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  • AvengerRam
    Several Splashes, Few Ripples...
    by AvengerRam
    The metaphor that makes up this thread title expresses what I really like about the Rams' FA approach.

    Any team (subject to the ability to clear cap space), can try to make a big splash in FA by offering a lucrative contract to a well-know, big-name FA. While fans and the media will often praise moves of that type, there are countless examples of FAs who didn't pan out, or who ultimately because high-priced anchors on their new teams.

    With a new coaching staff, there may have been some temptation to make big splashes at the possible risk of long term fiscal stability.

    For the most part, though, the Rams resisted that temptation.

    Andrew Whitworth's signing was definitely a splash. Over the next year or two, he will likely be a stabilizing force on the Rams' OL (not to mention Jared Goff's best friend!). The Rams are paying him well, but in a couple of years, when age may catch up with him, the Rams won't be saddled with a long-term deal. Similarly, John Sullivan... another key short term addition, was signed to a one-year deal that gives the Rams time to groom a long-term solution at the center position.

    Same goes for Conner Barwin. He is a key piece of the 3-4 puzzle, and should thrive under Wade Phillips. But as a 30something, he'd be a risky long-term prospect, so his one-year deal makes sense.

    Another way to try to make a splash, while avoiding big ripples, is to sign players who are young and have upside, but do not yet demand elite money. Robert Woods and Kayvon Webster could prove to be examples of these types of signings.

    I think its clear that McVay and his staff wish to field a strong opening day lineup in 2017, while still retaining the ability to evaluate players and to hold off on most long-term decisions until they see who fits the new system and who does not.

    Will all this work? Who knows, but I have to say that its nice to be able to look at an approach and discern the logic behind it. I often did not feel that way when it came to personnel moves under Jeff Fisher. McVay seems to be a man with a plan.
    -04-13-2017, 09:24 AM
  • MauiRam
    Bonsignore: Rams to put emphasis on fixing offense through free agency, draft ..
    by MauiRam
    INDIANAPOLIS – Like the super smart kid in class who teachers sometimes neglect in order to tend to their less-gifted students, new Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is probably feeling a bit overlooked these days.

    It's one of the double-edged swords of taking over a unit that, frankly, is already playoff caliber

    Especially when the group it has been lining up against every day in practice is, well, challenged.

    As the Rams work through free agency and draft preparations – including this week in Indianapolis at the NFL draft combine – so much of the focus and talk and concentration is on lifting an offense that ranks dead last in nearly every category that Phillips sometimes feels invisible.

    To the point of speaking up.

    “And as any good coach will do, (he'll say) ‘Hey, don't forget about us over here. We're playing defense too,’” is how Rams general manager Les Snead put it.

    Good luck with all that, Wade.

    No matter how many times he raises his hand or jumps up and down or tries to bring attention to himself, the Rams need to ignore him as much as possible.

    Nothing personal, good sir.

    The Rams won't completely shun Phillips this offseason – the change to his 3-4 scheme preference creates a natural need for specific additions – but let's not get things twisted.

    They arrived here in Indianapolis with a particular game plan. And it's one they'll carry into free agency next week and the draft seven weeks later in Philadelphia.

    It's time to pull the offense into the 21st century, once and for all.

    That was the driving force behind firing Jeff Fisher last November.

    And it was the motivation in identifying the offensive minded Sean McVay as Fisher's replacement, and then locking him up almost immediately after first meeting with him.

    “We've got to improve the offense,” Snead said, rather obviously.

    Step one in that direction was taken care of when they hired McVay, a 30-year-old ball of energy and enthusiasm who spent the last three years as Washington’s offensive coordinator and whose entire coaching roots are planted exclusively on that side of the ball.

    Step two was McVay hiring an offensive staff heavy on quarterback development experience and with strong backgrounds in designing offenses.

    That includes new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, quarterback coach Greg Olson and offensive line coach Aaron Kromer.

    Along with McVay, they'll form a virtual offensive think tank

    Now comes the really fun part.

