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    Jim Thomas Live - July 29, 2008

    Tucker: Jim,

    I'm assuming your up in wisconsin at camp. Can you tell us what the general feeling is among the players? Are they upbeat? Anxious to get the season started? I'm hoping everybody is pumped up.

    Thanks

    Jim Thomas: I'm here in beautiful Mequon. mood is generally good. Players always look forward to the start of the season, but at the same time dread the grind of two-a-days.

    _________

    Ram-Man: Hey Jim! Welcome back, we missed your insight.

    First question. What is the skinny on how Long is doing in camp? Is he getting pushed around? Is he holding his own?

    Second question. Whith Pittman getting the bulk of the reps with the number one offense, how is he progressing?

    Last question. How is Leonard Little looking? As of right now, how do you rank the DE's in order?

    I won't even ask you about Steven Jackson, since I know that will be covered by others.

    Jim Thomas: Long looks like a rookie. At times he gets pushed around. At times he makes a play. Pace, even with limited reps, is having little trouble with Long in team drills. Then again, that was the case with Wistrom. For several years.
    Pittman looks OK, and nothing more.
    Little looks very good. As for ranking the DEs, right now, I'd say 1.) Little; 2.) James Hall; 3.) Long.

    _________

    David Naglieri: Hey Jim,
    I am looking forward to these chats the rest of training camp and into the 2008 season. I am curious to get your insights into recent comments from Marc Bulger about the departure of Isaac Bruce. He seemed to insignuate that it was difficult for him to assert himself with Bruce's presence in the huddle. Were you aware of Bruce hampering Bulger's growth as a team leader? Secondly, do you think we have a stronger recieving corps this year with Bruce gone?

    Jim Thomas: You're reading way too much into Bulger's comments. He was kidding. I don't think Isaac Bruce stunted Bulger's growth.
    As for receiving corps as a whole, right now, Bennett is the other starter and Dante Hall is the NO. 3. It depends largely on how quickly rookies Avery and Burton develop and are able to contribute.

    _________

    bfulton: Aside from players returning from injury, how does the Oline look? How well is Loney meshing with the players?

    Jim Thomas: Loney is a very good communicator.
    The o-line did better Monday, but so far I would say the d-line has gotten the best of it _ to the point where one Rams official told me: "Is our d-line this good, or our o-line this bad?"
    But before we all overreact, keep in mind, this was on Day 4 of camp.

    _________

    Rich: Hey Jim,

    We have been hearing a lot about the WRs, but I am curious on how the DBs are fairing - especially since veteran CB Brown is out for the remainder of camp and at least one game of the pre-season.

    Thanks.

    Jim Thomas: Bartell is with the starters in Brown's absence. He'll have play after play of solid or even great performance, and then he'll get beaten badly on a play. He needs more consistency.
    Rookie Justin King has been a mild surprise so far. He looks pretty good. Speedy, aggressive, good breaks on the ball. I'm not saying he's ready to contribute on opening day, but right now, he looks better than second-year man Justin King.

    _________

    Luke: Jim-
    Besides the receivers, could you please give us a quick run down on how the drafted rookies have looked?
    Thanks,
    Luke

    Jim Thomas: I've already mentioned Long and King. John Greco looks very solid in one-one-one pass-blocking drills. Both young LBs (Chamberlain and Vobora) have had their moments. Chamberlain, in particularly, looks pretty good in coverage.

    _________

    YB85: Welcome back. Football's almost here!
    I'm concerned over the lack of depth of our defensive tackles, i'm aware that it is still early but we should start looking for viable depth. What unsigned veterans are available? Are you aware if management is looking on other teams?

    Jim Thomas: I don't think Rams are worried unless severe injuries hit. (And I don't count Adeyanju as severe, since he should be back in plenty of time to play a couple of preseason games and be ready for opening day.)
    Ryan-Glover-Carriker are on the final 53 at DT; Little, Hall, and Long are on the final 53 at DE Adeyanju is a swingman (as, obviously, is Carriker). That's seven guys, and they may keep only seven. If they keep 8 d-linemen, No. 8 probably is Eric Moore.

