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  • Billy Devaney on ESPN 101

    Billy Devaney on ESPN 101

    -Monday may have been the worst day for him. Combination of losing, by the end of the day the players had vacated the building, it was like a morgue. Everything had changed. Nobody around on Tuesday. As much as you get around these guys, he likes it – messing around with players, getting to know these guys. There’s a vibe. Good thing is they’re doing football stuff – free agency in morning, college in the afternoon. No time to wallow for personnel people.

    -Coaches and staff are evaluating our team. Have to take emotion out of it. Look @ players like you don’t have feelings for them one way or another, how do they perform as football players? But there’s some guys whose value is 50% on field, but toughness and leadership has value that plays a part of evaluation as well. Have to take intangibles into consideration with on field stuff. Might apply to older vets on downside of career more often, experience that he brings, way he sits in meetings, way he studies film. Still has to be able to play, but still value to intangibles. Had a bunch of guys who stepped up and filled that role this year.

    -Free agency is never something to turn around a team. Maybe to plug hole here or there. This year, it looks like the available players will not be very impressive, even number-wise. Looks like there won’t be a cap which affects year 4-5 players who won’t be FA. Now it’s six years and above, so 29 or 30 year old guys and those guys are less appealing as they’re one year contract guys, and that’s not what they’re looking for. There won’t be Jason Browns out there in the prime of his career who will be with the Rams forever and has another contract down the road. Pool of players has shrunk, type of players has shrunk. That being said, there are guys out there that they’re on right now, personnel people have it lined up. May not be marquee, high priced guys. Might be able to help yourself with solid starter.

    -Injuries make the evaluation process difficult. Have to be honest; weren’t playing great with full compliment of players. Thought the season would be tough sledding but if they stayed healthy they’d get better by end of season. They struggled but then guys started going down and then it become a real struggle. So how do you evaluate a guy like Laurent Robinson? Is he a #1 or #2? He has big time ability, but they only have a couple of games to evaluate on. Know he’s a keeping, same thing with Jason Smith. Saw a guy getting better and better. Hit a spell where 2-3 games where OL was really going. Became a tough physical run oriented team, then Smith gets a concussion and is out. Have to base it on what you saw in small window and the progress made from camp to season, knock on wood he’ll be fine when he comes back and is healthy.

    -Smith went to a specialist in Pittsburgh and they’re fully convinced there’s nothing to worry about. Tests and scans came back fine. Not worried about Jason any more than someone who hasn’t gotten a concussion before. Anticipates that Smith as LT this year is the plan. Drafted him as LT of the future. Decision was to get five best players on the field at the start, which meant Jason at right tackle. They knew Barron could play, survive, and do a credible job @ LT. Thought Jason coming from spread offense in upright stance, it would take longer to pick things up @ LT than on the right side, but knowing full well he’s their LT. When he comes back from offseason workouts, Devaney thinks he’d line up @ LT.

    -Do you need a good QB to be successful? Yeah, you do. Have to be able to throw the ball to score points and run the ball to control the game and close out the game. But have to be able to score from outside. Hard to go 80 yards and drive a ball down a team’s throat. Coupled with the running game, none of the successful teams are throwing the ball 70 times a game with no running game. Have to be balanced. But you need to be able to score from way out and throw the ball.

    -Spread offenses makes it more difficult to evaluate college QBs, but not just for QBs. Looking at DL for draft and how they play against spread O, not traditional trench warfare, things are spread out for DL too so it’s hard to evaluate them. Not running power game at DL, it’s wide open so it makes it a challenge to evaluate everyone.

    -Devaney wouldn’t have any problem reaching out and taking advice from someone who has gone through 1-15 before if he thought it would help. To be honest, 1-15 wasn’t part of the plan but they knew changes would make it difficult this year with the idea that they’d take their lumps and in year two they’d make a jump. Not like they’re thinking, now what do we do? They know and they need to implement it.

    -Draft stuff is phenomenal. Started catching fire ten years ago and before the season is even over, people are looking to the draft. Loves it because it’s a passion of his, drives his wife crazy, talks to brother for an hour about it. Devaney loves all the lists, etc.

