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Nick's Mailbag: May 27

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  • Nick's Mailbag: May 27

    Nick's Mailbag: May 27
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009

    Reason Warehime

    Nick,

    Ya Know I respect and value your opinion youíre the best at what you do but look, we understand the point of view of how Pisa didn't go with Spags system. What bothers a lot of fans is that why even not a late round trade even if not a 2010 6-7th rounder. Look at what K.C. was able to do last year. It's not like both Torry and Pisa won't be on a roster next year. Pisa had value, please for the sake of the fans weíre owed an explanation for giving away a talent like Pisa can you at least clear this up for us? PLEASE!

    NW: Take heart, my friend, anytime a move like this is made; it is done with careful consideration. That means anytime a player is released, especially one of note such as Pisa, there is always an attempt made to get something of value for him. Itís important to remember, though, that it takes two teams to make a trade. Itís easy to think you should have received a draft pick or a player in exchange for a released guy but itís not as simple to make it happen. The other thing to remember is that when you make a guy available for trade in a situation such as Pisaís, itís then known that you probably will release him if you canít find a deal. The key in Tinoisamoaís situation is simply this: he made a lot of money for a guy that not many teams consider a starter anymore. When he does sign with his next team, he wonít get as much money as he would have made here or as much as if a team had traded for him.

    Brian H.

    Hey Nick Hope you can help. Two of us Nor Cal rams fan are planning on buying tickets to the Jan. 3rd home game vs. the Niners. Any seating preferences or hotel advice would be greatly appreciated. I know youíre not the visitor center but you always have the best and up to date info. You can give my email out if you have any advice givers. Thank you, were looking forward to our first home game since Anaheim. Brian

    NW: I donít have any specific seating recommendations (because I sit in the upper reaches in the press box for game) but you can call the ticket office at (314) 425-8830 or (800) 246-7267 and discuss ticketing options and one of the excellent ticket reps down there can help you out. Also, right here on the site, you can scan and view the seating chart and pricing to have an idea of what you might want to do when the time comes to buy single game tickets. As for hotels, there are plenty in the area but I'm a fan of the Hilton downtown, just a few blocks from the Edward Jones Dome.

    Lloyd Porter

    Hey Nick, I love the way you answer questions on here even though you essentially answer the same questions over and over. My question is, I know the team needs a young DE but is the team interested in Jarvis Moss from Denver or Tamba Hali from KC since they were on the trading block and in danger of being cut? Spags would get the most out of those guys if they added one of them to the roster. It would be an excellent addition to get one of guys before the season starts. Also, are the Rams really interested in signing Rod Hood? He'd be great to help tutor the young guys like Hill, King, Wade, and Fletcher.

    NW: Iím not sure of any particular interest in either player as teams rarely comment on players under contract with another team but the Rams will continue to explore and review any potential upgrades at any position, not just the ones you mentioned. As for Hood, coach Steve Spagnuolo addressed that last week and acknowledged the teamís interest. But Hood opted for a one-year deal in Cleveland on Tuesday, taking him off the market.

    Joseph Roberson

    Hey Nick thanks for all your wonderful insight...
    Just one question... Are we really going to start the 11 year vet Chris Draft opposite of Witherspoon? There has got to be some young guys challenging for that spot right (Culberson, Chamberlain, maybe even Vobora)??? Is there anything you have seen in camp so far that might suggest otherwise?

    NW: Iíve written about it some in passing and itís something I plan to delve into further as we hit the final minicamp and head toward training camp but I expect there to be competition there just like a few other spots. Draft is such a versatile piece that he could fill a lot of roles. Culberson could be in the mix but the guy who is already making waves at the position and could get a long look is Larry Grant. The strong side linebacker spot will be one to watch during the preseason.

