New Rams GM Billy Devaney makes another smart move by hiring a dedicated pro personnel guy for his staff. This instantly gives the Rams a better front office. How? First the news from Jim Thomas at the Post-Dispatch:
Mike Williams has been hired as the team’s new director of pro personnel. Williams comes to the Rams from the San Francisco 49ers, where he has been assistant director of pro personnel since 2005.
Williams starts Friday with the Rams and will immediately jump into the evaluation of prospective free agents.
This is great news. Billy Devaney had a hand in this last season, but had other itmes on his plate. Ideally, having a dedicated staff person for pro personnel improves the Rams free agent (or trading) batting average, something that's taken a hit with the acquisitions of Drew Bennett, Dante Hall, etc. Free agency is enough of a crap shoot and overpaying is the rule, but if you can find the right guy that really fills a need, it's worth it. The Rams have enough holes to fill that they won't be idle in free agency this spring; they can't afford to.
Obviously, the Niners had their share of problems last season, but if you look back, they made some solid free agent moves. DE Justin Smith got huge contract, but he also had 7 sacks for sub-.500 team. People thought Isaac Bruce was done, but he did a nice job as the top WR in a mostly dysfunctional offense. LB Takeo Spikes was a cheap addition that paid big dividends, a guy the Rams should have had on their radar. WR Bryant Johnson played well too. Each of those guys fit a real need in SF's systems; except for a QB.
Gotta applaud this move again. The Rams are becoming more and more of a serious football team with a real commitment to winning with each passing day under the new regime.