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Jim Thomas Live March 26 - Draft Chat

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  • Jim Thomas Live March 26 - Draft Chat

    Jim Thomas Live

    Rams writer Jim Thomas goes one-on-one with readers at 2:30 p.m. Friday in a live chat.
    Friday, March 26, 2010 02:30 PM CDT

    virginiatom: If the Rams draft Bradford, he is going to probably sit for a year while he learns the system. If the Rams draft Tebow or McCoy in the second, they will also probably sit for a year as they learn the system. Is theer really that much of a difference between them when they are finally ready to play if they all can sit for a year and develop? In other words, will Tebow or McCoy be just as good as Bradford with a year on the bench learning the system?
    Jim Thomas: Trust me, if the Rams draft Bradford, he won't sit for a year. As for McCoy and Tebow being on par with Bradford, I guess will find out in a year or two or three, won't we?

    Fritz Gebhard: what is the status of Jason Smith? has he fully recovered from the concussion?
    Jim Thomas: Just in general, Spagnuolo said at the NFC Coaches Breakfast in Orlando, Fla., on Wednesday that Smith was doing well and participating fully in the Rams' offseason conditioning program.

    ramadama: Dear Jim, both Glenn Dorsey of the Chiefs & Adam Carriker of our Rams are miscast.Dorsey a 4-3 tackle playing end in a 3-4 & Carriker a 3-4 end playing tackle in a 4-3.Sounds like a logical trade that could benefit both teams ( and probably better than anything we'd get from the Redskins).
    What do you think?Any chance??
    Jim Thomas: Interesting thought. It might depend on their contract status. Remember you inherit the contract of the player you're trading for. And Dorsey would be more expensive since he was higher pick than Carriker in the first round.

    Popeyee: Hi Jim,

    Here goes and I'm sure I'll get a lot of static for this suggestion. I've followed the Rams since 1946 when they moved to LA! I say, take Suh at #1 and take Tebow at #33! Tebow is big, strong, fast, mobile and doesn't fumble. I think he could be another Steve Young type QB! What say you?
    Jim Thomas: Popeye, the sense I get on this chat, week in and week out, is that more people or pro-Suh than pro-Bradford. Now I don't know how many of the chatters are from the St. Louis area, because I think it's obvious that in Big 12 country, most people seem to like Suh because he was so strong against Mizzou in that Thursday night game on ESPN, and obviously, so strong in the Big 12 title game. Tebow's assets and, I think, flaws are well-documented. He could end up being a great pro QB in my opinion. The problem is it will take time. He may be a guy that has to sit and learn for a year or two. In the Rams case, they don't feel they can wait on Tebow. Can you blame them?

    Joel C: Jim, I have been watching the Rams lack of activity in free agency (yes, I know they have signed 3 guys) and I wonder what is the plan to upgrade personnel? Frankly, Spags and Devaney should know that they can't have another 1 win season and expect to keep their jobs. While I think it is good to use the draft to find the majority of your players, the draft is a calculated guessing game. For the Rams to become competitive in 2011, they would have to get 3 or 4 starters from each of the next 2 drafts.

    What do you think the Rams are waiting for in regards to acquiring more free agents?
    Jim Thomas: Let's see. The Rams have signed QB A.J. Feeley, DT Fred Robbins, C/G Hank Fraley, CB Kevin Dockery, TE Darcy Johnson from other teams in free agency. I don't think I'm missing anybody. I think it's safe to say that Robbins may be the only starter in that group (and that's not even for sure). So I think your point is valid. As I've stated before, I wish the Rams would've gone after an Aaron Kampman or Chester Taylor in free agency. Otherwise, there wasn't much out there. (There was going to be no way Peppers or Dansby were going to end up in St. Louis.)
    The Rams are still working on some FAs such as Na'll Diggs, the LB from Carolina. And RB Willie Parker. But you're right, although some of these guys should help, they've failed to add any true difference-makers.

    D-Nice: Hello Jim thanks for taking my questions, which are, has the possibility of a trade between the Rams and Chiefs for Carriker for Derrick Johnson been discussed or will be discussed at any time in the future. To former 1st rounders who have at sometime been underacheivers for the teams that drafted them. Maybe a change of scenery would benefit both players and at the same time help both teams. What do you think? Also after Bradford works out for the Rams do you think the Rams bosses will have a better assessment of what they want to accomplish with this draft going forward? Third and lastly does the possibility of moving down to draft Spiller from Clemson a remote chance?
    Jim Thomas: Remember, Derrick Johnson is an RFA with a first-round tender. So the Chiefs would have to agree to take Carriker instead of a first-rounder. Would you make that deal? As for Bradford, sure it will help clarify things, but Spags made it pretty clear at the NFL owners meetings that the Rams probably will want to see Bradford throw again in the next couple of weeks, just to make sure they saw what they saw. Also as part of their due diligence, the Rams plan to attend the Jimmy Clausen and Colt McCoy workouts. As for Spiller, yeah, I'd say he might come into play in a trade-down scenario.

