Stan Kroenke has to be smiling about the future of his young football team. The Rams appear to be heading in the right direction, and his smart financial decisions are a big reason why. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
It was only a few short years ago when the Rams appeared to be headed no where. The team was filled with old veterans on the decline, pricey free agents who just didn't perform, and a front office who looked like a bull in a China shop when it came to spending and just plain running the team.
Looking at the roster this year, you wouldn't even know these were the same Rams that plagued fans with loss after loss, and in a 1-15 season, the lone win came from our kicker throwing a pass to a no-name tight end for a touchdown (versus Detroit). Oh how things can change.
Let's look at how we may have ended up as one of the busiest teams in free agency this year.
Last season many people were complaining about Stan Kroenke along with the front office in their lack of pursuing big name free agents such as Randy Moss, Terrell Owens and the like. Sure, perhaps they may have helped us last year in winning the west... perhaps not.
Randy Moss seemed to be un-noticeble in most of his games last year and was passed around more than a dubie at a greateful dead concert. He also came with a pretty hefty price tag. Question mark high price free agents would not be good for a young team like Rams, that's the bottom line.
When you look at the 2011 Rams it is evident that these will NOT be the "same ole sorry *ss Rams" and that just doesn't include the play on the field, that also includes the front office and the money being spent.
But why didn't the Rams pursue the big names, and be more active last year in free agency? Well, for one, free agency this year had so many more players available than last year. On top of that, having it all happen in a few days can really make you look a heck of a lot more active than reality.. but make no mistake about it, the Rams were busier this year than last.
But one other thing to think about. How wise would it be to spend tons of money on big name free agents in a year when your starting quarterback is a rookie?
In all honesty, I think the big stumbling block to opening up the wallet was seeing how fast Sam Bradford would develop. In his rookie year Sam nearly took the Rams to the playoffs, and an NFC West crown all with injury riddled, and practice squad caliber WR's not to mention an offense that was seriously restrained due to lack of talent.
I truly believe Sam surprised the Rams FO with how he performed, enough so that Mr. Kroenke had seen enough and told the crew that the checkbook were now open. Let's win now.
So far the Rams have filled almost every major need, when last year these needs were almost ignored. Sure, some holes were filled, but mainly by the draft.
I think what you're seeing now is pure brilliance by Stan Kroenke, and I for one am excited about the future of the Rams and where this franchise is headed.