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Thread: Michael Lombardi lays blame on Rams' mgmt

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    Michael Lombardi lays blame on Rams' mgmt

    In St Louis, the organization thought it was getting closer. Going from one win in 2009 to seven in 2010 does indicate improvement. But what the organization failed to understand is that when the level of expectation increases, so should the level of talent. The Rams needed to be more aggressive in every area of player procurement this offseason but chose to only add a few pieces here and there. Some of the players they were counting on being good are not, like right tackle Jason Smith. What appears not to be a need becomes one when Smith plays as poorly as he has this year. The Rams also recently lost corner Bradley Fletcher and receiver Danny Amendola to injuries, two players they could ill afford to be without. The NFL is a passing league, which means the good teams must have great skill players at both receiver and corner, but the Rams are a team with marginal talent at both spots. Now they are paying a huge price for having a team with less talent and depth than is required and not much of a chance to improve.


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    Re: Michael Lombardi lays blame on Rams' mgmt

    I have to agree with this. What gets me is our inability to evaluate talent. Who's responsibilty is that? Where or from whom do Devaney and Spags get their info on players? Who or whom ever that is needs to be looked at very closely. I'm not saying we have missed on all the players but sure could have done a better job.

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    Re: Michael Lombardi lays blame on Rams' mgmt

    I guess it all does fall on the coaching..

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    Re: Michael Lombardi lays blame on Rams' mgmt

    My main complaint (aside from wide receiver) would be the depth. Admittedly, you don't expect to have the losses that we have had at corner, but going into the season with Bartell, Fletcher, King and Harris as the only corners on the roster was a risk to begin with.

    Otherwise, I think they did about as much in free agency as could be expected in one season. They brought in Mikell, Dahl, Sims-Walker, Norwood, Cadillac Williams, Leber, Poppinga and Bannan. That's eight notable veterans brought in to be starters or key back-ups.

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    Re: Michael Lombardi lays blame on Rams' mgmt

    Some of this falls on management, some is bad luck. I think bartell and fletcher were an outstanding corner combo. It was not forseable that both would be out for the year by week four. Murphy was a promising young guy. Again, out for the year before the season starts. Its easy to say that the rams should have had more depth at corner, but there is never enough depth to go around at that position and while agree we were probably a guy short back there, its almost impossible to replace that position after training camp.

    As for jason smith, he is simply killing us. #2 overall pick in the draft, huge cap number, almost no production at that is at RIGHT tackle, when he was drafted to play left tackle. I like chris long a lot, but i dont think he has been worthy of a #2 overall pick either.

    The receiver situation is hard to explain. Helen Keller could see that we needed a #1 receiver. Julio Jones' 40 time made it about impossible for him to make it to us in the draft. I have no idea why we didnt go after sidney rice, other than the injury issue. A #1 is hard to find. RIght now, we dont legitimately have a #2 either.

    The linebacker situation is hard to understand, two old guys at the corner backers, neither seems very good. I sure wish were had been able to get barry coffield in free agency.

    Bernie said it correctly 10 days ago. The rams spent a fortune on this offensive line, and it is simply that, offensive.

    You cant fire the players. Spags is a dead man walking barring a massive spurt. Kroenke simply wont tolerate it and he can afford to make the change.

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    Re: Michael Lombardi lays blame on Rams' mgmt

    I think management is to blame for some things. Clearly no one can predict injuries, and the Rams have had a lot of bad luck in that department. Losing Jackson for a couple of games, but more importantly, losing Amendola, Bartell, Fletcher, and Murphy for the season is just rough and nobody's fault. I would challenge anyone who blames the F.O. for our current CB situation to create a list of how many teams would still be fielding good units in the secondary if you took away their top three cornerbacks. I doubt it'd be a long list.

    Having said that, I do think the Rams bargain shop way too much. They're way too conservative when it comes to personnel acquisition. It doesn't help that some of the few times they do shell out big money (Brown, Bell), it's been a disappointment.

    But rather than make a move to get a veteran receiver like Vincent Jackson or Sidney Rice, rather than put together a trade package to go up and get a Julio Jones, the Rams go for mid-round talents and a cast-off in Mike Sims Walker.

