FanPost

A Bad Buy - How the Rams Purchased the Wrong Car

A couple of months ago, my buddy was in the market for a new car and he asked if I would help him out. The next day, we stopped by a local dealership to look at something the fits his needs - a low maintenance new mid sized sedan. He took it on a test drive, loved it and I was convinced he was going to get it. He went back the next day to sign the papers and he said as he was walking inside, he saw a used sports car he thought was cool. It wasn't in excellent condition, the maintenance would be expensive, and it wasn't a good fit for his needs but it didn't stop him. He walked out of the dealers with keys in hand. Fast forward to present day and he's looking to dump it. It overheats, loses oil, and will need a new transmission very soon.

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This actually parallels what is going on with the Rams right now. As a rookie, Sam Bradford was introduced to the West Coast offense, a pro style offense which is coincidentally designed to take advantage of his strengths - quick reads with timing routes, pinpoint accuracy to hit receivers on the move to gain large chunks of yards after the catch, and designed rollouts to but time and utilize his great arm on the move and downfield accuracy.

After a productive rookie campaign in which Bradford was mentioned with names like Elway, Aikman and Manning, the future was so very bright for him. Then the Cleveland Browns came calling and the Rams faced the dilemma in hiring a new offensive coordinator: play it safe and stay in the West Coast offense or move to something perceived to be more "explosive."

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It's the proven reliable sedan vs. the flashy troubled sports car.

Despite the turmoil in Denver, many remember the record setting 2007 Patriots offense and believed the pedigree was still there. They were sucked in: Tom Brady. Bill Belichick. 18-1. Boy Genius - you’re hired!

Josh McDaniels’ offense include long drops and no designed rollouts. Quick decisions are not involved; standing in the pocket having patience for complex routes to develop are. Reads, verbiage and audibles changed as well. Also added to his plate were responsibilities for the line calls. The fact is we all knew that there might be an adjustment to the new offense, but why did there need to be an adjustment at all? Sam already had one year under his belt with the West Coast offense and going backwards wasn’t going to be easy.

How come no one picked up on this?

Don't tell me it’s because the West Coast offense isn't explosive enough - Aaron Rodgers is doing just fine running that system. Any offense can be explosive and high powered if the right pieces are in place and they are coached up. It’s not like Steve Spagnuolo had enough cache built up to try to revamp his offense. His record coming into the year was 8-24 (.333). That’s not a great track record for someone looking to buy themselves time installing a brand new offense. Plus, let’s be honest: the hiring came during the lockout. Why didn’t the staff realize the shortened off-season would be yet another pitfall for a young team in a new offense?

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The problem was the Rams never though about these things. They got irrationally sucked in by the flash and the "boy genius" aura. They got swindled so bad, a quarterbacks coach wasn’t even hired and they still didn’t think it mattered. Logical reasoning could've seen these pitfalls. I'm not going to say it's a total lost cause but the front office needs to have damn good answers to the hard questions. The problem is for some people, no answer will be good enough.

They're already looking forward to the next car.

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Thank you for reading. I look forward to your comments.




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