Gordo Live: August 4, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
Dan Gates: Gordo,
Dan Kieder update? If he's healthy, I think the Rams have a great lead blocker.
The Rams really missed Madison Hedgcock last year. I still don't get why we let him go. Obviously the Giants found a diamond in the rough and locked him up with a long term contract.
How's Kieder looking? Jackson needs that solid lead blocking to be effective. I just don't think Owens or Leonard have the blocking ability to get it done at this level.
Jeff Gordon: Our guys are giving good early reports on him. If he holds up, he will be a big addition.
Dan Gates: Gordo,
I'm a long time LA fan.
I'm still most concerned with the Jackson holdout. Any ideas on when the two sides will meet again and talk. I know the Rams said they will not talk until Jackson get reports to training camp. I remember what happened last year when Jackson was barely used in the preseason and then he fumbled twice on openning day when he finally got hit for real.
I hope Linehan learns from his mistakes and plays the starters more in the preseason. Any word on his playing time schedule?
How's Donnie Avery hip?
Jeff Gordon: Look for the starters to play more, yes, if they are healthy. Also, this time against the Titans will be productive as well. The front of the schedule is brutal and there will be no backing into it.
Reading Ram: Gordo,
During the off season I was hoping stringly that we would pick up Alen Faneca, now I know we made a bid for him and lost but we picked up Jacob Bell. Once we picked up Bell much of what I heard about him was that, while not Alen Faneca that he was a force and he was very mobile and a great blocker. I am hearing some talk from folks that have gone to camp that he is getting beat by the likes of Hall and Ryan as well as not really making a positive impression.
It is hard to seperate fact from fiction here so from what you have seen and heard where does Bell stack up? I was hoping strongly that the Pace - Bell - Incognito(who I think will win Center) would be a force run blockign on the left side. I am beginning to lose that hope......
Jeff Gordon: I'll be able to answer that better next Monday, when we'll do the live chat from the training camp site.
Lawrence Houston: Hey Gordo,
First reports indicate we drafted well and we will have some good depth on both sides of the ball -maybe even some suprise starters. What is your take?
Jeff Gordon: One concern: Greco isn't able to push Barron at right tackle. He appears better at guard, where the team already has depth. But Long is a stud, Burton is strong, the LBs are surprisingly good . . . a nice draft, as of now.
kdunlap: thanks for taking the time to do these chats.
1. Do you know how ticket sales are going for the upcoming season?
2. Will Steven Jackson be in camp before the end of pre-season? (sorry if this is 100th question no this subject)
Jeff Gordon: The Rams still have tickets to move, as you noticed with all the TV ads. That will convince the team to get the Jackson deal done.
As a die-hard Cardinal fan stuck in Brewer territory, I have spent much of my time/energy wrapped up in the baseball race. The Rams are holding camp just down the street from me right now...in a nutshell, can you give me a realistic projection on what we can expect from the 2008 Rams?
Strength of Schedule?
Other teams in the division's projections?
Jeff Gordon: Jackson is the team MVP, which is why he wants big money. The "D" will improved, but the tough schedule -- especially early -- will make it tough to reach the playoffs.
I see Arizona taking a run at Seattle for the division title. All hail Kurt Warner!
Tom: Hi Jeff,
How do you see the O-line competiton shaking out, who do you think will be the starting 5?
Jeff Gordon: IF everybody is healthy, I see Pace-Bell-Incognito-Setterstrom-Barron. Mark has made a strong comeback from his injury and he took the early lead at guard. Now Richie is over there. Romberg is a solid player, but I could see the Rams going with maximum muscle.
Lawarence Marmie: If Jim Haslett's defense finishes in the bottom third of the league once again, but his demeanor is especially "Fiery"- does that impassioned character trait continue to override his subpar performance as DC with the Rams and put him in consideration for more head coaching jobs this year?
Jeff Gordon: If the Rams stay reasonably healthy, they won't finish in the bottom third again. But if they lose all their pass rushers, look out below!
BCRamsFans: What's the story on Avery? He's an expensive asset (early round two, first WR taken) and we need early positive returns-especially given our serious lack of team speed on offense. Early prognosis for his impact this year? And, his health--what's the story on his return?