    And probably the hardest.

    It's time to find the necessary talent to carry out McVay's vision.

    Which, at the risk of putting poor Wade Phillips on mute for now, means the Rams focusing almost entirely on offense this offseason.

    The needs are too vast.
    ...
    -03-03-2017, 10:10 AM
  • Nick
    Snead, McVay Pleased with Three Quality Players on Day 2
    by Nick
    Snead, McVay Pleased with Three Quality Players on Day 2
    Posted 7 hours ago
    Myles Simmons
    Rams Insider
    @MylesASimmons

    Though they came into Day 2 with two picks, the Rams ended the evening with three players after a key trade.

    Los Angeles selected tight end Gerald Everett in the second round, followed by wide receiver Cooper Kupp and safety John Johnson in the third.

    “These are guys that Les and his staff had really targeted for a long time,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said, referring to general manager Les Snead. “We know we got better with three spots.”

    In order to do that, the Rams traded their No. 37 and No. 149 picks for the Bills’ No. 44 and No. 91 selections. With a pick early in the second round, Snead said he had an idea the phone might start buzzing with teams trying to move up.

    “I think if we go back a couple drafts ago … I do remember we had an early pick in the second round, we were going to draft some OL — we had done Gurley — and there were a lot of OL on the board, and it was just hard to pick, who do we want? And at that moment, there were a lot of teams — the phone just started buzzing,” Snead said.

    “So I think I remember writing a note down then — you know what, if you ever have an early second-round pick, it’s a good spot to be in,” Snead continued. “Usually, there’s a lot of teams that want to move up.”

    It worked out well for the Rams in this case, with the club picking up a selection in the third round while still selecting Everett — a player Snead called one of McVay’s favorites in the entire draft.

    “Gerald was one of those guys that was, let’s call it Scenario A, Scenario 1,” Snead said. “You always prepare trying to figure out where you can get players in the draft, but that’s the guesstimate at times and you can lose him. But we thought that if we did move back, get an extra third-round selection, we could also still get Gerald.”

    Everett began his college career at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, but transferred to the University of South Alabama once UAB’s football program was shut down. In two years at South Alabama, Everett caught 90 passes for 1,292 yards and 12 touchdowns.

    “I think I bring the complete package of a tight end,” Everett told reporters on Friday. “Definitely a vertical threat first, but also being a willing blocker in the run game — just being able to create that mismatch at any point of time in the game.”

    The tight end likely projects more as a receiver early on in his career, particularly as he’ll have to adjust from being a part of a spread offense in college. But McVay seemed excited at the prospect of using Everett, Tyler Higbee, and Temarrick Hemingway all on the field at once.

    “Being able to add a player like Gerald Everett, I think those three complement each other very well,” McVay said. “When you can do...
    -04-29-2017, 07:37 AM
  • viper
    Bonsignore: Rams are a legitimate playoff threat
    by viper
    By Vincent Bonsignore | [email protected] | Daily News

    PUBLISHED: October 23, 2017 at 12:16 pm | UPDATED: October 23, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    At the risk of getting ahead of ourselves, it’s time to get ahead of ourselves.

    That means it’s time to stop pretending or skirting or avoiding.

    Be it out of fear of jinxing, the other shoe falling or having been burned and hurt so many times before simply protecting yourself from getting your hearts ripped out and trampled upon again.

    It’s time to embrace and accept reality. And own it.

    The Rams are a legitimate playoff contender.

    There, that wasn’t so bad now was it? But why stop there?

    The Rams are a legitimate threat to make a serious postseason run, too.

    Boom. It’s out there.

    And really, what’s to argue at this point?

    Take a look at the rest of the NFC and tell me there’s a team that has all its bases covered like the Rams do right now.

    An offense that’s generally been humming behind second-year quarterback Jared Goff, an offensive line playing as well as any in the league, a deep, versatile group of wide receivers and pass targets and running back Todd Gurley, the favorite for Comeback Player of the Year honors and the Most Valuable Player award.

