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  1. #1
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    Zygmunt resolves to set Rams on right path

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    01/04/2008

    Jay Zygmunt isn't a regular listener when it comes to sports talk radio. In truth, he's only an occasional reader of the Post-Dispatch sports pages. But the Rams' president of football operations-general manager isn't living with his head in the sand.

    "I'm in the community every day, and whether it's the comments at the coffee shop, or the cleaners, or at the grocery store …," Zygmunt said, failing to finish the thought.

    In other words, he has an idea that he's not the most popular sports figure in St. Louis these days.

    "But that goes with the territory," Zygmunt said. "Our fans make a tremendous emotional investment in the team. Obviously, when you have a season like this, it is very difficult on everyone. There is ultimate responsibility, and clearly that responsibility rests with management."


    A 3-13 finish, complete with sputtering offense, inconsistent defense and tons of injuries, wasn't what Zygmunt was looking for in 2007, either.

    "We had very high expectations," Zygmunt said. "It's been a bitterly disappointing season. It's been a very painful experience for all of us here. As we look back on the 2007 season, I don't think anybody can feel good about the job they did. We have made some minor improvements from a statistical standpoint, but that's not really what counts. Obviously, the only thing that counts is the won-lost record."

    Zygmunt rarely gives lengthy interviews. Although he can be glib and engaging, he likes working in the background. And especially during the season, he doesn't like to pre-empt the head coach. Although he declined to go into specifics Thursday on what lies ahead for the organization, he says he is as determined as ever to get things right.

    "Right now, we have to try to stay as unemotional as we can as we go back and review this season to ascertain what went wrong, and what we can do to correct the things that went right," he said. "The 2008 season began Sunday night in Arizona.

    "I think that what we need at this point is to focus on the fact that the NFL is a quick-fix league. That's something that we can be optimistic about. It can also be somewhat of a motivating factor. But nonetheless, it mandates that we have a lot of hard work ahead of us, and have to make some very tough decisions."

    Zygmunt knows firsthand that it can be done, because the Rams engineered one of the ultimate worst-to-first comebacks between the end of a 4-12 season in 1998 and the beginning of a Super Bowl championship season in 1999.

    That offseason included a trade for running back Marshall Faulk, free-agent pickups in quarterback Trent Green and offensive guard Adam Timmerman, and the drafting of wide receiver Torry Holt with the No. 6 overall pick. Coaching-wise, Mike Martz was brought in as offensive coordinator, and head coach Dick Vermeil was persuaded to shorten his exhaustive practices.

    "You have to have confidence in your ability to do things," Zygmunt said. "I think this franchise has shown that it has been able to do it. But the real key factor is not what we've done, but what we have to do. We need to stay focused on that.

    "Our goal is to win the division in 2008; that's always our goal every year. If you win the division, you're in the playoffs and you have a home game. While we're reviewing everything in our entire operation, we have to find a way to compete in our division, which we have not done a very good job of the last two years."

    The Rams are 3-9 against the NFC West in Scott Linehan's two seasons as head coach. They are 0-4 against Seattle in that span, and were swept by Arizona this season for the first time since realignment put the Cardinals in the West with the Rams in 2002.

    "We have to find ways to build a team that can dominate within our division, and that's where it really starts," Zygmunt said. "Like I mentioned … we just need to do a better job. It starts with me. I have to manage better. The coaches have to coach better, and the players have to play better."

    Zygmunt, 55, was given the added title of general manager prior to this season, but his job duties haven't changed. In fact, Zygmunt said the entire decision-making process, in terms of player personnel, hasn't changed in 20 years or so.

    "It's a collaborative effort," he said. "We have always tried to build a consensus. There's a personnel component. There's a coaching component. And there's also an evaluation component with the salary cap and free agency.

    "All of us are involved in monitoring everything that goes on with the integrity of the process. And we have been following the same routine for as long as I can remember going back to the days of Ray Malavasi and the rest of the coaches. … There's a tremendous amount of input. Everyone has input. Our scouts. Our assistant coaches. Head coach. Our personnel director. Ownership is also aware of what we're doing for the major acquisitions."

    Of course, some would say that after a 3-13 season, and only one winning campaign since 2001, that perhaps the process needs to change.

    "We obviously need to make better decisions," Zygmunt said.

    But he chafes at the suggestion that the team needs to bring in "a football guy" to make the football decisions.

    "I don't know how to answer that," Zygmunt said. "I've been doing this for 26 years. Does that make me a baseball guy?"
    As Burwell said, when you rely on people to fix the problem who ARE the problem.....
    Last edited by BigGameMN; -01-04-2008 at 04:50 AM.


