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  1. #1
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    Time to bring back Vermeil

    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    09/16/2008

    Chip Rosenbloom will make changes if the Rams don’t start winning football games. He made that promise to the Post-Dispatch on Monday during a phone interview from Los Angeles.
    So that’s a start. The team’s owner-for-now realizes the franchise can’t operate this way.
    The Rams have lost 15 of their last 18 games and 22 of their last 29.
    Al Saunders is positioned to replace Scott Linehan on an interim basis this season, if need be. But as my P-D colleagues have observed, the franchise’s issues extend well past the head coach’s office.
    Sweeping changes are in order.
    The Rams need a strong football man to assume control of this operation. If Rosenbloom decides to sell the team, the next owner must hire a commanding leader -– as Blues owner David Checketts did by wooing John Davidson.
    If the family wants to keep the team for a few more years, then it needs to bring in a friend capable of righting the ship. The first guy to call: Dick Vermeil.
    STLtoday.com users wish Vermeil would come back and coach the team. But why not bring him back as team president and put him in charge of the football operation?
    Why not ask him to play Marv Levy for the next few years, long enough to turn things around?
    With Vermeil in charge, the football operation could regroup with minimal bloodshed. Here is how it could play out:
    John Shaw could finally step aside as team president and remain an advisor to Chip Rosenbloom in LA. His close relationship with Vermeil would make this an easy step.
    Jay Zygmunt could continue managing the salary cap and negotiate contracts, but he would no longer have input on football decisions. He, too, has worked well with Vermeil.
    Marshall Faulk could come aboard as Vermeil’s right-hand personnel man. If Faulk wants to run a football operation some day, this would a great way to learn that job.
    Billy Devaney, a fine personnel man in his own right, could continue running the draft. Aside from injuries, his ’08 group is shaping up pretty good.
    Saunders, a close Vermeil ally, would be the natural head coaching choice in this scenario. He is an “up” guy, like Vermeil, and he understands that there are no short cuts.

    The Rams must change their organizational culture, just as the franchise needed back in the 1990s when Vermeil replaced Rich Brooks.
    Back then, the Rams were laughingstocks of the NFL. And they are laughingstocks now.
    If Chip wants to honor his mother -- and he is quite sincere about that -– then he could summon Vermeil, ASAP, and give him whatever he needs to make all this happen.
    He could change the atmosphere at Rams Park. He would raise the energy level. He would get in everybody’s face. He would weed out the weak and incompetent.
    Vermeil also could win back the fans. He could engage the business community.
    He could protect the value of the franchise for the owners. He is a one-man marketing dynamo.
    Vermeil visited the Rams in training camp. He has a handle on the team. He knows all the key figures in the organization.
    He is the only guy capable of rallying the group without making more change than Rosenbloom may be comfortable with. Vermeil is the best solution for a franchise facing major, major problems.


  2. #2
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Time to bring back Vermeil

    Which vermeil does everyone want to bring back? The guy that lost 12 games in 1998 or the guy that won the super bowl AFTER we acquired faulk, warner, holt etc?

    TALENT, not coaching, is the problem with this team.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  3. #3
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    Re: Time to bring back Vermeil

    I think that coaching is just a big a problem as talent on this team right now. The coahes are the ones bringing in and preparing the talent so they have to take some fault in it.

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    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Time to bring back Vermeil

    To the extent that the coaches have input into the personnel decisions, i agree that they bear responsibility. I am also not saying that we have the greatest coaching in the world. I will point out that many of the personnel decisions are made by the front office and not the coaches and many of the personnel decisions that are killing us now predate the current coaches and the current personnel guys in the front office.

    Bottom line. If vince lombardi was the rams coach right now, the offensive line would still stink and there is just no way around that. Many of the same people that wanted vermeil out after the 4-12 season were cannonizing him after he won the superbowl. Would we have won without the marshall faulk trade? NOt a chance.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


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    Re: Time to bring back Vermeil

    I agree with Gordon's theory. That is to say, the change has to happen at the very top of the food chain. If Shaw and/or Zygmunt become the decision maker(s) in the change process, then the outcome is as useless as nipples on a bull.

    The change has to rise above Shaw and displace Zygmunt. Anything less is rearranging deck chairs.

    Now......is Vermeil the specific change agent? Hmm, now there's a good debate. But where the change should takes place is BEYOND debate in my mind.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  6. #6
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Time to bring back Vermeil

    If people want to make the argument that Ziggy and Shaw need to go and that we need to clean house from the top, that is a fair point and very reasonable discussion. It is a strong argument to make to state that having non-football people running the team is an accident waiting to happen, notwithstanding the fact that those same people were integral components in winning the title for us, albeit ten years ago.