    -First pick for Rams, last year they knew days before who’d they take. Some talk about maybe a QB, but it became obvious who they’d take. Wasn’t much pressure with first pick on draft day. But second round, they see Laurinaitis falling, thinking that’d be good but there’s no way he gets by so-and-so. Then Maualuga gets by, how’d that happen? Have them rated close, but James rated higher. Are we sure about this? Everyone, one more vote. Coaches were in there. Is everyone sure? Any second thoughts? Not much pressure, decided James was the best pick, shocked he was there. Rams thought no way JL would get out of first round. Thought one or two teams in the second before the Rams (Detroit) would take him, but they lucked out.

    -You have your board ranked and your rankings, and you spend hours looking at that. Pull maybe 4-5 names off when you get to second round, these four guys are here, how do we go? They’ll go, 1 2 3 4, then pull out another four and repeat. Last thing you want to do is say, okay we didn’t take a receiver with the first pick and there’s a guy down there at six or seven… you’ve thought it out, stay true to the board, don’t force someone up who shouldn’t be there because you didn’t get the position. Stay true to the board.

    -Suh is a great player. Dominating player. All reports are he sounds like a heck of a kid, intangibles, work ethic, all that is in line. Still have a lot of work to do, coaches haven’t seen him. Have to go through the physical stuff @ combine, though to be honest he isn’t worried about the combine. Doesn’t care if he benches 29 instead of 33 reps, who cares about that stuff, guy’s shown he’s a dominant player. But you want the interviews, the medical stuff, and your DL coaches and coordinators to spend time with the player. That said, he’s a great player but there will be other great players out there and how they measure up to Suh – same level/range, what positions. Not ready to say Suh is the pick, but right now he’s a hell of a player and worthy of a consideration.

    -Lot of talk about taking guys off the board. When he came in, he walked into situation where draft picks going to jail, arrested, suspended. Looking @ guys who were drafted who were known to be major character concerns, how in the world did this happen? So right away, if we bust out on a guy it’s because we misevaluated. We’re not bringing in any turds, known guys who are trouble guys, red flagged. Strict about that Year One and Two. Eased up a little bit, but there comes a point where they have enough strong character guys on the team where they can take a chance on a guy. Not going to take someone off who in his freshman year did something wrong, minor issue. Now if a guy has flunked 3-4 drug tests or served time in jail, not gonna screw around with those guys. Too old to worry about these guys. But if a guy did college stuff, screwed up a little bit, not going to hold that against him.

    -Rams have to do their due diligence on everyone, including veteran quarterbacks who have had their issues in the past (Vick reference by host). Can’t talk about guys under contract with other teams, but they’re at the point now where they could explore it, find out details, where they stand now, and do a thorough evaluation.

    -This week, they’re finishing up team evaluation and coaching staff got books of UFAs that they’re interested in. They have the full list, just in case there’s a cap. Never hurts to evaluate. Guys on the list that will get tagged or tendered, not interested in guys who are tagged with first and third compensation. Doesn’t know if they’ll use tag on Atogwe, it depends. End of next week they’ll sit down with coaches, go over our team, we’ll have a feel then as to what tenders, who gets a tender, etc.

    -Spags was everything he expected the day he hired him. Biggest thing was he was unflappable. Probably frustrates people at times, but they see it as a great trait. Never changes message, never these ups and downs, personality is the same. Constant with message, players appreciated that and building did too. He was a rock, and if he can withstand all this stuff – swine flu, kept saying every time something happened there’s another chapter for the book – he withstood it all.


