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    Nickís Mailbag for Feb. 4, 2009

    Luke Heinrichs

    Hey Nick, I was wondering what kind of free agent strong safeties there will be available. To me this seems like a big need although Offensive tackle and Middle linebacker are also pressing needs.

    NW: Thereís no doubt that strong safety is a position of need. Todd Johnson is so valuable as a special teamer and did a solid job in replacing Corey Chavous late in the season but thereís a good chance the Rams will search for one in the offseason. Some safeties to keep in mind that are scheduled for free agency: New York Giantsí James Butler, Green Bayís Atari Bigby (restricted free agent), Miamiís Yeremiah Bell, Baltimoreís Dawan Landry (RFA) and Jim Leonhard and Tampa Bayís Jermaine Phillips.

    Vince Garcia

    Nick have you heard any news on Steven Jacksonís hip injury. Is it going to linger on?

    NW: Iím assuming you are referring to the quad injury that plagued him for most of the season. He had some hip issues a few years ago but those donít seem to be a problem. As for the quad, it was an injury that just required rest. I think he proved in the season finale heís good to go and an offseason of working out and rest should only make him better.

    Pedro Canjura

    Okay, I know this may sound ridiculous, but what are the chances the Rams can sign Haynesworth and Asomugha? Also, if we draft one of those projected tackles that we're expected to draft, any chance Pace can be moved to the right and have Barron move inside? Or even place Pace at RG?

    NW: The chances of signing either or both of those guys are very slim. Iíll be stunned if either ever sees the light of day on the free agent market without at least having a franchise tag on them. As for your OL shuffling questions, itís an interesting one to think about. I would think Pace would still have a shot to handle the left side with the youngster moving in on the right side and Barron there for depth. But thereís a lot of ways you can go with that, depending on who said draftee might be. As far as Pace or Barron at guard, I donít see Barron being anything but a tackle. Pace would be more capable of that move but I doubt weíd see it.

    Alex Herbez

    What are you're thoughts on the Rams drafting a QB in the draft?

    NW: I wouldnít be at all surprised if they tried to grab one anytime beginning in round 3 or so.

    Steve Kaplan

    Do you feel that the Rams can turn this around in one year, what do you think they need to do to get this turned around? I think they have so many holes to fill it will take years before they can. I have been a fan since 1950. I just hope they can get this done.

    Thank You

    NW: Steve, fret not my friend. The NFL is a crazy league. As a Rams fan since 1950, you should know as well as anybody that things can turn on a dime in this league. Do the Rams have holes? Absolutely. But I donít think they have more holes than, say, the Falcons did going into last season. We saw how they turned it around. With everyone seemingly on the same page and a new coach in place, it can happen and it can happen fast.

    Andy Polen

    Is there any talk about where the summer camp will be? I live in N.W Indiana and was able to go the Mequon last year. I am hoping the Rams will do this again this year.

    NW: Thereís been no official indication of any kind and havenít had a chance to ask Steve Spagnuolo if he even likes going away to camp. But my sense is that it will be back in St. Louis this year.

    Sean Fakete

    Hey Nick,

    First of all i think you are great at answering everybodyís questions and you have great input.

    Now that the season has been over for awhile, I think we can analyze how well the Rams did in the NFL Draft last season. What do you think about the performance of each of the players the Rams drafted last year and what do expect from those players in the upcoming season?

    NW: Thanks for the kind words, Sean. I personally prefer not to judge a draft class until three years down the line. That said, I think you have to be encouraged by what you saw from this yearís class. To me, it appears you came out of it with three probable starters in Chris Long, Donnie Avery and John Greco. I think Avery and Long can both be special players in the long run and Greco can be a solid starter. Justin King has potential if he can recover from his foot injury and Keenan Burton has flashed some upside. If all five of those guys turn into starters or valuable contributors, thatís a heck of a draft. For whatever itís worth, there is a segment of people upstairs that believe Roy Schuening also can be a solid player in this league.

