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Nick Wagoner's Mailbag--June 12

June 12, 2012 04:49PM
[chat.nfl.com]


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com

What's up, Rams fans? A little light on questions today, in no small part because of Kevin Demoff's chat last week which I hope you all enjoyed. Anyway, if you have stuff for me, feel free to fire away because I should be able to get through what I have pretty quickly today.

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Ken, Anaheim

12:40 PM CT

Nick, Thanks for letting us know who has performed well during OTA's, however any surprises or should I say any that didn't.


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



Na, like I've maintained all along here, I wouldn't put a ton of stock into what's happened during OTAs. You can see glimpses of athletic ability and pure, raw skill but to try to fully evaluate these players either good or bad based on running around in shorts and t shorts is pretty unfair.

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Ken, Anaheim

12:41 PM CT

Nick, I read this morning that we may only keep three TEs on the active list. Is that true, and if so who looks to have a job this season. Thanks


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



Not sure where you read that but I suppose it's possible. I personally would think four is probably the number but that could also depend on how the fullback situation works (i.e. if you can use a tight end in that type of role as well). As I wrote a few weeks ago in my tight end story, I think Kendricks is probably pretty safe but otherwise, it's about as up in the air as any position on the team. It will be a heated competition in camp.

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Kevin, Redding Ca.

12:43 PM CT

Nick, I'm thinking of coming out to St. Louis for a game this year. Is there good tailgating at the dome? I live in northern Ca. so am used to candlestick. A real dump but great tailgating.Thanks!


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



There are a few parking lots that surround the stadium that have some good tailgates. Unfortunately there isn't one huge parking lot for all of that simply because of where the stadium is but there are some places around the stadium to setup a good pre-game party.

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Don Riley , New Jersey

12:44 PM CT

Somebody may have asked this already. Not sure. Aaron Brown. I was watching his Utube videos. Is he going to be a Linebacker or a safety. He has great hands, runs like a running back and makes big plays. I'm shocked every time I look at these players (the Rams selected this year). Everyone of them seems to have special talents. Brown isn't too big but he's an exciting guy to watch. Does he get any work at safety or is he strictly a special teams player and a linebacker (don't know if he ever played safety) but he looks like he might be able to ?


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



He's a linebacker. He's been used exclusively on the weak side and I fully expect him to work on special teams as well.

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Kevin, Redding Ca.

12:45 PM CT

Hi Nick, Do you think the Rams will utilize the tight end more,in the passing attack,this season?Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't remember Schottenheimer doing too much of that with the Jets.


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



I think that's absolutely something that could happen. Jeff Fisher's history with tight ends has been positive in their usage and Schottenheimer has more of a history using them than you might think. Dustin Keller developed well under Schottenheimer and though he was the QB coach in San Diego, he saw up close the value of using a stud tight end in Antonio Gates. The question to be answered is whether there are guys that can play up to or near those levels to justify being primary options in the offense. We'll see.

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Kevin, Evansville, IN

12:47 PM CT

Do you think we have the ability to pull any upsets in the first five games?


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



Sure. I'm not sure much of anything is an upset in the NFL. It's a cliche but it's true that anybody can win in any given week.

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Kevin, Redding Ca.

12:49 PM CT

Hi Nick, Who are you're fantasy sleepers for 2012 ? (QB,RB,WR,TE) Thanks.


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



Boy, I haven't really looked into it much yet. I'd think that Eric Decker and/or Demaryius Thomas in Denver could be really good with Peyton Manning tossing it to them. Same for the TEs they signed. Maybe ask me again in August and I'll have a better handle on it.

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Michael, Providence, RI

12:53 PM CT

I have a question about the DBs. How have Fletcher and Murphy look? Do they seem healthy and ready to go? It seems like everyone has already given the other starting DB spot to Jenkins, but I don't see why Fletcher or Murphy can't compete for it.


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



Murphy is fully healthy and has been just fine. He's still adjusting to a new scheme but he's moving around well and doesn't seem to have any leftover health issues. Fletcher, on the other hand, doesn't look quite right yet. His injury was more recent and severe than Murphy so it might take him longer. Honestly, I think he's going to have to play some catch up come training camp and who knows how long it will take to get back up to full speed.

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Katrina Thorson, Champaign, IL

12:57 PM CT

Do you think that the Rams have improved their O line in the this offseason.


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



Remains to be seen. I think Wells is a definite upgrade at center. Let's be honest, that was the only impact move made in terms of personnel. BUT, it should be noted that Paul Boudreau is an outstanding line coach and the decision makers had enough faith in him as well as the potential of a healthy Saffold and Smith to form a solid offensive line this year. If they didn't, they'd have made more moves.

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White Buffalo, Ripon, CA

12:59 PM CT

Nick anybody jumping out at you with at the ota's? How about any of the undrafted players?


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



I'll just refer you to the blog updates to answer this question. I try not to make sweeping judgments on any players during OTAs but I point out some guys who have done well on certain days in the blogs.