    Rather than aggressively pursue a high level outside linebacker or defensive tackle, the Rams stay conservative and sign cheaper options like Leber, Poppinga, and Bannan, who have had a minimal effect on our defense so far.

    Rather than go out and find a legitimate #3 cornerback to push Murphy/King, they bring in Al Harris. The Rams were linked to capable nickel corner Joselio Hanson, who was available for trade and at one point on the open market, but apparently he was too expensive for them and they passed.

    That's not to suggest the Rams should start overpaying for players and follow the Redskins' model, but clearly sitting on our hands until the time comes to shift through the trash of other teams isn't producing a consistent winner, either. The Rams have some talented pieces, but not enough. They're not hitting on enough of them to make big improvements in the overall level of talent on this team, and they're not nearly deep enough to be able to overcome some of the injuries we've seen.
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    Re: Michael Lombardi lays blame on Rams' mgmt

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram_Mas View Post
    In St Louis, the organization thought it was getting closer. Going from one win in 2009 to seven in 2010 does indicate improvement. But what the organization failed to understand is that when the level of expectation increases, so should the level of talent. The Rams needed to be more aggressive in every area of player procurement this offseason but chose to only add a few pieces here and there. Some of the players they were counting on being good are not, like right tackle Jason Smith. What appears not to be a need becomes one when Smith plays as poorly as he has this year. The Rams also recently lost corner Bradley Fletcher and receiver Danny Amendola to injuries, two players they could ill afford to be without. The NFL is a passing league, which means the good teams must have great skill players at both receiver and corner, but the Rams are a team with marginal talent at both spots. Now they are paying a huge price for having a team with less talent and depth than is required and not much of a chance to improve.
    Thankyou Captain Obvious!! Freaking Lombardi points out the obvious and then throws blame around. Pretty intelligent article there buddy. Kinda hard to plan at the beginning of the season to lose 5 CB's to IR and one on PUP and having Al Harris and Justin King being your premier Corners by week 6. Although I am not pleased how our FO has responded to a need that comes up due to injury during the season or for the Past 6-8 years maybe the cap has been set from Stan since this is the most active we have been in FA since being in the Lou. Spent alot of moeny already.. I wonder if that has anything to do with us not trading or going after someone to help at CB?
    Last edited by ZiaRam; -10-09-2011 at 04:51 PM.

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    Re: Michael Lombardi lays blame on Rams' mgmt

    I'll agree on Sims-Walker (disappointing acquisition) and Al Harris (surely, we could have gotten Hanson for a minimal investment since he was about to be released). As for Leber and Poppinga, there weren't a lot of other 'backers out there that I really wanted us to sign, and I don't think Bannan was a bad choice.

    As for the offensive line, boy, it sure has been disappointing. On paper, Saffold, Bell, Brown, Dahl and Smith looked like a strong line-up. Obviously, that hasn't panned out the way we wanted it to, but I do think some of that is the change in system.

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    Re: Michael Lombardi lays blame on Rams' mgmt

    I can see both sides of the story here. On one side you have a FO and coach that basically inherit a team full of no potential and holes at every position. There is only so much repairs that can be done in one season. They are taking the approach of filling as many holes as possible, so that means sign cheap veterans at multiple positions.

    At the same time they have to realize that it's only a stop gap measure. At some point its better to have a few big holes then 10 small ones that can turn big at any time. That being said, I am not ready to give up on them. I want to give him one more year. I mean perfect example, the detroit lions. They are the laughing stock of the NFL for how many years? Suddenly they have a coach come in and slowly turn things around, all the mean while having everyone scream for his head. At worst they will be 4-1 after tommorow. The key difference is that detroit plugged alot of holes their first year, but then started to make the big acquisitions. We never switched game plans. If we do that this off season, I think we can see a major turn around. Just give it time. Rome wasn't built in a day. Every day you complain about the team, think about what Spags inherited.

    And for everyone complaining about draft picks and who we should and shouldn't have gotten. How many of you were complaining about the picks at the time? Hindsight is always 20/20
    Last edited by Dr. Defense; -10-09-2011 at 06:53 PM.
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    Re: Michael Lombardi lays blame on Rams' mgmt

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Defense View Post
    Just give it time. Rome wasn't built in a day. Every day you complain about the team, think about what Spags inherited.

