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Thread: The Rams - building for the long run

  1. #1
    demiurge is offline Registered User
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    The Rams - building for the long run

    Patience is a dirty word, but I think one we all need to embrace. The Rams play in not only the toughest division if football one of the most talented ones in the history of football. The only thing that is going to wreck the Seahawks and Niners is the cap, and right now they have a huge edge over the Rams in that their QBs cost 12-14 million less than ours days because of the vagaries of the rookie pay structure.

    The key to that is to manage our players contracts well, and we have some issues there as we've had to pay a premium for free agents to come to this perennially losing team. We are going to see an exodus of talent leave the Niners in particular over the next few years, and the Seahawks while young are also going to have to pay their guys a lot more than they have been. The Niners have Bolden and Whitner as FA this year, and are going to have extend Kaepernick, Crabtree, Gore, Iupati, and Aldon Smith next year. I wouldn't be shocked to see Gore be lost. The Seahawks have 19 players that have expiring contracts in 2014. There's only a few starters there (Tate, Bennett) but that's a huge potential hit to depth. And they only get Wilson, Sherman and Thomas for their bargain basement rookie contract for one more year.

    I'd love to see the Rams come out and run away to a title next year, but I really don't expect that to be the case. I see both of those teams still challenging for the Super Bowl, and the Rams with their incredibly young roster battling it out for 3rd with the Cards. Of course, as we saw this year, that itself could mean a potential playoff birth - 10-6 most years does just that, it was very unfortunate for the Cards that they didn't get that goal.

    But I can really see the Rams window opening for a deep run in the 2-4 year mark, with all the young talent they have.

    Because of that, I see the front office and Fisher continuing to play the long game. They did that with the RGIII trade, taking a slightly less rich offer from the Skins (the Browns actually offered more) for the luxury of taking those picks over several years. Because of that insight, the Rams have the #2 pick this year.

    I see that in their draft picks as well - LOTS of developmental guys with big upsides but either not as great production at the college level or lesser competition. That got us Quinn, Brockers, Quick, Jenkins, Johnson, etc. Some of these guys broke through, some of them still are trying to reach the next level. But the first year under Snead it was really focused on guys with long term potential.

    Drafting in the front half of the first round for both our picks will give the Rams the luxury of picking talent more ready to step on the field and immediately contribute. But I wouldn't be surprised to see the Rams continue to trade down to stock pile later picks.

    Personally I love this strategy, and think its the best way to both dethrone the two alpha dogs in our division but also position the Rams for a long window where they have a real shot at picking up playoff success, hopefully getting a chance at multiple super bowls before its all over.

    But because I see the Rams targeting that 2-4 year out window, I can see some decisions coming up that could frustrate the fan base.

    Patience is a dirty word, but building for the long term is the best thing that could happen to this club.


  2. #2
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: The Rams - building for the long run

    Agreed. With the disparity between rookie and FA contracts, it is more important than ever to build with youth. That can take time but, if done correctly, can result in long-term success.
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    Re: The Rams - building for the long run

    We have gone from a terrible team to respectable under Snead/Fisher. So the arrow is pointing up and I too really like the way our team is being handled.
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    Re: The Rams - building for the long run

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Agreed. With the disparity between rookie and FA contracts, it is more important than ever to build with youth. That can take time but, if done correctly, can result in long-term success.
    Honestly, for the first time in at least five years I am confident in saying that our team has playmakers, legitimate playmakers, and on both sides of the ball. To me, those playmakers came from the Jeff Fisher/Les Snead tandem so I'm hoping another successful draft will help catapult us into a 2014 season playoff spot, at the least. A lot of our success hinges on Sam Bradford performing like an elite QB, naturally, but regardless if we find out Sam isn't the guy (especially if we draft a guy like Watkins) then our next QB will have all the tools to succeed in Year 1 and beyond.


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

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    NJ Ramsfan1 is offline Registered User
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    Re: The Rams - building for the long run

    I am not going to get into an argument over an issue that has been discussed countless times on this forum. But I have heard the word "patience" too many times to count. The time is now. I'm not interested in the viewpoint that it will take several more years to make a playoff run because I think that's a total crock. Three other teams which were laughingstocks in this division three years ago all had winning records this year. There is absolutely no reason we cannot achieve the same next season and beyond. It is in no way unreasonable, especially when you see the turnarounds teams have from year to year. Look at Atlanta. Look at New Orleans. Look at San Diego. Look at the Giants. Look at KC. Draft well. Groom players. Improve areas that need improvement. Become more disciplined. You do those things, and winning takes care of itself.

    This team has an excellent core of guys: Quinn, Austin, Stacy, Laurinaitis, Long, Brockers, Cook, a healthy Bradford- who can win NOW if they are given complimentary pieces to see things through. We have needs- no doubt about it. And I'd never advocate running out there and spending wildly on aging vets with 2-3 years left. But I am SOOOOOO tired of every single year hearing "it takes time", "these guys are young", "we can't expect to do A, B or C this year", " I can't wait for next year's draft", etc.

