Postgame With Gordo
By Jeff Gordon
Sunday, October 14, 2007 03:15 PM CDT
Tim Zirke: How long will Steven Jackson be out? Originally it was said he would be out 2-3 weeks. Well it's now three weeks and there is no mention and how much longer he will be out.
Jeff Gordon: He isn't expected back until after the bye week. The coach's initial projection was way too optimistic, since Jackson did have a torn groin muscle.
Dave L: First game I have got to watch all year and I am about to stop and it is only the 2nd quarter.
Slick rick Bernie is wrong about the defense. When you get thrown into the fire because of an anemic offense they eventually will break.
Linehan gets to grow a pair, say I no longer trust this kicker who is off his rocker, and go for it. We are trying to win games and it won't happen by kicking field goals.
Jeff Gordon: If you did turn the game off early, you were wise. Those watching the rest of it had to admire the Rams defense, which held up well against an admitted poor offense. But the Rams' offense -- yikes!
Mike: Can the coaches really be held responsible for missed field goals, dropped passes, poorly thrown passes, missed blocks, missed tackles, etc. Week in and week out we see mistake after mistake from these players. These guys just can't play. If they executed consistently, this team has at least a .500 record. What can a coach do to motivate a player to catch a pass, make a tackle, or protect the football? With all the injuries it's tough to bench guys. I would think hundreds of thousands of dollars would be motivation enough. Start taking money away for screwups and these guys might start taking their jobs more seriously. Let's face it, the team isn't getting an acceptible return on their investment.
Jeff Gordon: Overall execution does fall on the coaching. Even the most diminished team has to prepare as well as possible and play as cleanly as possible. Some of what we have seen is lack of talent, but clearly the tactical, physical and emotional preparation has to be better.
shane gray: Jeff:
Number one, again I ask why we let Fitzpatrick go? I know you have stated it was due to the fact that these coaches had no plans for him anyway. THAT is another reason why this team sucks: poor coaching and decision making. He has proven he can make plays, he is talented, and he could certainly play as well as Frerotte today. We got an almost uselss pick and a roster spot for him. POOR MANAGEMENT CHOICE. NO EXCUSES NECESSARY.
Two, Curtis had another 75 yard catch. This recieving corps could use him but yet another example of poor personnel choices by the Rams under Linehan. Instead, we have a 5-11 Dane Looker and a 6'5 Looker (Bennett) plus one stud, Isaac Bruce (can still do it as he showed in week 2 with 150 recieving and the 25 yard quick slant that he exploded with a quick run after catch in another game) and a gimpy, diminished Holt. Why not give Hagans (in this week) and Stanley a chance. At least they have speed and quicks and could develop.
Finally, I take issue (strongly but respectfully) with Bernie's article on Haslett's D. One, honestly I know zero Rams fans who would agree that this D plays the same as Marmie's. (Please don't stick by your boy, Jeff. You know this D is better, more agressive, and better coached). This D has shown improvements in many areas including run D until get worn down by time of possession and our sorry offense. The corners are growing, the interior line (Ryan, etc.) are improving, the LB's are playing the run better. In many games they have stood up time and again until finally breaking down. With Marmie, they never stood up just had some O. If we had this O with Marmie we'd have never been in a game!
Jeff Gordon: The Rams D was fine today, despite having to move guys around. Ryan was a force up the middle. Hall looks like a great signing at DE. The Ravens aren't great offensively, but we did see the D flying around.
As for Fitzpatrick, he would have come in handy in this game. I didn't expect this team to need a third QB this season, but Fitzpatrick WOULD have come in handy.
Ditto Curtis, obviously. But at least we saw Hagans and Byrd come to life.
Randy: It looks more and more like a certain RAMS VP, who couldn't get along with Mike Martz, should be shown the exit!!! As he should have been earlier!! He provides NOTHING for the RAMS, except get them back to where they were prior to Mike Martz.
Jeff Gordon: Jay Zygmunt is a great cap guy, but his track record in this front office configuration isn't so good. The Linehan Era is 8-14.
ramknick: I'm sick and tired of being wasting my time on Sundays, watching this mediocre team playing with no heart. Gus Frerotte is a loser, he should be playing in football arena.
Jeff, don't you think that it is time to say goodbye to linehan???????
Jeff Gordon: Normally I wouldn't go there in a middle of a season, but what we're seeing is not pretty. When a team hits 0-6 -- with a tough game at Seattle next -- the concept of making a midseason change isn't unreasonable.
All the injuries provide cover, for sure, but this just painful to watch . . .
Martok: Is this just a bad dream or are the Rams that bad?
Jeff Gordon: They are that bad. It is no illusion.
J. T.: Gordo,
Just curious, are you actually at the Rams games when you do your game day blog or just watching on the tube? And do you follow our blog responses during the game? Thanks and I appreciate your good work...
Jeff Gordon: I attend home games and do it off the tube when the team is on the road. I can't follow blog responses during the game because I am trying to update the blog on the fly.
Hence the postgame chat session -- where we can interact.
Mike: Does anyone think this Ravens D is dominant. Not even close. It's sad to see what's become of a once dominant team. Injuries have really hurt but there just doesn't seem to be any competitiveness in this offense. Lack of execution and emotion have turned this offense into a laughing stock. It's really hard to watch this team. The defense keeps fighting but the offense is just hopeless.
Jeff Gordon: The Ravens D is pretty good, but otherwise I can't argue with your take.
chris: I am now watching college football in hopes of getting a glance at our next years first round draft pick. Any suggestions on who we will go for. Come on Gordo, don't say offensive or defensive pick give me a name.
Jeff Gordon: I'd go with either Jake Long (Michigan offensive tackle) or Chris Long (Virginia 3-4 end). Pace's injury history and Barron's slow development creates a real O-Line need. The other long would be a strong run-stopped ot use with Ryan and Carriker going forward.
