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  1. #1
    eldfan's Avatar
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    Rams can turn record around by closing talent gap

    Rams can turn record around by closing talent gap

    Sports Columnist Bryan Burwell
    [More columns]By Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    12/22/2009

    Well so far, I must say that things are pretty much going as planned. I realize that because of the NFL's blackout policies, most of you did not get to see the latest episode of our favorite reality TV show, "Football Players of St. Louis," but in my role as the Notorious Man of the People (the Notorious MOP), let me give you a synopsis of what you might have missed:

    I was happy with the effort and positively joyous about the result.

    Sunday was a good day for those of us who understand that victory on the field during the dwindling days of another lost Rams season is no longer a necessary building block for the future. So what we hoped for on Sunday was exactly what we got.

    On two separate fronts, the Rams got good news in the race for the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft.

    Tampa Bay (now 2-12) won, the Rams (now 1-13) lost, and thus the home team's place in front of the line for the No. 1 pick dramatically improved. With only two weeks to play in the regular season, the Rams have, without tampering with the integrity of the game, moved one step closer to locking down the all-important first pick in the draft (let it roll off your tongue easily: N-dom-Ah-ken Suh ... N-dom-Ah-ken Suh ... N-dom-Ah-ken Suh), and that is a very good thing.

    In case there is any confusion, let me clear this up: I am not suggesting that I want the Rams to tank the rest of the season. First of all, that's not in the nature of the players or the coach. The point is, I just want the Rams to continue to do what they've been doing all season give the sort of gritty effort that is epitomized by their no-nonsense coach Steve Spagnuolo and their ultra-competitive and combative star tailback Steven Jackson.

    But the Rams are still a very bad team, and that is not going to change between now and the end of the season.

    Effort is admirable, but there's a very good reason why the Rams are the hardest working 1-13 team in the NFL. Unless effort is combined with superior talent, effort won't be enough to produce consistent winning at this level.

    But even as the season drags its way toward an inevitable 1-15 conclusion, there are two very good reasons why the Rams are better off now than they were at any time during the past few seasons:

    1. Steve Spagnuolo is a better head coach than Scott Linehan could ever be.

    2. Billy Devaney is a better general manager than Jay Zygmunt ever dreamed of being.

    After the game on Sunday, I ran into CBS Sports and NFL Network analyst Solomon Wilcots in the Edward Jones Dome, and just like every other TV analyst and NFL personnel man I have talked to this season before or after Rams games, Wilcots went out of his way to say how impressed he was with both Spagnuolo and Devaney.

    "That man can coach," Wilcots said. "I'm serious, I don't think people understand how good he really is, and just in case they don't, you need to let them know."

    Wilcots raved about Spagnuolo's coaching intelligence and unwavering approach. "He has a plan and he knows that it works because it worked in New York and Philly," Wilcots said. "People in this league have a ton of respect for him. A ton of respect." John Lynch, who seems to be in the booth every weekend for Fox, compared Spagnuolo to the legendary Tony Dungy in his demeanor and coaching style.

    And many of the NFL personnel people I have talked to discuss how Devaney has beefed up his personnel department, that there are some smart talent evaluators in the field for the Rams, and for the first time in decades, the men in charge of making the important personnel decisions on drafts and free agents are qualified football guys who are astute and know what they are looking at.

    At present, the talent gap between the Rams and the rest of the NFL is a chasm, so the Rams can go with a no-quit attitude from kickoff to the final buzzer, but at some point reality must settle in.

    And that's a very good reason why the Rams have won only one game this season.

    The talent gap.

    But fortunately, the Rams are past the worst of it. They have bottomed out, and the journey back out of the valley has begun. Unlike the turmoil in Washington, Cleveland or Tampa Bay, the Rams are not a franchise contemplating another major front-office renovation.

    I still believe in the men who have been put in charge of altering this franchise's sad past. They have assembled some young players on this roster who are starting to show that they can play; they just don't have enough of them.

    Now, this franchise has to get lucky again and start winning those important off-season competitions that have been the organization's undoing for so long.

    The Rams massive alterations are like the reconstruction of a dilapidated old house. First you have to have faith in the architects and believe that they are armed with a good blueprint.

    Now let's hope the Rams' architects will be wise enough to go out and find the right material (via the draft and free agency) to recreate a football masterpiece in St. Louis.

    :ramlogo:

  2. #2
    Nick_Weasel's Avatar
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    Re: Rams can turn record around by closing talent gap

    I hope everybody who's already calling for the heads of Spags and Devaney reads this article.

  3. #3
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    Re: Rams can turn record around by closing talent gap

    Bears s*** in the woods.

    Talk about stating the obvious...

  4. #4
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    Re: Rams can turn record around by closing talent gap

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick_Weasel View Post
    I hope everybody who's already calling for the heads of Spags and Devaney reads this article.
    I still think its funny people do that.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Devaney, if you care about this team... fire the offensive coordinator!!!!

  5. #5
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Rams can turn record around by closing talent gap

    It's this type of article that gets me all fired up the 2010 season.

    GO RAMS!!!!

  6. #6
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    Re: Rams can turn record around by closing talent gap

    Its not so much a talent gap--but more a depth gap. Sure A few more aces in WR core would be a plus--a switch up RB to compliment S. Jackson--maybe a 4th or 3rd rounder as QB to develope.

    As much as stars can help, its often the no-names that make the difference

  7. #7
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    Re: Rams can turn record around by closing talent gap

    Quote Originally Posted by DistantRam View Post
    Bears s*** in the woods.

    Talk about stating the obvious...

    For some reason I can't stop laughing at this...


    I agree though. You can tell that it's getting close to his christmas vacation.

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