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Thread: Ram Bytes: Hello, anyone there at Rams Park?

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    Ram Bytes: Hello, anyone there at Rams Park?

    Ram Bytes: Hello, anyone there at Rams Park?
    March 20, 2014 2:32 am • Bernie Miklasz

    A little more than a week into the NFL free-agent swap meet, the Rams have gone all Jaime Garcia: we know they are there, we can can see them, even talk to them – but they aren't participating. They remain sidelined.

    Let's reset the appropriate caveats for the short-attention span crowd:

    * I know, the Rams are building through the draft. Got it. Heard it the first six million times. Les Snead, Jeff Fisher, the draft, constructing a roster with young, developing players. Right-o. Stan Kroenke, Arsenal, the Arsene Wenger model. Kroenke read the book on how the New England Patriots get it done. I'm up on all of that. The draft is the way to go. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    * I didn't expect the Rams to go bananas in free agency. Because of the top-heavy contracts given to non-Pro Bowl players on their roster, the Rams don't have an abundance of cap room to work with. Besides, rumor has it that the Rams' plan is to build through the draft.

    * I never have and never will demand that the Rams go crazy and make a bunch of short-sighted, financially-stupid free-agent moves. First, it doesn't make sense to do that for the long term. And as a short-term strategy, how many have really benefited from a rush of free-agent grabs? See: Daniel Snyder, Washington Redskins. And do you remember Billy Devaney and Steve Spagnuolo getting all overheated and signing approximately 219 free agents – 217 of whom were old or broken down and/or talentless – before the 2011 season? How did that work out? Too many impulse buys are usually bad news. Generally speaking, discipline in the free-agent market is a sound principle.

    Besides, informed speculation is that Snead and Fisher are building the team through the draft.

    Anyone else hear about that?

    * I realize free agency isn't over. And teams will be cutting expensive veterans after June 1. Even the teams that are building through the draft – reportedly the Rams are one of those clubs – can scoop up a bargain or two.

    * If the Rams do make a few sensible free-agent purchases, I'll be pleased to give them a polite golf clap for it. They'll get the appropriate credit. And they have tried to get in on some defensive tackles. But what about cornerback and safety _ just to name two positions. Even if the Rams plan to attack those positions by drafting to them, doesn't it make sense to add some veteran presence?

    To repeat: I don't care how the Rams build a winning team... as long as they build a winning team, and that winning team becomes a playoff team.

    Whew.

    With all of that out of the way …

    Is there some middle ground out there in Earth City?

    Or is it Flat-Earth City?

    Even with the team's consistent pro-draft policy in place, don't you have to at least make some free-agent moves to supplement the roster?

    Is the Rams' roster really so sound from top-to-bottom to the point where they can virtually ignore free agency and fill every need through the draft?

    Give Snead and Fisher this much: the Rams may be short on wins, but the bosses can never be accused of lacking confidence. And it's not as if they have a bunch of championship trophies on the shelf.

    I'm trying to remember … Seattle won the Super Bowl, right? And the Rams finished in last place in the four-team NFC West? Good. I thought I'd lost my mind, and forgotten that the Rams won the Super Bowl early last month.

    Snead and Fisher have been touting 2014 as the so-called breakthrough season. I sure hope so. Fans have been waiting for the so-called breakthrough season for nine, 10 years. Snead and Fisher have done well to get this team up from the dead and to the seven-win level but can't regress.

    It's just odd to me to see the ***** and Cardinals be more aggressive this season (so far) than the Rams.

    The ***** are just trying to avoid major losses and have pretty much succeeded. When safety Donte Whitner signed with Cleveland the ***** immediately replaced him by signing Indianapolis FA safety Antoine Bethea. And the ***** also retained a couple of key veterans with new contracts for WR Anquan Boldin and CB Eric Wright. The ***** are still in the market for help at WR.

    The Cardinals used free agency to fill a major need by signing left offensive tackle Jared Veldheer (Oakland) on the first day.

    The Seahawks haven't done much. As expected, they lost several starters and key backups to free agency, including WR Golden Tate, OT Breno Giacomini, DT Clinton McDonald and corners Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond. And they also cut defensive ends Red Bryant and Chris Clemons for salary-cap savings. But the Seahawks also kept a few of their own free agents including pass rusher Michael Bennett and DT Tony McDaniel. Seattle also has $15.2 million left under the cap, and are on the prowl and a big chunk of that is being held in reserve in anticipation of signing several core veterans to new contracts.

    The Rams are chasing the other three teams; they aren't pursuing the Rams. You'd think the Rams could have identified, and signed, two or three helpful free agents to gain depth and incremental improvement. They do have some cap space (as much as $12 million according to Jim Thomas). And perhaps they'll put it to use. But most good free agents are already gone.

    As of now you'd better hope for two things:

    1. The Rams hit the jackpot in the 2014 draft.

    2. Snead and Fisher are right in their unshakable assessment that they found real gold in their first two drafts, and they're about to cash in the treasure.

    One more note: Shaun Hill would be a good No. 2 quarterback. The Rams are talking to him. When pressed into a starting role during his career, Hill has a 13-13 record, with a respectable 84.3 passer rating.

    Thanks for reading …

    -Bernie


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    Re: Ram Bytes: Hello, anyone there at Rams Park?

    Wow. If this thread doesn't bring AV back, nothing will.
    RealRam, KoaKoi and Sauceman like this.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Ram Bytes: Hello, anyone there at Rams Park?

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Wow. If this thread doesn't bring AV back, nothing will.
    What happened to AV? Is he not posting anymore?


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    Re: Ram Bytes: Hello, anyone there at Rams Park?

    Quote Originally Posted by RuffRams View Post
    What happened to AV? Is he not posting anymore?
    Think he got tired of being right all the time...

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    Re: Ram Bytes: Hello, anyone there at Rams Park?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerseyramsfan View Post
    Think he got tired of being right all the time...
    I'll never get tired of that.


    So Bernie fully understands why the Rams have not been more active in free agency, but reserves the right, if the Rams don't win more games, to blame it on their failure to be more active in free agency.

    Way to take a stand, there, Bernie.

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