Jeff Gordon: He's falling behind fast, since Stanley is having a great camp to date and Burton can catch the ball. Also, Hall and Looker have responded to the challenge. Assuming Donnie heals up, I'd see him breaking in as a fourth WR in big passing situations. He still needs to master route running at this level.
craig wilson-matson: Hi Gordo , Its the begining of a new year and i am excited with our chances to compete in the NFC west.
I believe our offence will be much improved but i am concerned about the toughness of our defence against the run. I remember the Cincinnati , and the Steeler games which showed our lack of toughness and containment vs speed backs and also the weakness to power running game .This type of performance is frustrating to fans and makes us a mark when other teams gameplan us !!
I dont know we have done anything past the DL to get better. Chiller was much better than credited and he is no longer here! We are in a divison with good running teams and a team in Arizona that has WR as strong as RB'S .
Whadda we gonna do to avoid getting ran over like a lighweight JV Squad as we have in past ??!!
Jeff Gordon: I like the Rams against the run this year. The front wall will be tough, with Ryan, Carriker and Long starting with Little. Adeyanju is strong against the run as well. I like Culberson against at LB this year. A heavier hitter at safety would help, I'd give you that. Keeping Pisa healthy would be a nice change of pace as well.
Dwayne: Hey Jeff,
Why doesnt Hasslet give Bartell a look at FS and let
O.J(who is way more physical) man the SS spot.
BTW whos the fastest on the rams
Jeff Gordon: We'll ask the experts about the speed, but I'm guessing Wade and Avery would fight it out for No. 1.
As for Bartell, he is too valuable at corner to move to safety unless there is an injury. Remember, the team still believes in Chavous -- even if the fans don't.
Carl: Dear J.G.,
When Air Martz was running the offense in St. Louis, everyone knows that it was the most beautiful thing to watch. One thing that made it amazing to watch is that Marc Bulger often threw completions that traveled in the air for 20-25 yards down the field to wide receivers. Will Bulger consistently attempt those kinds of passes in Al Saunders offense as well every game?
2.) As it relates to the receivers, who's the front runners for the 3rd and 4th receiver spots? And will Derek Stanley make the team? He's been impressive,oh, and by the way, Stanley ran a 4.34 40 yard dash in college as well.
Jeff Gordon: Saunders has lots of downfield passing in his offense, in addition to extensive use of the tight end and a nice power running scheme. IF the team protects Bulger, his accuracy will serve the teams well.
Great competition at WR. Stanley has made a move. He is pushing the draft picks and Hall. Poor Marques Hagans.
bfulton: As always, thanks for doing these chats. I understand that the Rams' Little and Hall look great and that Long is finally coming along. Can you confirm? Is it because they really are good or because the Rams' OTs are bad?
Jeff Gordon: By all accounts, those guys are all excelling. But I would be worried about tackle depth. That has to be a concern.
Dan in Dodge City, KS: Gordo, I believe Drew Bennett got a bad rap last year. He was injured early, then the ENTIRE offense struggled with the decimated O-Line, which led to Bulger running for his life (then ultimately injured). How has Bennett looked in camp, and what are the realistic expectations for him as the number 2 WR this year?
Jeff Gordon: He was horrible last year. He didn't seem to know the offense. He was hurt, true, but he didn't show much. This year he has opportunity AND competition. The team sent a message by drafting two guys to push him. That said, the early reports are good.
Loren Baker: Just curious if you have heard much about Clifton Ryan so far this year. Is he really going to be the steal he seemed last year.
Jeff Gordon: I'm a big Ryan guy. He has a great attitude and he has learned from the veterans well. If he stays healthy, expect big things.
Steve: Jeff I understand that it's still very early, but I really think the Rams should contend for the NFC West title. I think that the offensive line is a vastly improved unit from last year's disaster, and the return to health of starters on offense is going to make a big difference. I also think that Marc Bulger is by far and above the 2nd best QB in the NFC(behind Farve).
It's not fair to judge him on his play last year, Peyton Manning would have posted terrible stats playing behind the line we fielded. Al Saunders is going to make a huge difference. I also believe that the defense will be a top 10 unit(Not 5, but I could see it at 8 or 9). Again, this is all provided the team STAYS HEALTHY. I think they are due for some luck though, because the past 2 years injuries have hurt their chances.
