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Thread: Bernie Bytes ..
-07-19-2011 #1Registered User
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Bernie Bytes ..
BY BERNIE MIKLASZ Tuesday, July 19, 2011 1:00 pm
* With the Rams about to return to work (soon, we hope) activity is picking up at Rams Park. Team chief operating officer Kevin Demoff, GM Billy Devaney, the scouts and the coaches are preparing free-agent lists and checking them twice. Once the lockout ends, teams will have to condense months of work into a two-week, three-week rush of activity. The Rams will have to re-sign their own free agents, they'll have to line up deals with undrafted rookie free agents, and then they'll have to explore the open market for free agents. Usually, these things happen in steps, with the work spread out over the course of the entire offseason. And now the Rams' front offices -- and all NFL teams -- are about to go into a speed drill. With around-the-clock hours, hundreds of phone calls, and lots of caffeine.
"I will be drinking all of the available Diet Mountain Dew in St. Louis, that's for sure," Demoff said.
It will be interesting to see how well the Rams deal with this, and how much success they'll have in taking care of business. This is a test for the organization.
* The Rams, unlike other NFL teams, did not lay off any non-football employees during the lockout. They did not punish the so-called "civilian" employees that had nothing to do with the labor dispute and lockout. (The Rams did fire a couple of long-time employees, but apparently those moves would have been made, anyway -- lockout or no lockout.) Demoff said each team had to do what was best. But he thought it was important for the Rams to maintain continuity.
"Our policy was to be forward-thinking and keep the engine moving forward," Demoff said. "We didn't want to hit the pause button. We wanted to keep working. We wanted to have a full staff. And we want to keep that staff highly motivated."
And that's an important point: because the Rams kept their staff in place instead of putting people out of work to save (relatively speaking) nickels and dimes, they probably figure to have happier employees. By not laying them off, the Rams probably kept morale high and strengthened the loyalty factor.
-07-20-2011 #2Registered User
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Re: Bernie Bytes ..
Don't most of the big time moves go down in the first 2-3 weeks of a normal free agency period, anyway? I'm wondering if this won't be underwhelming like last year when some fans/pundits thought the rich clubs would take advantage of the capless season & fling money like confetti.Didn't really happen, did it ?
The big difference for the fans,imo, will be the absence of that agonizing lull between FA/the draft and the start of camp; a microthin silver lining to the lockout cloud hanging over the summer, I guess.
I'm sure Jim Thomas will be disappointed to hear that DeSpags didn't lay off everyone en masse & replace them with minimum wage Walmart greeters or something.
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