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Thread: As Kroenke Decides, There Are Numerous Questions ..

  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    As Kroenke Decides, There Are Numerous Questions ..

    By Randy Karraker
    Published: December 26, 2011 @ 1:22am

    As Stan Kroenke goes about deciding the job status of his head coach, Steve Spagnuolo, there are a lot of things he has to look at: The job of this regime in coaching and roster construction, the construction of the staff and development of players, and the history of how coaches do after sluggish starts, among several other factors.

    When looking at the head coaching job, we must give Spagnuolo credit for the team not quitting on him. There have been instances in the past when players in dreadful situations quit competing and began to mail it in. This yearís Chiefs under Todd Haley are a prime example. That hasnít happened here. On the flip side, we must look at the way games unfold and ask questions. How is it that the Rams have continually allowed return men like Patrick Peterson, Leon Washington and Ted Ginn Jr. to burn them? How can a game plan with an offensive line in tatters against Seattle feature five receivers and an empty backfield on a regular basis? Why do we see a wildcat formation on first-and-goal at the 1-yard line, and a naked bootleg with a quarterback that can barely walk because of a high ankle sprain?

    Additionally, why do we continue to see false starts from veteran offensive linemen? Why has a front-seven pretty much immune from devastating injuries ranked 32nd against the run? And why have so many players failed to ascend?

    If youíre Kroenke, donít you have to ask why the staffs in Seattle and Arizona keep their teams competitive despite so many injuries? Why do we see the Seahawks lose three offensive linemen and have Marshawn Lynch take off, yet the Rams lose three and their offense goes into even more of a shell? Why are guys like Lance Kendricks and Rodger Saffold better on the day they arrive than they are well into their careers? Why do veteran players like Jason Brown, Mike Sims-Walker and Harvey Dahl play well before they get here, but then regress? Along those lines, why is it that Daniel Fells, Laurent Robinson, Bobby Carpenter and Ryan Fitzpatrick go other places and perform better than they did here? Chris Ogbonnaya had 90- and-115-yard games for Cleveland, but couldnít make the team here. Larry Grant is a beast against the Rams for San Francisco, but was cut here. Why?

    Why havenít young players been kept and developed? Is it coaching, or talent? The Packers take a tackle like Marshall Newhouse in the fifth round of the 2010 draft, and have him available to use for a dozen starts in 2011. The Rams have to re-sign Adam Goldberg and try to pick up waived players and practice-squad guys. The Steelers take Antonio Brown with their second sixth-round pick in 2010, and by 2011 heís good enough to catch 63 passes for more than 1,000 yards, and to supplant Hines Ward. The Philadelphia Eagles, a perennial playoff team, start two rookie offensive linemen, plus a rookie and two second-year players at linebacker, get better throughout the season and are in the playoff hunt until the final week.

    Why didnít players like Jermale Hines, Jabara Williams, Mardy Gilyard, George Selvie, Fendi Onobun and Mikail Baker get a chance? Why is a Rams seventh-rounder like Jonathan Nelson starting and getting an interception for Carolina, rather than St. Louis? Those are questions of coaching and roster composition that must be asked.

    As poor as Spagnuoloís record has been, there are coaches who have started slowly and then succeeded. Not as slowly as Spagnuolo, who will tie Rod Marinelli for the worst three-year-plus winning percentage in more than 40 years (.208) with a loss to San Francisco, but slowly nonetheless.

    Of the 48 head coaches that have led their teams to Super Bowls, there have been five that didnít have a winning record in their first three full years, like Spagnuolo.

    Weeb Ewbank started with the Colts in the 1950s, and began his career with records of 3-9, 5-6-1 and 5-7 before going 7-5. Ewbank won NFL championships with the Colts in 1958 and 1959 before moving on to the Jets in 1963. He had back-to-back-to-back 5-8-1 seasons in New York, and added a 6-6-2 season before finally breaking through with a winning year in 1967, and then a Super Bowl Championship in 1968.

