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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Devaney Building The Core The Right Way

    If you look at the great teams of the past, one of the qualities that they all share is continuity at the core of the roster. In today's NFL, with the cap and free agency, it is harder to maintain a core of key players.

    Clearly, though, that is the goal of Bill Devaney. Here's a list of players who he has obtained or signed to long term deals in the past 2 years, and who will likely be starters for at least the next 3 seasons. This is the Rams core:

    Steven Jackson
    Mike Karney
    Donnie Avery
    Jason Brown
    Jacob Bell
    Jason Smith
    Chris Long
    James Laurinaitis
    Ron Bartell
    James Butler

    In my opinion, not a bad start. Jackson (with the obligatory "if he stays healthy" caveat) has the talent to carry an offense. Karney is the kind of utility player that teams need. Brown and Smith will be the foundation of the Rams line for years to come. Bell should be as well, but must prove himself after a down season. Long and Laurinaitis have a great deal of potential. Bartell and Butler have proven themselves to be very solid starters, and still have upside.

    The player who might join this list (though not for a few months) is O.J. Atogwe. Though he is only signed to a one-year deal, I believe he is in the Rams long term plans.

    There are, of course, missing pieces. The most obvious is QB. Marc Bulger goes into 2009 as the unchallenged starter, but he must prove himself to hold that position. If he does not go back to Pro Bowl form, the core will likely add a young QB next year (not a bad year for it, as the 2010 QB class should have some very good prospects). Another player who must earn his way back on to this list is Adam Carriker. I believe that with a clearer role and good health, he will do just that.

    There are other core positions that will have to be addressed. Will Barron be the long term solution at the OT spot opposite Smith? Who will join Avery as a long-term starting WR? Will the NT spot be Ryan's, Scott's or someone else's. How about OLB and #2 CB?

    The only clear answer I can give at this time, based upon what I have observed, is that the Rams will be patient and fill these roles with young, long-term, core-type players. Now is not the time for the quick fixes of signing older veterans (no more L'Roi Glover/Corey Chavous types).

    The plan is a sound one. This year, we should see the core coming together, giving us a taste of a brighter future.


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    shower beers's Avatar
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    Re: Devaney Building The Core The Right Way

    No love for Will Witherspoon? I don't know when his contract runs out, but I think he's the kind of guy to be included in this list.

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    Re: Devaney Building The Core The Right Way

    I agree 100%. The Rams have made awesome choices in the past 7 1/2 months and I have confidence they will continue to do so. They have cleared the cap and roster of dead weight and will finish that off next offseason. The problem is that you don't fix 15 years of horrible decisions in one offseason. I hope that Spags and Billy D aren't blamed for rough times because they had to make difficult choices. The Rams are going to have difficult times before they see the light at the end of the tunnel but it's coming.

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    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Devaney Building The Core The Right Way

    Quote Originally Posted by shower beers View Post
    No love for Will Witherspoon? I don't know when his contract runs out, but I think he's the kind of guy to be included in this list.
    He does not fit the list for two reasons. First, he was not a Devaney addition. Second, given that he is 29, he might not be a long-term core member.

    For 2009, though, he is clearly a key guy.

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell
    The problem is that you don't fix 15 years of horrible decisions in one offseason.
    15 years? Um... I think you may be exaggerating. I'm pretty sure that within the last 15 years the Rams obtained a few good players.

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    Re: Devaney Building The Core The Right Way

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    15 years? Um... I think you may be exaggerating. I'm pretty sure that within the last 15 years the Rams obtained a few good players.
    15+ years of an attorney and accountant running the organization. As you even wrote, they had a history of signing really old veterans that fans loved at the signing but they didn't have anything to bring.

    The Rams haven't had a director of pro or college personnel for a long time until pretty recently. That's why they drafted poorly. Just look at when the last time was we had a starter who was signed as an undrafted free agent or a late round draft pick who turned into a stud. Ever since Charlie Armey lost control of things, it's been a downhill slide in talent. Since Charlie Armey lost power, the Rams had been using a public scouting service to rank all the free agents and college players to save money.

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    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Devaney Building The Core The Right Way

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell View Post
    15+ years of an attorney and accountant running the organization. As you even wrote, they had a history of signing really old veterans that fans loved at the signing but they didn't have anything to bring.

    The Rams haven't had a director of pro or college personnel for a long time until pretty recently. That's why they drafted poorly. Just look at when the last time was we had a starter who was signed as an undrafted free agent or a late round draft pick who turned into a stud. Ever since Charlie Armey lost control of things, it's been a downhill slide in talent. Since Charlie Armey lost power, the Rams had been using a public scouting service to rank all the free agents and college players to save money.
    WOW! How fast we forget.

