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Jim Thomas Live Aug 25th

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  • Jim Thomas Live Aug 25th

    Jim Thomas Live

    Jim Thomas: This is from Mike Smith: Jim will start the chat soon as his post-practice interviews are finished. We apologize for the delay.


    Ram Fan: Hello Jim,
    When is A.Green's plane landing? The rushing offense was horrible.
    Jim Thomas: The rushing offense may have been terrible, but Ahman Green isn't going to happen. As someone at Rams Park told me: "That contact is sitting right next to Michael Vick's."


    CraZyRam: Hello Jim,

    Where were the RAMS we saw a week before at the Meadowlands? It is almost a complete oppisite performance. Glad it is only the preseason, but doesn't it make you concerned going in to the regular season? Whats your take on it Jim?
    Jim Thomas: It was definitely a step back, and a reality check for the team. I always say you pay attention to the score when the starters are in, and watch individuals are units when they're not. Well, it was pretty lopsided when the starters were in. If nothing else, it showed us that the rebuilding project probably isn't going to happen overnight.


    Larry: Jim,

    Jason Smith didn't look that great in the game against Atlanta. I understand he needs time but the analyst at the break challenged if Jason Smith is really going to be able to make the transition to the NFL as a good pass blocker and mentioned he may not have been the best draft pick for the Rams needs. Can you comment on this.
    Jim Thomas: I don't know what analyst you're talking about, but I don't know how you can make such blanket statements two preseason games into a career. My observation: Smith is gradually getting better. But I'm not sure if he's ready to be the starter on opening day.


    Prof: Thank you, Mr. Thomas for your time. Some comments about the dome improvements and questions where perhaps you can help.

    The concourses are dramatically improved. The new flooring and paint give them an expansive feel.

    Inside the dome is another story. The big screen that we can completely see from our seats is the wide screen on the north side. It clarity is unbelievably good, but its aspect ratio sometimes cuts off key parts of plays when shown on replay. The advertising bands around the dome are attractive but cast so much light that the entire ambient hue and light level changes in the dome when the ads change. It's like pimp my dome. Plus the only down and distance panel that we can see is all but illegible. The blue and gold paint theme is attractive but the stripes are too gaudy. The white painted railings lighten the feel, but the railings in our section were already scraped clean to the metal before the first pre-season game. Some people like the new sound system, but I can't tell much difference, which says something about its overall improvement.

    Where the concourse produces an instant "wow" factor, the interior restorations take with one hand what they have given with the other, producing disappointment about the money spent.

    Do you think anyone at the Rams would be interested in a genuine, non-vitriolic letter about the upgrades? If so, to whom should we write?
    Jim Thomas: Interesting points. I believe Kevin Demoff, the Rams' executive vice president of football operations, reads this chat from time to time, so your feedback I'm sure is appreciated.


    dominic: Hey Jim:
    Lets be realistic and tell write what it is,our beloved Rams just arent very talented and its going to take another year or two of good drafts and free agent signings.
    1)Can you see the Rams signing at least 5 new players after the final cutdown?
    2)Maybe a running back,defensive end and tackle,safety and maybe kick returner/receiver or linebacker?
    Again,we arent a very talented team and despite good coaching whichs Spags will bring,we can be drafting 1 or 2 again.....thoughts?
    And Im not being negative or am I upset with that fate,but just being realistic.
    Jim Thomas: 1.) I'm sure the Rams will be very interested in the final cuts around the league.
    2.) All of these areas you mention or possibilities. So is cornerback. I don't know if they'll be drafting at the very top of the draft again, but it's clear the Rams are still a few players away. I think that's a realistic approach. And you know what? If the Rams are better than that, well then we're pleasantly surprised.


    OCRich: 1. Why Ahman Green over Edgerrin James? Edge looked pretty good during the playoff run last year, and he's proven he can be an effective pass blocker.
    2. Are the Rams worried Keith Null will get claimed if they try to put him on waivers and then add him to the practice squad?
    3. After September 5 how will the Joe Flopenstein era be remembered? Or will it?
    Jim Thomas: 1.) Repeating my earlier answer: Ahman Green is not going to happen.
    2.) Good question. What happens in these final two preseason games might increase or decrease such concern.
    3.) I will very surprised _ make that shocked _ if Klopfenstein survives the final cut.


    Johnny Tex: Let's review. An offense and defense that blow simple assignments. A defense that can't tackle. A coach who says "It's my fault they weren't ready to play". All this sounds and looks very similar to Linehan and Martz coached teams. I really hope I'm wrong!
    Jim Thomas: You and most of Rams Nation hope you're wrong.


    Rob: JT, Long time St. Louis football fan and season ticketholder for both the Cardinals and Ram. Went to the preseason game on Friday night with a lot of curiosity regarding the facility upgrade at the Dome. Boy was I disappointed. First of all I sit at the North end of the stadium and the Replay screen I saw looked smaller than in the past and we longer had the Scoreboard to follow time, down and distance etc. To find that info I needed to look around to the sides of the building and the scoreboard info was so small I could barely read it without my binos. Then I kept looking for the new Replay big screens. I walked around the side to find it was below my seats such that I had no vision of it.
    I hope the Rams aren't done yet. If not I can tell you there were a bunch of folks in section 403 not very happy and talking about this being their last year as season ticketholders.
    This was an insult. They keep talking about improving the fans experience and they have made it worse for the folks at the North end of the Dome.
    Jim Thomas: One of the more frequent complaints that I heard is that it was tough to see the score on any of the scoreboards.
    Remember, this was a $30 million renovation; not a $200 million deal.