    Nathan Castillo

    Hi nick

    I got a two week late question for you. If Will Witherspoon is big enough to play middle backer why is he not big enough to play strong side backer? I just donít understand how Pisa is a man without a position. For a long time we needed that third linebacker and we finally got him in the draft then we let one of our top speed backs go. Pisa (speed) James (run stopper) and will speed (speed) would have been great. So my question is what type of 4-3 scheme are the Rams looking at playing this year. Are the linebackers of the line of scrimmage or is the SLB on the line of scrimmage setting the edge? Sorry so long.

    NW: Iím not really sure what the thought process is here. Witherspoon was always considered too small to play in the middle but he did it (and did it pretty well) because there werenít many other options. His natural position is on the weak side and thatís the place he can be most effective. The strong side linebacker is generally a bigger type of Ďbacker because he needs to be able to stand up and be physical against the other teamís tight end as well as provide something in terms of a pass rush. A guy like Brandon Chillar, who departed to Green Bay previously fits the mold more of the size you want at that position.

    Jordan Stanley

    Do you think the Rams would have any interest in DJ Hackett? I'm fairly sure he was released by the Panthers after last season. When he hasn't been injured, he has been a good contributor. What do you think?

    NW: No interest in Hackett that Iím aware of right now. Heís been injury prone and probably isnít an upgrade at this point.

    Steve Smith

    Hi Nick:

    I have one question about John Greco. When the Rams drafted Smith, signed Bell and Brown to big contracts do you think he is a trade possibility? How good of a player could he bring to a position of need?

    NW: Iíd be surprised to see Greco traded. Heís a talented young lineman with a lot of upside who is just scratching the surface on his potential. The Rams arenít teeming with talented offensive linemen and Richie Incognito will be a free agent after the season. Grecoís future is in St. Louis.

    E.K. Rice

    Have you had a chance to see Kirston Pittman play? Even after the injuries he seemed to be a consistent playmaker on that LSU line. Why is he listed as a 250 lb NT? One would think he is getting a shot at RDE. How many D-linemen do you think Spags will have in his rotation? How has Klop looked so far?

    Thanks in advance for your hard work!!!

    NW: Have seen him a little during the rookie minicamp and then in a couple of the OTAs. Heís moving around, playing some different spots and getting acclimated to the system much like the rest of the rookies at this point. Itís safe to assume the Rams will keep at least eight defensive linemen and possibly nine considering how much Spagnuolo has traditionally liked to send in waves of new ones on a given play.

    Klopfenstein has earned some credit for playing and practicing with a cast on his hand. In OTAs, he has gone through receiving drills catching the ball with one hand just so he can be out on the field and working in the new offense.

    John Stephenson

    Nick, I've got the number two pick in my Fantasy Football Draft! With Spags in town with his running game should I take Steven Jackson at number two or should I go with Michael Turner? I'm assuming Adrian Peterson will go number one. What do you think!?! Thanks for playing!

    NW: I like this question, always fun to talk fantasy. But for the purpose of getting you a much better barometer on the situation from someone who does it for a living, Iím going to defer to one of the best in the business in The Sporting Newsí Matt Lutovsky. I sent him your question and here is his response:

    ďIn most of the mock drafts I've participated in or seen, either Turner, Matt Forte or Maurice Jones-Drew has gone second after Peterson. There are reasons to like all of them, but there are also reasons to worry. Both Turner and Forte had a ton of touches last year and have only had one good season in the NFL. Jones-Drew should get more opportunities with Fred Taylor gone, but can he hold up and/or be as effective as the feature back? We all saw what happened when Marion Barber was in a similar situation last season. With all that said, I think Jackson is a great choice at No. 2. He has injury concerns (but, let's face it -- who doesn't?), but he should benefit from being in camp from Day 1 this year. Plus, with an improved line and increased commitment to getting him the ball, he'll put up as much, if not more, total yards than any of the aforementioned players. It's ultimately a coin flip with these guys, and Jackson probably has the most physical talent of the group. You can't go wrong with talent, and if you're a Rams fan, you can't go wrong with Jackson.Ē

    Kevin White

    Hey Nick,
    Happy Football season, I just want to say thanks for all the patience it takes to do what you do, and keep up the good work. My question is regarding our #2 cornerback position. I have been hearing that we are sending out different contracts to free agent DBs like Hood, and a couple others. I'm curious on what Tye Hill and the other corners look like in camp. Hood and Hill about the same size. Is this insurance on Hill? Also do you think he will pan out and live up to his pre-draft hype? This is his 3rd year...

