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Thread: The Rams' New Trait: Decisiveness

  1. #1
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    The Rams' New Trait: Decisiveness

    I was trying to think of how to distinguish the FishEad approach from DeSpags, and the one work that I kept coming back to was decisiveness.

    With DeSpags, it seemed like the approach was often conveyed in a "we'll try a few things and see how they work out" manner. While assessments of this type may reflect the virtues of honesty and humility, I'm not sure they fit into the leadership mold needed for an NFL team. Instead, they often came accross - at least to me - as conservative and consistent with a "trying not to lose" approach.

    Examples:
    Drafting Sam Bradford #1 and claiming that the QB job would be a competition.
    Drafting Robert Quinn, only to have him sit behind James Hall for much of the season.
    Signing aging veterans rather than empowering young players.
    Staying away from anything resembling a bold prediction.
    Letting the draft come to them.

    In the few months of the FishEad regime, we've seen boldness and decisiveness that was lacking in the prior era.

    Examples:
    Trading down several times in the draft.
    Imposing a "give us your best offer now" requirement on the suitors for the No. 2 pick.
    Releasing aging veterans (Hall, Robbins, Bartell) and immediately empowering young players (Quinn, Brockers, Jenkins)
    Signing top-tier FAs (Finnegan, Wells) in the early stages of FA.
    Announcing - in no uncertain terms - that Sam Bradford is THE MAN in St. Louis.

    It may seem like a simple concept, but the ability to make a decision and not look back is, in many ways, the essence of leadership.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how this translates to the field.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -06-26-2012 at 11:09 AM.


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    Re: The Rams' New Trait: Decisiveness

    This is one thing I have noticed as well. They are carrying themselves like worthy successful businessmen and the results have showed. Their attitude is entirely different, where Spags and Devaney might seem meek and feebly indecisive at times, Snead and Fisher know what they want and they know what they have to do to get their results.

    Confidence, a strong-will, and a "cut the bs" mentality is what makes you successful in this league, and these two have so far showed that they have what it takes.

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    Re: The Rams' New Trait: Decisiveness

    Spags approach was not surprising. A guy with no head coaching experience is usually going to surround himself with a support system of players who have a veteran presence- especially guys he's been with before in some capacity. Guys like James Hall and Fred Robbins performed reasonably well for the Rams. I cannot fault him for obtaining them and playing them. And if a coach feels a young draftee isn't ready to be a full time starter, who am I to argue that? Bringing a guy along instead of throwing him into the fire is not an unsound strategy. It's just unfortunate that the Rams- a bad football team- could ill afford to do that; they needed guys that were ready right away.

    As far as Bradford is concerned, not verbally anoining him as the starter was not a big deal. Everybody and their brother new it was gonna' happen. Why piss off the other QBs on the roster by stating what's obvious?

    The Rams draft strategy in 2012 will be significant if it bears fruit in numerous areas- Several of our selections were quite honestly a big question mark in the eyes of many prognosticators. Stockpiling draft picks is meaningless if the guys you select don't get it done. Time will tell- and judgment is reserved here until I see what these draft picks do.

    Fisher's time in the league and head coaching experience give him a lot of cache. He has the luxury of being decisive and bold because he's been given carte blanche to do so, unlike Spags. There is no way in hell Spags would have been able to draft a Janoris Jenkins, for example. Fans and media would have gone berserk. Fisher does it and we applaud his "boldness" and "willingness to take chances". Different circumstances for different people.

    Like every other situation in sports, it comes down to personnel and good decision making. If we get production and were smart in our draft selections, success will follow. If guys don't produce and we've wasted the extra picks we moved down to obtain, it will just be another in a long line of Rams failures over the past 20 years.
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    Re: The Rams' New Trait: Decisiveness

    To me, it seems that DeSpags did a number of the things you praise Fisher and Company for, so it's hard for me to see a drastic difference in approach.

    For instance, DeSpags cut aging vets in favor of younger players; they shed Orlando Pace and Torry Holt in favor of Barron and Avery, they cut Marc Bulger before even having a replacement on the roster, and they opted to go with younger safeties instead of keeping O.J. Atogwe around. The DeSpags regime also went after some top-tier free agents of their own (Jason Brown, resigning Ron Bartell, James Butler, Quintin Mikell, Harvey Dahl). I recall most if not all of these moves being praised by fans at the time. Given the Fisher regime's signings of Wells, Haggan, and McIntosh, both regimes have filled some holes with older vets as well.

