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Self Heating Seats: The Front Office

As much as everyone has been talking about Harvey Unga and how he is the the best 3rd-down back the supplemental draft can buy (seriously people, we haven't forgotten about Chris Ogbonnaya yet, have we?) I thought It would be nice to take at the front office and see how well of a job they really have been doing. Time permitting, I'll get to the rest of the team later, but I thought it'd be nice to ease into things.

Speaking of horribly overused transitional statements, let me ease you in by telling you how this all works out. I'll go over the main front office guys and display how much of a hot seat they may or may not be in. To do this, I'll be using the Richie Incognito "He just needs to go" scale. 5 Richie Heads means he's about as safe as Mike Martz was after an argument with Jay Zygmunt, and 1 Richie Head means that there is absolutely no reason whatsoever that he should be canned. So let's get into it...hit the jump to continue!

*This is all subjective. Rams coaches are graded on their own scale- you can't equate a 5 Richie Head rating to someone else, say like Eric Mangini. Obviously it's only been a year, so the gravity of the scale is reflected as that. Think of this warning as an Apple "I'll-cover-my-@ss-and-say-you-can't-get-a-signal-because-of-the-software statement".

Ken Flajole, Defensive Coordinator

Richieheads_medium Richieheads_medium

Rating: 2 Richie Heads out of 5

I give Flajole 2 Richie Heads out of 5, which is mostly a presumptive rating. Let me explain: The Rams arguably have their youngest and brightest on defense. Think James L., Chris Long, O.J. Atogwe and Bradley Fletcher. The Rams aren't a great team, but they have enough pieces together to at least put up a fight on this side of the ball.

Since the Rams offense most likely won't be able to get the job done, it's going to come down to the defense to bail them out, which, as we've seen last year is at least possible. If the Rams start to regress in this category, questions will start to be asked.



Pat Shurmur, Offensive Coordinator


Rating: 4 Richie Heads out of 5

If anyone should be canned (and I'm not saying they should) then it'll be Shurmur. His unoriginal, lackluster play calling is just one of the many things that went wrong for the Rams on this side of the ball. While granted, he doesn't have that much to work with, I find it hard to believe that the Rams are just that flat out horrible on offense.

When Sam Bradford comes under contract, the Rams will have invested quite a bit into this side of the ball (Bradford, Jackson, J. Smith, J. Brown, J. Bell, among others). While the Rams won't be an offensive powerhouse next year, it'd be nice to see at least a few games were things come together and the Rams actually move the ball effectively for at least a couple of quarters. You've got all these young speedsters as WR's Shurmur. Use them!



Tom McMahon, Special Teams Coordinator


Rating: 1 Richie Head out of 5

I'll be the first to admit that I read Tom McMahon way too early. After the 12 men on the field gaffe that started out the year (and a few other mistakes), he quietly coached that squad to become an impressive unit. In fact, FootballOutsiders ranks them 11th in the league last year, which is pretty amazing considering the Rams were pretty much dead last everywhere else.

I really don't see him having any issues here- as long as Donnie keeps punting the way he is and Josh Brown keeps making field goals, he'll last as long as Spagnoulo does.



Kevin Demoff, The "Cap Guy"


Rating: 1 Richie Head out of 5

Yeah, yeah, I know, I've raved about him before. But the fact of the matter is he gets results. He basically duped O.J. Atogwe into a one year deal, which whether you like it or not is pretty impressive given the time that O.J. spent holding out for a long term deal. He's also made good use of the money available to him, and it'll be interesting to see how much slack he is given once a new owner finalizes a deal.

Of course, it's always interesting when your the cap guy and the league just happens to longer have a salary cap. But he should be fine, unless he takes on JaMarcus Russell's rookie contract.



Billy Devaney, General Manager


Rating: 3 Richie Heads out of 5

Billy Devaney has been here in some form or another for about 3 years. That's about the time it takes to see if drafts pan out, so a lot is going to riding on him (in retrospective) to get his job done. He has one of the most important jobs in the entire organization, and if he falters, well, then $h!t hits the fan.

In recent times, it's normally either the GM or the Head Coach that gets a one year reprieve if the teams continues to play bad. Unfortunately for Billy D, Spagnuolo has been here for less time and he uses what he is given as well as he can.



Steve Spagnuolo, Head Coach


Rating: 2 Richie Heads out of 5

Any time a team has a 1-15 season, you have fans come out of the woodwork to bash somebody on the coaching staff. Luckily for Spags, the team plays hard underneath him, most people respect him as a coach, and he has generally gotten good results in the past. That, and the team pretty much sucked before he came here.

But with the rapid turnarounds that are going on in the NFL today, there is a fine line between waiting and I've-had-enough. If the Rams continue to play bad under his watch next year, he may feel his self heating seat start to malfunction and get a little warm.