    NW: As I mentioned earlier, Hood signed with the Browns yesterday so he is out of the picture. As for Hill, itís still early but he has looked pretty good during the minicamp and had a good first couple of OTAs. Hill is actually entering his fourth season but it might seem like less since heís been hurt so frequently. Iíll say this for him as it pertains to this year: he absolutely knows this is a big year for him and he is working as hard as he can to be ready for the season. Heís been at the facility for almost the entire offseason and is giving everything he can to solidify his spot. In addition, heís finally almost completely healthy after having a cyst removed from his knee in the past month. And one final thing, Hill is surrounded by three emerging young talents in the secondary. The trio of Ron Bartell, Oshiomogho Atogwe and James Butler are young, ascending talents and Hill wants desperately to be a part of that group which could turn into the backbone of the defense. Iíll have a story about this in the coming weeks.

    Scott Bundren

    Hey, Nick. Thanks for the great mailbags! I've heard analysts on national television talk about the Rams being one of the few possible homes for Vick if he gets reinstated. First off, is there any interest there on the Rams' side? Second, I just wanted to note that he doesn't quite fit the Rams' new personal conduct philosophy. Have you heard anything? What is your take on his situation, if you don't mind giving it? Thank you.

    NW: Vick to the Rams isnít much of a possibility, if at all. Itís just not a fit for this offense. As for the Vick situation, I do believe he deserves a second chance. Heís paid his debt to society and done everything asked of him in his quest to get back in the league. Thereís no reason he shouldnít be allowed to earn a living and re-establish himself in society. That said, the teams in the league have their right to pass on him as well. Thereís no rule that says Vick has to get an opportunity just because he wants one. Who knows what kind of shape heíll be in and where heíll be in terms of the mental aspect as well. There are plenty of questions that still need answers before anything can be determined on his future.

    Miguel Iniguez

    The Rams had one of their best drafts in quite some time, besides Smith and Laurinaitis, which rookie will have the most impact?

    NW: Interesting question. Bradley Fletcher could chip in right away as a nickel back or even possibly win a starting job if he really shows up and has a big preseason. But my early line guess to answer your question is defensive tackle Darell Scott. Scott has a lot of potential and considering the way Spagnuolo likes to use his defensive linemen, I could easily see Scott working in the rotation and having the most impact of the rookies not named Smith or Laurinaitis.

    Pedro Canjura

    This question is more based on YOUR opinion than anything. Last season, Donnie Avery was FORCED into the starting line up due to D. Bennett going down for the season on his first reception of the season. He had a string of about 4 games where he had HUGE numbers, and then he had a minor injury and he wasn't the same for the rest of the season. Keenan Burton missed a lot of time last season. That being said, I don't think Donnie was ready to be the #2 last season (and he was there the whole time), and thus I don't think Keenan is ready to be the #2 this season. I know it is one more season of experience under his belt, but as much time as he missed, can you truly say he played a season? I personally don't, it's like that baseball thing where if you play less than half the guys in the previous season you're still considered a rook the next. Do you think if he beats out Robinson for the #2 spot at WR that he'd be consistent enough to be considered a real #2 receiver, and not an over-achieving slot receiver (based off of what you've seen)?