    Rich: Greetings Jim,

    Do see the Rams putting Foster on the PUP list in the hope he can contribute this year or will they shut him down for the year?

    Foster is obviously going to need a lot of work and getting hurt in his first pre-season game definitely hurt his development. Futhermore, he would be holding down a roster spot that could go to somebody that could contribute.

    However, the powers that be were impressed enough to spend a 5th round pick on him and it looks like he at least has a future in ST.

    Thanks again for hosting these chats.
    Jim Thomas: He would have to go on IR. The PUP list comes into play only when you fail a physical before the start of camp. I believe the Rams are waiting until the Sept. 1 cutdown to place him on IR. That was he doesn't count against the active roster and doesn't have to clear waivers.


    JD: Hey JT, Based on what you have seen so far is Boller an upgrade over the Rams previous backup QBs, Trent Green and Gus?
    Jim Thomas: Actually, I would say yes. And I'm talking about the Trent Green of 2008, not the Trent Green of 2000.


    jerry Cox: Hi Jim,

    How does the competition between Null and Berlin look to you? Do the coaches view one or both to be potential starters in the NFL?

    Jim Thomas: I could be wrong, but I think it's pretty close. Null did throw that costly interception against Atlanta, but he did help drive the team down to get into that position. Berlin threw a nice TD pass to Stanley. I think Berlin looks a little more accurate and a little more comfortable in the pocket this year. But he is 28. Is he already close to his ceiling as a player? Null, I think has a stronger arm. I don't know if the coaches feel either one is a potential starter.


    JD: How happy are Billy & Spags with the talent on the Rams roster? I could see the Rams picking up 3 or 4 players off waivers for the final 53 roster after final cuts, especially DT, WR & RB.
    Jim Thomas: Billy knows there are holes on the roster. You might add backup safety to that list.


    ramboy81: hey jim , its time for the rams to go get roscoe parrish. i know stanley has shown a little bit of improvement as a receiver , but avery ,robinson, burton, parrish, curry and stanley. would be a nice fit.
    Jim Thomas: Are you the guy that asks about Parrish every week? Do we have any idea if Buffalo is even remotely interested in trading him?


    owen: our problem on defence is we have only one person that scares offensive lineman and that is little.if he is consistently beating his man then they just double team him or chip block him.nobody else is doing anything.the only way we are going to get to the qb is to blitz by bringing our cb's and safeties.i hope they are scouting teams like pittsburgh,baltimore and tennesse who always find diamonds in the rough defensively.we are in a bad need of a upgrade on the line.i think next year when little retires long will be moved over to the left side and we draft a de who can rush the passer.i think long can be an effective pass rusher from that side but not at the right end position.he is not quick enough and can not disengage from the left tackle once he locks on.but from the left side his speed and quickness is more than adequate.what do you think
    Jim Thomas: I was talking about this with another writer at practice the other day. But Ryan Pickett and Damione Lewis may be better than any tackle on the current Rams roster.


    Ram101: Mr. Thomas, thanks for taking my question,

    I'm not sure what to think at this point in the preseason, Vanilla is sweet in ice crean and cake but at some point you have to work on real play combo's and I wounder why the othere teams I have watched are running true plays and the Rams are not. I just feel like the Coaching staff could show us something to get excited about but they are not. Your thoughts?
    Jim Thomas: My observation is that play-calling in the preseason gets less and less vanilla each year. I'd be a liar if I said I knew the Rams' playbook. But the Rams have blitzed a fair amount in the preseason, for example. Based on what's happened in camp on the practice field, there's a lot of stuff the offense hasn't gotten to it. But I don't sense that the Rams have been that much more vanilla than other teams.


    George M.: I think it is fair to say that Jacob Bell was a major disappointment last year. I know he is out with a concussion right now, but I was wondering if he has shown more in camp and preseason so far? If not, is there a chance that Greco, Schuening, or Setterstrom could crack the starting lineup. The two tackle positions are getting a lot of attention, but if this year's Bell is the same as last year's, left guard would seem to me to be the weak link in the line. Thanks.
    Jim Thomas: I'm not saying Bell was great, but I wouldn't call him a major disappointment. Schuening will have a tough time making the final 53. Setterstrom has been a starter before in this league at left guard (end of '06), but as you know, he's had injury problems. Greco has some upside, but I don't think you could say he's ready to beat out Bell. I think Bell was doing OK, or better than OK, prior to the injury.


    ramsman77: I have not been impressed with the Rams recent draft picks. Jason Smith has not looked like a good pick so far and I know it is still early. They should of took O-lineman in second round and Defense in 1st round. Now Barron is starting at left tackle and Smith at right tackle the same thing they did when Barron came into NFL. Why draft someone who is not going to start at their natural postion?. What is your take on Smith ? Do you believe he will be a starter this year? They could of had a good reciever in the draft but do not take any in third round. Devaney does not impress at all. I believe Spags should make all final moves with players .Do you think the Rams will be much improved this season? Thank You MR. Thomas.
    Jim Thomas: Long and Smith were both what I'd call safe picks _ on the more conservative side. I will be astounded if Smith doesn't start this year. It's way too early to pass judgement on Billy Devaney as a talent evaluator.


    bfulton: I haven't had a question all month. I think that's because all of the P-D's great coverage had made questions unnecessary. Thank you.

