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LA Rams Stadium Groundbreaking Offers Rare Comments From Stan Kroenke On Team, From Aaron Donald On Contract

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While most of the discussion yesterday revolved around the Rams’ future home, there was a little football news...

LA Rams DT Aaron Donald
LA Rams DT Aaron Donald

At yesterday’s groundbreaking of the Los Angeles Rams’ future home stadium, there were a few football-related nuggets I thought were worth breaking out from the groundbreaking story itself

Kroenke Talks Football

Rare is the moment that Rams Owner Stan Kroenke actually talks about his team, about the actual football product he pays for. Yesterday, though, was one of those rare moments:

Well, obviously all of this has been said, but the defense has been playing very well and on offense we haven’t been producing the way we’d like to. So there’s a big opportunity there. If you get the offense going, the argument would be that we could be pretty darn good.

That is definitely true. If we could get the offense going, we could be pretty darn good.

The problem, of course, is that the Rams have failed to do that for the last 10 seasons and despite empowering Head Coach Jeff Fisher for five years of continuity now, the offense is worse than it has ever been.

The Rams have been ranked last in the entire NFL in either offensive points or yards just five times: 1937 (when the franchise was in Cleveland), 1962, 2009, 2011 and last season. They are currently ranked last in scoring and next to last in yards with an offense cultivated over five seasons with the benefit of the 2012 NFL Draft trade and numerous high picks to help elevate the offense.

We’ll see the NFL debut of rookie franchise QB Jared Goff this weekend, the second #1 overall QB this franchise has handed the offense to in just seven seasons and the second #1 overall QB Fisher has been employed to groom in his tenure.

Perhaps Kroenke’s hypothetical argument will begin to take shape on Sunday. Otherwise, it rings quite hollow.

Kroenke Chuckles On Fisher Extension

“I think Kevin (Demoff) is up to speed on that,” Kroenke said of the Rams’ chief operating officer. “I’m sure you could talk to him about that.”

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Kroenke seemed amused by the contract question, and punted it to Demoff, his top deputy, who previously has declined to comment.

News about a potential contract extension began bubbling beneath a December 2015 report that indicated both Fisher and GM Les Snead would return for the 2016 season despite a fourth consecutive losing season. Those bubbles began to surface in February with a report that the extension discussions were underway and “expected to get done.” A June report only added heft to the rumors. ESPN’s John Clayton suggested Fisher’s extension would be reported along with the extension for DT Michael Brockers.

From Fisher himself, he said in September that “I never talk about my personal stuff or my extensions or non-extensions or anything. That’s between me and the organization.” Two weeks ago, Fisher talked about his personal stuff and his extensions or non-extensions or anything saying:

I’m not uncomfortable at all. I’m uncomfortable because I didn’t expect to be three-and-whatever we are, okay, but I’m not uncomfortable at all. I never look over my shoulder, we’re moving on. (Rams Owner/Chairman) Stan (Kroenke) and I are on the same page, he understands what we’ve been through, he’s as disappointed as I am at the losses – two three-points and a seven-point in the last three games. He understands that we’re competitive and we’re doing everything we possibly can to get this turned around.

Kroenke Talks Up Jared Goff

With Goff making his NFL debut on Sunday, Kroenke took the opportunity yesterday to beef up his young rookie franchise QB:

I think Jared is a very talented young man. That’s why we drafted him first in the draft.

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We have high hopes for Jared. The coaches say he has progressed and he’s ready. It’s complex in the NFL. It’s not like playing in college. It’s a different level. When you move to a different level, things speed up. Some of that is just becoming used to it, and I think the practice, throughout the fall at that level, has helped Jared.

Donald On Staying With The Rams: ‘We Gon’ See”

We’ve heard from a couple of Rams often this season: QBs Case Keenum and Jared Goff and RB Todd Gurley, chiefly. Yesterday though, DT Aaron Donald was on hand at the ceremony and said the following about the notion of playing in the Rams’ future home:

I’m not suggesting it’s worth freaking out about. Donald is fair in keeping the focus on 2016 and allowing the business side to work itself out away from the media.

All I’m suggesting is these kind of questions raise the idea of Aaron Donald playing for another NFL football team and that idea is not the greatest idea in the world.