"It's not about how you start, it's how you finish," said St. Louis Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo in his press conference yesterday. With expectations much higher for the Rams than they have been in some time, two ugly losses to start the season have watchers concerned. Spagnuolo tried to assuage feelings with that statement. The results of the next 14 games will be the ultimate determining factor how fans and the media view the Rams.
Spagnuolo's Giants defense got off to a horrible start the year they won the Super Bowl. After two games they had given up oodles of points. They pulled it together, and, well, you know the rest. But that was just one unit, running an entire team is a different matter.
An exaggerated report about Spagnuolo's post-game meeting with Rams owner Stan Kroenke made the rounds yesterday. A reporter from the New York Post tweeted that he "heard" Kroenke was haranguing his head coach about the Rams' two losses. The instant reaction internet news cycle, which TST is a part of, strikes again. A second report from Mike Sando made it sound as though Kroenke was in the locker room with the players as well. I hesitated to post anything on it, but it's pretty hard to ignore, especially for a site that goes 'round the clock.
Spagnuolo waved off the interpretation of an angry owner taking him to task after Monday's game on 101 ESPN yesterday afternoon, which you would expect him to do. We'll never know what happened in that meeting, and it doesn't really matter. It doesn't seem particularly logical that the owner would go after his coach moments after an infuriating loss, much less the players. That just doesn't seem like a good way to do business, especially in the era of free agency and multimillion contracts.
That said, I do hope that the owner of this team holds his leadership accountable. That's needed. After all, this is Kroenke's investment, and winning is the only way to make money in the NFL. I also like the idea of a competitive owner.
Kroenke may have merely been annoyed, like the rest of us, with his team's performance to start the season. Like Spagnuolo said, how they finish is what ultimately matters. Expectations are higher for this team, as they should be. No, they have a long way to go before they recover from the Zygmunt years to have a deep roster like Green Bay, but this is not 2009. It's not even 2010, literally. In those years, nobody expected the Rams to be a competitive team capable of winning 7 or 8 games.
People expect more from the Rams this season, hence the disappointment of watching them drop a game they should have won. We'll be closely watching how the Rams finish.