    I am wondering, however, given the struggles in the running game and defense and the surpises in Robinson and Bajema, if the Rams are considering leaning more on the passing game than originally planned? Is it just a case of being too early to make that decision, or will they have to stick with it throughout the season because that's the ultimate goal for the franchise? If it's too early, when during the season would they make that decision? Has it just not come up, yet?
    Jim Thomas: When all is said and done, Steven Jackson remains the best player on the team. So why wouldn't you try to feature the best player on the team? And the running game was actually good against the Jets, even with just two carries from Jackson.


    Mike: The Rams back up running backs have been unimpressive from what I have seen(games only). Do they show more in practice ?

    They all have had some flashes and Gado had some good returns the other night. Does it appear the Rams think there is enough ability to want the keep any or all of these guys.
    They look like what they are -waiver, free agent and practice squad pick ups.
    It's glaringly clear this team is weak in talent. Why keep players with no apparent up side potential.
    Jim Thomas: I'm sure it's an area the Rams would've liked to have upgraded in the offseason, but in this age of the salary cap, there's only so many holes you can fix in one offseason, particularly on a roster full of as many holes as the Rams had after the 2008 season.


    Sum1BTRthnU: Jim,
    Considering that very little positive talk has been coming from Kyle Boller's there any rumbling that Berlin and Null may both beat out Boller for back up jobs? What is your opinion of the entire situation?
    Jim Thomas: Berlin and Null won't beat out Boller.


    NYC Rams Fan: The Rams made a big issue this off-season about trying to get bigger on the line area, especially on defense. Was the Rams defense getting pushed around by Atlanta's O-line this past week, or were they just playing out of position, or were they missing tackles?

    Also, how come Chris Ogbannaya didn't see any action?
    Jim Thomas: I would say all of the above.
    As for Ogbonnaya, they may be trying to hide him and put him on the practice squad.


    TD51: Jim,
    1) QB - Yes, it's late but I can see Bulger's finger inj linger, do we look at the waivers or possibly try to trade for a solid #2 QB? I know the season hasn't started but Bulger's spot after this yr is questionable at best IMO.

    2) WR - any concerns w/ Avery's inj - saw he's back running, do we see him in 1st reg season game? Look to add depth off waivers here?

    3) RB - # 2 is totally hit and miss but I'm not sure A Green is any better, what's your opinion on where they go with this?

    Jim Thomas: 2.) As I blogged in the Rams report, Avery practiced Tuesday and looked good. He caught two TD passes in a red zone drill. He says there's no doubt he will play against Seattle.


    Ineeda Hammer: The Seahags look weakened for Week 1... but, without Bulger, I do not think we will get that WAY OVERDUE WIN up there.

    Has he even been throwing the ball on the sidelines in practice ?

    Has Bulger said ANYTHING that would give us hope for him playing wk 1 ?

    What is a realistic expectation for his return ?
    Jim Thomas: Bulger has yet to throw a ball. He said last week that he's DEFINITELY playing against the Seahawks.


    Aaron in San Antonio: Jim,
    Thanks for answering my Q last week, let's go for a twofer.

    SLB has been ceded to Draft per most of the 'insiders', but Grant has done nothing but impress every time he's been presented an opportunity. Is there a good chance that Grant will be used on a rotational basis initially, or does Draft start week 1. I ask because I think the LB crew needs cohesion similar to the O-Line and Grant seems to offer a younger/quicker/more upside option.
    Thanks Jim
    Jim Thomas: Draft is very solid and good against the run. But it wouldn't surprise me to see Grant worked in during some blitzing situations.


    Jumbo J: What's happening Jim?

    From what I have been able to see on TV, Jason Smith has looked like a mid round pick. With Hindsight being 20/20, should we have taken Aaron Curry with the 2nd pick? We still could've gotten JL or another RIGHT tackle in the 2nd. I really liked Fenuki Tupou later in the draft.

    Just wondering.......
    Jim Thomas: I liked Curry a lot coming out. But I believe he's currently hurt and not playing.


    RamDan1212: Jim,

    Thanks for again for taking our questions.

    Another preseason in the books, and another game the Rams first string offense can not produce a TD. Why wouldn't Spags play the 1st string until they produce a TD? It's crazy to think that the offense will have confidence come openning day in Seattle if they can't score in the preseason. I would like to see Jackson get a few more playing time and have Boller spread the ball around to McMichael, Burton, and Robinson.

    Any thoughts?
    Jim Thomas: Yeah, I'm a little surprised Jackson hasn't gotten more work in the preseason, especially after seeing him get tackled in the first live tackling day of camp. I think he'll get a few more carries Thursday in Cincy, but it's not like he's going to get 10 or 15 touches. The starters are expected to play at least through the first half and possibly one series into the third quarter vs. the Bengals.