    Kurt Warner?
    Marshall Faulk?
    Adam Timmerman?
    Aeneas Williams?
    Not to shabby if you ask me.

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    Re: Devaney Building The Core The Right Way

    What do you mean you cannot fix years of bad decisions in one offseason? It happens all the time - Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins ...

    I go back to this alot, but there is so little difference between 6-10 and 10-6 teams in this league. The talent is very close, parity is for real. We were a couple breaks away from being 6-10 last year ...

    With real coaching and modern schemes, I think we were easily 5-11 or 6-10 last year. With the additions made in the offseason, there is absolutely no reason that we cannot be competetive ....

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    Re: Devaney Building The Core The Right Way

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    WOW! How fast we forget.

    Kurt Warner?
    Marshall Faulk?
    Adam Timmerman?
    Aeneas Williams?
    Not to shabby if you ask me.
    Absolutely, how quickly we forget certain things ...

    A couple years ago, snagging Bulger from New Orleans was a STEAL. Now look at things from the prospective of many ...

    Take a player like Adam Archuleta for instance. He was a hero his first two years in the league, then injuries took a toll. Now he is somehow remembered as a BUST ...

    Memories of football fans are apparently short. Mine, however, is not ...

  9. #9
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    Re: Devaney Building The Core The Right Way

    But eddie, what have you done for me lately?

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    Re: Devaney Building The Core The Right Way

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    He does not fit the list for two reasons. First, he was not a Devaney addition. Second, given that he is 29, he might not be a long-term core member.

    For 2009, though, he is clearly a key guy.

    Whoopsies, my mistake.

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    Re: Devaney Building The Core The Right Way

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    WOW! How fast we forget.

    Kurt Warner?
    Marshall Faulk?
    Adam Timmerman?
    Aeneas Williams?
    Not to shabby if you ask me.

    Williams came along later. Rams struck gold with Warner by accident. He was allocated to Europe from the team the year earlier and probably wouldn't have played in the NFL if Green hadn't been hurt. It can happen but it is unreasonable to expect it.

    Atlanta made the playoffs in 2004 and except for Vick disappearing, never fell completely apart. Miami made a wholesale change throughout the system.

    We'll see about week 8 of this season. Lot of guys around here thing a turnaround is a sure thing.

  12. #12
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    Re: Devaney Building The Core The Right Way

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell View Post
    Williams came along later. Rams struck gold with Warner by accident. He was allocated to Europe from the team the year earlier and probably wouldn't have played in the NFL if Green hadn't been hurt. It can happen but it is unreasonable to expect it.

    Atlanta made the playoffs in 2004 and except for Vick disappearing, never fell completely apart. Miami made a wholesale change throughout the system.

    We'll see about week 8 of this season. Lot of guys around here thing a turnaround is a sure thing.

    A turnaround is a SURE THING. At minimum, this will be a prepared, competetive team, day in and day out ...

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    Re: Devaney Building The Core The Right Way

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsInfiniti View Post
    A turnaround is a SURE THING. At minimum, this will be a prepared, competetive team, day in and day out ...

    Yikes, I never want to say "sure thing" when talking about the NFL but I'd certainly like to think it's very reasonable to expect a turnaround. We're a very young team now, with inexperience in a lot of areas.

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    Re: Devaney Building The Core The Right Way

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsInfiniti View Post
    What do you mean you cannot fix years of bad decisions in one offseason? It happens all the time - Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins ...

    I go back to this alot, but there is so little difference between 6-10 and 10-6 teams in this league. The talent is very close, parity is for real. We were a couple breaks away from being 6-10 last year ...
    Were we really that close to being a 6-10 team last year? To be completely honest I think the record we finished with speaks for itself. Not that there wasn't potential flashed on both sides of the ball, but I think we were a ways off being a 6-10 team, and a long way from being a 'competitive' football team.

    Can that change in one season? We've seen in the last season that it can, and it's true that teams do pull the inevitable worst/first switch every year. But to have three teams (in Atlanta, Baltimore and Miami) pull it off in one season was somewhat of an anomaly. Considering this, I don't think the odds are entirely stacked in our favour for spontaneous success. In my books, it's another three good teams to add to the pile. The Patriots missed out last year at 10-6. The NFC East was anybody's game to the final weeks. The Titans, Colts and Texans all showed the could light it up. The Saints, Buccaneers and Panthers join the falcons in the NFC South. Any one of them could take it home.

    I think 6-10 is more than doable this season, especially in the NFC West. But I'm not getting my hopes up just yet for anything beyond that, if only for the reason that it seems like there are a LOT of already successful teams just beginning to hit their straps.

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    Re: Devaney Building The Core The Right Way

    Archuleta was never a hero of mine........except when compared to Jason Seahorn.
    Kiss my ass, football gods

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