St. Louis Rams GM Billy Devaney is not only the best GM in recent Rams history (of course, his competition is Jay Zygmunt), he might have the best sense of humor of any front office guy in the league. When asked about Adam Schefter's report that non-Rams sources have told him that the Rams will draft Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford with the first overall pick, this was his retort:
That took a lot of pressure off of us right away because Dr. Schefter cleared him medically. We feel really good about the health status of Sam Bradford with Dr. Schefter giving him a clean bill of health and guaranteeing our pick. So we're on to the second round.
Brilliant. In all seriousness, the Rams could do a lot worse than getting Devaney out there among the fans on a regular basis. He's whip smart, knows football and a has a reassuring touch. Here's more from the GM on Bradford's health and how the team will approach that issue.
We will get with the doctors, our medical people as soon as we get back to St. Louis. That will be a big decision and a lot will go into that. We will probably have more than one opinion on that. We will get as accurate and thorough information that we can. We will find out after this process is over.
Yeah, that’s why we put it on the doctors. They better be sure. You hope so. You get to all of the tests but we haven’t seen him throw. His date is the 25th of March. In my mind, we may go in again right before the draft and see what his status is, is it improving, has he regressed? We need to find out and be as sure as possible. There is no sure thing but yeah, a position like that, absolutely we need to be sure.
We are just now starting to learn about these juniors. You go into the year and go to colleges, you can’t get a lot of information on these guys, they haven’t declared, they are still undecided so the coaches really aren’t going to talk to you about a guy they would like to stay in school. So it’s not like we say here’s what the weight coach said about him and here’s what the position coach says. One of the things we did pick up was he is a tall guy, he just needed to add some weight and they didn’t think it was a problem it was just that as he matures he will be fine eventually but one of the things is that for a tall guy he needed to put some pounds on.
It's misguided to think that the Rams are going to tip their hand one way or the other about who they intend to draft, to state the obvious. It is clear that they'll give each potential pick their due diligence before handing him a check for more than $40 million.
One more thing Devaney mentioned that I found to be particularly enlightening about their process for evaluating quarterbacks...or any draft pick.
That’s where temperament comes in more than anything. Some guys can do it and if they get the snot knocked out of them, it doesn’t effect them. Some guys, it destroyed them as rookies when they get put in there and get beat up pretty good and never recover. Peyton Manning won what a couple of games his first year. But you weren’t going to destroy him. So it depends on the individual.
That sounds like a guy who learned a very valuable lesson as part of the team that drafted Ryan Leaf. And that's why I'm so high on Devaney's ability as a GM. General managers, coaches, etc. are going to make some bad, even some devastating draft picks. Players are human, and as such filled with lots of innate flaws, making it impossible for every talented kid to succeed. For the front office guys, what shows me their chops is what they learn from those bad picks and how it shapes their decision making going forward. That's a far more realistic measure of success.
Anyway, go read the summary at the Rams' official site of Devaney's remarks today. He touches on everything from Steven Jackson to Michael Vick to Eric Berry and more.