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  1. #1
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    Jim Thomas Live 5/27

    Jim Thomas Live

    Rams writer Bill Coats subs for Jim Thomas this week and goes one-on-one with readers at 1 p.m. Tuesday in a live chat.

    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 01:00 PM CDT

    Tiger J: Good Morning, How sad should I be that we didn't sign Hood?

    Bill Coats: Not very sad. He wasn't very good last year.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    John: If the Rod Hood thing is indeed just a rumor and we don't/can't sign him, do you think we'll still go after Jason Craft or any other cornerbacks? Would you feel comfortable going into the season with the cornerback situation looking like it does today?

    Bill Coats: Hood signed with the Browns today.
    The Rams are still interested in re-signing Craft.
    Tye Hill has looked pretty good during the current OTAs. It seems as if his knee finally has healed and, perhaps even more important, it looks as if he confidence in it again. As for the rest of the CBs, Bartell is solid and Wade looks like he might be the nickel back; we don't enough yet about King and Fletcher yet. I don't see much in any of the others.

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    HiltonHead Matt: Bill:
    Isn't there a surge of players released in the next couple of weeks? I am under the impression this happens around June 1. Are there any rumors about who will be released and if any of them might appeal to the Rams?

    Bill Coats: The June 1 purges are pretty much a thing of the past because of the recent boosts in the salary cap. Now, more action occurs as training camp winds down and teams get serious about their 53-man rosters and practice squads.

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    radjohns: Hi Bill,

    Thanks for taking the time to do this chat. I have two questions for you.

    1)Do you think that the Rams starting strongside LB is currently on the roster, or do you see the Rams finding one from elsewhere?

    2)How many WRs do you see the Rams keeping on their roster this season?

    Bill Coats: 1. Not sure if they can find a starter elsewhere, but they'd certainly like to add personnel at LB.
    2. My guess would be six WRs.

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    Terrapin03: Mr. Thomas -
    I understand the team's desire to seek high character players, but let's face it, football is a violent sport that doesn't attract a lot of boy scouts. Do you think it's possible to sign a few questionable character guys who offer significant talent without jeopardizing the overall philosophy of the team? I'm not referring to any specific players, but I worry the team could unnecessarily handicap itself with the current approach. Your thoughts would be much appreciated.

    Bill Coats: Good question. It's always difficult to decide exactly who has crossed "the line" and who hasn't. The current Rams regime has been adamant about rebuilding with high-character guys. Still, they drafted Bradley Fletcher, who has a DUI in his jacket. So, I think it's pretty much a case-by-case thing with the Rams. I'm pretty sure of one thing: they're not going to go near folks like Vick and Burress, who have major indiscretions on their records.

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    Brian Hays: What's the chance on Rams making a trade with the troubled Cleveland Browns for Cribbs and Shaun Rogers? Give up Carriker, Burton, Vaboda,and 3rd round and 7th round pick of 2010 draft.

    Bill Coats: Too much to give up, IMO.

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    John: Did Dane Looker sign anywhere? If not, do you think he'll be a Ram next year?

    How has the RB we drafted been doing so far this offseason? Do you think he could be our #2 guy over Pittman or Darby?

    Thanks.

    Bill Coats: Looker hasn't signed anywhere. I really thought the Rams would bring him back, given their youth and lack of personnel at WR, but they apparently aren't interested. Draftee Brooks Foster has been assigned Looker's No. 89.

    Ogbonnaya hasn't really done anything to stand out. It's early, obviously, but I doubt whether he'll wind up as the No. 2 back. I'm betting that guy isn't on the current roster.

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    F. Mulder: Do you think the Rams will pick up another LBer and possibly RB before preseason? I could see them trying to get by with their RB depth but at LB they are very thin.

    Bill Coats: Yes, to both questions, although I'm not sure about the "before preseason" part. Might happen later in camp.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    firemarshall: Is there any interest for Kassim Osgood?

    He could fill two huge needs with being a pro bowl return man and a big target for Bulger (6'5/220lbs).

    A 5th or 6th rounder wouldn't be a bad trade IMO.

    Bill Coats: Good special-teams player, but Osgood never has done much as a receiver. So, I doubt whether it'd be a good fit for the Rams.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    radjohns: How serious was the Rams interest in the the newest Cleveland Brown, Rod Hood? Do you know what the nature of their reported offer was? Can this be interpreted as the Rams being unhappy with the current state of their secondary, or is this just a case of the Rams trying to add depth where ever they can?