    Craig Wilson

    Hi Nick Writing from Pasadena Ca.

    I'm sure the new coaches will be evaluating players and making some tough decisions on moving on and making changes they feel are in the best interest of the team.

    Based on the prior position coaches feelings where do you think we have the 2nd stringers that could be counted on to start in 09 at any of the 22 positions on off/def. ?

    Lastly what happened to Culberson this year?

    NW: Well, I think some of the obvious guys who could get expanded roles (even if it means not starting) would include Greco at guard, Burton at wide out and potentially Jonathan Wade at cornerback depending on a variety of factors. Hard to answer without seeing what other talent is brought in.

    Culberson struggled to gain traction because he had trouble with some of the defensive schemes and alignments. A lot of defense is being assignment sound and that wasnít a strength of his. Still, he has a lot of raw physical ability that if translated properly could make him a starter again.

    Devin Green

    Given how today's NFL structures the draft, free agency, etc., how long do they project it taking a team to go from the bottom of the rank and file to the top? Everything else equal, they must have some science behind their processes to help elevate the losers and neutralize the winners?

    NW: Science? Science? I donít know about science. Ron Burgundy might say itís science but I donít think winning and losing in the NFL is as complicated as chemistry or physics. Itís about making good football decisions and putting good players into position to succeed. The teams that do that regularly seem to win the most.

    Tyler Willey

    How are the rams going to make the O-line solid for Bulger? Bulger got a huge contract so might as well build around him and get the guy a little time to set his feet. If Bulger does not perform this year, do you think he will be on the hot seat?

    NW: Quarterbacks are always on the hot seat. As for building an O line, Iím not sure thereís a blueprint for that. You can get great linemen in the first round of the draft a la Orlando Pace or you can get undrafted free agents a la Adam Timmerman (who the Rams signed as a free agent). Thereís not set way to do it but it helps to know what kind of line you want (in this case, a big powerful one that loves to road grade) and then put it together.

    Rob Ahlenstorf

    Nick, I know that there is a lot of other exciting college players for the Rams to draft. The Rams have certain needs, but when do we seriously start thinking about drafting a quarterback? I'm not knocking Bulger, but.....

    NW: Donít be surprised if the Rams add a signal caller either through free agency or the draft.

    Tony Nap

    Hello Nick;

    I truly believe that if the rams want to be successful as early as next season here are two things they need - Let me know if you agree:

    A big "Stud" for a safety, we need somebody that will pop any receiver that goes over the middle and can tackle! Next is a durable and (bigger) linebacker. The Rams need that presences in the middle and can fill gaps quick and also can tackle! Thanks Nick your feedback is important.

    NW: No arguments here. They say you should treat it like baseball and build your team up the middle. A big presence at middle linebacker combined with an intimidator at strong safety sounds good to me.

    Leslie Benjamin

    Do you think the Rams would consider bringing Michael Vick on as a back up QB or another offensive position?

    NW: Nope.

    Richard Horner

    I was wondering who the top free agent backup QBs are? And who would the Rams consider signing?

    NW: Some names to know: Jeff Garcia, Byron Leftwich, Kyle Boller, Rex Grossman, J.P. Losman, Patrick Ramsey and J.T. OíSullivan.

    Paul Rodgers

    Nick,

    I have been a Rams fan since Pat Hayden was quarterback, and I remember the later years when we had the leagues leading rusher 5 out of 6 years. What do you think it will take to get an offensive line that is capable of getting us back to those days? Can we do it thru the draft or do we need to spend some money and go get some of the top free agents?

    NW: The first thing is to identify what type of team and line you want. Billy Devaney has said multiple times heíd like to get bigger and more aggressive. That starts in the trenches with the big uglies. Like I said above, thereís no set formula for building this thing but itís definitely an area the Rams will address this offseason.

    Floyd Saine

    Hello Nick,

    I know it is a priority to sign both Atogwe and Bartell but is it realistic to assume the Rams will re-sign both? And if they had to let one go which would be your best guess?

