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Nick's Mailbag - June 10

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  • Nick's Mailbag - June 10

    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 coverage. The problem was that for every three or four times those units did a good job in coverage, they would give one back with a long return to hurt the average. Youíre right, thatís an area that needs to be corrected. Hard to say how the new wedge rule will help or hurt though thatís something Iím looking into and would like to write about in the near future. As for guys on the team that have or could be special teams aces, Iíd say Todd Johnson, Eric Bassey, Chris Chamberlain and Larry Grant have showed the potential or performed very well on special teams in the past. No reason to believe that wonít continue into the future.

    Eric B.

    Last week I saw a question about WR. Get serious about signing any WR other than Burress. Any chance at all given Spags association with him? My last question is regarding Marc Bulger. How has he looked in practice and does he look like he has confidence to stand firm in the pocket he has lacked the past few years?

    NW: No chance on Burress. Bulger seems to be grasping the offense well but itís way too early to make any judgments on how that might translate to the field. Heíd be the first to tell you that itís all about what happens on the field when the games start and not in practice.

    Joseph Devito

    Why is it that every time a player is speculated going to the Rams, the answer is always negative. We need an impact player. Michael Vick is clearly one, and a whole lot better than Bulger or Boller. Is this team clearly intent on winning or is saving money the priority?

    NW: Maybe because a lot of times the players that are brought up have plenty of negatives attached to them. Michael Vick is an impact player? Really? Letís see, he hasnít played football in a couple of years and heís supposed to just step back in and start lighting it up? And if memory serves me correct, in his most recent season in the NFL he completed 52 percent of his passes. Vick was always a great athlete but far from a great quarterback. And oh yeah, any team signing Vick is going to have to deal with some fan backlash from his off the field actions. It has nothing to do with money.

    Kevin Hong

    Hey Nick. Thanks for taking the time in always keeping us true Rams fans updated. I actually have a couple of questions. First, from what you've seen so far this off-season, which of the following 3 WRs has impressed you the most: D. Avery, K. Burton, or L. Robinson? My second question is, how has CB Justin King been coming along and performing so far since his season-ending injury in 08? Do you think he'll see minutes in 09? Sorry...snuck that 3rd question in there. =) Thanks again for your dedication!

    NW: Burton has missed quite a bit of time with a bad hamstring injury so itís been hard to evaluate him. Robinson has flashed outstanding potential but Avery has really embraced the opportunity to be the top target. Heís much crisper running his routes, heís catching most everything and he still has that blazing speed.

    King is doing well and as recently as Tuesday, he was taking reps as the nickel back. He has a great chance to get a lot of playing time this season and could even compete for the starting job opposite Bartell if he continues to grow during camp.

    Marcus Willis

    Hey Nick, I saw the email you received a few weeks ago about seats in the dome and was curious about what kind of seats might be available? Are most of the lower bowl tickets still all bought up?

    NW: Marcus, there are plenty of options in the currently being renovated Edward Jones Dome so that you can sit just about anywhere you choose. For ticket information, call my man Jon Kruse down at the ticket office at 314-342-5343 and when you do, tell him I sent you. Heíll take good care of you and any others out there reading and following the Rams in this here mailbag.

    Nicolas Manteau

    Why didnít the RAMS coaching staff sign Sebastian Sejean the French DB? He played good last summer in games against the Chargers and Titans. Why does the new coaching staff not want to test Sebastian Sejean?

    NW: A slight blast from the recent past. For those that donít remember, Sejean was an international practice squad player for the Rams last year who came over from France. He seemed to have some physical tools but he clearly would have been a major project. Simply put, he just wasnít ready to play at the NFL level.


    Nick - Looking back at the history of the NFL & The Rams teams in terms of number(Jerseys).I think Harold Jackson had #29.Most of the WR have been in the 80's.College numbers have been all over the map. The Rams starting lineup could have #17, #14, #11, with the power of #46(TE), #44(FB) & #39. It will have a different feel to it with the eyes.