Dave L: The Rams bend but not break defense is killing me! I am playing against Stover in fantasy football this week!
Jeff Gordon: Yeah, and I had McGahee -- who lost a TD on an offensive holding call on the goal line. Baltimore's offense is awful!
Georgia Frontiere: Dear Gordo: While I am very pleased with the look of this year's cheerleaders outfits and the blue pants that our boys have been wearing, I am concerned about the team's overall performance. I do not like the other owners making more money than me. I like Scotty Linehan, but I am concerned that the absence of our fans may hurt my bottom line. In order to get the fans back into the building and buying more lovely Rams sweaters, shirts, and Rams accessories, my dear friend John Shaw tells me we must improve. I am looking for a Pro Personnel person/general manager to take charge of improving the talent through the draft, and I am interested in a new head coach. Would you be a dear and give me some suggestions?
Jeff Gordon: Hire Bill Cowher, give him total control. Do not return Nick Saban's phone calls.
Bob: Frerotte is an absolutely horrible QB. No arm strength, poor decisions with the ball, and 4 INT's midway through the 4th quarter. Just because he may know Linehan's system does not make him any kind of NFL quality QB.
This team needs so much talent, it may take another 5 years to see a winning season from this bunch.
Jeff Gordon: If the Rams change their way of doing things, the turnaround can come much more quickly. This franchise needs a forceful head coach and a crack personnel department. The turnaround could come within two years.
jeff in california: I can't believe what i am watching. This team is so pathetic offensively. I honestly see a possible 0-16. The defense has not been that bad, they must be discouraged. I am still a fan but this has been a total disaster. Is the coach in any trouble?
Jeff Gordon: Scott head coaching future can't be very bright now. He simply MUST make something happen on the field. The fact he is an offensive guy and the offense is so helpless . . . well, that's not good, even with all the injuries.
Dave Hartmann: Gordo.
Why bother with this chat? ...oh wait! it's a paycheck! You have my sympathy.
Jeff Gordon: Also, it helps people vent their frustration. The list of questions and comments is a mile long.
JJG: How bad are these free agents we have......especially on offense..this is embarassment...what is your take?
Jeff Gordon: McMichael pretty much stays in and blocks. The hobbled Bennett finally bows out with a leg injury after an utter unproductive start -- yeah, this is not good. But James Hall is solid on D. Todd Johnson is good on special teams, but not so much at safety.
Brian: Is there any possibility of Linehan being fired (after the Rams are 0-8)during the bye week? Give Haslet a chance to see if he can win a few games and possibly be the next head coach.
Jeff Gordon: John Shaw has made it pretty clear that he doesn't like midseason changes. I'm not sure where he threshold of pain is on this issue.
Will the Rams even be able to sign any decent free agents or high draft picks next year, given this year's utter disarray? I would think this to be a tough task, especially if Linehan, Zygmunt, etc. are still running the show. In fact, what about defections? Who will be free agents next year from the current team?
Jeff Gordon: The Rams locked up Little, Tinoisamoa and Bulger with long-term deals. Jackson would be the next to knock off on that list. After that, if there is plenty of turnover, so be it.
A terrible finish will make signing elite free agents difficult, for sure. On the other hand, the team shouldn't have much trouble freeing up cap space.
shane gray: Jeff, at this point people are making excuses for the Rams, a true sign of a hopelessly poor team. Before we take all the blame off the coaches and put it on the injuries, let's remember we were very healthy entering the season and lost our first 2 at home! Yes, we lost the big O but other teams had injuries as well. There were no excuses for being oh and two at home! NONE!
The squad was poorly prepared to play. They came out with no offensive cohesion, confidence, production, aggression, or swagger.
It's a good thing we have the vet Frerotte in. He ONLY tossed 5 ints. Could've been more. Shoot, Fitzpatrick would have thrown at least 7 or 8 maybe ten then, right? Glad we don't have him around. It would be ugly without Gus. He did a great job.
Jeff Gordon: Ah, the magic of sarcasm. And you're right about the poor start. There was no excuse for that. Had the Rams started well, perhaps they could overcome more of their problems now.
Al: Hey Gordo. How can you stand it? I'm not sure I could watch this even if I got paid.
Jeff Gordon: This game was depressing, for sure. Some young guys like Ryan, Byrd and Hagans got to do some stuff, but other than that . . .
First, let me say......I really don't have anything to say. After actually watching other teams play today, like the Dolphins for example, I can say the Rams are the worst team in football. Thank goodness for fantasy football. I guess that is all I have to say.
Jeff Gordon: Are the Rams worse than the Dolphins? Really? I suppose Cleo Lemons can at least run the ball at QB, giving him a big edge on Gus.
well one question; is it time to start thinking about what free agent LB's and safeties we need for next year. I know that the Ravens have an excellent defense,but we had opportunities to score. With the addition of a playmaking safety and a real middle linbacker along with some experienced dept on the d-line. This could be a top ten defense next year.
Jeff Gordon: I think the D-line will get the experience it needs this year to excel next year. I'd just focus on an impact MLB (moving Will outside) and an impact safety. If there was an athletic young DE out there, that would be nice to have too.
Stacey: I guess letting Fitzpatrick go was not such a good idea. At least he was mobile. This is getting tough to watch.
Jeff Gordon: Can they put Frerotte on skates?
snackdaddy: For the rest of this season, we'll be underdogs. Do you see an "Any given Sunday" on the horizon? I mean, is there anybody the Rams can beat?