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White Buffalo, Ripon, CA

1:00 PM CT

Nick looks like we dodged a bullit with Blackmon getting arrested for drunk driving. I hope the rest of these young men learn by his mistake. I am sorry it happened and I hope he moves on and learns from it. I am very happy he was not our draft pick this year. Do you think he will be suspended?


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



Honestly, I don't know all of the details of the situation or how it will be looked at by the league. Not really my position to judge.

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White Buffalo, Ripon, CA

1:01 PM CT

Hi Nick any chance the Rams give Ocho a look with all the WR's we have on the roster now? Any talk about Albert getting a look? Are the Rams giving any free agents a look that might help the team?


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



As you've already heard, I'm sure, Ocho signed with Miami. And I've answered the Haynesworth question enough, not happening. I believe there is a veteran free agent coming in for a look see this week, maybe even today but not sure if a signing is imminent there.

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Barbra, Gibson City

1:03 PM CT

Hey Nick, I was wondering what our cap space is looking like for next year. Also, how is por rookies looking?


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



The Rams are poised to have A LOT of cap space next year. I don't have an exact figure for you because we don't know what the cap number will be but I promise it will be a sizable chunk.

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Charlie, Goodyear, Arizona

1:04 PM CT

Does anyone know how Danny Amendola is doing? Has he fully recovered?


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



He's doing great. He's fully recovered, has bulked up and is consistently the best receiver on the field. He's going to be a big part of this offense this year.

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Reason Warehime, Fresno CA

1:05 PM CT

Hay Nick, Not sure why but I went to read Keven chat From friday, wasnt able to see the page. Is it running under a different Reader format or did it even Happen. also My son asked about making a trip to a home Game. From fresno for his B-day. Its in sept but I could give him tickets. Im afriad of flying so I thought maby Amtrac from LAX. What games fall following or the day before a 3 day weekend so he doesnt miss school. Thanks love some help..... GO RAMS


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



It happened. It was posted on the front of the site all weekend. Here's a link if you missed it: [chat.nfl.com] I don't know what days your son has off from school so I couldn't tell you. But the schedule is available here on the site.

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Nick, St. Louis

1:07 PM CT

Hey Nick! Quick question, if a player is put on IR does his salary still count against the cap? If so don't you think that is about pointless seeing that his roster spot is now vacated?


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



Yes, players on injured reserve do count against the cap. Teams generally try to build in room for injuries and the ability to replace those guys when they go on injured reserve. It's kind of a strange rule because it would seem to violate the idea that only the 53 guys on the roster count against the cap. But I suppose since those players have to be paid in full anyway (unless they have a "split" contract or clause that says otherwise), the league figures they are being paid so they should count against the cap.

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Don Riley , New Jersey

1:12 PM CT

I read what I thought was good question here maybe two weeks ago. It was looking at the McDaniles System last year. With all the down the field passing routes and deep quarterback drops.. When I think about last year and all the down the field routes. Wasn't that system supposed to be predicated on the fact that the Rams had Danny Amendola who was supposed to be opened underneath (with the sure hands) ? When Amendola went down and couldn't be replaced did that hurt the McDaniels system ?


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



I believe that Amendola's injury was the biggest injury the Rams had last year, which is saying something considering the amount they had in total. Here's the thing, not only was Amendola supposed to be able to help open some things up down the field in the passing game but he also was Sam Bradford's favorite target and a bit of a security blanket. And he's very good on third down in moving the chains. Take that away and it's tough to replace.

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Don Riley , New Jersey

1:13 PM CT

They used to call Coach Shottenheimer "Shotty" when he was with the Jets. In his first year he was "The Toast Of The Town" in New York. The team won 10 games with absolutely nobody at running back. But, every year the Jets featured at least two running backs, usually three. Are we going to get alot of variety this year ? Possibly see Pead more than we may expect ? Also the other RB the Rams selected ? I just can't see "Schotty" going solely with Stephen Jackson. Then a "change of pace" back. Also will the Rams try to pound the ball, possibly with two backs ? Maybe there's somebody else - also. Does that kid from Cincinnati get a chance at fullback (the free agent from last year --- he also played tight end" ?? He was on the practice squad ? Ben Guidigli (sp ?).......................I guess he played with Pead in College ?


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



I think the Rams will find plenty of ways to mix in Pead and even some Daryl Richardson. They give you a different look and style than Jackson does. Jackson will be the bell cow, no question about it but Pead and Richardson will find their way on to the field plenty as well. And I'm sure Schottenheimer will find ways to put them on the field together and create matchup problems. Guidugli is in the mix and will compete for a spot. He's kind of an intriguing guy because he's tough and seems to be able to do a little bit of everything. If he can do some lead blocking, he could really make a case for himself.