Jeff Gordon: I see improvement for the reasons you state, but I don't see the Seahawks fading in Holmgren's farewell tour and I like the Gridbirds this year. Just getting back to 8-8 would be a chore for the Rams with this schedule.
Ray R.: Gordo-
Who has been the biggest suprise so far in camp? Thanks.
Jeff Gordon: The guys watching every practice like the kid linebackers. That is critical, since there are no veteran linebackers behind the top four
Rich: Hey Gordo,
At what point do you think the Rams will relent on their stance of not negotiating a new contract for Jackson until he is in camp? Their into the second week of camp and the guy that is supposed to be the focal point of their offense still isn't on the field.
Thanks for hosting these chats.
Jeff Gordon: Jackson has too much to lose to stay out. That said, there are always ways for Zygmunt to finesse his hard line and assure Jackson that he will get a fair deal. Jay is a pro and so is Steven's agent. Neither are pushovers, but neither is stupid.
Football is in the air. Since it is obvious the Rams are not going to budge on Steven Jackson until he reports to camp, what is left for him to prove? Seems to me like he's continuing to be a crybaby who's trying to get his way at the expense of the team. If he wants more money, fine. But you have to come to camp to get it, so show up dummy!! If all I had to do was fly to Wisconsin and then my boss would start negotiating a new contract with me, that was for that much money, I'd be there faster than a fart in a windstorm.
I guess you've just got to see what a great leader / passionate player Steven is in person, because from an outsiders perspective, I'd really like to choke the crap out of him.
Jeff Gordon: Look, these things happen. It happened with Pace and it wasn't a big deal. He got signed and he played on. The Rams don't want this holdout to last that long - and I would guess Jackson feels the same way. Both sides have too much to lose by letting this thing linger.
Being a ways away ( Utah ) from the Rams I am thankful for this forum. I am surprised that the Jackson hold out is not getting more play nationally. What's the hold up? Are we looking at another Dickerson/Bettis situation. They start here and become Hall of Famer's somewhere else?
And as always, thanks for your time,
Jeff Gordon: There is no reason for it to go that far. Jackson will throw away a lot of near-term money by taking this holdout deep and the Rams can scarcely afford to lose one of their top assets while coming back from 3-13. As you have seen, he is a big part of their marketing program.
virginiatom: When do the Rams start to get concerned about Jackson's absences impacting his ability to learn the new offense installed by Al Suanders? In his absence, have you seen either Pittman or Minor showing the skills to be a true #1 back should Jackson go down?
Jeff Gordon: I believe we'll see Jackson before long. He has made his point and he will get his contract extension, as long as his demands for money and structure make sense. In his absence, Pittman has done some good things -- building on a solid off-season. I'm not sure he is really to be a 200-carry player, but he is a better No. 2 than Leonard.
virginiatom: Two quick questions: What kind of camps are Drew Bennett and Adam Carricker having so far this summer? Is there anyone that the coaches are really excited about this year based on their performance in camp?
Jeff Gordon: Bennett is getting better reports this summer. Carriker is the same guy, a relentless worker ticketed for big things this season. Culberson is a fun guy for camp visitors to watch, since he is making a big play for a starting LB role with Draft nicked up. Stanley is another guy who has jumped out. Both of these guys made the most of their playing time late last season and both seem hungry for regular work this year.
Faris Chehabi: Is there absolutely no way that John Greco starts?
Jeff Gordon: Well, a LOT of guys would have to get hurt. He appears better suited to play guard than tackle and the competition there is fierce. It appears thjis team still needs a quality third tackle to push Barron and/or fill-in for Pace if the Big O gets hurt again.
Larry: What will the cornerback depth chart look like. After Hill and Brown, who will be right after them?
Jeff Gordon: With Brown out, Ron Bartell has stepped in again. My only concern: Bartell is so handy as a utility guy -- and might be one of the best options to fill in if either safety got hurt.
Jonathan: If Looker gets cut, which he should, who will be the long snapper?
Jeff Gordon: If Looker isn't there to hold, Donnie Jones could do it.