    _________

    zn2003: Two questions. First,why did the Rams offensive players dislike the Linehan offense and why do they prefer the Saunders offense? Obviously it's possible to guess a lot of the answer to that, but still, it's informative to see it spelled out. Second, since you've seen so many training camps, in your opinion, what kinds of things tend to translate well from camp to the regular season? For example, if you see Player X stepping up and performing well during camp, does it tend to translate into regular season performance? In short, basically, what kinds of things can you safely predict about a team's regular season from watching camp practices?

    Jim Thomas: The short answer on the offense is that it was too simplistic, lacked creativity, and didn't use all of the field.
    As for training camp, bad habits or trends that take place in camp (and the preseason) usually carry over to the regular season. And good habits or trends as well. I also look for intangibles such as confidence, energy, enthusiasm. But saying all that, sometimes you get fooled. Drew Bennett looked very good last year during camp, then hurt his quad, and well. . .you know the rest of the story.

    _________

    Rich: Are the Rams looking to bring in any veteran defensive lineman? Are there any out there even worth considering?

    Jim Thomas: The Rams are in the process of signing Henry Smith, a nose tackle, from Texas A&M. He's 6-3, 315, and was with New England earlier this offseason as a rookie free agent.
    DT Josh Thompson is expected to be waived-injured to free up the roster spot.

    _________

    Buzz: Jim,
    How football smart is Donnie Avery? I ask this because Avery played without a playbook in college, and now must master Al Saunders' massive book here. Also, there is some question about whether he had to run any pro style routes at Houston. I know it's early, but do you have a sense that he can run a route now and achieve separation? At least Torry Holt seems willing to help. Thanks.

    Jim Thomas: I don't think the Rams have any reservations about Avery's ability to grasp the offense. As far as route-running, he doesn't look as polished right now as fellow rookie Keenan Burton, but his speed is legit, which in itself is a great way to get separation.

    _________

    TD51: I'm sure SJ contract issue will be asked over & over so let me ask about Wroten, will Rams release him and are we exploring bringing in more DL to backfill w/ this and some injuries starting camp (Victor A, CJ, J Thompson)? Also w/ O-line MAJOR issue in '07, how does health look and quality of depth in event of another injury plagued season?
    Thanks!

    Jim Thomas: While he's on suspension, Wroten doesn't get paid, so there's no pressing need to release him right now.

    _________

    Faris Chehabi: What will the wide receiver depth chart look like, and who will make the team? I say it's this: Holt Bennett Avery Burton Hall Caldwell. What do you say. Thanks.

    Jim Thomas: I don't think there's any doubt that Holt, Bennett, Hall and the two rookie draft picks make the club. That leaves Caldwell, Looker, Stanley, Hagans all working for one spot. And right now, I don't know how to call that.

    _________

    Curt: Hey Jim,

    Tough job, but somebody's gotta do it, huh?!

    We've been reading about Avery, Burton, Chamberlain, Vobora, King, Incognito, etc., but the biggest concern I have for this team is Chavous. What's happening with him/ how's he look? Who can jump in if he can't play at this level any more? Bartell (hopefully)?

    Jim Thomas: Chavous looks great, and is heating hard. Just ask Pittman, who practically got decleated by Chavous a couple of days ago.

    _________

    donsods: Jim,
    There has been a lot of Page Ranking spin on how various players look so good so far in camp. I hope most of it is true. In your estimation, has anyone been a dissapointment so far?

    Jim Thomas: Again, it's w-a-y early. But I haven't been overwhelmed by either Jacob Bell, Antonio Pittman, or Joe Klopfenstein so far.

    _________

    Mark V: Seems to me the Rams look most thin at the Linebacker position. Would you agree and will they be looking closely at roster cuts to bolster that position?

