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  • What PFT has to say

    RAMS WANTED ZGONINA FOR GORDON

    A league source tells us that the St. Louis Rams initially wanted defensive tackle Jeff Zgonina in lieu of the third-round draft pick they received when they shipped running back Lamar Gordon to the Miami Dolphins.

    Per the source, the Dolphins refused -- and the Rams didn't persist.

    Given that the Rams are looking for help at the defensive tackle position and that the Dolphins were desperate to prop up their running game, it seems odd to us that the Rams didn't insist on bringing back Zgonina, who was still a defensive team captain for the Rams even as he was landing a better financial offer on the open market. The Fins, after all, recently added Bryan Robinson, who'll play on the inside, so the loss of Zgonina wouldn't have been so damaging.

    Also, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch questions why the Rams settled only for the third-rounder in exchange for Gordon, especially since the Rams had some leverage in the discussions.

    It works like this. The Dolphins need a running back badly. The Rams have an extra running back. So the price tag goes up.

    (Perhaps the simplicity of that approach is beneath a guy like Mike Martz, who isn't thinking at all unless he's thinking 27 levels deep.)

    Martz dubbed the trade "risky" and admitted to feeling "nervous" about sending Gordon, a 2002 third-rounder who has played well when Marshall Faulk couldn't go. Sure, they now have Faulk and first-rounder Steven Jackson, but an early injury to either of them will have bigger consequences without Gordon around.

    And if Martz was nervous about shipping Gordon to Miami in exchange for the same pick with which he was drafted, why not ask for more? If, as we've suggested, Martz is on the hot seat this year in St. Louis, why not insist at a minimum on someone who can help improve the team now. That third-round pick won't do Martz any good if he's the offensive coordinator in San Diego next season (but it might help Miami coach Dave Wannstedt, of course, if he's the defensive coordinator with the Rams come April 2005).

    For the Fins, then, it appears to have been a good deal. Word around the league is that they were hell bent on using the third-rounder they got in addition to Marty Booker for defensive end Adewale Ogunleye to get a running back. We're hearing that the Fins actually tried to send the third-rounder back to Chicago for running back Anthony Thomas, but the Bears declined.

    Even if Gordon was the second choice, the Fins finally got their guy. In the end, the Ogunleye trade yielded replacements for the two major offseason losses -- Ricky Williams and David Boston -- both of which seemingly came too late to address this year. So now the expectations in Miami are reduced, and we now wouldn't be surprised to see the Fins come out of the darkness of July and August with a banner year.

    As for the Rams, well, they won the Super Bowl five years ago. That still counts for something, doesn't it?

    -------

    RAMS BLASTED FOR SIGNING SEHORN

    Reaction around the league to the decision of the Rams to re-sign defensive back Jason Sehorn to a one-year deal has been swift, and harsh.

    "Are you sh-tting me?" said one league insider after being informed of the possible acquisition. "There are guys on the street who are much better than this stiff."

    Sehorn says that the delayed signing was the specific result of his desire to avoid training camp. "I wasn't going to training camp," he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I'm not pushing my luck. Unfortunately for me, three of my major injuries have all happened in training camp."

    Sehorn blames a lackluster performance in 2003 on a foot injury suffered during training camp -- an injury that didn't heal during the season.

    "I could never do anything," he said. "I couldn't go left or right. I couldn't dig. It's kind of frustrating. But at that point, you want to play. So you're constantly fighting -- I felt like salmon swimming against the stream. It's not the fun way to swim."

    So his new way to swim is to jump into the water as late as possible in order to still get paid. Curiously, the Rams have signed him before the season opener, which means that his $760,000 salary will be guaranteed. They could have (i.e., should have) waited until after Sunday to sign him, in the event that he doesn't work out. Then, they wouldn't have been on the hook for his full salary.

    Then again, as a 10-year veteran, he costs only $450,000 in cap dollars and real dollars.

    Sehorn still needs to pass a physical in order to make the team, and passing a physical is no gimme for a guy who has been gimpy for most of the past several years.

  • #2
    Re: What PFT has to say

    (Perhaps the simplicity of that approach is beneath a guy like Mike Martz, who isn't thinking at all unless he's thinking 27 levels deep.)

    Martz dubbed the trade "risky" and admitted to feeling "nervous" about sending Gordon, a 2002 third-rounder who has played well when Marshall Faulk couldn't go. Sure, they now have Faulk and first-rounder Steven Jackson, but an early injury to either of them will have bigger consequences without Gordon around.

    And if Martz was nervous about shipping Gordon to Miami in exchange for the same pick with which he was drafted, why not ask for more? If, as we've suggested, Martz is on the hot seat this year in St. Louis, why not insist at a minimum on someone who can help improve the team now. That third-round pick won't do Martz any good if he's the offensive coordinator in San Diego next season (but it might help Miami coach Dave Wannstedt, of course, if he's the defensive coordinator with the Rams come April 2005).


    Martz is on record saying he didn't like the deal. BernieM says there was a difference of opinion in the Front Office. Yet this hoser makes Martz out to be the nutcase.

    Now you see why he can't win with most folks? He's misquoted, misinterpreted, and misrepresented in the media.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What PFT has to say

      I know where the Zgonina rumor came from - I posted the suggestion that the Rams should try to get him about a week ago!


