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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
    MauiRam is offline Pro Bowl Ram
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    Rams hold a nice hand in poker game

    Rams hold a nice hand in poker game
    By Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    04/15/2008

    Sports Columnist Bryan Burwell
    [More columns]

    Diogenes would have had no use for pro football in the spring. Had the ancient Greek philosopher roamed the corridors of any NFL training center in the final days leading up to the annual draft in search of an honest man, he would need more than an oil lamp to unearth a candid pro football personnel man.

    Honesty is not a valued commodity these days as NFL teams carefully plot, connive and misdirect their way through the first round of pro football's annual shopping spree. So even as the Miami Dolphins spread the word that they are engaged in intense contract negotiations with University of Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long to be the No. 1 pick in next weekend's draft, Rams player personnel boss Billy Devaney refuses to indulge in the game.

    "It's a poker game and it's one I refuse to play because you're playing with the ultimate poker player in (Miami team president) Bill Parcells," said Devaney on Monday afternoon at Rams Park. "You're wasting your time trying to predict what he's going to do because he's the master at it. What's he thinking? I don't know, I wouldn't pretend to know, and I won't try to predict."

    Devaney has some poker player in him, too. As he sat in one of the back offices at the Rams' training complex, he let one of those sly little grins slip across his face. He is the man in charge of deciding what to do with the No. 2 pick in the draft, and this 20-minute conversation turns into an entertaining tap dance. This is Devaney's carefully measured response to the Machiavellian doings in Miami. It's impossible to know what Parcells' true intentions are anyway, so why bother committing to yours before he reveals his? Besides, if Parcells isn't bluffing, doesn't that still leave many attractive cards on the table for the Rams if the Dolphins complete pre-draft negotiations with Jake Long before the first round April 26?
    Devaney can select an immediate difference-maker (did someone say "future Pro Bowler"?) such as LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey. Devaney sounds like he already has received more than enough medical confirmation that Dorsey has a clean bill of health. But when he arrives at Rams Park today, Dorsey will have one more extensive battery of tests, just to make sure. If Dorsey passes again, Devaney would be foolish to pass him up.

    Or he can sit back and listen to any anxious last-minute shoppers willing to aggressively move up to the Rams' No. 2 slot in a trade. Devaney said that "we have reason to believe there could be some movement with our pick" from multiple teams interested in improving their draft position. If the Rams are convinced they could still get an immediate impact player by moving down, and pick up multiple first-day draft picks and/or veteran talent, it certainly would be worth entertaining the prospect. For a Rams team coming off a nightmarish 3-13 season, it's quite tempting to explore what value the No. 2 pick holds.

    Yet before Devaney can play out his hand, Parcells and the Dolphins must play out theirs. According to several published reports in Miami, all Parcells wants to do is roll back the clock a few years and alter the rapidly escalating price of doing business as the holder of the NFL's first pick. A year ago, the Oakland Raiders gave quarterback JaMarcus Russell a staggering six-year, $62 million deal that included $31 million in guaranteed money. Parcells wants to pretend 2007 didn't happen, and instead deal with numbers closer to 2006 levels when Houston signed defensive end Mario Williams to a six-year contract worth $54 million (with somewhere between $21 million and $26 million guaranteed).

    Devaney has no less ambitious goals. All he wants to do is reverse the nightmarish history of too many bad draft days past for the Rams. On the high end of expectations, all he needs to do with the second and 33rd picks in this year's draft is come close to duplicating the kind of franchise-shifting draft that Rich McKay gave Tampa Bay in his first year with the Bucs (1995), grabbing Warren Sapp (12th overall) and Derrick Brooks (26th overall).

    On the lower end of expectations, all Devaney really needs to do is prove that as a legitimate football man in charge of the Rams draft, his evaluation instincts are going to be a lot better than the bean counter who preceded him.


  2. #2
    Rambos's Avatar
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    Re: Rams hold a nice hand in poker game

    Poker, the Rams talk up Dorsey and hope Atlanta will give up a vet or a draft pick to move up and get him. Dorseu may be the best overall defensive player in the draft, why not let Atlanta know we realyy like him. Move down too three and still get one of the longs.

  3. #3
    TekeRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams hold a nice hand in poker game

    Don't think it'd work when then they can either pick up the other Long themselves, or Matt Ryan.

    Kentwaan Balmer would be either available at #34 or in the late first just as the second round QB's. What's the matter with switching spots for DT and QB?

    I would love it to happen though!

  4. #4
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    Re: Rams hold a nice hand in poker game

    I kinda want to keep our #2 and grab one of the 2 longs.

  5. #5
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    Re: Rams hold a nice hand in poker game

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    Devaney can select an immediate difference-maker (did someone say "future Pro Bowler"?) such as LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey. Devaney sounds like he already has received more than enough medical confirmation that Dorsey has a clean bill of health. But when he arrives at Rams Park today, Dorsey will have one more extensive battery of tests, just to make sure. If Dorsey passes again, Devaney would be foolish to pass him up.
    Well, hardy har har...exactly what I've been preaching here for a long time. Hopefully many of you can trust the Rams' judgment if Dorsey has passed their medical inspection. I've said this before and I'll say it again, this place will turn into a battlefield if Dorsey is selected with Chris Long still on the board.

  6. #6
    Rambos's Avatar
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    Re: Rams hold a nice hand in poker game

    Well, hardy har har...exactly what I've been preaching here for a long time
    Well you and Bryan Burwell agree. Most people on this board have issue with his health and that looks to be less an issue. And the fact we have a DT in AC. Well soon see who we get.

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