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  1. #1
    moklerman's Avatar
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    Guest of the Martz Dog House?

    What's the deal with Lamar Gordon? I admit I didn't watch him as closely as I should have while he was playing, always anticipating/hoping for Faulk to come back, but from what I remember he was always gaining positive yards and hitting the hole hard when he got a chance. I know he seemed to get nicked up a little too easily, but if that's the only reason that he's been demoted to 3rd string I think it's a little harsh.

    I mean, the guy's used to playing Division IIA ball so there has to be somewhat of an adjustment period doesn't there? I certainly hope that this isn't another case of treating the symptom and not the disease. The O-Line and gameplan are more to blame for the lack of production at the running back spot than the individual playerS (yes, that's a capital "S" meaning all the rb's have struggled, not just one of them).

    I'm starting to get the impression that there is no learning curve at Rams Park. It "seems" like if players don't produce right away they are shipped off or given up on. Doublly tough on players that are getting thrown into the fracas as rookies. I have my doubts about Arlen Harris (I like him, but I question whether or not he has "it") but I think that Gordon has the potential to make it in the league. I definitely wouldn't give up on either of them, as it appears Martz is doing by making Arlen play out of position and demoting Gordon to 3rd string and drafting Jackson.

    The new and improved Martz Dog House: "Players Check In, But They Don't Check Out!".


  2. #2
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    Re: Guest of the Martz Dog House?

    I think they are concerned that Gordon has an injury bug and is unable to play through ANY sort of pain. This has been the case throughout his college career as well.

    Also, they couldn't pass on the talented Jackson that fell to them in the first round. I personally feel they NEVER expected to Jackson fall that far.

  3. #3
    txramsfan's Avatar
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    Butler made it out

    He spent two years in that doghouse, but got out last year when he started performing. Maybe Gordon has just been snake bit. When Faulk was hurt last year, it seemed Gordon was also at the same time.

  4. #4
    moklerman's Avatar
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    Re: Guest of the Martz Dog House?

    While I agree that you should always take the best player available, I still question the thought process in this situation. To trade a pick to move up, while being relatively short on picks, to draft a guy who, while showing potential is still only the best rb in a weak draft for the position, at a position that isn't a "need" for the team all puts a big question mark next to it for me.

    I'm not an expert on drafts by any means so it very well could have been the best possible move for the team, but if it were me I would have focused more on the o-line, especially with Orlando's situation being what it is. Possibly would have taken the best available lineman at 26, keep the 2nd (or was it fourth?) round pick and use it to add possible depth in the o-line. I still think that's the best possible place to focus future development.

    To me, it's a lot more conceivable to take a veteran skill player (Faulk, Warner, Bulger, etc.) and plug him into the offense then it is to have depth and stability on the o-line to protect those guys. ALL the skill guys get hurt in the Martz offense (Green, Warner, Bulger, Faulk, Trung, Gordon, Arlen, etc.), so to me it's somewhat wasteful to use a high round pick on any of those positions. If you play qb or rb for the Rams you're almost assured of getting hurt so it seems more logical to me to TRY and shore up the swiss cheese line that's been contributing to these injuries and lack of production.

    This may be an over-simplication on my part but Martz's offense NEEDS a good/great front 5 to do everything they want to do, so why not try and build one with youthful guys instead of re-treads?

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    ForeveRams is offline Registered User
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    Thumbs up Re: Guest of the Martz Dog House?

    I think the problem with Gordon is that he's unwilling, not unable to play through pain. MM just won't stand for any of that in any of his players. No heated desire to play? Then sit in the doghouse till you get it.

    As far as the draft, I didn't like the move to get Jackson. Don't get me wrong I liked the pick but not the move. Shane Andrews OT was picked in our spot in the 4th round we gave to Cincinnati to move up those two spots! He would have been a great addition to our Oline. Somewhat of a project and probably not a starter but he had speed agility and incredible strength. He would have been a contributer on the line by mid season. I just don't think we needed to move up to get Jackson, Chris Perry or Kevin Jones if that is what we really wanted to do. Is that what we REALLY wanted to do? Draft a RB with our 1st pick? We also gave up the opportunity to get Ahmad Carroll to shore up our secondary.

    If Marshall returns fully recuperated I think we might have made a mistake with Jackson. If Gordon gets his head straightened out and really wants to play what do we do then? I guess we could always trade him to someone who has a RB go down in camp or preseason. I guess we could look at it like this, Jackson is Marshalls heir apparent and no one in next years draft would suffice. I guess that makes him a real steal for us. There is always a silver lining right?

