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Parallels between the ***** and the Rams?
I found this article earlier today, and while the author did not write about parallels between the two teams, I think there's something we can take away from it regarding that issue.
Miller provides a top ten list of the biggest blunders the ***** franchise made that helped send them to the bottom of the league. I think some of them might ring somewhat close to home, given what's happened thus far this season.
And, with that in mind, here's a list of the 10 biggest mistakes the team made (other than the ownership change) on the way from the top to the bottom:
1. Drafting Druckenmiller instead of Plummer (1997). Druckenmiller started one game in his NFL career and threw a total of 21 passes before his career was over. Plummer will start his 118th NFL game on Sunday.
2. Using two first-round picks to get J.J. Stokes (1995); the extra pick the ***** gave away was used by Baltimore to draft Ray Lewis.
3. Ignoring the offensive line in the draft far too long. In 2005, they chose two offensive linemen in the first three rounds for just the second time in 18 years.
4. Allowing placekicker Jeff Wilkins to leave over $200,000 after he set a team record for field goal accuracy. (He's now the Rams' all-time leading scorer.)
5. Firing Mariucci with no one in mind as a replacement; eventually settling a month later on Dennis Erickson, whose regime was a disaster, albeit not entirely of his own making.
6. Pushing Walsh out too soon and not recognizing that Terry Donahue not only wasn't capable of taking over, but that he wasn't working very hard, either.
7. Overpaying, by a ridiculous amount, a series of mediocre free agents, such as Winfred Tubbs, Antonio Langham and Roy Barker.
8. Allowing too many non-football people to have significant input in football decisions.
9. Allowing an NFL lifer like John McVay, the unsung hero of the front office for years, to leave the organization without replacing him.
10. Failing to do their medical homework. In 1999, they used a first-round pick on Reggie McGrew, a stiff who had a knee problem the ***** didn't know about. This problem continues; the day the ***** signed Buffalo tackle Jonas Jennings, a Bills coach said privately that there was no way Jennings would play a full season. He lasted three games.
One could make the case that the Rams have turned the corner in terms of #3 by drafting Alex Barron, Richie Incognito, and Claude Terrell, but we don't know if Richie will work out, and we still are going to need someone to man either the RG or C position, depending on where he tries to play. Of course, our defensive needs going into this year's draft will probably make OL a Day 2 afterthought, where the Rams have not done well selecting OL prospects - since Martz took over in 2000, the Rams have drafted Kaulana Noa, Andrew Kline, Travis Scott, Scott Tercero, Larry Turner, and Claude Terrell as second-day offensive linemen. Only the latest, Terrell, is on the team.
In regards to #5, is there any question how this may foreshadow the Martz situation? If the Rams do in fact fire Martz, then they'd better have someone lined up to replace him quickly so that they can get a staff in as soon as possible. Even if the Rams are able to bring in a talented well respected replacement, such coaches could be undermined by a late start.
#8 I think is rather obvious, too. Especially with reportsof Zygmunt making his presence felt with the coaches on gameday ever since Martz took his leave. But will Shaw have the courage to step up and tell his buddy Zygmunt when he needs to change, or when he needs to take his hand out of the cookie jar? It's hard to say.
Anyways, I'm not trying to say our franchise is going down the toliet, but I find it interesting (and concerning at the same time) that a writer covering one of the league's worst franchises can look back and point to situations and decisions that we as Ram fans can either look back to or potentially look ahead to.
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Re: Parallels between the ***** and the Rams?8. Allowing too many non-football people to have significant input in football decisions."I'm not going to hide my opinions. They're coming to you between 7000-4000 Angstroms for all the world to see. Oh yes, you will be enlightened."