    Audio here…

    101 ESPN/Post: The Fast Lane Show Note Wednesday 1.6.10

  • #2
    Re: Billy Devaney on ESPN 101

    I like everything i read here, especially the point about not changing the draft board

    We need to be taking the best guys we can, doesnt really matter too much about position, as any player we get from this draft will help this team out in some way
    @EssexRam_

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Billy Devaney on ESPN 101

      i also liked just about everything i read. Our stance on drafting BPA and not being swayed significantly based on a slightly lackluster combine performance. Its all about how a guy plays on the field anyway, not necessarily what he does in a weight room.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Billy Devaney on ESPN 101

        Originally posted by Nick View Post
        Anticipates that Smith as LT this year is the plan. Drafted him as LT of the future. Decision was to get five best players on the field at the start, which meant Jason at right tackle. They knew Barron could play, survive, and do a credible job @ LT. Thought Jason coming from spread offense in upright stance, it would take longer to pick things up @ LT than on the right side, but knowing full well he’s their LT. When he comes back from offseason workouts, Devaney thinks he’d line up @ LT.
        If I am reading this right, I think you have just made every Rams fan happier then they have been in a long time. Bye Bye Barron, have fun making false starts somewhere else. Just can't see us paying him big time money to bring him back as a RT.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Billy Devaney on ESPN 101

          Originally posted by Dr. Defense View Post
          If I am reading this right, I think you have just made every Rams fan happier then they have been in a long time. Bye Bye Barron, have fun making false starts somewhere else. Just can't see us paying him big time money to bring him back as a RT.
          I believe that if there is no CBA, that Barron would be a restricted free agent. In which case the team may tender him to bring him back just because they can without making a long term commitment to him. Thats not to say he would be starting though
          @EssexRam_

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Billy Devaney on ESPN 101

            Originally posted by tomahawk247 View Post
            I believe that if there is no CBA, that Barron would be a restricted free agent. In which case the team may tender him to bring him back just because they can without making a long term commitment to him. Thats not to say he would be starting though
            i hope they trade him, for whatever they can get.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Billy Devaney on ESPN 101

              I love it. Reading this makes me a little more confident going into the offseason.

              I figured we won't make a huge splash in free agency this year. We just need a couple guys to fill in holes. Maybe one or two reliable starters. We have been great signing the not so big names in the past few years. We can do it again!

              I think it's evident that Suh will be the pick this year. The philosophy of getting the BPA works in this situation for us. We have so many holes, most positions we draft will fill a hole.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Billy Devaney on ESPN 101

                Just listened to it. For a second time now he hasn't exactly shot down Vick. When the hosts asked him he could have easily just said "Whether they are under contract or not, we are not interested in those types of players, etc." But instead he once again said that they would explore it but cant talk about players under contract; talk to people surrounding to see where they are at now obviously Vick is in good standing in Philadelphia after winning the Courage Award and I am sure Reid and Dungy are going to give him great report cards.

                (Not trying to turn this into another Vick thread...just saying)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Billy Devaney on ESPN 101

                  Great interview.

                  Everything about it made me happy that, along with Spagnuolo, Devaney is calling our shots. Its an approach that we could have done with 6-8 years ago.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Billy Devaney on ESPN 101

                    Not ready to say Suh is the pick, but right now he’s a hell of a player and worthy of a consideration.
                    Yes he is...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Billy Devaney on ESPN 101

                      So now that Jason Smith most likely will be the LT what happens to Barron? i seriously hope he gets released..

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Billy Devaney on ESPN 101

                        Originally posted by Trevor View Post
                        So now that Jason Smith most likely will be the LT what happens to Barron? i seriously hope he gets released..
                        Barron is a free agent at the end of this season

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Billy Devaney on ESPN 101

                          Originally posted by Dr. Defense View Post
                          Barron is a free agent at the end of this season
                          Restricted free agent in an uncapped year...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Billy Devaney on ESPN 101

                            I think the choice is going to be either Suh or Clausen. Those are my top 2 prospects in the 1st round for us and I would be fine with either.

                            Suh might be the best prospect in the draft, but on the other hand QB is the most important position in the game and Clausen is starting to look like a really good option too IMHO.

                            It's going to be a tough choice.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Billy Devaney on ESPN 101

                              Originally posted by RamOfDenmark View Post
                              I think the choice is going to be either Suh or Clausen. Those are my top 2 prospects in the 1st round for us and I would be fine with either.

                              Suh might be the best prospect in the draft, but on the other hand QB is the most important position in the game and Clausen is starting to look like a really good option too IMHO.

