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Jim Thomas Chat - Sept 15

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  • Jim Thomas Chat - Sept 15

    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?

    Your opinions please.


    Jim Thomas: Unlike the preseason, the Rams didn't stick with the run. And at face value, the run blocking looked rather underwhelming.

    jeff: Hey Jim,
    Why don't you play quarterback. How hard can it be to score 0 points! Maybe Bulger might want to try and throw the ball further than five yards. Oh that's right, his finger hurts! I would like to welcome #1 pick Sam Bradford to the Rams.

    Jim Thomas: Three deep balls at least touched the hands of Laurent Robinson. He caught one.

    Johnny Tex: Jim,
    I could write to complain about that horrible opening game performance, but what I'm really worried about is the tragic finding ways to lose a game mentality this team has. I personally believe Spags has a much bigger task with erasing the loser mentality that hangs around the neck of this team as opposed to finding skilled players. Too many players that look inept while playing here perform very well after moving on and playing for other teams. I wish coach Spags well, but I fear turning this team around may prove to be a bigger problem than anyone anticipated!

    Jim Thomas: Perhaps the most disappointing thing about this game was that despite all the talk about attention to detail, doing the little things right, Spags' organization, etc., the team looked totally undisciplined and unorganized.

    got2golfjk: Spags elects to punt deep , rather than try to grab early lead via F.G. , maybe if he's still with the GIANTS , and THEIR defense, but with us .....take points anytime you get inside the 35.Looks like they're going to be few and far between. Love Richie , love players with " attitude " , hate stooopidity.His reputation precedes him , and he's sucker bait to all rival defensive players.Was surprised Spags put him back in.

    Jim Thomas: Yeah, the defense was playing well at that time. And Josh Brown was hitting them from the mid 50s during pregame.

    As for Incognito, he is being watched. And isn't almost always the case that the guy who retaliates is the guy who gets caught.

    John: Hey Jim:

    I think to truly appreciate the depth of the Rams's state of affairs, one need only look at the fact that they were the only team who has played thus far that has not scored a single point. And this against a team that probably ranks in the bottom one-fifth of the league. All the talk about all the changes that were made is obviously just that-talk. The talent drain nurtured by the last brain-trust and the current owner is going to haunt us for a very long time.

    Jim Thomas: Good points, but how can you included "the current owner" in your criticisms? He's the guy, after all, who made all those front office and coaching staff changes, which resulted in all the personnel changes.

    rams26: Hi Jim -

    What is the mood of the Rams from Sunday? I know it was reported earlier in the offseason that Billy D. noticed that after loses last year the attitude with the team and out at Rams Park was rather careless. Do you see the same this year? Do they seem to care?

    GO RAMS!!!!

    Jim Thomas: The team is still buying in. Spags still has their ear. They seem stung by the defeat, and determined to prove they're not the 2009 incarnation of the Same Old Sorry (bleep)Rams. But it's one thing to think that _ another thing to do it.

    Dallas Ram fan: Jim,

    After what I saw yesterday, I get the same sinking feeling that the season is already over. Similiar to what I experienced when I saw game one last year versus the Eagles. Is there any hope for us fans this year?

    Jim Thomas: I'd hang in there for a while.

    rick k: Jim: Sorry, but another Cogs question. It seems obvious that Mark Setterstrom is a better choice to play. Better pass blocker and no juvenile tantrum issues for him, and his run blocking is at least as good--remembering how he made some nice holes for Jackson in his limited playing time. No whiffs either. Why isn't this obvious to the coaching staff?

    Jim Thomas: Setterstrom's a good football player. But I'm not ready to say he's a better run blocker than Incognito.

    Rich: Jim:
    Although I'm disappointed with the results of Sundays game with the Seattle, I thought that Avery and Robinson showed real promise, 11 catches between the two of them. What are your thoughts about the receivers? Thanks!

    Jim Thomas: I wasn't impressed. Six of those 11 catches, and 89 of their combined 133 yards came after the Seahawks had gone up 28-0 late in the third quarter and subsequently softened up their coverage a bit to prevent the big play. Overall, I felt the Rams WRs didn't consistently get open or get separation on the Seattle secondary. That's why Bulger ended up throwing so many passes away. To me, this remains an area of concern.

    CierraRam: Jim instead of ranting like most everyone else I want to focus on some of positives that I saw from Sundays game. 1)Laurinaitis played above expectations in my opinion, as did Vobora. At his rate of improvement Laurinaitis may be in the Pro Bowl by the end of his second year. It looks as if the Rams have finally replaced London Fletcher. 2)The defense continued its preseason habit of ballhawking despite the lack of a good pass rush. I thought Marc Bulger was okay for someone who is in a new system and lost a lot of playing time in the preseason. He didnt turn the ball over. It seems to me that the penalties were the biggest reason why the Rams lost this game the way that they did. If those dont happen at key times I think we would have seen a much closer ball game, and maybe even a win.