    Jake De Snake: Jim,

    Obviously our offense has had some real problems putting the ball in the endzone the last 3 seasons. I remember last year when the 1st offense didnít score a TD in preseason. Do you think this is a prelude of things to come?

    Iím hearing through the grape vine that Gibson is beating out Carriker for the DT position. What makes Gibson a more valued player than Adam? Besides him being healthy.

    Thanks again Jim for answering the fans questions!

    D Snake.
    Jim Thomas: Gibson has shown some penetration ability. Carriker is still coming back from the ankle.


    LeaveYourPride: Are the Rams sold on their receivers? I am curious as to why someone like Marvin Harrison is out there and we don't have any interest in him. Is Marvin just done? Retired? I understand he is older but couldn't he help the young receivers out or is he out of gas? Just curious.
    Jim Thomas: Robinson has looked better than expected. Avery looks like he'll be back for Seattle. Burton has been kind of quiet. That leaves Curry and Carter (Carter should be back for Seattle). I'm sure the Rams will check the waiver wires.


    RamDan1212: Jim,

    Can you put a percentage guess on whether the follwing players will be starting in Seattle?

    Jim Thomas: Avery--90%; Bulger 95%; Bell 85%; Carriker 85%--


    Jumbo J: Hollis Thomas still looks like me. Is he ever going to get into shape?

    What is the D line rotation looking like these days? Too bad I ruptured three discs in my back and neck while playing D line in college. I think I could do better than some on this crew. Is Goose too old to bring back?
    Jim Thomas: He's getting there. And has been more effective on the field lately as well.


    Lawarence Marmie: I forgot- is this going to be Jimmy Kennedy's or Claude Wroten's or Tye Hill's breakout season?
    Jim Thomas: Claude Terrell's.


    Rita from South County: Hi Jim,

    The renovated Dome looked good on T.V., but please tell us the Rams aren't going to wear those white pants anymore. Seriously, where can we sign a petition to bring back the blue and gold?

    On a another note, any chance you can get Chip on for one of your chats? I'd like to thank him for his efforts to improve the team and I think other Rams fans would too.
    Jim Thomas: I don't know. I think the white pants are here to stay.
    As for Chip, no promises, but I'll work on it.


    ramsfan1974: Have not heard much about Jackson.. Is he healthy? What is your opinon on him for this season. I look forward every Tuesday for your input. Keep up the good work on keeping us informed. GO RAMS
    Jim Thomas: Steven's healthy. And says he's ready to go.


    Jumbo J: What is going on with the poor tackling? They looked like a pee wee team trying tackle last week. Is this a sign of things to come, or was it a bad week. How has the tackling looked in camp?
    Jim Thomas: Tackling has been good in practice, when they did live tackling, and was good vs. the Jets with a few exceptions.


    Larry Cape: Have not seen a significant improvement in the Rams starting defense. Is this a concern since Spagnola was hired to specifically address this, or is the poor personnel to blame? Was not addressing the defense with a higher priority in the draft a mistake?
    Jim Thomas: The defense look pretty good against the Jets; obviously not so good against Falcons.


    Josh: Hey Jim thanks for the weekly update.
    Just a couple questions that I haven't read too much about..
    1) Based on Spags roundabout answering on the topic and general lack of enthusiasm, it doesn't seem that Spags is a fan of Carriker.. or is he only reluctant to discuss Carrikers status for some other reason?
    2) If it were your decision.. Chris Draft or Larry Grant as SLB? It seems with the overhaul favoring young players, this one would go to Grant with Draft being the guy that jumps in and does it all.
    #) In the rams offense, who do you see playing a bigger role, TE McMichael or Laurent Robinson?
    Jim Thomas: 1.) I'm not going to say Spags in particular, but obviously there was some disappointment over Carriker's injury. And it's interesting that now that he's back on the practice field, he's with the third string.
    2.) I like Draft as a player; but Grant has been impressive.
    3.) This offense wants to spread the ball around. In theory, I guess I'd say McMichael. But as Spags had told the players: "This is the land of opportunity _ for roster spots, for starting jobs, for pecking order in the offense."


    Josh (South Korea): Hey Jim thanks for all the updates, Im a rams fan stuck in South Korea for the next football season, and was wondering if you know of any streaming websites that offer live rams games?
    Jim Thomas: DirectTV is testing a broad-band only Sunday Ticket package in Manhattan this year. If things go well that may expand.
    Otherwise, check the fan message boards. There may be something on them that helps you, uh, finesse the situation.


    jkgeorge: Hi Jim,

    We have not heard much or seen much about our new fullback (Karney)since his injury.
    Is it that severe or are we just being cautious not to rush him back.
    Our running game sure could use him or at least the promise that he brought to our ground game.
    Ohio Ram fan for life
    Jim Thomas: He returned to action against the Falcons after missing two weeks (and the Jets game) with the ankle injury. He was in for several plays against Atl, and he's getting worked back into the swing of things.


    kcad301: Jim do you think the rams can win 6-8 games this season?
    Jim Thomas: Believe me, I've been wrong before. I'm the guy who said in the Edward Jones Dome press box (it was the Trans World Dome back then, I believe), "They'll be lucky to win four games this year" when Trent Green went down in preseason game #3 against San Diego 10 years ago. But I think six wins might be the maximum.