      As for the Rams "settling," does anybody really think that the Rams could have held out for a 2nd round pick from the Dolphins, given that they already traded that pick away in the A.J. Feely deal?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What PFT has to say

        First off, anything from PFT, should be given the credence of the National Enquiror. These guys are just throwing stuff out without any concern for accuracy.

        The FO is rolling the dice. If we can get 10 or 11 games out of Faulk and Jackson stays healthy, then this move is a win for us. After this year, Gordon was gone and our comp pick would have been about 80 picks lower than what we got for him now.
        Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch questions why the Rams settled only for the third-rounder in exchange for Gordon
        Simple. If we pushed for more now, Miami would have gone elsewhere. If we had just hung on to Gordon, he would have sat the bench this year and yielded nothing better than a 5th round comp next year.
        Originally posted by AvengerRam
        I know where the Zgonina rumor came from - I posted the suggestion that the Rams should try to get him about a week ago!
        Sorry, AV. I posted the Zgonina idea 6 weeks ago. Man, I wish we could have hung on to him. Z was quite a hustler. While we're at, hats off to eLacky for calling the Gordon to the Fish deal back in July. That already places him ahead of any prognosticators that ESPN has. :redface:
        The more things change, the more they stay the same.

        Comment

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        • RamWraith
          Roster scrambling, defensive holes hint at trouble for Rams
          by RamWraith
          By Bernie Miklasz
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          Wednesday, Sep. 08 2004

          A few days before the 2004 regular-season opener, the Rams seem unusually
          restless.

          They're signing waiver-wire pick-ups and other castoffs in a late, desperate
          rush to upgrade the roster. They tried to lure used-up Jason Sehorn out of
          retirement, but he flunked the physical. In this flurry of activity, the Rams
          oddly failed to address the most glaring weaknesses, at cornerback and
          defensive tackle.

          If you're going to invite people off the street for open auditions, why not try
          to reinforce the unimposing, underachieving cast at defensive tackle? And how
          can the Rams be comfortable with only one experienced NFL cornerback in
          Jerametrius Butler? (I'm not counting Aeneas Williams; the Rams insist he will
          remain at free safety). The NFL is a passing league, and the Rams simply don't
          have enough cover guys.

          The Rams also made a debatable, peculiar decision to trade promising running
          back Lamar Gordon to Miami. Marshall Faulk's health is an open-ended concern.
          If Faulk's knee folds, the offense will have to rely on a rookie, Steven
          Jackson, who had knee issues late in his college career at Oregon State. Arlen
          Harris is a tough runner and can fill in at the position, but he lacks speed.

          Astoundingly, the Rams got nothing more than a third-round pick for Gordon. And
          they didn't insure themselves with a side agreement to upgrade to a more
          premium draft choice should Gordon produce a 1,000-yard rushing season in
          Miami. (And he will). More baffling is that the Rams unloaded Gordon's
          salary-cap friendly contract. Gordon wasn't costing them much, so why move him?

          After the retirement of head case Ricky Williams, the Dolphins were hard up for
          a back, and the Rams should have exploited the situation by holding out for a
          better draft choice. They're not running a charity.

          Gordon's frustrating foot problems finally were solved through surgery, so the
          move was hardly embraced inside every office at Rams Park. I'd be surprised if
          coach Mike Martz privately gave an enthusiastic endorsement to this trade.
          Martz offered mixed signals Wednesday when discussing the deal. While
          explaining that Gordon was expendable because of Jackson's emergence and the
          increased confidence in Faulk's viability, Martz also described the transaction
          as "risky" and his feelings as "nervous."

          "Lamar's a terrific value," Martz said.

          Yes, and the Dolphins undoubtedly would agree.

          It's been a fidgety week at Rams Park.

          "Very, very, busy," Martz said.

          And the roster tuning has taken Martz...
          -09-09-2004, 04:19 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
        • RamDez
          Gordon's output bodes well for Rams' depth
          by RamDez
          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
          back.'"

          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.

          ...
          -09-04-2004, 12:58 AM
        • RamWraith
          Dolphins trade for Rams' RB Lamar Gordon
          by RamWraith
          By JASON COLE

          [email protected]


          The Dolphins completed a trade with St. Louis late Tuesday night to acquire running back Lamar Gordon in an attempt to upgrade their sagging running game.

          According to an NFL source, the Dolphins made the move after several days of talks with the Rams and other teams. The Dolphins likely had to pay a steep price of either a third- or fourth-round pick for Gordon, but get a player they have liked for several years.

          The deal is contingent upon Gordon passing a physical today. He left St. Louis early Wednesday morning. Gordon was a third-round pick in 2002 from North Dakota State and the Dolphins were considering him that year before completing a trade for Ricky Williams.

          The 6-foot-1, 228-pound Gordon has played sparingly behind St. Louis star running back Marshall Faulk, rushing 136 times for 526 yards over his two seasons. He fell further on the depth chart with the Rams after the team took running back Steven Jackson in the first round this season, but St. Louis was reluctant to give him up because of fears that Faulk will breakdown physically.

          Gordon, who is expected to take over for the combination of Travis Minor, Sammy Morris and Leonard Henry, has two years remaining on his contract at the league minimum salary.
          -09-08-2004, 08:39 AM
        • RamWraith
          Martz regrets doubting RB Gordon
          by RamWraith
          By Jim Thomas
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          08/16/2004
          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
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