Anthony: Which receiver do you think will make the team? I think it's time we get rid of Dane Looker. What do you think?
Jeff Gordon: Before camp, I would have agreed -- since his role as Wilkins' holder went away. But he is making a great case for making the squad.
Faris Chehabi: For the wide receivers that don't make the 53 man roster, will they still be on our team on practice squad?
Jeff Gordon: Interesting question. If Dane Looker, Dante Hall and Drew Bennett really ARE prepared to make big contributions, then one of the younger receivers gets bumped. Stanley has been terrific, by all accounts. Burton appears to be a great get, too. And Avery has unusual speed. If you put a kid on the practice squad, you risk losing him to another team with a roster opening.
A tough call could be looming. Linehan loves Looker and Hall, if healthy, gives the Rams an element they have lacked for some time on special teams.
Rob: Long time no see..
Is Antonio Pittman potentially a better starting RB than Brian Leonard? If so, does that mean Leonard was a bad pick in the 2nd round? If not, why is Pittman working more with the starters at RB than Leonard? What is Leonard missing in terms of being a starting RB?
Jeff Gordon: Brian has settled into a third-down role. He can play some RB and some FB, catch passes, pass blocker -- a pretty handy guy. Was he picked too high? Perhaps.
Chris in Ohio: Hey Gordo!
What's going on with Lito Sheppard these days? I would give up next years second round pick for him. How about you? Do you see any worthwhile pickups coming up on the waiver wire due to cap space?
Jeff Gordon: Everybody has their cap settled now, but teams may whack veterans to clear spots for kids. The Rams will keep an eye peeled for safeties, for sure. Not sure about cornerback.
Hang Time: Hasn't Zygmunt's "show up or shut up" approach to coming up with a contract offer that's acceptable to Jackson made the situation worse? Isn't Zyggy running the risk of alienating THE FRANCHISE (Jackson) by taking this hard line low balling stance? Is Zygmunt once again proving that he should be the poster boy for the Peter Principle---being someone who has more responsibility and a job than his skills and competency can handle?
Jackson will sit all through pre-season in all likelihood until Zyggy and others see the obvious: Saunders' new offense will be crippled by the absence of SJ or the presence of a half-hearted and bitter superstar? Isn't Zyggy really making matters worse? Who in the organization can force arrogant Zyggy to try an approach with Jackson that's more effective?
Jeff Gordon: Jay is just being Jay. It's how he keeps agents in line. But he knows what is at stake. He has to get that deal done.
JARED: how has eric bassey performed at safety this training camp?
also, anything on steven's contract?
Jeff Gordon: My guys say that as a safety, Bassey is a great special teams player.
Fearsome: Gordo -
Is Becht's hamstring injury more serious than the team is letting on? Hamstring injuries can linger all season, and he hasn't practiced in a week.
Jeff Gordon: You're right, those injuries can linger. And that field turf they are practicing on in Wisconsin is hard on the legs.
Glenn: Hey Jeff, I know you're probably going to get asked this questions a million times but, have you heard any news on Steven Jackson? What about any interest in John Lynch? Thanks....
Jeff Gordon: The Rams could use a young John Lynch. A Lynch at the end . . . not so much.
Lawarence Marmie: Is there any truth to the rumor that last season- in anticipation of playing the Rams this year- a Patriot's videotape assistant was sent to illegally tape the Rams games and practices, but had his work thrown out by Bill Belichek because the coach thought the man had mistakenly filmed a St. Louis Pop Warner team by accident?
Jeff Gordon: Rim shot!
Rob: What's your prediction on...
Will Steven Jackons report to camp by Aug. 8? and....
Will he have a new long-term contract when he does?
Jeff Gordon: I can't predict a date, but I fully expect Jackson to sign a long-term deal.
Rob: What's your take on Quentin Culbertson's 2nd camp? It's one thing to raise eyebrows as an undrafted free agent, but since he's been talked about as a potential starter at strongside linebacker, I've been hearing little about him and more about the two 7th round rookie LBs.
Is he going to beat out Chris Draft? If not, why not, and if so, why can't Chris Draft win a starting spot anywhere he goes?
