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Thread: Hadley's latest

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    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Hadley's latest

    Monday, April 23, 2007
    STILL LOOKING INSIDE


    RAMS FOLLOW-UP.

    The punter, Kris Jenkins, special teams, and the "O"


    I've mentioned time and again over the last three years that the Rams desperately are in need of a "true football man" to oversee personnel.

    I've noted time and again how this team truly lacks a personnel director to game plan a trek to success. that all too often has this team is chasing it's tail.

    Recent events have further illustrated the situation.

    Last season, the Rams had the opportunity to land one of the better punters in the NFC. I wrote they'd regret the passing on Jason Baker. One year later, the Rams would pay a punter more money for lesser skill.

    Baker (Carolina Panthers) led the NFC in net punting average and punts inside the 20 (yard line) in 2006.

    Recently the Rams committed more money, bonus and term for Donnie Jones.

    Over the last two seasons, Baker had launched slightly more than 32 percent of his punts for 50 or more yards. for Jones that rate is around 24 percent (and Baker has a better gross and net punting average).

    I phoned five NFL insiders. each would've chose Baker over Jones (with two noting that they'd pick Baker however was splitting hairs).

    Simply stated, the Rams could've inked Baker last season integrated him into the system, all the while weakening the roster of a conference postseason contender. They passed deciding on Matt Turk. He would registered an excellent performance with the Rams receiving his walking papers in return.

    So the Rams will enter a fourth-straight season with a new punter.

    This situation could've been rectified last season however the team has chased it's tail at a higher cost than the best option (Baker) last spring.

    Now the focus spotlight shines on Kris Jenkins.

    Yes, Jenkins has enough talent to spark conversation however once again the Rams football operations executives are chasing their tails.

    Since allowing a few defensive ends to depart along with Ryan Pickett and Brian Young. the Rams have searched for the right interior partners for a few years.

    Last year, the Rams had the right combination to unlock the answer however once again made decisions overly weighted by a ledger sheet instead of football production.

    So many have wrongly insisted that the Rams had to part ways with Pickett to acquire La'Roi Glover.

    That is misrepresentation of the facts and just importantly completely missing the point.

    Despite what locals spew, Pickett is an excellent run-defender. Glover's forte is pass-rushing. The combination would've been the best the team lined-up in years.

    Paying Glover (an average of $4 million a year over three years) who'll be 33-years old this training camp wasn't a mistake however allowing Pickett to walk negated the positivist.

    Banking on Jimmy Kennedy was a mistake, simply stated, he doesn't have the football comprehension nor ultra-competitive nature to succeed based on what scouts have told me for two years.

    I wrote the same thing this time last season.

    Sure enough, Glover was solid however Kennedy failed as the defensive interior was sliced and diced.

    All the while, insiders with Green Bay raved about Pickett.

    Back to the present, the team is considering a big gamble and again chasing it's tail because when the situation arose to solidify the position. the salary-cap tree determined that Pickett be set adrift.

    Don't be fooled. the money was there, the cap-space was there. logic simply didn't prevail.

    So, the Rams football operations execs are eyeing Kris Jenkins.

    First, consider that what made Jenkins so unique early in his career was the fact he was a true "pass rusher" at a size rarely contested in the NFL. He was an immoveable force that defended the run all the while touching quarterbacks at a rate few defensive tackles attained back in 2002 and 2003.

    That was then, this is now. Jenkins is still a mountain of a man sometimes tipping the scales at nearly 400 pounds however it has been four years since he was a dominant force. and much less a force disrupting pocket passers.

    Would the Rams be a better team with Jenkins in uniform. the answer is yes. Kennedy is a non-factor hence upgrading the spot is simple.

    The question is how long would Jenkins wear the uniform? Based on his size, reported workout habits, injuries, etc., past history in the league begs the question. not if Jenkins will again be sidelined but when will Jenkins again be sidelined?

    For those that intimate that Jenkins' size equates into a big-time run stuffer is absolutely wrong.

    One consider the supporting cast. the Panthers fielded an elite defensive line much of this decade while the Rams trenchmen ranged from good to poor.

    Despite the discrepancy in teammates, in their last 21 games, respectively, Pickett had 11.5 run stuffs, Jenkins has 4. In their last 21 games Pickett had twice the touches within two yards of the line of scrimmage per game.

    Is Jenkins worth consideration. no doubt but at what a price? Is he worth a first or second-round pick? Simply stated, if the Panthers are willing to accept a pick less than a second-round selection (save conditional implications). I'd beware!

    Heading into the 2004 season. you couldn't have pried Jenkins away from Carolina. If the Panthers are willing to settle for less than street value for a player south of 30-years old. would have the red-flag flapping.

    However, keep in mind this could've been rectified by simply combining Glover and Pickett while drafting for the future.