  2. #2
    Keenum's Avatar
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    Re: Zygmunt resolves to set Rams on right path

    Talk is cheap. Let's see him DO something.

  3. #3
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    Re: Zygmunt resolves to set Rams on right path

    .
    Zygmunt is trying to say what he thinks people want to hear.

    SHAW has stated the direction of the franchise and his priorities are with Georgia Frontiere. I think money is guiding much of the moves at this point.

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    Re: Zygmunt resolves to set Rams on right path

    "I don't know how to answer that," Zygmunt said. "I've been doing this for 26 years. Does that make me a baseball guy?"
    Oh my, can't touch that one. It would be like that kid on A Christmas Story when he got his tongue stuck on the frozen pipe.

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    Re: Zygmunt resolves to set Rams on right path

    In case there was any doubt, the fact that Z thinks he is a football guy should clear up one thing -- our problems will not be solved this off season.

    One other thing -- he claims that the decision making process hasn't really changed in 20 years even though the front office had "major changes" just two years ago when we fired Martz. Interesting.

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    Re: Zygmunt resolves to set Rams on right path

    In case there was any doubt, the fact that Z thinks he is a football guy should clear up one thing -- our problems will not be solved this off season.

    How incredibly true and disappointing!!!

    We can only hope that the Rams will succeed in spite of this inept FO.

    Go Rams!

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    Re: Zygmunt resolves to set Rams on right path

    Zygmunt said the entire decision-making process, in terms of player personnel, hasn't changed in 20 years or so.
    Insanity - doing the same thing over and over expecting different results
    "It's a collaborative effort," he said.
    If no ONE is responsible; then no one is RESPONSIBLE. I guess the buck stops....over there, or maybe around the corner, or down the road somewhere, etc.
    But he chafes at the suggestion that the team needs to bring in "a football guy" to make the football decisions.

    "I don't know how to answer that," Zygmunt said. "I've been doing this for 26 years. Does that make me a baseball guy?"
    No Jay, that makes you a delussional accountant who sucks at even appearing to be a football guy.
    Zygmunt resolves to set Rams on right path
    In other news......Jack the Ripper vows to get to the bottom of all the murdered London prostitutes; Osama Bin Laden promises to put a stop to global terrorism, and Dick Cheney is resolved to improve the safety of Texas quail hunting.
    "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: Zygmunt resolves to set Rams on right path

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Soprano View Post
    .
    Zygmunt is trying to say what he thinks people want to hear.

    SHAW has stated the direction of the franchise and his priorities are with Georgia Frontiere. I think money is guiding much of the moves at this point.
    Which people? Georgia F. or the fans? He sure isn't saying what I want to hear!

    "I don't know how to answer that," Zygmunt said. "I've been doing this for 26 years. Does that make me a baseball guy?"

    Uh Jay ... doesn't matter if you've been doing it for 50 yrs .. it's whether you're any good at it or not. Question for you Jay: when was the last time another NFL team called and inquired as to your availability as a "football guy" to be their GM? Yeah ... that's what I thought ...

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    Re: Zygmunt resolves to set Rams on right path

    Until there is a change in ownership, the Rams are doomed to mediocrity at best. Look at what lawyers and accountants have done to medical
    care.

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    Re: Zygmunt resolves to set Rams on right path

    I think we all understand where the root of all the Rams' problem are. This guy is an idiot, and takes us all as fools.

    No Jay, you are NOT a "football guy". As observed in your team's FOUR winning seasons in the last 18.

    Hub, your post was a classic.
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

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    Re: Zygmunt resolves to set Rams on right path

    Jay Z? Isn't he a rapper?

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    Re: Zygmunt resolves to set Rams on right path

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    a delussional accountant
    Heh, is there any other kind?

    WHAT SAY YE?

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    Re: Zygmunt resolves to set Rams on right path

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMarkable View Post
    Heh, is there any other kind?

    WHAT SAY YE?
    The only time most of us get delussional is when taxpayers try to tell us that their strip club expenses are actually business related.

    Only if I'm with you does that count. lol

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    Re: Zygmunt resolves to set Rams on right path

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris58 View Post
    Until there is a change in ownership, the Rams are doomed to mediocrity at best. Look at what lawyers and accountants have done to medical
    care.
    As much as it hurts to agree. I do. ...and I've said as much many, many times. This once proud organization has nearly been destroyed because of Georgia and her hiring, John Shaw. At one time, the Rams were a given to win the West and make the playoffs. Now, we're reduced to this joke of a franchise. :\
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

  15. #15
    PHAT-MONEY Guest

    Re: Zygmunt resolves to set Rams on right path

    What!! i cannot understand bull crap.. can someone tell me what all of this means?

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