Jeff Gordon: The Browns are throwing the ball around pretty good, so, no, there are easy games left. The Rams will be underdogs to everybody, even at home.
shippdean: Do the powers that be upstairs or in the Carribean find this 0-6 Rams record acceptable? Do they find this coaching staff acceptable? If they do, I find that very pathetic. As a paying customer for their inferior product and a life long supporter of this franchise; If they don't care; I don't see how they can expect fans to as well? They need to fire this mind-numb robot with a headset TODAY or risk the decline of their fan base and revenues. The problem IS the coach; the injuries and heartless play are a by product of LINEHAN. Period. Something needs to be done and DONE NOW!
Jeff Gordon: If I'm a fan, I'd want to see something dramatic from the head coach to jar the team toward a victory. Composure is great, but where is the urgency?
JJG: WEEk 7....winless...its not "HUMBLING"...it should be inexcusible..we need to start thinking aboutr next year and gathering draft picks....NOBODY SHOULD BE UNTOUCHABLE ...in this situation....
Jeff Gordon: Off-loading talent in the middle of the season isn't feasible in the NFL. Trades are rare and teams hate to part with draft picks. And if you move guys off this team, where do you find replacements?
Ken: I read where Bob Waterfield (former Rams coach) resigned under almost identical circumstances with regard to the season record. I think that Linehan could save his career and land somewhere else if he bowed out now. He's not all to blame but he is the head coach. What's your thoughts?
Jeff Gordon: I'd hate to think that Scott is a quitter. I don't think he is worried about minimizing damage to his reputation.
Mark "Eldrick" Ferry: Hi Gordo. Today we lost Romberg. There has to be some explanation to account for all these injuries on the o-line. It is beyond bad luck. Perhaps the blocking schemes are such that the O-lineman are out of position or something like that that leaves them unusually vulnerable. I know this seems like a bizarre notion, but I think careful examination of the videotape of these inuries is in order to see if there is some commonality to them. It can no longer be attributable to "just bad luck". There has to be some explanation for it. Any comment on this, Gordo?
Jeff Gordon: I'm sure the Rams are open to suggestions, but I don't believe this team is doing anything unusual with its blocking schemes -- or with its training, for that matter.
Tim Gilbreth: Has any team ever gone 0-16 or will the Rams be the first with that honor?
Jeff Gordon: The Rams can make history. The '76 Buccaneers went 0-14 and we've had some 1-15 teams. I still believe the Rams can win some games later this year, when Jackson is back and the schedule softens somewhat. But, again, they will underdogs in every game, even at home, until they actually win a game.
Jon: Not that this team is one position away from the playoffs, but what position that must be addressed before the Rams can move forward?
Jeff Gordon: No. 1 is pass protection from the offensive line, TEs, FBs and RBs. With protection, Bulger and Frerotte are much better QBs. If Bruce and Jackson return after the bye and Hagans and Byrd make the most of their playing time the next weeks, this team could still score some points.
RamsFanPensacola: Even if the Rams fire Linehan and end up with the first pick, is there any reason to think things wil improve? Ike has seen his best years and they are behind him. Bennett is locked up long term and he hasn't grasped the game plan here. The offense is aging and the D is a little better but nowhere close to an elite NFL defense.
Jeff Gordon: But turnaround happen in the NFL all the time. Look at the Browns this year. A few key additions plus a LOT fewer injuries could make this team competitive in 2008. The gap between winners and losers in this league is very small.
JJG: Our defense is bad but the offense is invisible.....haggins should not even be on the practice squad and do we have any good TE's?
Jeff Gordon: Hagans did OK, save for the one potential TD drop. That was a pretty touch catch and his IS a converted QB. Byrd showed something at TE late. Too bad McMichael has to stay in and block so much.
Brandon Mazzie: When does Linehan go? Its not about the injuries, it is his questionable knowledge of the game. A fade pass to a 5'9 WR. A hurry up offense that gets a delay of game and runs up the middle 5 times. Kneeling and not letting Hagans try something. What do you have to lose! Why not go for it on 4th and 1 and show confidence in your team? But no he goes for it on 4th and 13 instead. There were many others throughout the game as well. I just do not get this team. Will we see changes soon. What else do you see? Shed some light please!
Jeff Gordon: Letting Hagans run a play just gets somebody else hurt. It was foolish to leave Frerotte in there to throw hopeless passes and take more hits late in the game. What could be gained from that?
Steve: Isn't it about time to sign a kicker and a couple of speedy street free agent receivers?
Jeff Gordon: I don't dump Wilkins now, but I start thinking about allocating some of his future salary for other needs for next season. A cheap kicker could balance the budget.
morris puma: Make no mistake about, the Rams are the worst coached team in football, they make so many stupid mistakes, they can't get separation for their receivers, like teams with one good receiver can get open anytime,their refusal to throw to the tight end more offen is ridiculos, if something works they don't use the play again. How long are do the Ram fans have to put up with these bad coaches?
Jeff Gordon: Change WILL occur if we don't see dramatic improvement with the Rams. The Rams don't want to watch a mass fan exodus between now and the start of next season.
Andy: So Gordo, what excuses will Linehan spit out to us this time? This was plain and simple a horrid game that has taken a once proud franchise into a pitiful joke. Linehan, I respect you as a man, but as a coach, I'm sorry, the Rams and you just don't fit.
Jeff Gordon: Scott doesn't make excuses, but he doesn't come up with enough solutions, either.
Mike: This is probably the worst football team I've ever seen at the NFL level. They can't do ANYTHING right! Injuries aside, they're just plain awful. Terrible coaching, hrooendous coaching, and a lousy front office to boot. I say blow it up from top to bottom...then blow it up from the bottom to the top.
Jeff Gordon: You know it's bad when fans are calling for a double detonation.
Have you ever in your history of covering professional sports seen ANY team decimated by injuries like this?
Jeff Gordon: For sheer volume of injuries? No, although the baseball Cardinals came pretty close this year.
