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Softli on the way out?

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  • Softli on the way out?

    Rams VP of Player Personnel Tony Softli has been given permission to seek other work apparently.

    Will he be one of the last from the old regime to leave?

  • #2
    Re: Softli on the way out?

    A little surprised no one is talking about this. Here is the whole article.

    Softli's days with Rams may be numbered
    Tuesday, May. 04 2010
    Tony Softli, the Rams' vice president of player personnel, has been given
    permission by the team to pursue other job opportunities.

    Softli, 50, was conspicuous by his absence at the rookie minicamp over the
    weekend a time when Rams scouts and personnel executives normally line the
    sidelines during practices to get a close look at the new draft picks and
    rookie free agents.

    Softli just completed his fourth season with the organization. Most scouting
    and personnel department contracts in the NFL expire shortly after the draft.
    But since Softli's first day on the job with St. Louis was Aug. 1, in 2006,
    it's possible that his contract doesn't expire until the end of July.

    After 11 seasons with the Carolina Panthers, Softli was hired in '06 to run the
    Rams' personnel department, replacing general manager Charley Armey. Armey
    stayed on for one more season before retiring, but in the reduced capacity of
    vice president of pro personnel. Softli ran the '07 draft for St. Louis, with
    former coach Scott Linehan having the final say on selections. Of the eight
    players chosen in that draft, only defensive tackle Clifton Ryan remains with
    the Rams.

    Near the end of the 2007 season, rumors swirled that Softli would be ousted in
    the offseason. Softli stayed with the Rams, but Billy Devaney was hired in
    February 2008, to run the personnel department, essentially taking over
    Softli's duties.

    Devaney's role and responsibilities at Rams Park were further consolidated at
    the end of the '08 season when he was named general manager following Zygmunt's
    departure. For the past two seasons, Softli has supervised the Rams' college
    scouting staff.

    Softli did not return a phone message from the Post-Dispatch.

    Meanwhile, yet another Rams Park employee from the pre-Devaney and pre-Steve
    Spagnuolo era appears to have been shown the door. Ray Ogas, who heads the
    Rams' player programs department, has been informed that he will not be
    retained, league sources said. Among other things, Ogas helped players with the
    transition to professional football. Ogas had been with the Rams for 10 years.


    • #3
      Re: Softli on the way out?

      I'm not saying anything because I'd get accused of rampant negativity.

      It is mildly disturbing, however, that 1) this guy survived the 2007 Draft this long in this organization and 2) he was placed in charge of our college scouting.


      • #4
        Re: Softli on the way out?

        Linehan had the final say in 2007. I would wonder how closely the team stuck to their board that year. Without knowing that, it's hard to say how much credit or blame should go to Softli. In any event, best of luck to Softli, and let's hope that any changes to the scouting department lead to improvement. We've obviously had some issues there.


        Related Topics


        • Varg6
          Rams Name Softli To Personnel Position
          by Varg6
          Rams Name Softli To Personnel Position

          The St. Louis Rams appointed Tony Softli Vice President/Player Personnel today and reached agreement with Charlie Armey to continue his association with the team as Vice President/Pro Personnel.

          Softli, a former football player and coach at the University of Washington, has worked in scouting for the Carolina Panthers since the franchise was formed in 1995, most recently as Director of College Scouting.

          The Panthers’ drafts in the last six seasons have been among the most productive in the NFL. Under Softli’s supervision the Panthers have acquired such Pro Bowl players as Julius Peppers, Steve Smith, Dan Morgan, Kris Jenkins and many others who have contributed to Carolina’s success in this decade.

          “After an extensive search we are excited that Tony has agreed to join the Rams,” said Jay Zygmunt, Rams President of Pro Football Operations. “Tony brings a wealth of talent evaluation knowledge and will work closely with our scouts and with Lawrence McCutcheon and Charley in the coordination of our efforts on the collegiate and professional levels.”

          Softli, who has been a computer analyst in the private sector, also is credited with developing a state-of-the-art performance evaluation system that has proven to be an excellent tool for making personnel decisions.

          “I’m very excited to be joining an organization with the great tradition of the Rams,” said Softli. “I look forward to working with Jay and (head coach) Scott Linehan. I’ve always admired Charley from afar and the things that he and Lawrence have accomplished.”

          The appointment of Softli will free Armey to concentrate on pro personnel, an area of increased importance. “We are grateful of Charley’s willingness to take on this new role for the organization,” said Zygmunt. “Charley’s twenty-six seasons of NFL experience as an evaluator in all areas of the game will be invaluable.”

          Armey, 67, agreed to extend his relationship with the Rams after postponing a decision to retire.

          McCutcheon will continue to serve the Rams in college scouting as Director of Player Personnel.

          -06-20-2006, 08:36 AM
        • RamsFan16
          Rams hire Tony Softli for Front Office
          by RamsFan16
          Click here for the link!


          Two league sources have told us that Panthers director of college scouting Tony Softli has accepted a position in the Rams' front office. Though we haven't yet heard a specific title for Softli's new gig, it most likely does not involve "final say" over personnel, the draft, and/or the coach.

          Several weeks ago, the Rams made a run at former Bucs director of player personnel Ruston Webster. Webster turned down the opportunity and instead accepted a position with the Seahawks, and the No. 2 man in the football operation behind team president and former Tampa colleague Tim Ruskell. Thereafter, the Rams have successfully kept their search under wraps, with no word of Softli's candidacy getting out until after he'd been hired.

          Softli is a respected personnel man who has been with the Panthers since 1995, the team's first NFL season. He became Carolina's director of college scouting in 2000. During his tenure, the team has drafted players like receiver Steve Smith, defensive end Julius Peppers, and defensive tackle Kris Jenkins.

