Rams Chat With Jim Thomas - Jan 18
Rams chat with Jim Thomas
Submit your Rams and NFL questions and comments NOW; talk to Post-Dispatch football writer Jim Thomas starting at 1 p.m.
by Mike Smithon Jan 18, 2013 at 3:06 PM
Jim - Are there any free agent wide receivers that could help the Rams upgrade at a reasonable price?
by WKW 11:02 AM
I haven't studied the entire list yet. But I'm sure it willtake some looking. Usually the guys worth signing are overpaid.
by jthomas 11:03 AM
Any inside info or gut feeling on the D-Coordinator??
by FinRam 11:03 AM
Heard a couple of interesting things today at the Senior Bowl. Namely that there may be some "under the radar" candidates that Jeff Fisher is interviewing. Again, Fisher never seems to be in a hurry on these things. I was told last week, the goal was to have the coordinator n place by the Super Bowl and the linebacker coach in place by the NFL Scouting Combine.
by jthomas 11:05 AM
Hey Jim--Have liked your coverage of the Rams' front office of late. Who's doing the scouting, these days? After recent departures, it would seem that Snead is short staffed heading into the Senior Bowl, etc. Should we be concerned? Also, during last year's transitional phase, during which Snead reportedly tried to hybridize his own system/lingo with the Devaney regime's, the Rams got pretty good draft results. Would it be wrong to wish that nothing had changed?
by c_good 11:06 AM
There are plenty of Rams scouts roaming around the practices at the Senior Bowl, so I don't think they're short-staffed. I've also heard that Snead is interviewing some younger guys for scouting positions. The only negative I heard about the 3 fired in the scouting department was that they weren't "totally buying in." So we'll see how this draft goes.
by jthomas 11:09 AM
Jim, Are you as confident as Burwell and Bernie that the Rams stay in St. Louis? You have said 60/40 they say but those guys are very confident. To be honest I dont understand why they take everything Demoff says at face value. What is the guys supposed to say? He has to sell PSL's and jerseys....
by Frank 11:09 AM
I'll just say they're talking to more people than Kevin Demoff. And partly from what I'm hearing, I'm raising the odds to 65-35.
by jthomas 11:10 AM
Even as a Bradford fan, I always thought that the "ever-changing offensive coordinator" excuse didn't make sense: Luck, RGIII and Wilson also had new OCs this year, with better results. Lack of playmakers and OL talent/stability always seemed to be to be more valid reasons holding Bradford's development back.
by arnezzi 11:10 AM
But RGIII, Luck and Wilson were rookies, so it's apples and oranges. It's not like they've had to change OCs every year in the NFL for three years. But I do agree on your other point. Even with the same system you still need playmakers., and you still need protection.
by jthomas 11:12 AM
Who do you feel were worst reaches/bust in the last few regimes' draft classes?
by Steve Jefferson 11:12 AM
Off the top of my head, I'd say Jason Smith for biggest bust. In free agency. (Although Tye Hill didn't exactly set the world on fire.) I'll add a free agency bust, too _ Drew Bennett.
by jthomas 11:14 AM
Further to the scout discussion, is it fair to say that a player's success or failure may determine a scout's fate? I understand the GM/HC/owner make the ultimate decision, but....
by Dan 11:14 AM
I guess that could be a case, if a particular scout really pounded the table for someone. But I don't think that applies here.
by jthomas 11:15 AM
Jim, anyone in particular you are looking forward to watching at the Senior Bowl?
by DB 21 11:15 AM
I watch a fair amount of practice at the Senior Bowl, but it's also a time to network _ talk to writers from other cities, agents, scouts, some coaches from other teams (usually former Rams assistants). Usually whoever I watch is related to whatever stories I'm writing. So I watched a lot of Kyle Long _ mainly during 1-on-1 drills. I'm doing something on DT Brandon Williams, an intriguiing prospect from St. Louis and (Missouri Southern), so I watched a lot of him. I'm trying to look at some safeties this week and offfensive tackles, because those are areas of Rams need.
by jthomas 11:19 AM
Thanks for the chat.
