Saturday, February 18, 2012

The New St. Louis Rams: A Requiem For the Pipe-Dreams

The "Greatest Show On Turf" era ended abruptly after the controversial departure of Kurt Warner, and the Rams have become well-acquainted with losing ever since.

But not too long ago, Warner and Dick Vermeil shared a podium together in celebration as they proudly hoisted the Lombardi Trophy high in the air for all to see.

During those years, the offense was a force to be reckoned with. The current Rams, on the other hand, celebrate if they can just get the ball to midfield.

However, while it's difficult to dispute the current team's incompetence, there's hope that the franchise is in the midst of a renaissance.

In fact, if you care enough to notice, you'll see the telltale signs of a full-blown revolution in motion:

- Stan Kroenke makes a move to purchase the team in Spring of 2010.

- Rams draft quarterback Sam Bradford with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft. He is expected to be the new face of the franchise.

- Kroenke hires veteran head coach Jeff Fisher to replace Steve Spagnuolo.

- The team currently owns the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. The pick is expected to bring in a king's ransom.

With a wealthy owner, a veteran coach and a potential franchise passer, a winning season could be within reach if the front office can just execute intelligent decisions in the upcoming months.

In addition, with competent drafting, solid free agency signings and a little luck from the injury bug, the Rams will possibly be competing for a division title sooner than we all expect.

However, even though respectable leadership is now in place, a minority of fans are humoring a few of the oddball rumors that have been formulated by the media, which means they didn't get the memo that this team is now on the straight and narrow.

So in an attempt to spare us all from a long offseason loaded with ridiculous hearsay and unsupported rumors, let's get this straightened out immediately...

1. The Rams Are Not Drafting A Quarterback

It's true. They're not going to draft a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick. Robert Griffin III has absolutely no shot at entering training camp with the team.

He might be a member of the team for about five minutes until the final details of the trade are worked out. Then he's off to begin his career in either Cleveland or Washington. Maybe Miami.

For starters, you don't use No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks on two different quarterbacks in just a three-year span. The very thought is completely absurd.

Secondly, only a fool would give up on a prospect like Bradford after one down year. I suppose Tampa Bay is about to throw in the towel with Josh Freeman after one tough season as well?

Maybe Bradford will live up to his draft status, but then again, maybe he won't. But what we do know with complete certainty is that he'll get a competition-free shot at redemption in 2012.

2. The Elderly Headcases Are Not A Fit

There has been talk about both Randy Moss and Terrell Owens returning to the NFL in 2012. To add even more fun to the mix, Albert Haynesworth was cut by Tampa Bay.

But let's not pretend that any of these three players are viable options for the Rams.

True, Haynesworth played some very good football under Fisher in Tennessee. On the other hand, he's a borderline sociopath.

Moss and Owens would almost be worth the risk... if it was five years ago.

Moss didn't "retire" from the NFL—he wasn't wanted in the NFL. And while Owens at least has the knee injury excuse, he's also at a point where his talent does not exceed the headaches.

So instead of giving one of these guys a shot at a sequel (likely more pathetic than Rocky V), the Rams need to diligently scan their draft board and find the next big play receiver, or perhaps the next run-stuffing defensive tackle.

Finding the next great player sounds a lot more appealing than trying to milk one last ounce of talent out of a has-been who has nothing left to offer.

3. We Don't Know If the Rams Are Moving

We don't. No one can possibly claim to have insider knowledge on the motives of Kroenke, so it's pointless to speculate.

What we do know, however, is that the negotiations between the Rams and the Edward Jones Dome are not unusual. The lease is nearing an end, so the negotiations were bound to happen regardless of whether or not Los Angeles is looking for a team.

Also, no team is going to move until there's a brand new stadium in Los Angeles with a giant red ribbon placed on top. And as far as we know, there has not been a single nail hammered in, or even one scoop of dirt shoveled up.

What we have here is a classic Scarface "Show me the stuff, and I'll show you the money!" showdown. Right now, Los Angeles doesn't have the "stuff," which isn't going to cut it. Just ask Tony's friend Angel.


After nearly a decade of laughable management, it's fair to say that poor decisions are not just expected out of the Rams' organization, they're assumed.

Throwing first-round draft picks at Alex Barron, Tye Hill and Adam Carriker is a good way to brain wash the fanbase into thinking that the team is destined to make poor decisions.

Perhaps that's the reason why the media links the Rams with some of the most far-fetched scenarios out there.

In 2010, the Rams were rumored to be interested in both Moss and Owens, which has been a recurring theme this year.

Now, there's speculation that St. Louis is a candidate in the non-existent Albert Haynesworth sweepstakes. And while we're at it, why don't we make the Rams the very first NFL team based in Europe?

Sure, the team has had terrible drafts in recent years, but they generally do not pursue bone-headed distractions. So why the sudden assumption that the Rams are involved in every ridiculous possibility?

The answer: They're losers.

It's true. But not to worry, because after several years of proper drafting and inspiring leadership, the team will soon be embraced as a true franchise.

Get ready St. Louis... no longer will the Rams be linked to every Area 51-worthy rumor. With this current regime, it's about time we finally win our respect back.

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