    My questions are: Will we see Setterstrom starting at Guard? I have always thought that he was a key catalyst on the OL for Jacksons remarkable season in 06'? I think he is the best run blocking guard that the Rams have. 2)I thought the offensive game plan would be scaled back as I think we saw. When will Marc be able to throw and take snaps without the his fingers taped? And does Marc have command of this offense enough to take the shackles off? Thanks Jim!


    Jim Thomas: Laurinaitis was active, but miscues in pass coverage caught the Rams. I thought Vobora was so-so. There were a couple of times on the perimeter where if he had defeated his blocker, a decent gain would have been prevented. On the other hand, the takeaways continue to be impressive. Trends in the preseason DO generally carry over to the regular season, at least early in the season, and this is one that did.
    1.) We'll see what happens at guard.
    2.) Bulger only had his finger taped around the knuckle. I don't think it was a factor, or much of a factor.

    owen: hello jim, why did we not get a kick off and punt returner at the in of the pre-season.that has been a weakest now for a few years.

    Jim Thomas: Good question. The Rams had many holes to fill in the offseason, more than you could reasonably be expected to fill in one offseason. They didn't do a whole lot to help the skill positions. (They traded for Laurent Robinson, added a fullback, a blocking tight end, and a backup QB. Necessary moves, yes, but with the possible exception of Robinson, not much to directly help the team's playmaking ability.)

    ernie: Jim,

    Lets be honest, Bulger is not a leader,currently a never was, or possibly a has-been. Part of the problem is that a lot of the local writers kept insisting on re-signing Bulger to a long-term contract. (especially Gordon, check the archives) I say cut Bulger, eat his contract or keep going down the toilet.

    Jim Thomas: A very interesting post. It's funny because most of the players who work with Bulger on a daily basis seem to insist that he IS a leader. Yet most of the Bulger critics, who aren't on the practice field, in the locker room, or in the games with him seem to insist that he ISN'T a leader. I wonder who's right.

    Rams8180: Would you agree that the o-lines biggest problem is run blocking? I mean I know there pass blocking wasn't all that great either but for the most of the game Bulger had time to throw. I just think if the Rams could open up some better run lanes for Jackson then this offense starts playing better. Also any news on if the Rams are bringing back Curry or signing Tyree?

    Jim Thomas: I have yet to look at any tape, but at face value I expected a little more out of the run blocking.

    Tyree supposedly is on campus today; I was orginally told that he was coming in Monday. but it's Tuesday instead.

    bigramfan1966: Jim,

    You have gotten on me before about being too critical of Bulger. The facts continue to prove me out regarding his extremely poor play. He is completely spent. He can have all the time in the world and still not make a play. I am tired of it. You say what's the alternative? Well Boller has been a starter in this league, is much more mobile, and takes a few chances. I'll take that. My question is, how much rope does Bulger have? How many losses before Spags makes a change? Is Spags content to throw away the first part of the season just to show confidence in a quarterback that can't make plays?

    This is the NFL, which as Jerry Glanville said stands for "not for long" playing like that. It's been 2+ years now. When do we get a real change where it counts? The Rams will never go anywhere with Bulger at the helm!

    Jim Thomas: I give Bulger a C- for the opening game. Receivers consistently had trouble getting open. Unless you were at Qwest Field, I don't think you could be aware of this because of all the tight shots that are in vogue on TV these days. Bulger had to throw the ball away on several occasions because nothing was there. Penalties that Bulger had nothing to do with consistently put the Rams in third-and-long situations. He threw zero interceptions. But on the one clear chance to score a TD, albeit at garbage time, he threw behind McMichael in the end zone. I would say I'm neither a Bulger defender, or a Bulger critic. I'm a Bulger realist. What about you?

    4thandJuan: Jim,

    What was the deal with Adeyanju being inactive Sunday? That was one of the biggest surprises to me, other than an ineffective pass rush.

    Jim Thomas: I think the coaching staff outsmarted itself on a couple personnel issues. 1.) Having Avery return the opening kickoff despite not having a single touch in the preseason, and despite having next to no kickoff return experience (He returned 1 KO for 21 yards in '08); and 2.) Sitting Adeyanju, who played very well in the last couple of preseason games in favor of Ah You.

    ArkRamsFan: Why is Josh Brown on this team? Isn’t he one of the highest paid kickers in the NFL? I also don’t understand the reason they only gave it to Jackson 16 times. It looked like he was making things happen then they just forgot about him and passed all night. Maybe if they would have kept pounding the ball Seattle’s D would have got worn down like ours did.

    Jim Thomas: Apparently, you were not watching in 2006 when Josh Brown kicked two game-winning field goals against the Rams as a Seattle Seahawk, costing the Rams the division title. There's no excuse for missing a 37-yarder. But it was his first such miss (inside 40 yards) in three years. As for Jackson and the running game, I agree with you. Even down 14-0 and 21-0, why not keep trying to get the running game going?