          Softli assumed full responsibility for the Panthers' draft in 2003, after veteran personnel guru Jack Bushofsky retired. Softli generally is regarded as having more juice than directors of college scouting in other cities because the G.M. in Carolina, Marty Hurney, is a converted journalist whose expertise lies more in the area of the salary cap and contracts.

          Great addition!
          -06-16-2006, 09:03 PM
        • RamWraith
          Rams add executive, revamp job titles
          by RamWraith
          By Kathleen Nelson
          Wednesday, Jun. 21 2006

          The new titles may sound similar, but don't be confused. The Rams have
          clarified the chain of command in their personnel department with the hiring of
          Tony Softli, former head of college scouting for the Carolina Panthers.

          The team named Softli to the new position of vice president of player personnel
          Tuesday and eliminated the position of general manager. Former GM Charley
          Armey, who is under contract through 2006, will remain with the Rams as vice
          president of pro personnel.

          "I'm ecstatic," Softli said. "I'm leaving a great organization to come to
          another with a lot of history."

          The reorganization is the work of coach Scott Linehan and Jay Zygmunt, Rams
          president of football operations, who hoped to clarify what appeared to be a
          murky setup. The Rams have not had a head of pro scouting since 2000, when Mike
          Ackerley left to work for the Tennessee Titans. Changes were discussed
          occasionally last season but were a low priority while Linehan settled in as
          head coach.

          The key to understanding the reorganization is to ignore titles and focus on
          the duties. Softli will oversee the personnel department, which has two
          branches, college and pro. Armey is at the top of the chart on the pro branch,
          which will get extra emphasis this year, and Armey will handle the advance
          scouting of the opponents' defenses. Armey's counterpart on the college side is
          Lawrence McCutcheon, who retains the title of director of player personnel.

          Again, disregard the honorific.

          "This gives me a chance to run both the college and pro sides of a department,"
          Softli said. "It gives me a chance to work with Jay. With his knowledge of the
          salary cap, he has a lot to teach me."

          Softli has worked for the Panthers since 1995, first as a scout in the
          Southwest, where he met Armey, 66.

          "He helped me out a lot as a young scout," Softli said. "He took me under his
          wing, and I've admired him from afar."

          He was promoted to director of college scouting in 2000 and has headed the
          Panthers' draft since 2003. Among the players drafted in Softli's tenure are
          Pro Bowlers Julius Peppers, Steve Smith, Dan Morgan and Kris Jenkins.

          One key to Softli's success is a computer application he developed to evaluate
          player performance. Though the Panthers retain the rights to the application,
          Softli said he could reproduce the system with the Rams.

          "It's all in my head," said Softli , who has worked as a computer analyst. "I'm
          looking forward to sitting down with the Rams' IT department and putting it to...
          -06-21-2006, 04:49 AM
        • RamWraith
          Softli taking the heat
          by RamWraith
          Latest from

          There's talk in league circles that Rams V.P. of player personnel Tony Softli could be terminated by the organization after the end of the season.

          Softli joined the Rams in 2005, making the jump from the Panthers.

          It's presently unclear whether the Rams will keep their current front-office structure moving forward. Before Softli, Charley Armey served as the team's General Manager, but former coach Mike Martz had authority over the personnel.
          -12-30-2007, 05:36 PM
        • RamWraith
          Charley Armey: A team player
          by RamWraith
          By Jim Thomas

          After nearly a decade on the job with the Rams, Charley Armey is nearing the finish line. In June, when Tony Softli was hired as vice president of player personnel, the Rams also quietly announced that Armey was being reassigned.

          Armey has run the Rams' personnel department since 1998, including the past six seasons as general manager. But with the arrival of Softli, Armey's new job description in this, the final year of his contract with the club, is vice president of pro personnel.

          No matter how you look at it, it's a demotion for Armey. Those close to Armey say he briefly considered retiring or resigning after the Softli hire was finalized in June. But he decided to stay on for what looks very much like his final year.

          "They asked me to stay, and I feel very, very loyal to the Rams and the city of St. Louis," Armey said.

          Armey doesn't give many interviews these days, a far cry from the heyday of the Greatest Show on Turf when he seemed to show up everywhere in newspaper, radio and TV reports. But in a recent interview with the Post-Dispatch, Armey said he holds no ill will toward the organization over the restructuring in the personnel department.

          "I've been treated fairly here," Armey said. "John Shaw has been tremendous to work for. He's always been honest and open. Everyone knows we've had a rough run here lately. But I've always tried to put the organization and winning first. Nobody's more important than what your team objectives and goals are."

          Immediately following the 2006 draft, there were signals from Rams management that the organization might stand pat for at least another year in the personnel department. New coach Scott Linehan was pleased with how the draft process went, and at least some of that credit went to Armey.

          Perhaps Armey would run yet another draft in St. Louis, as he had done for nine consecutive seasons, from 1998 through 2006. But that all changed with Softli's hiring.

          "I anticipated that there was a possibility that it could happen," Armey said. "There was no surprise. The team was going through a reorganization, and it maybe was time for me to cut back. And I think it's important that the new coach and his staff have the people in place that they feel they need to win.

          "Whatever your job is -- coach, president, player -- there always comes a time when it's time for somebody new to come in because they feel they can do a better job than you do."

          As vice president of pro personnel, Armey will organize the team's pro personnel department, which had been all but nonexistent in recent years. He will do advance scouting; evaluate players on opposing teams from week to week; and evaluate players scheduled to be unrestricted and restricted free agents at...
          -08-13-2006, 02:26 PM