    GoneGator: Hi Jim, I have a uni question for you. Any idea which games the throwbacks will be worn this year? I think I read there will be four games for these, is that correct? Thanks!
    Jim Thomas: Rams are wearing throwback unis Oct. 11 vs. Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings and Dec. 20 vs. the Houston Texans. Teams can wear throwbacks up to 3 times a season, but one of those 3 games has to be a preseason contest. The Rams decided not to wear them in the preseason.


    Tru: Hey Jim,

    I was wondering if you have seen or heard anything about the Rams featuring some "Wildcat" in their offense this year and if you cant say, i understand.

    Jim Thomas: All I can say on this subject is: Stay tuned.


    rxc99: Hey Jim,

    What are the chances that Duckett might be considered or worth taking a look at for short yardage/goal line situation?

    Jim Thomas: I'm sure the Rams will consider Duckett if he's cut. But wouldn't you want Jackson in there on short yardage?


    Anthony Donato in Fresno, CA: My question is regarding the QB situation. Obviously, Bulger is the starter. I really like what I've seen from Null. I like his size and arm. I hope he has the smarts to do it. He doesn't look like he would crumble when a defensive lineman slams him. (I cringe when Bulger gets wacked) What is going to happen with the QB roster? What is going to happen with the unlucky fourth QB? I want Null in there if Bulger can't get the job done this year. What have you heard about Null from the coaches and waht do you think will happen? Thank you and keep up the great work?
    Jim Thomas: A lot can happen in two preseason games. But my sense is that the offensive coaches do like Null.


    cardsnumber7: Hi Jim,
    How did Setterstrom look Sunday or how did he "grade out"?
    Jim Thomas: It's funny. Setterstrom started, but Greco ended up playing more at LG in the first half with the starters. It looks like Setterstrom and Greco will share time once again at LG against Cincy on Thursday, with Bell out again. Setterstrom's a pretty good football player; it's never been the blocking with him; it's been staying healthy.


    tom in sf: Hi Jim,

    Thanks for the chat, as always.

    Did the Rams have any interest in running back Edgerrin James, who recently signed with the Seahawks?

    Are there any other currently-unemployed RB's (or soon to be unemployed RB's after final cuts [Eagles? Giants?]) that might fit the Rams offensive system as a #2 or #3 RB behind Steven Jackson? I'm starting to fret about our backup running back situation. Personally, I was hoping Pittman would have a monster training camp, but that scenario does not seem to be materializing.

    Jim Thomas: I'm not aware that the Rams had any interest in the Edge. Darby (knee) almost certainly will be sidelined vs. Cincy, so it's shaping up as a big night for Gado and Pittman.


    8081RIP: Hey Jim love reading your stuff. My question is Do you think Avery will be back for opening day? And if so how fast do you see him picking up the WCO?
    Oh and my father and i are flying out for the home opener...where's some good eats???
    Jim Thomas: Avery looked good in practice today and says he will be ready for Sept. 13.
    My colleague Bill Coats is the restaurant expert. Here's what he has to say. In downtown he recommends, the Lucas Park Grille on Washington just a few blocks west of the dome. Mike Shannon's on Market Street for steaks. If you like more exotic fare, Wasabi Sushi Bar, also on Washington is very good.


    Rick: Jim, thanks for your time. I am a California fan and do not get much chance to see any Rams games (especially pre season). What's your take so far on Laurinatius? I haven't seen Curry either, but perhaps you can compare the two based on what you've seen and know so far.

    Jim Thomas: I've been pleasantly surprised with Laurinaitis. He's been a little stronger at the point of attack than I expected. He's got pretty range in coverage. And certainly doesn't seemed to be overwhelmed. He's a smart, heady player.
    I really liked Curry coming out, but I think he's been hurt in Seattle.


    Jeff in Iowa: Thanks for the chat JT!

    I always kinda take training camp results with a grain of salt as far as who looks good versus who doesn't. If Leonard Little is having a good camp, Jason Smith must not be. If Chris Long is having a down camp, then Alex Barron must be having a good one. My question after two games though, is who do you think has really impressed going against live opponents more so then in camp and which of this years draft class may or may not make the team?
    Jim Thomas: I'll answer the draft question. Among the Class of '09, Brooks Foster (ankle) is headed for IR, I believe. QB Keith Null and RB Chris Ogbonnaya are on the bubble. But certainly practice squad worthy if they don't make the final 53.


    CrazyTrades08: hey jim, its time for the rams to get steve smith, larry fitzgerald, anquan boldin, andre johnson and/or calvin johnson. wouldn't they be nice fits too?

    thanks for chatting every week.
    Jim Thomas: Isn't Randy Moss available, too?