    I liken this mentality to that of the career student- the guy who keeps going back for advanced degrees, spends a third of his life in school yet never goes to work. What has he really achieved?? What good are all these continued good draft spots if we're not going to parlay them into winning football and playoff appearances? When is it appropriate for fans to think the Rams can make the playoffs? 2018? 2025? 2030? Eventually, dividends are expected in the form of a post season berth.

    I am not foolish enough to think a young team in the top division in football is going to go out there and finish 11-5 or 12-4 the next couple of years with some of the question marks we have on our football team. But it is a loser's mentality to think we cannot challenge for a playoff spot or should realistically have to wait 3-5 years for it to happen. I'll never buy it.
    Last edited by NJ Ramsfan1; -01-20-2014 at 04:53 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Re: The Rams - building for the long run

    Ultimately this is a business built on attracting fans to attend games. Unless you are a winner contending for a playoff spot, you're not going to attract that many fans. Personally, I think next season will be a huge one as the players we've drafted the past 2 years are entering their mature phase and the pressure will be on the coaches and the players to contend for a playoff spot. You can say "built for the long run" all you want but at some point you better deliver some playoff results otherwise you're doomed to becoming the Lion or Browns, constantly rebuilding.

    I beleive in the coaches we have and the FO led by Les Snead and don't think they're mislead into believing they have unlimited time. We have a brutal schedule next year facing both Super Bowl participants as well as 7 other games against teams who've either made the playoffs or had double digit wins this season. So we better get better quick and that's no play on our wide receiver's name!

    Go Rams!
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  7. #7
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    Re: The Rams - building for the long run

    For what its worth:

    Seattle's record in its first two seasons under its current regime: 7-9, 7-9
    St. Louis record in its first two seasons under its current regime: 7-8-1, 7-9

    Can the Rams make the jump that Seattle made in years 3 and 4?

    I'm looking forward to finding out.

  8. #8
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    Re: The Rams - building for the long run

    Just when do we polish up these turds?
    The break, don't bend offense.

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    Re: The Rams - building for the long run

    This team has an excellent core of guys ... who can win NOW if they are given complimentary pieces to see things through. We have needs- no doubt about it. And I'd never advocate running out there and spending wildly on aging vets with 2-3 years left. But I am SOOOOOO tired of every single year hearing "it takes time", "these guys are young", "we can't expect to do A, B or C this year", " I can't wait for next year's draft", etc.

    I liken this mentality to that of the career student- the guy who keeps going back for advanced degrees, spends a third of his life in school yet never goes to work. What has he really achieved?? What good are all these continued good draft spots if we're not going to parlay them into winning football and playoff appearances? When is it appropriate for fans to think the Rams can make the playoffs? 2018? 2025? 2030? Eventually, dividends are expected in the form of a post season berth.
    --NJRF1
    Point well made, point well taken NJ! ...I hear you loud and clear.




    BTW, I had already posted with the idea of 'building for the future' / "the draft priority should be..." (below) in another thread so IMO it fits here as well. How terribly pressing it must be for the team HC and manager to transform "plans" into "product". A good, effective, achieving product.

    But yes, the more time passes by, the more things need to come to fruition, materialize and succeed for the Rams, i.e., it ought to be a greater sense of NOW.

    =================================================

    Thinking about last year's draft and trades plus T H I S year's draft and trades, I can't help feeling that the STL RAMS are building SMART, building STRONG!



    Turn up the volume! ...Here's to a GREAT 2014 Rams draft!

    Last edited by RealRam; -01-20-2014 at 09:58 PM. Reason: Ram

  10. #10
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    Re: The Rams - building for the long run

    Quote Originally Posted by demiurge View Post
    Patience is a dirty word, but building for the long term is the best thing that could happen to this club.
    “Building for the long term” implies solidity, something that will stand the test of time. In football terms, a solid team is a “deep” team. Acquiring that depth is the trick.

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Agreed. With the disparity between rookie and FA contracts, it is more important than ever to build with youth. That can take time but, if done correctly, can result in long-term success.
    No doubt Fish and Snead agree. Talent wins games. No good team can afford to keep every one of its talented players year in and year out. What they can do is restock through the draft. Sounds easy, but obviously it isn’t.

    So far, it seems Snead and Fisher are mostly in the “done correctly” column. Can’t wait until May!

  11. #11
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    Re: The Rams - building for the long run

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    I am not going to get into an argument over an issue that has been discussed countless times on this forum. But I have heard the word "patience" too many times to count. The time is now. I'm not interested in the viewpoint that it will take several more years to make a playoff run because I think that's a total crock. Three other teams which were laughingstocks in this division three years ago all had winning records this year. There is absolutely no reason we cannot achieve the same next season and beyond. It is in no way unreasonable, especially when you see the turnarounds teams have from year to year. Look at Atlanta. Look at New Orleans. Look at San Diego. Look at the Giants. Look at KC. Draft well. Groom players. Improve areas that need improvement. Become more disciplined. You do those things, and winning takes care of itself.