    In regards to Bradford, Fisher is in a different situation than DeSpags because he’s not dealing with a rookie quarterback. DeSpags handled Bradford similarly to how other recent high pick QBs were handled; Newton, Stafford, and Ryan all had to compete against subpar talent to earn their jobs. Were Fisher dealing with a rookie Bradford rather than a veteran one, he’d probably do something similar to what DeSpags did; after all, in 2006, Jeff Fisher didn’t deem a rookie Vince Young ready to start and be “the man” until the end of September. It's easier for Fisher & Company to "empower" Quinn for much of the same reason; they're dealing with a more experienced guy than the rookie DeSpags worked with.

    Finally, the “letting the draft come to them” strategy of DeSpags resulted in the acquisitions of Laurinaitis, Saffold, and Quinn, all of whom are being counted on as key starters. One could argue that the DeSpags regime displayed decisiveness by staying put in 2010 to take both Sam Bradford and Roger Saffold despite interest in both selections. We know Fisher would have been happy to “let the draft come to him” with the sixth overall pick if it meant getting Richardson and Blackmon. And unlike Fisher, DeSpags didn't really have the opportunity to make a blockbuster trade at the top of the first round due to the presence of a highly sought after player they didn't need.

    So I don't see a huge difference in their approaches, or one being significantly more conservative or less decisive. Instead, I think you can see some of what NJ is pointing out regarding the importance of personnel evaluations. Under DeSpags, the Rams experienced set backs when Barron, Avery, Brown, and Butler flopped. Aside from 1-2 players per class, the Rams did not draft particularly well under DeSpags either. Hopefully Fisher and Company have better results in this department. If they do, then this approach should succeed. If they don't, these two approaches may look more familiar when they're both able to be viewed through the lens of hindsight.
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    Re: The Rams' New Trait: Decisiveness

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    For instance, DeSpags cut aging vets in favor of younger players; they shed Orlando Pace and Torry Holt in favor of Barron and Avery, they cut Marc Bulger before even having a replacement on the roster
    All of those players were let go, to a large extent, due to injuries/health issues. Fisher, on the other hand, let guys like Hall and Robbins go despite the fact that they were healthy because he wanted the team to get younger.

    O.J. Atogwe
    Again, a different scenario - he was a FA looking for a big pay day.

    The DeSpags regime also went after some top-tier free agents of their own (Jason Brown, resigning Ron Bartell, James Butler, Quintin Mikell, Harvey Dahl).
    Brown was a big name signing at the time, but hardly on the level of Finnegan.

    I recall most if not all of these moves being praised by fans at the time. Given the Fisher regime's signings of Wells, Haggan, and McIntosh, both regimes have filled some holes with older vets as well.
    Wells is still in his prime. Haggan and McIntosh are stop-gaps. The Rams will be starting at least three rookies (Brockers, Quick, Jenkins) and two second year players (Quinn, Kendricks). I think Fisher is showing a greater reliance on rookies than Spags did when he cut most of the players taken between Rounds 5-7 and went with guys like Leber, Poppinga and Harris.

    In regards to Bradford, Fisher is in a different situation than DeSpags because he’s not dealing with a rookie quarterback. DeSpags handled Bradford similarly to how other recent high pick QBs were handled; Newton, Stafford, and Ryan all had to compete against subpar talent to earn their jobs. Were Fisher dealing with a rookie Bradford rather than a veteran one, he’d probably do something similar to what DeSpags did; after all, in 2006, Jeff Fisher didn’t deem a rookie Vince Young ready to start and be “the man” until the end of September.
    I have two words to respond to this with: A.J. Feely (is that 3 words?)

    It's easier for Fisher & Company to "empower" Quinn for much of the same reason; they're dealing with a more experienced guy than the rookie DeSpags worked with.
    True, but when you invest the No. 14 pick on a guy like Quinn and then find yourself out of the race by midseason, you have to start planning for the future and making him the starter. Quinn started 1 game last year.

    So I don't see a huge difference in their approaches, or one being significantly more conservative or less decisive.
    I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that one.

  6. #6
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    Re: The Rams' New Trait: Decisiveness

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    If guys don't produce and we've wasted the extra picks we moved down to obtain, it will just be another in a long line of Rams failures over the past 20 years.
    Someone needs to take some happy pills.

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    Re: The Rams' New Trait: Decisiveness

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post

    Fisher's time in the league and head coaching experience give him a lot of cache. He has the luxury of being decisive and bold because he's been given carte blanche to do so, unlike Spags. There is no way in hell Spags would have been able to draft a Janoris Jenkins, for example. Fans and media would have gone berserk. Fisher does it and we applaud his "boldness" and "willingness to take chances". Different circumstances for different people.