    Brianbase: Jim,
    It appears this is going to be really bad this year. Worse than I imagined (hope I'm wrong!) I can take it because I really do believe the new admin is going to turn it around. However, we are so far behind how can Ram fans keep the faith when it is to be such an ugly year(s)? What can we look for as positives?

    Jim Thomas: Don't know what to tell you. There's not too many people left at Rams Park left to fire _ be it coaches, players, or front office. But the mistakes have to drop considerably, and the offense has to get going.

    Harry: What are the 4 pillars?
    Why are they important?

    Jim Thomas: As spelled out by Spags after he was named head coach, they are: Faith. Character. Core Values. Team First. I guess you could say they're the foundation of what Spagnuolo is trying to build as a team.

    brian dillon: jim, i cant take being a rams fan anymore. it is ridiculous that know matter who comes in here they cant get these guys to play without stupid mistakes. They need to cut incognito and send a message to these bunch of careless millionaires. Im heading to D.C. this weekend am i going to see a touchdown? or will there be 45 guys trying to block field goals? Where is Dick Vermeil, and when are we getting an owner who will spend some money, and not cut chris draft. Are the rams the only team to have mr.irrelevant start opening week ever?

    Jim Thomas: Looks like Incognito is safe. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the Rams will indeed score a TD Sunday. Dick Vermeil is busy selling wine these days. I'm pretty sure the Rams will have only 11 guys on the field goal block team from here on out. The owner spent $37.5 million on Jason Brown, $33 million in guaranteed money for Jason Smith, and good chunks of change for Ron Bartell and James Butler. Don't know for sure, on the Mr. Irrelevant question.

    firemarshall: Hey Jim,

    I'm sure I won't be the only person asking this..why did Brown take so long snapping the ball to Bulger on that one play? Clearly Bulger was yelling and waving for the ball, did Brown just tune him out or something?

    I was really astonished at that maybe you have some inside knowledge that could clear up as to how that could have happened.

    Thanks again

    Jim Thomas: Don't know. I'll try to find out.

    startrade: Hi Jim,

    Please give us some positives to dream about. Aside from getting the three early takeaways, Barron not false starting, what else did you see that gives us hope? Thanks.

    Jim Thomas: The Seagals were in playoff form Sunday.

    ram4life: JT, I missed the entire first half and part of the second with truck problems. Could you give me your assessment of Johnathan Wade in his first start?

    Jim Thomas: Not too bad from what I could tell. He had some pretty tight coverage early on, like the rest of the Rams secondary. I can't recall him getting beaten badly on any plays.

    RamFanInPA: With the uncapped year next season, can the Rams part ways with the likes of Bulger, Carriker, Bell, and others without any future ramifications? Will NFL teams get rid of all their dead wood next season?

    Jim Thomas: The Rams got rid of their "dead wood" this offseason and preseason. That's why they have $22 million worth of dead money, currently the second-highest total on the team. Financially, the Rams can cut Bulger before next season and not take nearly as much of a cap hit, as they would have this year. Cutting Bulger, Carriker and/or Bell would still result in a lot of dead money.

    jerry Cox: I had a preminition last week and asked you if you thought the Rams could compete with the Seahawks. You did not comment. I aked if the game would be over by the half in favor of Seahawks. I thiough it would be, I was wrong it was not over till mid 3rd quarter.

    Do the Rams need to change O-line and O-coordinator coaches?


    Jim Thomas: Not after one game.

    Joey Drillings: Will Spags persona help him recover better than Linehan? The 22 million dead money is money coming off the books this year and will be additional money under the cap we can spend next year?

    Jim Thomas: We're about to find out on Spags, but I do think his presence and personality will help the team bounce back. Dead money is money that counts against the cap for players no longer on the roster. The $22 million counts only this year, and is subtracted from the overall cap ceiling of $123 million. Next year, the Rams won't have to subtract $22 million from their cap.

    scrf: Why did SJ only have 16 carries when the emphasis has been to build a strong running game? Especially with Bulger coming off an injury. Also, how did Long look? Thanks-scrf

    Jim Thomas: Agreed on SJ's workload, or lack thereof. I thought Long was pretty effective against the run, and like the rest of the defensive front not a factor on the pass rush.

    1978_rams_fan: Jim:

    As I watched many games this past weekend (thanks to the Sunday ticket) I could not help noticed rabid fans even in stadiums were their home team have struggled in the past (Seattle, Oakland, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Tampa Bay).

    I sure hope our home crowd shows the same enthusiasm of these other fan bases. If the home opener is not sold out or the crowd is a non-factor, what does that say about the football fanbase in STL? Will that ultimately be a factor down the road if the team stays?

