As the clock ticks closer and closer toward the NFL (and the Rams) first pre-season game of the year, fans around the world are hearing a voice in the ear. What is that voice saying? Quite frankly, it's telling them that missed games are now a real possibility.
At this time last year, people were complaining and moaning about how the pre-season should be shortened, but this year the moaning is a heck of a lot different. This year the moaning being heard is from stomach pains from fans hungry for some football... ANY football.
And it's not just the fans either. As Van mentioned in a post yesterday, even the coaches are doing mock OTA's. Now that's being hungry for some football. You have to think that things like this are the signs that this is now starting to weigh on the coaches minds, that is, the reality that this is getting dangerously close to putting games in jeopardy.
After the jump, let's discuss what the Rams may have done in advance to prepare for this possibility.
With all of this fiasco of the lockout, you have to believe that the teams who prepare and deal with this the best are the teams that will come through this stronger than ever. Are the Rams one of these teams?
We've heard Sam Bradford has arranged practices. That's good! Now we're hearing about coaches doing mock OTA's with the other coaches to keep them in tune. That's good! But is there another missing piece that the Rams may have put together here well in advance, in anticipation for the lockout... Quite possibly.
Shortly after Josh McDaniels was hired, the sudden retirement of Dick Curl, QB Coach was announced. While there is no argument this wasn't a HUGE surprise. The surprise was the fact that the Rams failed to announce any predecessor for the admired Curl, with young Sam Bradford coming into an important second season, and in transition of systems to boot.
As a matter of fact we've all been left hanging for months wondering if the Rams will hire ANYONE to replace Dick Curl at all.
We've heard Josh himself will handle the task. This wouldn't make complete sense would it? Coming to the Rams and installing a new offense, AND coaching a second year QB, and a few rookie WR's. I don't know, it just doesn't add up to me.
While that may be the case, there is a missing piece to the puzzle.
The missing piece, (as mentioned yesterday by Van) is Josh's brother, and experienced QB coach, Ben McDaniels.
Perhaps he was the ace in the hole for the Rams the whole time, and they purposely held back the decision on hiring him so he could legally work with Sam and the offense during the lockout. Look, i'm not saying this is definitely the case, but put two and two together.
If that's the case, this was a brilliant move by the FO you have to admit. Bringing in a guy (unofficially wink wink) like Ben, who knows Josh's system VERY well, and working with players, then hiring him after the lockout? If this is the case (as ethically questionable as it could be viewed) this could be the missing piece that takes away some growing pains.. or at least helps the timeline.
I guess if this happens, we'll also have to see if any grievances will be filed. My guess, the Rams feel any ramifications (no pun intended) would still be a good trade off I guess.. if any would exist at all. I mean, are the Rams really doing anything wrong here? I don't think so.
Will the Rams announce Ben as the new QB coach soon after the lockout ends? If they do, I'm guessing the above hypotheses may be correct.