Mike: Wow, I thought the days of the Rams being the league punching bag were over. Man was I wrong. They haven't even hit rock bottom yet. It's frustrating to watch because many of these games were winnable, including this one. Clearly the biggest problem has been injuries. Yet many of the remaining starters have failed to make plays. McMichael dropped what should have been a TD. Brown looked like a rookie a week after looking like an all-star. Holt is almost nonexistent. I don't know what point I'm trying to make. I guess I'm just ranting. I've been a Rams fan for 30 years and this is the worst team I've seen.
Jeff Gordon: And you saw the '98 Rams, so that is saying a lot. Tony Banks doesn't look so bad now, does he?
Jorge: So Gordo, can it get any worse than taking a knee twice to run out the clock?
And we all thought that the team looked awful with an injured Bulger at the helm. What is Linehan going to do now, bring back Chandler?
Jeff Gordon: You know, I forgot all about that six interception game Chandler had as a Rams. Thanks for bringing his name up.
John: I think this is about as low as we can go. At some point somebody has to get the sack over this horror season
Who and how soon?
Jeff Gordon: Knowing the Rams, if the team tried to thrown a coach or executive under the bus, the bus would crash and burst into flames.
Mark Cockerell: Hey Gordo! What happened at the end with Gus? and why did the Rams just take a knee and not run a couple plays at the end? Was it so bad that they just wanted out of there? I feel very bad for the players, I know they are trying but everything that could go wrong has and it continues week to week. Please tell the players that the true blue Rams fans are still behind them and feel for what they are going through.
Jeff Gordon: Why did the Rams use a time out to keep time on the clock? Why did they try to throw a futile with the game over with? All that did was allow Frerotte to take another hit. After that, Linehan wised up and just ran out the clock to put an end to the carnage.
What a great and exciting game. 5 interceptions, horrible play calling, 6 turnovers, horrible play calling, 3 whopping points, and did I mention horrible play calling??
Here is are two words for the rams front office and scott"the offensive guru" linehan - BILL COWHER
Jeff Gordon: Injuuries and poor execution were bigger issues than playcalling. Linehan had to use a lot more two-TE sets with all the WR injuries and the offense line shuffled again after Romberg went down.
John: The disgrace continues! Of all the Rams schlock that happened in this game, what did they do worse?
Next week do you think they will set the Rams 0-7 record?
Jeff Gordon: Yes. Absolutely.
rjd_GoRams: Instead of harping on the broken offense - what about the young, developing defense! Baltimore averages 350 yds/game, but only got 246 today. The Rams forced two fumbles and a pick. They gave up only 1 TD despite Balt starting so many times in our end. And this time, the Def didn't quit in the second half. Something to build on, at least.
Jeff Gordon: Some positives, for sure, but let's remember that Baltimore has a young offensive line and one of the least effective offenses in the NFL.
YoMurphy: Joe Vitt won games with this team! You can't tell me it is easier to motivate a team and execute when you are the assistant coach of a team who's coach is in the hospital with heart problems than it is for Linehan to get a win out of this 2007 team.
Someone has to let Linehan know that preseason ended six weeks ago.
I have asked about this before, but I just have to find out if you agree that Linehan is trying to save face in these games. That 4th down play in their territory where he decided to go for a field goal, (with a kicker who had already missed 4 on the season, and one in the game) instead of going for it when it is 16-0 says only one thing to me. Linehan thinks there is a difference between losing by three scores and losing by two.
Those decisions show a coach's philosophy, and Linehan is more like Ghandi than Tsun Zu. I'm going to refer to Linehan as the master of passive resistance.
Jeff Gordon: I didn't midn the FG for two reasons: It cut the lead to less than two scores and it allowed Wilkins to gain some confidence. Had he come out of this game with just a miss, it would have ate at him all week.
LJG: Rams fan from the UK here...although Linehan will probably be safe because our play is pretty much down to the crazy amount of injurys, somebody will be made a Scapegoat for such a bad season(barring a wonder of a turnaround),the play calling at times has being a bit perplexing this year (the call to throw to hagans on 4th and inches today is baffling to say the least)...what are the chances of a midseason coaching change if we were say 0-9? i mean it isnt in the rams interest to have an empty dome and a St.Louis blackout each week surely a coach change would bring people back...dare i say Martz?
Jeff Gordon: The fade pass to Hagans was stretch, to say the least. Buy sticking with Linehan through a tough season, Shaw/Zygmunt would send a positive message to the next coach. They don't want to make knee-jerk decisions to appease fans. And at this point, the season is lost anyway.
Bill: Every week, I think it can't get any worse. Our D continues to play hard. Ryan looks like a 5th round steal. We are going to win at least one game this year, right? I know I may be alone in this, but I think Linehan probably deserves one more year to get this right. I just feel bad for this dude. I know he shares in the blame for this debacle, but the injuries, the untimely dropped passes, fumbles, and penalties, along with an endless stream of bad luck.
Jeff Gordon: To get one more year, Linehan has to make dramatic changes and get some dramatic results before the end of the season. He has to prove he can become the one to turn this around. Business as usual won't cut it.
Mark Williams: I think that today’s loss officially drops the Rams into the bottom position, worst team in the NFL. They are the worst coached, most injured, least talented (of the players that remain), unluckiest football team in the league, hands down! All I can do is laugh when something else goes wrong. I thought the seven Gus turnovers were bad; I just learned that the Rams outgained the Ravens, 264 yards to 248 yards! Despite EVERYTHING—the injuries, the turnovers, the bad breaks—the Rams still could have won…
…If only they had a decent Coach!
Jeff Gordon: Sure, there was a chance to win this game with the Ram D keeping the score tight. But the Ravens D had some massive match-up advantages in this game. Some Rams were getting manhandled out there.
Sammy: Gordo, is Bulger starting next week? I got tickets to Qwest field, I am really thinking about not travelling 10 hours to watch this atrocious Rams team though. Maybe if I go I'll wear a paperbag over my head. Is Jackson out for sure next week?
Jeff Gordon: Bulger will try to start next week. Jackson would need a medical miracle to play, since an early return would risk serious reinjury.
Justin: 0-16 will not happen, but what is a realistic record for the Rams at this point? 2-14 doesn't seem too far fetched. If we think this coaching staff will be out at the end of the year, who would be the front runners for head coach?
Jeff Gordon: I couldn't begin to guess about the next coach, although Haslett's work under tough circumstances earns him consideration. I'd love to see Linehan save this thing for himself, but he is at the point of needing a miraculous turnaround.
I see this team going 1-15 or 2-14.
Craig S: Will it make any difference when these injured players come back? Do you see or hear anything that indicates these guys haven't already given up on Linehan?
Jeff Gordon: Some guys may be giving up on the season. The injuries have beaten the life out of this team and Linehan clearly hasn't inspired them to fight through. These guys finished well for him last year, but this situation is much more bleak.
Amy: Please tell me Marc Bulger will be back next week as qb, I can't believe they left Gus in that game he had six turn overs alone and should've been pulled from that game long before the sixth turnover was made.
Jeff Gordon: I agree. Had Bulger been healthy, he would have played. I believe there is a good chance he will play next week -- in part because Gus got beat up in this game.
Almon: Whats up with running the ball up the middle, with so many points needed, who is calling these plays?
Jeff Gordon: In fairness to Linehan, he has to run some stuff to slow down the Ravens pass rush and bliztes. Just dropping back and flinging it wasn't going to work. The Ravens were just teeing off on Frerorte.
chas connors: Maybe Bulger was playing Ok the first weeks in retrospect?
Jeff Gordon: No, he was terrible, too.
jw-SoCal: The offense is really bad, but doesn't it seem the defense is slowly becoming above average? Especially with Hill and Brown back? Also, Am I crazy for thinking the Rams are better with Pisa out and Draft in?
Jeff Gordon: Because Pisa plays hurt so much, you may be right. And the D did bear up well in this game, with some young guys looking strong.
Zeke: Hey Gordo,
Another pathetic performance but who thought we would win anyway. With so many needs who or what position needs the most attention in the upcoming draft? Don't you think Linehan kicked the field goal instead of going for it because he didn't want to get shut out. I mean were 0-5 going no where why not go for it. This team is content with losing and boy does it show.
Jeff Gordon: I don't know that the team is content losing. I don't believe Boller and McGahee would say that. Again, the FG made some sense to give Wilkins a second chance, to get something on the board and make this a two-score game.
Bret Champion: Jeff, there is no reason to get upset over what this team does. They might win 1 or 2 games this year, so there should be no unrealistic goals now. It has taken the management 5 years to get the team to this point. They are getting the product they created. If this where a public company, all management and staff would be replaced. I feel sorry for the people that pay their hard earned money to watch this horrible product. I've been a Rams fan since 1972, so i've seen the good and bad. I hope it does not get any worse than this.
Jeff Gordon: But it probably will get worse, given the Rams schedule.
calram: Can anyone say DeSean Jackson? I cannot believe the dropped passes this year.
Jeff Gordon: If Hagans and McMichael catch their should-be TD passes, the Ravens would have taken more risks while trying to wins. You will never know how that early play and that later play changed the game.
Len Dell Alba: This team has NO identity....linehan is vanilla and the team is the same....disjointed, not focused, etc.. John Shaw's weakness shows....Dick V was a stroke of luck...it won't happen again!
Jeff Gordon: No, I don't see Vermeil coming back to coach this team.
Scotto: AGH!! Man Alive! Who knew it could sink to these depths of depravity? Gus Ferrotte was baking up more turnovers than the local bakery. That's 8 Int's in 2 weeks. And then there is also the fumble to stick the fork in the Rams today in the 4th quarter. The guy is done. Time for QB #3, who should be Ryan Fitzpatrick...but wait...Linehan, in a pre-cursor to what would become the comedy of errors that is this season, shipped Fitz out of town for a kiss and a promise. Somebody call 911 because the rams are crashing. Who's looking good for the #1 spot in next years draft anyway?
Jeff Gordon: Ryan Fitzpatrick has never been missed so.
Vince K: I applaude the defense they did a great job. What was Linehan thinking about when he dragged the game out by using the timeouts when the game was clearly over? We barely have any player as it is, why would he chance more injuries?
Jeff Gordon: Exactly. I'm glad some fans picked up that. This was no time to try to same some face. Frerotte was getting pounded, just like Bulger did.
Craig S: Jeff, Wouldn't you agree that the Rams have been in decline since Steve Smith's long TD catch against the Rams in the 2OT playoff game? This team has far more dark days ahead. Coaching is a problem, talent is a problem (either old or lacking) and front office decisions have been HORRIBLE!!
And seriously, is Kevin Lovell available??
Jeff Gordon: Yes, I believe Kevin IS stil up for grabs.
WIRAMFAN: Hey Jeff
I have watched a lot of football.. I've played the game... Been a Ram fan for 40 years... Never have I seen a sorry product put upon the field... What would it take to get some movement in the positive? And please no more health excuses! We all can see the injuries but its the poor game management and lack of concern on players that is killing the fans right now!
A banged up or over matched team can still play hard and have a direction and sense of pride! this team has neither!
What will get this team pointed in a new,positive direction?
Jeff Gordon: Again, better pass protection would lead to more points. Whether that would be enough, I don't know - but it would be a start.
JL: Who are the Rams eyeing in the '08 draft? Apparently they are coveting someone so bad to go to these extreme measures.