    Jim Thomas: Personally, I would feel better if they had one more veteran presence in the mix. But they are high on Quinton Culberson _ I think he may end up being the started over Chris Draft. And they want to take a good long look at both drafted rookies (Chamberlain/Vobora). But eventually, they may indeed look for someone during the last round of roster cuts.

    _________

    James Westin: Can you please explain to me what we should see more of and what we should see less of in Al Saunders' offense. Will Jackson get more/less carries, will Jackson get more/less receptions, 5 wr sets? twin te? twin hb? wr screens? more long passes? Please answer these and let me know some more things we should either see more or less of. Thanks a lot.

    Jim Thomas: Early impressions. More 4 WR sets, which were a staple of Air Martz but hardly ever used with Linehan calling the plays. More deep shots. More motion and shifts. More creativity. More quick drops and releases by Bulger.
    Jackson will be the centerpiece of the offense: 350-plus touches (carries and catches).

    _________

    Michael: Have they completed the Edward Jones Dome yet? If so how does it look? Are they planning on changing the music theme this season?

    Jim Thomas: Don't know about any changes, but I hear the Rams will have a drumline _ to "spice" things up on the sidelines.

    _________

    owen: how does barron look.does he look improved.is he getting any reps at left takle

    Jim Thomas: Barron looks pretty good. He still has trouble at time anchoring against the bull rush. He has worked exclusively at right tackle.

    _________

    Dan G.: Is Bulger back in all-star looking form or is he done, in your opinion?

    Jim Thomas: Neither. I'd put him at a B- so far.

    _________

    qazzell: I would expect that this team will perform better after the off season moves and the draft, but with that schedule do you see them winning more than 6 games this year? And would that be enough to save linehan's job?

    Jim Thomas: With the early season schedule, it's tough to see 8-8. I don't know what it will take for Linehan to come back. I don't think 6-10 is enought, however.

    _________

    Superram13: Jim, Why do you think the Rams get IGNORED by national coverage. Jackson's hold out should be big news but nary a word.

    Jim Thomas: They're all in Green Bay covering Brett Favre.

    _________

    adam_cruts: Jim,

    Thanks for doing this. I heard on the radio today from DeMarco talking about some new FB that we have that is impressing so far. I can't recall his name to save my life, but they said he's like a cement truck. Any comments?

    Jim Thomas: His name is Dan Kreider _ 5-11, 255 _ formerly of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He's a classic, old-style fullback. He's had his moments early in camp. Let's see how he looks in preseason.

    _________

    Jim Lindstrom: Jim

    In your opinion how is the center battle shaping up

    Thanks
    Jim

    Jim Thomas: It looks like it's Romberg's to lose. I think it's significant that he has gotten all the reps with the 1s. But we'll see what happens once the preseason games start.
    That's all for now. Talk to you next week. I've got to go interview Al Saunders.

    _________

    Rambunctious: Ram camp observers (fans) have noted that Anthony Becht appeared to have been injured during a drill. Possibly his hamstring .. Do you have any info on his injury? How serious it is? Thanks ..

    Jim Thomas: (Editor's note: Jim called in after the chat and asked me to update his answer. He said that Becht indeed is sidelined by a hamstring injury. He or Bill Coats probably will have more info tonight when they file their daily stories.)
    Last edited by Bald_81; -07-29-2008 at 07:08 PM.


  2. #2
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    Re: Jim Thomas Live - July 29, 2008

    Thanks B81!

    For my preferences, I'm glad to see Romberg is manning the center position. I'd like to see Cog a strong keeper at guard, center only as backup.

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live - July 29, 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam View Post
    Thanks B81!