    Would the Rams have been better served aggressively pursuing a younger free-agent such as Aubrayo Franklin (signed with the ***** for a very reasonable price) and adding another DT on the first day instead of dealing the pick for yet another aged and/or flawed marquee veteran?

    Regardless, it's another scenario in which football operations played fantasy football with a salary-cap tree prolonging the inevitable.

    This defense has been purged for dollars and cents throughout this decade.

    All too often it's been in relative terms "cents" and "sense" that cost this team a chance to retain a player.

    Always remember and never forget. there were ample funds in the salary-cap vault to keep Pickett (who has played five straight full seasons).

    The Rams now have an aging pass-rusher in Glover, a scary proposition in Jenkins (missed the better part of two seasons in addition to disappearing in half the games last season) and a project (with legit upside) in Claude Wroten on the interior.

    Retaining Pickett would've bought ample time for depth-chart building. that was then, the idea of dealing a high-draft pick for a declining defender with $10 million on the books is now.

    Onto the draft. please ponder the following:

    *Isaac Bruce will be 35 this winter, Drew Bennett has missed at least three games in two of the last four seasons, and the Rams have a huge question mark slotting a fourth receiver.

    *The Rams are still wanting for a return specialist.

    *The Rams have a handful of number three runners. without a legit backup for Steven Jackson (ironic that last season at this point Jackson was screaming for the workload, now he is saying I need a breather get me a backup. the latter tells me he is getting smarter).

    Folks. considering Ted Ginn, Jr. is logical and frankly in my mind is good choice in the first round.

    Next, why would those in football operations whisper despite Coach Scott Linehan's comments the Rams aren't interest in Ricky Williams? Is it because there is concern about tampering? I would hope that is the case. because Williams is almost the perfect selection as Jackson's backup.

    I've said it before and will write it again, come Saturday when the Rams walk into the draft room. I hope they've determined the logical conclusion that by strengthening the strength, the team can compete for a postseason berth short term all they while mapping a plan for rebuilding the defense long term.

    This team is so close. incredibly close to being special.

    The lone road block is a few in football operations that are best served tending to office personnel than football personnel.

    That of course will mandate the hiring of a "true football man" which is another story for another day.

    In the end, I can't state this point emphatically enough. John Shaw is the key short-term and long-term.

    What has been the five-year foundation of this offense plus Jackson and tight end Randy McMichael along with Linehan and OC Greg Olson is enough to have me waiting anxiously for the 2007 season... Proper supplementation will have this team shocking the NFC.

    All that noted, either the loss of Shaw or his failure to alter football operations with a "football man" will limit length of success.

    Buckle up, it could be wild ride this week, and a wilder ride down the road if things are executed correctly at Rams Park over the next two months.


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    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Hadley's latest

    This team is so close, incredibly close to being something special.


    Can we get this season going already. Lines like that fire me up


    BIGTIME !!!!!!

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    Re: Hadley's latest

    Is it me, or does Hadley write like someone in desperate need of a super-sized Ritalin smoothie?

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    Re: Hadley's latest

    As the worlds number one pickett fan, hadley isnt saying anything i havent been screaming on this board since the day we let pickett go. However, he is now gone and nothing is going to change that. No way could we get pickett with a #2 pick and i dont believe that anyone seriously thinks that jenkins right now is as good as pickett.

    That being said, jenkins is a LOT better than anyone else we have and i dont see why he views it as such a tragic mistake to take a bit of risk when we have the offensive firepower to win it all. Is he worth a three? Easy. A two may be a stretch, but under the cirumstances, i think its a legitimate risk.

    Ramming speed to all

    general counsel


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    Ram-Genious Guest

    Re: Hadley's latest

    lets go RAMS!!

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    Re: Hadley's latest

    I know it would be a huge risk, but i'm still holding out hope that we can sign Ricky. Also, Carolina needs to get going and get this trade going with Jenkins.

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    Re: Hadley's latest

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Is it me, or does Hadley write like someone in desperate need of a super-sized Ritalin smoothie?
    I could not agree more. The more I read the more nauseous I got. Yes, Pickett is gone lets move on. He could have said Pickett is gone bad move and been done.

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel
    No way could we get pickett with a #2 pick and i dont believe that anyone seriously thinks that jenkins right now is as good as pickett.

    I don't know that I would say Jenkins is below Pickett. Jenkins has played at a higher level then Pickett before the injuries. Pickett may have had a better year last year but Jenkins two years removed from his injury could very well outplay Pickett. We will have to wait and see how that plays out.

  8. #8
    z.nrd Guest

    Re: Hadley's latest

    Hadley writes fine.

    I think his criticisms are just. I agree with them.

    I think the praise he heaps on the Rams offense shows his true colors.

    Nothing wrong with that article.

    It says stuff folks are not used to hearing because we're used to more domesticated journalists who would get frozen out by the Rams front office if they said some of that stuff.

    Though, for the record, Jim Thomas has said several times that not re-signing Pickett was a mistake.

    I thought it was too.

