So I tried to put together a video ahead of the opening of free agency. Then my internet went out until yesterday. Then my computer at home crashed and refuses to turn on. I suddenly have contracted the touch of death for any computer. I fully expect Powder-like powers to destroy all electronics within range. But with melanin.
In any case, I was trying to set the stage for free agency and the offseason as a whole for the Rams' new leadership, primarily GM Les Snead and HC Jeff Fisher. There's a key juxtaposition in what they have ahead of them and what the staggered arrivals of their predecessors, Billy Devaney and Steve Spagnuolo, were pressed into. In essence, it's the difference between rebuilding from the bottom up and just building on top of something that already exists.
Some better worded thoughts (hopefully) after the jump (and make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel; yes, we are going to remind you ad nauseum).
Both Spags and Fisher assumed head coaching responsibilities after 2-win seasons. The key difference is, to oversimplify the issue, age. The year prior to Spags' arrival, the Rams' QB-LT-top WR combo was Marc Bulger (31 years old), Orlando Pace (33) and Torry Holt (32). At the end of last year, it was Sam Bradford (24), Rodger Saffold (23) and Brandon Lloyd (30). And let's face it - it looks unlikely that Lloyd will be back in St. Louis for the 2012 season.
The difference between the opening chapters of the two eras is that Spags and Devaney were forced to clear out the entire roster. On one hand, there were too few talented players in starting positions. On the other, the talented players were well past their prime.
Now, the Rams have a core populated by players who are yet to peak - Sam Bradford, Chris Long, James Laurinaitis, Robert Quinn. Sure, Steven Jackson's career is closer to the end than the beginning, but I'm guessing you don't want to hear me go on my "running backs in the modern NFL" diatribe yet again. And obviously I mentioned Danny Amendola, but it sounds more and more like this staff and front office isn't as committed to Danny as their predecessors. And judging by the poll results here at TST, it seems like most Rams fans are ok with that.
But to get back to my larger point, this isn't the same construction job that we dealt with just a few years ago. The foundation has changed. The nucleus has changed. And instead of putting one together, the immediate appraisal of the Rams' new head coach and general manager will depend on how they complement the nucleus they were handed from the previous regime.