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Thread: A Dark Road

  1. #1
    BrokenWing's Avatar
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    A Dark Road

    Just the other day I was talking to my girlfriend like I am want to do and I mentioned the number of UNC (where she goes to college) players on the Rams and she eventually said I might need to start looking for a new team to follow if they don't start winning soon. I of course dismissed such notions out of hand, not for me the bandwagon fan.

    For awhile, I put thoughts of the Rams aside and focused on other hobbies I have, like painting and putting together my numerous Warhammer 40k armies, coming up with new ideas for my novel and working on various other fictional projects I have going. Today, however, I was driving my mustang and thinking about how my parents were driving me insane today with all their phone calls and indecision and some how, I got to thinking about the Rams again. This time I looked at it from a fresh perspective not colored by my general displeasure with Sunday's game. I came to some conclusions about what the Rams must do going forward, putting my analytical skills as a Historian to use in the process to try and come to a conclusion not colored by emotion or team loyalty.

    First:

    What is going on?

    For awhile this season I have thought that perhaps it really was injuries, short off-season and so on. Perhaps we just don't have enough high quality players or maybe it was the Coaching Staff. Then, I read an article on NFL.com that told me Chris Long, of all people, was talking about how "embarrassing" their run defense had been on Sunday. When is the last time Chris Long spoke out like that? Do you remember the last time Ram players started to speak out (Remember Steven Jackson's comment earlier this season)?

    I remember. It was the last year of Scott Linehan, it was the year of the eye rolls and the shrugs, the year the Coach lost the players. Has Spags lost his players? I think he's starting to. I think it started with Steven Jackson and I don't think it's going to get better. I can present no smoking gun evidence in this matter, but I can simply point you back in time and remind you of what has transpired before and what has been said of late.

    Do I believe we lack the quality players to compete? No. I look to the Bills and Bengals as evidence of this. Both of these teams are playing competitive football with only a few good men. Do the Rams have a few good men? Yes they do, they have Bradford, Steven Jackson, Brandon Lloyd, Chris Long and JL. Are they missing pieces? Certainly, but the same can clearly be said of the two teams I mentioned above. So what's the difference? I would suggest coaching. I think the biggest difference is that this Coach has lost his players and those two coaches have not.

    Second:

    How do you move forward?

    I have seen people suggest blowing up the team. I think you wait for the year to end before making that decision. If that decision is made however, I suggest keeping Bradford and JL, and putting everyone else on the trading block. Either get a ton of draft picks for *this year* or don't do it at all.

    Fire the coach. I know what other people might say to this, but I don't think what we think of the coach matters, I think *if* he has lost his players, he must go, no matter what.

    The OC position is a bit more complicated. You must either: A. Fire him and hire someone willing to build an offense around Sam Bradford and around what he does best. Build your offense around something similar to what he did in college so that while he will be changing systems again, at least he will be going to something he has some familiarity with.

    Or you must: B. Keep him and tell the Head Coach you hire why he must be kept, but then tell him if the offense does not noticeably improve, the HC will be given free reign to hire an OC that will follow option A above.

    Move Jason Smith to Guard, I think he will do fairly well at this position. Move Saffold to RT and draft a new LT in the second round. If you have blown up the team, draft him with one of multiple first round picks. Cut the entire interior of the line, draft/sign all new players for these positions. Offer the cut linemen backup status and backup contracts to go with it. This shows everyone in the organization that accountability exists. Now your former starters are backups or gone. If they are backups, make sure those are one year deals they signed and be prepared to ship them out if they suck it up when they do play. Never promote any of them.

    Apologize to Steven Jackson and offer him a choice. He can be traded to a team likely to win or compete for a Super Bowl, or he can stay with the team with a smaller contract, but will be honored at the occasion of his retirement with the retiring of his Jersey Number. Say you will be doing this because he was always a man amongst boys and he sacrificed everything for a team that gave him nothing back. Tell him you will retire his number anyway when he retires if he opts to be traded. Give him a press conference to talk to the fans either way. Tell him if the Rams should win a Super Bowl in the future, he will be given a ring, even if he is retired or on another team.

    Cut Josh Brown or trade him if you can, even if you don't blow up the team. He's not a bad kicker, but you need the money for other positions and good kickers are not so hard to find as to pay him as much money as he is making.

    Most Important of All:

    Talk to the greatest minds in Football, both those still in the league and those who have retired. Tell them to be as honest as they can be about your players and your coaching staff and your GM. Ask them if things are being done the right way or not. Do this *before* you decide to blow up the team or not. Listen to what they say, take their advice to heart and act on it.

    Hire the single best coach available, no matter what it takes. Offer to buy them a house if you have to.

