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Thread: Jim Thomas Live - Rams Chat Transcript 2/22

  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Jim Thomas Live - Rams Chat Transcript 2/22

    Jim Thomas Live

    Rams writer Jim Thomas goes one-on-one with readers at 1 p.m. Tuesday in a live chat.
    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    comments & answers

    Oldgeek: Jim,
    Thanks for taking my question. Give me you gut feeling on how active the Rams will be in Free Agency. Given that Fisher hasn't seen anything but tape of his team and the meager salary cap available for 2012. It isn't like adding 2-3 players will make this team a sure playoff team!
    Oldgeek

    Jim Thomas: If I had to guess, I'd say a couple of starters and a few backups.

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

    Bucky: Jim,

    Two medical questions:

    1. What is Reggie's status now that Spags is gone?

    2. Have you heard any updates on the numerous Rams injuries? I'm mainly interested in Bradford, Saffold, J Smith, B Fletcher and R. Bartell.

    Jim Thomas: 1.) I believe Reggie Scott is back, I've heard nothing to indicate otherwise.
    2.) None really. All the players are away from Rams Park, and Fisher and the Rams front office is busy with other things. They won't get to do anything with the players until April.

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

    Justin: Jt, whats the latest on the coaching staff and do you think it won't be easy to get a rb's coach especially one who has pro expeience the list of canidates for that spot is dwindling I think?

    Jim Thomas: As I wrote today, Stump Mitchell was interviewed Monday. He has more than a decade's experience coaching running backs. Jeff Fisher may have a candidate or two to talk to at that position, but I believe at the end it will be Mitchell's job.

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

    Mike: Hi Jim,

    1) Are you going to the combines and if so, who are you interested in to see.

    2) Why do people put in so much weight in the 40 time, when Jerry Rice ran a 4.6 in the 40 in 1985 combine? And when he played he outran people.

    Jim Thomas: 1.) Yes, this will be my 21st NFL scouting combine and it's amazing how it has grown. With the Rams at the top of the draft I will be concentrating more on the top guys _ Blackmon, Kalil, the two QBs, perhaps Claiborne and Richardson. Also some of the local guys from Missouri, Illinois, and other are/regional schools.

    2.) Jerry Rice obviously is the all-time exception. Of course, there have been others to run so-so 40 times yet prosper in the NFL. Anquan Boldin is one. So it's not as if the 40 is an end-all be-all, but I think it is in some ways an important measuring stick. But at the end of the day, it's what's on tape that really counts.

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    lew jr: Thank you for the chats as always Mr. Thomas,

    My question is about the salary cap when it comes to incoming rookies. It has been said that the Rams will have around 10 million in cap space this off season.
    Are incoming rookie contracts counted against that 10 million? and if so wouldnt that would leave a much smaller amount that could be used to go after a FA, as well as replace injured players through out the season? Or do Gm's use some sort of creative math to get around those type of things.

    Jim Thomas: Here we go, Cap 101. Keep in mind that rookie salaries, particularly at the top of the draft, are much lower now than they were under the old system. That's one. Also, only the top 53 salaries count against the cap during the offseason. So once you add a player, you deduct the lowest remaining cap count from the previous top 53. So if you add a rookie whose cap figure for 2012 is $700,000, you might deduct a player with a cap count of $400,000. So your actual cap increase is only $300,000 (the $700,000 minus the $400,000). So the rookie cap hit isn't nearly as much as you might think.

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

    Curt: The rams need help everywhere but I am wondering if they will go for the Matt Kaliel pick at 2 or go for Blackman as a number 1 reciever for Bradford? Any info on this

    Jim Thomas: I'm sure the Rams don't even know for sure at this point. And the Rams No. 1 option might be trading down anyway.

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

    Andy in Charlotte: Jim;

    Brandon Lloyd--will he stay or go? His recent remarks seem to indicate he's playing both sides off the middle, first saying he wants to follow McDaniels, then implying he's open to resigning with the Rams, and again wanting to go to the Patriots. What do you think? Thanks...

