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Gordon's output bodes well for Rams' depth

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  • Gordon's output bodes well for Rams' depth

    Gordon's output bodes well for Rams' depth
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Friday, Sep. 03 2004

    The plan Thursday was to put on the uniform, see how he felt in pregame
    warmups and take it from there. Little did Lamar Gordon know he would end up
    carrying the football 22 times against Oakland.

    "No, I didn't expect it, but I was kind of ready for it," Gordon said.
    "Mentally, I was ready."

    Ready, because he knew the Rams wanted to emphasize the running game in their
    preseason finale.

    "So I was just trying to go for it, and trying to be at my best," Gordon said.

    Gordon gained 77 yards on those 22 carries, including a two-yard touchdown run
    in the fourth quarter of the Rams' 28-24 loss to the Raiders.

    Gordon's career high for rushing attempts is 21, which came last Sept. 28
    against Arizona - one week after Marshall Faulk suffered a fractured hand in
    Seattle. Gordon had not carried more than 12 times in any exhibition game.
    Until Thursday, that is.

    It was an amazing performance considering Gordon was just 23 days removed from
    surgery to remove bone chips from his left ankle. The original timetable called
    for Gordon to be sidelined for a month.

    "I pushed myself," Gordon said. "The second day after the surgery, I felt that
    (the pain) was gone. It was still sore from the surgery, but I was in my house
    doing stuff I shouldn't have been doing. Just walking around. I was supposed to
    have a crutch. I was like: 'The surgery's a success. I can't wait to get

    In case they'd forgotten, Gordon returned just in time to remind the coaching
    staff and front office that he can be a viable backfield option.

    Faulk looked sharp on the opening drive against the Raiders, carrying three
    times and catching two passes, one a 7-yard TD reception.

    "I liked what I saw from Marshall," coach Mike Martz said. "I was tempted to
    leave him in a little bit longer, because I knew we were going to try to pound
    the ball a little bit. But from what I saw, he was going fast."

    Rookie Steven Jackson logged 72 yards on 12 carries against Oakland to finish
    the preseason with 323 rushing yards.

    "I think it just proves to my coaching staff, and the people that were
    intrigued by Steven Jackson, it lets them know what level I'm capable of
    playing at," Jackson said.

    And now comes Gordon, who ran powerfully and decisively Thursday, showing an
    occasional burst in the process.

    Martz said he wanted Gordon to get a substantial workload "if he could take it.
    But the more we played him, I guess, the better he played.

    "That's the first time he's been hit or put pads on for four weeks. To go in
    and take the ball up in there like he did. . . . He took some horrendous hits
    out on the edge, and spun and jumped and twisted and turned, and stayed in the
    game. I was very impressed with his toughness, and the burst that he had."

    So with Faulk, Jackson and Gordon all fit, and productive, what should the Rams
    do, start running the wishbone? "Don't hold your breath," Martz said.

    At the start of training camp, there were rumors that Gordon might be on the
    trading block, with the Miami Dolphins, who lost Ricky Williams, a potential

    But given Faulk's age and recent injury history, trading Gordon doesn't make
    much sense. In addition, Gordon remains a bargain as he enters his third NFL
    season. He has two years left on his original contract and is scheduled to make
    the minimum this year ($380,000) and in 2005 ($455,000) for a player of his
    experience level.

    It remains to be seen whether Martz will ride Faulk once the regular season
    starts or will make a conscious effort to use Jackson and Gordon. It may take
    weeks to sort out, or continually evolve over the course of the season.

    In any event, it's a nice problem to have.

    Even the rookie can see that.

    "We're extremely talented," Jackson said. "It's a good thing to have a
    franchise with this many talented backs, because you never know when someone
    goes down. With us rotating like we are, running hard, I think the offense
    doesn't miss a beat in the backfield."

    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

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  • RamWraith
    No pain is gain as Gordon recovers from ankle surgery
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Sunday, Aug. 29 2004

    It's been a good-news month for Rams running back Lamar Gordon.

    First, he was informed that after a multitude of tests on his chronically sore
    left ankle had failed to find the source of the problem, a bone chip had been
    detected. Gordon, who had surgery Aug. 10, was both stunned and thrilled.

    "I was like, 'Are you sure?'" he said. "Then I was thinking, 'This is it, this
    is it.'"

    Then, Gordon enjoyed another positive development when he woke up last
    Wednesday morning, the day after he ran for the first time since the operation.
    He was essentially pain-free. "That was the biggest challenge, to see how sore
    I was going to be. And I'm feeling pretty good," Gordon said.

    Feeling good was a luxury that Gordon hadn't experienced since he injured the
    ankle while he was collecting virtually all of the major rushing records at
    North Dakota State. The discomfort persisted, but doctors could detect no

    Such was the case during his first two years with the Rams. He would complain,
    exams would be made, nothing would show up.

