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Thread: Nicks mailbag

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    Nicks mailbag

    Wednesday, February 22, 2006

    Robert Winner, Mesa, Ariz.: With the new coaching staff will Chris Claiborne be given a second chance at the middle linebacker position?

    NW: Robert, it's hard to say which direction the Rams will choose to go in free agency, which will have a direct impact on which players go where as far as the players currently on the roster. All signs point to the return of Dexter Coakley and I tend to believe that Claiborne will fall into that group, too. Jim Haslett has said his defense will be based on the type of talent he has to work with. It does seem, though, that he would like to go with his preferred 3-4 scheme. If that's the case, the Rams will need linebackers who fit that mold. It seems that Claiborne will return. It's important to remember that though he might have been a disappointment last year, he played through injury for most of the season and was hardly on the field because of some of the unimaginative coverage packages.

    John Hefele, St. Louis: What is your general feeling - I know we're very early in the game - on Coach Linehan, his hires and is there any talk in or around the league yet, as to the Rams coaching hires, perceived moves etc?

    NW: As you said, John, it's impossible to judge anyone yet since we aren't even to the free agency stage of the offseason yet. However, from sources and people around the league that I have spoken with, listened to and read, the reviews of the Linehan hiring are mostly positive. You never know what a coach who has never been in charge of a team will do when given his first chance, but if the way he has handled himself in the early going of his tenure is any indication, the Rams have done very well. From my limited time spent with him, he comes off as very sharp, articulate and a nice guy. He understands the importance of the veteran leadership - see his numerous meetings with Marshall Faulk and his meeting with Marc Bulger last week for evidence - and he seems like the type of coach that players will not only like, but also respect on Sundays. And oh by the way, he is one of the brightest offensive minds in the league. As for the coaching staff, there are definite positives and negatives to it, but there is a real nice mix of young and old, experienced and inexperienced. Again, it's early, but it seems to me that Linehan has all of the makings of a winning football coach.


    Klent Starks, Almo, Kent.: I was wondering if you had a list of all of the Rams' players that would be free agents, both restricted and unrestricted. Thanks.

    NW: Here's the list, to the best of my knowledge, which is updated to reflect players that have already been re-signed. Unrestricted: Adam Archuleta, Ryan Pickett, Damione Lewis, Bryan Barker, Tyoka Jackson, Jamie Martin, Rex Tucker, Corey Ivy and Aveion Cason.

    Restricted: Kevin Curtis, Shaun McDonald, DeJuan Groce, Mike Furrey, Arlen Harris, Brandon Green and Chris Johnson.


    Mac Leal, Clovis, Calif.: Will Haslett get the first choice or will Linehan...meaning, (defense) db or de for haslett or (offense) offensive guard or tight end for Linehan?

    NW: These guys are working together along with the rest of the staff to find the player that brings together need and value. Linehan has made it clear that he prefers to fill need through free agency and take the best available player in the draft. It's a little easier to fill need in the first round, though, because there is more top talent available there than in the later rounds. The Rams will take the best player available with their first pick, there likely will be some spirited debate and, as always, each position coach will make his pitch for his guy, but at the end of the day, the choice will be the player that is most highly rated on the team's board.


    Del De Vries, Lake City, Iowa: Do you have any inside info on the new additions to the Rams roster. They are : WR Taylor Stubblefield, LT Jason Hilliard, RT Ben Noll, RT Drew Stojny, TE Rod Trafford, Aaron Walker and Darius Williams, RB Derrick Knight and Fred Russell, MLB Mike Goolsby, FS Deandre Eiland, Mike Holley and Dwaine Carpenter. Any of these newcomers to the practice squad? Do any of these have a shot at the 06 roster or are they just camp legs brought in to help with camp repitions?

    NW: Many of these guys spent time on the practice squad either for part or all of the regular season. Most are here as camp competition, but there are a few names on the list that could be given the opportunity to compete. In addition, some of the names were on the active roster last season and are highly thought of by the scouting department. Noll is one name that will be given a chance to win a spot at guard and has plenty of upside. Walker, Goolsby and Carpenter played on the active roster and could get a chance to win a spot again this year.

    Jim Bjornsson, Rohnert Park, Calif.: Well, in playing a clip posted there, the reporter mentioned that Linehan will run the West Coast Offense. That's the first I'd heard this. (I hate the idea). Can you confirm this? They'll actually run the (Walsh) West Coast Offense, abandoning the Gillman/Coryell/Martz system?

    NW: Jim, the Rams are NOT running the West Coast Offense. In fact, the system Linehan is bringing in is closer to the one Martz ran than the one Walsh and many teams run now. Frankly, this system will be aggressive, throwing the ball down the field like Martz's, but will probably be more balanced and protect the quarterback better. That's what he did in Minnesota and Miami and that's what will happen here. The West Coast Offense is still used around the league, but it is fading. This offense is built around it's fantastic receivers and an accurate quarterback, those tools would not be utilized well in the WCO. If Haslett wants to base his defense around his personnel, it stands to reason the offense would do the same. With that in mind, we don't know what kind of personnel will be available on defense, but we know what is there on offense. With the input of the likes of Bulger and Faulk, the offense should resemble the one of years past with some alterations here and there.

