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    Gordo Live, Monday, Jan. 28

    By Jeff Gordon
    Monday, January 28, 2008

    Marc Furtado: I have been patient, understanding and even supportive of Scott Linehan, despite what his record says (see Bill Parcells, "You are what your record says you are"). I expressed my strong reservations about his choice for OL coach, and now Madison Hedgecock comes out and reveals something very very unsavory. If you look at what people wrote about him prior to the draft, when he was still at UNC, you would have to agree that his assessment of himself is probably more on the mark than what the Rams organization had to say about him. This outburst buy a quiet, team guy and ex-ram did it for me. Linehan has to go.....

    Jeff Gordon: Madison held nothing back, eh? People that know the kid say he is a straight-up guy. Those comments stung. Linehan's popularity rating has hit an all-time low.
    ==================
    Craig: Jeff,

    Inquiring minds would like to know. When guys who are described as "quiet" start trashing Scott Linehan, does he even pay attention? Perhaps he hugs his collection of FOSL's for moral support.

    Secondly, I live in the same town in GA where Mitchell Boggs played high school ball. I hear he'll be in camp. Does he have a realistic shot, or is a September callup more likely?

    Jeff Gordon: Boggs is on the radar screen, but he doesn't have electric stuff. If he can put up good minor league numbers this year, though, he will be nearly first in line to get the call from the minors. The Cards don't have many other front-burner prospects.

    Of course, Chris Narveson got to this point before breaking down. So there is work to do.
    =====================
    virginiatom: Hi Jeff. I am so angry and feel so powerless in this situation, as I am sure many Rams fans do. Can they ever get it right? WIlliams for secondary coach? How insulting for WIlliams is that? The Rams defense under Haslet performed well in one half of one season out of two. So in two years, they were respectfable, at best, 25% of the time, and clearly awful 75% of the time. Thats in two years!

    Lets give credit to the fact that the defense played hard to the quality of players we have on that side of the ball and not Haslet, and reward them by giving them a true leader and a proven coach to play for. Williams is one of the best defensive minds out there, and the Rams have a good chance to get him, and yet they handle this like everything else, amatuerish and wrong. So what if Haslet has time and money on his contract? He has had his chance.

    Pay him off and pay Williams whatever he wants to bring this defense back to the glory days of the Fearsome Foursome. This is a great opportunity for the Rams, but like everything else, they will fail to grasp it until the defense struggles again next year, and the Ram's look back and say we "should" have hired WIlliams.

    Jeff Gordon: I liked Haslett's work with a lot of young Rams. The unit buckled at the end, but a lot of that was the overall team malaise. You're right about Williams, he has to be a coordinator and he can certainly pick his spots. But replacing Haslett with Williams wouldn't make much difference unless the whole organization is overhauled. There is much to do!
    ====================
    Tim: Are the Rams going to be high bidders for Briggs?

    Jeff Gordon: Could be, but why would he come here?
    =====================
    Tackleberry: Is it me or is Scott Linehan a dead man walking? Whether it is a former player detailing his short comings, a handful of assistants showing little or no interest in the team's coaching vacancies, or just the season long drama that surrounded him, Linehan just doesn't seem to inspire anyone.

    My question: if the Rams had a legitimate ownership group, is there anyway Linehan is back in '08? It just seems comical that he retains his position while coaches like Billick, Greg Williams, Lane Kiffin, ect. are being forced out.

    As a fan it is hard to fathom that a year from now we could be loathing yet another Linehan campaign. But I guess by then we'll be excited about our new coach, too bad Holt, Bruce, Pace, and company will all be a year older.

    Jeff Gordon: Linehan IS fortunate to survive. Had ownership been set and a new, stronger front office been in place, there is no way he could survive this situation. Too many signs of hopelessness.
    ===================
    Tackleberry: WHat are the odds that the combined Cards/Rams seasons will be more disappointing in 2008 than they were in 2007?

    Jeff Gordon: Great question. By now, I don't believe fans have great expectations for either team -- so there is a chance we could actually get a pleasant surprise in there. But I wouldn't be setting aside money for playoff tickets.
    ====================
    zn2003: This is a combination of speculation and questions regarding Saunders. If Saunders entertains coming to the Rams, given the uncertain status of the coaches and front office, do you think it's possible he will ask to be contractually guaranteed that he remains the coordinator for the length of his deal, regardless who the head coach is? Is that even do-able? If memory serves, the Rams did something *kind of* like that before. When Shaw hired Knox II in 92, he asked Knox to keep Zampese Sr. on as the coordinator.

