fry could be the odd man out. His versatility helps up, but the versatility of players like Incognito (who can also play center) hurts him. He would be a great practice squad addition, but injuries elsewhere makes it difficult to hang onto guys there.
    Bill: Hey Gordo,

    I was just wondering, since it seems that Mr. Browns story about missing the drug test seems legitimate, his whereabouts could be collaborated if he was really at a football camp, and with the NFL using a new testing agency, have you heard anything about the chances of his appeal and for goodness sake when will it be? I like J. Wade and R. Bartell but I thought that they both looked a little out of their element this last week. And since the chargers receivers arenít the best in the league, I was just a little concerned. Thanks for your time. Have a great day.


    Jeff Gordon: I agree, but the NFL is pretty unforgiving. It's zero-tolerance policy helps keep guys in line. Once the league starts making allowances, the program would be tougher to administer.
    John Trowling: Good Morning Jeff-

    So far Bulger has more INT's in the preseason than TD's. Do you believe this is cause for concern, or do you think Bulger will settle down come start of the regular season?

    Thank you........John

    Jeff Gordon: I'm a big Bulger fan. It's tough to judge him in such a limited sample. His play script is limited and players move in and out of the lineup. He mostly threw the ball right on the money Saturday.
    Patrick S: In the Rams latest preseason game against the Chargers, it looked as though the Rams weaknesses from last year were NOT addressed. Bad defense and Horrible special teams play, all while the starters were still in there. I have real concern that we will see a repeat of the '06 season with the Rams only managing to win between 5 and 8 games. What do you think?

    Jeff Gordon: I understand some of that angst, but the team did address their concerns. Some of the guys chasing punts in Game 2 of the preseason will be pursuing different professions come Week 1 of the regular season.
    Dr. Brad Jines: It seems as if the rams special teams would be aided by more directional "coffin corner " well as kicking the ball 5 yards deep into the endzone on kickoffs...many teams do this...the rams kick straight down the middle on both punts and kickoffs....WHY? San Diego was taking the kickoff at the ten yard line in the home exhibition opener...what gives?

    Jeff Gordon: To kick the ball five yards deep into the end zone, the Rams would have to hire a specialist to do that. Some teams do that, but it is hard to justify giving up a roster slot for that.
    Logan Bolle: Is it possible that the rams would keep both thompson, hagans, and stanley on the team/practice squad...I don't know if thompson is eligible to join the practice squad, but hagans and stanley are....would the team consider putting two wr's on their practice squad along with keeping six wr's on the active roster?

    Jeff Gordon: 'Nique's injury was an unfortunate setback. But it was good news for Hagans and Stanley. They could make the roster and the practice squad respectively.
    Richard: Dear Jeff

    I have been a Rams fan since the Roman Gabriel era. Is the problem with the defense stopping the run just blown assignments or are they just being plain beaten on the play. Also How are the new rookies that they drafted on the D line doing

    Thank you


    Jeff Gordon: Carriker is fine on the DL; he is already trading lots of double teams. Clifton Ryan is right on schedule too. I want to see more from Hall as a run stopper and I want to see what Glover has left. I need convincing on Chillar at LB and I wonder about both safeties in run support.
    James Wylie: Dear Jeff,

    I saw the San Diego pre-season game, and while being initially negative about the performance, on reflection I saw many positives. On the two Michael Turner runs that went for around 15 yards a piece, it was one missed tackle that allowed him to pick up the yards, not poor alignment which plagued the line last year. If I am right, and this is a true step forward, is it more likely to be because of the additions to the defensive line, or because Will Witherspoon has a better grasp of the middle linebacker position and can therefore make pre-snap adjustements? Also, I am a big fan of O. J. Atogwe and think he could be a very special player in years to come but from what you have seen, do you believe he will make a big impact this season, or does he still need some more time to develop?


    Jeff Gordon: Haslett did note that the Rams adjusted to the Chargers shifts and consistently get into proper position. So there is that. But that "one missed tackle" is still a giant concern. Teams are so close in the NFC. A missed tackle here or there will lose a game.
    JOE1672: Why do you think we just can't get the special teams thing right?Even when we had Bobby April as st coach they just weren't good.he's doing a great job in Buffalo.

    Jeff Gordon: It must be a curse, no? Some disgrunted Rams fan in Orange County put a hex on this team.
    Art Pineda: Is there any chance that Jeff Wilkins will lose the kicking job?

    Jeff Gordon: Lovell is kicking great, but Wilkins has done it under duress. If the Rams had severe cap issues, this might be an issue. Personally, I would be shocked. Again, these teams are so close. A missed field goal here or there could kill a season.
    Gus: Hey Gordo-

    Any chance the Rams take an offensive player next year in the NFL Draft?

    DeSean Jackson is explosive, Mario Manningham has potential. Both Holt and Bruce are over 30.

    Is an O-line men in the 1st round a possibility? Jake Long of Michigan has that nastiness Linehan likes in Offensive linemen.

    Your thoughts? Thanks for answering and have a nice day.

    Jeff Gordon: The O-line has added some youth, so it may be time to address WR again. It's too bad Curtis wasn't a better fit in this offense.
    Deano Boll: Why did the paper say the attendance was 59,000 when it was half empty....and why do people buy tickets then not go to the games? They must not be smart enough to sell their tickets or just like throwing away money even if it is preseason and even if it isn't...I still see the stadium half empty a lot during the regular season..Why is this?

    Jeff Gordon: The empty seats did shock me. This is pro football, after all. Why not give the tickets to somebody that hasn't been to a Rams game? I can't imagine there was THAT much to do Saturday night. This team may not be the Greatest Show on Turf, but it is interesting. Folks at the Chargers game did get to see Bruce and Holt play, along with most of the regulars.
    Alex: I think the Rams should change up their linebackers so that WW stays at middle but put Draft at SLB,put Piso at WLB, and make Chillar a backup to Draft. What do you think?

    Jeff Gordon: It's a thought, although the coaches have remained supportive of Chillar. Draft could become an interesting factor on this as he gets up to full speed. He has a big personality, which team could use more of on the field. And he can tackle people, obviously.
    kerry0728: Hi Gordo,
    I'm sorry, but with all due respect, I'd go with Ferrotte. Matter of fact, I am thinking that should Bulger get hurt, our best chance of advancing has been secured. I don't wish any harm on the guy, but pics are his middle name, at the worst times.

    Jeff Gordon: Bulger did a fabulous job taking care of the ball last year. I would expect that to continue. Frerotte IS an impressive back-up in this system. I'm certain is better than several starting QBs elsewhere in the league.

  2. #2
    Drew Guest

    Re: Gordo Live: 8/20/07

    im i the only one out there who thinks that most of the time the folks who phone in are pretty clueless about football?

    always an interesting read tho...

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