    Ron Laccabue, Tarzana, Calif.: What do they mean in the articles when they say that Haslett runs an "attacking" defense as opposed to what the Rams did previously? can you briefly explain both?

    NW: Simply put, the Rams defense of the past two years has lacked creativity and a sense of the attacking schemes you see around the league. In simple terms, the Rams didn't blitz a whole lot and seemed content to sit back in Cover 2 coverage schemes in which they would only rush four people (normally the defensive line) at the quarterback. Looking deeper, it isn't limited to blitz numbers. It has to do with scheme, too. An attacking defense, such as the variety of 4-3 and 3-4 packages of Haslett in Pittsburgh and New Orleans, has the ability to be multiple and use the art of disguise well. What I mean by that is, when a defense (such as the Rams of the past couple years) is constantly doing the same thing over and over and there is no element of surprise, it's not hard to protect even when that defense does decide to blitz. Look at the Steelers of this year. They could bring anyone from anywhere at any time whether it's a safety, a corner or a linebacker. An attacking defense not only blitzes with regularity, but it isn't afraid to keep its base package on the field on third down or throw a variety of players at the quarterback from a variety of angles. There should be more of that with this coaching staff in place.


    Gabe Hayek, East Greenwich, R.I.: No mention of Torry Holt winning the hands competition in the pro-bowl skills chalenge? I know what you think of Torry, so I was surprised when there was nothing in your notes or mailbag on this.

    NW: Gabe, you're absolutely right. I honestly believe that Torry is the best receiver in the league in terms of the total package. Heck, maybe even I take that for granted, because frankly, it doesn't surprise me at all that he won that competition. Congratulations to Torry.

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    Re: Nicks mailbag

    OK. after seeing this video, I give up. Draft Davis. Do whatever it takes to get Davis. Davis=Superbowl
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Re: Nicks mailbag

    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman
    OK. after seeing this video, I give up. Draft Davis. Do whatever it takes to get Davis. Davis=Superbowl
    lol, I was thinking the exact same thing also....

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    Re: Nicks mailbag

    You guys have only seen that. Hell I got 2 more that you should see. I'll upload then onto putfile and post the links.

    Here is the first
    http://media.putfile.com/Cyborg34

    Here is the second
    http://media.putfile.com/VD2

    Here is the 3rd
    http://media.putfile.com/VD_toss
    Last edited by RamsFan16; -02-22-2006 at 11:11 PM.
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    Re: Nicks mailbag

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFan16
    You guys have only seen that. Hell I got 2 more that you should see. I'll upload then onto putfile and post the links.

    Here is the first
    http://media.putfile.com/Cyborg34

    Here is the second
    http://media.putfile.com/VD2

    Here is the 3rd
    http://media.putfile.com/VD_toss
    Ok that 3rd clip is insane.
    BRUUUUUUUUUUUCE


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    Re: Nicks mailbag

    Is that the one against FSU where he breaks like 5 tackles?
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    Re: Nicks mailbag

    Yeah the one where he throws the tackler off him with his left arm and almost gets a first down.
    BRUUUUUUUUUUUCE


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    Re: Nicks mailbag

    Quote Originally Posted by ramsbruce
    Yeah the one where he throws the tackler off him with his left arm and almost gets a first down.
    Oh yea. Those were all nice plays IMO.
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    Re: Nicks mailbag

    Ha, almost got the first down, and you want to waste an 11th round pick for this guy?
    :tongue:
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Re: Nicks mailbag

    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman
    Ha, almost got the first down, and you want to waste an 11th round pick for this guy?
    :tongue:
    Me personally I have never mentioned Davis' name here until today in this thread about his nice plays, but to answer, no I don't. :tongue:
    BRUUUUUUUUUUUCE


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    Re: Nicks mailbag

    I definetly do. If you had watched the Capital One Bowl College Football skills competiton. You would know why also.
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    Re: Nicks mailbag

    What I know is we need some serious help on D. I'm all for a new TE but not using a first round pick.
    BRUUUUUUUUUUUCE


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    Re: Nicks mailbag

    Quote Originally Posted by ramsbruce
    Me personally I have never mentioned Davis' name here until today in this thread about his nice plays, but to answer, no I don't. :tongue:
    Getting worried about you there for there for a second rb......................


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    Re: Nicks mailbag

    Damn I might be changing my opinion on Davis after seeing those clips,What strength!!!!


    :clanram:

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    Re: Nicks mailbag

    I can see the value in drafting the best player at any given position, especially if that position is a need on the team. The Rams need an upgrade at TE so I don't see the problem with taking this guy(if he's hands down the best TE in the draft) especially since the FA market on TE's is relatively weak this year.

    I guess that's the real question, who do you that don't want Davis, want the Rams to draft in the first? The second question is, what's the dropoff from that player to the next guy at that position?

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