    I am hoping the Rams sign them both. They are two of my favorite players.

    NW: I fully expect both players to be Rams next year. Maybe they wonít both get long term contracts right away, but worst case scenario you get one signed long term and tag the other. I donít think the choosing one or the other scenario is much of a thought in the teamís mind.

    Jason Krutz

    Hey Nick! With our new coach being a defensive guy do you think the 1st pick in the draft will go to that side of the ball?

    NW: I think the Rams will take the best player they can with the second overall pick.

    Ray Esquibel

    Nick,

    Will the Rams retain Torry Holt which could be arguably there greatest receiver of all time?

    NW: It remains to be seen what Holtís status is but he is under contract for another year.

    Klaes Petersson

    Whit all this talk about getting a bigger and more powerful C, how do you feel about going after one of the top free agent OG's like Goff, Andrews or Carey and moving Incognito to C were he has shown in the past that he can handle himself.

    NW: I donít think weíll see Incognito back at center. He played well at right guard last year and donít see him moving. If you recall, he had some issues with shotgun snaps and the line calls werenít his forte. Heís at his best when he can line up and come after you from the guard spot.

    Jack Fenton

    Hey Nick, love reading your mailbag, I got a question for you. With all of the rams' needs what is most likely to be improved through the free agency period, the offense or defense or possibly a little of both? Thanks

    NW: There are holes to fill on both sides but most would contend the biggest needs are on defense where a middle linebacker, a strong safety, a big defensive tackle and some depth at corner are pressing needs.

    Matt Stevens

    What position do you see the Rams addressing with the #2 pick in the first round of the draft? Do you think the Rams are more interested in Maualuga or Curry? Would it make any sense at all to grab Crabtree that early? Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

    NW: Iím not sure where the Rams have those linebackers ranked but I do know they like Curry (most every team does; whatís not to like?). As I wrote last week, Iím fully on board with the Crabtree idea if the Rams can grab a top level offensive lineman in free agency. I see Crabtree having an immediate impact and having a long, excellent career in the league.

    Hoff

    Nick:

    Thanks for the response on VilmaÖ.etc. I totally agree with you on Crabtree I just figured that the Rams would pass on Crabtree to fill a greater need. Also it would probably push Holt out the door which would leave a very young and talented wide receiver core but also a very inexperienced group. You mentioned signing a tackle but what other big name tackles are out there besides Jordan Gross from Carolina? I am pretty sure Carolina will franchise him donít you think? Or would you just wait and draft the best available lineman with the 2nd round pick? I know it is early but is that your wish list on Crabtree or is that the new buzz from the Rams because there might not be a true #1 overall tackle in the draft. Or could this be the Rams trying to start rumors so they can trade down? Not a bad idea but trading down is easier said they done. I am still with you take Crabtree!!! Sorry for rambling. Your thoughts?

    NW: No conspiracy theories here, it just makes a lot of sense if you can address a need in free agency to then address another need while taking the best player in the draft. Iíd be a bit surprised if Gross is even available but with Julius Peppers also a free agent, Carolina might not be able to make it all work. Other tackles of starting caliber that could be available include Cincinnatiís Stacy Andrews, Jacksonvilleís Khalif Barnes, Miamiís Vernon Carey, Pittsburghís Marvel Smith and Max Starks and Green Bayís Mark Tauscher. None are as good as Gross but thereís some potential in many of those guys.

    Richard Owens

    What are the possibilities that we go with a Michael Crabtree, Malcolm Jenkins, or Aaron Curry rather than an offensive linemen in the first round?

    NW: Itís all going to depend on what happens in free agency as well as how the Rams grade all of those players.

    Ivan Guevara

    Hey Nick, everyone knows that there is no doubt that the Rams need a reliable Running back backing up S. Jackson. Do you think Knowshon Moreno or LeSean McCoy will be of interest in the second round, or will the Rams go late with a running back, or do you think a back will be picked up in free agency, your thought? Thanks for your time.