    Like every other situation in sports, it comes down to personnel and good decision making. If we get production and were smart in our draft selections, success will follow. If guys don't produce and we've wasted the extra picks we moved down to obtain, it will just be another in a long line of Rams failures over the past 20 years.
    Excellent points. I'll add one thing: Silent Stan showed a bit of "decisiveness" by doing everything required to land the Fish. I agree with Av's point in that with Spags and Billy, there seemed room for second guessing, whereas with Fisher one gets the feeling there isn't any. I'm hoping that translates to game day coaching adjustments as well (particularly during and after halftime) - something that's been sorely lacking for a long time. Fisher possesses all those years of experience as a head coach in the league to draw on, and Spags was a rookie. Spagnuolo's chance to be a head coach again will likely come, and with better luck he'll inherit a more talented roster to start off than he did with the Rams.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    To me, it seems that DeSpags did a number of the things you praise Fisher and Company for, so it's hard for me to see a drastic difference in approach.
    Maybe not drastic, but I do sense a real difference and apparently (so far), the players do as well. Maybe the word "confidence" better describes the difference ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Under DeSpags, the Rams experienced set backs when Barron, Avery, Brown, and Butler flopped. Aside from 1-2 players per class, the Rams did not draft particularly well under DeSpags either. Hopefully Fisher and Company have better results in this department. If they do, then this approach should succeed. If they don't, these two approaches may look more familiar when they're both able to be viewed through the lens of hindsight.
    Agreed ..

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    Re: The Rams' New Trait: Decisiveness

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    Maybe not drastic, but I do sense a real difference and apparently (so far), the players do as well. Maybe the word "confidence" better describes the difference ..
    Yeah, I think there would be a stronger (though probably more subjective) case for a difference in the confidence or authority in this regime when compared to the previous one. That's something you expect to come about when you've assembled an experienced coaching staff that has been around the block, starting with a guy like Fisher. And maybe that's also represented in the sense of decisiveness that Av was touching on.

    I think that represents a bigger difference than their actual approaches and the examples given, whereas to me, their approaches were generally similar - both regimes began a youth movement upon arrival, they both made some splashes in free agency, and both were more conservative with their draft picks rather than packaging them and trading them away to move up in the draft order. Sure, there are some differences if you really get into the nuance of it, but overall, I think their approaches to personnel have been more similar than they have been different.

    You could probably also extend the similarities to their general vision for the team. When Spagnuolo came in, he wanted the Rams to have a power running game and play tough defense. Fisher's vision strikes me as being pretty similar, at least closer to that than the high octane offenses of the Pats, Packers, or Saints. I just hope that, for whatever similarities and differences this regime might have with the last one, they truly differentiate themselves the most in the wins column.
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  9. #9
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    Re: The Rams' New Trait: Decisiveness

    Proof is in the pudding.

    Of which we have neither seen, tasted or even sniffed.
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    Re: The Rams' New Trait: Decisiveness

    I think it can't hurt to go back and see what when down for us to get here.

    Georgia dies, Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez came in and fired Linehan in 2008, after the team started the season 0–4. John Shaw then resigned as president and Billy becomes GM that year.

    2009 DeSpags is created when Billy hires Spags and in that same year owners Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez officially offered their majority share of Rams for sale.

    2009 record 1-15
    2010 record 7-9
    2011 record 2-14

    The new regime IMO is made up of Stan, Demoff, Fisher and Les.

    The first Decisive move came on January 2, 2012, only one day after the Rams finished 2-14, head coach Steve Spagnuolo and GM Billy Devaney were fired.

    Second Decisive move on January 13, 2012, Jeff Fisher officially announced his choice of the St. Louis Rams. Only 11 days after removing DeSpags.

    Third Decisive move Three days later Gregg Williams, the defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints from 2009-2011, joined the new Rams coaching staff as the defensive coordinator.

    Fourth Decisive move On January 23, 2012, it was officially announced that Brian Schottenheimer would fill the position as offensive coordinator and will be the third offensive coordinator.

    Fifth Decisive move On Feb. 11, the St. Louis Rams hired Les Snead as the new general manager.

    Sixth Decisive move before the new league year even starts, in a predraft blockbuster trade turn the No. 2 pick of the 2012 draft into three first rounders and a second rounder from the Redskins.

    Seventh Decisive move the St. Louis Rams have landed Cortland Finnegan,rguably the top free agent at his position, agreed Tuesday to a five-year, $50 million deal.

    Eight Decisive move picking up another second-round pick trading back in the draft. The plan going into the draft was acquire as much talent as possible.

    Ninth Decisive move the Rams quest for a $700 million renovating the Edward Jones Dome.

    Tenth Decisive move the Rams will play one regular-season game in London in each of the next three seasons.
    Last edited by Rambos; -06-27-2012 at 03:59 PM.

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    Re: The Rams' New Trait: Decisiveness

    Ninth Decisive move the Rams quest for a $700 million renovating the Edward Jones Dome.
    Yeah, but will they decisively change the seat color?

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