    And for everyone complaining about draft picks and who we should and shouldn't have gotten. How many of you were complaining about the picks at the time? Hindsight is always 20/20
    Nice! I agree, give em another year. This is the first year where the FO could actually get FA pick ups to plug in holes due to ownership...

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    Re: Michael Lombardi lays blame on Rams' mgmt

    I was never really excited to see Ben Leber and Poppinga start for us, and I was right. They really aren't that good, and I can see why they were cut from their old teams. I personally think our OLB's last year played better.

    Al Harris should be retired.

    Justin Bannan should not be a starter. A rotating player? Sure. But not starting.

    Mike Sims-Walker looked pretty good in Jacksonville, but has done nothing here. Either the Rams is the dead zone where players come and digress or that MSW had a better supporting cast in Jacksonville than here, which is sad.

    Jason Smith to guard experiment coming soon? Shake my head.

    Did Rodger Saffold shrink 8 inches, lose 100lbs, and get diagnosed with testosterone deficiency? He sure is playing like it.

    I always forget we had a first round pick this year, because Robert Quinn is not showing up. I know he is really rusty, but come on man.

    Hopefully Justin King getting very lucky and getting a ball tipped to him and running 40 yards won't give Spags justification that he is an elite player that should be kept.

    Steven Jackson is getting up there in age. He's breaking less tackles, he looks slower, and his agility is looking alot more lackluster.

    Michael Hoo(woman)anui is like 6'5 270lbs but is constantly injured. Come on man, you've got the size to dish out the pain, not be the one that gets punished.

    The preseason made people know Lance Kendricks, and now teams are actually making a guy cover him, unlike the preseason. And now he can't get open, or catch.
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    Re: Michael Lombardi lays blame on Rams' mgmt

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    But rather than make a move to get a veteran receiver like Vincent Jackson or Sidney Rice, rather than put together a trade package to go up and get a Julio Jones, the Rams go for mid-round talents and a cast-off in Mike Sims Walker.
    Jackson was there to be had and for the price of what turned out to be Lance Kendricks and a later round pick. I think we cleary over-valued a 2nd round pick. As I argued ad-nasuem at the time, Jackson is a proven talent (not just proven, a superstar) and a draft pick is a roll of the dice. When an opportunity like that arises (getting a legitimate superstar) for a later than 1st round pick, you snatch it up. Attempting to trade up to Julio Jones would have been much more costly as the Falcons proved. Of course, the sages around here said I was crazy and played Madden too much.

    Not to mention I suggested that everyone here hold their judgement on this years aquisitions, because signing castoffs in the hope they perform for you is a risking strategy.

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    Re: Michael Lombardi lays blame on Rams' mgmt

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    I was never really excited to see Ben Leber and Poppinga start for us, and I was right. They really aren't that good, and I can see why they were cut from their old teams. I personally think our OLB's last year played better.

    Al Harris should be retired.

    Justin Bannan should not be a starter. A rotating player? Sure. But not starting.

    Mike Sims-Walker looked pretty good in Jacksonville, but has done nothing here. Either the Rams is the dead zone where players come and digress or that MSW had a better supporting cast in Jacksonville than here, which is sad.

    Jason Smith to guard experiment coming soon? Shake my head.

    Did Rodger Saffold shrink 8 inches, lose 100lbs, and get diagnosed with testosterone deficiency? He sure is playing like it.

    I always forget we had a first round pick this year, because Robert Quinn is not showing up. I know he is really rusty, but come on man.

    Hopefully Justin King getting very lucky and getting a ball tipped to him and running 40 yards won't give Spags justification that he is an elite player that should be kept.

    Steven Jackson is getting up there in age. He's breaking less tackles, he looks slower, and his agility is looking alot more lackluster.

    Michael Hoo(woman)anui is like 6'5 270lbs but is constantly injured. Come on man, you've got the size to dish out the pain, not be the one that gets punished.

    The preseason made people know Lance Kendricks, and now teams are actually making a guy cover him, unlike the preseason. And now he can't get open, or catch.
    Justin Bannan is solid. He is our best run stuffer so far. If anybody should be benched its Fred Robbins. He has played BAD this year, after his magical season last year.