    I hope we show our support to this new regime and give them an opportunity to succeed and show then we can be a factor in helping turn the page.

    Jim Thomas: Interesting points. As I sat there in the press box about 20 minutes before kickoff at Qwest Field, I couldn't help but be impressed that every seat in the house was filled for a team that finished 4-12 in 2008. They were loud, and they were into it.

    Steve B.: JIm:
    You were there. Was it as bad as it looked on tv??

    Jim Thomas: Pretty much.

    Steve B.: Jim:
    Predictably, Bulger is getting gashed in blogs and chats, etc. When you get shut out, the QB takes the rap. But I really didn't see many receivers getting seperation. He seemed to hit guys if they were open.
    What was your assesment of Marc's play in Seattle?

    Jim Thomas: I've addressed Bulger's performance in an earlier post, I'll just add that he may not have been THE solution Sunday, but he certainly wasn't THE problem, either.

    SoulardX: Jim, I watched quite a few games this weekend and was blown away by the number of ex-Rams making a difference--if not playing very very well--on other teams. For instance, Ryan Pickett and Brandon Chillar for GB. (be nice to have those two guys, eh?) And last night, both Jon Alston and Chris Johnson were making plays for OAK. Not to mention Madison Hedgecock (NYG), Ryan Fitzpatrick (BUF) and Damione Lewis (CAR).

    My point is that the Rams current problems go WELL beyond bad drafting. While the draft has been lacking, roster and salary cap management have played at least a big a role.

    And for that, who do we thank? Ziggy again? Man, a conspriracy theorist could easily argue that Ziggy intentionally sabotaged this team to facilitate a move back to LA.

    Jim Thomas: They love Pickett and Chillar in Green Bay. The Rams front office didn't think much of Pickett; Chillar could've been retained for a very modest price. Pickett is better than any DT currently on the Rams roster. You're right; it wasn't a case of bad draft picks in those cases. We all know about Hedgecock and Linehan. Alston, although undersized is very fast. He was cut after a very good camp with the Rams in 2007, which was surprising at the time.

    Mingo: We are what we thought they were. A very bad football team!

    I believe a good season is 4 wins and great season is 6 wins.

    Any change in the roster this week or will spags and Devaney stay put?

    Jim Thomas: Cant disagree with you. As for roster changes, I think at minimum the Rams add a wide receiver.

    ramboy81: hey jim why don;t the rams go out and get them kr/Page Ranking ./or let;s mr king do that job. p.s. i know i ask for roscoe parrish every week , no more jim you guy win. the best kr out there and they want go get him .

    Jim Thomas: Good to hear from you again this week. You've developed a little bit of a cult following on the chat. Have a good week. . . .

    Ineeda Hammer: Please explain again - Why do we still have the same O-Line Coach from last yr. How can this be justified? How can different results be expected?

    Jim Thomas: I'll say again. I heard some of these same complaints in 2006 and '07 about Paul Boudreau He gets fired, everyone says good riddance. He goes down to Atlanta, and suddenly the Falcons have one of the best run-blocking teams in the league. ARE YOU SURE IT'S THE COACHING?

    GoBlues!: Some fans, including myself, are at the end of the line with Richie. This regime cannot operate in a vacuum and pretend that this guy is starting at square one, when he clearly has a history of this. He nearly cost the team one of its only wins last year, more important than his contempt for the fan base. We don't really know (maybe you have insight into this) what parameters, if any, have been set by the coach in order for this moron to continue to draw a paycheck. My question is, in your opinion, what should they be? Next time he is gone or misses a game check? (something I'm sure could never really happen with the player's union) Or, based on the fact that he's one of the better linemen on a poor offensive line, should the coach put up with this ongoing behavior and continue to try to mold and coddle him? Richie is clearly not smart enough to be a productive NFL player, as temper restraint to avoid sabotaging the team has to be a prerequisite. Everyone deserves a second chance, just not a 4th or 5th chance.

    Jim Thomas: Hard to argue your points. And it's an interesting dynamic when the head coach steadfastly refuses to take into considerationg what has taken place before him, yet the past seems to be very relevant to what's happening now with Incognito.

    Kirk in North Carolina: Jim,

    Did the coaching staff acknowledge they completely blew it by starting the game with Avery returning the kick even though he barely (if at all) did it during the preseason?

    Even worse in my opinion is their failure to recognize that the offensive line and Bulger could not hear each other and they continued to call shotgun formation plays. If he can't take the snap from under center he shouldn't be playing an away game, especially in Seattle.


    Jim Thomas: Actually, Spags told me yesterday they probably shouldn't have used Avery. They didn't decide to do so until Friday; they were trying to get some speed out there and it cost them.

    Good point on the shotgun formation; I wonder if they ever went to the silent count?

    george_allen: Jim
    as always, thanks for the chat.
    i noticed there were 4 false starts on sunday and none of them belong to barron. i looked on STATS today and saw that none of the sacks were charged to barron either. i was just wondering what your impression was of barrons performance this past sunday?

    also, what if anything should we read into the fact that hall started over long?