    NW: Itís hard to answer this question because itís so early and these guys are still learning the offense. Let me first say that Avery has looked excellent on the practice field and he is confident that he can handle the duty of being the No. 1 wide out. As for Burton, remember he was perhaps the most polished of the young receivers coming out and had an outstanding training camp before being slowed by injury. Burton has all of the tools necessary to be a good No. 2 wideout as soon as this year but it all depends on how he can put it together and if he can remain healthy. I know there are a lot of concerns from some of you on the receiver position but keep in mind that the only way to find out what you have in terms of some of these young players is to give them a chance to play. The amount of competition at the position should only boost the performance of these young wide outs.

    Sean Murphy

    Hi Nick, thanks again for your time. With Culberson being only 23 and being converted from DB, (at least I think he started college at DB) it would figure he would take time to develop. How would you rate him and do you think he could have a breakout season? Also I was wondering how big C. Draft and Culberson are. NFL.com lists them at 235 & 244 respectively but, sometimes those #'s are wrong. NFL.com has Pisa listed at 240 rather than 220. Thanks Go Rams.

    NW: Culberson showed a lot of promise in his first season but that progress slowed some last year. You hit the nail on the head as far as taking some time to develop. He was a very raw player coming out and though he has all of the physical tools to be a solid NFL player, he has struggled with some of the mental aspects required to become a reliable starter in the league. That doesnít mean it canít or wonít happen for him, though. He does have the size to handle the strong side position but as it stands Draft and Larry Grant seem to be getting most of the work at that spot with the first team. Still, Culberson will almost certainly get the opportunity to compete for a spot during training camp.

    Jordan Delp

    Hey Nick, just curious on what the situation with Klopfenstein is going to be now that McMichael is back. Is he just going to be the back up tight end again?

    NW: Klopfenstein will likely have the opportunity to compete for a roster spot during camp. McMichael will be the starter but Klopfenstein, Daniel Fells and Billy Bajema will battle for what will probably be two spots behind him.

    Sal Lombardo

    Whatís your predication as to how many rookies make this years opening day and how many of the drafted players this year make the cut?

    NW: I havenít formed any kind of roster predictions or anything of that sort yet because itís such a small sample size. Recent evidence indicates that more rookies are tending to make this team. Just based on the roster turnover and rebuilding process taking place, itís probably fair to assume that all of the youngsters will get a long look and a fair number will stick when it comes time to make the final cuts.

    Tevin Wilson

    Nick,

    How do you think the rams will fare in the 2009 season? I feel that they have taken the smart and safe choices to become a respectable franchise in the NFL. But......I felt the same way last year and the year before! The division has become much stronger and the schedule is pretty tough. Can the rams pull out a 6-8 win season, or will the 09 season be another disappointment?

    NW: Again, I refuse to make predictions on things that are so far off. The NFL is a funny league and you can go from one-win seasons to division winners like Miami did last season just as easily as you can fall from grace in just a year. The only prediction to make is that anything is possible.

    Doug Beers

    I've seen some versions of our roster showing Brock Berlin as a member, and some as him being a free agent. Is he coming back or not? Also what is Claude Wrotenís status and chance of playing again? Thank you.

    NW: Not sure what version youíve seen that doesnít have Berlin but he is on the roster and participating in everything. Wroten is still suspended. When he gets re-instated, Iíll be sure to write about it.

    Tom Staton

    When will the rams be starting their spring training camp and is it open to the public if so what do the tickets cost to see the practice sessions thank you in advance for the information.

    NW: If you mean actual training camp, that is slated to begin at the end of July (dates and times will be forthcoming in the near future). There are no tickets and the selected open practices will be free to the public. If you mean things going on now like organized team activities and minicamp, those are closed to the public.

