Monday, November 21, 2005

A Fitting End to Rams' Glory Days

What a perfect way to officially ring out the best era in St. Louis professional football. Kurt Warner, the centerpiece of our most joyful gridiron Sundays, comes back to town with the Cardinals to emphatically destroy all hope for the Rams.

Now the job is to clean house and try to find a bunch of young people to get excited about all over again.

Who should stay in the current organization? Aside from Steven Jackson, Torry Holt, Orlando Pace, Leonard Little and Marc Bulger, maybe nobody. Oh, there are several other good to decent players, there are a few competent coaches. But, none that are inexpendible, IMHO.

Let's start with the off-field staff.

With all the current turmoil, including bitter office politics, behind-the-scenes back stabbing, fighting coaches, veteran players bashing other players anonymously, and other distateful intrigue, if I'm Georgia Frontiere, I seriously consider a total house-cleaning starting with John Shaw and descending from there. After all, Shaw's out-of-town management habits seem to be the "while-the-cat's-away" environment in which all of this mess festered. I seriously wonder, though, if Georgia is at a place in her life where she would consider such a vaporization of the entire front-office. It seems she puts so much faith in the decision-making of Shaw, that it's unlikely she would send him packing too. But, if she wants a true organizational facelift, that's what she needs to consider.

What about the team itself?

If you look closely, it appears there are less than a handful of real "keepers" on this team. Most of the recent drafting has been mediocre to awful, resulting in some young "baggage" that could easily be traded or jetisoned. You'll also see some veterans who have either hit the end of the line...or are getting close. (Faulk, Bruce, Timmerman on offense...Jackson, Coakley, Claiborne on defense) Then you have a slough of people with some experience who you have to think about replacing for various reasons, inluding frequent injuries, and lack of production. Archuleta, Tinoisamoa, Kennedy, Pickett, Lewis, and all people playing tight-end and offensive line other than the starting tackle positions.

Someone who knows how to put together a team would have some cornerstones to work with, but would have to do a good job drafting and teaching young players to get this team back to respectability within the next 3 years. It could be done. But, it has to be done now before the Rams slide even further into the depths of NFL irrelevance. As it stands now, they are a soap opera without any chance for a happy ending.

No comments: