By Jeff Gordon
Sunday, December 30, 2007 06:30 PM CST
Join columnist Jeff Gordon for a live Rams chat, approximately 30 minutes after the end of each Rams game this season.
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Sonny: What front office and coaching changes do you see occurring during the off-season? Thanks

Jeff Gordon: In the least, there will be chances on Linehan's staff. Beyond that, we can't say the front office will make dramatic changes. The ownership is in limbo due to Georgia's illness, so that muddies everything.
Joe Stafford: Jeff, any chance the Rams draft Chris Long and go full time to the 3-4? Would L. Little be a possibilty at outside linebacker? He was a tweener when drafted, and I know he is getting long in the tooth, but it would be a nice short term fix so we could draft bigger inside backers in the later rounds.

Jeff Gordon: Little used to cover pretty well for a DE, but it seems like a lot to ask of him at this late stage of his career. If Haslett stays -- a big if -- you will see a lot of 3-4 as he changes things up.

Right now, at No. 2, drafting the other Long at OT appears to be the consensus pick.
Joe Stafford: Jeff, What Offensive line position needs improvement the most, and are their any free agents the Rams might be able to sign like they did Adam Timmerman?

Jeff Gordon: I like Setterstrom and Incognito at guard, if they get healthy. And you have Pace and Barron coming back at tackle. The Rams are in position to draft Jake Long and mix him in at tackle. At center, you need to replace Andy McCollum (retirement) and possibly Romberg.
Joe Stafford: Jeff, any chance that Issac Bruce will be back? He deserves to be able to retire a Ram!

Jeff Gordon: He can't return under his current contract, which is simply too rich under the cap. The deal was designed to be rewritten as Ike gets older. Now, how much less will he take before he opts to test free agency?
Joe Stafford: Jeff, any chance of the Rams hiring a new offensive coordinator, hiring someone from the rebuilding since 1957 Detroit Lions never made any sense to me? I hear Mike Martz might be available!

Jeff Gordon: Linehan said after the game that he will take a look at all his schemes. Will he liven up the offense a bit? Let's hope. But he knows what the players and coaches did this year wasn't nearly good enough.
Francisco Prado: Gordo, finally this nightmare season is over!I can't wait what this offseason will turn out to be for this franchise to be back to where it was winning. I hope Lenihan will learn from this season and become a better coach next season. I could see a new owner/regime by as early as 2010. I'm a longtime Rams fan as back as the 80's and this will undoubtebly be the most important offseason in recent memory. Gordo, your thoughts on what you will or can see happening this offseason? Thank You for having this post game discussion in the season and Happy New Year!

Jeff Gordon: The ownership situation is scary. Rams fans can only hope that Georgia and her people opt to sell -- but there is reason to believe that won't happen. Keeping the team in the family might work out . . . or it might be a fiasco.

With that large question hanging over the franchise, all the other issues seem small. There will at least be a coaching staff shakeup along with substantial player turnover and aggressive free-agent shopping.
albert: Hi Jeff
I just read at article on www.theredzone.org, that the Lions may fire Mike Martz. I say this is a golden opportunity to get him back as Off. Cord. Because he might be lured to be hired by the *****. Whats your take? Happy New Year , Al. Ps I hope you respond to this question, you haven't from my earlier six posings.

Jeff Gordon: Martz apparently will get canned. But I don't see him coming back here unless he was the head coach -- and that couldn't be more unlikely, given the way his marriage to Shaw and Zygmunt ended.
Tom: Hi Jeff! Rumors concerning Georgia's illness have led to a great deal of speculation regarding an imminent change in Rams' ownership.
1) Do you think Stan would like to man the helm for the Rams as a majority or sole owner?
2) Since he purportedly has the right of first refusal, he could be the Rams' next owner, however the NFL would likely require him to divest himself of other sport franchises. Could you clarify that situation? Is anything brewing behind the scenes that you could speculate on?

Jeff Gordon: When he got his piece of the Rams, he hadn't become the sports mogul of Denver. He has had tremendous business succcess there. So I don't see him divesting himself of those properties to focus on the Rams purchase. I could be wrong, but a lot has happened for him in Denver since he got involved with this team.

It seems more likely the Rams will stay within Georgia's family for the near term. But we'll see, since these franchises are worth stupid money these days.
donsods: Gordo--now that the season is over, what does the off season have in store? New D corrdinator? New O cordinator? A GM? Zip because of Georgia's health? Give us some hope!

Jeff Gordon: Linehan swears he will make changes, so that is a start. He will look at the offense and defensive schemes. There will be staffing changes, for sure. What happens beyond that is tough to say at this moment. Stay tuned for more details as Shaw sorts through the wreckage.
ronjon: Did the announcer just say that E.James was a future Hall of Famer? I have never heard E.James and Hall of Fame in the same sentence. I guess when you are a 3 win team you really get the crummiest announcers.

Jeff Gordon: James has seven 1,000-yard seasons and he has about 15,000 yards from scrimmage. If he got to see even more of the Rams, he could work his way to Canton.
steven: OK, I am going to say this very nicely. This is the first time that i have stopped listening to the Rams game in ages. Linehan is by far worse of a coach than anyone I have ever seen. Please, do you know of any college offers for Linehan? Also, who do you think we need to draft?

Jeff Gordon: Colleges aren't excited about coaches with 11-21 records after two NFL seasons. I don't see another opportunity worth bailing too, but I could be wrong.

As for the draft, Jake Long makes sense at OT. He protects the team against Pace's deterioration and Barron's lack of progress.
It's Over!: Players that, hopefully, won't be Rams next season: Wroten, Byrd, Kopfenstein, Chavous, Barron, Milford Brown, Bennett. Got any to add?

Jeff Gordon: Barron has too much ability to cast off; tackles, even ordinary ones, are hard to find. Remember the big FA offeres that Fred Miller and Ryan Tucker got while they were here? I don't mind Brown as an extra guard. And how can you give up on Klop after his big TD catch?