I really liked the article on Kyle Long. Would the Rams consider drafting him and what kind of upside does he have? Does the possess the same kind of physical talents as his older brother? Any insight on his work ethic?
by Brian 11:19 AM
I think he's got a lot of updside. I think he's more of a natural talent than Chris. But I sense he may be overdrated because of his potential and his bloodlines. Do the Rams really want to use maybe a second_ or third-round pick on him. He may not be ready to play right away in the NFL.
by jthomas 11:21 AM
Hey Jim: the worst free-agent decisions by the Rams: Kevin Greene, London Fletcher and Ryan Pickett. Do you agree?
by Big wave Dave 11:21 AM
Not sure you get questions submitted before you logged in so I'll ask again, do you see Finnegan, or another CB on the roster, as a fit to play FS? Doesn't appear there is a FA or draft pick that could make a difference. Thoughts?
by Dan 11:21 AM
I accidentally hit the key for two questions, so I'll answer them both here if that makes sense. On free-agent mistakes, I think you've hit the trifecta in Greene, Fletcher and Pickett. (Although Greene's defection took place in LA, so I'm not sure of the circumstances. As for Finnegan at safety (or any other corner), Fisher likes Finnegan, Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson at corner, so it's not going to happen. The Rams are talking _ in some fashion _ to just about every safety here at the Senior Bowl.
by jthomas 11:24 AM
Did Belichick skip the post-game press conference Sunday? Will he be fined or otherwise disciplined for that?
by arnezzi 11:24 AM
Belichick did not skip the post-game press conference last Sunday. If he did that, he would've been fine for sure. What he blew off was a post-game interview request by CBS. You know the "exclusive" interview, usually outside the locker room, with a few questions for the losing coach. A fine here might depend on what's in CBS' contract with the league for game coverage.
by jthomas 11:26 AM
Jim; When do you think you will come out with a Mock Draft? I've been doing a lot of reading and it seems the Draft is heavy at Ot's and Dt's and thin at wr's and Safty's Whats your thoughts!
by DaveFanSince1951 11:27 AM
Haven't talked to my editor's yet about this. But I think we usually run our first mock right around the combine time, which would be about a month away.
by jthomas 11:28 AM
Jim, thanks for bringing us this chat, during the middle of winter. Really miss the Rams!
by Jim DeGuire 11:28 AM
I normally like to go about 2 hours or more on the chat, but I'm going to have to cut that about in half today because I'm in between Senior Bowl practices. (And the South squad is about to practice in a little while.) But I felt it was better to answer some than skip a week.
by jthomas 11:30 AM
the two worst rules in football are 1.) the tuck rule, 2.) the rule on not allowing coaches to challenge a play that is automatically reviewed. Number 2 is dumb, as you know, for the penalty involved if a challenge flag is thrown . That the play will not now be reviewed. really stupid. please tell me they are going to do away with both of these.
by Crazyman 11:30 AM
I don't like the tuck rule either. As for not allowing a coach to challenge a play that's automatically reviewed, I don't have a problem with that. But it's really stupid to penalize a coach just for throwing a challenge flag in those circumstances.
by jthomas 11:32 AM
Hey Jim--Much has been made, around the Internet, of Jeff Fisher's reluctance to draft offensive linemen in early rounds. Any idea why? Did Tennessee just not have glaring needs? Is there an inherent risk of investing too much $ on a young O lineman? Inherent worry that blue chip players don't work out on the OL for some reason?
by c_good 11:33 AM
I don't think it's a hard and fast rule for Fisher. And keep in mind during much of his time in Tennessee, the Titans had a very good left tackle in Brad Hopkins. So they didn't really have to look for one. And partly, it might have been that Fisher felt you could find good offensive linemen later in the draft.
by jthomas 11:35 AM
Considering how close of a Super Bowl it was between the Rams and Pats, don't you think knowing what plays the opposing team is going to run in their first drive gives you a very big edge. I mean, think about it, as long as your players execute, there's no reason why your opponent should score on their first drive. Isn't it conceivable that Vinatieri's field goal attempt might have been meaningless if the Rams would have been able to put points on the board if the playing field was level and Pats didn't cheat? I think that's why the punishment should have been stronger.
by Brian 11:36 AM
Well, compared to Bountygate, the Spygate penalties don't seem very stiffl.
by jthomas 11:36 AM
Any chance the Rams use a draft pick on a QB this year? Seems to be a good year to pluck a guy in the middle to late rounds and develop him.
by Mike 11:36 AM
I have no inside knowledge that this is the case, but I wouldn't rule it out. I do know, however, that the Rams remain intrigued by Austin Davis and are interested to see what he does once the spring practice period begins and on into training camp.
