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Thread: Billy Devaney discusses what went wrong with Rams ..

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    Billy Devaney discusses what went wrong with Rams ..

    By Brian McIntyre
    Around the League writer
    June 24, 2012

    Though the St. Louis Rams went 7-9 and nearly won the NFC West in 2010, a 12-52 record during his four seasons wasn't enough to save general manager Billy Devaney's job after a miserable 2011 season.

    So what went wrong in St. Louis? On Saturday, Devaney discussed the situation he inherited and the roadblocks that surfaced along the way during an interview with Doug Farrar and Rob Rang on "Chalk Talk" on KJR-AM in Seattle.

    "I still ask myself that, almost every day," Devaney said. "The short version is when I was named general manager, we were looking for a head coach. And went through the hiring process, had great candidates, and knew (Steve) Spagnuolo from way back when I worked at the Redskins, he was an intern, so they hired Spags. As soon as Spags gets hired, the team is for sale. Chip and Lucia (Rosenbloom) inherit the team from Georgia Frontiere. Through a whole mess of legalese and tax issues, they tried everything they could to keep the team and they weren't going to be able to.

    "So the team went up for sale. It was an old roster. Really old roster. There were some guaranteed contracts on there that we had to live with. Spags and I could got together with Chip and we said 'Listen, this is going to be a complete overhaul, let's just bite the bullet and, rather than do it piece meal, let's blow the whole damn thing up.' "

    Farrar commented on the state of the Rams' roster in 2008, which he jokingly said was basically "Steven Jackson and the Pips".

    "That was it," said Devaney. "And you know what? I would have probably been happier with some of the Pips, quite honestly."

    Devaney mentioned that they had to make some tough, unpopular decisions on Torry Holt and Orlando Pace, two franchise cornerstones who were no longer performing at a high level, and that there wasn't a whole lot of money being put into a team that was for sale. The selection of Bradford gave Devaney the impression that the franchise was moving forward, but coaching moves led to a backslide.

    "We lose Pat Shurmur to the Cleveland Browns, he's our offensive coordinator. And the decision was made to bring in Josh McDaniels and change the whole offense. And it kind of completely blew up on us," Devaney said. "It was the perfect storm, Doug and Rob. When you look at it, we had a ton of injuries, no offseason. It was just one thing after another. I could tell in training camp -- I mean early on, I don't even know if we started playing a preseason game -- things just, especially on offense, things just looked really ... nobody looked comfortable.

    "And our (2011) schedule was ridiculous. I mean, we were hoping, and this is -- we're trying to be optimistic -- we were hoping at the halfway point, we may have had two wins. We thought if we could scratch out two wins, the back end of the schedule, we could win a couple of more games. Well, I don't know if we won any. We may have won one, but by that time, the roster was decimated. We were working corners out on Tuesday and they were lining up and starting for us on Sunday. ... Five or six of those guys, I couldn't even tell you who they were.
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    "You can't hide corners. Not in this league," Devaney added. "Spagnuolo was handcuffed (in) what he liked to do. We had new guys, rookies, guys that never played in the NFL. So we had to play very vanilla. We couldn't do all the exotic stuff that Spagnuolo likes to do on defense. So, it was just a nightmare. It was just one of those years, everything that could go wrong, went wrong for us."

    The roster that Rams head coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead have inherited is considerably younger and more talented than the one that Devaney had when he arrived in 2008. The new regime is also aware that you can't hide corners in the NFL and devoted significant resources to the position this offseason. Cortland Finnegan was signed to a five-year, $50 million contract that contained $27 million in guaranteed money, and the Rams used the No. 39 pick in the draft on Janoris Jenkins, a first-round talent who is slated to start immediately, and the No. 65 overall pick on Trumaine Johnson, a tall, long corner who will likely play in a nickel role this season.


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    Re: Billy Devaney discusses what went wrong with Rams ..

    Sounds like he pretty much blames everything/everyone but himself. Sheesh.
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    Re: Billy Devaney discusses what went wrong with Rams ..

    Not sure this is the whole interview but your right shower beers he does not take any responsibility. The draft picks have been horrendous during his regime.


    "We lose Pat Shurmur to the Cleveland Browns, he's our offensive coordinator. And the decision was made to bring in Josh McDaniels and change the whole offense. And it kind of completely blew up on us," Devaney said.
    This is an understatement. They had to know a work stoppage was a real possibility. They should have stayed with the WCO and hired a WCO coordinator.

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    Re: Billy Devaney discusses what went wrong with Rams ..

    Perhaps it wouldn't have made much of a difference with all the injuries but this mysterious statement really is at the heart of it for me:

    " the decision was made to bring in Josh McDaniels and change the whole offense."

    Whose decision was that ? Pretty clear to me that there hasn't been a more over-rated coach recently in the NFL than Josh McD. The reports of no personal work with Sam, little classroom time for position groups like the OL ( listen to Hanifan's radio interview), overloading rookies like Pettis and Kendricks ( see Lombardi's article last year about Bill Walsh's rule about getting the best out of rookies by avoiding that overload) and just an overall feeling of stubborn (clueless) insistence on pushing the ball downfield, straining the OL, & putting too much pressure on a defense that was devastated by injuries from the start.