The Rams will at least consider saving some money at kicker and open the job up for bidding.
Dave: To add insult to injury this has got to be the worst team effort yet. Really concerning is Bulger consistant poor play, he is late with his throws, he doesn't have enough arm strength and he is scared to death of being hit. Is there any hope of drafting a quarterback given all the other needs they have? All of the quartebacks in the NFL take real shots throughout a game and don't start throwing and running. This team has officially quit on the all time idot coach Losehan. Please tell me Bernie is out of touch and Linehan will be fired tommorrow. I am sure there is a locker room full of players hoping so.

Jeff Gordon: Bernie has Shaw's ear, so what he has reported is what Shaw has been thinking. People change their mind, but don't bank on it.

Bulger suffered from Battered QB Syndrome this year. He was throwing off his back foot by the end of the season. But he did last longer than a lot of QBs with similar injuries. Give him credit for having some heart.
Mike: I remember earlier this season Isaac Bruce remarked that he would go play for Martz if the Rams let him go. ESPN.com reports that Martz will be fired and that he may not be unemployed for long as San Francisco would be interested in hiring him. It's hard enough to imagine Ike wearing another uniform but can you imagine him wearing a Niners jersey? Man, it's just getting more and more painful.

Jeff Gordon: I could see that scenario, yes. And if Mad Mike can get big numbers out of Mike Furrey, imagine what Ike could during his last lap or two around the NFL with Martz.
pdub: Jeff

Thanks for hanging in there all season with this forum. I've enjoyed it. Well its not quite halftime and the Rams are clearly showcasing their claim to the second pick in the '08 draft.

It just looks like this is a poorly coached team w/ below average overall talent.

On defense, the secondary coverage looks soft and J. Wade looks lost. There's very little pass rush w/out blitzing and the tackling is sub-par.

On offense, the run game is non-existent unless Jackson can make his own hole, and the passing offense is almost completely devoid of a home run threat, let alone involvement from the tight ends. Let's face it..Bennett is a MAJOR BUST.

Touchdown Arizona - 24-3.

All season, I've been of the opinion the Linehan should get another chance next year, without all the injuries to deal with, etc. But I'm not so sure anymore - not that it matters since Shaw says he's bringing him back no matter what. Just doesn't look like the coach has any command of this team anymore. Whatever he's trying to do isn't working.

Bring on the younger guys in the second half Scott. Let's see Stanley at WR, Pittman at RB, more of Culbertson at LB, Berlin for Bulger, heck, I'd even rotate McGarigle in there. I'm betting he'll at least tackle somebody.

Hard to imagine that there won't be be huge turnover w/ this team next year. There ought to be.

Jeff Gordon: That captured things pretty well. I agree without just about all of it.
pessemist: Did you see Bennett drop that pass in the endzone? Do you think Curtis or McDonald would have caught it?

Jeff Gordon: Catch the ball, protect the ball, get the feet down . . . yeah, that was typical Bennett failure this year.
Chris Merkle: Gordo:

It truly pains me to watch these performaces by the Rams week after week...It's finally over in two quarters of football. Yes the team is bad and injuries have been devestating but this coaching staff is not up to NFL standards. Good luck to John Shaw and Co. if they bring this staff back next year. I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel!

Happy New Year!

Jeff Gordon: Unless, as the cliche continues, it is the lights of the oncoming train . . . the train of total public unrest.
jw-SoCal: When Bulger isn't missing receivers, Bennet is dropping passes! Gordo I know you think a first round QB is too expensive, but I can't see us using another high pick on an O-Takle. I think we have to go with a skill position and use free agency to address the line. I say...DRAFT QB FIRST!!! Assuming we DID draft a QB to study behind a fragile Bulger we could always draft a quality receiver in the 2nd round. What say you?

Jeff Gordon: Drafting a QB high requires a huge investment, then time for development. With all the money committed to Bulger, that would be tough to do.

On the other hand, this is an exceptional year for quarterbacks in the draft.
Mike: I guess management should have waited until the Super Bowl was over 2 years ago to interview Whisenhunt. At least those guys were playing hard. Warner sure looked good.

Jeff Gordon: The Gridbirds seem a bit further along under their coach, yes. And Warner is quite the warrior, albeit one still prone to turnovers.
Bob: How can anyone with any semblance of brains
be expected to pick up their tickets for 2008
if this brain trust and coaching staff are still
here. What part of LOSERS don't they understand?

Jeff Gordon: Most of these coaches have had significant success elsewhere, so they aren't losers. But as configured today, this football operation isn't close to good enough.
Dave: I have some observations from watching this fiasco.....

1. Kurt Warner is a class act and no one can say anything different. The way he has handled himself while working with young quarterbacks is incredible. I hope he reaches his 1.5 million dollar incentives during the game

2. Bulger has the same drab, dull, boring, and listless personality as his head coach. Speaking of head coaches, is it me or does Whisenhunt command the sidelines extremely well?

3. Antrel Rolle has 4 interceptions this seasons and 3 of them returned for touchdowns. These touchdowns were 55,54, and 47 yards respectively. By contrast, SJ has had all of 5 touchdowns this season.

4. For the draft, I think we are bad enough we need to take the best player available and that is McFadden. As for free agents, Alan Faneca, Asante Samuel, Albert Haynesworth, Jared Allen, and Dallas Clark should all be seriosuly looked at

5. Last and most importantly, everyone needs to STOP crying about injuries. The Buffalo Bills had more players on IR than the Rams and they came out and competed week in and week out and finished with a respectable 7-9 in the AFC. Talk about a coach who did a great job, Jaron has that team playing hard

Jeff Gordon: I'm a big Jackson fan, so I'd like the Rams to reinvest in him and use this pick for Jake Long. Long term, he, Incognitor and Setterstrom could form the foundation of a nice lane.
Billy C: There is no leadership in coaching and management here anymore . With all this talent we should have more than 3 wins . No Ram Fire anymore . Things will change . They will improve . But not next season . Hopefully some changes in drafting and coaching will be made now . But no major changes yet .
Chip is a good guy . I like him a lot . But make no mistake he will not keep the team for the long run . Ive talked to some of the Southern Cal guys / people are interested in the team and maybe moving it back to California .
Lots to think abour Ram Fans over the long off season . We will be better (not fast enough/ but its a whole new ballgame now). Coach Cower or another class act is hazy but if we get through the 2008 season / who knows .
One thing for sure ..... the Dome needs improvement . If you want to keep the Rams overhaul the Dome . I like St Louis . I hope we stay here but its a whole new ballgame now . Stay tuned . ..... Billy C Old School Ram Fan

Jeff Gordon: Yeah, the future of the franchhise is very uncertain. The Ed will be obsolete sooner than you think. If the team stays in the family and LA still doesn't have a franchise, it's easy to see what could happen.
Eldrick Faversham, Jr.: Hereís a conversation that will likely occur on the plane ride back to St. Louis:

Linehan: Hey, maybe we should DOUBLE cover Fitzgerald.
Haslett: Good idea, but the game ended 4 hours ago Scott.
Linehan: Oh yeah that's right. Never mind then.