    RAMBLE: 2 better Overtime options than the NFL's proposal:

    1. Same as now, except no kickoff. Receiving team gets ball on the 20, or whatever yard line statistically gives each team a 50-50 chance, eg. maybe the 15 or 10, or whatever. Since the odds are equal, a great defense winning the coin toss may want to play defense first.

    2. If/when receiving team (Team A) scores, Team B gets a chance to match or surpass. For example, Team A scores a TD, Team B has to match. If they match, OT continues. If they surpass what Team A did, game over. One caveat here, Team B cannot use 4th down, unless Team A did. Otherwise, it would be an advantage to be Team B.

    The NFL's idea has issues with statistical fairness. What's your take?
    Jim Thomas: Most of these overtime scenarios, including the one just passed for the league, seem too contrived to me. The fairest approach to me would be this: Each team gets at least one possession in overtime, plain and simple. That doesn't exactly make it sudden death, but I think it's the fairest approach.

    rambart: Jim, Again Thanks for answering all these Questions..
    If we take Bradford, in your opinion, do we have to take a DT or DE in the second???

    Then if Gerhart is available in the 3rd would the Rams consider him??? thats as deep as I care to guess. thanks again ..
    Jerry Bartels-- Elk Grove CA
    Jim Thomas: DT or DE would sure make sense in the second round under that scenario, but it depends on who's there and how highly the Rams have him rated. For example, what if there's a stud outside linebacker there, an intriguing receiver or running back? I don't really know what the Rams think of Gerhart.

    bfulton: I know you are a journalist, not a columnist, but you still provide pretty good analysis with your facts. In that vein, is the "Tweeting" thing, and it's short reports, killing the analysis in you, or jazzing the "get-it-first" journalist in you?
    Jim Thomas: It really doesn't change the analysis. It's an instant news day we live in, and it's simply an attempt to get more things out first when possible. Hopefully, the tweets will entice readers to check out the Rams Report blogs for more info, and then into the newspaper accounts.

    Bob: Thanks for doing these chats! Do you think the Rams are going overboard with signing former Giants and Eagles?
    Jim Thomas: Perhaps. But really every Rams coach in St. Louis has done basically the same. And keep in mind, there's no guarantees that guys like Kevin Dockery and Darcy Johnson will even make the team.
    Jeremy: Jim:

    When do you expect the Rams to start negotiating with players for the number one pick? The Rams have a meeting scheduled for Bradford on the 12th, ten days before the draft, and do you see there being enough time for both sides to come to an agreement even if the pick is not Bradford?
    Jim Thomas: Jeremy--I had a story in Thursday's Post-Dispatch on this very subject. The Rams have begun preliminary talks with several candidates for No. 1 overall, including Bradford.

    Steve B.: Jim; as always thanks for these chats.
    I wonder what your take is on Atogwe? I haven't seen that he's made any visits to other teams. Are the Rams still talking to him?
    What is your sense as to whether he'll be on the Rams next season? He's one of the few Ram defenders that actually makes plays; it's hard to believe the Rams would let him go..
    Jim Thomas: I'm a little confused by the whole thing. He seems to be exactly the type of player that Spags wants in his program. And although no one is saying he's Ronnie Lott, as you point out, he is one of the few Rams defenders that can create turnovers. Heck, he had two forced fumbles in the Dec. 6 game against Chicago (the game that he suffered the season ending shoulder injury). I'm a little surprised he hasn't drawn much interest. Then again, very few restricted FAs do switch teams. So far, RB Mike Bell is the only tendered RFA who has switched teams this offseason.

    Tony: If we take Bradford at #1, no one drops way down to present a clear steal at our next pick, and the Bears will take our second rounder for Greg Olson, do you pull the trigger, and why or why not?
    Jim Thomas: Without knowing Olsen's contract status (i.e., how many years he has left on his current deal, which the Rams would inherit), I'd say it would be tempting, very tempting.

    snoopy2880: Do the Rams have any interest in Charles Grant? He seems to have the size and athletic ability to play multiple roles on Spags' d-line.
    Jim Thomas: I have not sensed any interest in the Rams in Grant.

    virginiatom: Word in Washington is that the Redskins want Bradford. Would you swap positions for their #1 (4th overall), their second (36th overall) and maybe a player like TE Chris Cooley? Is that adequate compensation for the first pick or would the Rams still want more? The Rams wouldn't get Bradford, but they could get Tebow or McCoy in the second, and still have the draft picks to address two additional positions and add a quality, pro-bowl pass catching tight end.
    Jim Thomas: Actually, Washington has No. 37 overall in the second round. Under your scenario, I'm wondering who would you take at No. 4 if you're the Rams? I guess one of these three would still be there: Suh, Gerald McCoy, and Eric Berry.

    paperlion: Thanks, Jim, for your time here and your reports.

    Not a loaded question - If Bradford is the favorite at Rams Park right now, can you get any read on how the Rams will go the rest of the draft? Offensive heavy, Defensive heavy, 50/50, or BPA thereafter?