    Although Gordon was productive, rushing 136 times for 525 yards and catching 38
    passes for 337 yards in those two seasons, coach Mike Martz acknowledged that
    at times he questioned whether Gordon was tough enough for the NFL. After the
    more recent diagnosis, Martz apologized profusely for doubting him.

    "It was so frustrating," said Gordon, 24. "I know my body. I've been
    playing football a long time, and I know when I'm sore or when something's
    hurting and I can get through it. But this ... I couldn't really take it

    Gordon said that whenever he took a step, "it felt like there was something
    sharp in my foot, and I wanted to get off that foot as quick as possible."

    The original prognosis was that Gordon would be out a month, and he appears to
    be on schedule. Martz said Gordon might be ready for the regular-season opener
    Sept. 12 vs. Arizona at the Edward Jones Dome.

    Whether it's that Sunday or the next, Gordon simply is enjoying being able to
    move without the nagging sting in his ankle. "I was just happy that they found
    it, and I'm excited to get back," he said.

    Dishman may start
    at left guard

    When the Rams lured veteran Chris Dishman out of retirement last month, they
    probably figured they merely were adding depth to the offensive line. Now it
    looks as if they may have found a starter.

    Dishman, 30, appears to have a solid hold on the left guard job. He played the
    -08-30-2004, 06:44 AM
  • RamWraith
    Gordon on the Mend
    by RamWraith
    riday, August 27, 2004

    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer

    There has been no shortage of injuries to Rams’ running backs in the past few years. From the knee problems of Marshall Faulk to Arlen Harris’ slight concussion, the injuries have ranged from serious to minor. Lamar Gordon is no different from his backfield mates.

    The only difference between Gordon and the other running backs is Gordon knew he was injured, but nobody else seemed to understand. Gordon complained about sharp pain in his left ankle for the better part of the past few years. He estimates that he has felt the pain since his junior year of college and had the foot looked at countless times.

    A few weeks ago, the doctors finally found what Gordon knew was there all along. Gordon had what coach Mike Martz described as “chips” in his ankle that were almost undetectable. On Aug. 10, Gordon had surgery on the ankle at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital in St. Louis.

    Now that Gordon has had surgery on his left foot, he is back running and edging closer to being able to play in St. Louis’ season opener against Arizona on Sept. 12. His expected recovery time was about four weeks, but Gordon seems to be progressing slightly ahead of the curve. “It feels good to really feel no pain right now,” Gordon said. “I could always feel it, but sometimes it just swelled up too bad. I know the difference between that pain and a simple cut that has to heal and that pain was gone.”

    Gordon ran for the first time on Wednesday and felt good enough after that session to run again Thursday afternoon. Gordon first had his foot looked at in college at North Dakota State, but had it checked numerous times, including at the combine. The injury did not show up in any of those checks and Gordon performed well enough for the Rams to draft him in the third round of the 2002 draft.

    Gordon said it was exasperating to know he was injured, but none of the tests confirming his pain.

    “It was so frustrating because I know my body,” Gordon said. “I have played football for a long time, I know when something’s sore, I know when’s something hurt, but I know from watching film if something is going to be bothering me.”

    Martz had his doubts about the injury, but had no way of knowing that Gordon was hurt because he couldn’t see the injury on an X-Ray and couldn’t physically feel the pain. Martz publicly apologized to Gordon after he found out the injury was real.

    Gordon said Martz didn’t owe him anything, but it was nice to hear the coach do it anyway.

    “I guess it was cool,” Gordon said. “I never really thought about it like that. A lot of people asked me ‘We’re you like I told you so?’ I wasn’t really like that. I was just happy that they found it and I’m excited to get back.”

    INJURY UPDATES: There was little change on the injury front at Thursday’s...
    -08-27-2004, 09:35 AM
  • RamWraith
    Martz regrets doubting RB Gordon
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    MACOMB, Ill. - The left ankle problem cropped up in Lamar Gordon's first training camp with the Rams, in 2002. Before long, it became a recurring theme: Just when it seemed Gordon was laying the groundwork for a solid NFL career at running back, the ankle problem returned and he returned to the sideline.

    It got to the point that some questioned his durability and toughness. Count coach Mike Martz in that group.

    "I'm embarrassed and ashamed in my attitude towards him, because obviously he was in a great deal of pain," Martz said Monday. "When a guy is (complaining of pain), you've just got to trust what he's telling you. And this is one of the times in my career, I feel humiliated and feel stupid. I owe him an apology, because he certainly is very tough."

    Trouble was, several medical examinations never showed anything that could be causing the pain that Gordon said he felt.

    "We MRI-ed it. We did the X-rays. We did every diagnostic test we could," Martz said.

    Yet Gordon would complain of pain, even though there often was no swelling in the ankle. Even Gordon began to doubt himself.

    "We did all these tests, and they didn't find anything," Gordon said. "So I'm really thinking, 'I'm making this up myself.'"

    Frustration sets in

    The situation grew particularly frustrating in the current training camp.