    For my preferences, I'm glad to see Romberg is manning the center position. I'd like to see Cog a strong keeper at guard, center only as backup.
    But the problem with that scenario is that it keeps a young stud like Setterstrom on the bench while a player with admittedly lesser skills -Romberg- is on the field. If we are going to feature Steven Jackson then it is best, imho, to build the best power blocking O-line that we can. Umm...I guess you can see that i am not exactly sold on Rommy as our center.

    WHAT SAY YE?

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live - July 29, 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMarkable View Post
    But the problem with that scenario is that it keeps a young stud like Setterstrom on the bench while a player with admittedly lesser skills -Romberg- is on the field. If we are going to feature Steven Jackson then it is best, imho, to build the best power blocking O-line that we can. Umm...I guess you can see that i am not exactly sold on Rommy as our center.

    WHAT SAY YE?
    Well, you make sense, yes. Thing is, I was / am looking at Setterstrom at guard along with Cog (Setterstrom + Cog = starting guards) with Brett in the middle.

    PACE - SETTERSTROM - ROMBERG - INCOGNITO - BARRON ...

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live - July 29, 2008

    I dont think they are paying Jacob Bell $36 million to sit the bench

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live - July 29, 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam View Post
    Well, you make sense, yes. Thing is, I was / am looking at Setterstrom at guard along with Cog (Setterstrom + Cog = starting guards) with Brett in the middle.

    PACE - SETTERSTROM - ROMBERG - INCOGNITO - BARRON ...
    No Bell, Paisan?

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live - July 29, 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris58 View Post
    No Bell, Paisan?

    PACE - BELL - ROMBERG - INCOGNITO - BARRON ...


    "Ah-hem!" **cough x2** ...yes, Bell our starting guard. Ding, ding!

    I'm sure Jacob will catch up quickly and be ready by pre-season. I also hope Setterstom is not injured seriously, good depth. // Thanks Chris and Cfh128.
    Last edited by RealRam; -07-29-2008 at 10:39 PM. Reason: Format

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live - July 29, 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam View Post
    Well, you make sense, yes. Thing is, I was / am looking at Setterstrom at guard along with Cog (Setterstrom + Cog = starting guards) with Brett in the middle.

    PACE - SETTERSTROM - ROMBERG - INCOGNITO - BARRON ...
    Hey, RR, are you forgetting that we paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $36 million for Jacob Bell to play og? At that kind of dough I really believe he's going to be in the starting lineup!!!

    WHAT SAY YE?

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live - July 29, 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMarkable View Post
    Hey, RR, are you forgetting that we paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $36 million for Jacob Bell to play og? At that kind of dough I really believe he's going to be in the starting lineup!!!

    WHAT SAY YE?

    Please see post #7 amigo.

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live - July 29, 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam View Post
    Please see post #7 amigo.
    You mean that I should read ALL of the posts before I make a comment? Wow, that is really radical, eh?

    (Actually I DID, in fact, see #7 AFTER I posted. Sure I could try and correct it with an edit button or something like that, but I was just hoping it would slide by!!)

    BTW Buenas tardes in Arkansas, es mucho caliente!! (um.. or is that supposed to be mucho calor?)

    WHAT SAY YE?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RAMarkable View Post
    You mean that I should read ALL of the posts before I make a comment? Wow, that is really radical, eh?

    (Actually I DID, in fact, see #7 AFTER I posted. Sure I could try and correct it with an edit button or something like that, but I was just hoping it would slide by!!)
    WHAT SAY YE?

    Ahhh, my Arkansonian amigo ...

    I was simply answering your own question which you placed over 12 hours later (post #8) where I had already made a correction (following Chris and Cfh's cue), to insert JBell in the starting OL.

    Your question did not "slide by"; you chose not to edit, fine. But there is certainly no need to, nor implication on my part, for you to "...read ALL the posts before [making] a comment" as you replied.



    T h a t ' s why I referenced, and asked that you please see, previous post #7. "┐Comprende?"

    I trust that won't be too radical for you.
    Last edited by RealRam; -07-30-2008 at 07:59 PM. Reason: Speeling

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