    Tom Landry didnít get the expansion Cowboys over .500 until their seventh season. Dallas went 9-28-3 in their first three seasons, a winning percentage of .262. Once the Cowboys did get rolling, of course, they kept rolling. When Landry led his club to a 10-3-1 mark in 1966, it started an NFL record string of 20 consecutive winning seasons.

    As Chuck Noll started out with the Steelers, he went 12-30 in his first three years, a winning percentage of .285. The Steelers showed gradual progress, going 1-15, 5-9 and 6-8 before breaking out in Nollís fourth year with an 11-3 mark and a division championship. Two years after that, Pittsburgh started a run of four Super Bowl wins in six seasons.

    Marv Levy actually started his coaching career in Kansas City, going 4-12, 7-9 and 8-8 in his first three years. He took the Chiefs to 9-7 in his fourth year, but was fired after a 3-6 strike season of 1982. When he returned in Buffalo, Levy led the Bills to four straight Super Bowls.

    Jeff Fisher went 7-9 in his first year with the Oilers, then took the Oilers to three straight 8-8 seasons in their final year in Houston, a year in Memphis in which the team trained in Nashville, and their first year as an entity in Nashville. As the club changed its name to the Titans, Fisher took the Titans to a 13-3 mark and the Super Bowl in 1999.

    So there is precedent for a coach to start slowly with a franchise and then take off. However, if the Rams plan to allow Spagnuolo a chance to take off, there are some serious questions that have to be answered. The individual coaching needs to be better, young players need more of an opportunity to get better and play, and more logic must apply to preparations for Sundays. If there arenít assurances of those things, then itís best to simply move on to the next guy. Continuity can be a good thing, but not if itís to preserve play as horrible as the Ramsí play has been in three seasons under Spagnuolo.


  2. #2
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    Re: As Kroenke Decides, There Are Numerous Questions ..

    Lack of pride can explain alot of these questions. Saint Louis is were the Rams reside, but it seems that players treat this fair city as a halfway house to get bigger and better things. The thinking should be when you've come to Saint Louis you've arrived. The Rams will forever be the GSOT, whynot always follow the ethos that made us Superbowl Champions so us fans can 'Party like its 1999' again.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Re: As Kroenke Decides, There Are Numerous Questions ..

    "..Why are guys like Lance Kendricks and Rodger Saffold better on the day they arrive than they are well into their careers? Why do veteran players like Jason Brown, Mike Sims-Walker and Harvey Dahl play well before they get here, but then regress?..."

    Because this organisation is like a disease.

    You start with positivity and hope but then the disease spreads, reducing fine folk to shadows of their former self.

    So some guys go and see another doctor, and he provides a fresh outlook and new medicine.

    Hey presto!! They're all better again..
    THOLTFAN81 likes this.

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    Re: As Kroenke Decides, There Are Numerous Questions ..

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post


    If you’re Kroenke, don’t you have to ask why the staffs in Seattle and Arizona keep their teams competitive despite so many injuries? Why do we see the Seahawks lose three offensive linemen and have Marshawn Lynch take off, yet the Rams lose three and their offense goes into even more of a shell? Why are guys like Lance Kendricks and Rodger Saffold better on the day they arrive than they are well into their careers? Why do veteran players like Jason Brown, Mike Sims-Walker and Harvey Dahl play well before they get here, but then regress? Along those lines, why is it that Daniel Fells, Laurent Robinson, Bobby Carpenter and Ryan Fitzpatrick go other places and perform better than they did here? Chris Ogbonnaya had 90- and-115-yard games for Cleveland, but couldn’t make the team here. Larry Grant is a beast against the Rams for San Francisco, but was cut here. Why?

