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Rams In Limbo, ***** In Chaos..

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  • Rams In Limbo, ***** In Chaos..

    By Jeff Gordon

    Rams fans eagerly await the beginning of the Shahid Khan Era, assuming he clears the necessary hurdles to become majority owner of this struggling franchise.

    What changes will occur on his watch? How soon will he make them?

    Such speculation (and wishful thinking) keeps fans busy as they prepare for the NFL Draft.

    Meanwhile, a Rams arch-rival is generating some management intrigue of its own. The ***** parted ways with general manager Scot McCloughan a month before the draft, citing personal rather than professional reasons.

    This is just the latest development in an ongoing soap opera, “As The ***** Turn.” Consider the events of recent years:

    * McCloughan gained the GM title in January of 2008, usurping the power of then-coach Mike Nolan.
    * Later that year, Jed York, son of ***** co-owner John York, took over as teeam president at the age of 27.
    * York made the call to replace Nolan with interim coach Mike Singletary, who later shed the “interim” tag.
    * In January, York added the title of chief executive officer during a front office restructuring. Chief operating officer Andy Dolich left his post, but remained on board as an advisor.
    * With McCloughan’s demise, director of player personnel Trent Baalke took charge of the team’s draft effort.
    * Executive vice president Paraag Marathe will keep his current role as the team’s chief negotiator, but wouldn’t be a candidate for the GM. Also, York indicated he wouldn’t fill the GM role himself. Singletary won’t gain more personnel authority either.
    * Alex Smith will remain the No. 1 quarterback, even though the departed McCloughan was regarded as Smith’s biggest ally in the organization.

    What’s next?

    “I haven’t decided if we’re going to have a general manager,” York told reporters in a conference call. “I’m worried about the draft right now. That’s the only thing that the ***** are focused on. We’ll address that after the draft.”

    San Francisco Chronicle columnist Gwen Knapp wonders what the franchise is up to. She wrote:

    “The need for a GM should not be in doubt at all. There are NFL teams that can afford to be creative and defy the standard structure of a front office. The ***** are absolutely, categorically, definitively not one of them. They have a team president and head coach with less than three years’ experience between them, a roster that has not been properly updated this off season and a seven-year absence from the playoffs.”

    Rams fans can empathize — sort of.

    The Shalid Khan Era? Hmmn .. The unified forces of the Khan shall obliterate the disarrayed troops commanded by the Stork .. er .. York

  • #2
    Re: Rams In Limbo, ***** In Chaos..

    Originally posted by MauiRam
    The Shalid Khan Era? Hmmn .. The unified forces of the Khan shall obliterate the disarrayed troops commanded by the Stork .. er .. York
    We will rally around Khan and we WILL play good football!!

    LET'S GO RAMS!!!!


    • #3
      Re: Rams In Limbo, ***** In Chaos..

      Wait a minute, Jed York says they haven't decided 'if' they're going to have a GM? Wow that sounds like the Rams up until 1.5 years ago. Is Trent Baalke in charge of college or pro personnel? Or do they not even separate them? If that is true, God help them because the Rams also tried that strategy for about 4 years and it was disasterous. You have to have separate people concentrating on only the pro or college side of things. There is so much work to do that one person can't do it by themselves.

      It does indeed sounds like the 49rs have some dysfunction going on in their front office.


      • #4
        Re: Rams In Limbo, ***** In Chaos..

        I think Northern Cal is well known to have management problems syndrome and it all started out with Al Davis's reign of terror amongst Raider Nation, now taking its effects to San Francisco.

        ♪ R.I.P. Nujabes ♫


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        • RamWraith
          ow that Jay-Z is out, success is possible
          by RamWraith
          By Bryan Burwell
          Tuesday, Dec. 23 2008
          The final hours of the Jay Zygmunt era ended early Monday morning,
          appropriately enough in a nebulous haze. By the time most of the second-floor
          employees began filtering into Rams Park, the dethroned team president and
          general manager had already vanished from the premises.

