The keys to the kingdom have just been dropped in my lap. Stan "the Man" Kroenke walked into my house and said "Dave, my team sucks. People are dropping like flies. Everyone but the trainers is on injured reserve, my O.C throws deep on 4th and inches and runs on 3rd and 22, and my head coach seems to be doing yoga or drugs at half time. You now have full and total control of everything dealing with these friggin' twisted ass horns! Fix It!! If you don't, I will make it my mission on earth to drive you into bankruptcy."
Huh? No pressure there!! SO TST friends, where exactly do we start? I have my opinions, which I will express here, but I would also like some outside input. Move number 1 is to get on the phone with the Rooney family, and do an in depth study of the Pittsburgh Steelers. There is something with the ownership of that organization that is to be admired. The patience of ownership. The success of all of it's coaches. The success of their late round draft choices. The short duration of their periods of non success. Since 1969, the Steelers have had 9 losing seasons and a total of 3 head coaches. None of the three coaches were previous head coaches, and all three were previously defensive coordinators. Incidentally, Chuck Noll had a losing record in his first three years. The continuity seems to have played a large roll in the success of this organization since 1969.
The choice of the next Rams head coach needs to be very carefully considered and whoever is chosen should understand that a long term commitment is expected. There is a certain ex-defensive coordinator-turned-head-coach who has displayed that type of loyalty and is possibly available for the Rams job: Jeff Fisher.
Move number 2 is to hire Jeff Fisher as head coach. A head coach has numerous responsibilities and many of the more tedious ones should be turned over to an effective general manager. While many head coaches think they can effectively manage both rolls, it is rarely effective. Furthermore, former head coaches are rarely effective GM's. I guess Bill Parcells might be considered a semi-success, but considering his hand picked coach in Miami is out of a job, I'm not sure that is even true. To fill this roll, I would take a long look at the front office staff of the Green Bay Packers. Specifically, I would take a look at their Director of Football Operations, Reggie McKenzie and try to hire him away. Assuming he and Fisher get along well, and can work together, the 2 key positions of leadership will be in place, and the pressure of rounding out the remainder of the staff would be firmly on their shoulders.
One name I would throw out to be considered is Steve Kragthorpe, the QUARTERBACKS coach at LSU. He has NFL experience with the Buffalo Bills, and would drastically help the development of the multimillion dollar investment named Bradford. Another suggestion is to look at bringing Steve Fairchild back in the fold. He was just fired from Colorado State; but as we have witnessed first hand, great assistant coaches don't always make great head coaches, and the reverse is true as well. He trained under Mike Martz and has a history with the Rams as well. New England Receivers coach Chad O'Shea is another one I would suggest taking a look at. If we are not set on getting an experienced O.C, any of these guys could possibly fill that roll, especially with the guidance of a veteran head coach like Fisher.
On Defense, I would go back to Pittsburgh's and get assistant head coach John Mitchell, and if he is not available, go after linebackers coach Keith Butler. The Baltimore Ravens secondary coach Teryl Austin would make the list as well. Again, all of the above are suggestions to be approved or rejected by Fisher. As far as the draft goes, the only requirement I would make of the coach and GM is to trade that number 1 or 2 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft for multiple picks. A minimum of a 1, 2 and 4 this year plus a couple of 2013 picks as well. We have too many holes to fill, and they are not holes that require a 1 or 2 overall pick to get it done.
My final move would be to meet with the team itself. I would pull out roughly a dozen players I would be unwilling to let go, and make the rest decide on the spot if they are going to buy in or if they are going to leave. If they want to leave, screw em. Either trade them for draft picks or free agents or cut them. If they don't want to be here and are going to be distractions, let them go. If we are going to blow this thing up - do it and start fresh. If you look at every team in the league there are basically a dozen key players that hold the fate of the franchise in their hands. They have to be retained; the rest are all pawns. The positions may vary, as well as the rolls, but the number will be consistent. Keep the solid core, build around them with roll players, get effective coaching and you have a championship.