    Jim Thomas: I'll cop out on Barron and say I have to look at the tape.

    As for Long, it was interesting that he didn't start. But he seemed to play about as much as he usually does.

    Ineeda Hammer: Wasn't one of our FA signings a Full-Back named Karney? With the O-Line not opening up any holes for the running game, and Karney not listed on the Injury Report, why was one of our FEW new FA signings NOT put into the game to do the job we were all looking forward to? Unbelievable after all of the HYPE about our new lead blocker.

    Jim Thomas: Karney wears No. 44. He was on the field a lot on Sunday.

    Dave From Ohio: Mr. Thomas,

    My questions is will the Rams attempt to get better players thoughout the season, which are out there, or continue to cut starters like Draft for fringe players to save money? Also will we see a WR or RB added? As always thanks for the time.


    Jim Thomas: The Rams have at least four players in for visits today. One of them is Tyree. Not sure on the others.

    Buzz: Jim,
    The inability of the Offense to move the ball or put points on the board is what got the team blown out in the opener. How much of the mistakes and general ineptitude can be blamed on preseason injuries? The first unit didn't get to practice or play together much because of them. If this was a significant factor, then we have some basis to expect improvement in coming games. If not, then things look bleak indeed. Thanks.

    Jim Thomas: That's a fair point, and I think because of that we can expect the overall play to get better. But I think a lot of first-team offenses don't play a whole lot together in preseason, either because of injuries or too rest starters. The Seahawks, for example, were missing two offensive line starters Sunday in Jones and Spencer.

    Rich: Jim:

    Could you help us understand the $22 million in "Dead Money" we have in the $123 million salary cap. Does most of this go away next season? What is the typical dead money amount for an NFL Team? Seems to me that $22 million per year could get a team some good players. Thanks for all you do for the Rams Fans!

    Jim Thomas: All of the $22 million goes away after this season. But if the Rams cut additional players in the offseason, that adds new dead money in 2010. The have all this dead money as a result of cutting several players who still had years remaining on their contract: Pace, Holt, Chavous, Green, Bennett, Tinoisamoa, right on down to Draft. I can't really tell you what an average amount is for dead money, but in most years in St. Louis, the Rams have been under $10 million in dead money.

    FredDryerFan: What's the status of Leonard Little? He left in the first half and I don't recall seeing him come back.

    Jim Thomas: He wasn't hurt. Little, Hall and Long basically rotated, so sometimes Little was on the sidelines. I'm not aware that he was out the entire second half.

    jonathan.marty: Hey Jim,

    Thanks for taking my question. What a depressing game to watch on Sunday... Can you shine a light on any positives that you might have seen amidst all the terrible play?

    I think we're all in desperate need of a reason to feel good about this season...

    Jim Thomas: There's another game this week. Sooner or later, the Rams will score. That's about all I've got for you right now.

    DC ram fan: Hi Jim,
    Thanks for taking my question. I read somewhere that Davis Tyree was visiting Rams Park yesterday. I haven't seen anything on here about it. Is that just a rumor?

    Jim Thomas: The visit turned out to be today, not yesterday. But Tyree was here today.

    ryan387: Will the Rams get better if the taxpayers buy them a new stadium?

    Jim Thomas: I don't think it works that way.

    bighoss11: Hi jim.
    I know it was just week 1, but, if you're Spags what do you tell the team, better yet, what can you do to get this team off the perverbial downward path?
    I know their are soo many problem areas, but what is THE NUMBER ONE PROBLEM this team can fix by week 2?

    Jim Thomas: That's easy. Don't beat yourself. Minimize all the bad things that have nothing to do with blocking or tackling, or throwing, catching or running. Minimize penalties. Keep your composure on the field. Try to have 11 _ and only 11 _ men on the field at all times. And for the coaching staff, don't try to outsmart yourself on personnel decisions. (I.e., having Avery return kickoffs and Adeyanju on the inactive list.)

    bowman1429: There's a rumor that the Eagles are trying to trade Hank Baskett. Do you think the Rams would or should give up a high draft pick for him? Kendra in the dome might bring in a few extra fans.

    Jim Thomas: Baskett was cut today by Philly. I'm a Kendra fan myself.

    brokeu91: Hey Jim, thanks for doing these chats. It really feels like we have a "go-between" and ability to communicate with the front office. So, I have (which I'm sure is yet another) Incognito question: Has Coach Spags reported how he goes about disciplining Incognito if he were to have another blow-up in the future?

    Jim Thomas: No he hasn't. I'm assuming it would entail more than sitting Incognito for five plays.