Jeff Gordon: There are a lot of DTs and QBs high in that draft. The Rams are set in the middle of the defensive line with Ryan and Carriker leading the way and they have big money tied up in Bulger. They aren't trying to get a super high pick, but perhaps offensive tackle Jake Long would help next year.
rob in L.A.: Where do we go from here? It is painfully obvious that the season is over. It is true that injuries have played a huge part in the teams demise this year. but the rams are paying for some poor drafts and personnel decisions over the past years. Need i mention Ryan Pickett., London Fletcher, Dre Bly, Kevin Curtis. So lets look forward to that top pick and hope we dont draft another defensive tackle!
Jeff Gordon: Let's not pick on the current DTs, who are pretty good. And I don't mind the corners when Hill and Brown are both out there and Wade and Bartell can play lesser roles.
Mike: I have to agree with Randy. We had a brilliant offensive mind and a group that could score on any play. We were never out of games and even when we lost the games were still fun to watch. Now we have on of the worst offenses in the game, maybe THE worst. But, hey, at least we still have Zygmunt. The future of this franchise is very, very dark.
Jeff Gordon: Remember. Jay's cap management and Shaw's shrewdness (hello, Marshall Faulk) got the team to a pair of Super Bowls. Now these guys must develop a bold new direction.
Fafu: I know that teams can get into a funk, but this just seems to be rediculous. My question to you is is the coaching staff doing all they can to prepare this team to win? I am not suggesting that they be fired en masse, I am just wondering if you have seen something that the average fan is not privy to.
Jeff Gordon: The results aren't there, so, sure, the coaches could have done more. I'd like to see more emotion and more tactical daring.
Darin: The Rams have been in a slow downward spiral since the 2002 Super Bowl. The team lost very good players and was only replaced with medicore players. It seems the team does not address true needs with quality players just guys who just get them by. The Rams need a secondary and to rebuild the offensive line. With an offensive line shattered and a secondary that leaks this team will not return to a .500 or better club. Your thoughts please?
Jeff Gordon: I'd keep Brown, Hill, Bartell, Wade and Atogwe in the secondary. A big-hitting safety would help that bunch a lot. A healthy Pace, Setterstrom, Incognito, Romberg and Barron isn't bad up front. Aside from Big O, that is a young group.
The idea was that the O-Line and Jackson would grow together. And then almost everybody got hurt.
jw-SoCal: Linehan gets an unfair amount of blame. Players make plays and the players are the ones not executing. As far as personnel, I'm not sure how much control Linehan really has so its hard to place blame, but I still say that if the players would take advantage of opportunities they get (like a pass that hits your hands) then this team would whole heck of a lot more competitive. Buck stops with the Coach I guess, but this is so clearly poor execution that I have a hard time heaping blame on Linehan.
Jeff Gordon: But again, execution comes back to coaching. How is the preparation? How much emotional urgency is felt in the game?
Frank: Seriously, Jeff, if Shaw won't fire Zygmunt then what is the point? This team is not going to get any better anytime soon. Do you know any winning NFL teams with an accountant acting as the de-facto GM??
Why on earth would anyone continue to support this dysfunctional (and stubbornly so) organization?
Jeff Gordon: Jay knows football, but he isn't a 24/7 personnel guy. So it is hard to compete against 24/7 personnel guys when you are also the guy trying to make all the numbers work.
marisol: I didn't get to see the game. but it seems like the defense never gave up and played pretty valiantly. Is tht right? Also, can you provide any psychological insight in to the team? Does anyone still have confidence in Linehan?
Is there any sense of hope?
Jeff Gordon: The defense showed some heart. But no, there is no sense of hope. Privately, the players wonder how many games the Rams even have a shot in this year.
bayoubert: One bright spot is the play of Ryan. That being said I am seeing les and less of Carriker in the rotation.
Has he fallen out of favor already
Jeff Gordon: Not at all. Carriker was awesome last week. This week the team did want to mix in Wroten to get him back on track.
I think we all agree the Pats, Colts and Dallas are the top three teams in the league, but who do you have in your bottom 3?
Jeff Gordon: Cleo at least ran around and created some excitement in Miami, so the Rams rank dead last. I can't believe the Saints and Bengals are as bad as their W-L records indicate, so I'm not sure about the third-worst team.
Danlum: IF,if Linehan got the hook midseason, who would step in as interim HC? Surely not Olsen, who'd probably get his walking papers soon after. Haslett? He did call plays in N.O. Hell, maybe Marshall Faulk could do 'um by phone!
Jeff Gordon: Marshall would have to bring back the Martz offense, which Marc would certainly like. But seriously . . . changing coaches in midseason is the ultimate act of desperation. I thought the team competed pretty well Sunday, but the depleted offense just had no chance against Baltimore's defense.
Mike: Why aren't the coach's post game press conferences televised or printed online? I'm curious about Linehan's demeanor and to hear what he has to say.
Jeff Gordon: I can tell you: His demeanor the last several weeks has been composed, although somewhat befuddled. Some of the questioning angers him, which is a good thing. But he isn't fiery or defiant. We won't see Linehan clips on a future beer commercial.
Tom: Jeff: Who is it in the Ravens orginization that keeps finding stud defensive players every year? Why do you think the Rams are so bad at player selection?
Jeff Gordon: if the Rams had Ray Lewis in the middle of their D, then Ryan, Carriker, Little, Hall, Hill, Brown and Witherspoon (at OLB) would look more Raven-like. The other guys would be better with a hammer at MLB. They just would. A presence like that in the middle of a D makes the whole group better. If the Rams can add a home-run hitter to the middle of the D, many of the current guys would improve.