                              It's going to be a tough choice.
                              I like Jimmy Clausen as well, but I don't think he is worth the first pick. Arm strength issues will be big for him. If he happens to fall to the 2nd or 3rd round, I think he'd be a no-brainer.

                              Comment

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                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Rams' GM Discusses Reasons For His Optimism
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Rams' GM discusses reasons for his optimism

                                BY JIM THOMAS
                                Sunday, August 1, 2010


                                General manager Billy Devaney has seen the preseason prognostications and wisecracks. He knows what the record was in 2009. And '08. And '07. And like most Rams players, he wants to do something about it.

                                "The only way I can say it is the players are (ticked) off still from last year," Devaney said. "You want to say forget last year, and last year's over. But let me tell you, this isn't any fun. I know it isn't any fun for our players or anybody in this building to hear all the time: worst team in the NFL, 1-15, lowly St. Louis Rams.

                                "If that doesn't (tick) you off, or get you motivated in the offseason, then we have the wrong kind of guy. There's a lot of motivated people here to get this thing going and start winning football games."

                                Other than the selection of Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford with the No. 1 overall draft pick, it was an offseason devoid of big-name acquisitions for St. Louis. Nonetheless, Devaney feels there is no comparison between the 2010 Rams and coach Steve Spagnuolo's inaugural Rams squad of 2009.

                                "It thought we had a great offseason," Devaney said. "The intensity and the participation of the players in the offseason program was outstanding. Even though we were in shorts and T-shirts, you could just see in Year Two how much more comfortable our players were in the system.

                                "We looked faster than you would expect. At this time last year, we were installing playbooks for the first time — the wheels were grinding. So the thing that jumped out in the spring — the whole tempo, everything, looked much faster and quicker."

                                Whether this is truly the case, or simply misguided optimism, remains to be seen. But with Rams training camp now in full gear, we're about to find out.

                                In a pre-camp interview with the Post-Dispatch, Devaney discussed the state of the roster, the impact of the pending franchise sale, and more:

                                PD: How would you characterize the offseason in terms of personnel acquisitions?

                                DEVANEY: "Knock on wood, I think it's going to turn out to be a pretty darn good draft. I know people say why didn't we jump out and sign a big marquee-type free agent? That was never part of the plan. I think the guys that we added are going to be 'fits' and the right fits here. And to be honest, just the way free agency worked this year — the available free agents — there weren't that many names out there to begin with."

                                PD: Did the pending franchise sale lead to any financial constraints in going after players?

                                DEVANEY: "None whatsoever. We were allowed to put our plan in place, and we weren't restricted at all. Not one bit. Not once did we go to ownership and say, 'hey, we'd really like...
                                -08-01-2010, 10:21 AM
                              • Nick
                                Devaney Runs the Gamut
                                by Nick
                                Devaney Runs the Gamut
                                Posted >Fri, February 26, 2010 11:15
                                by Nick Wagoner

                                INDIANAPOLIS -

                                - Rams general manager Billy Devaney addressed the media about two hours ago and went in depth on his thoughts on what are the four prime prospects for the top pick in this year's draft (in no order): Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh, Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford and Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen.

                                - But Devaney didn't stop there. He also addressed rumors about Steven Jackson and more on the draft scenarios being thrown around out there. With that, here's a good portion of Devaney's discussion from this morning.

                                (Information on Sam Bradford’s health)
                                We haven’t. We will get with the doctors, our medical people as soon as we get back to St. Louis. That will be a big decision and a lot will go into that. We will probably have more than one opinion on that. We will get as accurate and thorough information that we can. We will find out after this process is over.

                                (How do you separate Suh and McCoy?)
                                We are hoping that somehow there is separation. Right now in our eyes, there isn’t any. They are both great players, they are going to be great players. They are great character guys, they love playing football. I hope something happens where there is separation. Right now in our eyes, there isn’t.

                                (Barring a trade, it seems there are about four prospects to choose between, is it now a decision of choosing between two positions?)
                                Sure. When you are 1-15, there are a lot of different directions you can go and we are still trying to figure that out. There are pros and cons to whatever position you decide to go but we know that if it comes down to that right now and there are four guys that will be given consideration but we have to be prepared for anything. If we do wind up trading down a little bit, we have to have a bunch of guys in the hopper that we feel good about. Those four guys you mentioned, sure, we like everything about them so far.

