This has been a disappointing season for the St. Louis Rams, which is how most of their seasons have been recently. It's looking like the Rams will make front office moves in the coming weeks. According to Albert Breer of the NFL Network, owner Stan Kroenke will likely fire both General Manager Billy Devaney as well as head coach Steve Spagnuolo. As for who will be replacing them, it's all rumor right now.
The most popular name linked with the Rams for the General Manager job is current Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith. Although he is still the Chargers GM, it's likely that the Chargers owner will fire him and the head coach, so they can start anew.
For those who want their leaders to be more outspoken, A.J. Smith will make them happy. He is the opposite of Billy Devaney. Honestly, I wouldn't be excited if the Rams added him. I can't get excited by bringing in a guy who is about to be fired. Especially when everyone is excited that he might bring Jon Gruden or Jeff Fisher. It seems like that would make the Chargers leadership happy.
So since I said my 2 cents, here are some quotes I found on what people think about him. Also, as a little bonus, I will put his last three drafts down below.
Here is the situation: Ladanian Tomlinson, the former star running back of the Chargers, gave his opinion on Phillip Rivers. Quote of what LT said. From http://www.signonsandiego.com
"I don't know what Philip may be going through right now," said Tomlinson, in his second season with the Jets following his release by the Chargers in February 2010. "But I will say, to me he seems distracted, for some reason. Like on the sideline, he seems like he's just distracted. And I've always said this: It's hard to be 'the guy.' When they say this is your team, it's hard to be the guy, because you get all the questions of what's wrong and what's right. And then you get your teammates who expect certain things from you, and when that doesn't happen, you get strange looks in the locker room. It's hard to be that guy when it's your team, so that may have a little bit to do with what's going on, too."
General manager A.J. Smith was asked about the former running back’s opinion. As is often the case, Smith had his own opinion. And while the G.M. was clearly supporting Rivers, he also fired back by alluding to Tomlinson’s final season-plus here, in which the running back struggled with a diminished role.
Here is the quote from Smith.
"I agree with what LT said about it’s hard being the guy," Smith said. "But I think it’s a lot harder when it’s no longer your team, and you’re not the guy."
Smith also still holds grudges, that is what he said about Eli Manning earlier this season.
"He was a Charger for 45 minutes," Smith said "and that was too much time to be a Charger, in my opinion."
I'm not trying to make the discussion one-sided at all. He did bring in a lot of talent to the Chargers for years. His personality just rubs me the wrong way at times, but that's just me. It's also my opinion that he's been missing out on recent draft picks.
The reason there's not a good quote in favor of AJ Smith, is because I couldn't find much positive being said about him. The big reason people want him is because of what he did in the past; which was pretty damn great, if he had done better with recent drafts, I wouldn't care if the Rams hired him.
Again, I would rather give Billy Devaney another season, but that's just my opinion, let's see what the Rams will do after the season ends.
Here is AJ Smith's recent drafts, starting in 2008, not including this years draft, because it's too early to tell. Honestly I don't think the Rams drafting will get much better under Smith. The only thing that might be different is that the head coach will most likely have to keep some of the players, instead of cutting them prematurely.
|2008 - San Diego Chargers|
|1||27||Antoine Cason Reclaimed starting spot from rookie Marcus Gilchrist Around Nov this year||CB||Arizona|
|3||69||Jacob Hester Hasn't had over 100 yards in a season.||FB||Louisiana State|
|5||166||Marcus Thomas cut in 2008||RB||Texas-El Paso|
|6||192||DeJuan Tribble cut in 2008||CB||Boston College|
|7||234||Corey Clark cut in 2009||T||Texas A&M|
|2009 - San Diego Chargers|
|1||16||Larry English Has 7 sacks in his career, 43 tackles total||DE||Northern Illinois|
|3||78||Louis Vasquez Starting||G||Texas Tech|
|4||113||Vaughn Martin starter||DT||Western Ontario (Canada)|
|4||133||Tyronne Green gets playing time, maybe starting||G||Auburn|
|4||134||Gartrell Johnson cut||RB||Colorado State|
|5||148||Brandon Hughes cut||CB||Oregon State|
|6||189||Kevin Ellison cut||DB||USC|
|7||224||Demetrius Byrd cut||WR||Louisiana State|
|2010 - San Diego Chargers|
|1||12||Ryan Mathews 1000 yard rusher||RB||Fresno State|
|3||79||Donald Butler starter||LB||Washington|
|4||110||Darrell Stuckey on the roster||DB||Kansas|
|5||146||Cam Thomas backup||DT||North Carolina|
|5||168||Jonathan Crompton cut||QB||Tennessee|
|7||235||Dedrick Epps cut||TE||Miami (Fla.)|