Steve Stokes: How much longer does this Linenhan experiment have to last? Fourth quarter your down by 16 points and you are running the ball? Linehan is clueless on calling a game. Why was Ferotte brought in? He stinks - everybody knew this, but the Rams. Why did we get rid of Fitzpatrick, a guy with some upside, in return for nothing. Why is Zgymunt still here - his personnel decision have been terrible? All these simple questions with no good answers. Please help.
Jeff Gordon: Frerotte is a OK back-up QB, as he showed last week. Let him get killed when he is throwing the ball and bad things happen. As for the fourth quarter, the Rams aren't going to win. The runs are designed to preserve Frerotte's safety. Again, I thought Linehan was silly to stop the clock late so Frerotte could take one more incredible hit.
Any idea who next week's quarterback will be? Who's less hurt at this point: Frerotte or Bulger?
Jeff Gordon: Linehan indicated that he wanted to get Marc back in there after a couple of weeks of rest. He threw the ball before the game and felt better.
Mike: Bill Cowher, Gordo? Finally, someone is talking sense. Please, please, please no Martyball. That would be insult to injury.
Jeff Gordon: Marty does not equal excitement. But he can build a solid organization. Give Cowher these young defenders and you might have something to start with.
Craig S: I know the NFL isn't known for big trades and the Rams are locked into several long term, big money deals. Are there any players who you see that might not be back next year (released, traded or retired) in order to REBUILD this team?
Jeff Gordon: Bruce's run has to end, unfortunately. Wilkins' exit would free up a few bucks. McCollum moves on. Dante Hall is a luxury. Glover moves on. Chavous could move on, given his pre-injury play.
J. T.: Honestly, how can Rams management possibly expect to sell tickets to remaining home games with the performances at Tampa Bay, Dallas, and now Baltimore? Do they really think fans will spend their hard earned money to come watch this "brand" of football? My wife and I went to the Blues game friday, now THAT was entertaining....
Jeff Gordon: Maybe the Rams will hire a mascot. Does the Ramster still live in town?
Rammalama: If the Rams decide to go another direction at head coach this year, do you see them again going the route of a coordinator who has never been a head coach at any level. Clearly the last two attempts in doing so have been failures. Is there a veteran head coach sitting on the recycle pile/trash heep that you could see the Rams pursuing. I'm not sure where I stand on Linehan as I think that it is hard to judge him based on the current status of the roster. Martz never had it this hard, that's for sure.
Jeff Gordon: Barring a stunning turn of events to save Linehan, I'm guessing that Shaw will look to make a big splash at coach. The franchise has the resources to thrown record money at a proven head coach. I don't see any other way.
virginiatom: Gordo, I think the Rams are paying the price for mediocre drafts the last several years. While Ty Hill shows promise, the verdict is still out, and every one of our number ones and the majority of our number 2's the past six years are now somewhere else, or failing to live up their high draft status. Was Mike Martz responsible for this bad drafting or is someone else in the Ram's organization that actually called the shots?
Jeff Gordon: Martz had some mishaps, for sure, but the more recent issues (Alston, Klopfenstein, Byrd, Wroten) arose after his exit. I still like Carriker, Ryan, Leonard and Wade from this group and earlier picks like Hill, Setterstrom, Incognito and Atogwe. On the other hand, Terrell just got abused, again, and Barron isn't steaming toward the Pro Bowl. Wroten has talent, but he must be consulting Anthony Hargove for career advice.
bobby m: Gordo, the time has come to call it like it is...Linehan has had his chance...another unispired offensive game plan that was so predictable it made the Ravens defense look dominant...it is not like we hired a defensive guy to take the helm; we have too many weapons and now a defense under Haslett that continues to play good enough to win, only to time and time again flop (injuries are no excuse, because we were doing this the last year and a half). We are not rebuilding, nor should we have to wait until next year..no more excuses.
Jeff Gordon: I get that, but it's really tough to totally change course in mid-season with half a roster.
WIRAMFAN: Where is Georgia? Is she in the country? If she is have here get a new card reading so she knows who the next hire should be.
Jeff Gordon: So who is more locked in now -- Frontiere on her winless football or Steinbrenner on his manager-less (?) baseball team. Might be a toss-up.
James: Is it just me or has the defence been outstanding the last couple of weeks? we kept Edgerrin James to under 3 yards a carry and made big plays at times today while keeping mcgahee largely contained. i say next year in the draft go WR or o-line, both are getting old. maybe a dominant centre?
Jeff Gordon: The Rams fixed the middle of their defensive line in the draft. If the Rams could put a power MLB behind Carriker and Ryan on rushing downs and move Witherspoon outside, the D would see some 3-and-7s for sure.
Craig S: It seems so improbable that the two most difficuly NFL team records could be set in the same season: 16-0, as well as 0-16. The Pats seem unstoppable (barring injuries) and the Rams seem so hapless. Which do you think is more realistic: Pats 16-0 or Rams 0-16?
Jeff Gordon: Rams to go 0-16. The Pats would love to go unbeaten, but would the Hooded Wonder risk Brady and Co. in an otherwise meaningless season finale to do so?
i cant complain about the defense they play tied or behind the whole season they cant hold 4ever. the off. need a total overhaulglad to see byrd play but lets face it this coach is and was the wronf choice for us he gets a small pass because the injuries are crazy (can you really beleive the whole line minus one is hurt)bennett looks like a bad signing coach started the season playing scared and it set us back the gm won a power struggle but is not the football person we need at the top this will be a big big draft coming up yes we can now start talking about the draft i like are d-lineman and secondary we need big tough linebackers and hard hitting safety. if we dont change gms he had better get it right or we will be set back 3-5 years get us a coach who can eleavate talent on the free agent market and college level i will always watch my rams but lets go lions and martz
p.s. do you think martz will get a hc job next year i wish he was here thanx
Jeff Gordon: I do believe Martz could get a head coaching job, but it may take one more year of rehab in Motown.
jmc26u2: Christmas wish list- New coach, Top draft pick, New quarterback( maybe Woodson from Ky)- and me winning the Powerball Jackpot. What's yours?
