I usually get bored when coaches cram their schtick into yet another half-assed management principals books. I mean can you really tell the difference between how Lou Holtz would run your company versus Kenny Powers? No. However, St. Louis Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo offered some insight into his coaching philosophy at a St. Louis area seminar this week that is pretty interesting...from the perspective of a fan trying to get a sense of how the coach manages the team and his staff.
Here's a little tidbit that speaks to one of the more notable contrasts between last year's Rams and version 2010:
Sprinkle seasoned veterans in with younger, developing players. People often learn from the examples set by respected peers as much or more than they do from organizational authority figures. Mixing experienced team members who demonstrate strong work ethic and character with energetic newcomers who bring talent and potential accelerates team development and creates a potent combination.
That sums up the Rams strategy in free agency this year pretty well, filling gaps on the depth chart with experienced guys (with a track record of good health) who established themselves in the systems that Spags and his coaches built on their previous teams. Take the defense for example. The addition of DT Fred Robbins, CB Kevin Dockery and LB Na'il Diggs supplement relatively young units. The guys who got their first exposure to Spags last year with the Rams will come in with a better grip of the system and the playbook, and they'll now have those more experienced guys to round out the unit. If you buy the notion that a big part of the defensive problems that befell the Rams last year had to do with being in the right gaps and hitting their assignments with specific play calls (I think that was ONE of the issues facing the Rams last year), then these additions and another year of experience for the rest of the Rams should have a noticeable impact on the field this year. We'll see.
RB Brian Westbrook is said to be getting a little more interest beyond the Rams, Broncos and Redskins. I'd be shocked if the Rams didn't pick up a running back later in the offseason when teams start cutting their rosters down to the final 53 players.
The Rams were the second worst team in the league defending against draw plays. Surprise.