    Jeff Gordon: I'd hire Saunders, give him head coach money and set him up to succeed Linehan if need be. That's tough on Scott, but then again 3-13 was tough on all of us.
    ======================
    Glenn Turner: Just wondering is Hedgecock up for the Football Hall of Fame? I thought he was a bit below average here in St. Louis. Maybe someone should tell him to zip it about Linehan. Lack of class. Easy to bad mouth people when they are down.

    Jeff Gordon: Yeah, Madison isn't quite a Pro Bowler either. But more Rams fans are happy that he popped off than the other way around. Hedgecock said what a lot of current Rams can't say.
    ====================
    Jimmy: What chance is there that the Rams actually get Al Saunders to come to st. louis? To me it seems like a great fit but why would anyone want to coach here. Seems to me that even if the Offense plays well, the defense will be our downfall again and a losing season would mean goodbye for linehan. Once that happens, quite likely a new offensive and defensive co-ordinater will come in. Surely the rams wont get lucky and saunders have no other option but the rams...

    Jeff Gordon: There is plenty to build on with the "D". If Saunders straightened out Bulger and the offense, this team could win some games. What that means for Linehan is uncertain, because he still must prove he can command a team at this level.
    ====================
    Mike: With the 1st pick in the draft the Miami dolphins select Chris Long DE Viginia.....

    Who do the rams take? Dorsey and be stuck with a guy that is not good for a 3-4. McFadden and lose S-Jax. J. Long and have 2 underachieving takles.....wait a minute. I thought drafting at the top was gonna help us come back to the field.

    Jeff Gordon: Taking Dorsey wouldn't be automatic, unless the team commits to the change you suggest. I'd trade down a few spots at that point, assuming that another team really wants McFadden. Then J. Long would make more sense for fewer dollars.
    =================
    David Johns: Hey Jeff,

    wondering your thoughts on the TE situation for the Rams? Who is going to be around here next year? Byrd, Klop, Walker.

    Jeff Gordon: McMichaels, for sure. Klopfenstein, maybe. Byrd and Walker, no.
    ===================
    Todd W.: Gordo,
    Who would you feel would be better as OC. Zampese or Saunders?
    Who is more pass oriented of the 2 in your opinion?
    Thanks
    Todd

    Jeff Gordon: Saunders has the experience and the history with this offense when it was better. He'd be the first choice. But Zampese IS an intriguing candidate, especially in this difficult circumstance.
    ==============
    Hen: Hi Gordo,

    It would be interesting to know what Rams former players and coaches think of Linehan (like the Hedgecock interview). To me it spoke volumes about how poorly Linehan is at leading people and for that matter judging talent. It has been said many times in this forum but he is not head coach material. Do you know if there are any other interviews scheduled with guys like Budreaux, Curtis, Fitzpatrick or anyone else that has "some freedom" to talk about Linehan? It would be nice to get their perspective regarding the inner workings of how players and other coaches feel about Linehan. I know some would be reluctant to speak up because it might give them a bad name but there could be a few....

    Jeff Gordon: Few players will pop off like that -- and few of the ex-Rams had a much of a beef with the coach. But it's worth a try.
    =====================
    Hen: Gordo,

    This might have gotten lost with some Rams fans. But do you recall when Archuleta was a free agent and we wanted to resign him but Washington paid way too much. He doesn't start for the Bears now! We got lucky but we still wanted him. Again another potential poor personnel decision. What gets me is the poor personnel decisions with the free agents...I can understand the draft to some degree as it is more difficult to evaluate if a player is going to be good or not but those that have played for you or you can watch play in the pros? Like Hedgecock, Ferrotte, Curtis, Bennett, James Hall, 4 tight ends, Chavous...if that kind of evaluation continues this off season, we're screwed (even more). Your thoughts on if this management in place gets it right this offseason?

    Jeff Gordon: Letting Archuleta walk was one of the better moves, since he was done. Washington and Chicago figure that out too late. Losing Pickett or Curtis was more problematic. And, no, there is no reason to expect better, given the current management structure (or lack thereof).
    ===================
    Hen: Gordo...please tell me that we can get Saunders and more importantly that Linehan doesn't interfere with the offense. Please.