Jeff Gordon: Well played . . .
Buzz: Gordo,
How about doubling up Larry Fitzgerald? Just a thought. The other receivers don't seem to be hurting us that much. Apparently, Boldin is not at full speed. Thanks.

Jeff Gordon: Maybe somebody on the staff had Fitzgerald on his fantasy team . . .
ronjon: Any reason we didnt go for two after the Klop touchdown?

Jeff Gordon: It was hopeless? . . . Linehan gambled plenty in this game, including going for a two-point conversion. He was daring enough in this game, but the Rams fell short every way possible.
Wes: So Gordo, we got the #2 pick...

Who do you take?

Obvious candidates are Jake Long, Dorsey, McFadden, Chris Long. IMO, Jake Long is a little overrated, and we can pickup good O-Linemen all throughout the draft, so I wouldn't take him. I have a feeling that Dorsey will go #1 to Miami, and that would leave McFadden for us. We don't really "need" a RB, but taking McFadden would just be the "pick the best player available"... we definitely have some options, and we are kind of in the driver's seat too if anyone wants to trade up, so I'm looking forward to the draft. What do you think the Rams should do?

Jeff Gordon: If there are doubts about Jake Long, then definitely trade down. Bucking up for McFadden or a QB would be tough with the dollars committed to Bulger and the money Jackson will command soon enough. At tackle, on the other hand, Long could become a successor.
DBQIA: Last night they paid Hedgecock some nice compliments. Could he have offered something to the Rams.

Jeff Gordon: Maybe it was just the system here, but he wasn't bowling over anybody will his blocking or his special teams play before departing. But that's the way it goes with ex-Rams these days . . .
Eldrick Faversham, Jr.: Hereís a conversation that will likely occur on the plane ride back to St. Louis:

Linehan: Hey, Marc, ya think maybe our offense is boring and predictable?
Bulger: I really canít say- Iím on my butt for most of the plays
Linehan: Oh. Never mind then

Jeff Gordon: Again, well played . . .
Dave: Can Drew Bennett be any more useless? What is the possibility of cutting this butter finger receiver? Is his contract stuctured with alot of guaranteed money against the cap if he is cut?

Jeff Gordon: I see Linehan trying to salvage him, due to the injury issues and Scott's own commitment to bring him here. There is a cap hit, too.
Joel in New York (Rams fan since 1969): Jeff,

We have made excuses all year for Linehan. What he did today is absolutely appalling and unforgivable. The Rams score a touchdown and he goes for 2 rather than let Wilkins get the record for the most consecutive PAT's! He could have gone for 2 after the next touchdown if there was one. If there wasn't one then it didn't matter anyway. He once again uses poor judgment and I so dislike him for doing that. I hope there is an uproar. NO EXCUSE LINEHAN. PLEASE FIRE HIM NOW!!!!!!!

Jeff Gordon: The PAT string is a nice milestone, but Linehan is still coaching to win -- despite the bleak predicament.
John (Ozy Rams Fan): Hi Jeff,

A perfect cap to the worst season I can remember in nearly 40years of being a Rams fan. WE couldn't stop a blind grandmother with cane on 4th down.

IN 91 when we were last 3-13 John Robinson was fired 2 years removed from takng the team the the NFC championship game. But no we have to indure another year of this horrible coach.

My question is what percentage drop in ticket sales do you for see with out firing Losehan ?

Thank Ozy

Jeff Gordon: Without massive change, you could see a major season ticket fall-off. Given the state of the economy, this is not a good time to stink in sports. Fans will let their PSL's lapse and move on with their lives.

The Blues had a diehard fan base and their season ticket base almost evaporated because of the lockout and the chaos that ensued.
Mike: There is NO WAY this team can turn it around in one offseason. The talent is old or nonexistent. They have no depth at any position thanks to the Martz years. I'm expecting a run much like what we got for the first 9 seasons of the 90s. With the draft and free agency history of this front office it could go on for years.

Jeff Gordon: There is more talent than you think. Put Pace, Little, Setterstrom, Incognito, Hill, Tinoisamoa, Chillar, et al on the field at the same time and the team looks more competitive. There are depth issues, true, but dont' forget that a high number of these guys came off the street to replace hurt guys.
Bill: Well, how do we start to fix this mess? I think we have to address the offensive line early and often in the draft. That's probably stating the obvious. I think people criticizing Bulger have no clue how good he is if he has protection. I think Peter King once referred to our offensive line as the worst in the history of the NFL. Enough said. I would love to throw Tom Brady behind Brandon Gorin, Milton Brown, and Alex Barron and see the results. Something tells me we wouldn't be seeing 50 TDs. If we fix the O-Line, I have to believe we are going to see a HUGE difference in offensive production. I think a young speedster at WR would help as well. Our defense could use a thumper at LB or Safety. I really don't think we are that far from being a good team again. Am I wrong? Thanks Jeff for all your hard work this year. Happy new year!

Jeff Gordon: The defensive regression was disheartening, since they now look further away than they did a month ago. This could be it for Haslett. And what happens if the new D-coordinator is cut from the same cloth as Linehan? Yikes!
See ya in '08: Offseason to-do list for Linehan:
O-Line
O-Line
O-Line
O-Line
O-Line
O-Line
O-Line
O-Line...

Jeff Gordon: Again, some of those lines will be filled by guys coming back from injuries.
Larry: I've been a Ram fan since 1969 and of course endured many bad seasons, but this one "takes the cake". How can a team with so much talent perform so poorly? I know there were many key injuries, but a good football team has to have quality depth. I had so much optimism going into this season. Where does this team go from here? Four to five years of rebuilding? One draft will not fix this team's problems.