    Bill Coats: Their interest was serious, but they weren't going to overpay for him. Like all coaches, Spags wants as much competition as possible at every position. Hood might have challenged Hill, et al, for the other CB spot.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Kyle: I for one am ready to see Steven Jackson at full strenght for a full season. I think this is the season that he finally comes through and leads the NFC in total yards for rushing and receving. Am i crazy or do you think this could be legit.

    Bill Coats: Don't forget, Jackson led the entire NFL in yards from scrimmage in 2006. So, sure, he could do it again. The Rams have made several moves that should help Jackson, most notably signing FA fullback Mike Karney and FA center Jason Brown, and using their No. 2 overall pick in the draft on T Jason Smith.

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    Dallas Ramfan: Bill,

    I among others am uncomfortable with the Rams WR corp this year. Without Torry I think teams will take away Avery, so that leaves some big pressure for somebody to step it up. I think if McMichael stays healthy, he could provide that security blanket for Bulger, but if he goes down I think the Rams are in trouble big time!!

    Do you agree with this assessment?

    Bill Coats: I wouldn't argue strongly against it. Still, I think Burton has a lot of upside, and Laurent Robinson has looked pretty good.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Armen Dacity: Give us a taste of what is going on at Rams Park this time of the year. It seems, from the outside, like nothing is going on. Clearly, there must be activity behind the scenes. What does a day in late May at Rams Park look like?

    Bill Coats: Of course, OTAs are continuing at Rams Park. That means three light practices per week, plus meetings, weight work, etc. Another minicamp is upcoming (June 4-6), followed by another couple of weeks of OTAs. Then, from mid-June until training camp opens in late July, Rams Park will resemble a ghost town.

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    Sandy Kaup: With the extra cap room that was not anticpated this year....do you see the RAMS possibly going after a restricted FA like Dansby or resigning their own FA's early (to save money as they should have done with Bartell last year) or do you see them simply not spending to the top of the cap?

    Bill Coats: I think their first priority is getting Atogwe signed to a long-term deal. They'd like to get that done before the season starts.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Larry: Hi Jim! Wanted you thoughts about Ian Campbell. I believe he is a great pick-up as a Street Free Agent. He had a super career at KState and wanted to know his chances in making the Ram's roster this year? Thanks!

    Bill Coats: I really haven't noticed Campbell doing much. He needs more weight, for sure (he's 6-4, but just 263). I'd say he ranks as a distinct long shot to make the team.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Richkas: Hi Jim, quick question. Is there any chance this team can make the playoffs? I hope you say yes.

    Bill Coats: Of course. In the NFC West, anything is possible.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ram-o-Rama: Bill,

    Want to know if the Rams, (and/or other major league teams), have insurance to cover them if one of their players goes on IR or DL. Tom Brady costs the Pats a bundle but goes down for the year in pre-season. Do they eat that salary??

    Bill Coats: As far as I know, teams don't have such insurance. But I'll see if I can find out for sure. Ask me again next week.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    John: Following the draft there was quite a debate amongst Rams fans about selecting Laurinaitis over Maulaluga. The “draft experts” tended to believe Maualuga was a beast on 1st/2nd down but perhaps that’s it. Laurinaitis seemed to be viewed as more well-rounded. I’m a Rams fan that thought Rey made a lot of sense b/c it seemed that Pisa could always move back to MLB on 3rd downs. Was the pending release of Pisa at all a factor when determining which LB to select w/ respect to style of play? What about w/ respect to how early a LB needed to be selected on draft day? Please make the case for our organization not making a decision here “on the cheap.” To a fan, the group of Witherspoon, Laurinaitis (or Maulaluga), Pisa & Draft sounds stronger that our current LB corp. Should we stop asking questions about draftees that that have NOT played in a single NFL game yet? : )

    Bill Coats: The Rams shied away from Mauluga for two reasons: 1) They thought he was a two-down player, and 2) There were some questions about his character.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    F. Mulder: Besides Stanley can you talk about other potential punt and kick returners on the team? I'm not so sure Stanley has a secure spot if someone can prove they can play better at WR AND return.

    Thoughts?

    Bill Coats: Stanley is the front-runner for both return jobs, assuming he comes back OK from his knee surgery. Darby could be used on KRs, and perhaps Wade, too. During minicamps and OTAs, the Rams have had a ton of guys fielding kicks and punts.

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    safer: Hi Bill! Which of our rookies will make the greatest impact above what could be reasonably expected from where they were taken in this draft? In other words--the biggest surprises. My guess would be d/t Darnell Scott, or cb Bradley.

