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Thread: Crucial to hire the right general manager

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    Crucial to hire the right general manager

    BY BERNIE MIKLASZ


    As the NFL waits for Jeff Fisher to make up his mind and decide whether he wants to be overpaid by the St. Louis Rams or the Miami Dolphins, let's call a brief timeout to state an obvious if overlooked truth:

    The Rams must find better football players. They must come up with dramatically improved results in the draft. If the Rams continue to waste draft picks and throw away free-agent dollars, the coach won't make much difference.

    As long as the roster is loaded with mediocre talent, the Rams could hire the football reincarnation of Vince Lombardi, Bill Walsh or Tom Landry and still be at a considerable disadvantage.

    The same reality applies to Fisher.

    If Fisher accepts the Rams' offer, you'd better hope he can help the franchise hire a savvy general manager to replenish this sorry roster.

    If Fisher decides to head to Miami, then the Rams would be wise to select a GM first, and then get their coach. What's the point of rushing into a coaching hire without a GM in place? How do you know if the GM and coach will be compatible in personality and philosophy?

    This isn't as simple as taking a chance by clicking on Match.com. The GM and coach must be on the same page and share a vision of how to build a team.

    More than anything, the next Rams GM needs to have an eye for talent. And he has to surround himself with scouts who can help him reverse this team's pathetic history of personnel blunders.

    For all of the time we've all spent ripping coaches at Rams Park, the real problem spot is weak and inadequate personnel.

    Rams owner Stan Kroenke strongly believes in building a team's foundation through the draft. This is hardly a revolutionary philosophy; all consistently successful NFL teams can identify the gold nuggets that become difference-making draft choices.

    The Rams have been so abysmal and clueless in this area, they might as well just pick names out of a hat during the annual NFL draft weekend.

    The Rams drafted wide receiver Torry Holt with their first pick in the 1999 draft. Holt, selected to seven Pro Bowls, was a fantastic choice. That was followed by a lengthy, horrific drought.

    From 2000 through 2011, the Rams drafted 104 players. And of the 104 players, only one has made the Pro Bowl. That's running back Steven Jackson, who has been honored three times. One more time: 104 draft picks, one Pro Bowl player.

    Over the last five drafts the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers selected 45 players who have combined to appear in 1,275 regular-season games so far. In their last five drafts the Rams have picked 41 players who have combined to appear in 722 regular-season games.

    It's bad enough that the Rams are failing to find players who develop into Pro Bowl-caliber talents. On top of that, they can't even find enough draft picks capable of earning a uniform on game day. And we wonder why the Rams are 15-65 since the start of the 2007 season? It's simply appalling.

    Of Green Bay's 22 starters this season, at least 14 were drafted by the team. (The count is inexact because of injuries.) As a bonus, the Packers find the hidden gems, with 16 undrafted players on their roster. The Packers also have one of the five-youngest rosters in the league. The 2011 Rams had one of the oldest rosters in the NFL and went 2-14. It's just awful.

    It's much the same with New Orleans, another NFC heavyweight. Of the 53 players on the Saints' active roster, 19 were undrafted and another six were chosen in the seventh (last) round.

    NFL teams should be able to fare well during the early rounds of the draft, but Packers GM Ted Thompson and Saints GM Mickey Loomis usually find quality in the late rounds, or in the pool of undrafted rookies.

    That's how the best teams build depth. That's how they cultivate role players who can excel on special teams, fill in as effective starters, or perhaps do a helpful job as a third-down receiver or nickel defensive back.

    The San Francisco *****, 13-3 this season, won the NFC West with a lineup that routinely featured 17 of 22 starters drafted by the team.

    Contrast that to the Rams. Going back to 2006, they've drafted 51 players. Only 18 remain with the organization. Of the 26 players selected by the Rams in the 2006-2008 drafts, only three are still here. Ugh.