    "It really flared up as camp went on," Gordon said. "I was watching myself on film (of practice), and I was looking terrible. I was hurting so bad, I knew something was wrong. I couldn't even take it any more."

    But finally, a bone scan was performed on the ankle, and it showed enough of an irregularity that surgery was necessary.

    What Martz called a significant bone chip was found and removed from the ankle in surgery on Aug. 10.

    To say that Gordon and the Rams were relieved to find the cause of the pain - and hopefully, eradicate it - would be big understatement.

    "I'm just excited to go through the surgery process, get this healed up, and move on and play some ball," Gordon said.

    Gordon returned to Macomb on Sunday, with his left leg encased in a small cast, and wielding a crutch to help him get around.

    "I can pretty much walk around without it, but they're worried about my ankle swelling up, and splitting the stitches," Gordon said. "Because there's no pain when I walk."

    Back by opener?

    The cast comes off Friday, after which Gordon still has about 2 1/2 weeks of rehab time before he's ready to play. So is it realistic to think he could be ready for the season opener, Sept. 12 against Arizona?

    "I think...
    -08-17-2004, 05:41 AM
  • AvengerRam_old
    Showcase of Gordon Paid Off
    by AvengerRam_old
    I'll admit... I'm surprised.

    I would not have guessed that the Rams would have been able to acquire a 3rd Round pick for Gordon.

    Not that Gordon doesn't have potential. He could prove to be a 1,000 yard back for the Dolphins.

    But with the Rams, he was a third string back with only moderate production in the past and a recent surgery.

    So how did the Rams get such a high price for him?

    Obviously, part of the reason is the Dolphins' deperate need for a back after Ricky Williams decided that the grass at Pro Player Stadium does not compare to the kind you buy in Amsterdam.

    But the Rams also played this one very well.

    First, Martz publicly chastised himself for suggesting that Gordon was soft after it was revealed that Lamar needed surgery to remove a bone chip. While I believe that was a sincere expression of regret by Martz, he also made sure that other teams heard his confession.

    Then, in the final preseason game, Gordon was deliberately showcased, as he was given the ball 24 times (22 carries, 2 receptions). He showed productivity and the ability to be a workhorse - and the Dolphins paid a higher than market value price because of this.

    While the Rams could regret the trade this year if the injury bug hits, in the long run, this should be a good trade for the Rams (and, for Lamar's sake, hopefully for the Dolphins as well).
    -09-08-2004, 07:41 PM
  • RamWraith
    Gordo Post Game Chat
    by RamWraith
    Sunday, September 7, 2008 03:15 PM CDT


    Francisco Prado: Gordo, Finally the regular season is here! Last season was one of the worst and I couldn't stand seeing this team weekly underachieve and getting their tail whipped. The only other worst season that topped last year was in 1991,(3-13) where the talent was not there thanks to those bad draft picks (remember there was no free agency yet), as a result of the Eric Dickerson trade. Gordo, in my opinion the best move the Rams made in the offseason was hiring Billy Devaney! Finally we have a true football executive instead of Jay Zygmunt or John Shaw. Look at the draft pool of this year.They can be contributors this year or in the near future.
    Jeff Gordon: This optimistic post arrived before the game started, obviously. We'll see if Devaney can make a difference. There is much to do.
    BillBored: Atogwe?
    Jeff Gordon: MIA
    Random_Access_Me: This is a team that has had half of July and all of August, 4 pre-season games, countless mini-camps, and an entire off-season to prepare.

    What did they prepare for?

    The Rams are totally unprepared to be playing and yes the Eagles are a good team but if you are really watching then you can see that the O-Line is not only out-of-sync but out-manned and unwilling to put forth much effort. The defense is totally inferior with skill or physical ability to stop the Eagles, the Eagles stopped themselves once and I attribute this to early season woes even a college team faces when you know you are so much better that the game will be easy and you let up too soon.

    Linehan has made it clear beyond clear that he he is incapable of fielding a team that is willing to play for him and everything just degenerates down from this part - this is the Scrambled Eggs crew and what an incompetent head coach achieves through a total lack of ability to produce some kind recipe that a menu advertises. It's embarrassing, ridiculous, and it points a finger directly at the organization in regards to their thoughts that this man is a capable head coach.
    Jeff Gordon: Can't argue. This sort of loss -- so one-sided, right from the start - reflects poorly on the head coach. It just does. Can he rally the operation after something this bad? Few believe he can, but I expect him to get that chance.
    RWC: This team is lost. Linehan is over his head. Responsibility is with the head coach. every phase of the game; offense, defense and special teams are playing way below their potential.
    Sign Bill Cowher now
    Jeff Gordon: Nice sentiment, but I don't see Cowher leaving the good life for this challenge. Something better will come up for him.
    Sick in Texas: Week 1 Extra: 'We're not going to be 3-13'

    Looks more like 0 - 16 this year. Do you know how long I waited to see the Rams on TV in Dallas, TX? Why is Philly treating my team's quarterback...
    -09-08-2008, 04:27 AM