    Wade Jacobson

    Hey Nick
    Thanks for all the time you give us crazy Rams fans. I read your mailbag every week and I enjoy it very much. I am very excited about everything that has happened this offseason, and I really believe that we are headed in the right direction. I know you have said before that character is of the utmost importance under the new regime. But I think we could greatly use a young and very talented WR like Matt Jones, he is a big physical WR who could be a good complement to Avery & Burton. And if I'm not mistaken we could acquire Jones pretty cheap, and he is clear to play for whomever (no suspension). Also when I hear that a player like Greg Ellis is going to be available, I think he could be a great addition to a subpar defense. I know Dallas has been playing the 3-4 the last few seasons, but Ellis has proven earlier in his career that he could play in a 4-3 system. We could always use another big physical presence on defense, especially one that can rush the passer like him. Although, he has not been released yet he will be soon. I know Spags and Devaney want to get younger, but Ellis has the kind of talent & experience I wouldn't pass on. Do you think that Devaney is interested in Ellis or Jones?

    NW: I would be highly surprised if Matt Jones is someone the Rams were interested in. Off the field issues aside, he has never been all that productive. As for Ellis, not sure how much he has left in the tank but I donít know how much, if any, interest the Rams have in him.

    Joey Bittick

    Hey Nick, I love the mailbag and read it every week. I know you get a ton of these, so I'll be brief. I know that Julius Peppers is unhappy that the Panthers franchised him and the he wishes to be traded. I'm sure if asked the Rams would say that they are "exploring every possible way to upgrade the team" but do you know if there is any legitimate interest in Peppers? If so, I'm sure Carolina would want at least a 1st or 2nd round pick. Would the Rams Be willing to pay that price? Do you believe that they should if the opportunity arises? Thanks for the great answers, Nick, and have a great week!

    NW: The asking price for Peppers will start at a first-round pick and then if you deal for him, you will have to sign him to a mega-contract to keep him in the fold. In addition, heís made a list of teams he would like to play for and itís not believed the Rams are on that list. Itís a long shot at best.

    Mike Stockwell

    Torry Holt and Orlando Pace were released due to the salary cap. Would it have been POSSIBLE for Holt to remain on the team to give us a real #1 receiver if only Pace was let go?

    Huge fan from Southern California, so I really appreciate your hard work and effort.

    NW: Sure, it would have been possible but it might not have been prudent. The Rams arenít right up against the cap but they donít have a ton of cap space, either. Keeping Holt might have meant not getting a Jason Brown, Mike Karney or James Butler or made it more difficult to keep Ron Bartell and Oshiomogho Atogwe. And, of course, Holt had asked for the opportunity to move on.

    Ruben Campos

    Hey Nick,
    Since you have Ram sources that may disclose possible moves or team news that you cannot report on, is it frustrating at times that other reporters from outside of St. Louis "scoop" the St. Louis press? I realize you only deal in fact, not rumor. It just seems to me that the business is a competitive one and puts local media at a disadvantage at times. What are your thoughts?

    NW: Sure, I think it can be frustrating to not have the story first but itís a heck of a lot worse to be wrong than it is to be fast. In my experience doing this, more often than not, the majority of the real, factual stories have been reported here in St. Louis before they are elsewhere. For example, the coaching change was a perfect example of why you should never jump the gun. How many of the ďnationalĒ guys got that one wrong? From my recollection, almost all of them. Youíll never see anything on this website that isnít 100 percent, guaranteed fact. And thatís a record Iíd prefer to keep intact over rushing to break a story that isnít true.

