...After practice on Tuesday, Rams COO Kevin Demoff and GM Les Snead walked across two sun-drenched practice fields to speak to an eager group of Rams fans. Both men were refreshingly open and candid with us, about their hopes for the season and about the challenges the team faces.
Demoff made an early comparison to a soapbox derby, saying (and I'm paraphrasing a bit here, since I didn't record this): "We spent the last six months pushing the cart up the hill, and two weeks ago, we pushed it over the edge. We can steer it a little bit, but it's going to go where it's going to go."
That got Snead talking about momentum, and how essential -- if unquantifiable -- it is to a team's fortunes. "You can intellectualize the game, but at some point, until you've been down there on the field, you don't know how important momentum is to a season."
A fan pointed out how we as Rams fans got kicked in the gut last year with the whole momentum-building process of division-contending hype, a 4-0 preseason, and then to come out and disintegrate in Week 1 against the Eagles.
This earned a nod from Snead, who talked about Jeff Fisher and his staff's experience, his ability to manage a team's energy and momentum. He didn't say it in as many words, but the comparison between Spagnuolo's inexperienced staff and this one was clear.
The Atlanta Falcons would scrimmage against Jeff Fisher's Titans teams, Snead pointed out, and the difference between the two practice fields was stark. The Falcons' coaches would be yelling, screaming, pushing their players, while Fisher's squad cruised through their drills, going about their business. You didn't see urgency on Fisher's practice field.
But, when it came time for the two teams to meet, as soon as anyone started keeping score (and apparently they did keep score of some kind in these scrimmages), Fisher's team would... and here Snead paused and smacked a fist into, and through, the palm of his other hand. "Fisher has a way of managing that energy, to get his teams ready for gameday."
Demoff then hearkened back to a game against Tennessee in 2009, to Keith Null's illustrious first start at quarterback. "The Titans were still throwing on us, up 34-7 in the fourth quarter. And you want to get mad, but ... they had started that season 0-6. And this was the game that would get them to 7-7. They ended up finishing that season 8-8. He was sending a message to his own team, getting them ready to stomp on people again."
It may just be me, but it feels like Demoff, and especially Snead, are ready for gameday, ready for Fisher to take this team and just hit somebody with it. Until that happens, we won't know what we have and what we don't. From my part as a fan, I know there is talent on this team. We just need to see it on the field, under the bright lights.
Note: I used to post here as taiko back in the day, and these days I do my writing over at RamsHerd.com. But since RVB did such a great job lining up Les Snead and Kevin Demoff for us fans to talk to after practice yesterday, I thought it would be appropriate to put this up here.