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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    The “Final Say” At Rams Park

    By Bernie Miklasz
    02/11/2008 7:10 pm

    Rams GM Jay Zygmunt has taken a beating from irate Rams fans and media. By trade, he’s been an attorney and the team’s salary-cap specialist. So what is the guy doing making personnel decisions? Why does he have power on the football side of things?

    The issue of Zygmunt having “The Final Say” at Rams Park has been the rub with fans and media.

    Zygmunt’s response to all of that came in two separate stages, and I will give them to you in reverse order:

    1. Three times during a 30-minute interview on our Team 1380-AM radio show Monday, Zygmunt said this: “I am not a personnel guy.”

    2. Over the weekend, Zygmunt hired Billy Devaney to serve as executive vice president over player personnel at Rams Park.

    It’s becoming clear to me that even if Zygmunt was hung up on having power before, he seems to be getting over it.

    That’s why Billy D is on board.

    Zygmunt wouldn’t have recruited Devaney unless he valued Devaney’s football judgements. He didn’t bring Devaney in here to toss aside Devaney’s recommendations on free-agent signings and draft choices. He has too much respect for Devaney.

    (OK, you may be asking… what about Tony Softli? Didn’t the Rams hire him to coordinate the draft, and wasn’t Softli supposed to have considerable influence at Rams Park? So why will it be different for Devaney? The easy answer: Devaney is an established talent evaluator in the NFL, and has made his reputation over a 25-year period. He has a track record. Softli was a relative unknown when the Rams hired him. And the Rams hired him after being denied permission to speak to seven other candidates employed by other NFL teams. To be blunt: Softli wasn’t what the Rams thought they were getting. They took a shot. It may not work out. But with Devaney, they KNOW what they are getting. Big difference between the Softli hiring and the Devaney appointment).

    So if you are worried about Jay Zygmunt throwing his power down on Devaney as if it were a hammer, I’d suggest that you’d reevaluate the situation.

    More than anything, J-Z realized he needed help.

    And he went out and got it.

    Don’t ask me.

    Head coach Scott Linehan said so on Monday at Rams Park. Speaking to a few reporters off to the side, after Devaney’s introduction, the newly candid Linehan offered this:

    “I needed Billy Devaney to come here. And I think Jay needed Billy, too. We need his help.”

    Linehan explained that, as a coach, he gets too attached to players. He doesn’t always make the best judgements. He wanted someone like Devaney to come in and lead the way, and to offer meaningful input that may prevent the coach from making personnel mistakes. Linehan also said that Devaney’s well-rounded personality was a good fit for the Rams; Devaney, who has experienced the very best and the very worst of the NFL, knows the delirium of victory and the depression of defeat. He’s got a healthy perspective. Linehan said one of his problems is brooding too much after defeats…not being able to shake off defeats… letting the losses affect his mood, his coaching. And Linehan sincerely believes that Devaney can be a positive force behind the scenes, to keep the coach centered.

    Zygmunt is the same way; losses just destroy the guy. Devaney’s fresh voice, and approach, will be good for J-Z. Linehan and Zygmunt now have a touchstone at Rams Park. Someone who has been through the grind, who has won Super Bowls, who has also been fired, and who can help guide them through the twists and turns of a season. When people talk about B. Devaney, they mention his football acumen, but his people skills rank a close second. He has some Dick Vermeil in him.

    Above that, Zygmunt also knows the Rams must achieve more success in rating free agents and draft picks. And that’s why he aggressively went for Devaney. Again, he didn’t bring Devaney in here to be a cheerleader. He plans on making Devaney the point man on all football stuff. On our Team 1380-AM radio show, Zygmunt said Devaney would “absolutely” be in charge of the Rams’ War Room on draft day. And Zygmunt added that he and the coaches are turning to Devaney for guidance before making decisions on the upcoming free-agent class. If Zygmunt has the so-called “Final Say,” it exists only in theory. Because if Zygmunt goes along with Devaney’s recommendations, and I believe he will, then the “Final Say” is never in play. It’s only a veto, really.

    Look, I spent the last six months of 2007 flogging J-Z and Linny for all the mistakes that were made that led to a 3-13 record. I wouldn’t take any of it back.

    But now I see two guys who realized they needed help, and in a big way.

    And so they did something about it.