    Jim Thomas: Well can you blame him. Why wouldn't he keep his options open. At this moment, he doesn't know for sure who wants him or how much they'll pay. If he interest indeed is there in New England, as well as the money, I don't know why he wouldn't hook up with McDaniels again.

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

    Thomas T: Hi Jim;
    Any early read on free agents from the Titans with ties to Fisher who the team could potentially target?
    Thanks,
    Thomas

    Jim Thomas: The obvious choice is cornerback Cortland Finnegan, but he will be expensive.

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

    Dave: Jim,

    What happened to Devaney? Has he been able to land another job? What are his career prospects?

    Jim Thomas: To my knowledge, all has been quiet with Billy Devaney. He may just take this year off since he's getting paid by the Rams for one more year anyway.

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

    John Cagney: From San Francisco where being a life long Rams fan, I cried almost as hard as Issac Bruce did 1n 1999 when he finally beat the Niners after 17 straight losses. Do you get a sense that the Rams organization is committed to drafting an impact receiver on the first day of the draft or are they leaning towards addressing the need in free agency maybe along the lines of trying to resign Brandon Loyd and going after say Vincent Jackson or another established receiver?

    Jim Thomas: It's impossible to tell at this point. The Rams have a new head coach in place. A new offensive coordinator. A new general manager. The draft is two months away. The start of free agency is three weeks away. But to use one of your scenarios, I don't know if re-signing Brandon Lloyd is enough. The Rams, after all, won only two games with him on the roster.

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

    sam: Hey Jim - I'm 0 for my last 10 questions - but i'm feeling lucky today.

    Which trade scenario do you like best?

    1. Trade the #2 pick to Miami for one of their all-pros - Marshall (WR), Long (LT) and/or
    Soliai (NT), plus Miami's 1st (and 2nd?) round pick(s).

    2. Trade with Washington for Brian Arakpo (OLB) plus said picks.

    3. Trade with Cleveland for their two first rounders (#4 & #22).

    Jim Thomas: 3.) Easily the most likely scenario. And I think it would take something more than just #4 and #22. Maybe a mid-round pick as well.

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

    Bond_007x: Hey JT, two questions.

    1. What do you think of the possibility of kicking Harvey Dahl to RT, and bringing in Jason Smith to RG? Dahl has proved he can play very well at the RT position, which would allow Smith to set into an easier position. Also it would allow that big bodied frame of his, pulling on run plays more often.

    2. It's obvious the biggest need and concern the Rams have is to get more weapons for Bradford. Thus draft Blackmon is almost a no-brainer. However, can the Rams ill afford to a potential trade out of the #2 spot, and risk losing a potential "playmaker" of his caliber?

    I mean, if we traded with Cleveland. Yes that would be great and Blackmon may still be there at #4. But anything lower. You risk losing him.

    Thanks for the chats!

    Jim Thomas: 1.) I've seen this question or questions like this frequently. But what makes us think Smith can play guard? I would guess that if Smith returns, he will be tried at right tackle one more time.
    2.) I think you're right about this. There's no doubt that once you go lower than No. 4 overall, you risk losing Blackmon. I guess the only way the Rams might risk this is if they signed an elite reciever before the draft in free agency, or felt confident they could get a receiver that was similarly skilled lower in the draft.

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

    Tackleberry: Jim,

    Do you think this is finally the year that the Rams seriously address their return game? While I appreciate Amendola's shiftiness and grittiness on punt returns, this team needs a blazer, especially on kick-off returns. It is time to put the days of the 4.6 back-up running back returning kicks to the 18 yard line, behind us.

    Jim Thomas: We can only hope, eh?