    From the info you gleaned at Rams Park, are the Rams' approaching this draft with improving one side of the ball over the other for 2010?

    And, same question if they're actually leaning toward Suh?

    No suck up, you rock the Rams world, JT, DDS.
    Jim Thomas: I do think they're actually leaning to Bradford at this point. But they have so many other needs _ on both sides of the ball _ it's impossible to predict where the rest of the draft will fall.

    DanishRam: Hi Jim

    How much insider info do you get during the days of the draft - like do you know who the Rams will pick before the card is turned in?

    Also is there any chance that you will host a chat before the second day of the draft this year - I think many of us would love to pick our brain for answers early friday!
    Jim Thomas: If you mean while the draft actually is going on, I'd say not a whole lot.

    As for your second point, we'll see. We'll all have some time to kill. Maybe I can get on there for an hour.

    NJ_RAM: Jim,
    If you had to put a percentage on it, what do you think the odds are that the Rams are bluffing on taking Bradford with the number one overall pick? I think given the needs of this team, you take BPA, not to say Bradford won't be a good QB, but when you have so many needs to fill - why reach at all?
    Jim Thomas: Devaney plays a pretty hand of poker. But I don't think they're bluffing on their interest in Bradford. I think it's real interest, and may be they do think he's the BPA.

    knuckles: Understandably, Kroenke is weighing his options. But, I'm curious.....other than holding a big bag of money, and certainly his 40% stake has ballooned in the past 15 years, what role does Mr. Kroenke play in the operations or decision making process of the Rams' organization? Thanks for any insight you can provide.
    Jim Thomas: To the best of my knowledge, although he is consulted on things, he really hasn't had much say over the years in terms of decision-making.

    Buzz: Jim,
    I read where Donnie Avery has bulked up to 200 lbs in an effort to avoid the minor injuries that have plagued him. So I ask you: Do you think he can carry the extra weight and retain his quickness and speed? Thanks.
    Jim Thomas: We'll find out, eh?

    Buzz: Jim,
    In your opinion, did the Rams sign Darcy Johnson to perhaps be their starting TE, or is he more like competition for Daniel Fells to be the backup TE? He is athletic, probably faster than Fells, and has shown flashes of catching the ball down the field. Thanks.
    Jim Thomas: He's a roster candidate, plain and simple.

    Mike E.: Jim - In your opinion, is the following scenerio plausible or being explored... Mr. Kroenke exercises his right to match Mr. Khan's offer to purchase the additional 60% of the Rams and enters into an agreement to "swap" ownership with that of the Denver Broncos. This would give Mr. Kroenke ownership of the NFL, NHL, and NBA teams in a single market and thus would not violate the NFL cross ownership rules. I'm not sure what the value is of the Denver Broncos, but I assume it is more than the estimated 700-800M estimated for the Rams. Any rumors to this type of scenerio/discussion occuring.
    Jim Thomas: I would be shocked if Pat Bowlen wants to leave Denver.

    Scott: Thanks for the chats,

    I too am a big Dextor McCluster fan having watched him for the last three years at Ole Miss. He would be the perfect compliment to SJ in the backfield and then some. I see him in the same role the Saints used Reggie Bush last year, passes out of the backfield, kick/punt returns, etc. The guy is electric and runs with down field vision and great heart. Any real chance the Rams may take a shot?

    Jim Thomas: His "slow" 40 times at the combine were a puzzler. But he plays fast, and if that means he's around at the top of the third, I think the Rams would strongly consider him. I don't think that's the case at the top of the second.

    OTRamFan: Could you provide some insight into the Rams drafting process. It seems to me they two owners with both feet out the door, one owner straddling the threshold, mouth shut and a potential owner peeking in the window...with only Devaney and Spagnuolo IN the room. It's hard to believe this process goes without input from Kahn, but through whom. I guess if it is a unsupervised as it appears, this really is the defining moment for Dev'n Spags. It would create incredible attempts at trying to read the mind of new ownership and they could be very indecisive or they could be insightful, believe in their vision, nail the draft and take their shots down the road. How do you see this process from your perspective, is there an interested owner? Do you see this draft as the defining issue for this management team? If you do, can they accomplish what is needed without gaining more draft choices through trading down.

    Secondly, I read between the lines that you think this years offensive line will be OK,just OK, am I wrong? If they are not significantly better than last year, Bradford could become the next David Carr, we all know what Houston did to that great prospect, never has been the same. Defenses will t-off and take the head off a rookie quarterback and take the risk he can't make the play. Are we going to be good enough to take that risk with a possible franchise quarterback who has already demonstrated his injury potential?
    Jim Thomas: Obviously, this draft and the upcoming season will have a lot to say about the staying power of Spags and Devaney. It is an interesting dynamic with Khan basically poised to take over. When they had the brief meeting with the Rams' braintrust earlier this offseason, did Khan slip a piece of paper to Devaney with the words: "Take a QB" on it? I don't know. But what you have to know is that you're going to spend a lot of money on the No. 1 overall pick _ true, a little more on a QB _ but still a lot of dough either way.

