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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Rumors Continue To Swirl Around Rams

    Rumors continue to swirl around Rams

    Columnist Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    02/23/2010


    This Rams offseason has been waaay more entertaining than the past few regular seasons.

    Developments on multiple fronts have fans jamming the STLtoday.com live chats and forums with Rams questions and comments.

    This is a fascinating time in franchise history. Barring unforeseen circumstances, Illinois businessman Shahid Khan will buy the team this season and will begin working to secure its prosperous longterm future in St. Louis.

    This looming regime change has put the football operation on the clock. Itís safe to assume than Khan isnít buying this team so he can suffer on Sundays.

    Billy Devaney, Steve Spagnuolo and Co. will have to convince the new owner that dramatic progress is forthcoming ASAP.

    Khan understands that reduced ticket prices alone wonít revive local interest in this team. Fans will need to see major change before reinvesting money and emotion in this team.

    The Rams have the first overall pick in the draft, first dibs on players that hit the waiver wire, lots of budget money to spend and glaring needs at almost every position.

    As a result, about every other good NFL rumor involves the Rams. Around the league, everybody is talking about this team.

    Will the Rams swap their first overall pick to Tampa Bay?

    A popular rumor has the Rams getting quarterback Josh Johnson and a third-round pick (or a second-round pick, or second- and third-round picks) to move down to the No. 3 in the first round. Devaney has denied discussing this with Tampa Bay, but such a deal could make sense.

    The Rams would probably make that trade to get extra draft picks. But Johnson doesnít look like much of a trade chip. He flopped as a starter last season in Tampa Bay and would enter next season as the No. 3 guy behind Josh Freeman and a veteran TBA. Johnson would be an interesting guy to throw into a four-man competition here, but thatís about it.

    Will the Rams try to pry Michael Vick out of Philadelphia?

    That rumor really heated up during the Super Bowl. Trouble is, the Eagles could pay Vick his looming roster bonus, take all three of their quarterbacks to training camp and try to drive up potential trade pricing. Incumbent Donovan McNabb could head to Minnesota if Brett Favre retires again. Kolb would like assurances of playing time before agreeing to a new deal with the Eagles. Vick just wants to play, in Philly or anywhere else. Talk about intrigue!

    What will become of quarterback Marc Bulger?

    Technically he is still on this team, despite cleaning out his locker at Rams Park. He is not going to retire. Several teams would covet him as a back-up next season, including Tampa Bay -Ė where Greg Olson is offensive coordinator. You will recall that Olson worked with Bulger as Scott Linehanís nominal offensive coordinator. Bulger could regroup from his beatings in St. Louis, help tutor Freeman and offer insurance if the kid needs to sit for a spell.

    Will the Rams sign veteran linebacker Antonio Pierce?

    Spagnuolo had him in New York and did big things with him. But . . . Pierce is on the mend from a disc injury. He seems past his athletic prime. The Rams have their middle linebacker. Pierce was the emotional leader of the Giants defense, but that unit collapsed last year. Pierce seems interested in the Rams, but why should that interest be mutual? This team needs to add players on their way up, not on their way down. The recent addition of tight end Derek Fine seemed to fit that bill.

    Would the Rams make a play for back-up Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington?

    Maybe. Quarterback coach Dick Curl worked with Pennington in New York, so there is a connection. Pennington is coming back from a shoulder injury and presumably eager to land a starting gig elsewhere. He can still manage a run-based offense, as he proved with the Dolphins. But does he have any arm left? Your cyber-correspondent isnít in the pro-Vick camp, but Michael would offer way more than the battered Pennington at this point in his career.

    Might the Rams front office fall in love with Oklahoma star Sam Bradford?

    Spagnuolo seems inclined to use the top pick to bolster the interior of the defensive line. Free agency doesnít appear to offer much on that front. But the Rams are still formulating draft plans, so there is time for the coaching staff to become smitten with a potential cornerstone-type quarterback. Our view is that drafting a quarterback at the top of this draft is way too risky for the Rams, but weíre guessing that Billy and Spags wonít come here for advice.

    Could the Rams take a flyer on Tim Tebow?

    Sure -Ė and it appears Tebow is working hard to improve his draft stock. Todayís Tipsheet has more on that. Unless he works his way into the first round, Tebow could definitely move into play for the Rams. Tim is a tough guy and a born leader. In a couple of years, he could become something. If the Rams put a veteran stopgap guy in place, taking Tim somewhere after the first round could be a worthwhile adventure.

    All this issues and more fascinate Rams fans. After watching their team march to oblivion the past three years, fans crave change.

    Move by move, week by week, the NFLís worst team will take a new form. It will be interesting to see what the operation looks like when Khan finally gains full control -Ė and it will be REALLY interesting to see what happens after the owner controls the franchise.


  2. #2
    tomahawk247's Avatar
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    Re: Rumors Continue To Swirl Around Rams

    What i dont get with all the analysts talking about that Rams/Bucs trade, is that they dont seem to mention that the only reason the Rams would have for trading down to the no.3 spot would be to get a QB, so why would they bother picking up Josh Johnson as part of that trade?

    This is the first i have heard about the Dick Curl/Chad Pennington connection, so if we do let Bulger go its definitely something that could happen

  3. #3
    NJ Ramsfan1 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rumors Continue To Swirl Around Rams

    This article is depressing because it outlines the most likely scenarios for the Rams at this point in time and NONE of them are exciting. Point by point:

    1. As stated on another thread, the Josh Johnson thing does nothing for me. If he's that great, he should be able to break into the starting lineup of a crappy Tampa Bay team- and why would they give up a guy like that??

    2. Of all the QB scenarios out there not involving the draft, Vick makes the most sense because of his track record- although again, his character issues would make it very difficult for me to root for the guy.

    3. Bulger isn't sticking around if it involves not starting or taking a pay cut.

    4. Antonio Pierce makes no sense. we have a middle linebacker. Pierce is past his prime and coming off an unproductive, injury riddled season. Spags and Devaney have resisted the temptation to bring in veteran cast offs- they are rebuilding.

    5. Haven't heard anything about the Rams being possibly interested in Chad Pennington. Again, another guy coming off an injury whose arm strength was below average BEFORE the injury.

    6. I'm tired of hearing about Tim Tebow. Most believe his greatness at the college level doesn't translate into pro excellence- he's a guy who needs TREMENDOUS work JUST TO HAVE A SHOT at being a successful starting QB. Bad teams like the Rams can't "take a flyer" on guys like Tebow. He'll wind up with a good team somewhere that already has an established guy and be used sparingly.

    Bottom line: Is there a QB in the draft who the Rams feel can lead you for the next 10 years? If so, grab him. If not, get one of the DT's.

  4. #4
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Rumors Continue To Swirl Around Rams

    I like the "Taking a flyer" on Tebow. I hope he is available after the 1st round.

  5. #5
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    Re: Rumors Continue To Swirl Around Rams

    What will become of quarterback Marc Bulger?

    Technically he is still on this team, despite cleaning out his locker at Rams Park. He is not going to retire. Several teams would covet him as a back-up next season, including Tampa Bay -Ė where Greg Olson is offensive coordinator. You will recall that Olson worked with Bulger as Scott Linehanís nominal offensive coordinator. Bulger could regroup from his beatings in St. Louis, help tutor Freeman and offer insurance if the kid needs to sit for a spell.
    So has the rest of the team Jimbo. Does that mean we're completely changing the roster? I don't care what John Shaw told you. John Shaw is not involved in a decision-making capacity anymore, and is completely out of the loop.

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