HarveyBirdman: How bad is Pace's injury?
Jeff Gordon: Scott Linehan called it a "severe sprain." He added, "I don't know what to tell you other than that." So I'll be surprised if this is not a long-term problem.
Mike: What a pathetic performance. The only positive was Carriker looked good - for a half. Can you think of any?
Jeff Gordon: Well, the special teams weren't bad. The Rams covered kicks and got a home-run return by Dante Hall. Jeff Wilkins is still Jeff Wilkins. But that is about it for the positives.
Chinapop: While most everyone seems to be predicting 9-7 and 10-6 predictions, did they take the time to look at the schedule or take into account the Rams not addressing their pathetic defense? Yeah, I said pathetic, as in only one LB, only 2 DL's, no safeties and 1 DB. I wish I were wrong, but this team is nothing more than the 6-10 I predicted. As the ***** said, "Same ol' sorry ass Rams.
Jeff Gordon: Tye Hill got abused by Steve Smith and the run defense buckled from fatigue as the second half drug on. The timely turnovers forced by Chavous and Chillar were positives, but the defense got beat up when the Rams offense couldn't stay on the field during the second half.
Eric Jablonski: Gordo, how's the weekend going? While I watched the offense move the ball in the first half, I had hope. The soft defense scared me, but we kept moving the ball. After Pace got hurt, the rams went stagnate. I hope he's not seriously hurt, but should that be the case, our offenseive line looks weak. Terrible! Horrible! The rams couldnt do ANYTHING after he went down. What hope do we have, If he is out for an extended period of time? Are there Players sitting at home that could help?
Jeff Gordon: Pace's injury, combined with Todd Steussie's early injury, puts the team in a bind. Goldberg filled in at tackle last year, but, as we saw, that is NOT is best position. The Rams will check around for help at this position, but good tackles aren't sitting home a week into the season. And teams that have a surplus at the spot don't like dealing that surplus for a draft pick. Teams don't want to get caught in the situation the Rams are in today.
Can we now put to rest the Steven Jackson hype? He has yet to instill confidence in me. I don't care what the stats say, he is not the answer. He padded his stats last year in the second half of the season after all was lost. Now as I see it we still need to upgrade at RB and wide receiver as we have no long ball threat as far as I can tell.
Jeff Gordon: Jackson is a great back. Those fumbles aren't characteristic of his ability. Perhaps he should have seen more action during the preseason to get game ready.
It'll be interesting to see how Pace's demise impacts the rush offense in addition to the pass protection.
Richard: Is there anything positive on the O side of the ball that we can bring from this dismal performance?
Jeff Gordon: Offense? No, there was nothing positive. The playcalling was conservative and the execution was poor. The Rams mustered one excellent drive all game. Why did they wait until the end of the game to make Randy McMichael a factor? This was be a long week of second-guessing on sports talk radio and here in the STLToday.com forums.
eternal28: would it be a bad idea to move barron to LT now. pace cant stay healthy and it kills the team when he is out, if we move barron to LT the right side would be easier to replace than the left if if pace is out and barron stays on the right side, i know pace is great but, how great can you be on the sidelines in street clothes we cant continue to wait for him, we need barron there on the left side, if pace come back let him finish his career on the right side he probably only has 3-4 more years at most
Jeff Gordon: That is something the team will have to look at. Perhaps Milford Brown could fill at right tackle if all else fails. All options are up for discussion. I don't expect to see Pace back any time soon. RamFan must hope for a medical miracle.
Alex Jacobs: Today started great with good defensive showing, as well as the offense doing well, but at what point did everyting go wrong?
Jeff Gordon: Linehan cited Jackson's fumbles as the turning point. Carolina exploited that opportunity to turn the game. And the Rams just weren't the same without Pace.
riverumbbq: Hello Jeff, How bad are the injuries to Pace, Pisa and Dante ?
Jeff Gordon: Pace we've touched on. Pisa suffered a foot/ankle sprain and went back in. Hall had muscle cramps and stayed out. Both should be fine next week. Pace? Not so much.
Doug: Hey Jeff,
There's alot of excuses you could make about the performance of this game, the turnovers, the injury to Pace, the playcalling on Offense. But in the end what seemed the worst to me was how the team seemed to give up later in the second half, they just seemed to play with no heart. Did you notice this at all? What excuse is there for this team to play with no passion? Why don't we have any passion like Steve Smith, on the sidelines all game fired up cheering and yelling, even when they were down. It seemed like the whole team just gave up, and it looked like Bulger was really ticked at the end of this game, could his statments he made last year about players not caring have more validity again this year?