Jeff Gordon: One good draft, one good run at free agency and the return of all those hurt players would put the Rams back into the mix -- as long as the coaching was up to the challenge.
The Grinch: The immortal words that someone used to decribe myself are a much more accurate description of the Rams "Stink, Stank, Stunk".....

Jeff Gordon: Nobody's heart grew three times today.
pessemist: I'd just like to say thanks to the Cardinals, Falcons, and Jets for helping the Rams secure the number 2 overall pick in the upcoming draft. The only question now is how will the organization screw it up.

Jeff Gordon: Trade down, take the wrong QB, pay the kid a lot of money - only to see him never pan out.
David: Hard to find much excitement in this game! Atogwe had a nice pick and return for a TD. Something that stands out to me watching playoff teams is the big wide receivers that can't be covered one on one. We saw one today in Fitzgerald. To me, either we need to get one of these guys or we need to be better at taking them out of the game. Since we are stuck with smaller corners, you have to have a disruptive force on defense that never allows the long play to develop. Hopefully, we can address this and our shortcomings on the offensive line.

Thanks for letting us vent this year! Hope next year brings better coaching and players.

Jeff Gordon: Well, at least the Rams have their own big WR to create matchup woes.
don schaeffer: OMG Your kidding me, ending like this. We have some good core players, but Scott has to go, what a joke. What is next.

Jeff Gordon: Yeah, this "effort" was stunningly bad. Just a terrible indictment of the staff.
Jack J: Gordo,

Another loss, no surprise. Thanks so much for allowing all of us to vent during this horrible season. Rams radio reported that Coach Linehan was going to evaluate his players right after this game. Oh yeah, Linehan can't even coach so how will he evaluate anyone? And will Linehan evaluate himself? Oh sorry, that is John Shaw's job.

If what we are hearing is true that no changes will be made to the Rams for next season, then how can we believe next season will be any better?? If this team's ownership changes next year, I hope new ideas and insight will be brought in with good football people. Then and only then will this team begin the long road back to respect in the NFL.

Jeff Gordon: If Linehan is going to overhaul his coaching staff, he needs to find somebody capable of motivating players, commanding the sideline, devising game plans that don't sink and making halftime adjustments.
Ram King: Hey Gordo,

How about Shaw talks the Frontieres into selling now instead of waiting another year. Is it possible. Let's start next season out right. New ownership with new ideas and new coaches. PLEASE!!!!!!

Jeff Gordon: But what is she going to do with the money? Maybe she wants to leave the team to relatives, not just cash.
Ryan: With the #2 pic, McFadden will be staring us in the face. I'd like to trade that pic (some team will want to grab him) and add extra pics (we could use the help) Thoughts? Have any names come up for Off & Def coord?

Jeff Gordon: The new offensive coordinator wouldn't make a difference as long as Linehan is dictating the philosophy, devising the scheme and creating the gameplans. And I can't imagine this team finding a better defensive coordinator than Haslett, despite what we've seen under him the last few weeks.
Chris: Quinton Culberson played pretty well and was in on a lot of plays (10 tackles, 1 FF). He was a little soft on his pass coverage but overall I thought he looked pretty good. This being said - How interested are the Rams in signing Chillar to a long term deal?

Jeff Gordon: The current coaches like Chillar a lot. But the staff could change. Culberson is worth a look next year, especially if the team goes to more 3-4 looks.
I hate week 17: Is anyone else as drunk as I am?

Jeff Gordon: Careful, now. The holiday period creates a lot of depression. Combining that volatility with really bad football AND alcohol is dangerous.

If you have the Sound of Music on DVD, pop that in before bed time.
audpaud: Jeff,
Any chance that they'll fire Linehan during the post-game press conference?
Nothing personal, but this guy is just sooo wrong on so many levels!

Jeff Gordon: John Shaw isn't a knee jerk guy, which makes many Rams fans sad.
Mark Williams: Jeff, kudos to you for finishing this disastrous season with class--you are a true professional!

On the other hand, you have the Rams...

Seems like #1 priority is a tall, home-run hitting wide receiver/ who is out there worthy of a number 2 draft pick?

Jeff Gordon: That guy doesn't exist in the draft, at least not that high. I agree that a young WR would be a good addition.

I take it your're giving up on Bennett . . .
Gabriel to Snow: Well, there's too many ills to address without anti-depressant meds & a therapist on call. Gordo, give me a scenario where we become competitive next year, no matter how far fetched. We need hope.

Jeff Gordon: The O-Line heals and improves with upgrades. Bulger heals. Jackson meets his goal of 2,500 yards from scrimmage. New blood and new ideas revitalize the offense. The defense gains a couple of hitters though free agency and the draft.
Kerwin Evans: As much as Jake Long makes sense, we need impact defensive players in the front seven, particularly on the line, to pressure the passer, we've had no pass rush at all this season and have been consequently picked apart. I believe we have a promising defensive backfield but it has been made to look poor with no pass rush. I'm not even sure Chris Long is what we need, I don't know if he is relentless enough!

Jeff Gordon: Fair point about the D-line, which lost Little and saw Hall hobbled with a high ankle sprain. The last of a third passing rushing DE burned the team. They are pretty solid up the middle, but they need another edge rusher and an active DT to replace Wroten.
Buzz: Gordo,
During the game, you referred to the Rams performance as pathetic. You said they stink. You couldn't believe how bad they are. Heck, we fans can't pile on better than that! Realistically, do you think Linehan can turn such a mess around next year? Isn't it just as possible that things get even worse? Thanks.

Jeff Gordon: It's hard to imagine Linehan turning this thing on a dime, given his personality and his inexperience. This guy seldom had an answer during the season or during a game. Once the slide started, there was no stopping it. Injuries do explain much of this, but the last four games were hugely disappointing.
Damon: We better not waste the number 2 pick on Jake Long. He is NOT worth that. We already have two tackles in Pace and Barron. What would Long do? Sit for a year? No, you don't use the second pick in the draft on a player who you don't think will start in the first game of the 08 season.