                                (Any trade talks yet?)
                                No. It’s too early for that. We haven’t even gone through the free agency period. That could alter it. We are sitting here right now thinking we need A, B and C and we sign a guy a couple weeks from now at that position, it may alter your draft strategy a little bit. But there hasn’t been any phone calls to any team whatsoever. I would think eventually that will happen but it’s too early.

                                (But the phone lines are open?)
                                Of course. Everybody that comes up here is open for more picks. Nobody is going to say ‘Hell no, we don’t want more picks, we are staying where we are.’

                                (Worried about medical information on Bradford?)
                                Yeah, that’s why we put it on the doctors. They better be sure. You hope so. You get to all of the tests but...
                                -02-26-2010, 10:49 AM
                              • eldfan
                                Rams report
                                by eldfan
                                USA TODAY




                                —Nice fits: Defensive end Cameron Jordan, running back Ryan Williams, guard Will Rackley.

                                General manager Billy Devaney is an unusual place this year. Devaney has been part of a lot of good teams during his years in the NFL, but for three previous drafts with the Rams there hasn't been a lot of suspense.

                                The Rams picked second in 2008 and 2009, and then first overall in 2010. There weren't many variables to consider when figuring out who they would draft, especially last year.

                                Now, after the team improved to 7-9 in 2010, the Rams have the 14th selection in the first round. Anything is in play, including the possibility of trading up or down if the situation warrants it.

                                "Being realistic, there are certain guys you know are going to be gone from pick one to five, six, seven. Then after that there is a cluster of names and they are darn good names," Devaney said. "It's exciting. It's really exciting the possibilities that will be there at 14.

                                "You just have to be prepared for there might be five or six (players ranked closely) when we get down to it that are possibilities at 14. But that's not an issue; we'll be ready for anything."

                                Most draft projections have the Rams targeting wide receiver Julio Jones if he somehow lasts until 14. If Jones is gone, a strong group of defensive ends likely would still be there, as well as defensive tackle Corey Liuget or running back Mark Ingram.

                                "It's not just one guy (we're targeting)," Devaney insisted. "We have more than one player that we would be happy with if we stayed at 14 and feel good that at least one or two will be there. But on the day of the draft we will be looking because everything is in play."

                                While Devaney hopes to draft a running back at some point, it appears unlikely that would happen in the first round. He said the goal is to find "a complement" to Steven Jackson, "someone to share the load." He concluded, "If that presents itself in this draft, we'll take advantage of it, but we won't force it."

                                The need for a top-flight receiver to team with Bradford has resulted in the thought the Rams might trade up if Jones is still on the board at the eighth or ninth pick. That would likely mean giving up their third-round pick.

                                Devaney would only say, "In the past, we had so many needs to fill and had to find a way to put this foundation together. We couldn't afford to trade away any of our picks because we had so many needs, so many holes. Then again, in years past, there also was no need to move up because unfortunately we were already at No. 1 or No. 2. But things are a little better now. I'm not saying now we're just one player away from putting this thing together. But at the same token I feel good about our foundation. So...
                                -04-23-2011, 07:28 PM
                              • RamWraith
                                Linehan & Devaney Pre-Draft Press Conference
                                by RamWraith
                                Head Coach Scott Linehan & Executive Vice President of Player Personnel
                                Billy Devaney Pre-Draft Press Conference

                                April 24, 2008



                                (On if there have been any trade talks with other teams)

                                Billy Devaney: Actually, there hasn’t been a whole lot going on today.
                                We’re very indicative of what 31 other teams are doing. This is kind of
                                the last ‘work’ day. Friday, the day before the draft, everybody gets
                                away and gathers their thoughts. There’s not a whole lot happening the
                                day before. That’s what we’re doing right now – finishing the process
                                that started a long time ago. I feel very strongly that it’s been a
                                complete and thorough process. We’re getting to the critical point.
                                We’re not quite there yet, but we’re close. I would expect in the next
                                48 hours that we’ll get to that point.