    They lead the league in scoring and are ninth in total yards. They are the sixth-best rushing team in the NFL and the 12th-best passing team. On both fronts, there is ample room to get even better.

    There might be better defenses in the NFL, but after stabilizing themselves after a shaky initial transition to Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defensive scheme, the Rams have surrendered just 39 points over the past 14 quarters and, by all data and metrics, seem to be getting even better while combining an underrated back-end pass defense with the big push being generated upfront by Aaron Donald and friends.

    That’s not all.

    The Rams special teams are as good as any in the NFL with punter Johnny Hekker, sure-footed kicker Greg Zuerlein and return and coverage units that have already scored touchdowns on a kickoff return and blocked punt, forced a critical fumbled punt and also picked up an important first down on a fake punt.

    At various times this year, the Rams have beaten opponents by outgunning them offensively, slamming the door shut defensively or generating points via special teams. Sometimes all in the same game.

    Few teams can say that. And fewer can confidently count on all three phases clicking on a game-to-game basis.

    The Rams can.

    Which means they are uniquely built to deal with whatever weather issues lay ahead. And they’re versatile and flexible enough that, if one part of their game is struggling, they can rely on multiple others to help steady the ship or, as they already have this year, flat out be the difference...
    -10-24-2017, 02:58 PM
  • Nick
    Q&A: Rams GM Snead talks McVay, draft, and free agents at Senior Bowl
    by Nick
    Q&A: Rams General Manager Les Snead talks rookie Coach Sean McVay, draft needs and free agents at the Senior Bowl
    Gary Klein Gary KleinContact Reporter

    For the second time in two years, the Rams are in the midst of major transition.

    In 2016, the franchise moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles. The Rams drew more than 90,000 to the Coliseum for an exhibition against the Dallas Cowboys, but fan interest waned by the end of a 4-12 season that included the firing of coach Jeff Fisher.

    New Coach Sean McVay, 31, is in the process of assembling his staff and assessing a roster that could have a far different look when quarterback Jared Goff, the top pick in the 2016 draft, begins his second season. McVay has hired veteran Wade Phillips to coordinate the defense.

    Rams General Manager Les Snead attended Senior Bowl workouts this week in preparation for the NFL draft, which is scheduled for April 27-29 in Philadelphia. He sat down with Times reporter Gary Klein in Mobile, Ala., and answered questions about several topics.

    What’s it been like to work with Sean McVay?
    Exciting, because you see the young head coach but you also see him bring this unbelievable energy and passion to the job with that thought of how he wants to put together his staff and the puzzle there and what he’s trying to accomplish. … You’re working together to problem-solve, come up with solutions, come up with decisions and try to come up with what’s best for the Rams…. You can feel the chemistry developing based on just rolling up your sleeves and going to work and making your first decisions together.

    You’ve dealt with people in your peer and age group and coaches who were older. This is a young coach. Has that been different for you?
    My wife has joked, ‘Who are you going to hang out with more, him or [69-year-old] Wade?’…. It’s just a joke but what’s interesting is this is a young man’s sport, so in our business some of the most important people in the organization are, heck, 21 or 22. You’re used to being around and feeling youth. …. I know he’s young, but he seems like 40-something, and that’s probably in maturity and the way he goes about his business and his knowledge of football.

    Another young guy: Jared Goff. When you look back on how he did this season and where he is going, what is your sense?
    What he went through is only going to be positive in the future. It goes back to experience. … He knows what it’s like now. … What you got back is a very poised player — and adversity doesn’t rattle him. … Looking forward to seeing him grow because he’s felt and seen Sean come in and implement his offense, and Sean is really big on the quarterback. Jared’s chomping at the bit.

    What are the biggest needs to be addressed or filled going into draft and the free-agent season?
    I don’t know if I want to tell you exactly because it might tip hands, but I think...
    -01-28-2017, 08:12 PM
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