    Ram Related: Love the Rams, always will. I get that putting your own stamp on your team takes time. Growing pains are a given. But why go through growing pains with a high priced quarterback who does not move well behind a shaky O-Line? Do you think the Rams look to draft a qb next year (McCoy, Bradford, Tebow?

    Jim Thomas: I would say it's a distinct possibility if Bulger has another sup par year and the team ends up with another high draft pick.

    Jim: Hi Jim -

    Putting the early disappointing results aside for now, I like the way Spags is handling communications in terms of the overall assessment of his players. It seems the players have passionately bought into his program, but as time goes on real results will either bear out - or not.

    I think, in the not too distant future, he'll EXPECT these real results, and he won't be hesitant to make ANY changes necessary if they are not being realized. So the passion is there, but now... what are you going to do with it?

    Do you agree?

    Jim Thomas: Agreed. And I think that's been his m.o. when it came to making the offseason moves, the Hill trade, and the final roster cuts.

    Don: It seemed like it was going to be a good game until Josh Brown missed that field goal, I knew then we were in trouble, I knew they would go right down and score and the momentum would shift. I have total faith in Spags but this was just a horrible loss, I thought we should have one this one. we were playing better until all the mental mistakes kicked in. SHould have been atleast 10-7 at half.
    Thanks for taking my email.

    Jim Thomas: Yeah, the Brown miss certainly wasn't a pick me up. The Seahawks drove 73 yards for a TD after the miss _ the first points of the game.

    OCRich: Do you think David Tyree or Chris Davis will be signed? Would Davis have the edge because of his kick/punt return skills?

    Jim Thomas: I'm not aware that Chris Davis has visited. I heard Tyree didn't run very well in his workout today at Rams Park.

    Jake - Jefferson City: Jim,

    Dittos from the state capital.

    Two questions:

    1. Will the Rams officially send a complaint to the league office regarding the penalty on Little near the Rams' sideline? That was as weak a call as I've ever seen.

    2. I'm wondering if Laurant Robinson's play can be attributed to nerves... How huge was it in the first half when drops a 50 yard bomb from Bulger, that hit him right in the chest? That catch would have taken the wind out of the noisy crowd. Generally, I was very disappointed with he and "Dainty" Avery.

    Also, I notice that your hair is much shorter in person than the profile picture on this website? Aged picture, or just sporting the summer cut?


    Jim Thomas: 1.) An unbelievable call. Little told me there was no whistle blown. The flag didn't come from the official who was right by the play. Little couldn't tell if the WR was in-bounds or not. He said he'd do the same things 10 times out of 10 times under the circumstances. Because what if the guy had sidestepped him, with still no whistle, and scored. Touchdown.

    2.) The WR corps was underwhelming Sunday. As for my hair, I coach youth baseball in the summer. As a motivational tool, I tell every team if they win a tournament or win the league title, I get my head shaved right in front of the team. We won our league title this summer. Head was shaved on July 19. Hair is gradually coming back, but it's coming out gray-er!

    Roanoke: The Seattle game showed a lack of progress on a number of fronts -- we still can't score points, we still can't avoid penalties, we still can't be organized on the sidelines / field, etc., etc. Although we may have lowered our expectations to give the new coaching staff / front office some time, aren't there minimum levels of performance that need to be present in these games? I think that's why most fans are so frustrated.

    Jim Thomas: Agreed. I think we all expected better.

    John: Jim,

    Any word on the Rams signing a veteran WR or RB before the end of the week?

    Jim Thomas: Nothing official yet. I know of at least 2 WRs and 1 RB who were at Rams Park today.

    Go Rams: Hello Jim,

    Thanks for these chats and your insight. Since it is week one and could be a long season if we focus on everything negative, my question is one of hope. What are the five positive things, if ever so small, you saw from the rams on Sunday?
    Thanks and keep up the good job keeping us informed.

    Jim Thomas: 1.) The takeaways.
    2.) For most of the first half, the team showed the fiestiness and resiliency that it had displayed in the preseason. (Then it disappeared.)
    3.) Instead of taking a sack or forcing the ball into coverage, Bulger threw the ball away. Over and over, in fact.
    4.) The coverage units were pretty good.
    5.) Donnie Jones is one heck of a punter.

    RamsFanRochester: Jim,

    Have you heard if the Rams are planning on working Bobby Wade out or bringing Curry back?

    Jim Thomas: I believe Wade already has signed elsewhere. (Kansas City) Haven't heard anything on Curry coming back.

    Roanoke: The Rams are not a very good team, yet they have a high-priced kicker and top notch punter. Seems a like a bit of overkill. Perhaps because I still remember the lousy punters of the past, I'm not willing to let go of Donnie. But, why do we need such an expensive kicker? And doesn't he rank somewhere around 20th in the league? Not sure I care about his past performance as a Seahawk against the Rams. He can't be missing FGs while being so high-priced.

    Jim Thomas: He's not allowed to miss any?