    NW: Interesting observation, Steve. This season will be a fresh start for the Rams in many ways.

    Cian Luck

    Hi Nick,

    Hello from Ireland. As a European Rams fan these mailbags and blogs are a godsend, so thanks.

    My question is this. Do you think the NFC West could lose its recent reputation as the worst division in the NFL? With the great offseason the Rams have had and Seattle looking strong again, not to mention the NFC champion Cardinals, I think the NFC West could be a much more competitive division come September. Your thoughts?

    NW: If nothing else about the NFL is consistent, itís the inconsistency it regularly provides. This is a cyclical league and things go in circles. For a while, when the Rams were at their peak, San Francisco was good and Seattle was good, nobody would have argued that the NFC West was a weaker division. Things spiraled the other way but last yearís NFC Super Bowl representative was from the NFC West. San Francisco, Seattle and St. Louis all changed coaching staffs and the future appears bright all the way around. Thereís no doubt in my mind that the division is going to be more competitive next year and well beyond.

    Rudy Alconcher

    Nick, dumb question. Are the Rams going to be a basic 4-3 defense or are they going 3-4? Obviously they could mix it up, but what is the base defense they will use? Looks like 4-3. Thanks for your input.

    NW: The base defense will be a 4-3 look and Spagnuolo likes to be multiple but what he really likes to do is mix up looks with the personnel. For instance, one of the things he did in New York that threw teams off was in passing situations, he would send in a wave of four defensive ends on the line. Two would be in the middle but it would create havoc for the offensive line to try to handle all of that quickness. Expect plenty of wrinkles and things that weíve never seen before from this defense because it includes elements of a few different places including Philadelphia, New York and Carolina (where defensive coordinator Ken Flajole came from).

    Oscar Herrera

    Thanks for patiently answering our questions. On the injury front, how are Witherspoon and Carriker doing with their shoulders? How are Stanley and Hill doing with their knees? King with his foot? Thanks.

    NW: Carriker and Witherspoon arenít quite 100 percent yet but they both have participated in everything and seem to be in good shape. They wonít miss a beat during training camp barring an unexpected setback before then. Hill is further along than Stanley and has been getting a lot of work as the top corner opposite Bartell. Stanley will not do any team work until training camp but has been participating in individual drills.

    John Stamper

    Hey Nick!
    Being the 10th Anniversary of the Super Bowl XXXIV victory, I vote that the team should play this year in those "retro" 1999 uniforms. What do you think? Bring back the Rams horn on the sleeve with the players' number in it....those are and always will be my favorite uniforms the Rams wore.

    NW: Your vote is unnecessary because the Rams will be wearing the throwback uniforms from the 1999 season on three occasions this year. Thatís all the league allows but the Rams will be taking advantage.

    John Waller

    Hey Nick,
    I was wondering about the Atogwe situation. I know that they put a franchise tag on him but I'm concerned about him missing training camp over contract issues. What is taking him so long to sign that contract? Any news on the situation would be appreciated. Thanks.

    NW: The two sides are still hoping to get a long term deal done and Atogwe is in no rush to sign the franchise tender offer. Atogwe maintains he wants to be a Ram and he will go about his business as usual. Heís been under no obligation to be at the Russell Training Center since heís technically not signed. But heís been here anyway. That should bode well into the summer though you never know what can happen in situations like these.

    William Davidson

    Hi Nick thanks for the updates! I have a question about the goodness of fit between the ram's new offensive and defensive styles and playing indoors versus outdoors. Sometimes, weather conditions (wind, rain, cold) favor teams with certain styles. Based on what you've seen so far' will the rams enjoy any competitive advantage by playing indoors or outdoors? I ask because run-oriented teams seem to do well in inclimate weather.

    NW: From everything I can gather the new schemes on both offense and defense will be all-weather, all circumstance friendly. Teams that like to run the ball and get after it on defense generally donít care if they are indoors or outdoors, in the sun or the rain. They just go about doing their business and I expect the same of this team.

