It’s here. All or Nothing: A Season With the Los Angeles Rams is available on Amazon Prime Video starting today. I’ll have episode recaps and a final piece with my thoughts on the whole series soon.
As for Episode 1, here were some of my notable moments. Drop yours in the comments.
- Rams General Manager Les Snead and Director of Player Personnel Taylor Morton had a little interesting moment leading to the Rams drafting Jared Goff. Part of what makes this show so good is that you get a sense of all the details that football teams have to deal with. Snead and Morton confirming how they want to hand in the pick and announce it was the first of many.
- At around the 8:40 mark, Rams Owner Stan Kroenke talks about the trade to move up to the #1 spot in the 2016 NFL Draft:
[incomprehensible] asked me this morning, “Do you know who you’re going to pick?”
I said, “Oh yeah, we knew that before we traded.”
I said, “Or we wouldn’t have traded.”
Remember that, as the LA Times’ Sam Farmer reported, the NFL asked the Rams to keep the pick secret “thereby sustaining the drama.” So every time that Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher and Snead were asked if they knew who they were picking (which was often), every time they said that they didn’t, they were lying. Period. Or Kroenke is here.
It’s not the biggest deal, but as our Sean Wilkinson wrote about and I alluded to in an editor’s note, it just confirms a basic principle about how the team communicates.
- Speaking of insincerity, the moment when Jeff Fisher starts clapping at the Rams’ war room to manufacture applause to then tell Goff, “We got a group of people here who are really excited about you. Do you hear that?”
- About 13 minutes in, Jeff Fisher is already using relocation as an excuse. In the offseason program. Think about that mentality. Instilling a built-in excuse to the team to justify mistakes.
- “I’m missing one surfboard.”
- There was a bit of glossing over in the explanation of Case Keenum as the incumbent starter. Remember Goff was the #1 overall pick in the draft. In the modern era, #1 overall quarterbacks generally start Week 1. On top of which, the QB keeping Goff out of the lineup was...Case Keenum. Narrator Jon Hamm (a St. Louis native...) alludes to Keenum’s run at the end of 2015 leading the Rams to a 3-1 closeout...a four-game stretch in which he threw for 174 yards per game and less than a touchdown per game, including a Week 13 game in which Keenum went 14/22, threw for 124 yards, no touchdowns and threw interception...which the Rams won.
- “I’m not fucking going 7-9. Or 8-8. Or 9-7. Ok? Or 10-6 for that matter.”
- “This move thing is not an excuse. This move thing is an advantage.”
- Again, more glossing over of the context at the end of a really good package on Fisher’s history in the NFL, both as a player and as a coach.
“NFL Head Coaches are rarely granted a fifth”
No, it’s rarer than that.
- Fisher, Assitant Head Coach Dave McGinnis and OL Coach Paul Boudreau talkin bout pissin. Gotta love old guys getting together talkin about problems peein.
- The San Francisco game is just rough to watch. The frustration is palpable. Right around 36:45, Todd Gurley gets a personal foul. Then Alec Ogletree rolls over a tackle perhaps a bit too long. Then Aaron Donald gets ejected.
And you can feel the frustration at the inability to have prevented getting to this point.
- Surprised Fisher used the move as an excuse after the game? You shouldn’t be.
- The segment on Aaron Donald watching film...hard not to love everything about him.
- The idea of the Rams back in the Coliseum? If that doesn’t give you chills...
- One minor thing I picked up on at about 48:20. There’s a false start on the right guard, which I think was Jamon Brown from the previous year’s Seattle Seahawks games, one of which I think is what they’re watching tape of.
Case Keenum responds, “Alright, man. That’s the last one. Y’all good with that?”
The offense responds in unison, “Yeah.”
It was not the last one.
- It’s a good episode to get the season started. There’s a sense of impending joy at the return of the Rams to LA which, in the next episode, is covered wonderfully.
There’s also enough to start getting glimpses of what would ultimately unravel.
A lack of pressure for a head coach in year five, having already been given a contract extension yet lying about it, who couches everything into an implied excuse about relocating to ensure that’s at the forefront of how the team views everything. The lack of demand to execute properly. A comfort level entirely misaligned for a team that had gone 12 seasons without winning arriving in Los Angeles waiting to see what they were welcoming.
They would find out. The next seven episodes play that out in beautiful, albeit painful, form.
The show must go on...