Jeff Gordon: It takes OTs a year to learn the trade. He could play some, even if Pace healed and Barron finally took the Next Step. And what are the odds of both those things happening?
tc: Hi Jeff, (thanks again for doing this), going into next season you have to sell either wins or promise for the future. By retaining Linehan and drafting an OT in the first round... how possibly can they sell promise (we both know they won't be selling wins..)?? An OT who won't start at #2 overall?? Wow.. that's exciting... A lame duck coach who has no personality?? Wow.. that's exciting.. this has to be the most depressing time to be a Rams fan ever... even the Draft is going to be boring.. much like our head coach.

Oh and my prediction for the big "shake-up".. Tom Donahue comes in and Linehan is truly a lame duck coach for the year... good times...

Jeff Gordon: I admit, drafting Long would not sell tickets. And installing a veteran football guy to look over the shoulder of a potential lame duck coach . . . also, that is not exciting.
rob: Jeff, following this team since the 70's I've seen a lot of misery. I know with Georgia's health and the caos of a new ownership basically puts this team in limbo for the next two years. What do the Rams do in the offseason so they don't continue to lose their fan base in St Louis or does it matter sinc it will be the new ownerships problem

Jeff Gordon: Unless the team adds a charismatic leader to oversee the football operation, fans aren't going to support Linehan's return. They just won't.
Hen: Jeff,

At least they didn't blow it and win. I just hope they don't blow it on a wasted first rounder. I just don't trust Linehan to get the pick right..if he still has control over who the pick will be. His joices for personnel...Chavous, Bennett, Byrd, Klop, Wroten, James and Dante Hall, Wade, Ferrotte, keeping 4 tight ends and not using any, getting rid of Fitzgerald for a 7th rounder and almost losing Bruce all don't convince me that he has a clue. What do you think?

Also, if Linehan stays which unfortunately it looks like he will what do you see the Rams next season to look like? I say a 5 win season at best.

Jeff Gordon: I don't mind James Hall when he is healthy. It's early to write off Wade, given where he was taken. Chavous hasn't been great, but he was better then his predecessor. The other misses are duly noted, but Carriker, Ryan, Hill, Leonard, Pittman, Stanley and Culberson might be keepers. I'd worry more about free agency than the draft, given the absence of an independent pro personnel expert at Rams Park.
Bo: Hi Jeff
I just wanted to get your input on why Linehan did not let Wilkins kick the extra point to set the record? It shows me that he is not a players coach. I was willing to stand by him one more year, but to not let a guy set a record that he has been working on for 7 or 8 years is a joke!! May not sound like a big deal, but give Wilkins a chance. I don't care if he gets fired tomorrow!

Jeff Gordon: When a guy is trying to win a game, he isn't going to care much about a milestone like that. You know and I know the game was hopeless, but it's Linehan's job to believe he can win.
Mike: Is one win for an AFC team worth 3 wins for an NFC team? Are the Rams really the worst team in the NFL? The NFC West is certainly the worst division. Ugly, ugly, ugly!

Jeff Gordon: You could argue the Rams are the worst, sure. This team played one solid game, at New Orleans - and the Saints aren't great.
Joe: Well Gordo, the misery is over. Finish this sentence:

"With the second pick in the 2008 and NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select"

Jeff Gordon: Jake Long, barring a trade down.
Mike: Maybe Linehan will bring in another Dolphins reject when Cam Cameron gets fired. Can he be worse than Linehan-Olsen? He did okay for San Diego as a coordinator.

Jeff Gordon: Might Scott bring John L. Smith to the NFL?
wiramfan: Tell me this is enough to send Linehan packing!

I believe the front office must have been sending a smoke screen up when they said they were standing pat with Linehan.

But look at his work? It is horrible, injuries or not!

A first time coach outsmarted him again! Linehan has no experience! He is so far over his head!

If Linehan is still in St Louis by this time next month, you as a representative of the fans are no better than Scott! It is the fans that need to be heard not just an owner or front office!

Please do your job.. You removed Martz (right or wrong) now get rid of Linehan!!!! (RIGHT)

Jeff Gordon: It's possible that Shaw will force Linehan to change so much that he opts to bail instead. You never know.
Hen: As a 33 year Rams fan I can't wait until Linehan gets fired and the front office gets re-worked. Weird how in 2002 the Patriots win the Super Bowl and now are 16-0 and the Rams lose and now are 3-13. Front office and coaching. Sure is a difference between the organizations...huh?

Jeff Gordon: I'd say Bill Belichick has outperformed Mike Martz, Joe Vitt and Scott Linehan, yes.
jw-SoCal: Run Defense- Improved with young talent
Pass Defense- Improved with young talent
Kick-off Coverage- BAD!
Kick-off Return- With Stanley it is looking good
Punter- Improved
Punter Coverage- Average

Offense- Line needs talent infusion, health, and depth
Passing Game- Need fast WR's and a young QB to train up.
Run Game- Jackson is the real deal!
Overal Offense needs a more dynamic play caller.

Agree or disagree with my post-season summary?

Jeff Gordon: No, you're on it. I'd add a motivator for the and an experience assistant head coach (ala Mike White for Vermeil) to help run a tighter ship.
Bryan: Well I hope this nightmare doesn't repeat itself in 08. Do you know if they are working on a deal for SJ since he is going into the last year of his contract? Also i'm wondering what the Rams are going to do with all those street FA's they signed this season?

Jeff Gordon: A few of those guys deserve looks next year. As for Jackson, yes, it would make sense to extend him now. And if that can' be done for whatever reason, then drafting McFadden would make more sense.
Pete: Now that we know which opponents the Rams will face in 2008, please look in to your crystal ball and offer us your best guess at the Rams record for next season...

Jeff Gordon: Ugh . . . Barring massive change, I don't see much better than 6-10 or 7-9 with a healthier team. Too many other issues -- and too little confidence in the operation overall.
Ethan in Chicago: I give up. Next year could turn out to be an historic low for a team in the NFL. I would be scared Rams fans, very scared........

Jeff Gordon: Come on, free agents will be line up to sign with this team. You just know they will.
smitty from wyoming: Gordo, boy Fakir Brown got lit up today, Rams also need help in the secondary.