    As for your second question, assuming Barron and Smith are the tackles once again, I don't think either can be considered a shut-down pass blocker. You're going to have to give Bradford help with chip blocking or double teams on the edge, which limits the number of receivers you can send out on routes.

    bkwestbrook: Hi Jim. As always, thanks for taking questions. Are the Rams seriously thinking about using the #1 overall pick on Bradford? I really don't see him as being that far above Colt McCoy or Skelton as a franchise QB prospect.

    Do you think the Rams would be better served by taking Suh first, talkig with the Broncos about trading their 2nd rounder for Brandon Marshall, and looking at available QB options in the 3rd round? That would seem to address at least a couple of needs and even if an interesting QB prospect wasn't available at the top of round 3, I think Bulger could be better with Marshall, a healthy Steven Jackson and a slightly more mature and experienced O-line.

    Your thoughts?
    Jim Thomas: I don't know about Marshall. Lots of Samsonite there.

    tru: Hey,

    thanks for your time. What do you think of the 2 recent signings of CB Kevin Dockery and the Te D.Johnson? do y9u think D.Johnson has potential to be a receiving threat at TE. thank you
    Jim Thomas: At best, Dockery is a nickel back and helps on special teams. A year ago, the Giants through enough of the guy to tender him at the second-round level as an RFA. Not very big, but fast. It's not like the Rams are swimming in CBs, so why not give him a look-see in training camp. It's only a one-year deal. Same with Johnson. Only a low-risk, one-year deal. He does have a reputation as a pass-catcher, but must stay healthy.

    lespaul70: How valuable is James Hall to our defense?and do you think that he'll be our starting LE or do you think we will take one early on in the draft?
    Jim Thomas: Well, he's a solid starter and a good locker room presence. Decent against the run. Good bull rush. But he's also 33. If I were the Rams, I'd still be looking for a pass-rushing DE or pass-rushing OLB.


    Please give us the lowdown: Did the Rams offer a 4th for Vick, but the Eagles wanted a 3rd? What can you tell us.

    Thanks for the chats!
    Jim Thomas: I'm not sure the Rams were even willing to offer a fourth. There sure hasn't been much of a market for Vick.

    Jumbo J: Who do you realistically think will be targeted by the Rams at 33, Roger Saffold, Everson Griffen, Arrelious Benn, Daryl Washington, Damian Williams, Jermaine Gresham?

    Witherspoon, Kyle Wilson, Brandon Graham and Devin McCourty are all guys I liked, but seemed to be thought of as 1st rounders now.
    Jim Thomas: There's no way of telling. You have to see the first round play out and see who goes off the board.

    Jared: Hey Jim, Thanks for talking time out of your day to write. I actually have two questions. The first, could you see Dez Bryant falling out of the first round. The second, do you believe the rams would select Jacoby Ford in the 4th or 5th round if he was still there? I believe he could give the Rams Special Teams a spark that they were missing. Thanks again
    Jim Thomas: I don't think there's any way Bryant falls out of Round 1. Don't know on Ford.

    cowpoodle: i believe drafting Colt Mcoy in the second round offers far less risk and a good prospect to sit on the bench a few years and learn.drafting bradford and starting him next year will probabley=disaster,or just as bad paying him all that money to sit on the bench.i believe drafting DT's Suh or mcoy and trading Michael Vick gives the rams a better chance to improve next year,and still have hope for the u beleive this is a better scenario than drafting bradford in the 1st?
    Jim Thomas: I'm not sure Colt McCoy makes it to the second round.

    JoeBacc: Why in the world is Clifton Ryan still not signed?
    Jim Thomas: He's a restricted free agent with a second-round tender on him. I'm sure he'll sign sooner or later. It makes sense for him to wait after April 15 anyway _ that's the last day teams can sign RFAs to an offer sheet.

    Thomas T: Hey Jim;
    I was on the Suh bandwagon from the beginning but now see the light and why we should take Bradford as long as his shoulder clears and throws well on his pro day. For those who still want Suh, don't fans realize that the bust factor for top DT's is just as bad as it is for QB's, or even worse?!
    Gerard Warren, Glenn Dorsey, Dewayne Robertson, Jon Sullivan, among others, come to mind as 'top 5 can't miss DT's' in recent years.
    Jim Thomas: Yeah, but given the Rams' luck on such matters in recent years it would be just like them to pass on the next Warren Sapp.

    Ruben: Jim,
    Thanks for taking my question. Why do you believe Bulger has not been released? Will he be released once Bradford throws on Monday and doubt is gone from him being the no. 1 pick? I understand keeping all options open, but if they are convinced in taking Bradford, releasing Bulger would be the right thing to do. What are your thoughts?
    Jim Thomas: You don't throw out the old bath water until you have an alternative. And it won't necessarily be Monday. The Rams may wait until the draft, or after the draft.