    This team has an excellent core of guys: Quinn, Austin, Stacy, Laurinaitis, Long, Brockers, Cook, a healthy Bradford- who can win NOW if they are given complimentary pieces to see things through. We have needs- no doubt about it. And I'd never advocate running out there and spending wildly on aging vets with 2-3 years left. But I am SOOOOOO tired of every single year hearing "it takes time", "these guys are young", "we can't expect to do A, B or C this year", " I can't wait for next year's draft", etc.

    I liken this mentality to that of the career student- the guy who keeps going back for advanced degrees, spends a third of his life in school yet never goes to work. What has he really achieved?? What good are all these continued good draft spots if we're not going to parlay them into winning football and playoff appearances? When is it appropriate for fans to think the Rams can make the playoffs? 2018? 2025? 2030? Eventually, dividends are expected in the form of a post season berth.

    I am not foolish enough to think a young team in the top division in football is going to go out there and finish 11-5 or 12-4 the next couple of years with some of the question marks we have on our football team. But it is a loser's mentality to think we cannot challenge for a playoff spot or should realistically have to wait 3-5 years for it to happen. I'll never buy it.
    You are spot on!

  12. #12
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: The Rams - building for the long run

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    Draft well. Groom players. Improve areas that need improvement. Become more disciplined. You do those things, and winning takes care of itself.
    Well said! You sound like a coach ..


    This team has an excellent core of guys: Quinn, Austin, Stacy, Laurinaitis, Long, Brockers, Cook, a healthy Bradford- who can win NOW if they are given complimentary pieces to see things through. We have needs- no doubt about it. And I'd never advocate running out there and spending wildly on aging vets with 2-3 years left. But I am SOOOOOO tired of every single year hearing "it takes time", "these guys are young", "we can't expect to do A, B or C this year", " I can't wait for next year's draft", etc.
    I don’t have much faith in “expecting” – one way or another. I can’t wait for next year’s draft every year – heck, I couldn’t wait back in the days when we were winning.

    I liken this mentality to that of the career student- the guy who keeps going back for advanced degrees, spends a third of his life in school yet never goes to work. What has he really achieved?? What good are all these continued good draft spots if we're not going to parlay them into winning football and playoff appearances? When is it appropriate for fans to think the Rams can make the playoffs? 2018? 2025? 2030? Eventually, dividends are expected in the form of a post season berth.
    I think it is appropriate (for us fans) to think we can make the playoffs in 2014, but “expecting it” isn’t going to make it happen.

    I am not foolish enough to think a young team in the top division in football is going to go out there and finish 11-5 or 12-4 the next couple of years with some of the question marks we have on our football team. But it is a loser's mentality to think we cannot challenge for a playoff spot or should realistically have to wait 3-5 years for it to happen. I'll never buy it.
    Actually NJ, you don’t sound all that much more impatient than the rest of us.

    Each and every season I want the Rams to win every single game I watch them play. They don’t , but I want them to. I realize that even the very best teams lose now and then - nonetheless that knowledge doesn’t help one bit when the Rams lose. I hate it when we lose, and I usually don’t post immediately after losses. I am too bitter, and am admittedly not a good loser.

    Sure was sweet watching the whiners get beat though ..
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  13. #13
    NJ Ramsfan1 is offline Registered User
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    Re: The Rams - building for the long run

    Don't get me wrong: I am absolutely on board with the approach Rams management is taking. They are trying to put a foundation in place where we have a team that can be solid year in and year out. No problem at all with that line of thinking, and the OP's original post presents some plausible statements about not doing things impulsively for the short term. I get it. But we're not even a month removed from the end of our season, and already there is a whiff of uncertainty about our ability to make the playoffs next year- the sentiment being that SF and SEA are so good now that we might as well not even show up for the 2014 season. I'm far from a Rams apologist- but this viewpoint is the worst disservice we can do ourselves as fans. And it's also dead wrong.

    As previously stated with several examples, a team's fortunes can turn in a year. Injuries, overconfidence and underachieving can lead to a lot of losses. Conversely staying healthy, being driven and playing to potential can result in great things.

    In today's NFL, there is no such thing as the "long term" when it comes to winning. Other than New England, show me the team that has had winning records for the past 10-11 seasons. Conversely, there absolutely IS a "long term" when it comes to losing. As Mde8352GoRams pointed out, you're doomed to failure if you keep "rebuilding" and taking the "down the road" approach.

    If there is a positive in watching that NFC Title Game yesterday, it's that it made me all the more hungry as a fan to see us get good. And you can be sure it has motivated every guy who wears a Rams uniform on the field for 2014.
    Last edited by NJ Ramsfan1; -01-20-2014 at 08:13 PM.

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