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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Bernie Bytes: On Spags' Contract

    Bernie Bytes: On Spags' contract

    BY BERNIE MIKLASZ
    Friday, December 30, 2011

    Happy Friday!

    Reading Time 5 Minutes:

    * If the Rams retain Steve Spagnuolo as head coach, let's remember this: he realistically can't come back as a lame-duck coach in 2012. Which means that the Rams will almost certainly have to extend the HC's contract into 2013, at least. Sure, owner Stan Kroenke can choose to bring Spagnuolo back under any circumstances. Kroenke is the boss. If he wants Spagnuolo to fulfill the final year of his contract -- one more shot in 2012, get it done or else -- that's the owner's call. But in professional sports, many owners try to avoid putting their coaches in lame-duck situations. Lame-duck coaches have a more difficult time controlling the locker room, and keeping players on their side. Keeping Spagnuolo in place without an extension would only serve to undermine him -- which sort of defeats the purpose of bringing him back, yes?

    * I don't see the point in keeping Spags as the HC unless he's given some security. At least on paper. For example, Kroenke could fire Spagnuolo a year from now. The contract extension wouldn't prevent that. It just means that Kroenke would have to pay out on the remaining terms of Spags' contract. Is Kroenke prepared to increase his financial investment in Spagnuolo? The answer could be a key to Kroenke's thought process as he decides what to do.

    * And if Spags comes back, surely he will have to make staff changes. He'll have to replace some assistants and hire others. And how could the Rams possibly lure attractive assistants to Rams Park when they're working for a head coach that has only one year of security? Assistants that have options won't come here on a one-year deal. They'll want two years, at least. Is Kroenke willing to re-fund the football staff (at no cheap cost) to give Spags one more year? Good question.

    * Then again, I'm apparently having an attack of common sense here. And this can be difficult. If Spagnuolo loses Sunday he'll be 10-38 as the Rams' head coach. Not 38-10, but 10-38. Apparently I've been in a dream state for the last three seasons, and missed all of those triumphs.

    * Heading into Sunday's season-closer against the *****, the Rams have 13 touchdowns from scrimmage in 15 games. Some notes on that:

    -- The NFL record for fewest TDs from scrimmagein a 16-game season is 12, established by the Oakland Raiders in 2006. So the Rams aren't the worst offense since the 16-game sked went into place in 1978. But as of now they are tied for second on the futility meter; the 1991 Indianapolis Colts had 13 TDs on offense.

    -- The Rams have averaged 14.2 points per gamesince the start of the 2007 season, which ranks last (32nd) in the NFL over the five-season period. Here's why this is notable: since the start of the 2007 season, we've seen five of the 11 highest-scoring seasons (league-wide) in NFL history. That makes the Rams' struggles even more profound. So far, the 2011 season is the highest for scoring in NFL history, with a rate of 44.2 points per game. The Rams' average of 11.1 points per game (worst in the league) is even more disturbing when you realize that we're in an era of explosive, prolific offense.

    -- The Rams' average of 11.1 points per gamewould be the 14th-lowest by a team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. That would be the 14th from the bottom on a list of 1,221 individual team seasons. Yikes.

    -- The Rams have two of the 14 lowest point-scored totals since the 1970 merger, and both have occured during Spagnuolo's three seasons. The 2009 Rams averaged 10.9 points, which ranks 13th from the bottom.

    -- The Rams' offense has scored one TD or less in 14 games this season. From 1999-2001, the "Greatest Show" Rams scored one TD or less from scrimmage only four times in 48 games. The Rams' single-game high for touchdowns on offense this season was three; the 1999-2001 Rams scored three or more TDs from scrimmage in 41 of 48 games.

    Go ahead and cry. It's OK.

    -Bernie


  2. #2
    Rambunctious's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: On Spags' Contract

    Here is why I don't buy into the extension being necessary. Because even Bernie stated that it wouldn't prevent Spags from being fired a year from now. Any coaches or players coming into the picture would know with or without an extension it's a "make or break" year.

  3. #3
    Goldenfleece's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: On Spags' Contract

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambunctious View Post
    Here is why I don't buy into the extension being necessary. Because even Bernie stated that it wouldn't prevent Spags from being fired a year from now. Any coaches or players coming into the picture would know with or without an extension it's a "make or break" year.
    I agree. If Spags comes back, everybody knows that if he doesn't get results next year, he'll be gone. If you add a year extension, it doesn't say much more about your confidence in him, and if you add several more years, people may start wondering about whether the front office really knows what it's doing. There is just no way to pretend that the 2011 season didn't happen or that it has no impact on anyone's perception of the people responsible for it.

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    mh-i's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: On Spags' Contract

    He'll be fired tomorrow after the game. The writers need something to fill their columns with a 2-14 team. I don't see how Spags getting fired isn't a done deal.

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