    From sick and tired of watching pee-wee football plays being called.

    Jeff Gordon: I can't make such bold guarantees.
    ====================
    Buzz: Gordo,
    After he had hired his pals Valero and Loney, Linehan made a comment that they could tell the new OC how things are done around here. Should we be alarmed by this comment? Do you think Linehan's intent is innocent enough, that he just wants everyone on the same page in a broad sense? Or is there something more ominous behind what he said, an intent to maintain excessive control over his new playcaller, even if he allows him to install a new system? Remember, Linehan was involved up to his ears in game planning, even when he had Olson calling the plays in games. If he can't let go of some of that control, he may have trouble getting Saunders, or even Zampese, to join his staff. Thanks.

    Jeff Gordon: Will the Rams hire a strong offensive coordinator with the juice to do the whole scheme and philosophy? I suppose Shaw could force Scott to do that. And it would be a good idea. Will it happen? In the current leadership vacuum, probably not.
    =====================
    Brucefan: If Al Saunders is hired and Bruce's contract is renegotiated, do you think that the Rams might rethink their stance on moving Bruce to slot receiver? I think that Bruce is on the downside of his career, but I do think that he still can produce at an above average level in the right system.

    Jeff Gordon: At this late stage of Ike's career, I'd rather see him in the slot most of the time.
    ======================
    JR: Thanks for the chat, first of all. It appears that the Rams and Linny will take whoever is left over for the OC position. IF Saunders is going to interview in Oakland after talking to the Rams, there is not much chance in him working for Linehan. Of course, who in their right mind would want to work for someone as inferior as Linehan?

    Jeff Gordon: For the right money and security, he could work for a lame-duck coach. But it isn't a great situation for man still harboring his own head-coaching ambitions. Unless there come future guarantees came with it . . .
    ========================
    pdub: I read something that indicated there might be tension between Linehan and Haslett? Any truth to that in your opinion? If so, how do you think that will affect the Rams this off-season and upcoming season?

    Jeff Gordon: Yeah, there was tension. And I'm as curious as you are to see how it plays out.
    ========================
    Brian from Vegas: Gordo,
    Thanks for the chats!
    I was a Rams fan back in the 1980's when the Rams consistently made to the playoffs with one great player (Eric Dickerson), a strong offensive line and a good defense. Could the current Rams use that same theory by building a strong offensive line and then running the ball down peoples throats with Steven Jackson? I know that Jackson seems to be a little eccentric, but my god, he is big, fast and strong. I hate to admit it, but the era of Bruce and Holt is coming to an end, it is time for the next era, and I don't mean the Drew Bennett era.

    Jeff Gordon: Linehan would love to start a power-running era. That will be his focus for next year. Unless, of course, a new O.C. could take the team back to its more free-wheeling days. That would not be Scott's first choice.
    ===================
    gabriel: gordo ive been thinking about how this draft could go down and one outcome i have no problem with is takeing jake long i keep seeing a line with pace long and if we get lucky alan faneca i think barron is a bust i mean he has the skill but needs discipline maybe puting him inside would help but he looks like a lost cause. do you this some how happening? thank you in advance

    Jeff Gordon: I do not see the Rams attracting the top interior line FA, especially when the team returns too solid, low-cost guards. If the Rams draft Long, he would either fill in for Pace if the Big O got hurt or he would push Barron. The Rams must make decisions on both Pace (a big cap eater) and Barron (potential FA) going forward.
    ==================
    Greg: Gordo,
    I guess I missed something. I thought the Rams hired Cam Cameron as offensive coordinator 3-4 weeks ago. Was the deal not completed?

    Jeff Gordon: No, it was not. Cam is otherwise employed and the team is still looking. Too bad, too.
    ======================
    pdub: Gordo:

    Sedrick Ellis, Glenn Dorsey, Chris Long, Jake Long, Darren McFadden (or anyone else)... who do you like w/ the Rams' first pick?