    VCR Vancouver BC: Willie Parker update please

    A) did he workout, run etc. during his visit?

    B) Did they talk dollars and cents?
    Jim Thomas: a.) He did not work out during his visit. Just talks and a physical.
    b.) Nothing at the time. There was supposed to be some talk this week, but I haven't been able to follow up. At this time of year, as the draft creeps ever closer, the teams have all the leverage. Not the free agent players.

    stonethrower: Jim,

    You've been a great asset to the football fans in St Louis, especially for the manner in which you report accurately and without favoritism towards the team. Unfortunately that cannot be said about all the sports reporting that goes on in St Louis. So thank you very much and keep up the great work.

    As the draft talk is heating up considerably now, one question must be addressed about possible drafted quarterbacks and the emphasis placed on their experience or lack thereof in the pro style offense.

    Doesn't this criticism now seem a bit overplayed as most of the NFL teams play a version of the spread offense for a portion of, and perhaps even a majority of their offensive snaps?

    One need only to watch the 2 teams in the Super Bowl to get an idea of how much the spread offense has taken over even in the pro game. I counted almost 3/4 of the offensive snaps were passing plays and well over half of those passing plays were in the shotgun formation. 3 and 4 wide receivers are now more the norm than the exception, and games often begin with both teams employing the shotgun formation on their initial offensive series.
    Jim Thomas: Teams are operating more and more out of the shotgun. I think it's about 50-50 league-wide on the percentage of shotgun snaps vs. time under center. Still, if you're a QB who hasn't operated under center, there is an adjustment period. The footwork has to be precise, because timing is so important even on running plays. For example, it took Keith Null until about October to get used to operation under center.

    VictoriaRamsFan: Hey Jim, as always thanks for doing these chats.
    Any news on the Willie Parker, Na'lil Diggs and all the other guys that visited? Is the reason they are not getting contracts because they did not play for the Giants or Eagles?
    Jim Thomas: Hah! It may have something to do with the fact that Parker and Diggs aren't getting any action from other teams. I.e., Rams have leverage.

    laramfan81: i had heard the rams were interested or close to a deal with N. Diggs? Was that just a rumor or a possiblity? Thanks
    Jim Thomas: The sides are close, and remain close. Just not close enough.

    RamFanInCA: Hi Jim,

    How does something like the McNabb rumor get started, exactly? Thanks.
    Jim Thomas: I can't really tell you. How do any of these rumors get started? Rams and Tampa Bay trading draft slots, Carriker to Redskins, etc., etc. And we've still got almost a month to go until the draft.

    paceram: Jim,

    Thanks for taking your time to answer these questions! In your opinion if Sam Bradford throws well this Monday do you think it is a DONE DEAL that he will be the Rams pick in the upcoming draft or do you think there still is a possibility that the could choose another player (Suh, McCoy, etc.) or trade down to get more picks and/or players? Thanks again for your time!
    Jim Thomas: If he throws well, obviously that tilts Bradford more toward the Rams. But the Rams still want to see him throw again at a private workout, still want to get that independent doctors check on his shoulder, still want to check out the Colt McCoy and Jimmy Clausen rumors, and still may want to wait until they're on the clock to see if they get blown away by any trade offers.

    Riverview 33: Jim: A few quick questions:
    (1) I believe James Laurinatis is the real deal at middle linebacker, and one of the few bright spots on defense. Do the Rams' coaches and management share this view?

    (2) I get the impression that the coaches and management believe Dahl can adequately fill the shoes of Atogwe, at a fraction of the cost. (Which I happen to agree). Is this true?

    I appreciate the chat. Thanks.
    Jim Thomas: 1.) Yeah, I think they share this view.
    2.) I'm wondering if this isn't with the case, given what's happened with Atogwe. But it could be a dangerous approach. Dahl has had injury problems in the past, and hasn't shown himself capable so far of coming up with the type of turnovers that Atogwe does. Plus, what's wrong with having three decent safeties?

    rams1999: Jim, after attending the owners meeting, what percentage do you give Khan being approved by the owners?
    Jim Thomas: 65-35

    Joey Drillings: Hey Mr. Thomas

    After all the meetings, are the Rams negotiating with Willie Parker, Na'll Diggs, Reggie Hayward and Jason McKie or did the Rams just kick the tires and see you later?
    Jim Thomas: The only one I can tell you for sure that they have and are negotiating with is Diggs. But that doesn't mean they haven't with the otehrs _ I just don't know on them.

    4thandJuan: Jim,

    Have you ever covered a busier off-season for the Rams? New owner, No. 1 draft pick, free agency of course. I bet you're not getting much rest.

    On the free agency front, the news was that O.J. Otogwe could not be traded because he hasn't signed his tender offer. But don't the Rams still own the negotiating rights, and they can trade those rights?
    Jim Thomas: It's been busy.