          His office walls were bare. His desk and shelves cleared of any traces that he
          was once there. By 7:30 a.m., no one was quite sure when he had left or under
          what terms.

          It would be several hours before a press release would be issued, and it hardly
          illuminated much. Just after 5 p.m., a one-page release was quietly issued in
          the pressroom. All that could be culled from it was that the man who had helped
          put together the brick and mortar of the Greatest Show on Turf era, then
          foolishly helped tear it down brick by brick, had "mutually agreed that he
          would not return" to his duties next season.

          Was he fired or did he quit?

          Did he retire with dignity or was he shoved out the door kicking and screaming?
          What does it really matter at this point? Let's not quibble over semantics. You
          can call it a "dismiss-ignation" or an indefinite sabbatical at gunpoint for
          all I care. All that really matters is that Zygmunt has finally left the
          building and the first critical step in the long overdue reconstruction of this
          tattered and dispirited franchise is now officially under way.

          If a highly skeptical St. Louis sporting public was waiting for tangible proof
          that owner and managing partner Chip Rosenbloom was serious about changing the
          losing culture of his organization, Zygmunt's departure is that first bit of
          valid evidence. No matter what Jay-Z's revisionist spin doctors say to defend
          him, Zygmunt's fingerprints are all over the inexcusable crime scene of this
          franchise's rapid fall from Super Bowl champ to NFL laughingstock.

          But rather than waste time debating with foolish surrogates and blithering
          gasbags over past facts already in evidence in NFL circles, let's instead deal
          with the future of the Rams as a legitimate organization. If you mill about the
          corridors of Rams Park these days, there is a sense that the restructuring of
          the organization means things are finally moving in the right direction.

          At the turn of the century, the Rams looked like a potential dynasty. Everyone
          got along. Everyone stayed in their lanes. Over here were business types doing
          contracts, crunching numbers and analyzing salary cap implications. Over there
          were the personnel gurus, brilliantly assembling a roster full of future Pro
          Bowlers and Hall of Famers. And in the other corner were the coaches who
          -12-23-2008, 10:19 AM
        • RamWraith
          Some observations for Rams to reconstruct their front office
          by RamWraith
          By Jeff Gordon
          Tuesday, Jan. 03 2006

          We’re still scratching our head after listening to Rams president John Shaw
          answer – or sort of answer – questions about the future structure of the
          franchise’s management team.

          His news conference triggered much discussion among media types about optimal
          front office structures. There are many models in the NFL and they can all work
          if the right people are in the right roles.

          But what is the best-case structure? Tracking the NFL for more than 25 years,
          here is our humble suggestion on how to restructure the Rams operation:

          OWNER: From this viewpoint, owners should own. They should act like majority
          shareholders. They could not serve as the team CEO unless they work 24/7 at
          this job.

          And they should DEFINITELY not serve as the team’s general manager unless they
          have spent decades working the personnel game on a daily basis. Jerry Jones and
          Daniel Snyder do their teams no favor by thrusting themselves into football

          Georgia Frontiere and Stan Kroenke have been excellent owners in St. Louis,
          spending the money needed to maintain a contender. They have left the business
          and football decisions to the experts.

          PRESIDENT: This executive should manage every aspect of the business operation
          and oversee the football operation as well. But they must delegate the
          nut-and-bolt decisions to the various specialists serving them.

          On balance, Shaw has done a good job in this role since the team moved here –
          despite working out of Los Angeles for much of the year. But he will be sorely
          tested as he attempts to clean up the current mess. The football operation
          basically imploded.

          VICE PRESIDENT/GENERAL MANAGER: He should be the football czar. The head coach
          and his assistants serve at his leisure. He oversees pro and college scouting,
          too, and makes all the basic football decisions. On major decisions, he makes
          the final recommendation to the president and owner.

          The Rams don’t have somebody in this role currently. Charley Armey has been
          general manager in name only.