    Jeff Gordon: I've been persuaded that Chris Long would be the best pick. But Mel Kiper Jr. I'm not.
    ======================
    Jeremy (Denver): Gordo,
    I've actually been supportive of keeping Linehan...until this week. Skipping the entire week of Senior Bowl practices in inexcusable! Ok, he went to a funeral...that doesn't take all week. Hop on a plane an hour later and get to work. Don't give me this "I'll watch the tape" stuff either. Seeing prospects in person, comparing notes with your scouts, taking to other teams, talking to the players...all very valuable part of the draft process. Does this guy even want to win???

    Jeff Gordon: Yes, he wants to win. But his situation was a bit different, with the summit and the funeral. I wouldn't mind if the Rams scouts had more say in the draft anyway . . .
    =====================
    YoMurphy: Hey Gordo. Thanks for the chat.
    I have read you endorse Chris Long for our pick at #2 in the draft. I agree with this, but I am becoming more concerned that he will go #1, as this seems to be the trend on the mock draft sites, who are suddenly deciding that Dorsey doesn't fit in with Parcell's "type" of player, and that Long is just the kind of 3-4 OLB that Parcell's likes.
    Now, I know that there is a lot to go, and the mock drafts are not always made by the most informed people, but do you think Long has a good shot of going #1?

    If he does, I personally will be disappointed since it seems Ellis and Dorsey are the next best players available who are not named McFadden.
    Many are saying that if Long goes first the Rams are in great shape, since drafting Dorsey is a no-brainer. Don't you think DT is a position we are finally ok on? I know Wroten is a bum, but between Glover, Carriker and Ryan, we can add another guy for depth who is not necessarily the #2 player in the draft (who will command mega-bucks.) If we look at DE as our #1 need, and Long is gone, is there anyone you see in the second round who could be an immediate starter like Long would have been?

    Jeff Gordon: If Miami drafts Long No. 1 instead of moving down to do that, it could cause quite a stir. This could actually give the Rams great trade leverage, since Dorsey might not fit here, either.
    ======================
    Mitch From San Diego: Hi Gordo,

    Thanks for answering our questions an responding to our comments. If the Rams hire Al Saunders I would be thrilled for several reasons. I have great respect for leaders who recognize their shortcomings and do not let egos stand in the way of doing the best for their organization. Jimmy Johnson did this with the Cowboys in hiring Norv Turner to run the offense during his chapionship runs. The Cowboys did nothing until Turner came aboard. Johnson got out of Turner's way and the rest is history. J.J. got the credit for the Cowboys championships but, I believe it was Turner's offense that was the catylist. After all, what did Jimmy do in Miami without Turner?

    Scott Linehan has the same opportunity to demostrate great leadership by putting away his ego and turning the offense over to Saunders. Saunder's offense is from the same tree as Turner and Mike Martz. The offensive players will play like their hair is on fire after playing in Linny's dull, play not to lose system. The Rams will need a better back up QB though because Gus "The Check Down Queen of the NFL" Freotte could not play in the New GSOT offense. Saunders, like Turner and Martz, is not much for checkdowns. He is going to spread defenses out, run hard and hit the deep dig routes, slants and skinny posts that are known so well to Torry and Issac. Which brings me to another "must go" player in Drew "oops" Bennett. He is a misfit for the GSOT offense because he can't run and chew gum at the same time. Just ask Marc Bulger.

    Another by-product of turning the offense to Saunders is that Haslett will be free to take some chances with his big play defensive designs because hopefully he'll have some leads and can play down hill for a change.

    I believe with a few additions in personnel they can get back to scaring other teams again and possibly win the division. Scotty would get an extension and the ED would be full of Rams ans again. Your take?

    Jeff Gordon: It's a well thought-out post, but I'm not sure Linehan has the leadership to pull all that off.


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    Re: Gordo Live, Monday, Jan. 28

    Are the Rams going to be high bidders for Briggs?

    Jeff Gordon: Could be, but why would he come here?
    You could pretty much ask and answer this question universally......fill in the blank.

    Q: Are the Rams going to be high bidders for _________?

    A: Could be, but why would he come here?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Gordo Live, Monday, Jan. 28

    Hedgecock and Timmerman have both blasted Linehan recently. Not exactly a feel good moment for the organization is it?

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    Re: Gordo Live, Monday, Jan. 28

    And don't forget Bulger rolling his eyes at him and Jackson and Holt ripping into him on the sidelines during the season. That was no big deal though and it wasn't his fault anyway.

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