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

    Fletcher: How much will Jason Smith be paid this year, and if the Rams were to cut him, would all of that payment be removed from the total Rams' salary cap amount? If it isn't a huge hit to the cap, I would like to see him at least have the opportunity to compete in training camp. If they cut him 4 weeks into camp, would he still be a hit on the 2012 cap? Do you think the Rams have any chance of resigning Brandon Lloyd?

    Jim Thomas: Smith counts $13.3 million against the cap in 2012; if cut the Rams save $2.5 million, meanimg the release of Smith would result in about $10.8 million of "dead money" _ that is, money that counts against the cap for players no longer on the team.
    As for Lloyd, I'd say it's 40-60 that he stays in St. Louis.



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

    Rick Montano: Hey Jim, Thanks for these chats. My question is what do you think the chances of the Rams going after one or more of the big name free agent WR, Vinect Jackson or Dwayne Bowe and taking Kilil in the draft ? I think that would go a long ways towards helping Sam Bradford get back on track

    Jim Thomas: I guess that's one scenario. But is just one receiver enough _ even a very good once such as Bowe or V. Jackson?

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

    Bopat from SoCal: Jim,
    Some draft pundits are actually saying the Rams should trade Sam Bradford and his 50-million dollar salary and draft RGIII with the second pick. HOW STUPID IS THAT? Jeff Fisher would not have taken the head coaching job if Bradford is to be unloaded. Your thoughts.

    Jim Thomas: Bradford isn't going anywhere.

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

    rams2050: Hi, Jim!

    Any feelings yet as to how accessible or inaccessible this Rams' staff will be in comparison with Spagnuolo's staff?

    Or is it too soon to tell?

    Also, do you have any sense yet of a change in mood or outlook around Rams Park these days? Is it more upbeat, less upbeat (don't know how that could be possible), somewhat tentative (no one really knows, I guess, how everything will shake out eventually) or about the same?

    Have you heard any 'off the record' comments from Rams Park employees relaying their feelings about the changes now in progress? What is the general tone at Rams Park? (I'm hoping, of course, that it is one filled with energy and optimism).

    Jim Thomas: Early signs point to them being more accessible.
    I think it's more upbeat. People seem to be moving around the building more freely than before. People that were all but banned from the building, such as Jim Hanifan, are now welcome. It's still early. But I think Fisher just has a more relaxed personality.

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

    Mike B: Could you see the Rams being in on Mike Wallace?

    He is still just 25 and is already a proven top 5 receiver.

    Jim Thomas: In the third week of February, all things are possible.

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

    hp: JT, have you asked Les Snead how they developed the trade package at last years draft for Julio Jones. I would take that for the Rams #2 pick, since the Falcons sure gave up a lot. What do you think?

    Jim Thomas: But keep in mind, the Falcons were moving all the way up from No. 27 to No. 6. The further down you are in the round, the more you have to give up. And I don't think the Rams want to move that far down.

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

    Ramaroo: Please tell us that Fisher isn't serious about adding a malcontent like Randy Moss to the roster.

    Jim Thomas: I would be very surprised to see Moss here. After all, he didn't even start his last four games with Fisher in Tennessee in 2010. I think Fisher was trying to be nice, and also was a little surprised by the question.

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

    john deere: something has to be done to the dome,or build a new one,or the rams might leave...do u think it is really worth it,i think the tax payer been hit hard enough.so my question is this.is it really worth it,dollar spent,a dollar return...what do u sports writers think about this. ty

    Jim Thomas: I think there are way to get around gouging the taxpayer to a large degree. 1.) Increase the sales tax on car rentals (Who are mainly tourists.) 2.) Increase the tax on cigarettes. (Aren't Missouri's very low any way.) 3.) Use some or all of the amusement tax on tickets.

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

    alan: If Rams had the 1st pick in Draft would you draft Luck and trade Bradford ?

    Jim Thomas: I wouldn't.

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

    Rich: Greetings Mr. Thomas,

    With Free Agency on the horizon, do you expect the Rams to make a big splash?

    Thanks.