    There are plenty of reasons to be disappointed in the DeSpags regime that you can fairly lay at their door but the choice of McD and the total reversal of team-building philosophy represented by all those high-risk older vet FAs before the season seem likely to have come from somewhere else. Little doubt in my mind that this is now Demoff's FO. Dunno if he played a part in the McD hiring & the FA gambles but Snead was his buddy & hard to believe his dad had no influence over Fisher's decision. Let's hope it works out better than the last time a cap guru got great influence over football decisions (Zygmunt in the mid 2000s).

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    Re: Billy Devaney discusses what went wrong with Rams ..

    Billy's right. Everything that could possibly go wrong last year, did. Though I agree with you guys, he took no blame what so ever. He had some terrible draft picks along the way. At the end of the day, the teams with the best drafts are the best teams. Its a simple formula. Take good players, develop and mentor them to become great players, and win super bowls.


    THE DREAM TEAM

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    Re: Billy Devaney discusses what went wrong with Rams ..

    Billy Devaney who?
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    Re: Billy Devaney discusses what went wrong with Rams ..

    Wow, just wow.
    Reading this article makes it pretty clear where the Rams problems were and how they got where they are today.
    No leadership, no plan, no vision, and no accountabililty.
    MoonJoe and HUbison like this.
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

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    Re: Billy Devaney discusses what went wrong with Rams ..

    Looking on the bright side (dripping sarcasm), at least the old regime managed to clear out as many older workers as possible, the longer tenure with the team, the better.

    ramming speed to all

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    Re: Billy Devaney discusses what went wrong with Rams ..

    Would it have really made a difference if Billy said "It's my fault?". Certainly, as GM he shares responsibility for the failures and I'm sure as a competitor, he's extremely disappointed. In retrospect, I'm sure he'd have done a few things differently and would have changed a few personnel on the coaching staff, but he's not going to gracelessly name names. He tried to make chicken salad out of chicken sh**. After a promising 7-9 season in which tremendous improvement was made, the roof caved in. It wasn't because Billy Devaney got stupid overnight. He is 100% right in everything he said. The perfect storm. An old roster. The team for sale. having to blow things up. No continuity with the coaches. No offseason. Injuries. Ridiculous schedule. A change in coordinators. Not one thing here is inaccurate- and I might add all of these things are issues members of the Clan brought up time and again over the past several years in justifying the Rams' futility.

    And although he didn't say it, I'll bet dollars to doughnuts if he had it to do all over again, he'd have hired someone other than Spags.
    Rambos, MauiRam, C-Mob 71 and 2 others like this.

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    Re: Billy Devaney discusses what went wrong with Rams ..

    Basically what I just read, showed that no one put any effort into playing and that the players gave up hope. The Rams did not play as a team and everyone was an individual.

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    Re: Billy Devaney discusses what went wrong with Rams ..

    Puts a whole new spin on why things got so bad in Rams-Land. A cash-strapped owner leads to a hanicapped Coach and a sub-par product which leads to more top 5 draft selections. You can see how that aura can trickle down to the players.

    Having said that, they have addressed all those problems hopefully in a massive shakedown from top to bottom, from a owner willing to spend, a coach with attitude and pedigree, drafting with talent as the major criteria.

    Go RAMS !!!
    Last edited by Ram Mar Ram; -06-24-2012 at 08:26 PM.

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    Re: Billy Devaney discusses what went wrong with Rams ..

    When McD was hired i stated that it wasnt spags decesion to hire him. I said it was devanny or kronke's decesion and it looks like now you can eleminate devanny. It just didnt fit spag's conservative style. Then when a new oc comes in he brings in his own assistance coaches (ol, wr, rb, QB, etc). And non of that happened cuasing the uncomfortableness devanny was speaking of. And he was right about the perfect storm!

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    Re: Billy Devaney discusses what went wrong with Rams ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Mar Ram View Post
    .... A cash-strapped owner leads to a hanicapped Coach and a sub-par product which leads to more top 5 draft selections.
    That has been our mission statement since Carroll Rosenbloom died...
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    Re: Billy Devaney discusses what went wrong with Rams ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Devaney
    We were working corners out on Tuesday and they were lining up and starting for us on Sunday. ... Five or six of those guys, I couldn't even tell you who they were. "You can't hide corners. Not in this league," Devaney added. "Spagnuolo was handcuffed (in) what he liked to do. We had new guys, rookies, guys that never played in the NFL. So we had to play very vanilla. We couldn't do all the exotic stuff that Spagnuolo likes to do on defense.
    I'm not saying you didn't have a hard row to hoe. But, Billy, knowing the premium on corners required by the Spags defense, your attempts to fix the problem were not very successful. Four years of trying to alleviate this situation and Jerome Murphy and Bradley Fletcher are all you have to show. Both quality candidates, but I would have thought a little more urgency could have been shown to this problem over the course of 4 years.
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    Re: Billy Devaney discusses what went wrong with Rams ..

    Gentlemen, here's to hoping we get out of this mess.

    Bottoms up.
    "The horror"

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