When the lockout was over and with the rush to get the 2011 NFL season underway, several of the national NFL analysts and many of the local media including myself (10-6) picked Sam Bradford and the Rams to win the NFC West division.
As the Rams digress from a 7-9 team in 2010 that battled for the NFC crown against the Seattle Seahawks, to a 2-8 record in 2011, it is shocking to everyone including the fans and a lot of questions are being raised loudly. I wrote a blog here and on TonySoftli.com several weeks ago to “Let the Season Play out” before making demands of the removal of the front office. As the record starts to total more losses than wins, and a winning season fades into the sunset, the competitive nature of the team peaks and valleys and the lack of offensive production, frustration and conjecture grows quickly.
A source outside the Rams organization said owner Stan Kroenke interviewed a potential candidate for a new position within the organization as a President that is from another sport outside of the NFL arena. In addition, names like Dick Vermeil and Bill Parcels are being thrown around as well.
While the Rams’ Kevin Demoff (chief operating officer) has done an exceptional job in the front office on the business, marketing and sales side of the house, a president would oversee all functions and aspects of the organization that from the outside seems to be spinning out of control, in which major stability is much needed from the top down.
Kevin Acee, a writer for the San Diego Union Tribune, wrote Monday, ” Rams owner Stan Kroenke is looking to blow up his front office and hire a new coach. Kroenke, according to a league source, is compiling a general manager list right now.”
As coaches and general managers take on a job in the NFL, they understand that winning is the bottom line, and is the daily challenge and grind of the two positions. This is the time of year that the boo birds come out loud and clear from the fan base and rumors start flying high like a 747 around those teams with losing records.
Many owners take into account the rash of injuries a team endures throughout a season, the schedule their teams must play, but more important how the team is constructed with talent through the draft and free agency and the development of the roster on a yearly basis.
The Rams currently have a franchise quarterback, a Pro Bowl running back and a young linebacker to build a defense around. They lack Blue players (play-makers and difference-makers) on both sides of the ball and Red players (starters and major contributors with blue traits) to compete at a high level on a consistent basis.
While Kroenke has not addressed the fan base and probably will not, speculation builds on the direction of the Rams’ organization. The conversations I’m engaged with many Rams fans when eating dinner with my wife at local restaurants on a weekly basis, frustration and discontent is growing in the Show-Me State.