    Robert Quinn? Really? He has been solid. What did you expect, 10+ sacks? He has been getting pressure and is actually the better run stuffer (statistically) compared to Long and Hall.

    And last but not least, Kendricks can in fact get open. Several of his drops have come while he had at least 3 yards on the trailing defender.

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    Re: Michael Lombardi lays blame on Rams' mgmt

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    Justin Bannan is solid. He is our best run stuffer so far. If anybody should be benched its Fred Robbins. He has played BAD this year, after his magical season last year.

    Robert Quinn? Really? He has been solid. What did you expect, 10+ sacks? He has been getting pressure and is actually the better run stuffer (statistically) compared to Long and Hall.

    And last but not least, Kendricks can in fact get open. Several of his drops have come while he had at least 3 yards on the trailing defender.
    Justin Bannan isn't really that great. Provides no pass rush of any sort, and is decent at best against the run. Opponents have been blowing up the middle with run plays. He does have his moments, but I don't see the consistency. But yes, Fred Robbins is wearing down this year. Having a duo of slow, aging veterans in the middle against up and coming young athletic guards coming out of college spells mismatch.

    I'm not expecting Quinn to have 10+ sacks. I want to see more variety in his pass rush. What I have been seeing is him overrushing the QB and just having the OT push him down. If Ryan friggin' Kerrigan can bully a former #2 overall pick (Jason Smith), I want to see Quinn absolutely demolish an OT, at least once in a while. He was the best and most athletic DE coming out of college, and I want to see it.

    Kendricks really doesn't get open that much. He was supposed to be Bradford's safety net along with Amendola, and he hasn't been that. He is getting shut-down tightly, and when he does occasionally get open, he drops passes an intramural flag football team could catch.

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    Re: Michael Lombardi lays blame on Rams' mgmt

    Quote Originally Posted by swatter555 View Post
    Jackson was there to be had and for the price of what turned out to be Lance Kendricks and a later round pick. I think we cleary over-valued a 2nd round pick. As I argued ad-nasuem at the time, Jackson is a proven talent (not just proven, a superstar) and a draft pick is a roll of the dice. When an opportunity like that arises (getting a legitimate superstar) for a later than 1st round pick, you snatch it up. Attempting to trade up to Julio Jones would have been much more costly as the Falcons proved. Of course, the sages around here said I was crazy and played Madden too much.

    Not to mention I suggested that everyone here hold their judgement on this years aquisitions, because signing castoffs in the hope they perform for you is a risking strategy.
    Trading up from 14 to 6 would have cost quite a bit less than trading up from 26 to 6, but maybe the larger package appealed to the Browns. My guess is that the Rams never even made the call or gave it much thought, because it doesn't fit their M.O.

    By and large, they're not an aggressive team when it comes to personnel. I imagine they made a decision to sit where they were and see who fell to them. That seems to be what they do the vast majority of the time on draft day. In 2009, they were nervous that James Laurinaitis wouldn't make it to them in the second round, but stayed put anyways. They also reportedly were very much considering Shonn Green in the third round that year but the Jets took him right before the Rams picked. In 2010, they were said to be high on Jahvid Best but it was Detroit that moved up to draft him three spots before the Rams picked. Obviously not all of these moves were poor ones, but sometimes if you like a guy, you need to go get him. The Rams seem rather adverse to this unless it's in the late rounds, where hitting on prospects is much tougher.

    It's a similar tactic in free agency. The Rams usually make one priority signing once free agency starts (Brown in '09, Robbins [?] in '10, Mikell/Dahl in '11) and then wait to pick from what's left of the table scraps once other teams are done. Again, not suggesting they should take the Washington Redskins approach, but it seems like that's one extreme and the Rams are close to the other. How much improvement is this team going to make picking up the Brady Poppingas and Billy Bajemas of the world? It doesn't help that the Rams haven't exactly struck gold in free agency, even among their larger priority signings. So I think it's fair at this point to begin examining Devaney's eye as a talent evaluator with a critical eye, and put some of the current troubles on management, though obviously the players and just plain bad luck take their fair share as well.

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