Have we ever talked about the decline and dysfunction of the St. Louis Rams front office in the middle part of this decade and how it screwed up the team's drafts? We have? I thought so. Well, here's another enlightening look into how the Rams leadership worked and some insight into why the team's drafts were such a disaster.
Dave Razzano was a scout for the Rams for more than ten years, until he was fired after the 2006 draft. And just why was he fired? Well, he says it had a lot to do with his opinion of that year's QB phenomenon Utah QB Alex Smith. Razzzano was critical of Smith in his evaluation, and remains so, which has had him in the news lately. From a Matt Maiocco piece for Comcast Bay Area:
Razzano said then-Rams general manager Charlie Armey asked him to change his grade on Smith to conform with the higher grades others in the Rams' draft room had assigned Smith. The scene escalated into an ugly shouting match. Razzano said he refused to alter his evaluation of Smith. It was the beginning of the end with the Rams for Razzano, he said. He was fired after the 2006 draft (Armey did not immediately respond to CSNBayArea.com's call.)
Dysfunction in the Rams personnel department is not exactly a state secret, but this anecdote really drives that point home. If enforced groupthink played this much of a role in shaping the Rams draft board, it makes you wonder about the conversations around the players they did pick.
The franchise lost a few good years of productivity thanks to some of those drafts, notably 2006. Glimpsing just a little slice of the process, it's no wonder. Like I said late last week, the best move the Rams have made in the years since their competitive glory was to clean out the front office.