    Jim Thomas: I would say a medium splash.

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

    Steve: Jim I think that the Rams can rebound quicker than is perceived by most. I feel like the lockout last year really hit the Rams the hardest, combined with injuries and a brutal first half schedule. Provided they get Bradford a weapon at WR and commit to the running game with a good #2 RB behind Jackson, I don't see this team being any worse off than Seattle or Arizona. On defense if the Rams can land Tracy Porter perhaps and some beef at DT, I don't see why they couldn't be a top 10 unit with Chris Long and an emerging Robert Quinn.

    Jim Thomas: We'll see. I think some linebacker help is needed. What about the offensive line. And do we feel secure about the tight end spot?

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

    SpokaneWashDrew: For my very first live question ever asked, I shall keep it lite. So Mr. Thomas, do you have any info as to why the Rams wear throwbacks less than any team in the league? Who in the organization is opposed to the blue and gold, and the blue and white? Thanks for your time.

    Jim Thomas: Not sure what you mean about Rams wearing throwbacks less than any team in the league, unless you're talking about preseason games. You're allowed to wear them twice a year during the regular season and once during the preseason. Rams have skipped the preseason throwbacks, but have done it in the regular season for the last few seasons. Once you get approved for a particular throwback, you can't change throwbacks for five years. I think the Rams just completed year 3 with these current throwbacks.
    I'm not aware of anyone in the organization opposed to bue and gold or blue and white, or for them for that matter. To be honest, throwbacks aren't at the top of the list for the team right now.

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

    Bill: How many of rams coaching staff are headed to the combine? Will Fisher be there?

    Jim Thomas: With the possibile exception of may a late hire or two, the entire staff should be at the combine.

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

    Not An STL Homer: JT,

    I watch the Texans win a division and a playoff game with a UDFA at RB (Foster). I watch the Giants win 2 Championships in 4 years with a 7th round pick starting (Bradshaw). I saw the Packers win a Super Bowl with a 6th round pick at RB (Starks). the Steelers won 2 Super Bowls with a UDFA starting at RB (Parker). Yet the Rams seem to think it is 1972 and are paying a RB 8 million a year that has never led them to the playoffs in Steven Jackson. Do you think it is time to cut ties with Jackson and get out of the dark ages of paying a RB top dollar?

    Jim Thomas: Sorry, I really don't think the Rams are trading Jackson.

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

    Stl fan: Any news on Brandon loyd . Have they talked at all about a contract.

    Jim Thomas: Not yet to my knowledge.

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

    FinRam: Thanks for the talks.

    What's your opinion of the comish not letting go the idea of 18-game season. He keeps saying that's what the fans want. I don't hear that. I think its total hypocrisy to talk about player saftey and then add two more games. What do you hear and what's you thoughts
    thanks again

    Jim Thomas: I just don't think it's a good idea. Let's see how these lighter offseason, preseason, and in-season practice rules work for a while. If they prove to be truly beneficial to the players, then maybe you can talk about adding a couple of games as a tradeoff.

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

    Mitch from San Diego: Hi Jim,

    Thanks for the chats. I have two questions;

    1. What would be the total cap savings if Ron Bartell and Jason Smith were cut?

    2. Are there any other vets on the roster that could be in cap casualty jeopardy and what are their respective cap saving if released?

    Thanks!!

    Jim Thomas: 1.) As I've mentioned, the cap savings for Smith would be $2.5 million; Bartell would be $6.2 million.
    2.) Releasing center/guard Jason Brown would result in $2.8 million cap savings.

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

    JIM: Do you think the rams have any interest in Haynesworth?

    Jim Thomas: Don't think so. I think Haynesworth's tie in Tennessee was more with Washburn, his d-line coach, and not Fisher.

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

    mike: Jim,

    I have heard different opinions about Jason Smith--some people say he is concussion prone and a bust when healthy--others say he is concussion prone and hasn't been healthy enough to show what he can do.

