When Georgia Frontiere's children assumed ownership of the St. Louis Rams from their late mother, they helped bring the franchise back from the brink of oblivion. Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez cleaned out a front office more consumed with territorial battles than building a winning team. In came a new general manager, Billy Devaney, and a new coaching staff, led by Steve Spagnuolo.
From there, Georgia Frontiere's children wanted out of the NFL business. They sold the team to Stan Kroenke, already a partial owner. Finally, the Rams had what they needed, a wealthy owner familiar with the kind of business acumen it takes to run a billion dollar enterprise and the check book to help build a winning team. Involved. That is how many described Kroenke, and it was exactly what the team needed.
Silent Stan took a lengthy meeting with head coach Steve Spagnuolo following last night's loss, just like he did the week before when the Rams lost the Eagles. Some think the big boss man isn't too happy about his team's fortunes so far this season, and his chats with Spagnuolo after the game were uncomfortable affairs for the coach as the owner demanded answers.
Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post made that claim today, via Twitter. Here's Hubbuch's tweet:
Spagnuolo showed up for presser 25 minutes late. I hear Rams control-freak owner keeps haranguing him after losses, wanting explanations.
Hmmm. First of all, the Post is a notorious shit rag, given over to the same salaciousness and gray area journalistic practices of its sister papers, owned by none other than Rubert Murdoch, across the pond. It's worth noting that Fox Sports was today caught using bogus headlines in their stories. Both Fox Sports and the Post are News Corporation properties.
That said, this does make you wonder. Kroenke is a competitive man. There's also the business side of things. Nobody wants to buy tickets to the same old Rams team they abandoned once the GSOT ended. Having a popular team with a demand to buy PSLs and luxury suites would go a long way toward getting a new stadium built, wherever that may be. I can certainly understand if Kroenke were a little upset that his investment - the Rams are butted right up against the cap - on the field is not producing results.
Kroenke was said to be the one who pushed for the Rams to hire Josh McDaniels as their offensive coordinator. There has been lots of talk about McDaniels fleeing for another head coaching job once he rehabilitates his reputation with the Rams. Definitely a possibility, but don't rule out the prospects of McDaniels also being considered as something of a successor at Rams Park either, especially since he was Kroenke's choice for the job.
Regardless of a much tougher schedule and injuries, expectations are much higher for the Rams this year, following a 7-9 turnaround last year. Anything less than that is not likely to be viewed favorably by fans and the owner alike, nor should it be.
Spagnuolo and for that matter GM Billy Devaney will be on the hot seat this year. Tenure is incredibly tenuous for NFL coaches and GMs these days. It might seem like overreaction to think of a poor effort this year putting anyone at risk for termination, but that just depends on how bad things slip.