Jeff Gordon: Linehan blamed fatigue for the defensive collapse, and that is a plausible explanation. As for the offense, I just sensed a lack of confidence by a unit that should have plenty. The unit buckled after Pace went down. Greg Olson was reluctant to call a lot of downfield passes with Pace out of the game.
Where in the world was our offense today? We really could have one this game if somebody would've shown up besides Torry Holt. Bulger looked absolutely horrible. He had some nice throws but was completely inconsistent. And Dante Hall's kick return to the 20 was quite a releif to see, but we can only get 3 points from that??? Unacceptable. My question is, what does Linehan do to fix this? because our offense CAN NOT get off to a slow start this year as it did last year. We simply can't afford it. The Defense looked so-so but you can't blame them for being on the field that long. Thanks
Jeff Gordon: Getting Bennett back would help. I'm not sure you want to line Hall up in the slot on third down and wedge the ball to him in traffic. As we saw in this game, that is NOT what he does well. If Pace is out a while, the offense will have to adjust to his absence. But I'm not sure going the conservative route will win a lot of games.
Mike: Did Linehan have any explanation for this pathetic, listless performance?
Jeff Gordon: He felt good about the first 2 1/2 quarters. He didn't have much explanation for what happened after that, aside from pointing to the fumbles and the loss of Pace.
What's up with the playcalling after Dante's great KO return. ? An aggressive, go-for-the-jugular approach is needed, not a quick throw to Torry at the LOS. I thought that the momentum changed after that series. Thoughts?
Jeff Gordon: That playcalling was not well-received among the football-saavy scribes in my area. I'm guessing that Bernie and/or Bryan will have lots to saw about what went down. This team has too much talent to waste it with that playcalling.
Dave Fuchs: Why bring in these great tight ends and throw to them at all?
Jeff Gordon: Excellent point. I loved the derisive cheer that celebrated McMichael's first catch. Many fans wondered the same thing.
DeaconMerlinRoman: Did Linehan comment on Jackson's fumbles?
Jeff Gordon: He noted that those turnovers were costly. He did like the way Steven ran until that point.
Frustrated with Linehan: If I didn't know better, I'd have thought I hit the wrong button on my DVR and replayed a game from last season. How long is team management going to put up with this crap?
Jeff Gordon: Linehan admits the Rams have to become more "explosive" on offense. Now let's see what he does about it.
Ron from Upstate NY: Unforteantely the game was not televised in my area, but I am a long time Rams fan wishing the the Greatest Show in Turf could regain 50% of what they were. With all the highly skilled offense players (Bulger, Jackson, Holt, Bruce), how can this offense be this bad. The yards per pass attempt was very bad, how was the play selection, was their any attempt to throw down field ?
Jeff Gordon: Playcalling was the crux of the problem, along with Pace's injury. Even when Orlando was on the field, the offense wasn't taking a lot of shots downfield.
Tom: No way to find anything real positive for this team.
I was particularly bothered by a) Bulger's poor performance and b)nothing from McMichael. Why di they bother signing him if they are not going to use him? particularly when they lacked bodies at wide receiver. A very discouraging outlook.
Jeff Gordon: Can't disagree. McMichael needed to be established early in the game, to give the Panthers something new to defend. Why wait until the game was virtually over to make good use of him?
Allen: Hey Gordo, somehow the pain is lessened when we can vent.
I don't know much about our Offensive Coordinator. What are his credentials and should we have reason to believe he can take advantage of the weapons at his disposal throughout the course of the season?
Jeff Gordon: Olson's playcalling reflects Linehan's caution. That topic will get heavy play this week as the coaching staff picks up the pieces. The Rams played it safe and still turned the ball over at inopportune times.
Monty: Jeff, The Rams looked as if they had quit by the fourth quarter. In your opinion is the team mentally ready to play at a playoff level every Sunday? Is is hard to believe that the team that played today was mentally ready to play all out today.
Jeff Gordon: The Rams were ready early. At the end, the offense was a bit timid and confused without Pace. And the D was exhausted.
RxRutledge: What's your opinion on saving your starters during the preseason. I understand the desire to keep them from getting injured, but it seems to work more against them, since they end up coming into the game unprepared and get themselves injured in the process.
Jeff Gordon: At the news conference, Jim Thomas asked Linehan if Jackson's fumbles were related to his lack of preseason work. Linehan's answer: "I don't know." I expect there was some correlation.
If the offensive unit was reluctant to go down field with Pace out, and the defensive unit tired from being on the field so much, why wasn't there more play calls to Jackson or the TE's, either running it or some sort of swing passes, screens, dump offs in the middle then to keep the ball moving and attempt to keep the Off. on the field and give the Def. a rest. It just seemed that later in the second half the playcalling was a little bizzare, and they seemed to call ALOT of plays to Hall which I thought was also bizarre. Your thoughts?
