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'5 Questions' with Turf Show Times

Turshowtimes_medium From my vantage point there is one nice thing about the New York Giants facing NFC West teams like the St. Louis Rams this season.

No, not that those teams stink. It's that I get to interact with some Sports Blogs Nation bloggers I rarely have contact with. This week provides such an opportunity, as I have exchanged '5 Questions' with Ryan Van Bibber, known as 'VanRam' at SBN's Rams blog, Turf Show Times.

The full interview is after the jump

1. Big Blue View: The Rams were, obviously, awful Sunday against Philadelphia. You've seen the news reports ripping their effort and saying they are the front-runner for the 2009 No. 1 pick. Are they really that bad? Or, are you optimistic despite the poor opening-game effort?

Turf Show Times: Nobody was under the illusion that these guys were Super Bowl contenders; in fact, I don't know anyone who thought this was a playoff team. However, they've got more talent than they showed in that debacle. Fans expect improvement.

2. BBV: The Rams took DE Chris Long with the second pick in the draft. Have you been happy with what you have seen from him thus far?

TST: Yes, he is a rookie at a position that has a learning curve. Remember what a joke it was when the Texans took Mario Williams...before he had 14 sacks in his second year? He played hard last week, one of a few Rams players that seemed to give a damn. Long's impact will be felt as the season moves along.

3. BBV: Giants' fans likely don't follow the Rams closely. Other than the big-name guys like Steven Jackson and Marc Bulger, tell us about a few players we should keep our eyes on.

TST: Well, Rams fans aren't going to follow the team too closely if the team plays D2 football in the home opener. This offense, led by OC Al Saunders, features Randy McMichael quite a bit. If the rest of the team gets it together, McMichael will have a productive season. Too bad OJ Atogwe looked so lost last week. I might have said his name. He led the NFC in INTs last year with 8 and was bright young star for the defense. I guess we'll see how well he does with the wrote star-overcoming-adversity storyline, with the adversity being mostly self-induced last week.

4. BBV: Tell us a little about Scott Linehan. Is he is over his head with this job? Does he just not have much to work with? Do you think he will eventually get the Rams turned around? Or, is he en route to getting himself canned?

His head coaching tenure seems more akin to Seymour Skinner's Vietnam experience than anything else. Fans and the press gave him the benefit of the doubt, but after last Sunday it became pretty clear that he lacks the leadership skills to be a head coach. The players don't seem to connect with him, either out of fear or loyalty. Last week he really failed in putting the various parts of a football team together to form a cohesive whole.

5. BBV: OK, time for my favorite question. (All together now, Big Blue View Nation, you know what is coming). If you could take one player off the Giants' roster and put him on your team who would it be? Why?

TST: Tom Coughlin. See above.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm going to try this as a new way of wrapping up these '5 questions' segments. I found 'VanRam's' answer to the 'take one player' answer to be a stunner. Tom Coughlin? Wow! That's a first as no one has ever answered the question that way. Guess it shows a complete lack of faith in Scott Linehan.

By the way, I'm hoping to see the Giants bury the Rams the same way the Eagles did. The Giants should have buried the Redskins last week, but didn't. They need to put teams away when they have the opportunity.

Anyway, thanks 'VanRam.' Be sure to check Turf Show Times for my answers to his questions.