    NW: Last year, the Rams had designs on taking Felix Jones in the second round had he fallen that far. To me, that means they are serious about getting another back behind Jackson and they would be willing to make the move again if thereís another back they think of as highly in the second round.

    Joe Iezza

    Looking into your crystal ball, what avenue will the Rams address in the offseason, regarding free agency and what players do you see them making a strong push on signing.

    NW: My crystal ball is a little fuzzy; can I borrow yours? Itís hard to say what happens until all of the tags have been placed and tenders given. The free agent list now will likely look much different than what it will be when the market opens. Hard to pinpoint too many names with so much up in the air but guys that would interest me were they to hit the market include Gross, Karlos Dansby, Butler, Bart Scott and Derrick Ward.

    John T.

    Who you think the Rams will pick? I am hoping they pick Crabtree, what do you think of that pick?

    NW: Too early to make a prediction. Crabtree would be excellent.

    Donald Perkins

    A number of mock drafts prediction indicate that the Rams should select Baylor Offensive Tackle Jason Smith. He appears to be a better choice than Alabama Andre Smith.

    NW: Thereís a good group of offensive tackles in this draft and everyone seems to have an opinion on them. I donít know enough about them to rank them but I believe that Virginiaís Eugene Monroe is well liked by the Rams.

    Donald Perkins

    With the second round selection should the Rams select a linebacker, cornerback, wide receiver or best player available? How would you list their position needs.

    NW: Hard to say what they would take in the second round without knowing who they took in the first and did in free agency. Safe to say they are always looking to grab the best player available. In no order, needs include middle linebacker, strong safety, big defensive tackle, offensive tackle, center, backup running back, receiver, cornerback and fullback.

    Jeff Litow

    Besides the draft, what personal changes can be made that will impact the 2009 season?

    NW: I think weíve already seen some of the major changes that could go a long way toward this rebuilding job. Putting Devaney in charge, beefing up the pro personnel department, adding a new contract negotiator/chief operating officer, all of those moves seem to have everyone on the same page and heading the right direction.

    Tim Issar

    Nick,

    It has come to my attention that the rams only have 8 million dollars to spend this offseason. What to you think the realistic free agency movements will be and do you think it possible to re-sign O.J and Ronny Bartell? Also, is there any news of trades and cuts to clear some cap space?

    NW: Itís my understanding the cap number is closer to $15 million than that. Itís going to be very possible to bring both back. Nothing new on cuts or salary clips yet. The new coaching staff still needs a chance to evaluate the current roster before making any determinations.

    Oscar Herrerra

    Say Nick, you're doing a great job covering the Rams, thank you! Will Leonard Little, Fakhir Brown, Claude Wroten, Drew Bennett, Torry Holt, Orlando Pace, Nick Leckey, Richie Incognito, Mark Setterstrom, Alex Barron, Joe Klopfenstein, and Trent Green be back with the Rams? All these players are right on the edge because of their age, health, salary, and poor play. I look forward to your response. You're the greatest! Thank you.

    NW: Too early to tell what about most of that list because you have a coaching staff that isnít terribly familiar with the current roster yet. There are a lot of factors that come into play on those decisions. Iíd expect that some will return and others wonít but I doubt thereís going to be a major housecleaning that sweeps all of those names out.

    T.J. Cray

    Bringing in Steve Spagnuolo, how do you think the Rams will adjust to having a former defensive coordinator as head coach prior to having offensive coordinators doing the job?

    NW: Iím not sure how much of a difference that makes but Iíll be sure to ask some players when I get the opportunity. I do know that some Rams defensive players Iíve talked to are fired up about having a defensive coach. It seems and Iím admittedly stereotyping here that defensive coaches are naturally more the fiery type of leaders than the quiet, ďgeniusĒ types. That could play very well in this locker room.