Jeff Gordon: I agree: Use McMichael more. Hall is a nice change-of-pace guy, but he isn't the best third-down option when the game is on the line.
Bennett was really missed.
How long is Incognito going to be out? The line has no push up the middle with him not there. Bulger did not look at ease in the pocket all!!! Panthers really got the Rams back on their heels and took it to them!!
Jeff Gordon: Incognito has one of those slow-healing ankle sprains. The Rams hoped he would play in this game, so I'm sure there is optimism about him playing next week. Yes, he was missed.
Jim Martin: Great info, as always, Jeff.
Before his Coach Linehan statred in StL he was touted as having some offensive chops. Beyond today's game (i.e., last season), am I alone in thinking it's fairly bland and predictable?
Jeff Gordon: So, he looks bland and predictable to me, too. He knows the team needs more "explosive" plays. Let's see what he does about it.
ETM in Calif.: Jeff,
Would the STL media go Philly or NY on Linehan and Haslett. First ? might be any thoughts on firing Haslett. 13 months to teach these players how to tackle and stop the run. He has failed. #2 Why does M. Furrey now look like I. Bruce and vice versa. Coach what happened to our offense. Thanks jeff
Jeff Gordon: Bernie and Bryan at sitting next to me hammering away at the team, so you'll have more to ready soon enough. Haslett's group needs a big response after getting beat down in this game.
Jeff in San Jose: Jeff,
Did Linehan comment on Bulger's performance? This looks like early last year- another slow start...
Jeff Gordon: Yeah, he though Bulger was "efficient." But efficient won't get this team in the playoffs.
YoMurphy: Do you think it is still ok to run a preseason playbook in your first game of the season? Because thats what Olson's playcalling looked like.
Was I imagining things, or was Jackson dancing again like he did as a rookie?
How do we patch up this line even when Incognito comes back?
Is Atogwe still a project or what?
Jeff Gordon: Among the team's many shortcomings was insufficient pressure Delhomme. He made some big downfield plays as a result. Atogwe got caught a few times there.
Incognito's return won't help much if Pace doesn't play next week. That is a huge problem. Jackson did enough north-south running. The blocking broke down in the second half and the offense as a hole slipped after the fumbles changed the game's momentum.
Logan: Why don't the rams try trading pace this offseason...he's on the downside of his career and gets hurt too much....and i don't know why terrell is the coaches doghouse...he was solid in his rookie season...incognito needs to come back eariler than he might want to because of pace's injury do you agree?
Jeff Gordon: Tackles are hard to find. Big O's injury woes are discouraging, but I don't see any reasonn to deal him.
jake: Jeff, thanks for your honest feedback. Any explanation for Olsen's anemic playcalling? I still feel like we have some great offensive players, but it's obviously not translating to the field. Thanks.
Jeff Gordon: I understand why Linehan doesn't want to expose Bulger danger with slow-developing, long-route plays -- but as Martz proved, you can get the ball downfield with quick hits to your speed players hittng seams. Too much of this passing game is side to side.
Mike: Will the FO force a change of O-coordinator if the bland, booring, unimaginative offense continues for the rest of the season. I'm already tired of it.
Jeff Gordon: I'm guesses the coaches are tired of it, too. I'm eager to see what sort of gameplan they come up with. If we see more of the same, then, sure, Zygmunt might have to drop a dime.
Ron from Upstate NY: Jeff do you think Linehan's job is on the line this year, and/or possibly the offensive coordinator ? They really should have worked harder in preseason games, as I recall the starting offense did not score a point at all during the preseason.
Jeff Gordon: It's early to start that talk . . . except to say that a second non-playoff year would be hard to overcome. There is too much talent remaining here, injuries or no injuries, for that to happen.
Lawarence Marmie: When did Jim Haslett forget how to blitz? It was clear that the front four of the Rams wasn't stopping anyone, but he would not change what he was doing. And somehow, even with not blitzing, he still managed to design a defense that put Atogwe one-on-one with Steve Smith several times- one that lead to a long TD. How are people seriously saying that he should be considered for another head coaching jobs with 18 games of defensive futility with the Rams?
Jeff Gordon: Yeah, this game was NOT a resume builder. Not many of his games so far have fallen into that category.
johnnyb33d: I think our chance for seeing another championship football team in St. Louis is getting longer and longer. Too many aging players, too many youngsters, and just too many holes to fill. If the Rams have another mediocore season, what actions does the front office take? I think they need to not only re-evaluate the coaches the bring on board, but they need to re-evaluate themselves. Because boy... it sure would've been nice to see Kris Jenkins on our side of the ball today.