Jeff Gordon: Like the Powerball, too. That would solve a lot. Enjoyed watching the QB against LSU, but the Rams have sunk big cap dollars into Bulger. I think they try to find a QB later in the next draft.
virginiatom: I think the biggest loss the Rams have never really recovered from was London Fletcher at middle linebacker. They just really haven't had a decent linebacking corps since. Do you see the Rams making a play for an impact game changing linebacker this draft? An offensive tackle would be great, but they won't be the impact player the Rams really need.
Jeff Gordon: Rams fans miss London Fletcher so much . . . it was like as a short Butkus or something. But nobody has played great there since he left. If the Rams could add one element for next season, it would have to be a monstrous MLB. But they are hard to find.
greg: This offensive team has not been ready to play since the very first game, and the rash of injuries prove that. The Defense, on the other hand, has improved this year and I think Bernie is mistaken. Linehan is just another average coach hired to be average. The Vermeil, Martz, Warner, and Faulk years were an unplanned, lucky break for Georgia and Shaw. With these two, mediocre at best will always be the Rams.
Jeff Gordon: There was some luck in the Vermeil/Martz run, but give the management credit for being bold and spending the dough as needed. Question is, can they do it again?
Brian: I don't agree that potential free agents will stay away from signing with the Rams necessarily though of course I'm sure its possible. How to you explain Edjerrin James signing with Cards a few years ago and the Cards signing some other decent defensive talent from other good teams? There are many, many other examples of this.
Do you agree Jeff that guys first and foremost just want to be paid?
Jeff Gordon: The very top guys will place more on winning potential, because they have more cjoices. James went to Arizona because the elite teams didn't want want him, at least not as a high-paid starter. The market for RB is usually a buyer's market, which is how the Rams traded so little for Faulk. Money does talk, however, and the Rams could get better by just outspending foes for a few guys this winter.
Do you think a lot of TV blackouts and poor attendance might send a message to the owner and management?
Jeff Gordon: No question.
There isn't really a whole lot left to say about this game. But look on the bright side. At least Linehan didn't put Bulger in at the end of the game to take 2 last rib shots on pointless bomb attempts...
Jeff Gordon: Good point -- those of us watching the game had a momentum twinge of fear that he would do just that.
Murray Zeffren: Gordo:
While we can all empathize with how much the devastating injuries have destroyed continuity with the offense, there's rarely a coaching/mgr change in any sport that occurs, in which there are not at least some extenuating circumstances which can't fairly be laid at the coach's doorstep.
Despite that, and even though I have been a Linahan supporter, it has become abundantly clear that Scott is in WAY over his head as HC. The Ram's "braintrust" cannot possibly allow this abomination to continue and run its course, only to POSSIBLY make a coaching change next year.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Kroenke (or anyone else) buys the Rams, and makes the obviously overdue change at the top of the organization (ie., flush Shaw and Zyg).
SECOND BEST SCENARIO: Keep the dunces at the top, but BEG, PLEAD, WEEP to convice Cowher to come here and run the entire show. This means, Zyg goes back to capology and away from personnel decisions, about which he so obviously has no clue, and Cowher hires his own man to be a TRUE G.M., not a BS G.M. with little power (see C. Armey).
Gordo, this is my first year getting NFL Ticket, and I'm still having a difficult time believing that what my 2 boys and I are watching on the screen is the best we can do. IT CAN'T BE, NOR SHOULD IT BE! WE NEED TO DEMAND BETTER FROM THESE F.OFFICE PEOPLE WHO HAVE OVERSTAYED THEIR WELCOME BY AT LEAST 5 YEARS.
Thanks for your good work, and please offer us some words of encouragement, even if it's delusional.
Jeff Gordon: At this point, words of encouragement are hard to muster.
Craig S: How hard are Dick Vermeil,Mike Martz, Joe Vitt and Bobby April laughing now?
Jeff Gordon: Oh, there is probably a smirk or two in that group, no?
Mark: How can Linehan in his right mind take money for the job he is doing. In any other profession he would have been let go a long time ago. He should be paying the Rams for the joke of a job he is doing!
Jeff Gordon: The guy is taking his best shot. He isn't cheating anybody with his effort. He just isn't getting it done.
JL: I'd like to see the Rams bring in an older, seasoned head coach when this administration gets shown the door. How about Bill Parcells or even Marty-ball?
Jeff Gordon: I gotta think Parcells is done coaching. Marty would want to go to a contender. Cowher -- that will be the name Rams fans repeat the most.
How about that head coach at the University of Kentucky?
Doc: Does anyone have the virus that knocked Mike Martz out in a bottle somewhere? Perhaps if Linehan could find a way to get really sick, we could see how this team could do with Haslett running things.
Jeff Gordon: Now that's just mean . . .
Jack Cramond: John Shaw is very surprised at the lack of fans support. The head coach is puzzled. The players are clueless.
The cancer starts at the top and flows down hill. The owner will not sell, the president wont leave and so the rams will continue to do what they have best...lose football games. I too, have been a life long ram. The rams and ONLY the rams...through thick and mostly thin. It will never get better until a new front office is assembeled, and a REAL football coach is hired. This will NEVER happen. The rams are doomed. In just a few more years, the rams will leave StL, and find another sucker city to call their temporary home.
Sorry Jeff, I couldnt think of a single question worth asking.
Jeff Gordon: I'm not sure cancer can flow downhill, but I get your point.
At this point, I must bid farewell until tomorrow's chat. I have other duties to tend to.