Related Topics

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  • larams1980
    Nickís Mailbag Ė June 24, 2009
    by larams1980
    Mike Dembow
    Dear Nick, Thank you for all your hard work and dedication you put in every day to bring us DIEHARD ram fans up to date. My question will be asked a lot I am sure. How interested do you think the rams will be in Brandon Marshall? He is very young, but also had some off the field problems. I know coach Spags is high on character, but adding a young budding superstar at receiver can't hurt. Thank you.
    NW: Answered this last week but itís almost certainly not going to happen. The Broncos probably wonít trade Marshall, first of all. After what happened with Cutler, theyíd be insane to continue to just cave to the demands of any player that gets his feelings hurt or wants a trade on a whim. Thatís just from their standpoint. For the Rams, it isnít likely for a lot of reasons, including what theyíd have to give up to get him both financially and in trade and the many, many characters issues that he has.
    As an aside, let me just point something out in regard to the numerous questions I get all the time about trading for that weekís flavor of the week at wide receiver. The names that are presented here are names like Marshall, Braylon Edwards, Anquan Boldin, etc. Well, I donít know if anyone has noticed, but those guys havenít been traded at all and they really havenít even been that close to being traded. So the Rams arenít the only ones not going after these guys so hard. The reasons in each case might be a little different but hereís one that applies across the board: Roy Williams. The Cowboys gave up a ton in terms of compensation and cash to get him from Detroit. The guys mentioned above are as good or better players than Williams so why would their current teams part with them for less than the Lions got for Williams?
    Gary Schneider
    First, thanks a lot, your mailbag is really a cool part of this website. Two simple questions, whatís going on with our 2006 1st round draft choice, Tye Hill? I've heard nothing about how he's been doing in the mini-camps and OTAs. Also, same question about James Hall?
    NW: Iíve written quite a bit about Hill this offseason but hereís what weíve got at this point. He has pretty much recovered from his knee injury. He had a cyst on his knee he had removed and moved around much better after that. He looked pretty good on the practice field and got almost all of the repetitions with the first team defense. That said and heíd be the first to tell you this if you asked him, he knows he needs to prove himself when the lights come on. This is an important training camp and season for him. Steve Spagnuolo has pulled a lot out of some defensive backs with potential in the past, though. Look what he did for Corey Webster in New York last season.
    James Hall looks the same as always. Heís a consistent player that is going to give you maximum effort every play. He might not be an every down guy but he was maybe the teamís most consistent pass rusher in 2008 and I would think in...
    -06-25-2009, 09:15 AM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Nick's Mailbag - June 10
    by r8rh8rmike
    Nick's Mailbag: June 10
    Tuesday, June 9, 2009

    Pedro Canjura

    How does ďAnimal Jr.Ē look to you? Will he be ready to start from day 1? If you had to compare him to another MLB in the NFL today, who would it be? Tatupu?

    NW: Havenít had a chance to see him with the pads on but best I can tell so far, heís everything heís been advertised. He has outstanding instincts and seems to be around the ball a lot. Thereís a good chance he will be the opening day starter in the middle. Interesting question on the comparison but if forced to compare him; Iíd say heís a bigger version of Zach Thomas. He has those type of read and react skills but heís not a terrific athlete or a huge hitter. He just finds the ball and makes the tackle.

    Mark Mercurio

    Is there any chance the Rams have interest in linebacker Brock Christopher from Mizzou who just got dropped by the Falcons.

    NW: Suppose itís a possibility as the Rams are always looking to add to the roster but I havenít heard his name mentioned. He had a nice career for the Tigers; just not sure heíd be an upgrade over what is already on the roster.

    Marvin Williams

    Hi nick, Iíve been a ram fan for over 30 years. I am wondering do you think the ram defense will be aggressive and get after the QBs or will they play conservative style of defense?

    NW: I can answer this with absolute certainty. This defense will be nowhere close to conservative unless the situation absolutely dictates it (preseason, big lead, etc.). Steve Spagnuoloís defenses in New York were always extremely aggressive and he believes in getting after the quarterback and putting the press on with his corners on the outside. This defense has other parts to it but thereís little doubt that it will be an aggressive scheme.

    JM Black

    Hey Nick, I have seen the plan of Spag's and BD come into play in our free agent pick up's and our draft! Get bigger, stronger, faster, younger and more athletic on both sides of the ball! Use the running game to keep the defense off the field and the defense can attack with a purpose to help keep the offense churning the ball! I think there is plenty of potential to turn the losses of the past into wins for the future!