    Bill Coats: Bradley Fletcher had a good minicamp earlier this month. But he's a third-round pick, so unless he earns a starting job, I don't think you could say he's exceeded expectations. Haven't seen enough of Darell Scott to have much of an impression. It's just too early to really judge any of these guys.

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    hambone: thanks jim for all your knowledge on loan by god!!

    Is there a chance that we can have another season like the 1999 rams season? I see some comparisons like slot of no names including then second year coach and this year first year coach. Also a possible top notch I-line and slot being done on defense. An easy division also helps with the best running back in the divion and wide recievers that are unknown to even us (LOL) not to mention the rest of the league. Just a thought, what say you? Thanks again jim! From Bakersfield ca

    Bill Coats: How many times can you catch lightning in a bottle?
    1999 was something special, something that rarely occurs is any pro sport. To expect it to happen again probably doesn't make much sense.
    That said...
    The Rams certainly could be much improved this year and even challenge for the NFC West title. And once you get into the playoffs, anything can happen. Obviously, they have to stay relatively healthy and their best players will have to have their best seasons.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    VHS04: Do you think Hood would be a good edition to the CB'? How has Chris Long, Adam C, and James Butler looked so far this year?

    Bill Coats: Hood is a Cleveland Brown, as of today.
    Long appears more relaxed. Butler looks pretty solid. Carriker looks big and quick.

    But really, evaluating guys in shorts and shells is all but impossible. Wait till training camp, when they strap on the pads. Then we'll see.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    RamRice: RamsRice

    Any inside info on Kirston Pittman? He is listed as a NT on the Rams site. Is he working at DE or OLB? He seems to be more of a tweener DE/OLB.

    Will there be more photos provided to the public from the OTAs?

    I am a long time fan and I realize that now is lull in information about the Rams. Although when going out to the sites for the teams in our division, I find that there is more up to date information via photos, videos and interviews.

    As a fan, we alway feel as if there should be more info out there, do you feel like "the Powers that be" are not giving reporters a lot of opportunity to report? Especially since this year I have read that the front office really wants connect the fans, in fact I believe that was one of the requires set for the head coach. What if anything is in the works to do more than last year to connect back with the fan? So far it seems that it is just slightly better than last year.

    Bill Coats: Pittman has been working on the defensive line. He has some speed, but he needs more bulk (6-3 and 250).
    As for "more info" . . .

    Since the end of the draft, Jim Thomas and I have written approximately 25 Rams stories, plus produced a number of blogs and participated in these weekly chats. Find somewhere else that gives you more Rams info. I don't think you can.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Kevin: were there any guys that stood out in the last OTA?

    Bill Coats: CB Tye Hill looked much better than he did at minicamp earlier this month. TE Daniel Fells impressed with several catches. LB James Laurinaitis is quicker than some might've expected. WR Keenan Burton is really good at making catches in traffic. Just seeing 255-lb. FB Mike Karney lined up in front of Steven Jackson is inspiring.

    That's all for this week. Thanks to all for participating.


  2. #2
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    Re: Jim Thomas Live 5/27

    I really hope Tye Hill becomes a good corner. I would hate to see him be a bust. =/

    Carriker is big and fast? That's good to hear!

    Laurinaitis is quicker that most expected? That's great to hear! I'm excited.

    I hope Burton gets the number two spot though.

    Good chat.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Devaney, if you care about this team... fire the offensive coordinator!!!!

  3. #3
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    Re: Jim Thomas Live 5/27

    Tye Hill turning into a solid #2 would be huge for this team going forward.

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live 5/27

    Great to see the info on Hill. Let's hope he keeps it up. Perhaps he's inspired by the fact that Bartell has emerged to take over his no. 1 spot, and that nothing is coming to him for free.

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live 5/27

    I love what I've heard about this new tight end. I hope he ends up being our number 2. I think Klop has missed the train.. Also love karney being infornt of Jackson.. Always felt FB is a very overlooked position.

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live 5/27

    Quote Originally Posted by shower beers View Post
    Great to see the info on Hill. Let's hope he keeps it up. Perhaps he's inspired by the fact that Bartell has emerged to take over his no. 1 spot, and that nothing is coming to him for free.
    agreed. and on top of that: in addition to Bartell staying on, he's also been joined by his workout buddy, James Butler, who knows the defense already, and he has had time for the knee to heal. To steal a word from AV, i'd say there's been a CONVERGENCE of factors that have put him in a position to succeed. Couple that with the knowledge that no position is free... he's got to be feeling like now is his time to shine. confidence can do a lot to bring success. i hope he does!