    BTW it's tough to post right now. It takes forever for the site to respond so I guess I'll lurk and try posting later. I know there are teething problems and Dez is trying to get out all the bugs but I'm not the most patient guy when I feel the need. Looks like this is a decent forum to post on with knowledable and respectful fans. I'm looking forward to new friends here. Anyone going to Miami on the 24th of Oct? :1: GO RAMS!!

  6. #6
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Guest of the Martz Dog House?

    The way I look at it is this. Marshall Faulk is 31, and he's playing a position where most guys after the age of 30 start to decline. Look at Eddie George. He's a year younger and is going to get dumped. If Faulk follows that trend, then he doesn't have too many great seasons left at the level we're used to seeing him play. We're going to need someone who can learn from Faulk while he's hear, spell him a bit so we get the most bang for Marshall's buck while he's with us, and then eventually take over. To me, that guy isn't Gordon. He had fumbling problems his first season, and he's had a hard time with injuries. Some of you have questioned ability to play through pain, and now, ForeveRams, you say it's an attitude thing. That's all very concerning for me when thinking about him in the context of being a starter. Watching him play, I just don't see someone who's a really great weapon for this offense. I think he makes a nice change of pace back, but I don't think he's starter material, or at least not the heir apparent.

    Whether or not Jackson is remains to be seen, but I see Jackson as more of a potentially dangerous running back who is a better receiver, good pass blocker, and while he isn't lightning fast, he is quick on his feet and has great agility for cutbacks. I think if there's anyone that I would feel comfortable coming in, learning as much as he can from Faulk while getting some playing time, and eventually taking over, it's Jackson before Gordon. That said, I see Gordon as our second RB after Faulk moves on. I don't look at him being third string as a huge demotion, but rather as preparing for a more dynamic shift in the depth chart in the next few seasons. I think if we keep Gordon and continue to work on him, he'll make a more than adequate back-up for Jackson, assuming Jackson is in fact the heir apparent. Gordon really isn't costing us much, and I don't think there would be a lot of interest in him even if a team loses a back to injury. Furthermore, keep in mind that last season we needed our third string runner for a couple of games. If Faulk gets injured again and Jackson's aggressive style of running puts him on the bench with an injury, then Gordon's going to see some time.

    In terms of whether or not I would have moved up to draft Jackson as the Rams did, I'm not sure. I certainly like the pick, but I think the Rams had more pressing needs elsewhere that also could have been addressed. Mokler, you have a great point in that the Rams could have taken the best remaining offensive lineman with that selection (Snee or Smiley depending on your board, I ranked Smiley higher). Since both are guards, I think you could begin grooming either of them for a starting role. While it does take a significant amount of time for a lineman to learn the system (see Wohlahbaugh's struggles last year and Turley had some problems as well), picking up either of these two could have been a good move for the future, considering the age of both McCollum and Timmerman. I think in terms of a tackle to safeguard against problems with Pace, any tackle we took at that point would have been a reach; we would have had to have traded down into the second round to get one of them. Heck, even taking Snee or Smiley in the first could be a reach by some standards. I would have taken Smiley in the first with no concerns about it, but I guess time (and two games against him a year) will tell if I would have been right or wrong.

    Someone in the secondary as ForeveRams suggested also makes a lot of sense. The Rams lack experience at cornerback (it sounds as if Garrett is the frontrunner for the nickle back job), so taking the best available at our spot in the first round might have really made a difference in our depth at the position. Also, I think we really needed a future replacement for Aeneas at free safety. I think we got the man for that job in Shivers later in the draft, but I had a couple other scenarios drawn out where the Rams could have taken guys elsewhere who perhaps are more ready or have better skills than Shivers does. I was surprised to see Sean Jones drop into the lower part of the second round, but I probably wouldn't have taken him too much earlier, nor is he a guy I would have traded out of the first round to get (Smiley or Troupe). I was really hoping we'd get a shot at Matt Ware in the third round, but the Eagles took him two spots above us. On Day Two, I thought perhaps Will Allen would fall to us, but that dream didn't last. I'm certainly not disappointed with Shivers -- in fact, I'm really excited to see what he can do. And looking back at the third round, from what's being said about our selection based on his camp performances, perhaps it's better that things fell as they did.

    But now that I've ventured far off topic, I have never really looked at Gordon as someone who's going to replace Faulk. I just don't see him as the kind of runner I would prefer to have in my starting line-up, so I wasn't surprised when the Rams made their move to get Jackson. I think Gordon can still be an effective part of the offense, but just not as the starter. And I don't view his demotion to third string as a reflection on him and his performance as much as I see it as a reflection of what's to come, and by that I mean Gordon backing up Jackson when he takes over for Marshall.

  7. #7
    Curly Horns's Avatar
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    Re: Guest of the Martz Dog House?