    Despite having advantageous position in the last five drafts, the Rams have established few franchise-piece players. The short list would include defensive end Chris Long, middle linebacker James Laurinaitis, quarterback Sam Bradford, cornerback Bradley Fletcher and offensive tackle Rodger Saffold.

    I'm being generous in my assessment. Fletcher can't stay healthy. Saffold had a poor second season. Bradford regressed in 2011. Offensive tackle Jason Smith, the No. 2 overall pick in 2009, has started only 26 of a possible 48 games because of concussion-related issues.

    Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff is interviewing some promising GM candidates, so there's hope. He has a good list that includes Les Snead (Atlanta), Steve Keim (Arizona), Lake Dawson (Tennessee), Joey Clinkscales (N.Y. Jets) and Ruston Webster (Tennessee).

    It's important for the Rams to hire a good coach. But I'd argue that it's even more crucial to hire the right general manager. Even the best coaches need good players.


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    Re: Crucial to hire the right general manager

    Bernie, Bernie, Bernie, the Rams have already stated that their intention is to have Fisher help with the GM search, or if he decides to go to the Fins (or elsewhere), the Rams would then search for a GM to help find a new HC. As for drafting better, please read any number of post/threads on this board that have been stating the same thing for years. Your media cohorts have been doing so as well. Please refrain from writing anymore until you have something new and/or useful to say/add to the conversation.
    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!

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    Re: Crucial to hire the right general manager

    No Question about it. If Fisher goes to Miami, I think we should go ahead and pull the trigger on Les Snead

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    Re: Crucial to hire the right general manager

    Seems you aren't allowed to be an NFL GM unless you have a weird name

    Snead? Keim? Lake? Clinkscales? Ruston?

    come on...

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    Re: Crucial to hire the right general manager

    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk247 View Post
    Seems you aren't allowed to be an NFL GM unless you have a weird name

    Snead? Keim? Lake? Clinkscales? Ruston?

    come on...
    AvengerRam, HUBison, etc etc...

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    Re: Crucial to hire the right general manager

    From 2000 through 2011, the Rams drafted 104 players. And of the 104 players, only one has made the Pro Bowl. That's running back Steven Jackson, who has been honored three times. One more time: 104 draft picks, one Pro Bowl player.
    You would think you could throw a dart at names on a board and do better...
    jsimcox likes this.

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    Re: Crucial to hire the right general manager

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    The Rams must find better football players. They must come up with dramatically improved results in the draft. If the Rams continue to waste draft picks and throw away free-agent dollars, the coach won't make much difference.
    Hey Bernie, do you know what coaches do? Oh, you dont? Let me explain. They coach. They develop young draftees and coach up free agents. I think we've been far below inadequate in reaching players full potentials due to coaching. Players either leave the Rams and prosper elsewhere, or prosper elsewhere and flunk upon arrival to Rams park. A big chunk of having a talented team is developing and coaching the players and getting as much out of your team as you possibly can.

    So, ummm....yeah...the coaches due matter and will be a decisive variable on how well future draft picks and free agents succeed.

    I guess in Bernies world you just draft and sign players and throwem out there as they have nothing more to learn....

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    Re: Crucial to hire the right general manager

    Is Les Snead the son of Norm Snead? Does anyone know? Personally my wish is that we could coax Charlie Casserly out of retirement.

    Go Rams!

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    Re: Crucial to hire the right general manager

    Quote Originally Posted by mde8352gorams View Post
    Is Les Snead the son of Norm Snead? Does anyone know? Personally my wish is that we could coax Charlie Casserly out of retirement.

    Go Rams!
    Don't think they are related, but I might be completely wrong

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    Re: Crucial to hire the right general manager

    Now that we have Jeff Fisher, do you guys think that Fisher will play an instrumental part into bringing in a new GM?

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    Re: Crucial to hire the right general manager

    Quote Originally Posted by warner34 View Post
    Now that we have Jeff Fisher, do you guys think that Fisher will play an instrumental part into bringing in a new GM?
    100% yes....

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