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live 5/27

    Sometimes I really question whether these so called team reporters actually watch football. He was asked twice about two players Kirston Pittman and Ian Campbell. For both players he gave a stupid they need too add bulk remark. I don't know if he noticed Umenyiora(261 lbs) and Kiwanuka(265lbs) from the Giants but Pittman and Campbell are much in the same mold of those two. Smallish but fast defensive ends. Although Little weighs in at 263,Campbell weighs in at 265 and Pittman at 250. Remember Spags defense rotates defensive ends often to keep pressure on the qb. I actually like that we brought those two in. No I'm not saying they will be as good as the Giants duo but I see what Spags is after. Every player needs to add muscle when they first come to the NFL thats a gives. I hate these conversations because they lack exactly what they are supposed to include, INFORMATION. They write such short little answers that I could write from here not even watching the team.

    Why cant we get reports about the Rams like the media reports about Favre and Brady? I'd be more interested to be able to see some video and pictures from my team then the same old media dribble. Why isnt there more info provided from the NFL? I watch the NFL network and they provide 30 seconds for the rams and 57 minutes for Favre,Brady and Manning. Sure thats interesting to Patsy,Colt and Viking fans but I cant even sit through an entire episode of total access, or NFL Live because they are SO predictable just like this guys remarks. What happened to real reporting? To much twittering,Facebooking and sitting in the air conditioning stuffing jelly doughnut after jelly doughnut down your pie hole while some intern does all the footwork and this is all they can come up with about our team ITS PATHETIC! He dared one guy to find more info about the Rams elswhere and I'll tell you what the people of this website definately work harder than he does to bring us the most up to date Rams info everyday. I think people here such as Nick,Avenger,General and a few others that slip my mind provide better insight into our Rams that these guys do.

    Ok I'm done venting just wish we could get some real updates instead of some 5 word response like "he has looked pretty good".

    Video of Campbell

    Ian Campbell, DE - Yahoo! Sports
    Just Fix It

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live 5/27

    Tye Hill has looked pretty good during the current OTAs. It seems as if his knee finally has healed and, perhaps even more important, it looks as if he confidence in it again. As for the rest of the CBs, Bartell is solid and Wade looks like he might be the nickel back; we don't enough yet about King and Fletcher yet. I don't see much in any of the others.

    PLEASE let that carry over in to the regular season! If Hill can finally develop, that will be HUGE for our secondary!

  9. #9
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    Re: Jim Thomas Live 5/27

    Quote Originally Posted by rammiser View Post
    Sometimes I really question whether these so called team reporters actually watch football. He was asked twice about two players Kirston Pittman and Ian Campbell. For both players he gave a stupid they need too add bulk remark. I don't know if he noticed Umenyiora(261 lbs) and Kiwanuka(265lbs) from the Giants but Pittman and Campbell are much in the same mold of those two. Smallish but fast defensive ends. Although Little weighs in at 263,Campbell weighs in at 265 and Pittman at 250. Remember Spags defense rotates defensive ends often to keep pressure on the qb. I actually like that we brought those two in. No I'm not saying they will be as good as the Giants duo but I see what Spags is after. Every player needs to add muscle when they first come to the NFL thats a gives. I hate these conversations because they lack exactly what they are supposed to include, INFORMATION. They write such short little answers that I could write from here not even watching the team.

    Why cant we get reports about the Rams like the media reports about Favre and Brady? I'd be more interested to be able to see some video and pictures from my team then the same old media dribble. Why isnt there more info provided from the NFL? I watch the NFL network and they provide 30 seconds for the rams and 57 minutes for Favre,Brady and Manning. Sure thats interesting to Patsy,Colt and Viking fans but I cant even sit through an entire episode of total access, or NFL Live because they are SO predictable just like this guys remarks. What happened to real reporting? To much twittering,Facebooking and sitting in the air conditioning stuffing jelly doughnut after jelly doughnut down your pie hole while some intern does all the footwork and this is all they can come up with about our team ITS PATHETIC! He dared one guy to find more info about the Rams elswhere and I'll tell you what the people of this website definately work harder than he does to bring us the most up to date Rams info everyday. I think people here such as Nick,Avenger,General and a few others that slip my mind provide better insight into our Rams that these guys do.

    Ok I'm done venting just wish we could get some real updates instead of some 5 word response like "he has looked pretty good".

    Video of Campbell

    Ian Campbell, DE - Yahoo! Sports
    Think about it though they haven't put pad's on yet plus these are undrafted free agents and this is a chat they only do it an hour so they can't just look stuff up out of nowhere in such little time.

  10. #10
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    Re: Jim Thomas Live 5/27

    Man, I've been telling you guys, Keenan is gonna be HUGE. Write it down ....

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