Jeff Gordon: One more CB to compete wouldn't hurt. Perhaps a guy with size.
Steve Lasky: Jeff,

One quick question:

Out of thirty one other NFL teams...If there was a total open market on head coaches which ones would hire "Coach" Linehan?

Jeff Gordon: Right now? None. Had he stayed as an offensive coordinator, another team would have given him a look.
TODD: Is it just me or did the Rams bother to make the trip today? How can grown men who are paid very well go out and play like that? This team is in need of serious overhaul(we need receivers who aren't afraid to get hit)(a quarterback who at least pretends to give a ****)(offensive lineman who do more than stare at their opponents)(and last but not least a DEFENSE PERIOD)I'm embarrased and i don't even suit up!Wether Lenihan is a good coach or not we will never know when the 53 players out on the field don't care.Yes i know there are a few exception's,but only a couple.Where do we begin to get better Jeff? WHAT A DISGUSTING TEAM AND ORGANIZATION!!! GO PATRIOT'S NOW THERE IS A "TEAM"

Jeff Gordon: It's pretty easy to make that assessment after watching that game.
Dick: Your going to be 3-13 and you haven't stopped Kurt and Fitgerald all day, and you go for two and inevitably Jeff Wilkins gets to set the NFL record for extra points on his new team next year. Typical Rams of 2007.

Jeff Gordon: Man, that is really a sore point with fans. They must know that Wilkie is done here.
jj: What draft pick will the Rams have?

Jeff Gordon: The Jets and Falcons won, leaving the Rams at No. 2.
GoneGator: To borrow from the great John McEnroe... "You cannot be serious!!" Gordo, what is the "upside" of bring Scott back? He did nothing with a healthy team, and totally TANKED with an often injured one. Did you see AZ getting pressure and sacks today with back-ups? No injury excuses there. And this AZ, btw, that blew us up! ARIZONA!!

I hope Bruce does get traded. He deserves a better situation than falling by the wayside with Scott. Although it will pain me to see him in different colors.

And, thanks for letting us vent this year. And get ready for more of the same next season! Happy New Year to you.

Jeff Gordon: I haven't seen anything from Linehan to indicate he will succeed next season, but I can see where Shaw is coming from. Injuries dictated this season and now the ownership situation makes change difficult right now.
Paul: Now that the Rams have the #2 pick wrapped up, what are the chances that they will take a TE in the first round? That seems to be a popular get with this team...

Jeff Gordon: Ah, sarcasm. . .
jimmy joe: What NFL franchise is in worse shape than the Rams? The obvious anser is Miami, but they just righted the ship with Parcells.

Jeff Gordon: Yeah, and what will the Rams do to top that?
James in San Jose: Jeff,

After watching big physical WRs Larry Fitzgerald (twice) and Braylon Edwards torch our secondary time after time, is getting bigger at corner becoming a priority?

And why is it that there usually isnt anyone withing 5 yards of Fitzgerald, but the Cardinals DBs are all over our receivers like they know the routes they're going to run?

Jeff Gordon: Getting bigger at CB is always a priority, which is why the team has invested time in Bartell. Yes, the Rams will try to get bigger there. But good luck with that.
Steve Lasky: One more question:

Out of thirty one NFL teams...If there was a total open market on GMs/Presidents how many would bring in Jay Zygmunt?

Jeff Gordon: Ummm . . . .
Steve: Hey Gordo:

Thanks so much for all the coverage this year!

How do you think the Rams stack up next season against the Pats? Sorry, couldn't help that....

Go, Linehan, Go...somewhere far away.

Jeff Gordon: Now it's getting cruel in here . . .
Joel: Hi Jeff:

Great Job.

I feel like the Native American in the commercial with a tear in his eye overlooking the highly distasteful pollution with a stench that could make you puke.

Please tell me that the ownership has a sense of smell?

Jeff Gordon: All the way from LA? Probably not.
Amy: I can't see the Rams without Isaac Bruce, it would be just to weird. Is there any chance what so ever that something could be worked out to keep Isaac Bruce w/ the Rams?

What took Linehan so long to pull Marc from the game today? He's taken enough punishment this season. While I applaud Marc's heart this season especially with all the injuries enough is enough.

Thank God this nightmare season is over!!

Happy New Year Jeff!!

~Amy

Jeff Gordon: I'm sure there is a deal there that would please Bruce. But can the Rams do it while rebuilding? And would Ike welcome a chance to go elsewhere for a better chance to win?
Jeff: If the fans bail (like the buzz is suggesting they will) and psl and early ticket sales plummit how will this affect the possible sale of the team if at all?

Jeff Gordon: Declining attendance could impact the future of the franchise here -- just as it did in Orange County.
Pete Ameis: Why is everyone so worried about Chillar leaving. So he gets tackles so what! How about instead we don't overpay for a guy that gets you maybe 1 or 2 sacks a season! How about you get an actual run stopping defensive end and maybe put PASS rushing specialist and under size DE Little at linebacker. Then you will have a fearsome defense! How come that wouldn't work?

Jeff Gordon: If Chillar leaves, that is just one more hole to fill. With so many others, why loses a player just as he starts making plays?
Dominic: Hey Gordo!
Why not bite the bullet,cut Bennett,keep Bruce,get rid of Barron,Claude Rotten and other players that play half-heartedly and maybe Ill reup for next year.But paying out thousands of dollars for this inept group doeasnt appeal to me at this time.Your thoughts?

Jeff Gordon: Some of those guys will exit (Wroten!), but the team can't just discard a WR with cap dollars and a starting OT. The cap makes overhauling teams very tricky.
Scott: Dear Gordo,

Happy New Year to you and yours. Thank you for providing this forum for we suffering Rams' fans. I'm glad this season in hell is over. I hope with rest, medication, and a new year all those that follow and root the Rams may be relieved of our present misery and angst. Since Linehan will apparently be back for another year our future downward slide is ensured. Will you be asking (possibly begging) to be reassigned from this sports Gulag work duty covering this same debacle next season?

Jeff Gordon: Let's hope the Rams fool us and do some interesting stuff in the offseason.
audpaud: Yes, I watched Kurt with a certain fondness . . . especially when "Our Gang of D that Couldn't Shoot Straight" pressured him just a wee bit & Kurt obligingly threw the ball right to us!

