Gordo Live
By Jeff Gordon
Monday, May 5, 2008

Hang Time: Jeff, what can we expect from Saunders? How much "freedom" to game plan, make half time adjustments, and actually "lead" the offense will he be given? Linehan and Olson just couldn't get the job done. I hope that the offense becomes "Saunder's Offense" and Linehan continues to exercise good judgment by handling the keys and the pink slip over to Saunders. Under Linehan, the team has lacked chemistry and has UNDER_ACHIEVED to a fault. How will the play-calling and game planning change this season? What is Saunders' coaching style like? Is he authoritarian? Does he bond well with players?

Jeff Gordon: Al got no freedom in Washington. Here, he will have a LOT of latitude because he has proven capable of maximizing a power running back. Scott is more inclined to control the ball and Al's work in KC proved he can lean that way while still upgrading the passing game.

Look for the run to set up more vertical passing this year.
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Chris: Gordo:

Thanks for taking the time, as always!

My question is about the RAMS 3rd string QB - currently listed as Brock Berlin. Any inside info on whether the coaching staff has plans to look at other options? Either an undrafted rookie or perhaps one of the QBs bound to be released by the Bucs (unless they are planning to go into 2008 with 7 QBs on the roster)?

Jeff Gordon: There will be a LOT of veteran options for the third QB slot. The Rams need to consider them all. They need four QBs for camp and they need a more viable option than Berlin, given Green's concussion history. Tampa Bay has six QBs in the mix -- and that can't last much longer.

The market for QBs is still sorting itself out.
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Francisco Prado: Gordo, thank you for taking my e-mail question. Any word on the Rams signing another defensive lineman for depth or to add competion (specially at DT)? I see DT Grady Jackson is still available.

Jeff Gordon: There is a lot of depth there, especially if Adeyanju plays some on the inside and Wroten stays focused. Ryan and Carriker are the cornerstones inside and Glover mixes in.
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Bucky: Jeff,

The Rams were ready to spend their first round pick on Jake Long. They said they would have spent their second round pick on Sam Baker but he was selected in Round 1. They then picked John Greco in Round 3.

Is Pace's rehab going badly? Are they down on Barron? It seems strange that they regarded gettin a tackle as a priority bud now it doesn't appear to be so.

Jeff Gordon: Pace's rehab has gone fine, but there is no guarantee that he will stay healthy. Given his age and recent injury history, the team wants insurance.

Barron will go one of two ways: He will excel this year and make himself the heir to O.P.'s left tackle post . . . or he will play his way out of town. Either way, the Rams wanted another young tackle in line to step in.
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Mr. Obvious: Mr. Gordon,

My wife met Mr. Bulger Saturday night at the fundraiser, while sitting down to dinner my wife asked him for a dinner roll from across the room, he tried to get it to her but could only throw it about 25 yards?
Go Cards!

Jeff Gordon: Everybody's a comic .
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Aron: Any chance the rams sign anymore free agents, we are awfully thin at LB and SS.

Jeff Gordon: The team is pretty set, although a few veterans always hit the waiver wire in June. I agree that more depth is needed at safety, in particular.
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Lucky Louie: Hello Jeff, Brian caused quit a stir this weekend with the article on Leanord Little. I am interested in your perspective. Thanks

Jeff Gordon: It was an interesting perspective. Our society gives second chance and let's hope Leonard makes the most of it. But I don't blame those fans who believe the team should have traded him and moved on.
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Lucky Louie: How would you rate the Rams draft. I know that we sould all wait 3 years to pass judgement but I think opinions from people around the Rams all the time are relevant. Personally, I am so happy with Long as the 1st pick. I am not a Raiders fan but I have always liked Howie Long and he is the only guy on ESPN I can stand to listen too. I loved seeing him and his son standing together at the draft in Rams hats. Great PR pick and I expect Chris in camp on time. I think Chris will make all of the nay sayers eat their words--Of course they will all forget what they said by then. I was surprised at the Avery pick at 1st but have since changed my mind. Who cares what Mel Keiper snack thinks.

Jeff Gordon: I'd say this is about a C-plus draft, with the potential to get better if the Avery pick was as good as the Rams believe it was. Long will be fine. I like a front four of Long, Carriker, Ryan and Little, with Glover, Hall and Wroten backing them up.
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sean: when looking at the defence, it's hard to pinpoint a galring hole. we don't necesserily have allot of playmakers, but everything seems solid. should we expect a middle of the pack defense, maybe beter, or worse? just trying to set my expectations

Jeff Gordon: If Little, Pisa and Hall stay healthy -- and the CB corps does as well -- this could become an above-average D. They Rams will get more done in their base defense and rely less on the gimmicky stuff.
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sean: how do u think the oline will hold up if pace goes down, alex starts at left and greco at right tacle?