    As for Atogwe, you can't trade a player who isn't under contract. And until Atogwe signs the tender, which he's in no hurry to do, he can't be traded. (It's the same reason why some RFAs take their time signing their tenders.)

    rayroz8: Hey Jim, thanks for these chats, best part of the week.

    With Bradford seeming like more of a lock by the day, have you heard any discussions involving a round 2 strategy? From what I see there will be a good WRs on the board most likely (ie Arrelious Benn) but there are still DL needs. What is your hunch on what the Rams would lean towards? Thanks
    Jim Thomas: At this point, I'm not sure the Rams like enough of the WRs that are expected to be on the board to take them at No. 33 overall.

    RogreOgre: There seems to be a good chance the Rams draft Sam Bradford. Look at his resume at OU: he beat Texas in 2007, Tech in 2008, and a couple of Big 12 "Championship Games" against an overmatched Missouri team. Meanwhile, his bowl record (0-2) and his record against Texas (1-2) cannot be overlooked. Do you have concerns about his ability to win big games?

    His resume (key wins and losses) reminds me of Chris Simms career at Texas, and we all know how he has done in the NFL.
    Jim Thomas: Interesting, and food for thought. But I think Peyton Manning had a similar reputation in college.

    larrymarmie: How do you see the Rams using Laurent Robinson next season? Would he be an aadequate No. 1 for a young developing QB (Bradford), or is there a veteran out there who would make sense for the Rams to bring in? Do the Rams win more than 3 games next year?
    Jim Thomas: Robinson was shaping up as the team's No. 1 a year ago before his injury. Obviously, he needs to stay healthy. Right now, there don't seem to be many alternatives among veterans. I'd say the over-under on wins probably is 3.5.

    Tony: Jim, I'm getting a little nervous here. No matter how great Bradford looks throwing the ball to receivers on an empty field, it's a lot different in a game with a 280 lb defensive tackle in your face slammig him to the ground. Please tell me billy and spags aren't forgetting this and are still considering Suh.
    Jim Thomas: Great point. 280-pound DT? How about a 350-pound DT?

    Mike: Jim,

    In this day and age, it is preposterous that it takes so long for the NFL to approve an ownership change. Large complicated corporations are acquired/bought in less time. In particular, the idea that the timing of due dilegence reports and decisions revolves around pre-scheduled meeting dates is absurd. When a corporation considers an aquisition/sale, the board usually meets immediately and as often as necessary until the decision is made. I don't even see how it could help the other owners to have a sale dangling for so long, so I would think that they would want a faster process.

    Any thoughts?
    Jim Thomas: Mike--I know you're anxious. But it's not like the entire NFL staff, or even a portion of it, is working on Shahid Khan full-time. Also the sales agreement with Khan and the Rams had a built-in 60-day window for Kroenke to make up his mind. The 60 days isn't up yet, and nothing can happen until Kroenke declares.

    With that I must go. We'll be back at our usual time on Tuesday next week. Take care.

Related Topics


  • r8rh8rmike
    Jim Thomas Live - January 12, 2010
    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, January 12, 2010 01:00 PM CST

    Bill H.: Jim: Do you believe that it will really make much difference who the Rams draft numero uno for the near term, if they don't make significant improvements overall this coming year. The younger players may start developing collective attention deficit disorder, no matter who is drafted and start looking for the lifeboats to abandon the sinking ship. I'd hate to think they were on the cusp of a turnaround only to have the bad taste of another abysmal year taint their collective psyche. I'm sorry, was this more than one question.
    Jim Thomas: I'm not sure exactly what you mean, but it's clear the Rams need more than one player _ even the first pick in the draft _ to turn this around. And there's no doubt the young players on the roster need to start experiencing success.


    Lou Wappel: Have you heard anything about who the Rams will designate as their franchise player? Also, do you think Alex Barron will be back with the Rams? Thanks Jim
    Jim Thomas: The Rams have about a month and a half before they must declare their franchise player. And keep in mind, if it stays an uncapped year, they get two "tags" this offseason _ a franchise and a transition tag; or two transition tags. As for Barron, I think he has a better chance of staying if it's an uncapped year and the Rams can tender him to a one-year deal as a restricted free agent. (Barron is one of those "limbo" players who is restricted in an uncapped year, but unrestricted in a capped year.)


    Da Rams!: Hi Jim. Do you see the Rams going for back-up RB in the draft? Leon Washington's (NY Jets) contract is up and he would be a great pick-up for the Rams to lighten Jackson's workload. Had he not gotten injured, Washington would have been starting for the Jets or another team next season. Washington and Jackson could both share the load of carries next season. And based off of how much cap space the Rams have and the tremendous needs going into the draft it would be wise to put the money where they can get the most benefit.
    Jim Thomas: Washington makes a lot of sense, but he's one of those "limbo" players. In an uncapped year, he's a restricted free agent as opposed to unrestricted, which makes him tougher to sign.