Yes, we need a better back up BUT what were y'all expecting Bulger to do with this years mess?

*Walk on water?*

Annie Sullivan he ain't folks!

Jeff Gordon: Bulger will be an interesting case. His body will heal, but will his confidence. Say what you will about Kurt, but he is confident.
Jeff: I am a big supporter of SJ. What are your feelings on SJ wanting to renew his contract and stay a Ram? Is this something the Rams organization will feel out prior to draft day?

Jeff Gordon: I'm a big fan. The Rams need to re-up him as the team did with other stars. And Jackson ought to take the money and protect himself from injury.
Finished!: Jeff Gordon - "Most of these coaches have had significant success elsewhere, so they aren't losers. But as configured today, this football operation isn't close to good enough."

Unfortunately, this is a what have you done for me lately world and even more so sports world. These guys are LOSERS with a capital L! Teams like the Bills and Redskins had their share of significant injuries and those teams don't resemble the PATHETIC teams that the Rams put on the field week after week. I know you think Lineham is good because "he's a nice guy" but he has NO IDEA WHAT THE HECK HE'S DOING. Fans of other teams have even pointed that out! PATHETIC!

Jeff Gordon: He may be overmatched as head coach in the NFL -- I'll give you that -- but it did take a couple of decades of success to get this far.
Greg Smith Jackson, Tennessee: Jeff,
Why would Hastlett NOT be back next year?

Jeff Gordon: Other opportunities, lack of belief in the current regime, rift with the head coach -- the usual stuff when a team goes 3-13. Martz is going through the same thing in Motown.
Nick: Besides OT Jake Long, what other positions do you see the Rams needing or possibly drafting?

Jeff Gordon: DE, WR, LB and QB would be priorities, for sure.
Brad: Gordo,

I have been studying potential draft picks for the Rams for the latter half of the season, and it seems to me the Rams would get a lot more milage out of Chris Long than Jake Long. With Barron and Pace coming back, do we really want to spend the 2nd pick in the draft on an OT who isn't going to see the field much for the next couple of years? Besides,the 2008 draft is deep in OT's, so the Rams could get a really good tackle like Otah or Cherilious with the 2nd round pick. Chris Long is a stud, and picking him would also bring his dad into the fold as psuedo D-line coach. With Little's contract being too much to swallow for next year as well, Chris Long makes total sense.

Jeff Gordon: Howie won't leave TV for coaching, but the scenario makes sense. But if the Rams go 3-4, Carriker could play one of the DEs.
Mick: Hi Jeff, as an Englishman in exile here in Arizona and a Rams Man since November 1980. this must be the most pathetic excuse for management i have ever seen.Today why did we show up?? to get embarassed so badly.If a Rugby/Soccer league coach was as lame he wouldn't last 8 games let alone 50% of a season. Who would you like/recommend as the Rams head Coach??

Jeff Gordon: Yeah, the passions run high in those sports. The London tabs would kill Linehan.
Tony D: Gordo,

If Warner can come up with some plays for Weisenhunt, shouldn't Linehan beg Bulger and Holt to help come up with plays? At this point, hiring Tony Banks as O-Coordinator might be an improvement! Were there any games this year that the Rams actually competed in the 2nd half?

Jeff Gordon: Interesting stuff about Warner's imput into the game-planning. Wonder if Bulger would love to do the same here.
marisol: Here we are again, Gordo. It seems to me that in spite of all the chaos surrounding the Rams, perhaps unprecedented, it would still be extraordinary for Linehan to return. This final performance by the Rams seemed to be an undeniable statement that the Linehan era is over. His return next year would be like an old boyfriend hanging around his ex's house. .

Jeff Gordon: Nice description of lame-duck coaching . . .
J.T.: I think the NFL should make the Rams and Dolphins play an extra game against each other and call it the "Toilet Bowl", the game should be at a neutral site, maybe some high school field, and fans get to stand around the field with sacks of rotten tomatoes and pelt the coaches and players...

Jeff Gordon: God, no, please -- no more Rams games!
Kerwin Evans: Question: How can a team with so much talent (injuries notwithstanding) especially on offense, stink this much?

Answer: Coaching.

Rich Brooks was fired some years ago and he didn't have half as much to work with.

Bennett must be the worst pick up in the history of free agency. i think if you look in the dictionary under inept you will find his picture!! If only I was 6'5"

Jeff Gordon: You're right, there are too many good, surviving players to struggle like this.
david: I've read all the reasons for keeping Scott Linehan as the coach of the Rams, such as the extensive amounts of injuries the team has sustained. But look at all the injuries the Indianapolis Colts have had, and do you see Tony Dungy's team tanking. A good coach always finds a way to win, and Scott Linehan doesn't fall in that category. And to use the rationale that other coaches such as Dick Vermeil needed more than two years to turn a team around doesn't hold water. Dick Vermeil's team gradually made progress each year, and when they finally found the missing puzzle (i.e. a quarterback), everything fell into place. How can a coach with so much talent on a team, make such a mess. Solution: New Head Coach.

Jeff Gordon: I'd argue that nobody has taken an O-line beating like this one, but the point is well-taken. At some point, a coach must find a way to win.
The Grinch: Ah, you've hit the nail on the head Jeff. My heart may have grown three times it's normal size, but this team has NO HEART....

Jeff Gordon: No, it would appear not.
Mike Dietrich: In the most important draft for the Rams in the last 25 years they cannot let a lame duck HC with a shaky draft history make the 2nd pick in every round where we need difference makers and not just role players or can they?

This is my biggest worry

_______________________________________

Jeff Gordon: What, you actually expect the Rams to draft Pro Bowlers?
Roger: Jeff, please don't tell me that Linehan was telling everyone we were in the game and almost won it this week. He has been saying that the whole year. We gave up 48 points to the Cardinals!!! They haven't scored 48 points in 30 years.

Jeff Gordon: No, he didn't try to sugar coat this one.
Brad: For this I will be ridiculed, but my major concern right now is still having a team in St. Louis! Gordo, what are the chances that we might lose this team in the near future?