    Luke: Jim,
    First, let me state that I thought the dome looked great. The scoreboards were really awesome and we watched a good part of the game in the Bud Light party zone and had a great time.
    My question is regarding Jason Smith - Why did he suddenly play LT today in practice? Is it so he is ready to move there if Barron were to get hurt b/c Goldberg looked awful at LT, or are we changing our mind on him playing RT all together?
    Jim Thomas: He's played LT at other times in camp, although more so recently. I wouldn't read anything into it at this point.


    keithv: Jim, just how worried are the Rams about an eroding fan base? In your opinion, are the Rams in St. Louis for years past the 2014 season? Thank You.
    Jim Thomas: They definitely need to start winning games. That's the best way to get back the fan base. Despite the lease issues and the looming sale of the team, I still say it's a longshot that the team moves.


    Jim: JT

    In your best guess what o lineman make the team?

    Jim Thomas: Barron, Bell, Brown, Incognito, Smith, Goldberg, Setterstrom, Greco. That's eight. If they keep nine or 10, then maybe we get into Foster or Schuening.


    Warner2Bruce: Why don't you think the Rams can turn it around in a year? They did it in 1999 and the previous year they did not have that much talent. They have signed FA the last couple of years and they were a kick away from the division the first year of Linehan.....Thanks for your thoughts. I need some encouragement to offset the money I've spent to watch the Rams on DTV.

    Jim Thomas: Oh, I think they'll be better than last year. And on paper, most of their offseason moves make sense. But I don't see a Faulk, or a Holt being added to the mix _ as was the case in '99. And I don't see a Kurt Warner-in-waiting on the roster, even though Keith Null has had some good moments.


    Murat from Pitt: Hello Jim;

    In last two seasons, the lack of TD passes from the 1st offensive unit in the preseason later turned into an underwhelming offense during the regular season. In your opinion, how concerned are the Rams coaches about a lack of TD pass from the 1st unit so far this preseason?

    Jim Thomas: I don't know. But they should be.


    ramboy81: yes jim , i am the one who ask about roscoe parrish every week . from what i have read every week , they said he is the odd man out . all i know jim is that he can help us. go rams.
    Jim Thomas: Well, we'll see what happens in a week or two. If he's cut, that's a whole different story.


    s868957: Have not heard much about Darell Scott during PS games. Is there a status on him and can we expect him to help against the run?

    Also, on that big run play against Atlanta, Leonard Little mentioned that it was a gap assignment he missed. Shouldn't there have been a LB or CB behind him to pick up the runner coming through?
    Jim Thomas: Scott had a sack vs. Atlanta. He has been slowed by a little bit of a nagging knee problem, but didn't miss any practice time this week. I'd say the early reports on him are encouraging. He combines good size with some quickness and penetration skills so far.
    Little went way wide on the play _ helping to create the gap. He obviously read pass instead of run on second and 10. But you're right the linebackers, the interior of the line, and the safeties were no where to be found.


    Laurent Robinson: After my awesome showing on Friday, me and the other Rams receivers are wondering what the pass-to-run ratio will be once the regular season starts. We understand that Steven Jackson is the best RB in the NFL, but me and Avery feel we can handle a larger load. What's your take, Jim?
    Jim Thomas: The ball will be spread around. If you're open, no matter what progression you are in the read, you better have your head turned and be ready. Just in case.
    With that I must go and start working on newspaper stuff. Thanks for all the questions and will take to you next week, by which time there will be five fewer Rams on the roster.

Related Topics


  • Nick
    Jim Thomas Chat - Sept 15
    by Nick
    cburn17: Jim,

    Love the chats, thanks for the time! I love the rebuilding effort so far, the new regime has shown they are not shy about "cleaning house". Is the release of Chris Draft as much a surprise to the "insiders" as it was to me and/or the fans?

    Also, in regards to Marc Bulger...its obvious he has to have a play better and regain his form to sustain a starting job in this league. However, considering the reputation of rew coaches in the NFL to want "their guy" under center, is Marc a lmae duck despite his performance? If he plays well, the Rams could leverage that as trade value, if he stinks it up....then they could justifiably release him in the off-season. I feel like this is something that is very likely to happen...any chance I am correct?

    - Bert

    Jim Thomas: The post-release spin out of Rams Park the Draft may have been only their 4th or 5th linebacker anyway. But if that was the case, why do you wait until Thursday to release the guy? But the were looking at Vobora long and hard throughout training camp and the preseason.

    Good QBs are hard to find. If Bulger plays well, they'd be silly not to keep him around.

    rams2050: Hi, Jim!

    Seems like no matter who the Rams sign to the O-line, who they draft, or what configurations of players they use to open up holes for the running back or pass protect or pick up blitzes, these problems still loom as THE MAJOR problems for the team.

    I can't believe that every single O-line player or combinations of O-line players are the sole reasons for such an ongoing, miserable onfield record.

    Does Steve Loney ever get called on the carpet about his (apparent) failure to meld a cohesive line-up, one that works together in concert toward the same objectives, out of these guys?

    I mean, what is it now? Four or five Loney years and counting?? How much more slack is this guy going to be given before he's held accountable?

    I, for one, cannot believe the fault rests solely with the players.

    Is Hanifan available?? Anyone else?

