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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams owner Chip Rosenbloom makes good on promise

    By Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Sunday, Jan. 18 2009
    It was probably in the wee hours of Friday morning when an e-mail arrived from
    Rams owner Chip Rosenbloom.

    Under normal circumstances I wouldn't share what he had to say; the note was
    marked "confidential."

    But after Saturday's hiring of Steve Spagnuolo, I don't think Rosenbloom would
    mind if I share a little.

    I had asked him about the status of the coaching search. Rosenbloom wouldn't
    give up any secrets, but he did offer this declaration:

    "We will have a new beginning for the Rams. And I have really been trying to
    make this right."

    When Rosenbloom took over the franchise after the death of his mother, Georgia
    Frontiere, he promised to do everything he could to make the Rams a winner.

    The young owner is living up to his word.

    The hiring of Spagnuolo is the latest example.

    There were hopeful early signs, such as the decision to fire coach Scott
    Linehan four games into the 2008 season. And the fresh start began in earnest
    when Rosenbloom removed Jay Zygmunt as general manager, and permitted John Shaw
    to fulfill a long-standing wish to retire as the team president.

    Rosenbloom hired a real football man, Billy Devaney, as general manager. And he
    fully empowered Devaney to hire the next head coach.

    So Devaney landed Spagnuolo, the New York Giants' defensive coordinator who was
    on many "A list" rundowns of coaching candidates this offseason.

    Devaney deserves a lot of credit here.

    Spagnuolo wouldn't be here unless he had confidence in Devaney.

    Devaney wisely resisted the campaign to retain Jim Haslett as coach. Devaney
    didn't panic early on, when teams began to zero in on other attractive
    candidates. Devaney correctly assessed that Spagnuolo was slipping from him.
    Devaney even ran a clever reverse to catch us all off guard by bringing Dallas
    offensive coordinator Jason Garrett to town Friday night for a tour of Rams
    Park.

    In the end, Devaney chose between Spagnuolo and Minnesota Vikings defensive
    coordinator Leslie Frazier. Both men were a good fit. I would have been pleased
    with Frazier, too.

    Did Devaney go for Spagnuolo because he feared he'd lose out to the New York
    Jets for Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan? Maybe. Did Devaney quicken
    the pace to strike a deal with Spagnuolo because the Kansas City Chiefs were
    lurking as a possible threat? Maybe. Did Devaney shrewdly scoop up Spagnuolo
    before the Jets had a chance to reconsider in the event that Baltimore and Ryan
    win Sunday's AFC championship? Maybe.

    But I don't care about any of that.

    All I know is this: At the beginning of the search, Spagnuolo was unanimously
    portrayed as one of the most coveted available coaching properties.

    And the Rams got him.

    I didn't think the Rams had a shot at Spagnuolo. I didn't think he'd want their
    job. And I was hardly alone; this was the prevailing view among NFL pundits,
    agents and other team executives.

    So this was a big upset. Since Devaney is a New Jersey guy, I'll drop a
    Monmouth Park horse racing analogy on him. Before the start of this coaching
    derby and the race for Spagnuolo, the Rams would have been a 30-1 long shot.
    Devaney pulled it off with a savvy ride in the stretch.

    Spagnuolo, an old friend of Devaney's, will join Devaney in leading the Rams
    into the future. I can't predict that future. There's a chance Spagnuolo will
    be a bust; that's true of any coaching hire. But at least Spagnuolo has a
    legitimate résumé and background. His preferred style of football is a match
    for what the Rams need to become. This hiring makes sense right now. Spagnuolo
    will instill an attacking mentality, and eventually bring some of that
    bloody-mouth NFC East football to The Ed.

    Here's the most exciting thing: For the first time since Dick Vermeil and
    Charley Armey worked closely to build a Super Bowl champion, the Rams have two
    true football people in command — the new GM, and the new coach.

    Accordingly, Devaney's presence and good reputation clearly made this job more
    appealing to outsiders. By giving Devaney true authority, Rosenbloom
    established credibility with skeptical coaching candidates.

    Not long ago, Rams Park was a dysfunctional mess; you had the wrong people in
    control, and too many folks running around, trying to grab power. No one seemed
    to be on the same page.

    Rosenbloom changed that. He streamlined the football operation. Devaney was
    given the hammer, with no conditions, no caveats, no confusion. So now when
    coaching prospects looked to Rams Park, they saw an orderly line of authority.

    The coach knows he'll work for the GM, and the GM knows he must answer to
    ownership. That's all. It's nice and clean. The structure of this organization
    has changed dramatically.

    In less than a year as the owner, Rosenbloom has delivered on his promise of
    that new beginning.


  2. #2
    laramsfan73's Avatar
    laramsfan73 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams owner Chip Rosenbloom makes good on promise

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    By Bernie Miklasz


    Spagnuolo, an old friend of Devaney's, will join Devaney in leading the Rams into the future. I can't predict that future. There's a chance Spagnuolo will be a bust; that's true of any coaching hire. But at least Spagnuolo has a legitimate résumé and background. His preferred style of football is a match for what the Rams need to become. This hiring makes sense right now. Spagnuolo will instill an attacking mentality, and eventually bring some of that bloody-mouth NFC East football to The Ed.

    Here's the most exciting thing: For the first time since Dick Vermeil and
    Charley Armey worked closely to build a Super Bowl champion, the Rams have two true football people in command — the new GM, and the new coach.
    Since Spagnuolo and Devaney are old friends, I'm sure they share the same vision for the Rams future. No more battles between the front office and the coaching staff. Drafts that produce players suited to that vision. No more disagreements between football people wanting certain players and non-football people sitting in an ivory tower drafting others against the wishes of the people who have to produce with those players on the field.

    Vision is something that has been missing since Vermeil and Armey worked together to build the Super Bowl Championship Rams. With this shared vision, I don't think Spagnuolo will be a bust in St. Louis. Since he has a GM working WITH him, not against him, I see a potential for great success!

    Chip Rosenbloom reminds me of his father.

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