    Shane Taylor

    Did Victor Adeyanju and Richie incognito re-sign?

    NW: Both have signed their restricted free agent one-year offer sheets.

    Eric B.

    Are there any plans on honoring the Rams 1999 Super bowl Winning Team this year? Any ceremonies or talk about getting some of the former team together to motivate this current group? If I may squeeze one last question in, what is Mike Jones doing these days?

    NW: As mentioned above, the team will wear the 1999 throwback jerseys three times this season. There also are some other activities planned, some of which have not been finalized. Iíll have more on those as we get closer to the season.

    Mike Jones is the head football coach at Hazelwood East High in St. Louis and in his first year at the helm, led the team to a state championship. He still is around the Rams on a regular basis, attending games, practices, etc.

    Jim Johnson

    One of the questions I never seen asked is about the Rams quarterback situation. Despite fairly good statistics over the years, Bulger has never shown that he is a winner. A "winner" (Warner, Favre, Jurgensen, etc) would have managed more wins over the past two seasons despite many weaknesses which have been repeatedly discussed.

    NW: So a quarterback is supposed to single handedly overcome major deficiencies on a team? Heís supposed to sack the quarterback, get interceptions, run the ball and block all while still throwing the ball and reading defenses? Itís funny but winning quarterbacks in the NFL always seem to have a boatload of talent around them. I guess thatís what makes it a team sport because one person canít do it all alone. When Bulger had talented and healthy players around him, Iím relatively certain the team went 12-4 and won the division and he went to the Pro Bowl. The guys you named, the Warners, the Favres, etc, theyíve all had losing seasons and the common denominators are the same. Those teams didnít have a ton of talent and/or were hit hard by the injury bug. Thereís no doubting Bulger hasnít fared well the past two seasons. Heís the first to admit that but that doesnít mean he doesnít have it in him to win and win big in this league. Itís happened before.

    Jerome Riddick

    Nick I ask this question once before. I never got an answer here goes. How is all the jersey numbers assigned to players? What happens to Holt, Bruce and Pace numbers. Will another player wear them?

    NW: Numbers assigned based on position. Certain positions can only wear certain numbers. For example, an offensive lineman canít wear No. 6 because of his position grouping. As of now, nobody is wearing 80, 81 or 76. I would expect that to stay that way for a little while at least.

    Pedro Canjura

    Nick, the last couple seasons, the thing killing us is the fact that we can't stay healthy. With that stated, I think the Rams are going to have a HUGE turn around, I'm leaning towards the Dolphin's record breaking +10 (1 win in 07, 11 in 08) win turnaround. I think we can realistically win every game in our division if SJax is healthy, and I know we can beat the 'Skins as we did last season. Lions, Jags, Texans are also very winnable games. The Pack, Colts and Saints run defenses were HORRIBLE last season (bottom 8, with only the Packers doing something by drafting Raji) and a healthy running game I think those 3 games are very winnable games also. Of course it's the NFL and things happen and winnable games are lost, and games that you're supposed to win you don't, I don't think we really have a tough schedule. Do you agree?

    NW: I like the enthusiasm, Pedro. The beautiful thing about the NFL is that you just never know whatís going to happen from year to year. Last yearís record and statistics mean absolutely nothing as it pertains to this year. Rams fans should know that better than anyone after the magical turnaround of 1999. I donít know how difficult the schedule is based on what I just wrote. You believe the Rams could have another big turnaround. Well, so could the Lions or Jags or Texans. Just as likely, some of the better teams could have a big drop off. Thereís no way to know how a team will come together. The only thing I can say is the Rams appear headed in the right direction and weíll have to wait and see what that means in terms of wins and losses.

    Arturo Hernandez

    Hey Nick, Thanks for your reports, they are really valuable for us here in Mexico where we can not get much information about the Rams. My question; what do you think of Rams Salary Cap? I have read that we are not very tight but not enough money either even when we released very important players from last year. I wonder how we can pay so much for a team that has not won many games.

