I am a firm believer in demanding the highest level of success and anything short of that will be considered failure. Demanding Excellence and not accepting anything less. I am not sure what the Ram's vision is under Stan Kroenke. Hopefully he has the same philosophy as I do. Does he have more patience and has given his management team shorter term goals? Have we set smaller more attainable goals that lead towards the larger goal? Are we just trying to make the playoffs first, then become a perennial playoff team, then a Super Bowl contender then Champion? Are we patient enough to wait for those goals to be reached? The NFL has become a "what have you done for me lately" league and with as much money that is at stake it is understandable and well accepted.
This offseason certain questions should be asked of each person involved in the Ram's franchise; Does your position with this company give us the best chance to meet the goals and vision set forth by the ownership? Does your position in this company allow us to meet and exceed our goals as a business? If the answer is yes, then we move forward with the evaluation process. If the answer is anything other then an emphatic yes, then we should make some difficult decisions. The world is a cut throat place and the business world is even tougher. The Ram's franchise should be a place that does not accept anything less then excellence. There will always be certain exceptions and some excuses can be accepted. A rookie should not be held to the same standard as a veteran player, but needs to show steady progress throughout the season. Obviously a player who spent the majority of the season injured cannot do this, but they should not be given a pass. A player who has is habitually injured does not help us meet our goals. If you showed up to work only 75% of the time the company you work for will most definitely will separate you from their employment, the same standard should be used in evaluating our players. We should not use the success or failures of players on other teams as a evaluation criteria, that would be unfair, but on a managerial level our success is directly tied to those other franchises. There should not be any single person involved in the Ram's franchise that are above this process. Even ownership should be part of the evaluation process and examine the company's vision and goals.
Jeff Fisher and Les Snead have done an admirable job of quickly infusing talent and youth to the Rams. They have taken a roster with very little talent and through the draft and savvy trades turned around the roster. They have taken more chances then any other franchise and those risks have payed off so far. They have not been afraid to roll the dice and have had great success so far. They assembled an experienced staff to assist with the maturation of all these young players. It has been a 24 month roller coaster, as expected, and there is no doubt that we are in a better position for long term success then we were before they arrived. This alone has bought them our faith, but should not give them a pass in the future. The front office have made some difficult decisions and as fan base we have bought into everything that has been done. Their job will never be static and hopefully they will continue to roll the dice and do everything possible to put the best product forward.
We, as fans, should consider that the current Ram's roster may never attain the goals that we set, let alone the vision and goals set forth by ownership. The Ram's may never win a SuperBowl with Sam Bradford as quarterback. The Ram's may not win 10 games every year for the next decade. Conversely Sam Bradford still has a chance to show us that he can be the one to take us to the promise land. Conversely the Rams may need time to develop the young talent that the front office has accumulated to become the next dynasty in the NFL. The hardest thing about being a fan is to remember that the Rams's are a business and have to be ran as such. Each person involved in the Ram's franchise are doing everything that they possibly can do to make it the best company that it can be. Their best however wonderful it may be, may not be enough to meet the goals and vision set forth by ownership. For the Rams franchise to experience the highest level of success they must not settle for some person trying hard, they must have the best person for every job exceeding their potential.
Even as fans we must evaluate our standing. Should we hold the Rams to the highest standard and not except anything less then excellence? or should we have a more tempered realistic approach and accept things the way they are and accept mediocrity? Should we voice displeasure when we feel we could do better? or do we express optimism for the future? No matter what happens, one thing must happen; we must supportive of each other as fans for we all live and die for our beloved Rams.
For the last 34 years, I have been a die hard Rams fan and suffered through some bad times and been blessed to see the best of times. I have great memories of some great times and horrid memories of some rough times. A lot of these memories have stemmed from some of the amazing players we have had over the years. Jerome Bettis, Kevin Greene Eric Dickerson were some players whom I loved only to see them move on and see great success other places. No matter who they played for I was excited for them. These guys were different then Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, and Sjax who moved on at the end of their careers. I never understood why we had to move on from Jerome Bettis, Kevin Greene, and Eric Dickerson because IMO the decisions were not made with the best intentions of team. I understood why Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce and Sjax moved on. I would have loved for them to end their careers as Rams, but not at the expense of the success of our franchise. No player is above the overall success of the Rams. Difficult decisions are always going to have to be made. Decisions will be made this offseason that will define the Rams for years to come, but if the decisions are made by the best possible people for the job and are made for the correct reasons then whatever the outcome is, it was the right decision at the time. I have no clue what the direction the team will take this offseason, who will be signed, re-signed, cut, drafted or traded. I may question wtf just happened, but I do know that no matter what happens that when the Rams suit up, they will have my support and love.