    Not that Pickett is Jamal Williams. But he is light years better than Kennedy.

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    Re: Hadley's latest

    I think he's making mountains out of molehills on Baker vs. Jones at punter. Baker had the better year last year, but Jones had the better year the year before. Jones owns a better career average and net average. So how is Jones a worse punter than Baker?

    I agree that it's a pity we didn't retain Pickett, especially since Kennedy hadn't played nose up until then. However, I think Hadley's statistical comparison of Jenkins and Pickett is flawed because they were asked to do different things. I definitely have a problem with the logic of "strengthening your strength." You can only put so many players on the field at one time--11 to be exact--and they can't all be receiving options.

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    Re: Hadley's latest

    Quote Originally Posted by z.nrd View Post
    It says stuff folks are not used to hearing because we're used to more domesticated journalists who would get frozen out by the Rams front office if they said some of that stuff.
    That's funny. Sportwriters are "journalists." Hilarious.

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    Re: Hadley's latest

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram-Genious View Post
    lets go RAMS!!
    Thanks for clearing that up for us.

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    Re: Hadley's latest

    Excellent article. I very much agree with all the major points. He may be making too much of a fuss about the punting situation, but I believe it is to outline a larger tendency (continuing with the Pickett decision etc.) that we need a football guy in control instead of some accountant(s) who may be very good at pushing papers but doesn't know his X's and O's. I think that we need to:

    1. Get more football-knowledge involved in our personnel decisions and relegate the "accountants" to lower-level advisors instead. We need someone who doesn't sit in front of an Excel spreadsheet 24/7 to make decisions on who to keep and who to let go, we've been making a long string of errors in this department and it's about time we do something to fix it.

    2. Settle on a punter and get him signed for a few years, we seem to have done this now, I hope Donnie Jones or whatever his name is is good, I don't recall ever seeing him play. I would've been happy with signing Turk to 3 years or so, but I'm not going to judge our new punter until I see him play a season or so.

    3. We should never have let Pickett get away, we had the money, we just blew that one (as I've agreed with GC and others on all along). Looking forward I think we need to get a deal done and get Jenkins, if it costs us a 2nd or 3rd we need to go for it, it may not be that great value long-term but I think we can stand to take a chance on winning *now* with all the offensive talent we have that won't be around forever.

    4. Just about the only thing that I don't agree with is his opinion that grabbing Ginn in the 1st is a good idea. Even if we get a deal done for Jenkins (which sadly I have a strong feeling we won't) we still need to go defense in the 1st regardless. Grab Okoye if he's there, otherwise take a long hard look at Willis, or the top pass-rushing DE on the board, we have lots of options in the 1st, we will have the opportunity to get either a LB, DE or DT, and that's what we should be looking at. Strengthening our defense just a little bit will go so much further towards us making the playoffs than adding anything to an already strong offense. It's much easier for us to improve the defense than the offense, I can't believe anyone would want a receiver in the 1st.

    Overall though that's the best article written by a sportswriter that I've read in a long time.

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    Re: Hadley's latest

    So to sum up......

    Past issues
    -should've matched for Baker
    -should've resigned Pickett

    Got it.......irrelevant, but got it.

    Present issues
    -Bruce is old
    -Zygmunt doesn't know football from foosball
    -Jenkins isn't as good as he was

    Got it......anything else, Hadley?
    "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: Hadley's latest

    As the worlds number one pickett fan, hadley isnt saying anything i havent been screaming on this board since the day we let pickett go. However, he is now gone and nothing is going to change that. No way could we get pickett with a #2 pick and i dont believe that anyone seriously thinks that jenkins right now is as good as pickett.

    That being said, jenkins is a LOT better than anyone else we have and i dont see why he views it as such a tragic mistake to take a bit of risk when we have the offensive firepower to win it all. Is he worth a three? Easy. A two may be a stretch, but under the cirumstances, i think its a legitimate risk.

    Ramming speed to all

    general counsel
    I agree with you here GC. I believe in our current situation (aging Offensive stars) we need to take these risks in order to give us any type of shot at contending. I don't think Jenkins is quite that big of a risk for a 2nd round pick who may never even play at the professional level.


    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    So to sum up......

    Past issues
    -should've matched for Baker
    -should've resigned Pickett

    Got it.......irrelevant, but got it.

    Present issues
    -Bruce is old
    -Zygmunt doesn't know football from foosball
    -Jenkins isn't as good as he was

    Got it......anything else, Hadley?
    Actually, his points were vaild and well stated. I hope, in the future, to hear more postive from him and less negative from you.
    Last edited by itsguud; -04-24-2007 at 09:58 AM.

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    Re: Hadley's latest

    Quote Originally Posted by itsguud
    Actually, his points were vaild and well stated. I hope, in the future, to hear more postive from him and less negative from you.
    Ah yes, good morning, my friend. How's Newfoundland this morning?
    "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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