    Coach J: Jim, I was hoping New England may be interested in the top pick? I see in addition to their number 1 they have a few extra number 2's to play with. The Rams would have the opportunity to address several positions...
    -01-13-2010, 04:47 PM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Jim Thomas Live Chat Transcript - March 24
    by r8rh8rmike
    Jim Thomas Live
    Rams writer Jim Thomas goes one-on-one with readers at 1 p.m. Thursday in a live chat.
    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    STLSkeptic: Hey Jim,
    I thought one of the main reasons the NFLPA wanted to file the paperwork for the decertification before the end of the CBA was to keep the lawsuit in Judge Doty's courtroom. Now I'm hearing some other judge will be presiding over the case. What happened there?
    Jim Thomas: It was assigned randomly by the U.S. District Court of Minnesota and ended up on Judge Susan Nelson docket. Ooops!


    David: If the Rams weren't going to pay Atogwe his $8 million bonus anyway, why did they even put it in the contract?
    Jim Thomas: Interesting point. At the time the contract was done last summer, I wrote that it was structurued like a one-year deal because of the $8 million roster bonus. If Atogwe had had a great year, say a Pro Bowl year, I'm sure the Rams would've felt compelled to pay it. Atogwe had a good year, not a great year, and away he goes.


    STLSkeptic: Jim,
    Do you know if the Rams are considering either of the Ohio State linebackers, Brian Rolle or Ross Homan, in the draft? They are both smaller than the prototype NFL linebacker, but they could be had in later rounds and OSU knows how to coach up linebackers as can be seen with AJ Hawk and Laurinitis as rising stars already in the NFL. Thanks
    Jim Thomas: Not sure. But obviously they like Buckeyes at linebacker: Laurinaitis, Diggs, Grant.


    ramfanoncapecod: Hi Jeff,This has to be very boring for a Ram beat writer. I am waiting to book my St Louis trip(Once i find out the schedule) What do you think is the best steak house in St Louis?
    Jim Thomas: Actually, other than no free agency, it has been pretty much the same as any offseason. And I've been on the move as much as usual...Senior Bowl, NFL Scouting Combine, Illinois and Missouri pro days, NFL owners meetings. As for best steakhouse, I'd say Citizen Kane's in Kirkwood or Annie Gunn's (sp?) in Chesterfield.


    ramsfan1974: Hey Jim,

    I am not sure about Avery as a receiver. I like the line-up Amendola,Clayton,(a must sign),Alexander,Gibson and 5th being Julio Jones, John Baldwin, Torrey Smith or a Free Agent. This group seems to work well together as the season went on. Do you believe we should trade Avery? If so what would we get for him. Thanks for the chat. GO RAMS
    Jim Thomas: Rams will not be trading Avery. And from what I'm hearing it's all but a slam-dunk that Clayton...
    -03-24-2011, 08:13 PM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Jim Thomas Live Chat Transcript - April 5
    by r8rh8rmike
    Jim Thomas Live
    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    comments & answers
    vanvaley1: Are there any defensive tackles in this draft that compare with Suh? Odds that Spags et al will go with a DT as first round pick? van
    Jim Thomas: Fairley is smaller and it seems like his stock is dropping as scouts and personnel executives question his "motor" and his work ethic. Dareus is bigger than Suh and very good and I think in general he isn't viewed to be as dominant a prospect. Corey Liuget and is a smaller (290-300 range) who is more of a 3-techinique _ the quicker, more penetrating DT. And the fourth DT who probably will go in the first round is Temple's Muhammad Wilkerson who is raw but has plenty of potential.


    Gary Nguyen: Hi, Jim

    Some mocks had Julio Jones and Green gone before the Rams pick. Just thinking outside the box, do you think the Rams may trade down and acquire more picks and use their first round on TE Kyle Rudolph and use him as a WR. Or they could have stand pat and selected DT Corey Liuget, who I think is the best player available at #14?
    Jim Thomas: I think the Rams would certainly consider a trade-down scenario if neither WR is there. I think the first round is too high for Rudolph. I don't think I've seen a major mock draft with him in it.


    nick49: Hey Jim:
    1)Have the plans been finalized on the draft show youll be on 101 during draft day?
    2)Would you be disappointed if we went dt/de number 1,wr/speed back number 2,and olb/safety number 3?
    3)We have no defensive tackles!!!Would you trade for Barry Cofield of the Giants,or hope to get him in free agency?
    Thank you
    Jim Thomas: 1.) Not that I'm aware of. I'm sure I'll be on at some point.
    2.) No.
    3.) As you know, no trades or free agency are currently allowed. Let's see what the new deal is like _ whenever that happens _ and how free agency is structured.


    Dan Lum: Hi Jim,

    1) So with a lockout,what are the training alternatives for Rams and other teams' rookie draftees?
    2) How would the Rams ensure their guys are staying in football shape, or will they not be able to do that?
    3) Assuming players look at playbooks, are they simply outta luck as far as learning their positional duties and schemes ?
    4) Could 2011 be a scab year?
    Jim Thomas: 1.) Under lockout conditions, the last thing rookies are allowed to do is hold a press conference with their new teams.
    2.) The Rams can't have any contact with their players. If they're following the rules, they have no way of monitoring what the players are doing. For the...
    -04-06-2011, 06:50 PM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Jim Thomas Live Chat Transcript - March 29
    by r8rh8rmike
    Jim Thomas Live
    Tuesday, March 29, 2011

    ramsfan008: 1. I hear Robert Quinn has tumor in his brain, does that affect his draft status or his nfl career?