    In your opinion, which is more accurate?

    thanks,

    Jim Thomas: I think I'd lean a little more toward the latter. He's really had only one season _ 2010 _ where he was able to play for extended periods of time. I'm not sure what he is yet. But the concussion issues may prevent us from ever knowing for sure.

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

    canucks win while the blues lose: Jim, were weight issues due in part to no training camp a part of the reason why players such as Jason Brown, Robbins etc.....had such off years? Do you think a full training camp could aid in their performance this year and might be a reason to not walk away from these individuals?

    Jim Thomas: I'm guessing you mean a full offseason of conditioning, minicamps, OTAs, etc. Because the players basically had full training camps.
    Brown looked heavy in camp, I can't recall thinking Robbins was heavy. He did have back injury problems early on however. Robbins may simply be nearing the end. He turns 35 next month. But there's no doubt a full offseason would help Brown.

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

    Mingo fan: Is there any chance that the Rams sign a big name WR or will they just draft a WR in the draft.

    Jim Thomas: Oh, I think they'll consider some of these "name" WRs in free agency, especially if several are still on the market and not re-signed or declared franchise players before the start of free agency.
    Time to go. . .talk to you all next week.


  2. #2
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Jim Thomas Live - Rams Chat Transcript 2/22

    Good read, thanks. Not many 'breaking news' at this time. Interesting course review on Cap 101.

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live - Rams Chat Transcript 2/22

    Cheers for the read.

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live - Rams Chat Transcript 2/22

    I love these chats. Lots of useful info. I love when he gives us some hints leading on to things too!

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    UK Ramfan 83 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Jim Thomas Live - Rams Chat Transcript 2/22

    Jim Thomas, the man who can talk about stuff without actually telling you anything!
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    Re: Jim Thomas Live - Rams Chat Transcript 2/22

    these chats make me amazed at how clueless some people are

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live - Rams Chat Transcript 2/22

    Quote Originally Posted by ZiaRam View Post
    these chats make me amazed at how clueless some people are
    Haha exactly. I'm sure I can address all those questions in the same way Jim THomas did. Can we set up a chat for me where rams fans can ask me and I answer Jim Thomas style.
    ZiaRam likes this.

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    Hi RamOG, thanks for the chats!

    Some people (read: the imaginary people in my head) have been mentioning giving up the #2 pick to the whiners for absolutely nothing in return. Maybe that way we could lure them into a false sense of security?

    Thanks
    Mr C. Lu Less.
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    Re: Jim Thomas Live - Rams Chat Transcript 2/22

    Hi RamOG Hoping you finally answer my question!!

    How about if we draft RGIII and get rid of Sam bradford in a trade for a coney, chili cheese tots, and a beer? Would you consider this is a fair price or should we expect maybe to get a little more like a hat and shirt thrown in with it? thanks again for taking my question!!!

    Thankyou,
    top PD board user
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    Re: Jim Thomas Live - Rams Chat Transcript 2/22

    Quote Originally Posted by ZiaRam View Post
    Hi RamOG Hoping you finally answer my question!!

    How about if we draft RGIII and get rid of Sam bradford in a trade for a coney, chili cheese tots, and a beer? Would you consider this is a fair price or should we expect maybe to get a little more like a hat and shirt thrown in with it? thanks again for taking my question!!!

    Thankyou,
    top PD board user
    We can only hope, eh?
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    Re: Jim Thomas Live - Rams Chat Transcript 2/22

    rofl.... my favorite of all his responses

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    Re: Jim Thomas Live - Rams Chat Transcript 2/22

    Hey RamOG, this is my first time ever asking anyone a serious question, so here goes. Do you think the Rams wear underwear and jocks, or just jocks? And do you think they wear the mid-thigh breifs or the striking bikini briefs? Just wonderin. Thanks ROG. I imagine you look good in jeans too.
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    Prepare to be amazed.

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