    We have probably the best punter/kicker combo in all of football! How do we turn around the poor play we have received from our special teams over the last five or more years? How does the new wedge rule help or hurt our return or coverage units? There is no way we can keep giving up the huge returns we have in the past and expect to compete! We need to also be able to establish great field position from the return teams to take pressure off the offense. Who are some of the players you see as special teams standouts? ~JMB

    NW: The special teams showed signs of improvement last year and were consistently better in...
    -06-11-2009, 11:34 AM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Nick's Mailbag - May 20
    by r8rh8rmike
    Nick's Mailbag: May 20

    Scott Bundren

    Hey, Nick. I was just wondering if the Rams could be interested in trading for Roscoe Parrish. The Bills have had him on the trading block since early April. He's an excellent returner (which we need) and would add more depth (and speed) to our WR corps (which we also need). I'm sure they've considered it, but if not, maybe you could leave a note under Devaney or Spagnuolo's doors. I, for one, would love to have him on the team. Thanks for the great work!

    NW: Itís an interesting idea. Not sure if there is interest from the Rams side but a receiver with return capabilities would be intriguing. As it stands, only Derek Stanley had any significant return experience in the NFL among the receivers on the roster.

    Richard A. Morton

    Nick. Great job keeping us informed. Love to read the mailbag and can't wait for Wed to roll around. Lifetime Rams fan here. Since 57. Thanks to our new coach, I'm excited about the coming season and especially the next. I'm thinking he's a real coach, who knows how to take young players and get the max out of them. If I recall correctly. Deacon Jones was drafted in the 14th round. Undrafted now a days! Go Rams!

    NW: Indeed, hidden gems are there to be found. In fact, there are usually two or three guys every year that go undrafted and go on to long and productive careers. Maybe those guys donít go on to become Deacon Jones (who I think is the best pass rusher of all time) but finding those guys is like finding gold. As for your point about Spagnuoloís success getting the most out of young players, Iíd say his track record would support your theory.

    Rich Merchant

    If the Rams had been better at the draft, do you think they might not be in this mess?

    NW: Clearly, the draft is supposed to be the backbone and basis for how you build a team. There was a period at the beginning of the decade until about 2005 where there wasnít much gained through the draft. The past few drafts have been much more fruitful and the current setup seems to have the Rams headed in the right direction.

    Scott Rhoads

    Hey Nick,
    I've been a fan since 1968. I'd like to know your feelings on the starting "D", and how the changes have affected the Rams chances to make the play-offs.

    NW: Itís going to be interesting to see how the defense improves under the guidance of Spagnuolo and Flajole. As it stands, only James Laurinaitis and James Butler will be new starters but there have been some changes that could lead to more success as well. If nothing else, Iíd expect this defense to be more aggressive and more disciplined. Those two ideas might seem to run counter to each other but every defensive player Iíve talked to has said that this defensive scheme isnít as hit or miss as the old one. In other words, if a player misses...
    -05-21-2009, 09:58 PM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Nick's Mailbag - July 8
    by r8rh8rmike
    Nickís Mailbag Ė July 8, 2009

    B.K.

    Nick, one simple question for ya, what are the chances of Ian Campbell making the team, and if so, any possible playing time and Special teams or D-Line??

    NW: It would seem there is an opportunity for a defensive lineman to potentially squeeze his way on to the roster. Havenít seen enough of these guys to know who could emerge but if you figure the team keeps eight defensive linemen, you have Leonard Little, Chris Long, Victor Adeyanju, James Hall, Adam Carriker, Clifton Ryan and Darrell Scott seemingly in the best position to land on the roster. That would leave an opening for another end like Campbell or possibly a tackle like Gary Gibson or Orien Harris. Regardless, Spagnuolo likes his players to be versatile so the guy that emerges there will likely need to be able to contribute inside and out as well as on special teams.

    Miguel Iniguez

    Hopefully you can answer one of my questions Nick. I read a story on the internet that stated the Rams are looking into playing some games with throwback jerseys. Is that true? And if so when? Also which colors will they be the blue and white? Or the Blue and yellow?