    2. I have read the scouting on Jon Baldwin does he meet Spags 4 pillar because of his attitude?

    thanks jim
    Jim Thomas: 1.) It's a benign tumor, but that and the fact that he didn't play last season, explain why he may be dropping to the Rams' range (No. 14.)

    2.) I think the Pillar "test" is still applicable when Spags is looking at players.


    Andy: Hey Jim thanks for your is sounding more and more like Julio Jones will be gone...I think Ingram makes sense to take some of the pounding off of Jackson...but I have one question for you, think Spags will take a look at a former big reciever, former Giant by the name of Plaxico Buress...say maybe a one year thing? Might be worth a shot?
    Jim Thomas: This has come up before. I don't think Plaxico gets out until June. Assuming it's a normal preseason and season in this year of the lockout that wouldn't give him much time to get into shape. Remember how Michael Vick wasn't quite there that first year he got out of prison? You'd have to think the same thing would affect Plaxico. The only difference is that Burress will turn 34 in training camp in 2011. Vick was only 29 when he returned. So you have to be skeptical about what Burress can do. But is he worth a look _ meaning a tryout/workout? Why not?


    mike barttelbort: Ok, Here my trade- I'd ship Mardy Gilyard to Cincinnati Bengals his college hometown for Chad Ochocinco (Chad Johnson) I know he (Ocho) has only 1 year left on his contract. But after watching Gilyard in practice and knowing he has no speed and can't catch--this give the bengals a young wideout and would allow the Rams to address a problem area without the used of a draft choice --its a win win for both teams--your toughts
    Jim Thomas: Somehow, I don't think the Bengals will trade someone with 751 career catches for 10,783 yards for someone with six career catches for 63 yards.


    mike barttelbort: Jim-when you pick 14th- you have to take the best player available and that might be Mark Ingram of bama--Jackson won't go on for ever-your thoughts
    Jim Thomas: Let's just say Julio Jones (and A.J. Green) aren't available, and the Rams have a much higher grade on Ingram than any of the d-linemen that might be available (Clayborn, Smith, Jordan, Kerrigan, etc.). Then why not take Ingram?


    falcon: Everyone knows...
    -03-29-2011, 06:57 PM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Thomas: Live Rams Chat Transcript
    by r8rh8rmike
    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    Here's a transcript of the questions and answers from Tuesday's live chat with Post-Dispatch football writer Jim Thomas:

    ram2000: Hi Jim thanks for your time. Two Rams questions for you. First, this LA stadium situation looks very tempting and looks like a HUGE money maker, your honest opinion, do you think Stan will listen to a proposal from LA since it won't be ready anyway till the Rams lease expires, and do we have a group in STL to even come close to financing these billion dollar stadiums. Stans NOT going to pay for it. Second question, I think the Rams should make Mankins the #1 FA priority, with WR #2, since Mankins is familiar with Mcdaniels and solves our OL for years to come. Your opinion. Thanks

    Jim Thomas: Sorry for the delay. Just back from Super Bowl week, and getting organized again back in STL. As Roger Goodell said during his state of the NFL press conferenc,e there are still issues in L.A. with financing of the stadium. His quote was: "the financing of the stadium in Los Angeles is still a very difficult proposition." So I don't think that's a slam dunk.
    As for Mankins, do you really want to pay $6 million to $8 million a year for a guard? Besides, Mankins is considered almost a certainty to be franchised by New England.


    Steve B.: Jim,
    I know a lot of Rams fans think we need to get a scat back during the draft to be our 3rd down back.However,I would like to see the Rams keep Jackson on the field for 3rd downs and was disappointed they did not do it this year. Jackson has always been good at receiving the ball out of the backfield and it gets him to the second level of the defense.What are your thoughts?

    Jim Thomas: There's no doubt Jackson is a good receiver. And maybe he'll be used more by McDaniels in the passing game. But whether it's a scatback or not, don't we all agree the Rams still need an upgrade at the No. 2 running back position?


    AKA Rusty Shackleford: Hey Jim,

    I was wondering what the feelings are about the DE position. Is that a position of high importance heading into the offseason? I am becoming a fan of Ryan Kerrigan and wouldn't mind seeing a nice scary DE duo in St Louis.

    Jim Thomas: Good point. We all know Spags likes pass rushing d-linemen. James Hall turned 34 last Friday. I guess what I'm saying is if the value is there I wouldn't be stunned if the Rams took a pass rusher at No. 14. But at this point, I'm doubting if Kerrigan is worth such a high pick.


    Rich: Greetings Mr. Thomas,

    -02-10-2011, 07:08 PM