    My point was that coaching alone wont fix anything and i think bison agrees with that. I continue to cite the case of bobby april. Fire April everyone yelled, our special teams are the worst in the nfl again. So the Rams fire him and the following year he is coach of the year in buffalo on special teams. Was he a different coach in buffalo or did he just have a LOT better players.

    By the way, go check on cowhers record the year before they won the superbowl. Did he all of a sudden become a genius or did Big Ben among others have something to do with it as well (including better luck with injuries)?

    Linehan may not be a good coach, but he sure as heck has not gotten any breaks with injuries.

    Ramming speed to all

    general counsel


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    Re: Time to bring back Vermeil

    Quote Originally Posted by GC
    My point was that coaching alone wont fix anything and i think bison agrees with that.
    Absolutely, and twice on Sunday.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Time to bring back Vermeil

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post

    Chip Rosenbloom will make changes if the Rams don’t start winning football games. He made that promise to the Post-Dispatch on Monday during a phone interview from Los Angeles"...."The Rams must change their organizational culture, just as the franchise needed back in the 1990s when Vermeil replaced Rich Brooks."
    Interesting... the ownership stepped in to replace Brooks with Vermeil and then backed off. Now it is time to do it again, but please note the recurring theme. Ownership is calling it in from Los Angeles. Until they actually become "hands on" owners, nothing will probably change.
    "The disappointment of losing is huge!"

    Jack Youngblood

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    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Time to bring back Vermeil

    From my perspective, the only thing that they need to be "hands on" about is getting the right "experts" in place to run the team. At that point, they should be hands off as they are not experts in football. Having lawyers running your team is going to be very challenging, although i again point out that this group helped win us a super bowl.

    I find it interesting that when we lose, the front office gets bashed, but when we were winning did peope give them credit?

    Ramming speed to all

    general counsel


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    Re: Time to bring back Vermeil

    GC, let me rephrase the "hands on" term. No I don't mean like Jerry Jones or Al Davis, that would be as bad as being what I consider the previous and present ownership as "silent" or generally "a non-factor" in terms of support.

    What I would like in ownership is someone who understands the dynamics of the NFL, the game of football and people in general. I would prefer an owner that doesn't need the team for it's sole source of income and also understands it has a responsibility to the fan and league to be competitive. I also ask that when they do hire, the hire intelligent people who worry more about the results and character of the team, rather than protecting their job, or showing their true capabilities or actual lack thereof.

    In other words I believe the NFL franchise is much more valued across the board than a 7-11 franchise and should be treated accordingly.

    Respectfully,

    Joe
    "The disappointment of losing is huge!"

    Jack Youngblood

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    Re: Time to bring back Vermeil

    I don't wnat Vermeil back

    Yes he got the Rams to the SB...then he quit...then ran off to KC and another team...then quit after acomplishing--NOTTA!

    What I want is long-term. Eagles seem to be getting it done with Andy Reid, and the Titans with Fisher, and least we forget the Pats with Bill B. As much as a HC is valuable its also the organization behind the HC too. Who can or will question the Pats success finding talent to pull off a winning season? Somehow they find the the talent to field a defense EVERY SEASON.

    What the Rams need is a top to down elite organization--scouting, management, and coaching. Fact is in today's NFL players come and go, but the organization remains. Those successful teams build schemes based on the talents of the players they have rather then trying to fit a square peg in a round hole

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    Re: Time to bring back Vermeil

    Miss Georgia needed Shaw & Ziggy to manage her team. Now that she's gone (RIP, Miss Georgia!), Chipper must do the right thing and jettison S&Z and manage the team himself, provided that he's thoroughly football knowledgeable or, lacking that, planting his rear end in the locker room and front office and start learning the ropes from the ground up, including watching the tapes and reading the playbook with the team. Nothing speaks Quality Team Ownership like knowng the nuts and bolts of your team.

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    Re: Time to bring back Vermeil

    Scott won't make it past week 4, but that means nothing, Chip Wants to sell this team in my opinion.

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    yellow and blue is offline Registered User
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    Re: Time to bring back Vermeil

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    TALENT, not coaching, is the problem with this team.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel
    Well said.

    You can't teach talent, period. I don't care how hard you try.

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    Re: Time to bring back Vermeil

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    TALENT, not coaching, is the problem with this team.
    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel
    My point was that coaching alone wont fix anything
    I'd have to disagree with these statements. I think it is a combination of talent and coaching, but in the case of the Rams, I think it is more coaching than talent.

    Take for example, Chris Long. He is a very talented rookie, but in order for him to become a superstar in this league it is going to take some coaching. Coaching in the form of motivation, knowledge, continual improvement of technique, strength and stamina and putting him in the proper position and/or schemes to make plays.

    Coaching alone won't fix everything but it sure as heck will fix more than nothing.

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