    Gordon has had some problems, injuries & fumbles, but I don't think he is in the doghouse. The rams always carry 3 RBs. If Gordon was in the doghouse I think the Rams would keep Harris at RB and possibly try to move Gordon or cut him. Mokler, I know you have stated that you are not that high on Jackson, but I think he is going to be an excellent RB for the Rams offense. Just wait until you see him on the field, I think you will be impressed.

  8. #8
    moklerman's Avatar
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    Re: Guest of the Martz Dog House?

    Well, I'm hopeful. I'd love to have a Ricky Williams type back to help out with the offense. I was pretty impressed when Lamar came on the scene, thought he was a reasonable facsimle of Faulk.

    The main reason I'm skeptical is because of the offensive philosophy not catering to Jackson's apparent running style. I'm not rooting against the guy, there are just a few circumstances around the whole picture that are questionable to me.

  9. #9
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    Cool Re: Guest of the Martz Dog House?

    I really don't understand where these Ricky Williams comparisons come from. I guess it's the hair? Well for me, the SJ/RW comparison begins and ends with the locks. They are not even the same in physical stature. RW is 5'10" 228lbs with very small hands and he is a fumbler. SJ is 6'2" and 230lbs. with huge hands and he is not a fumbler.

    I never really liked Gordon's running style and his fumbling, early on, drove me nuts. I think he is an adequate back-up RB, but I really don't see him as an elite back in this league. Maybe he could be, if given a full-time opportunity, but he has not done a lot, with his playing time, while Faulk has been injured.

  10. #10
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Guest of the Martz Dog House?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferter
    I really don't understand where these Ricky Williams comparisons come from. I guess it's the hair? Well for me, the SJ/RW comparison begins and ends with the locks. They are not even the same in physical stature. RW is 5'10" 228lbs with very small hands and he is a fumbler. SJ is 6'2" and 230lbs. with huge hands and he is not a fumbler.

    I never really liked Gordon's running style and his fumbling, early on, drove me nuts. I think he is an adequate back-up RB, but I really don't see him as an elite back in this league. Maybe he could be, if given a full-time opportunity, but he has not done a lot, with his playing time, while Faulk has been injured.
    I agree on every point.

  11. #11
    moklerman's Avatar
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    Re: Guest of the Martz Dog House?

    Comparing him to Ricky Williams seems to be the popular choice. I don't know how accurate it is since I haven't seen SJ play. I'm assuming it's because both are big, punishing, north/south runners. Maybe Eddie George is more accurate? He's roughly the same size as SJ.

    If these choices aren't comparable I would like to hear who SJ reminds everyone of. I really have no clue about this guy other than what I've read since the draft about his potential.

  12. #12
    Mykel is offline Registered User
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    Re: Guest of the Martz Dog House?

    Well living in Oregon I can probably give you a bit of insight to what I have seen of Steven Jackson. Now granted, I am an avid Ducks fan so rooted against him in college, but I did have the opportunity to see him play live a few times.

    This is a kid that wont quit. I saw a few civil war games where he got hit HARD by Igor Oshanski (now a pro LB) or other linemen for the Ducks and just would not go down. What you will get with this guy is someone that won't drop the ball, can cut back to make the defender miss him and, when he does get hit, will give you that second push to gain the extra 2-3 yards. He isn't the blocker that Faulk is but can catch the ball out of the backfield and bust loose for the big gains.

    I was on the phone with a buddy of mine for the 4 picks leading up to his selection by the Rams (friend is a Cowboy fan) and he was disappointed that his team didn't select him. Admittedly this is a weak year for the RB position, however I think we picked up a solid player in Jackson. He works hard on and off the field and with Faulk getting older, maybe 2-3 good years left in him, Jackson will learn his role and be a great heir for him.

    Just my 2 cents...
    "Some people consider football a matter of life and death, I assure you, it is much more serious than that"
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  13. #13
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    Re: Guest of the Martz Dog House?

    I agree with Nick on this one. I have never been a Gordon fan. I like Harris. I hope that kid gets a shot in the league.

    With Jackson and Faulk I don't see it happening for the Rams.

    Trout

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    Curly Horns's Avatar
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    Re: Guest of the Martz Dog House?

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    If these choices aren't comparable I would like to hear who SJ reminds everyone of. I really have no clue about this guy other than what I've read since the draft about his potential.
    He reminds me of a hybrid clone of Eric Dickerson and Eddie George

  15. #15
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    Re: Guest of the Martz Dog House?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blacktrout
    I agree with Nick on this one. I have never been a Gordon fan. I like Harris. I hope that kid gets a shot in the league.

    With Jackson and Faulk I don't see it happening for the Rams.

    Trout
    Unfortunately. But, at least we can rest easy knowing our RB depth is set. Martz is trying to find a way to get him on the field (I can see him as a Holcombe-type fullback), and he's a great special teams player.

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