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Reason Warehime, Fresno CA

1:15 PM CT

Hay Nick, Some how I was able to get K-d chat earlier today was a little disapointed with a few ? s about gameday entertament being bad. Id like to comment how odd that is cause here in CA, Candlestick, SAn dieago, and bay oakland are always saying thayed like to be more like our RAms with Gameday entertament. Its the main Reason my son and I want to spend the Money to travle and see what all the fuss is about. Im told that Our Rams stadium has beeen awarded many times over for great Gamday truditions. Is this true Nick? (GO RAMS)


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



Since Scott Brooks took over the gameday entertainment, his group has earned a ton of awards for various gameday productions as well as other content they've helped produce for this very website.

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Ryan William, youngstown,ohio

1:17 PM CT

do you feel a if with the several TE addition that there is a sense coach Fisher dont trust the ones here before except kendrick and what can you tell me about patterson?


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



I think they are just trying to create competition. I don't know if it's a trust thing so much as a production thing. Let's face it, the previous tight ends in place don't have a long track record of production. So it's a pretty wide open competition. Peterson looks pretty athletic and has the ability to work as that "move" type of tight end who can detach from the line and split out wide, move into the backfield and block back on the weak side of formations. He's not the biggest guy but he seems like he could be a really good pass catcher if given the opportunity.

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Mark, Los Angeles

1:21 PM CT

How do you see the safety position playing out heard the coach staff really likely daniels could you see 4 being on the roster and which one


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



I think they'll definitely keep four. Hard to have much of a gauge on which four they will be. Mikell, Stewart and Dahl seem to be OK and then a competition between Daniels and McLeod for the fourth spot most likely. I wouldn't be surprised if they search for another vet to put in the mix, too.

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Ryan William, youngstown,ohio

1:24 PM CT

with the backup qb in the air if three is taken into the season do you believe davis has the best chance and have you spoke to him about being drafted?


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



I think Davis will get a fair shot to compete for the third QB job, yes.

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Tyler , STL

1:25 PM CT

Hey Nick how is it going? Are the Rams interested in Plaxico Burress. He played pretty well with Brian Schottenhiemer. I feel like he has 3 good years left. We could have Brian Quick, Chris Givens, Danny Amendola, Greg Salas, Steve Smith, and Plaxico Burress. That is one impressive group I must say. What is your opionion. Thanks for your time. I look forward to this every week after work!


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



No. It's just not going to happen. I don't expect the Rams to sign another wideout, especially not any of the older vets that people out there keep throwing around.

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MarkStevens7777, Norway

1:30 PM CT

Trumaine Johnson: bit of a puzzle. He ran a 4.61 40-yd. dash at the combines, and that seems too slow for an NFL CB. Most thought he would become a S, which makes sense. Fisher indicates he will keep him at CB. Is it possible he might become a kind of specialist, given his size and reach, in covering move TEs? Maybe Jerome Murphy too, another big CB? There are so many good receiving TEs now, too fast for LBs, too big for CBs.


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



I think you're overrating 40 times in terms of how guys fit in. Trumaine Johnson is plenty fast to play CB. He's also strong and capable of playing well in press coverage which is another part of covering receivers. I don't know if they'll have a specialized role for him but I expect him to be in the mix to get some serious playing time this year.

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Arturo, Tampico, Mexico

1:32 PM CT

Hey Nick; My question today is regarding the TE's competition, We have a lot of people there and no superstars, I think we should have one powerful blocker, One good receiver and a third being a mix of both. (ideally the three should be good in both). Whom do you think are our best shots at it. and, How is Illinois Mike doing? Is he healthy now?


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



I can't give you much on the blocker because they haven't been in pads. The guys that have that background though will be Brody Eldridge, Matthew Mulligan and Cory Harkey. Kendricks and Peterson are the more athletic types capable of moving around and making plays in the passing game. Hoomanawanui would be a nice combination of the two but has to prove he can get and stay healthy first. He's not fully healthy yet.

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MarkStevens7777, Norway

1:34 PM CT

What is the biggest challenge for the rookie receivers in making the adjustment to the NFL? Is it learning how to make more complex moves on dbs? Learning to read defenses and make adjustments on the fly, in sync with the QB?


Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



It's a lot of things. First, because of spread offenses around the college game, most guys don't have experience running the full route tree. Route running and technique are a bit of a lost art in that way. So there are many fundamentals guys have to learn when they get to the league. Second, they have a lot to learn in terms of how plays are run, how they can change at the line, adjustments they have to make based on what the defense shows and in general the mental aspect of the game. That's just a small sample of what receivers deal with coming into the NFL. It's not a coincidence that you don't see many rookie wide receivers making a big impact from day one.

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Nick's Mailbag, Stlouisrams.com



That's going to do it for today. The Rams kick off their final minicamp in about three hours so stay tuned for coverage all week. And a quick programming note: I'll be here for a chat next week to help wrap up the final minicamp and the offseason program. After that, I'll probably be out for a few weeks and we'll get the chat going again sometime in the week or so before training camp at the end of July. Thanks as always for participating.



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  Nick Wagoner's Mailbag--June 12

RamBill380June 12, 2012 04:49PM