    Roanoke: How is it that we win the turnover battle with 3 take-aways and have no points to show for it? Leave it to the Rams to make a mockery of one of the tightest correlations for success, getting turnovers.

    Jim Thomas: It may be a record. Plus-2 in takeaway-giveaway differential and you lose by 28.

    mikeb: Do you think the new regime wishes it had Isaac Bruce or Torry Holt? Both had pretty good days SUnday.

    Jim Thomas: No, for whatever reason, I think the new regime did everything it could to remove the last vestiges of the Greatest Show. I did notice the Bruce and Holt had good number.

    Jared: Hank Baskett was just released. Any reason the Rams shouldn't sign him today?

    Jim Thomas: Here's who the Rams brought in today for visits: RB Chauncey Washington, LB Paris Lenon, and WRs Ruvell Martin, David Tyree, Chris Davis, and Skyler Green. Green and Davis also are return guys. Nobody has signed at this moment.

    Jared: Any idea who's fault the 12 men on the field penalty was?

    Jim Thomas: C.J. Ah You was the extra player. Bill Coats wrote an entire sidebar story on it; I mentioned it in the game story. As for who's responsible for counting players _ you have two special teams coaches _ and there's always a player on the field responsible for counting as well.

    bfulton: Not to knock Loney or anything, but did people really knock Boudreau or did just Linehan knock Boudreau? I kind of remember people knocking the injuries to Pace, Settestrom, et al., not Boudreau and his firing by Linehan pretty shocking.

    Jim Thomas: Oh, I don't know. I think Boudreau and the line in general came under a fair amount of criticism.

    [email protected]: Jim, I'd like to make another point.. It AIN'T ALWAYS THE COACH! look what happened a few years ago on special temas. We had Bobby April.. REMEMBER HIM? Yeah, that guy who has one of the best special teams units in the league... THAT GUY?? WE ran him outta town because HE WAS A BAD COACH... How bad has Buffalo's ST's been since his arrival there? EXACTLY.. How about Bordeaux (Line coach)? Terrible coach here... AWESOME in ATL... When do you stop and say, some players just don't have it talent wise, between the ears,etc. LAY OFF SPAGS... The players will perform if they listen, or they will be GONE.. TYE HILL anyone????

    Jim Thomas: Yeah, very good point on April, too.
    Just want to make this point: Everyone is disappointed. Everyone expected more. That's true for the fans, that's true for the media. And believe it or not, that's true for the players, the coaches, and the front office. And I think most employees at Rams Park realize that whatever criticisms are leveled their way, there's nothing they can do about it now but just sit there and take it, because their play was that bad Sunday.

    With that, I'll say so long until next week.

  • #2
    Re: Jim Thomas Chat - Sept 15

    ernie: Jim,

    Lets be honest, Bulger is not a leader,currently a never was, or possibly a has-been. Part of the problem is that a lot of the local writers kept insisting on re-signing Bulger to a long-term contract. (especially Gordon, check the archives) I say cut Bulger, eat his contract or keep going down the toilet.

    Jim Thomas: A very interesting post. It's funny because most of the players who work with Bulger on a daily basis seem to insist that he IS a leader. Yet most of the Bulger critics, who aren't on the practice field, in the locker room, or in the games with him seem to insist that he ISN'T a leader. I wonder who's right.
    My gosh, I wish Jim Thomas would sign in here, just so I could rep him. I swear, everytime the "ernie"s of the world open their mouth, the world gets dumber.
    The more things change, the more they stay the same.


    • #3
      Re: Jim Thomas Chat - Sept 15

      Originally posted by HUbison View Post
      My gosh, I wish Jim Thomas would sign in here, just so I could rep him. I swear, everytime the "ernie"s of the world open their mouth, the world gets dumber.
      I think I'm going to bookmark this chat so I can refer back to that answer anytime this issue comes up.


      • #4
        Re: Jim Thomas Chat - Sept 15

        Bulger realist checking in.

        I'd rep you both but can't so I'll just quote Jim Thomas:

        It's funny because most of the players who work with Bulger on a daily basis seem to insist that he IS a leader. Yet most of the Bulger critics, who aren't on the practice field, in the locker room, or in the games with him seem to insist that he ISN'T a leader. I wonder who's right.


        • #5
          Re: Jim Thomas Chat - Sept 15

          When you read these questions you get to see just how ignorant most NFL fans really are. I'd say a good 50% or more don't have any idea what they're talking about.


          Related Topics


          • r8rh8rmike
            Jim Thomas Live Aug 25th
            by r8rh8rmike
            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...
            -08-25-2009, 06:14 PM
          • r8rh8rmike
            Jim Thomas Live Chat 9/27
            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, September 27, 2011

            comments & answers

            Rick Montano: Hey Jim, thanks for doing these chats. Okay lets get down to business.

