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Thread: Kroenke believes in Bradford

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    eldfan's Avatar
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    Kroenke believes in Bradford

    . .Home / Sports / Columns / Bernie Miklasz

    Bernie Bytes: Kroenke believes in Bradford
    BY BERNIE MIKLASZ, Post-Dispatch Sports Columnist | Posted: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 12:35 pm |

    * Stan Kroenke fired his GM and head coach. But the Rams owner undoubtedly will disappoint the impatient looney-tunes faction that wants to dump quarterback Sam Bradford.

    That isn't happening.

    "Sam is a big talent," Kroenke told me during a 27-minute phone interview Monday. "Our opinion on Sam hasn't changed."

    Kroenke made it clear that he's very comfortable in moving forward with Bradford.

    Kroenke believes Bradford's presence is one of the prime reasons for the appeal of the Rams' head-coaching job. Kroenke mentioned how fellow owners have told him how Bradford is "the real deal."

    When I told Kroenke that a sect of Bradford critics in St. Louis is working themselves into a frenzy over Bradford, Kroenke said: "Let's be fair to Sam. He hasn't had the players around him."

    Kroenke stressed the obvious need to add more playmakers to the Rams offense, which is hardly a controversial statement.

    I think it's good for Kroenke to reaffirm his support of Bradford. It's become fashionable to go negative on the second-year quarterback. In our hopeless short-attention span culture, people have little perspective of grasp of history.

    It's positive for Bradford to know that the owner has his back.

    * As was the case in his talks with Bryan Burwell and Jim Thomas on Monday, during our nterview Kroenke mentioned his enthusiasm for the book "War Room" which details the winning football-operations model used by the New England Patriots. There's only one problem with this: Bill Belichick is the reason why the model works. Well, having a future Hall of Fame quarterback also helps.

    So while I appreciate Kroenke's willingness to study other successful franchises, I don't know that it's applicable unless Belichick is the No. 1 guy in the system. Obviously, there are elements to the Patriots' model that would work well for any team, including the Rams. So it's good to learn about these things. But in reality, the Patriots win because of Belichick and QB Tom Brady. I doubt that the "War Room" model would amount to much without that specific coach-QB combination.

    So we might want to calm down, just a little, in thinking that Kroenke will be setting up "Patriots Midwest" here in St. Louis. Unless, of course, Belichick and Brady are on the way to set up at Rams Park. But that isn't the case.

    * However: the model would be at least relevant if the Rams can hire Jeff Fisher as coach. Fisher isn't Belichick, but he's been a good coach in the NFL for 16+ seasons. With the Oilers-Titans he worked for an eccentric owner (Bud Adams.). Fisher worked with several GMs over the years. But whenever the Titans' front-office cast changed, Fisher's approach never wavered. The Titans had a philosophy and an identity established by Fisher, and it remained consistent through the years. Ideas were exchanged, all of the football people were asked for their opinions. But until the end of his term in Tennessee -- when Adams forced Fisher to draft and play QB Vince Young -- Fisher was at the center, moving things forward in a clearly defined direction.

    * What should come first on the hiring list, the GM or the coach? There's no clear-cut answer. It depends on the kind of coach that Kroenke can hire. A stronger and experienced head coach with a background in personnel doesn't need an all-powerful, all-knowing uber general manager. If the Rams hire Fisher it would lessen the need to go big in filling the GM job. But if the Rams can't hire Fisher (or one of the TV-star coaches) and have to settle for an inexperienced head coach, they'll need more gravitas in the GM chair.

    * As Jim Thomas reported, Kroenke does seem inclined to hire an experienced head coach. That would be a change for the Rams, who have gone the coordinator route in their last three hires. (Mike Martz, Scott Linehan, Steve Spagnuolo. Martz, of course, was an in-house promotion and a major reason why the 1999 Rams won the Super Bowl. That puts him in a different category than Linehan and Spags.

    Kroenke isn't ruling anything out. But he told me that he likes to have confident leadership in place. Kroenke said that when a coach is confident, it makes him less nervous.

    * That's why it's important to take a look at two other franchises owned by Kroenke. In Denver, the NBA Nuggets have a very confident leader in George Karl. In London, Kroenke inherited Arsene Wenger when he purchased the prestigious Arsenal Gunners of the EPL. Wenger is a supremely confident leader/coach that makes all of the personnel decisions. Wenger sets the organizational philosophy and doesn't stray from his guiding principles. Short version: develop talented young players, and never overpay for veterans on the "transfer" or free-agent market. Wenger's approach inspired a young baseball executive named Billy Beane, who implemented the "Moneyball" roster-building strategy in Oakland. It seems to me that Kroenke, ideally, would like to have a version of Karl or Wenger at Rams Park.

    * Can Kroenke land Fisher? Miami is already recruiting Fisher. But I don't see him as a South Beach kind of guy. The Dolphins don't have a QB in place for the future, and that is said to be a priority for Fisher as he analyzes various openings. (I'm told he's positive on Bradford.) San Diego has a great quarterback in Philip Rivers, so the Chargers' gig would be extremely appealing should Norv Turner get sacked. Fisher has ties to the Rams organization. He would be able to have a close working relationship with Kroenke. He would have Kroenke's ear.He could be Karl, or Wenger. I think that would appeal to Fisher. We'll see. According to Forbes, Kroenke is the NFL's wealthiest owner. So if it comes down to money, Kroenke should be able to get it done.

    * Justin Blackmon ... whoa. How impressive was that?

    Thanks for reading ...



  2. #2
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    Re: Kroenke believes in Bradford

    It's definitely a plus that Kroenke has got to see first hand, how a club like Arsenal is run. Wenger is one of the true masters of identifying, developing, and coaching talent. Without spending to much money.
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    Re: Kroenke believes in Bradford

    I guess Kroenke didn't get the "Rams send out smoke signals that they doubt Bradford to orchestrate a trade down possibility" memo.
    Curly Horns, laram0 and THOLTFAN81 like this.

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    Re: Kroenke believes in Bradford

    Key word = PLAYMAKERS!!!!
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    Re: Kroenke believes in Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I guess Kroenke didn't get the "Rams send out smoke signals that they doubt Bradford to orchestrate a trade down possibility" memo.
    Maybe he just got done watching the Fiesta bowl and is thinking: "What's that? Ah -- Trade down? Don't talk about -- trade downs?! You kidding me?! Trade downs??! I just hope we can draft a playmaker! Another playmaker!
    Nick and THOLTFAN81 like this.

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    Re: Kroenke believes in Bradford

    I already love the way Kroenke thinks.
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