    Apologize to your fans. Say that what has transpired happened under different ownership, but you were still a part of the decision making process and you apologize for failing them. Do this in a public news conference. Apologize and tell them this will never happen again so long as you own the team. Then tell them you are cutting ticket prices by 1/3 until the team is acceptable. In fact, cut all prices by 1/3rd. If you lose money because of this, it is motivation to fix the problem quickly. You have the money *and* the income to cover these losses for awhile. Create a "fan zone" in the Dome. Put the apology in bold letters on the entrance to said fan zone. Leave it there so long as the Dome exists, to remind everyone of what happens when something fails so miserably. Swear to St.Louis you will not ask for a single dime for a new Stadium until the team deserves it. Honor this promise.

    Change the Uniform: Change the uniform back to blue and yellow and tell everyone you are doing this because the team was given their now former colors because of their super bowl win and how well they were preforming. You are now taking this reward away because they are not living up to the "gold" standard.

    Get rid of the GM: Hire the single best GM available, someone with a proven track record. Give them the keys.


  2. #2
    RAMarkable is offline Registered User
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    Re: A Dark Road

    Heck of a thread, BW... I think that you have the beginnings of an excellent action plan to get the Rams back to being a respectable NFL team. My only sniggling difference of opinion is that after moving Smitty to guard (those who cannot pass block play inside) is to draft our new LT in the FIRST round. I don't want to take a chance that no one of quality will be there in the 2nd round.

    BTW Warhammer 40k armies sounds interesting, what does that entail?

    WHAT SAY YE?

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    Re: A Dark Road

    I would accept drafting a LT in the first round, especially if you could get more than one first round pick. The only thing that concerns me with drafting a LT in the first round is missing a much needed WR...but then again if your QB can't throw because he just got blind sided, a WR doesn't matter much.

    Without getting too off topic: Warhammer 40k (Warhammer 40,000) is a science fiction table top wargame. Since I don't think I could really give you a link to explain it better, I will suggest doing a google search for Games Workshop. Their website has all kinds of pictures and information.

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    Re: A Dark Road

    Very well written and thought out BW. Count me in as one of those very disappointed fans.

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    BrokenWing's Avatar
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    Re: A Dark Road

    Thanks. I've been trying to figure out this team all season and I hate coming to conclusions like this.

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    Re: A Dark Road

    Easier said then done my man. I sure hope we do most of these changes, but I doubt a quarter of it happens.

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    fearsome foursome is offline Registered User
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    Re: A Dark Road

    You make some excellent points there Broken Wing. I think that the philosophy of team building that the front office is using is sound. They started with the lines and are moving out from there. They drafted a top flight QB. The problem is that they have not picked up"playmakers". If you look at the best teams in the league and even the 1999 Rams you see at least two to three dominate players on each side of the ball. Guys like Peyton Manning, Troy Polomalu, Julius Peppers, Haoli Ngata, Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, Orlando Pace etc. You named our top players but are Chris Long and an aging Steven Jackson really at the top of the league for their position or just very good players. The Rams started to improve into the GSOT when they traded up to get Orlando Pace, a dominate player at an important position. Our coaches have been proven to be successful in the past. Have they just "lost it"? Or do they need some difference makers? We have blown some of our top picks and that is what is hurting us. We have no depth so we can't make up for injuries. We need a couple of "home runs" in the draft and then consider some free agents before we will compete. I hope that they give the coaching staff one more year just for continuity if nothing else. Not popular with the" win now" fans but maybe better in the long run.

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    Ironmaidenram's Avatar
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    Re: A Dark Road

    True FF, we can't just depend on the 2012 draft to make us a better team, we have to take some shots via free agency, like the 99 Rams (Trent Green ,Faulk and Timmerman FA's), while we drafted Holt and Pace.

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    Re: A Dark Road

    I cant believe we have to make these threads halfway through the season...No offense to you I just wish the Rams play at half way would leave us with much more positive threads...

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    Re: A Dark Road

    Remember, so called perceived "win now" contigent are fans usually tied to the fact that Rams have been pretty horrible for over of the past 23 years. (caveat: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004). I was hoping for "win nows" back in 1992.

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    fearsome foursome is offline Registered User
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    Re: A Dark Road

    Quote Originally Posted by macrammer View Post
    Remember, so called perceived "win now" contigent are fans usually tied to the fact that Rams have been pretty horrible for over of the past 23 years. (caveat: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004). I was hoping for "win nows" back in 1992.
    I'm with ya macrammer. Remember the Jim Evert "fantasy" sack? How about Wendell "fumble" Tyler? Tony Banks? Yeah, except for a couple of years it has been a long road to respectability.

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