          VICE PRESIDENT/FOOTBALL ADMINISTRATION: He is the chief negotiator and salary
          cap czar. He serves the owner, president and GM as the financial strategist.
          The GM ultimately sets player values and the cap czar is charged with getting
          players under contract at that value.

          Jay Zygmunt manages the salary cap as well as any NFL executive. He knows
          football, but he doesn’t work it 24/7 – so he should stick to managing the

          HEAD COACH: He needs a strong say in personnel matters, of course, but he can’t
          -01-04-2006, 04:52 AM
        • MauiRam
          Who's really in charge? Stellar power structures boost NFCW
          by MauiRam
          By Albert Breer

          Owner: Bill Bidwill, 52nd year
          General Manager: Steve Keim, 1st year
          Head Coach: Bruce Arians, 1st year
          Other front-office notables: Michael Bidwill, President; Jason Licht, Vice President of Player Personnel; Mike Disner, Director of Football Administration.

          Who's really in charge? The new structure for the Cardinals is marked by the failings of the old structure, where things seemed to go south after Ken Whisenhunt got control over the 53-man roster written into his final contract. That undercut GM Rod Graves' power, and both wound up fired. And so the Cardinals turned to Graves' well-respected right-hand man, Steve Keim, who'd been a strong GM candidate in previous years and was a finalist for the Jacksonville Jaguars job this year.

          Keim has power over all personnel matters and the 53-man roster, and he helped in the process of finding a new head coach. Bruce Arians reports to Keim, but Keim and his staff have made a point of involving the coaches and making sure they're on board with all their decisions, which plays into the GM's background as a football man and on-the-road scout. Keim's surrounded himself with likeminded people, starting with Jason Licht, who was a finalist for the Chicago GM job last year and has worked under Andy Reid and Bill Belichick.

          Graves' departure left a need for a salary-cap manager, and the Cardinals hired Mike Disner away from the NFL's management council to handle that end of the business, and give the club a resource in an official who played a significant role in the labor negotiations.

          Moving up the chain, Keim reports to Michael Bidwill, who is involved in bigger-picture football decisions and has taken over for his father in running the club day to day.

          An outside perspective from an NFC personnel executive: "I respect Arizona, and Keim is very well-respected. They believe in their area scouts, they trust them, and they're all involved in the process. The way I look at it: You're paying them to do a job, you should keep them involved. They've been around the kids for two or three years, their opinions matter. From a talent and character standpoint, the GM has the final say there, but he's keeping his guys involved. They keep an eye on the future there. ... Keim does it the right way: He's out on the road, he does the school calls, and he started on the bottom and worked his way up. He has a good eye for talent. And we'll see where it goes now that he's got the final call. He's a football guy, and he has football people running the show."

          SAN FRANCISCO *****
          Owner: Jed York, 5th year
          General Manager: Trent Baalke, 3rd Year
          Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh, 3rd Year
          Other front-office notables: Paraag Marathe, Chief Operating Officer; Joel Patten, Director of Player Personnel; Matt Malaspina, Director...
          -07-14-2013, 11:22 AM
        • eldfan
          Kroenke's moves put Rams, fans in limbo
          by eldfan
          Kroenke's moves put Rams, fans in limbo

          Columnist By Jeff Gordon

          Now Rams fans know how Blues fans felt earlier this decade when Bill and Nancy Laurie pulled the chute on their NHL franchise.

          Not only did Blues fans endure the year-long shutout of the league -– the brainstorm of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, that sport’s hapless architect of doom -– but they saw their franchise wallow in ownership limbo when play resumed.

          Bill and Nancy Laurie put the team on the block and quit spending money on it. Since the team didn’t sell right away, the product suffered horribly.

          Rams fans are feeling that same pain. The NFL didn’t shut down for a year, but it might as well have as the Rams staggered to a 1-15 finish in 2009.

          And now this franchise, like the Blues before them, wallows in ownership limbo.

          Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez are trying to sell the franchise they inherited from their mother. That process is not going quickly or smoothly.