    NW: The salary cap situation is pretty tight though the Rams still have some wiggle room should they choose to make a tweak or two in the coming months. The Rams did release their share of salary but replaced that with some free agents and there are always increases in salaries for players already on the roster with which to deal. Keep in mind; most teams around the league spend to or at least near the cap. Thatís where parity comes in. This isnít Major League Baseball where a high payroll can equate to winning games.

    Mark Sokol


    Different type of question for you here. After reading your updates on the minicamps it appears unsigned draft class may be participating. If this is the case on one of them has a career ending injury their football career is over before it ever started. It doesn't seem wise from a player standpoint to participate without a contract. Is there something I have missed?

    NW: Mark, I took some time to read through the NFL collective bargaining agreement to get you a more specific answer. Hereís some of what I found, hope it helpsÖ

    ďA club that drafts a player shall be deemed to have automatically tendered the player a one-year NFL player contract for the minimum active/inactive list salary then applicable to the player pursuant to the terms of this agreement.Ē

    While players arenít technically under contract, they have essentially been ďtenderedĒ by the drafting teams. That means any negotiation beyond that for the long term deals they all eventually sign will be done in good faith. These players also sign waivers and things of that nature that cover them should an injury happen during the minicamps. That is the best I understand how it works, anyway. Rest assured, these players are covered even though they technically have not signed contracts yet.

    Dennis Rufus

    Hey Nick, thanks for keeping us rams fans informed every week. Who looks like the front runner for kickoff return duties? Or is it still too early to tell?

    NW: Still too early to tell, especially because Derek Stanley is still injured. He would likely be the leader but hard to say how he will bounce back from that knee injury. Kenneth Darby, Jonathan Wade and a host of others are taking reps there. Itís definitely something weíll keep an eye on as training camp kicks into gear.


    Hi Nick.
    Great job with keeping us informed. I love the moves the Rams have made this year and think we are headed in the right direction. We keep hearing from "experts" that the secondary is an issue. We have recently drafted some corners with supposedly tons of potential but raw, so I was wondering with the extra experience they have had, what are the coaches saying and what have you seen from Jonathan Wade and Justin King?
    Keep up the great work!

    NW: Nobody is placing anybody on the depth chart yet because the coaching staff wants to get a good look at these guys when the pads are on during training camp. From my observations, it appears Wade is getting better in coverage every day. He just seems more fluid which is natural considering his limited experience at the position when he came out of college. King is recovering well from injury and has been taking turns with Wade working at the nickel position. Should be an interesting competition for the cornerback jobs behind Bartell.

    Thatís all for this week. Thanks for all the questions, as usual.

Related Topics


  • r8rh8rmike
    Nick's Mailbag: July 22
    by r8rh8rmike
    Nick's Mailbag: July 22
    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    Bill Hundt

    Will there be any accommodations set up for handicap fans at training camp?
    (Parking, wheelchair access, etc)

    NW: Any specific questions about camp can be answered right here at the site on our training camp page. But yes, there will be accommodations for anyone and everyone to attend practices.

    Gerry Kettler

    Do you see the rams carrying two legitimate fullbacks with the offensive emphasis on the ground game? Karney and Johnson or Fells?

    NW: Itís not likely that they would carry two fullbacks. Karney will be the guy. Fells qualifies at tight end, where they will likely keep three.

    Jared McMahon

    Is there anyway to ever have a chance to try and become pro if you didnít play college ball?

    NW: There are lots of circuitous routes to get to the NFL. But most NFL teams donít simply have open tryouts or anything. The best way I can think of would be to tryout for a semi-pro team or a lower-level arena team, play really well and hope to work your way up. Itís been done before, see: Warner, Kurt.

    Sam Thomas

    As a someone who is interested in the turf industry, I was wondering if the new turf going in the dome is going to be a portable system, as I know that the Rams have wanted to install a FieldTurf tray system since 2005, but haven't because it was deemed not ready.