    Jim Thomas: Wrong. Paul Boudreaux was the line coach in St. Louis in 2006-07. The line didn't play all that well, and he was fired by Linehan. The Falcons now have one of the best rushing teams in the NFL. I don't think the problem is coaching. This is Loney's second season with the club.

    rams2050: To what do you attribute Steven Jackson's less-than-stellar efforts vs. Seattle this past Sunday?

    Are he and the fullback/O-line still not fully in sync? Or is the O-line mainly to blame? What about the runs being called? They looked purely vanilla to me, but then I don't have the expert's eye that you have.

    If you were the coach, how would YOU solve the running game's problems?...
    -09-16-2009, 08:40 AM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Jim Thomas Live - Aug. 31
    by r8rh8rmike
    Jim Thomas Live
    Tuesday, August 31, 2010

    ramfandan: Hi Jim,
    I know the Rams are now in the southeast corner locker room at the Dome.
    Heard that one was refurbished for the team and the visiting teams now have the former one in the northeast corner.
    Have you seen the new one ? If so, any details ?
    Jim Thomas: Been in the new one after the Minnesota preseason opener. Wasn't done there all that long but it was nice and very spacious.


    gdarby: Hi Jim,

    Thanks for the chat!

    1. In order, Robinson,Amendola,Gilyard,Gibson,Alexander, with Kent and Gibson on the border line...does that look like the possible depth chart at WR?
    2. Vincent Jackson to the Rams? over/under on it happening?
    Jim Thomas: 1.) Robinson, Amendola, Gilyard look like the top three. Followed by Gibson and Burton in some order. And then I guess Kent. That makes six, but the Rams may only keep five. I kind of see Alexander on the practice squad. He's way behind and probably not 100 percent.

    2.) Don't see it happening.


    CROMWELL21: Hi Mr. Thomas:

    Why the Hall Davis trade? Was he that bad? Seems like we traded a player of need for a depth player that was about to be cut and who we could claim on waivers any way? Why give up a conditional pick? Seems like a wasted pick on Davis and another on Morris?
    Jim Thomas: In my mind, when they were all healthy, I had Davis rated third behind the other two rookie DEs, Selvie and Sims. He didn't do much on the practice field. I know he had the two sacks against Cleveland. But made a lot of mental errors.


    bradfordok1: Jim,

    With Kroenke taking over, will he find a solution to the stadium issue and will the Rams be in St. Louis after the 2014 season?
    Jim Thomas: Well, that's the issue. And it's a question none of us can answer for certain. You can never say never. But I do think Kroenke seems committed to keeping the team in St. Louis, but he's also a shrewd businessman.


    Jim Thomas: For one, isn't Jackson serving a league suspension for the first 3 games of the season? So even if you got him, you're not going to see him until...
    -08-31-2010, 03:59 PM
  • RamWraith
    Jim Thomas Live
    by RamWraith
    Tuesday, August 19, 2008 03:00 PM CDT


    Ram-Man: Hey Jim,

    The Ram's front office has to realize by now, that Jackson holds all the cards. They are only hurting themselves by not getting him signed. Not to mention, they are not being fait to Scott Linehan. Since SJ has ownership by the short hairs, why not just get this deal done. Is it just a matter of pride?

    Could you send this message to Shaw and Zygmunt?
    I thought true professionals don't let their emotions get in the way of business. I.e.: "It's just business, nothing personal". Seems like a double standard to me. It's not like SJ is not worth the big bucks, since he is the best player on the field. If you want to give the Rams any chance of a decent season, get the deal done, and fast! Please! Do it for Georgia.
    Jim Thomas: The larger issue is this: The entire team is watching what happens here. Management cannot have the rest of the team think that holding out is an acceptable way of getting the kind of money you want in a contract. By saying come in and we'll continue to negotiate, they're subtle telling Jackson _ we're willing to pay you more money. It's not as if $50 million over seven years was an insulting offer. Thus the stalemate continues.
    Steve B: Hi Jim

    If Steven Jackson holds out past this week, do the Rams need to look at bringing in a veteran like Shawn Alexander? Can Jackson get ready for the regular season with such little work in a new offense?
    Jim Thomas: No matter how great of shape Jackson is in, there is no way, shape, or form Jackson will be able to have a full workload on opening day even if he came in today. And once this week passes, it will be problematical whether Jackson can even play in the opener. Beyond the physical, there's the mental. I know this is a running back friendly offense, but it's also a voluminous offense. There's a lot of stuff to cover.
    Albert Nunes: Jim,

    I have heard little on Adam Carriker progress to date. Do you have any feed back on him so far this year ?
    Jim Thomas: You know I haven't talked to Adam yet. But plan to in the near future. He has looked good on the practice field, but hasn't done much in games.
    Buzz: Jim,
    How has Dustin Fry looked thus far? What are his chances of making the team after the latest O-line injuries? Thanks.
    Jim Thomas: He's still a longshot. Here's why: You've got your five starters. Let's assume for the sake of argument that Romberg is the starting center. But Leckey makes the team. Goldberg makes the team. Greco makes the team. That's 8 o-linemen. The Rams probably keep nine. So then it comes down to Fry vs. Schuening. And Schuening, keep in mind, is a Devaney draft pick.
    TUG MAGRAW: Hey Jeff,

    What are the chances of Reche Caldwell making the roster for the Rams this year?
    Jim Thomas: Right now, I can't see...
    -08-20-2008, 04:30 AM
  • MauiRam
    Transcript of the weekly chat with Rams beat writer Jim Thomas ..
    by MauiRam
    BY JIM THOMAS | Posted: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 4:40 pm

    Ram Quixote: Gotta ask: What was the deal with the taunting penalty on Amendola? I've seen him spin the ball after catches before and nothing was called. Strange coincidence, but when he spun the ball, I was wondering what would happen if the spin went out of control and thought, "maybe he shouldn't do that or he'll cause a delay of game penalty."