                                (On when the team actually decides on who the pick will be)

                                BD: I think kind of the way we left it is ‘get away from it tomorrow.’
                                Everybody’s just going to be on there own. I don’t even know if we’ll
                                come in tomorrow quite frankly. We’ll put all our thoughts together,
                                everything we’ve been talking about, for what seems like forever now and
                                probably talk about it late tomorrow night sometime and see where we’re
                                at.



                                (On how a consensus is achieved when choosing the pick)

                                Scott Linehan: Well, I don’t think anybody’s really any different. I’ve
                                been in, this will be the fourth different setup, but generally the
                                board’s stacked. It’s set. There are a lot of things that happen. My
                                first year as a head coach here we traded our pick. We were pretty
                                prepared regardless of whether we could or couldn’t. We were going to
                                pick a player and then with about four minutes to go when we were on the
                                clock there was a trade made. We’re just ready for those scenarios. I
                                think right now it’s pretty much you just kind of count where you are in
                                the draft and you know what pool you’re probably going to be picking
                                from and we’ve pretty much decided that if nothing were to change we’ve
                                got a game plan.



                                (On if the team will pick based on the draft board in the first round)

                                BD: That depends. The way it’s shaping up, and we’re not kidding
                                anybody, this process started a long time ago and there are thousands of
                                names going back to September and through the course of the year you
                                whittle that down and eliminate people and you meet and you start
                                stacking people into rounds and then start narrowing that down and who
                                fits your needs and hopefully you get to the point that you have a
                                couple of players that are graded close enough that you can take a
                                specific player that...
                                -04-24-2008, 06:25 PM
                              • RamWraith
                                Spags/Bulger/Devaney on the Mike
                                by RamWraith
                                Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo

                                April 4, 2009



                                (On what he’s learned about the team after five practices)

                                “Well, I wouldn’t say I didn’t know it, but there was a lot of energy and a lot of great effort, which I appreciate. I felt that way when I would watch the end of last season. I always felt like it was a credit to these guys and the staff that was here a year ago that I thought there was some tremendous effort and they kept doing that these last two days, which I thought was big.”



                                (On if the team is picking up his style)

                                “Yeah, I think so, it appears that way. There’s nothing that tells me they’re not doing that, which I think is a good sign. I think the coaches have done a great job of preparing them and from an organizational point of view doing exactly what we want and that was important. When you start out, you want to take fire right away and I think the guys did that.”



                                (On if minicamp helped him evaluate players he had doubts about)

                                “No specific guys. All the coaches came out with a real open mind and really that’s what you want to do when you come in as a new staff. You don’t have predetermined notions of who can do what and who can’t do what. I did say this to the coaches in the meeting; let’s find out what they can do. Let’s not focus as much on the things that we can’t do. When we go in here and sit down and talk, hopefully we’ll get a lot of what we can do.”



                                (On if these five practices help the staff determine a Draft plan)

                                “Yeah, no question. And that was one of the reasons why (General Manager) Billy (Devaney) and I decided to have a camp before the Draft. I think that will be huge. It will be huge for him; I think it’ll be huge for me. It’s important.”



                                (On his impressions of QB Marc Bulger)

                                “Good. He threw the ball well. He’s probably going to be upset at me because we had the red zone drill going into the wind, instead of with the wind. But I tell him it’s already on the script what direction we’re going. But, no, I thought he did a nice job. He’s picking up the (offense). (Offensive coordinator) Pat (Shurmur) and (quarterbacks coach) Dick (Curl) have really worked with him and they’ve done a nice job.”



                                (On CB Tye Hill)

                                “I tell you what, Tye’s a good football player. I thought that coming in. What I liked is all four of them did work well together communication wise and that’s not easy when you put some different parts together. It helped that (S) James (Butler) was here and knew the system a little bit and I think he shared that with them. But I thought all four of them worked well together and I thought Tye fit right in there. I thought he did a nice job.”



                                (On if Hill was able to fully participate)

                                “There...
                                -04-05-2009, 05:09 AM
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