    NW: Indeed, the Rams will be wearing the blue and gold throwbacks to mark the 10-year anniversary of the Super Bowl championship team. The games have not yet been determined but apparently, it will happen on three occasions this year. Iíll be sure to get the information out there when that determination is made.

    Dennis Quijadas

    Hey Nick. First off I want to thank you for the great insight for all us RAMS Fans. I see that Billy D. has finally brought over Renardo Foster from Atlanta. How does he pan out for the Rams? Is he just a big back up or a possible replacement if they can't sign Alex Barron at the end of the year? Saying that, would Alex Barron most likely be tagged after the season?

    NW: I havenít seen Foster play in person but I met him when he was here recently and I do know heís a large man. Because he has some experience and has been in the league, one would think he has a legitimate shot to stick on the roster and provide some depth at tackle but without having seen him, itís hard to make that determination right now. If nothing else, heíll provide some depth and competition at the spot. As for Barron, the approach is to wait and see how he performs when the lights come on this year before anything is decided on his future. This is a big year for him.

    Jeff Jordan

    I recently discovered "Nick's Mailbag" and really appreciate the info. Thanks. I am a transplanted Rams fan living in the Bay Area of California and all I hear is ***** this and ***** that. And no, nobody here really cares about the Raiders. Or at least believes in them. What in your opinion is the area of improvement most needed that will put the Rams back above the *****...
    -07-09-2009, 01:06 PM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Nick's Mailbag - June 3
    by r8rh8rmike
    Nick's Mailbag: June 3
    Wednesday, June 3, 2009


    Richard Layne

    Nick, with the end of the 2009 NFL Draft and the upcoming 2009 Rams Training Camp around mid-July, will the Rams signed any unsigned free agents that can help the team for the upcoming 2009 season for offense or defense or both and do the Rams have anyone in particular in mind? Also, when will the Rams start signing their draft picks from the 2009 NFL Draft?

    NW: Iím going to stick with the usual response here based on everything Iíve been told in recent weeks and months. The Rams will continue to explore any and all possible ways to upgrade the roster and that includes keeping tabs on current free agents and ones that might shake loose as we get into training camp. Donít expect anything earth-shattering, though.

    Draft picks donít usually start signing until July. Itís starting to trend toward that happening sooner around the league this year so itís possible some of the lower-round guys might ink earlier than anticipated.

    Justin Stine

    Nick,
    Lots of reports coming out about the Rams being very interested in Michael Vick if he gets reinstated. What are you hearing from people in the organization? Seems like he could help us out, but with all the problems with ownership right now it seems like a headache we don't need.

    NW: Once again, itís just not likely. I know there are reports out there that say the contrary but itís a long shot at absolute best.

    Bryan Sipes

    Nick,
    With the recent news about the Rams being up for sale what will that mean for the team? And if they do sell where could they go? Also does Spags have something in his contract where he could leave is the team is relocated? Also I head Deuce McAllister is interested in signing with the team. What is the news on that? Thank you for all the good info for a Ram fan in New Mexico.

    NW: Obviously, a lot of questions this week about the potential sale of the team. Not going to get too far into it in this space but none of this should come as a surprise to anyone who has paid attention to this from the beginning. The team is focused on winning games. Spagnuolo said it on Tuesday and thereís no reason for anyone to worry about anything other than that right now because itís not a 2009 issue. No reasons to speculate on any hypotheticals that may occur because right now that all it is: hypothetical.

    Have heard nothing on Deuce McAlister and Iíd be surprised, given his age and injury history, if he was a consideration.

    John Ricotta

    Nick, how much do you think the additions of Karney and Jason Smith will improve the Rams running game and SJack? Also, are you concerned about SJack staying healthy? And what do you project SJackís stats being in 09?

    NW: You always have to be concerned about a running...
    -06-04-2009, 09:34 AM
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