    Benoit Chenier

    Nick,

    There is some speculation out there that the Rams will try to sign Amani Toomer what are your thoughts; also what is the latest news on O.J Atogwe are they holding contract talks, losing a guy with this kind of caliber would be devastating. Also what is your take on the draft who are the rams interested in.

    NW: See above for some draft talk. I have heard speculation on Toomer leaving New York but nothing concrete as it pertains to the Rams. Toomer would be a nice pickup if the Rams end up having a need for a veteran receiver but whether that need will exist remains to be seen. Atogwe is a top priority. Iíd be surprised if he wasnít re-signed or tagged.

    Stephen Jimenez

    Hey Nick, how's it going? Since free-agency is around the corner, I am sure Spags will beef up our roster with D-Lineman and maybe some O-Lineman, so that leaves one question. Who will we pick at number two, wide receiver, quarterback or running back?

    NW: If you have some information on which OL and DL the Rams will sign, please forward to me. Until guys have inked those contracts, itís too early to say which way the Rams will go with the draft. Free agency comes first.

    Andrew Lubker

    I have two questions. First, how likely is it that the Rams go out and sign some big name guys and get into the post season next year? Secondly, who do you think the rams will pick up, or have a chance at getting this off season?

    NW: It remains to be seen how many ďbig nameĒ free agents will even be available after the tags are given. For the record, teams have until Feb. 19 to ďtagĒ players. If some of those players make it to the market, the Rams will have some interest depending on who the player is and what position need the player fills. But, more than anything, I expect the Rams to be active in free agency on some of the lesser known players entering their second contracts that still have plenty of room for growth. Those are the kinds of players worth signing because you get them at a fraction of the cost and they can possibly grow into impact players.

    Dustin Stevenson

    Will the rams go after the ravens linebackers in free agency? Also if they land one say Bart Scott being the most logical will they move Will Witherspoon back to outside linebacker were he was a pro bowler?

    NW: Itís a widely held thought that getting a big middle linebacker is a priority so Witherspoon can move back outside. Scott would seem to be a logical target but who knows if heíll even be available when free agency begins?

    Noel Anderson

    Aloha Nick, My question is a simple one, is the second pick worth keeping with the talent level being so even this year? Much Mahalo, Noel

    NW: Aloha to you and I must admit my jealousy over your current location considering itís about 20 degrees in St. Louis today. Itís a good question, Noel. Itís hard to say if any players will separate from the pack but that usually happens. Last year, there were, in my mind, about five guys (Chris Long, Jake Long, Glenn Dorsey, Darren McFadden and Matt Ryan) that had clearly separated themselves from the pack. The year before, it was just JaMarcus Russell, Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson (to me, anyway). So, thereís a good chance that between now and the draft, a certain number of guys will distance themselves from the rest of the pack. Since the Rams pick second, itís a strong likelihood they would be in position to get one. At that point, it just has to be determined if someone really wants to go crazy and make a big offer to get the pick if the Rams donít want it.

    Luke Sells

    Nick....you hear talk about throwback uniforms. Why don't the Rams go with the blue/white from the 1960's thru 1972? They have always been my favorite.

    NW: The Rams will wear throwbacks next season but not the ones you mentioned. Because itís the 10th anniversary of the 1999 Super Bowl champions, they will wear the gold and blue uniforms of that vintage. The blue and whites may come in to play somewhere down the line but it wonít be next year.

    David Leon

    Any truth to the rumor that both the Giants and Jets are interest in dealing with the Rams for the #2 pick in the upcoming draft. Rumor has it the Jets want Stafford or Sanchez because they don't have a QB. Rumor has it the Giants want Michael Crabtree to replace Plaxico Burress.

    Also, are there any facts behind speculation in Minnesota that the Vikings will go after Marc Bulger?

    NW: I havenít heard much in the way of rumors though thereís been rumblings about the Rams and Giants getting together on something. This is the season of misinformation, though, so anything you hear has to come with a grain or 20 of salt. I will say this, though. If the Rams do decide to look into trading down, the best thing that could happen is that some teams fall in love with those quarterbacks and decided they have to get ahead of Kansas City at No. 3 to get one. That could bring a pretty nice package in return.