    But taunting? Outrageous.

    Did you notice on his next catch he picked up the ball, ran over and handed it to the ref? I wonder if that was the ref who threw the flag?

    Jim Thomas: I guess by the letter of the law, it was taunting. But if you're going to call taunting so close, then maybe you should've flagged the defender who rode Amendola several feet out of bounds for unceccessary roughness. To me, the officiating in the NFL is an inconsistent as ever.
    Alchemistical: Jim,

    How do you see the depth chart shaking out once all the receivers (especially Laurent Robinson) are healthy again? Has Gibson done enough to unseat Robinson as the #2? I realize the guys outside of Clayton and Amendola are probably interchangeable at this point, but how close does this look?:

    1. Clayton
    2. Gibson
    3. Amendola (only "ahead" of Robinson because he's the slot receiver)
    4. Robinson
    5. Gilyard


    Jim Thomas: It's hard to disagree with your order at this point. But I don't know if there's any guarantee that Robinson will be healthy this week. Gibson has shown some quickness and separation skills. If he wants to stay in this league, however, he has to reduce the number of dropped passes.
    howboutrams1: Jim, with the last two home victories, do you get a sense that Rams fan base is once again interested in Rams football and sell-outs will not be a problem?

    Jim Thomas: Well the TV rating continue to be high, the highest levels we've seen since the start of the 2006 season. But there are still a lot of tickets left for the five remaining home games. When a team goes through a 6-44 stretch like the Rams did, I it takes more than a couple of victories to get fans back into the stands. But there's no doubt the team is progressing and much more interesting to watch. And for fans that haven't been do the dome in a while, the game-day atmosphere is much better.
    aussie_ramfan: JT, must be nice to be following a decent side again.

    will robinson come back in as the starter? Or has gibson done enough to keep the job? A split of the duty? Who at reciever would be "down" in that case?

    Also, thoughts on Thad Lewis? Does he get a spot back on the 53-man roster after Hoomanawanui gets back and D. Johnson inevitably gets cut? Or is there someone else the rams are more likely to promote?


    Jim Thomas: See earlier...
    -10-06-2010, 09:51 AM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Jim Thomas Live - Aug 9
    by r8rh8rmike
    Jim Thomas Live

    Rams writer Jim Thomas goes one-on-one with readers at 1 p.m. Tuesday in a live chat.
    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    leonard van valey: Like the experience being brought in...but... so much of it? In a couple of years won't this team be long in the tooth? What's the average age of the team now compared with other teams in the league? looks like they are serious about having a winning season with the acquisition of these experienced players of proven ability.

    Jim Thomas: Remember, 8 of the 11 free agents signed so far are one-year deals. So there's no guarantee how many of them will be back in 2012. Of the 11 outside veteran free agents, Diles is 26, Sims-Walker is 26, Ojinnakao is 27, Norwood just turned 28, Muir is 28, Williams is 29, Dahl just turned 30, Mikell is 30, Poppinga is 31, Bannan is 32, and Harris is 36. So they're spread out kind of all over the spectrum. But I think your overall point is valid. But the sheer number of free agents signed the Rams are trying to get over the hump in terms of at least making the playoffs.


    dominic zappia: Hey Jim:
    1)With the 3 big payouts this year for Bradford,Smith and Long,does this mean the Rams will have more money next year under the cap?
    2)With Murphys injury,who are we looking at for a replacement from free agency or within? Sorry,King doesnt impress me.
    3)Who has impressed you so far at camp?
    Thank you...

    Jim Thomas: 1.) Not really. Because of escalators and incentives, Bradford, Smith and Long will have high cap counts for basically the rest of their contracts.
    2.) The Rams are looking, but there's not a ton out there now.
    3.) Give me another week. I missed 3 1/2 days of practice/scrimmage while I was in Canton.


    Kyle Cooksey: Curious how you think Joe West (18) is looking in the fight for a spot as a WR. I noticed he's on the 2nd offense and gets a good amount of routes and is fairly consistent. Also noticed he is on all the special-teams, maybe because of his speed?

    Jim Thomas: I think he's running with the seconds mainly because of injuries (Avery, Alexander, Salas). But he could be a practice squad guy.


    Greg: Hi Jim,

    Thanks for the chat.

    Has Quinn lived up to the expectations so far in camp/scrimmage?

    I saw him beat Saffold nicely in a drill this last friday, and from what I heard he was all over the backfield in the scrimmage at lindenwood.

    Does he bring instant pass rush to the Rams front four even though he's still unpolished? Will the coaching...
    -08-09-2011, 07:33 PM