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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Rams owners are allowing anarchy in front office

    Rams owners are allowing anarchy in front office
    By Bernie Miklasz
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Saturday, Feb. 26 2005

    The St. Louis Rams have been an eccentric organization. Win or lose, from team
    ownership to head coach Mike Martz, the Rams operate from a different kind of
    playbook.

    But keeping that quirkiness in mind, I still can't help but look at the Rams
    and wonder who is minding the store at Rams Park.

    Team owner Georgia Frontiere lives in Arizona. Ownership partner Stan Kroenke
    is busy with his Denver Nuggets of the NBA and other sports holdings in
    Colorado.

    Team president John Shaw, the detached ruler, tries to magistrate things from a
    suite of offices in the Century City district of Los Angeles. The football
    squad may have moved to St. Louis, but a part of this team's psyche remains in
    LA.

    Perhaps this explains the dysfunctional nature of the franchise. With the
    bosses away, chaos ensues on the ground at Rams Park. The peculiar game of
    rock-paper-scissors continues between Martz, president of football operations
    Jay Zygmunt, and general manager Charley Armey.

    When Post-Dispatch football writer Jim Thomas recently pressed Shaw with
    questions concerning the Rams' front office, the best the dodging Shaw could
    offer was a vague possibility of "reshuffling."

    It's confusing.

    Armey has the general manager tag but no GM authority. He's been pushed out of
    the way.

    I've said many times that giving Martz the freedom to call the shots on
    personnel is a mistake, because it distracts him from devoting his full
    concentration to coaching.

    Lesson: be careful of what you wish for.

    Zygmunt has degrees in law and business management and is an expert in handling
    those tricky NFL salary-cap dollars. But Zygmunt now fancies himself as a
    football expert and has become increasingly aggressive in throwing his power
    around in personnel matters.

    Zygmunt has made personnel moves without telling Martz. And because Zygmunt
    controls the cap dollars, he also controls free agency. If Martz requests that
    the Rams sign a certain player, Zygmunt will say no, the money isn't there, we
    can't do it - even if there's a way to make it work. Martz has no way to
    challenge Zygmunt, because Martz isn't a salary-cap specialist. So Martz
    surrenders, and nothing happens. Zygmunt in effect has strong veto power,
    because he can use the salary cap as a hammer. And Martz can't get around that
    obstacle.

    This explains, in part, why the Rams have been a nonstarter in free agency in
    recent seasons. The other problem is the Rams' skeletal pro personnel
    department. It consists of the semi-retired Jack Faulkner, who evaluates game
    video from his home office in Los Angeles, and an inexperienced scout, John
    Macini. With this combination, how can the Rams truly expect to keep up on the
    available talent around the NFL?

    Zygmunt instead relies on evaluations provided by Mike Giddings, an independent
    scout who provides analysis for many NFL teams. Where's the wisdom of tapping
    information from a scout who also supplies the same insights for other teams?
    The Rams need to stay in house and upgrade their pro personnel department.

    Facing an important offseason, I wish the Rams had a stronger foundation of
    trust and that all hands were joined together to solve the problems. Instead,
    there's a helter-skelter mess at Rams Park.

    The Martz and Zygmunt relationship has unraveled, and that has everyone on
    edge. As one member of the football operation told me, people are on pins and
    needles, afraid to offend Martz or Zygmunt by appearing to take sides.

    Martz is often depicted as the heavy, the bad guy, but Zygmunt and Armey are no
    angels. Other team employees are mortified, for example, by the way Zygmunt and
    Armey brazenly rip Martz to others in the organization behind his back.

    Is this any way to run a football team?

    For John Shaw, the sun of LA must be awfully pleasant.

    It's keeping him from doing something about the storms at Rams Park.

    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Two
    Rams Discussion Right at Your Fingertips!



  2. #2
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    Re: Rams owners are allowing anarchy in front office

    Yawn ............... same story every year ............. Bernie the dolt is getting desperate


  3. #3
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams owners are allowing anarchy in front office

    And, despite the anarchy, Faulk's contract was restructured and the Rams have signed several restricted and exclusive rights free agents.


    Amazing.

  4. #4
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    Re: Rams owners are allowing anarchy in front office

    Well, it did rain quite a bit in LA......

    I don't know all about this. I think every team has egos. From the President to the Asst. Equip Mgr.

  5. #5
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    Re: Rams owners are allowing anarchy in front office

    Rain? Every year we get Rain! This year I built an ARK!!!!!!
    I stopped going to the dentist.......I got tired of the cavity searches!

  6. #6
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    Re: Rams owners are allowing anarchy in front office

    Quote Originally Posted by NickSeiler
    Rams owners are allowing anarchy in front office
    By Bernie Miklasz
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Saturday, Feb. 26 2005

    The other problem is the Rams' skeletal pro personnel department. It consists of the semi-retired Jack Faulkner, who evaluates game video from his home office in Los Angeles, and an inexperienced scout, John Macini. With this combination, how can the Rams truly expect to keep up on the available talent around the NFL?

    Zygmunt instead relies on evaluations provided by Mike Giddings, an independent scout who provides analysis for many NFL teams. Where's the wisdom of tapping information from a scout who also supplies the same insights for other teams? The Rams need to stay in house and upgrade their pro personnel department.
    The first time I heard of this personnel evaluation process, frankly, I was alarmed. Now that Bernie has fleshed this out some more, I am no less alarmed. Out-sourcing talent scouting? I now have a better appreciation for some of the questionable FA moves or lack of moves over the last few years.

  7. #7
    sbramfan is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams owners are allowing anarchy in front office

    I agree that the front office must not be in that bad of shape since they appear to be addressing every specific need this team has, and are taking the right steps. Pace is being handled correctly, Faulk restructured, and very likely Bruce will restructure.

    I think they will get a Fred Miller and/or a Jeff Zgonina, sign Pace, get Hartwell, or draft a couple solid LB's and be on their way to good season.

  8. #8
    RamTime Guest

    Re: Rams owners are allowing anarchy in front office

    Wonderful news. Just the kind of news a fan wants to hear 24 hours before free agency starts. Why can't this football team have normal problems? So instead of worrying about who we can pick up in free agency we have to worry about weather Zygmunt is using Martz's ignorance about the salary cap to help him look bad. Perhaps Martz will put one of those rubber snakes in Zygmunts desk drawer or even order him 2 dozen Pizza's. Christomighty

  9. #9
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams owners are allowing anarchy in front office

    I guess Coakley's deal was negotiated by a team consisting of the Rams' nutritionist and the janitor from the EJD.

    Really... how is it that Bernie still has a job?

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