          With other NFL owners scratching their heads over Stan Kroenke’s ownership play, the fate of this franchise is up in the air. It’s hard to predict the outcome at this point, but this much is clear: Nothing is likely to happen any time soon.

          So Kevin Demoff, Billy Devaney and Steve Spagnuolo must do the best they can under difficult circumstances. Wish them well, because their job won’t be easy.

          They must continue the ongoing team overhaul by mixing kids and castoffs with the survivors of the unfortunate Scott Linehan Regime. They are rebuilding with draft picks and with veterans other teams deemed expendable.

          (Yes, we’re talking about you, Bobby Carpenter. And you, Kevin Payne. And you, Fred Robbins.)

          Fans are exasperated at this scenario, but where do they direct their anger?

          Rosenbloom has tried to do right by St. Louis. He and his sister inherited a team they couldn’t afford to keep. They hired well-respect football people to run the show while they tried to attract an owner committed to St. Louis. In that regard, Shahid Khan seemed like a good choice.

          But you can’t begrudge Kroenke for stepping up to protect his interests. Remember how he helped St. Louis get the team in the first place. Remember the positive relationship he fostered with Georgia Frontiere and John Shaw back in the day, when the Rams became the Greatest Show on Turf.

          He had a hand in the team’s success. Unfortunately, as minority owner he wasn’t able to head off the chaos that ensued when Shaw allowed Jay Zygmunt to run amok and drive the football operation into the ground.

          Now Kroenke is trying to sustain the franchise’s value. He tried to strike a deal with Khan to protect his interests, but failed. Now he is trying to finesse his way around the...
          -05-11-2010, 11:20 AM
        • RamWraith
          St. Louis Rams fans must be patient with team's new management
          by RamWraith
          By Bryan Burwell
          Tuesday, Jan. 27 2009
          Unlike building a house, the reconstruction of a football franchise begins from
          the top, not the bottom. So for now, the heavy action at Rams Park is happening
          on the second floor of the building, where new coaches are beginning to fill up
          the empty office space.

          The surprisingly orderly process of fixing the Rams began with Billy Devaney's
          empowerment as the new general manager, then his thorough hunt for a new head
          coach. And now, Steve Spagnuolo's staff is taking shape every day, and soon
          enough Spags and his new coaches will get together with Devaney and his
          expanding staff of personnel men.

          What should come of those brainstorming sessions should prove to be the moves
          that will put the ultimate final touches on this imposing franchise face-lift:

          Picking the right players.

          There is nothing more critical to an organization that has failed miserably at
          this task for far too long. There is a reason why the Rams have sunk so far
          down on the NFL's strength chart, and it goes right to bad decisions on player
          acquisitions. How bad have the Rams fared on draft day? Well, consider that
          from the five draft classes between 2000 and 2004, there are only three players
          remaining on the active roster: Chris Massey ('02), Pisa Tinoisamoa ('03) and
          Steven Jackson ('04).

          Even if you take into consideration the normal erosion of free agency, that is
          a shameful record of failure by the folks who used to work the draft. Those are
          the drafts that should have built the veteran core for the Rams, but instead
          they merely highlight the gross incompetence of the men no longer in charge.
          Just as glaring is the fact that the nine draft classes of this decade have
          produced only one Pro Bowl player (Jackson).

          The good news is that real football people are running things again, which
          means that we're beyond the days of selecting players for all the wrong reasons.

          So, despite the very public man-crushes that draftniks are already developing
          with certain prominent college stars, and the guesswork that is happening
          across the Internet, here's a word of advice:

          Slow your roll.

          The Rams are nowhere close to determining which direction they are going with
          that very valuable first-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft.

          There's too much time left. Too many evaluations to be done. There's free
          agency shopping to be done, combine workouts, Senior Bowl film work, pro-day
          workouts and hundreds of hours worth of carefully detailed scouting reports to

          Yeah, it's fun to guess what they're going to do with the second pick, but
          that's all speculation. Until...
          -01-27-2009, 04:27 AM