Jeff Gordon: There is a real chance of that, given the state of the ownership.
Jack Reynolds: Georgia Frontiere is in a hospital in the Los Angeles area. Her son and daughter, Chip and Lucia both reside in L.A. Steve lives in Louisiana.
This team should probably be relocated to Los Angeles where it belongs. The fan base in St. Louis is small.
Steve Kronke would welcome the appreciation of his investment. Zygmunt and Shaw would be on board.

Jeff Gordon: The fan base here is fine. The franchise has appreciated nicely here. But I agree, this thing has "relocation" written all over it.
tim: Martz called Shaw out on his lack of commitment to win on his way out of town and noone believed him. Remember when Shaw told him that going to the Superbowl cost the franchise money and he didnt need to make the playoffs every year? Does anyone doubt him now? Keeping Linehan is the biggest statement that they dont care about winning they could make. How many PSL owners are going to call it quits before 08?

Jeff Gordon: Martz was a bit off base and wrestling with his own issues, which continued in Motown. But the onus is certainly on Shaw to prove otherwise now. Even with the ownership in limbo, he owes it to everybody involved to force dynamic changes.
Roger: Why don't we consider taking McFaddden and trading SJax? Running backs usually only have a 5-7 year lifespan and SJax will have his fifth next year. He has the highest trade value right now. Also, it will be almost impossible to sign him, because he does not like STL and its fans or dome. We could get some good players for him and a great young back.

Jeff Gordon: Trading a guy with a year left on his deal wouldn't fetch as much as you would think. And trading him after re-upping him would be tough, cap-wise.
rjlar: Just what is the prognosis for Ms. Frontiere? Will she ever be able to perform as an owner again?

Jeff Gordon: Personally, I don't know. But the indication is "no."
andrew: We got Tony Softti from Carolina. When are we going to see him used in the off season? What are the chances of Isaac Bruce coming back as a Ram? Finally, we have to start over and get a coach that has some fire and truly knows how to coach all aspects of the game, offence, defence, and especially sepcial teams.
This year was painful and yeas we had tons of injuries, but please personnel is the key and we have blown it for too many years. I see former Rams playing on other teams; Kevin Curtis, Shaun McDonald, Mike Furrey, London Fletcher, the list goes on and on and we have not replaced them with quality palyers. If we do not address it in the offseaon, it going to be a long decade just like the 90s (except for the SuperBowl). Thanks from Canada

Jeff Gordon: The players the Rams lost have hurt as much or more than the misses in the draft. The franchise needs strong leadership to decide which players to keep and which ones to pitch.
garylobo: Gordo,

Congratulations, you made it through. now go get loaded if you want!

New owner of the STL Rams: Dave Checketts & Company. What do u think? Best owner in this town in many moons, yes?

Thanks for a great year and here's to a happy and healthy 2008, for all Rams fans...

Jeff Gordon: The beer is cooling on the deck.
LENA: In listening to the game on SIRUS radio, I noticed that the two gentlemen were absolutely flat on their narration and had very few if any stories (filler) about players that may be of interest to others listening. Is it that they were so down like the fans and players as the season ends, or is that their norm?

Jeff Gordon: The Rams broadcast team was pretty lively when this nightmare began 17 weeks ago. What's left to say about this fiasco?
francisco: iam a ram fan number one from mexico and is very simple...if the chairmans have some respect for the fans, Linehan must be go out, right now!!, iam a ram fan since 35 years ago and this situation is painful, Linehan destroy this team in only two years!!! great job!!

Jeff Gordon: Yeah, 3-13 playing in the NFC pretty much defines "destroyed."
Gabriel to Snow: Gordo, what are the glaring differences between the 98 Rams & the 07 Rams. I think our talent base is better, we don't have to scour the Hy-Vee swing shift for a QB, or trade for a RB. We do need a better offensive approach, as we did then. Did Vermeil really have the players trust after 2yrs of losing? Or did it gel AFTER the first few wins of 99?

Jeff Gordon: This team is better, but that team had a soft '99 schedule combined with the synergy of Martz/Faulk/Holt/Timmerman and Green/Warner creating a whole new offense with their arrival or promotion. That was unique, as was the signing of London Fletcher.
Damon: Jeff, OT is not a position where you need a year to learn. Has Joe Thomas of the Browns needed a year to learn? I think not.

Jeff Gordon: I just go by Rams experience. I think a kid can help right away, but there IS a lot to learn. Maybe I'm just accustomed to Barron not learning . . .
Idaho fan: I don't understand some of the talk about the Rams needing a young "quick" receiver . As past history dictates , the Rams organization just developes players , they don't keep them . Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald are perfect examples . What the Rams need is a new owner. Goergia Frontiere has never , nor will ever , tried to build the Rams into a powerhouse in the NFL (like say a Jerry Jones would). She couldn't care less about a fan base . Look at her track record , it will bear this out.She will always hire the Scott Linehans of the world ,because she can control them . I've been a Rams fan for 40 years , and every time a Rams coach wants more say in the organization , he's let go . Linehan is an idiot , but unfortunately right now we're stuck with him.

Jeff Gordon: I don't think Georgia has a thing to do with this franchise anymore. Shaw always did the heavy thinking and he did build a two-time NFC champion, in his better days. It's not "want to" it's the ability to make it happen.
Don: Bulger's face and body language showed him beat early in the game. Scott shows no fire at all. No wonder the whole team caves in.

Damn!

Jeff Gordon: Body language IS telling in situations like this.
Jay: If the Rams don't draft Jake Long from Michigan as the #2 pick, what quarterbacks are available? One of my concerns is Mark Bulger's durability. I think he's had maybe 1 or 2 seasons since he's been a starter that he's played all 16 games?

Jeff Gordon: Ryan is a sexy choice, because he can move around and make things happen. Not Doug Flutie, but a mobile guy in the NFL prototype.
Steve: Gordo:

Is there real talk of relocation floating around or are you just looking at the logic of it considering the circumstances?

Should St. Louis lose football once again, are there any other NFL franchises out there that are unhappy with the market the team is in?

It took a long time to get football back here after Bidwell ran to the desert.

Jeff Gordon: Last answer:

I just think speculation like this is natural with LA looking for a team and the potential new owners living in LA.

And, yes, it would take forever to get a new team as a two-time loser.

Have nice night!