    Iíve heard nothing of any trades involving Bulger and the sheer economics of it will make it nearly impossible.

    Robert Koepke II

    There are a lot of areas that need work and new bodies, and I know that everyone is talking about defense. But I really believe the O-line needs serious attention. What do you think the chances are that we'll use our first pick to grab a O-lineman?

    NW: Thereís a very strong chance, especially if one of those tackles separates himself from the rest. One thing Iím really looking forward to at the combine is seeing these tackles work out. Because they are all lumped together, I would expect them all to work out and compete. If they donít they could find themselves behind the 8 ball in terms of positional standing.

    Steve

    Nick,

    I liked your piece on Orlando Pace. Looking back at the Rams when they had Jackie Slater as he got older, I keep hearing that Pace has got to go because of cap space and The Rams need a new tackle. It makes sense to look for a new starting left tackle, but at what price? I'd like Devaney to draft a tackle in the second round to groom, just not drafting one with the #2 pick at the expense of Orlando. Pace has worked to hard just to stop now!! If you thought that about Jackie you would have been wrong.

    My question is what do you think will happen to Pace?

    Then what is your opinion on Anthony Davis & is he even signed for this coming year?

    NW: I believe Pace will be back though I think theyíd like to have him back at a lower number than his anticipated cap number. If that works out, Iíd expect him to stay. Personally, I think itís a big misnomer that Pace canít play anymore. He played through injuries this season and was probably the most consistent lineman on the team. He might not be the old, dominant player he once was but heís still effective. That said, now is a great time to add another tackle because Pace is getting up there and Alex Barron is in his walk year. Thereís no doubt in my mind that the Rams will come up with a tackle either in free agency and/or the draft.

    Mike Walthew

    I will be 42 years old tomorrow and I have been a Rams fan since I was 8. Loyal to the end. Many things I have disagreed with through the years and many I have agreed with. My question is do you think the Rams are a good head coach away from being competitive or better players away from being competitive?

    NW: As you know, football is the ultimate team sport. It takes everyone, not just players, not just coaches but scouts and personnel guys and everyone in a building to make a winner. Iím a big believer in what the Rams have done this offseason in rebuilding the front office and hiring Steve Spagnuolo. Thatís a great start but in the end, itís a playersí league. They are the most important part in all of this. If you believe, as I do, that the Rams have good people in place to choose those players then the Rams should be competitive again sooner than later.

    Michael Marrs

    Nick I was looking at the upcoming free agents this season and couldn't help but notice some good players. Honestly I would love the rams to keep Atogwe, but could they also make a run at a guy like Bart Scott or Asomugha from the raiders? This way we improve either the LB core or the secondary.

    NW: They certainly could look at those guys, if they ever hit the market. Thereís no doubt those two will be hotly pursued if available.

    Got a whole bunch of questions this week and couldnít get to all of them but great to see the interest is just heating up. So keep the questions coming and weíll be back for more next Wednesday.


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Nickís Mailbag for Feb. 4, 2009

    Nick thinks we are closer to 15 million under the cap....That's good news.

    The blue and white throwbacks are not going to be used in 2009..That's bad news.

  3. #3
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    Re: Nickís Mailbag for Feb. 4, 2009

    15 mil is indeed much better, and we'll be more so if we can get Holt, Little and Pace to restructure.

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    Re: Nickís Mailbag for Feb. 4, 2009

    I'd want to throw Drew Bennett into the "need to restructure" crowd.

    Unless The Rams think they've saved enough on him by not ever having to launder his uniforms.

  5. #5
    RamsFan16 Guest

    Re: Nickís Mailbag for Feb. 4, 2009

    I havenít heard much in the way of rumors though thereís been rumblings about the Rams and Giants getting together on something.


    Intriguing!!

