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Thread: Rams seem interested in giving Smith another chance ..

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    Rams seem interested in giving Smith another chance ..

    BY JIM THOMAS
    February 26, 2012

    INDIANAPOLIS A lot can happen between now and the start of free agency, the draft, and the beginning of training camp. But at this point, it looks as if the Rams' new regime isn't ready to pull the plug on offensive tackle Jason Smith.

    "We're looking forward to putting him in the program and developing him," general manager Les Snead said.

    Contact with veteran players is limited this time of year. And under the new collective bargaining agreement, the start of the offseason conditioning program has been pushed back to April.

    Smith, the No. 2 overall pick in 2009, has yet to live up to that lofty draft status.

    Largely because of concussion problems in '09 and '11, Smith has played in only 29 of the team's 48 games over three seasons. He played in only six games last season after suffering a concussion while trying to make a tackle in Dallas after a Rams turnover.

    "There's work that needs to be done, but that stuff's behind him now," coach Jeff Fisher said. "I haven't actually had a chance to speak to the medical staff specifically about his condition. But there's no doubt in my mind that he'll return and be able to play."

    If the Rams truly are confident that Smith can return and stay healthy, that would lessen the need to expend a high pick such as their No. 2 overall selection on someone such as Southern California's Matt Kalil. Then again, counting on Smith and Rodger Saffold, who missed the last four games of 2011 because of a pectoral muscle injury, would be operating without a safety net.

    "With any player we always talk about reliability," Snead said. "Because when you have a player and you prepare for games, you like to know that player's going to be there each and every week or it's going to cost you consistency. It's not just with Jason but with any player who's had some unreliability because of durability concerns. That's always a concern."

    Lloyd and Bell

    Read into it what you will, but Fisher and Snead gave lukewarm answers when asked about the possibility of re-signing wide receiver Brandon Lloyd and left guard Jacob Bell before the start of free agency. Both are scheduled for unrestricted free agency as of March 13.

    When asked if the team was interested in re-signing Lloyd, Fisher replied: "We have a number of UFAs that we're interested in keeping, and he would be one of 'em."

    And Bell?

    "Yeah," Fisher said. "We've got a list of unrestricted free agents. It's long."

    Not exactly ringing endorsements. But as Snead pointed out, the Rams still are working through their list of 20 unrestricted free agents and determining which ones they'll try to keep and which ones they'll let go."

    "Because we've got a new coaching staff, new schemes, we're currently going through it trying to make that decision," Snead said. "Evaluate who fits the scheme, who doesn't. We're still working through that, and we've got a couple weeks to decide."

    Bell spent his first four seasons playing for Fisher in Tennessee before signing with the Rams as a free agent in 2008, and would love the chance to play for him again in St. Louis.

    "He did a great job for us (in Tennessee)," Fisher said. "We were sad to lose him, but we were in a position (salary) cap-wise where we had to make some decisions and we just couldn't keep him. But he's still got ability. I thought he played much better toward the end of the year (in 2011)."


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    NJ Ramsfan1 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams seem interested in giving Smith another chance ..

    You cannot just bail on Smith. No, he has not lived up to expectations and durability is an issue. But provided he is deemed healthy, he must be a guy who is scrutinized closely to determine if he is worth keeping. He is a 1st round 2009 pick and offensive linemen don't grow on trees. If Fisher feels he can make a player out of Smith, I'm all for keeping him and not wasting yet another high pick on a lineman when other needs exist.
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    Re: Rams seem interested in giving Smith another chance ..

    "There's work that needs to be done, but that stuff's behind him now," coach Jeff Fisher said. "I haven't actually had a chance to speak to the medical staff specifically about his condition. But there's no doubt in my mind that he'll return and be able to play."
    Kind of an ambiguous stand on Smith to say you don't know about his specific medical condidtion, yet you have no doubt he'll return, but I think he's making the point NJ did that you can't give up on him right now. That said, I would still take Kalil if the opportunity is there.

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    Re: Rams seem interested in giving Smith another chance ..

    Can Fishnead do us all a favor and cut Justin King now?

    Please and thank you.
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    Re: Rams seem interested in giving Smith another chance ..

    I think what we'll see is Jason Smith taking a re-structured deal with performance based incentives. We'll then take a tackle somewhere in the 4-5 range to prove as backup in case he doesn't work out.

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    Re: Rams seem interested in giving Smith another chance ..

    Give him another chance,he had a bad season but i know he can be a quality RT.

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    Re: Rams seem interested in giving Smith another chance ..

    Quote Originally Posted by FestusRam View Post
    Can Fishnead do us all a favor and cut Justin King now?

    Please and thank you.
    lmao!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Glad to see there is others that feel the same way I do about Justin King.....
    He is barely one notch above the likes of Tony Banks and Lawerence Phillips on my scale of sh*tiest Rams we've ever had...
    And that's only because the other two were knuckle heads off the field...

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    Re: Rams seem interested in giving Smith another chance ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Defense View Post
    I think what we'll see is Jason Smith taking a re-structured deal with performance based incentives. We'll then take a tackle somewhere in the 4-5 range to prove as backup in case he doesn't work out.
    Sounds a plausible idea. Although, I do have little faith in Jason Smith, becoming a cornerstone player for the Rams. I do feel like he deserves one more year to prove himself. In part because of the new improved coaching brought in, and the fact Smith was so raw when the Rams drafted him. Im will be very interested to see how all these underachievers players, perform under new coaching. Im hoping for a few pleasant surprises from our roster.??

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    Re: Rams seem interested in giving Smith another chance ..

    Quote Originally Posted by GROUND DOG 39 View Post
    Im will be very interested to see how all these underachievers players, perform under new coaching. Im hoping for a few pleasant surprises from our roster.??
    It would be nice if some of these guys turn out to be underachievers and not tottal busts.
    THOLTFAN81 and GROUND DOG 39 like this.

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    Re: Rams seem interested in giving Smith another chance ..

    Quote Originally Posted by FestusRam View Post
    Can Fishnead do us all a favor and cut Justin King now?

    Please and thank you.
    I could be wrong, but I think he might be a FA.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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