Jeff Gordon: As reported elsewhere on this site, Culberson is doing great. He was a productive college player. He tackled people. So that means more than pure speed or vertical leap.
Can you give me your opinion on what defensive players in camp are impressing the Rams coaching staff? And, more specifically which DT's do you think will make the Rams final roster? Thanks for your time!
Jeff Gordon: With Wroten's demise, the DT competition isn't all that fierce. I'd like to see Adeyanju play some inside to spell Ryan and Carriker on run downs. Otherwise . . .
Ron McAdams: What are the chances of Chris Draft starting at SLB?
Jeff Gordon: Interesting question. Culberson is getting a chance to shine now. And Draft's versatility may work against him starting here, since Haslett could move him around.
In reading all the training camp blogs, Jacob Bell is seldom mentioned. It appears he's got the starting LG position, but has he been turning heads?
Jeff Gordon: I haven't heard much from my spies. I'll have a better idea next week, when we do this chat from camp.
Dan M.: Gordo,
Doesn't Marc Bulger have a problem with his touch on deep balls? If he is not able to accurately put the ball in the hands of these receivers down field, what difference does it make how much vertical speed they have? Until Bulger proves that he can go long, I don't see DBs biting deep and allowing the short passes to turn into big YAC plays.
Jeff Gordon: He doesn't have a real long arm, period. His key to throw accurately and hit guys in their break, headed upfield. Heaving the home-run ball over the top of the secondary isn't his strong suit.
Where can I find a training camp fan schedule? Since it's just down the road, I'd like to make it over there for one of the bigger events.
Jeff Gordon: The Rams are headed to Tennessee to practice, so your best bet is to catch them when they return at the start of the next week.
I'm always curious about Alex Barron. I've gained the impression his motivation isn't on the level of a Carricker or a Long. Is he having a good training camp? Are his skills living up to the hype surrounding his draft? I won't ask about the false starts. And I don't really care about his attitude--I just wonder if there is legitimate hope of this guy becoming top shelf, or will the Rams need to dump him when his contract runs out?
Jeff Gordon: Alex said all the right stuff in the offseason and there is a lot of money on the table for him IF he realizes his potential this year. But let's see when the real games begin.
Scott Linehan: Can a coach ever have enough tight ends?
Is the 1 yd quick hitch the greatest offensive play ever created or what?
Jeff Gordon: No, it is not the best play ever.
Michael Martz: Don't you think that Larry Marmie got a raw deal as defensive coordinator of the Rams? I mean, Jim Haslett hasn't done much better and his name is thrown around for head coaching vacancies all the time- while Larry was chased out of town like the villagers chased Frankenstein's monster into that windmill...
I thought I even saw some carrying torches. Do you know if Marmie is receptive to the idea of moving to the Bay area...San Francisco specifically?
Jeff Gordon: Marmie's problem was taking Lovie's aggressive scheme and getting passive with it. Haslett's issue last year was personnel, not scheme. With no outside pass rush, smallish LBs and injured CBs, there wasn't much hope.
Glenn: Who's standing out more Berlin or Gradkowski?
Jeff Gordon: Bruce had a strong scrimmage and his experience has to be a big factor. But we'll see both take their shot in preseason games -- and that will be the indicator.
Jonathan Gammel: Is there a chance that the Rams will keep 7 WR's on the team instead of 6? Also, will the Rams trade Medlock or just release him?
Jeff Gordon: I don't see 7 WRs, since there is no way to make the active roster work.
virginiatom: Your comments on Avery falling behind fast and possibly not being able to break the top 4 wide receivers except on big plays is worrisome for the 33rd pick overall in the draft, and the first wide receiver taken. Did they expect more or is this normal development for a young receiver. I hope this is not the reincarnation of Trung Candidate.
Jeff Gordon: It's just that Donnie had the most to learn, coming from a spread college offense that didn't stress route running. Speed is still speed, so he'll have a role once he's healthy. But other guys are making good cases for themselves, including most of the holdovers from last year. Al Saunders is having that impact.
Re: Gordo Live: August 4, 2008
That guy is brilliant!!!
Originally Posted by RamWraith
Re: Gordo Live: August 4, 2008
Definately got me to lol.