            1. I can't be the only one thats staring to question B.D.s abillity to eveluate players. 2. When do you think Spags has to start worrying about his job ? 3. With all the money spent to put this O line together, they look like a joke. When is someone going to step up ? And the droped passses, I've never seen anything like it.

            Thanks for your time

            Jim Thomas: 1.) So you're saying, then, that Jason Smith doesn't look like such a great pick now, eh?
            2.) At 0-3, a lot of people have to start worrying about their jobs.
            3.) There's no doubt their play was very disappointing Sunday, but Bradford's got to get rid of the ball a little earlier as well.
            4.) The drops are astounding.


            Sid: Thanks again for these chats, a couple weeks ago I stated that they should cut Justin King for his poor play, and after watching the game Sunday, he needs to be cut to show that poor play will not be tolorated. I know they are very low, almost no, cornerbacks but his jogging on the post route by Torrey Smith, not once but twice is inexcusable. Even though it looked like a zone coverage, he didn't cover either zone, Boldin was wide open going over the middle to King's zone. Sorry but I had to vent about this one. I guess there is one good thing to look at about this game, we were only 2 points worse than what the Ravens did to the Steelers.

            Jim Thomas: I don't think King was jogging; I think Torrey Smith's just the fast.


            RAMBLE: Why do the Rams do so poorly getting UDFA's? You need them to have a talented team. Check out the best teams rosters.

            Rams originally signed 24 UDFA's this year. Then signed a few more. Only Jake McQuaide made the team. Last year Darian Stewart was their "best" (see him Sunday?), not counting DX who was a special case. Devaney's group hasn't gotten one top quality UDFA starter in all his time.

            And in the NFL, there have been many Pro Bowl UDFA's: Arian Foster, Jeff Saturday, Tony Romo, LeGarrette Blount, Wes Welker, Cullen Jenkins, Miles Austin. To name a few.

            Dick Vermeil got Kurt Warner (actually a Packer), London Fletcher, Tony Horne and Billy Jenkins Jr. Super Bowl starters along with D'Marco Farr another UDFA.

            Why does our front office do so poorly? Scouting, bonus $$$, loser team, or St. Louis the city?

            Jim Thomas: In the last year or two of the Zygmunt regime,the...
            -09-28-2011, 02:39 PM
          • RamWraith
            Jim Thomas Chat
            by RamWraith
            Jay: Jim, you do great work. Keep it up and I hope the season does not prove to be too painful in that regard. Two questions: First, how did Chris Long look Sunday? In college, he had a less than stellar frshman year (he got mono, but was not a world-beater before that), but he had such a great work ethic, he eventually made himself great. I think the same will happen in the NFL, but wonder how steep the curve looks. Second, does the Linehan death watch weigh down the coach in your opinion? I know it must weigh down anyone who is human, but is it noticeable? Thanks very much!
            Jim Thomas: Not that he looked great, but I thought Long looked much better than he did in the preseason. It made me wonder what kind of day he might have had if Little was on the field all day on the other side.
            As for the Linehan "death watch" weighing on the head coach _ we're about to find out.
            RamTastic: Jim,

            Good Afternoon! I am the Army man that came to camp a couple of times with my family up in Mequon. It was great getting to meet you and see the Rams up close and personal. By the way, how is your son doing up at the Point?

            This loss for some strane reason did not have the normal sting of previous games. I watched the entire game and was unable to comprehend what I saw on both sides of the ball. Did Bulger throw a single pass past the 1st down marker on any 3rd downs? I only saw a couple of passes where someone caught the ball while in motion. I saw a lot of three yard button hooks and other conservative plays. Did Saunders call the plays? They looked eerily like Linehan plays. I saw what were some weak tricky plays that failed behind the LOS. There was no flow or momentum at all. What will it take to fix this offensive offense? And by the way, no thanks to those calling for Marty Shottenheimer. We need an attacking team willing to take risks on offense, not more conservative safe schemes. Thanks for the time to vent! I still have faith that they will get things fixed. I have no choice, that's what us loyal fans do.
            Jim Thomas: Great to hear from you. Cadet Thomas is doing well.
            Saunders is calling the plays. Nothing seemed to work on offense.
            LoudPressboxGuy: To break up the monotony of all these questions, I was curious since you were in Nashville for a few days...If you were looking for a cool night spot to go hang out with the trendy crowd, where would you go?
            Jim Thomas: Boy this is an off-the-wall one. But without hesitation, the place I would recommend is the Club Indigo.
            RepubloCrat: Mr. Thomas,

            Is there anything more depressing than the Rams in St. Louis sports? Ok, we know the answer, how's this... In light of the "contract" whereby the Rams are entitled to a stadium in the upper echelon 25% of the league, how about an amendment whereby the Rams must compete at the upper 25% echelon of the league? Is there anything in the contract that breaches...
            -09-09-2008, 02:23 PM
          • 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
          • 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