    Why haven’t young players been kept and developed? Is it coaching, or talent? The Packers take a tackle like Marshall Newhouse in the fifth round of the 2010 draft, and have him available to use for a dozen starts in 2011. The Rams have to re-sign Adam Goldberg and try to pick up waived players and practice-squad guys. The Steelers take Antonio Brown with their second sixth-round pick in 2010, and by 2011 he’s good enough to catch 63 passes for more than 1,000 yards, and to supplant Hines Ward. The Philadelphia Eagles, a perennial playoff team, start two rookie offensive linemen, plus a rookie and two second-year players at linebacker, get better throughout the season and are in the playoff hunt until the final week.

    Why didn’t players like Jermale Hines, Jabara Williams, Mardy Gilyard, George Selvie, Fendi Onobun and Mikail Baker get a chance? Why is a Rams seventh-rounder like Jonathan Nelson starting and getting an interception for Carolina, rather than St. Louis? Those are questions of coaching and roster composition that must be asked.
    This is what I'm perplexed by. It appears these coaches would rather take a known FA commodity that someone else didn't want than keep and develop a player they thought good enough to spend a draft pick on. This is a great way to get old and bad in a short amount of time.

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    Re: As Kroenke Decides, There Are Numerous Questions ..

    The Rams need to part ways with both Spags and Devaney as soon as the clock hits zeros on Sunday. Thank them for what hopefully is the number one pick, and send them on their way.
    Fettmaster and Tampa_Ram like this.

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    Re: As Kroenke Decides, There Are Numerous Questions ..

    You can add Bill Bellichek's stint as the Cleveland HC in the '90's as another example of a successful coach getting off to a slow start. If we end up firing Spags the key question will be once again, who will we hire and what assurances can we bank on that there will be greater success? My belief is that we need to start changing the FO with a better talent evaluator (providing better draft classes) and provide Spags with better players and then re-work the assistants to get better performances on the field. I'm probably one of the few people on this site who think Spags deserves another year to right-the-ship.

    Go Rams!

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    Re: As Kroenke Decides, There Are Numerous Questions ..

    These are all very fair and completely relevant questions- ones that I and other fans have asked for a long time. While no team is perfect in its assessment of players or in draft decisions, the Rams have made an inordinate number of whiffs in both areas. And as pointed out, they also have not successfully developed guys and allowed guys to go elsewhere and become serviceable. This is a reflection of the coaches.


    While I appreciate the information regarding coaches who started out slowly before blossoming into solid leaders, I'm fresh out of patience. I've seen nothing strategically out of Spags that shows me he's a guy on the way up. Ditto for McDaniels, who has done maybe even a worse job than Spags at getting the most out of what he has. When Arizona, Kansas City, Seattle and others can wean 6-7 wins out of injury-depleted squads and we're facing the 2nd time in three years with the potential #1 pick, it is awfully hard to defend Spags and anyone else associated with this sad sack organization.

    Hopefully, Stan makes a rational, informed decision that positively shapes the rams for the forseeable future. As fans, we can't do much more than pray.
    macrammer likes this.

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    Re: As Kroenke Decides, There Are Numerous Questions ..

    Quote Originally Posted by mde8352gorams View Post
    You can add Bill Bellichek's stint as the Cleveland HC in the '90's as another example of a successful coach getting off to a slow start. If we end up firing Spags the key question will be once again, who will we hire and what assurances can we bank on that there will be greater success? My belief is that we need to start changing the FO with a better talent evaluator (providing better draft classes) and provide Spags with better players and then re-work the assistants to get better performances on the field. I'm probably one of the few people on this site who think Spags deserves another year to right-the-ship.

    Go Rams!
    From my understanding spags has his hands all over personell decisions. So if he is indeed cutting these young guys he just needs to stick with coaching. I wouldnt mind spags being kept or let go but devanny must go and we need a quality gm.

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    Re: As Kroenke Decides, There Are Numerous Questions ..

    Quote Originally Posted by mde8352gorams View Post
    I'm probably one of the few people on this site who think Spags deserves another year to right-the-ship.

    Go Rams!
    Spags gave as an excuse, a very weak and unbelievable excuse btw, that he thought a 4th and 1/2 yard situation was actually 4th and 2 yards as a reason for not going for it. He's as good as gone.

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