Jeff Gordon: It's early to talk off-season overahaul, but, yes, the coaches are under a lot of scruntiny right now. Let's see what they come up.
shane: Jeff, it seemed that after the first drive typing touchdown we had no passion or killer instinct to keep scoring. As maybe the biggest Rams fan in southern Missouri I must admit this offense was not only boring but terribly ineffective. The "sissy" (would like to use another word here) play-calling was extremely disappointing. Maybe getting one or two carries in next year's preseason might be a good idea. This was the worst performance I've seen by Bulger. He looked like he had no desire to hang in there and look for a throw longer than 5, 10 yards. Finally, it's time for Glover to only play on passing downs IF we can find someone to go with Carriker.
Jeff Gordon: This was an uncharacteristic game by Bulger. He was not as accurate and he looked a bit edgy on that third-down miss to Bruce. The loss of Pace may have weighed heavily on his mind.
gjsandifer: hello Gordo, after watching a very uninspiring game with very few things to feel good about, let me ask a straight on question. Alex barron, this guy just does not seem to be able to play his position well enough to warrant the starting job, is it just me or is any body else noticing this also? He gives up a lot of sacks, and seems to get beat consistantly.
Jeff Gordon: He's got to be better -- but he is certainly better than some of the alternatives we've seen at tackle.
Jeff H.: Jeff,
Is Jackson taking part of the blame on this one when interviewed after the game?
Jeff Gordon: He didn't appear crestfallen, but I'm sure he'll be fired up next week after taking heat over the fumbles. He's a competitive guy.
Honestly the defense wasn't that bad when you look at the over all scope of the game. Even great defenses will wear down when left out there for so long. But the offense seems to have the same problem. Why can't Bulger lead this team to the end zone?
Jeff Gordon: This team wants to run better in the red zone. That was supposed to be part of the solution this year. Without Pace or Incognito, that gets tougher.
Corey Stombaugh: Jeff,
You can blame Steven Jackson all you want but the Rams lost this game because of Greg Olsen's playcalling. After that great return by Dante Hall if the Rams could have scored a TD the game would have been over. But Olsen calls (3) conservative plays (playing not to lose instead of win) and the Rams end up with a field goal instead of a TD and a 13-7 lead instead of a 17-7 lead. I looked at my wife after that series and said "Game over - Rams lose" and she said how can you say that and I said there was their chance to close this game out and they threw it away. Only to see Carolina score 20 points and end the game. The bottom line is not only did the Rams lose their "Home" opener but lost a game they should have won which will result in the same scenario as last year. When you lose games you shouldn't have lost (see Arizona last year) you are usually home for the holidays (no playoffs) and thats where the Rams will be again. Thanks Mr. Olsen!
Jeff Gordon: Yes, they needed to score seven points after Hall's return.
Scott: Pisa, Orlando, Daunte, these injuries are a bad 1st week. Jackson's fumbles, Bulger's poorly thrown balls to Bruce and misreads. I went from 10-6 to 4-12....the sky is falling!!!!! If Pace is gone just stack the left with a blocker for help and you have dynamic changes to the offensive schemes that hinder their chances of winning many games. The stadium is looking a lot like the late 90's and I think I will be listening to a lot of home games on the radio....the sky is falling!!!!!
Jeff Gordon: Funny thing, though, if Jackson comes back with a 150-yard game and the Rams win next week, the sky will look OK again.
Fed Up: Should Brandon Chillar be a starting linebacker in the NFL? Besides for one play where he managed to get his hand out and poke out the football, he spent the rest of the game two steps behind his coverage or being introduced close up to the field turf at the EJD by the Carolina Panthers offensive blockers.
Jeff Gordon: It'll be interesting to see how the coaches grade out Chillar after this one.
We got rid of Martz for this? Our def is still lower tier.The NFL is about performance - how do you think Scott's performance has been so far? Scotty should be under the same pressure as Norv Turner when you inherit as much talent as there is on the offensive side of the ball.
Jeff Gordon: Linehan is 8-9. That is not nearly good enough. And he knows it.
Saffron: Jeff, thanks for hanging in so long. Was there any discussion as to whether Bulger got dinged by that first big hit in the third? He missed Bruce badly right after that, and was pretty useless after that until garbage time.
Jeff Gordon: Last answer!
He didn't mention being hurt after the game, but he wasn't the same. Kmowing Pace was missing had to be in the back of his mind.
Didn't feel like I cut a whole lot out but it was a long chat and I tried to reduce the number of similar questions.