Jeff Gordon: Greco will need some work. If that scenario happened right away, Gorin might have to play right tackle while the kid keeps learning.
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sean: do you think justin king can be our nickle by the end of the year? he was projected to be a first or second rounder next year...

Jeff Gordon: Yeah, but can he cover? Speed and skills are great, but a lot of expects panned his coverage skills. He will need work this summer.
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sean: dont u think that antonio pittman is running with out instinct, just straight ahead? he had maybe 3 instinctual runs last year that i can think of. if you watch him at ohio state, he was very good at seeing the holes, he just seems like he is too tentative at this level so far.

Jeff Gordon: It's a little tough to judge him on those limited reps. True feature backs like Pittman need some carries to find a rhythm. He flashed skill, but you are right -- he was NOT dynamic on every touch.
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sean: shouldnt carricker look quicker than he does on the inside? i love his hand use, but i'd like to see a second move if the first doesn't work, he gets stacked on allot of plays (i like him on runs allot though)

Jeff Gordon: He loaded extra weight to play the nose. Now that Ryan has that job, perhaps he can play lighter and be quicker. We'll see. But I'll agree that he is not a pure penetrator, ala Dorsey, and that he is better against the run.
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Gabriel to Snow: Hey Gordo, considering that Al Saunders is possibly less than a year away from being a head coach candidate for the Rams, it has been very hard to locate interveiws or quotes attributable to him. I understand why he would not want to appear to undermine Scotts tenuous grip on the team, & why he would not wish to be percieved as "lobbying" for the position in any way. Having said that, how much weight did Al's voice carry when it came to our draft? Was he a very active participant?

Also, will Holt & other vets be attending the upcoming minicamp?
Lastly, is Youngbloods 85 retired? If not, Long was the first player since Jack that could do it justice. I read that he has chosen Grant's #98, but that is not etched im stone is it?

Jeff Gordon: Long wants to be his own guy, so he is not eager to mimic his dad or another great like Youngblood. That is wise.

I'm eager to see Holt, given all the chatter about his unhappiness. Given the change in offense, he needs to be here.

Al has a strong voice, but Linehan didn't need prodding to upgrade his O-line and WR corps.
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sean: what kind of progress did johnathan wade show last year as a potential contributer?

Jeff Gordon: He's pretty raw. He will still need a big summer of work to earn regular work.
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Aron: Is there a developmental QB in the works or are the Rams waiting to draft an future QB in one of the next upcoming draft, Bulger is not getting any younger.

Jeff Gordon: I'd say the Rams would need to find an heir apparent in the next draft. The younger guys kicking around don't look to exciting right now and the most recent draft was thin. The Rams liked Henne but didn't get a shot at him.
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Luke: Jeff,
Has Alex Barron reported to the offseason conditioning program yet? If so, did you hear what kind of shape he showed up in? Thanks!

Jeff Gordon: Burwell saw him earlier this spring and says Barron is in phenomenal shape. Bryan also says the big fella was fired up to make good this season. But we'll see how all this translates.
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Justin: Jeff,

There has been talk and some speculation about the Rams SS position. Chavous is aging and still missing tackles that are necessary for a successful defense. We drafted Chamberlain and some say he will see some playing time at SS perhaps or he will play Sam or Mike. Have you seen or heard any news on this progression if there is any.. Also, Bartell is in the mix at the position. What do the Rams look at doing in order to utilize him to his fullest potential?

Jeff Gordon: Scott insists that Chamberlain was taken to play LB, not safety. He would only play there in an emergency. So I assume the kid is adding weight, not subtracting it. If King and Wade progress at CB, that would free Bartell to play more safety. But, yes, I think they need another guy.
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ram a man: quick ,trade 2009 1st rdr for isaac before they start playing........AAnyway g man we still need playmakers on d . why not try mcgargle in the middle game 1...if it works we'll be on our way...Trust me, o and 3 and they'll
be some 49er fans around here for awile..........and empty seats till linehan n haslett go!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jeff Gordon: McGaricle is another guy, like Culberson, will a chance to make this seeming lack of depth at LB evaporate. It will be an interesting camp for him.

As for Bruce, he's out the door. And if fans follow him into the ***** camp, that's going to cost them a lot of money to go to the games . . .
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Tackleberry: The Rams schedule would seem to indicate another year of missing the playoffs. With Linehan's contract up after this year, what options would you see this team exploring should the Rams come up short again? In what scenario do you see Linehan returning to the sidelines for '09?

Jeff Gordon: Rosenbloom could extend Linehan if he goes 9-7 or 10-6. Anything less than that would cause a massive fan evacuation if Scott returned.
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RCJ: Can you elaborate on the six finger Chris Long story? Both Howie and Chris were born with six fingers? Were they removed? I've never seen it in a photo and I can't get good info from google.

Jeff Gordon: I didn't press Chris on the six finger thing when he was here. We'll do his life story at some point and it will come up.