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    Re: Nickís Mailbag for Feb. 4, 2009

    Ugh, so many of the same questions asked over and over again that I had to skip to the end of the article. I don't think we need to sign Toomer to our squad, as we have enough money tied up in veteran receivers.

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    Re: Nickís Mailbag for Feb. 4, 2009

    I can't let this go without giving somebody free range to poke fun:

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Wagoner
    Richard Owens

    What are the possibilities that we go with a Michael Crabtree, Malcolm Jenkins, or Aaron Curry rather than an offensive linemen in the first round?

    NW: Itís all going to depend on what happens in free agency as well as how the Rams grade all of those players.

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    Re: Nickís Mailbag for Feb. 4, 2009

    I hadn't realized so many Rams writers were in favour of Crabtree...this could only make me believe that Devaney will continue to push Crabtree as the favourite for our pick and we will trade down and pick up extra ones. That would be truly sweet!

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    shower beers's Avatar
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    Re: Nickís Mailbag for Feb. 4, 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by Bar-bq View Post
    I can't let this go without giving somebody free range to poke fun:

    I saw the same thing, but was skimming through and thought they were mentioning him, not that he was interested in Nick's opinions of the team. This guy just needs to let go...

  10. #10
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    Re: Nickís Mailbag for Feb. 4, 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by shower beers View Post
    I saw the same thing, but was skimming through and thought they were mentioning him, not that he was interested in Nick's opinions of the team. This guy just needs to let go...
    I seriously doubt it was actually him.

    It could be Linehan, though.

    Seriously, what a clever pseudonym.

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    Re: Nickís Mailbag for Feb. 4, 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by Bar-bq View Post
    I seriously doubt it was actually him.

    It could be Linehan, though.

    Seriously, what a clever pseudonym.

    Oh, I wasn't serious, but your conspiracy theory is good. I'm on board!

  12. #12
    bigredman Guest

    Re: Nickís Mailbag for Feb. 4, 2009

    I'm surprised that he would poo poo the idea of Pace moving to guard. As I opined at the beginning of this year, Pace is not what he used to be, and it is only going to get worse (his play as blind side tackle). He is still one heck of a lineman though and it makes no sense to me that as long as his legs are good, not to move him to guard to continue to take advantage of his experience. His straight up strength is still excellent, so his pass and run blocking would benefit from the move. He just doesn't have the tools anymore to neutralize those quick pass rushers on the exterior. He's getting older and he's banged up. Not his fault. I would like to see him make the move, extend his career, and end it with the Rams.

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    RAMarkable is offline Registered User
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    Re: Nickís Mailbag for Feb. 4, 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman View Post
    I'm surprised that he would poo poo the idea of Pace moving to guard. As I opined at the beginning of this year, Pace is not what he used to be, and it is only going to get worse (his play as blind side tackle). He is still one heck of a lineman though and it makes no sense to me that as long as his legs are good, not to move him to guard to continue to take advantage of his experience. His straight up strength is still excellent, so his pass and run blocking would benefit from the move. He just doesn't have the tools anymore to neutralize those quick pass rushers on the exterior. He's getting older and he's banged up. Not his fault. I would like to see him make the move, extend his career, and end it with the Rams.
    I dunno BRM, I just don't see Orlando as an effective guard in the NFL. He's always been more of a pass blocker and, imho, has never really been a powerful drive blocker in the run game. Plus he's too tall at 6'61/2" and the DTs will get under his pads and neutralize him or even worse push him back off the line of scrimmage. Remember he's played his entire career going up against 270 LB DEs and the transition against 320+ DT maulers might not go very well.

    I say that a slowing down Orlando Pace is still in the top tier in this league as far as LTs go. Keep 'em at home where he belongs.

    WHAT SAY YE?

  14. #14
    tonyray05 Guest

    Re: Nickís Mailbag for Feb. 4, 2009

    Maybe Barron's right ear can hear better than his left, LOL. I would like for him to be at LT and Pace at RT. Until the heir apparent is ready.

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