    NW: To the best of my knowledge, no. The turf installed will be the same stuff that has been used in recent years and will be brought in for the season and then replaced with a new one in 2010.

    Don Riley

    I'm in Jersey and suffered through watching the Rams against the Giants, Jets and Eagles last year. Also, what people in St. Louis may not know, the Super Bowl Giants with Spags, in what I believe was his first year, looked like the worst team in football after the first two weeks. Then Spags was able to work his magic. The Giants were a defensive powerhouse. I believe the Rams may be the most improved team in the NFL by season's end. Do you think that could be a possibility, Nick? Remember the Giants defense wasn't exactly scaring people when Spags took over in Jersey. They were in disarray and everybody wanted Coughlin Ė out! I'm not sure the players in St. Louis aren't about to go from the outhouse to the Penthouse, quicker than anybody thinks.

    NW: I love the enthusiasm, Don. Nobody knows better than Rams fans how fast you can go from the bottom to the top. Letís temper that by not expecting it to happen and letís focus on making gains weekly in terms of better performance but remember this is a process.

    Eric B.


    A friend and I were discussing the two best Rams RB's, in our humble opinions. Obviously they were Eric Dickerson and...
    -07-23-2009, 02:53 PM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Nick's Mailbag: May 27
    by r8rh8rmike
    Nick's Mailbag: May 27
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009

    Reason Warehime


    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...
    -05-28-2009, 04:31 PM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Nick's Mailbag: June 17
    by r8rh8rmike
    Nick's Mailbag: June 17
    Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    Nickís Mailbag Ė June 17, 2009

    Sean Murphy

    Hey Nick, thanks for reading my question. You may not have much of an answer for this but, I'll ask anyway. From what I've seen outside of his early fumbles Darby has impressed me more than Pittman. He seems to have more juke-ability. I know Pittman is a little more experience but, do you think Darby has the talent to be our #2 RB?

    NW: Itís going to be a tightly contested battle because so far Pittman has looked quicker than he did in the past and he seems to really feel comfortable for the first time since he arrived in St. Louis. That said, Darby does have the tools to be the backup to Jackson. Itís important to remember that Jackson is going to get the bulk of the work barring injury so there are certain talents you are looking for in the backup. Pittman and Darby are comparable as runners but Darby is the better pass catcher and probably the best at blitz pickup among all of the running backs on the roster. Should be a fun battle to watch in training camp.

    Eugene Bard

    Now that Mark Sanchez has signed his deal, have you heard anything about the rams draft picks signing? And do you think the other first round picks will start to sign?

    NW: No timeframe on this but I donít expect anything to happen right away. Maybe something by the end of the month on some of the picks but the market still needs to set itself. Teams are more eager to get quarterbacks drafted so highly signed right away because itís imperative that they donít miss any opportunity to learn on the job because more often than not, they are going to get thrown in the fire right away. Thatís tough for a quarterback.

    Scott Bundren

    Hey, Nick. Thanks, as always, for the great mailbag. This is more of a rhetorical question. Why are so many Rams fans so quick to throw Marc Bulger, in particular, under the bus? Because he's had a couple down years? Is it all on him? In that case, why don't we get rid of Steven Jackson? He's been underproductive the past couple seasons, too. Come on! Can't you see that it's more than coincidence that their stats, along with some other playmakers' stats have dropped off the past couple years? Whether it was the coaching staff or the personnel (or both) that were lacking, I believe this new regime is on the right track to rebuild the Rams' legacy. Thanks, again for a great forum and GO RAMS!!

    NW: Well said, Scott. The fact is, this is a results-oriented business and when the results arenít up to standard, people will want to vent about it. I get that, too, but it doesnít mean thereís anything wrong with actually trying to understand that this is the ultimate team sport and how one person performs directly affects the rest.

    Eric B.

    One of my favorite moments in Rams history...
    -06-17-2009, 07:02 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

    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

    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
  • 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