by jthomas 11:38 AM
Do you think it is realistic for the Rams to get 4 new starters (OT, OLB, FS, & WR) in either the draft or FA to put this team into the playoff mix?
by Dan 11:38 AM
Sure it's realistic, especially if they have as good of ann offseason this time around as they did last year.
by jthomas 11:39 AM
Jim does the fact that there's not much cap space left to pursue free agents hinder our chances of signing two 1st round picks? I would think that this makes trading down and out more likely. Then there's next year as well! Any possibility that Bradford restructures his contract to help this team out?
by Cutman 11:39 AM
No, it will have no impact on signing the draft picks, especially since the Rams are picking lower in the round (Nos. 16 & 22) and given the fact that first-rounders don't get as much money under the new system.
by jthomas 11:40 AM
Dunbars hit on Alex Smith seemed to open the door for Kapernick. Do you think Harbaugh would have switched QB's eventually anyway or did our linebacker do the niners an unintentional favor?
by lefton 11:41 AM
Actually, according to Harbaugh in his postgame media session after that game, the hit that gave Alex Smith the concussion didn't take place on the play you're thinking about involving Dunbar, but on a quarterback sneak. Anyway, had Smith stayed healthy and the ***** kept winning (most of the time) maybe the switch doesn't take place this year.
by jthomas 11:42 AM
Given your choice, would you rather see a dome rehab, a retractable roof stadium in downtown or Fenton/Maryland Heights, or an open air stadium downtown?
by Bob 11:47 AM
Myself, I like the Fenton idea. There is plenty of space there for parking and tailgating. It's close to two major highways _ I-44 and I-270. I'd like to see a retractable roof, but I know that would add a lot more money to the price tag.
by jthomas 11:48 AM
Jim, does our running back situation get settled before the draft? Is Pead the future for the Rams?
by RLb 11:49 AM
By being "settled," if you mean will the Jackson situation be settled by then, I would say yes, almost certainly. Minus Jackson, I wouldn't necessarily say Pead is the future. Right now, I'd see more of a committee approach involving Pead, D. Richardson, maybe Ganaway or somebody new.
by jthomas 11:50 AM
Thanks for the answer on what stadium you prefer - now, the tricky question, what do you think the final outcome will be IF the Rams stay in St Louis?
by Bob 11:50 AM
I think eventually new stadium _ I don't know where _ but we're talking maybe a decade down the road.
by jthomas 11:50 AM
If you were SJ, would you stay or go?
by c_good 11:51 AM
I would void and test the market, but keep both options open _ re-signing with the Rams are going elsewhere.
by jthomas 11:52 AM
Do you think we'll see noticeable results from Bradford having been in the same offensive system for two consecutive years?
by c_good 11:54 AM
Yes, I think that's certainly the expectation.
by jthomas 11:55 AM
Do you think Steven Jackson returns to Rams for 2013?
by SCJ55 11:55 AM
I'm going to say 55-45 he's not back.
by jthomas 11:55 AM
Jim, I know you don't know for sure. Nobody does. But gun to your wife's head: Did the Pats spy on the Rams before the Super Bowl?
by Craig 11:56 AM
I think the Pats probably were at that Rams walk-through the day before Super Bowl XXXVI.
by jthomas 11:56 AM
Any chance the team uses one of the first round picks this year on a first round tendered vet?
by willEYEam 11:57 AM
I think you're referring to a restricted free agent or a franchise player. The problem with that is that not only do you have to give up a draft pick, but you also have to sign the guy to a big contract. So it's like making a trade AND signing a free agent at the same time. So you better really, really like the guy.
by jthomas 11:58 AM
Rob Ryan - Do you think it was Fisher doing a favor by interviewing him? Haven't hear of any other teams interested in him, maybe Fisher was trying to help his stock?
by 4Rams4Life 11:58 AM
I don't think that's the case. I think there is genuine interest from Fisher. But no, I haven't heard of any other teams interviewing him.
by jthomas 11:59 AM
Now, with Schottenheimer back next year, does it shape up as, if not a "make it or break it" year for Bradford, at least the year that defines what kind of NFL QB he is?
by arnezzi 12:00 PM
I think you've nailed it. Maybe not make or break, but certainly a defining season. Especially if the Rams make some moves on the o-line and wide receiver to put a better cast around Bradford. I have to go watch South practice. Again, sorry this was short. Talk to you next week.
by jthomas 12:02 PM
Re: Rams Chat With Jim Thomas - Jan 18
Interesting read..........thanks for posting.