    And I commend Zygmunt and Linehan for taking swift action. First Al Saunders, and a coaching-staff shakeup. And now this.

    The hiring of Billy Devaney was a meaningful step for this franchise, which is now under the direction of new owner Chip Rosenbloom.

    “When we met with Chip recently,” Zygmunt said, “What was really important to him was getting the Rams back on track. He asked, “What can we do to get the Rams back to where they should be? Whatever it takes, do it.’ Chip wants the Rams to be champions again.”

    And that’s the real Final Say.

    Thanks for reading…

    –B


  2. #2
    39thebeast's Avatar
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    Re: The “Final Say” At Rams Park

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    By Bernie Miklasz
    02/11/2008 7:10 pm


    “I needed Billy Devaney to come here. And I think Jay needed Billy, too. We need his help.”

    Linehan explained that, as a coach, he gets too attached to players. He doesn’t always make the best judgements. He wanted someone like Devaney to come in and lead the way, and to offer meaningful input that may prevent the coach from making personnel mistakes. Linehan also said that Devaney’s well-rounded personality was a good fit for the Rams; Devaney, who has experienced the very best and the very worst of the NFL, knows the delirium of victory and the depression of defeat. He’s got a healthy perspective. Linehan said one of his problems is brooding too much after defeats…not being able to shake off defeats… letting the losses affect his mood, his coaching. And Linehan sincerely believes that Devaney can be a positive force behind the scenes, to keep the coach centered.


    –B
    Most important thing said. Hopefully this means no more FOSL's unless they are approved by Billy D.

  3. #3
    Bar-bq's Avatar
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    Re: The “Final Say” At Rams Park

    Quote Originally Posted by 39thebeast View Post
    Most important thing said. Hopefully this means no more FOSL's unless they are approved by Billy D.
    I think you missed the point, there. VPOP is vice president of player personnel. I don't think he has control over staffing matters. Generally, it's up to the head coach and GM/ President of Football operations (That's Linny, Shaw and Ziggy) to do such things. I'm fairly sure his role will be more or less a scout for who we should draft, who we should sign, and who we should cut.

    (I may, however, have missed the point entirely)

  4. #4
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: The “Final Say” At Rams Park

    Quote Originally Posted by Bar-bq View Post
    I think you missed the point, there. VPOP is vice president of player personnel. I don't think he has control over staffing matters. Generally, it's up to the head coach and GM/ President of Football operations (that's Linny, Shaw and Ziggy) to do such things. I'm fairly sure his role will be more or less a scout for who we should draft, who we should sign, and who we should cut.

    (I may, however, have missed the point entirely)

    No, I don't think you missed the point at all, BBQ. Seems to me that Shaw - Zygmunt - Devaney & Linehan will be able to sort things out in positive terms, even when dealing with negative ones (players issues particularly).

  5. #5
    keith m. klink Guest

    Re: The “Final Say” At Rams Park

    i think this is the point . WHATEVER IT TAKES , DO IT ! I WANT THE RAMS TOO BE CHAMPIONS AGAIN . maybe the SON has the right mind frame . may THE BOY can do it . HHEEEEE . damn i'm even getting half giddy about this whole show now .

  6. #6
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    Smile Re: The “Final Say” At Rams Park

    Quote Originally Posted by Bar-bq View Post
    I think you missed the point, there. VPOP is vice president of player personnel. I don't think he has control over staffing matters. Generally, it's up to the head coach and GM/ President of Football operations (That's Linny, Shaw and Ziggy) to do such things. I'm fairly sure his role will be more or less a scout for who we should draft, who we should sign, and who we should cut.

    (I may, however, have missed the point entirely)
    Bernie quotes Ziggy by saying Davaney has total control over free agents and the draft and then mentions having veto power. Does anyone really understand how total control doesn't = veto power? Ziggy has gotten mixed up in personnel decisions in the past, what's us to believe he won't in the future? Oh wait, Bernie trusts him.

  7. #7
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    Re: The “Final Say” At Rams Park

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell View Post
    Oh wait, Bernie trusts him.
    Six posts before the obligitory Bernie slam.
    "The horror"

  8. #8
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    Re: The “Final Say” At Rams Park

    I'm dazed and confused with the Softli hiring.:x

    He's not who we thought he was. What the heck does that mean? Then send him packing.:\

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