Hello to everyone as we hit midseason in the NFL. We have players calling out refs, players hugging refs, and as always group therapy available here for disenfranchised Rams fans. A reminder, we will have our periodic update of ex-St. Louis Rams in the NFL posted on line later this afternoon.
In an ideal world, the Rams would've stayed in LA and St. Louis gets an expansion team. The fans are just pawns in all this, no matter how many "football is family" ads the NFL runs. It's all about the dollars, sadly, moreso than ever in the NFL. I get it that the LA Rams fans have ill will towards Georgia, but there was one big difference in the Rams move to St Louis and the Rams move back to LA. Namely, LA/southern California had nothing resembling a viable stadium plan back in the '90s. St. Louis did.
The Raiders have set the bar high. But the Rams have 8 more games to get it done.
Good question. Mike has had a reputation for being hard to work with. I think it would take a strong personality, and a secure personality, in a head coach and GM to work with Mike. But my goodness, I agree with you. It's hard for me to think of a better QB guru than hom. Granted, it's tough love, but the guy gets the most out of QBs. I mean, he squeezed two 4,000-yard passing seasons out of Jon Kitna in Detroit, went 5-3 with Shaun Hill has his starter in San Francisco. I think Mike would like one more crack at it.
Well, Tennessee has a very old-school approach in terms of running the ball. I think coach Mike Mularkey calls it "exotic smash-mouth" _ which is kind of an odd name. You know, the Dallas Cowboys are very balanced. Entering their Sunday game with Philadelphia they were the only team with more run plays called than pass plays. Although I've broadened my scope in terms of what I pay attention to in the NFL, it's tough for me to come up with a "progressive " offensive philosophy team. I like that Dirk Koetter at Tampa Bay tries to push the ball down the field more in the passing game. So many teams are dink and dunk. I haven't really seen much of Atlanta or Oakland this season, so don't have a great feel for what they're doing.
It's not something I've talked about much lately with writers I run into, but if you're asking if there's an awareness of how the NFL abuses its fan base for the sake of the almighty dollar _ the answer is yes. And there are more towns than maybe you'd think of that have lost their teams. Cleveland, Baltimore, Houston, Oakland, and yes, LA/southern California have all gone through it.
I have a lot of respect for Norv Turner, but yeah, I would've liked to have seen more screens and quick throws to the WRs last night. Saying that, it was pretty clear even with what the TV shots showed last night that there were times when the Vikings' O-line was getting beaten and beaten quickly. For example, I'm sure Jake Long will get better as he gets more playing time, but it's sad to watch him play these days. I mean, this guy was once a Pro Bowler. I could be wrong on this, but I think the running game will improve with more work for Ronnie Hillman. Right now, Bradford looks a little shell-shocked. I know that look. I've seen it in St. Louis. But with their defense and that coaching staff, I don't think it's a time for panic in Minnesota. Football is a game of momentum, and the bye week couldn't have come at a worst time for the Vikings. The same thing happened to Philly after they came out of their bye.
I'm certainly not ready to bury Minnesota, or even Seattle for that matter. But I have to say it would be Jerry Jones' squad in Dallas. But lots of games left Things can change. The New York Giants won a Super Bowl after a 9-7 regular season.
As you know, the optimism would be based on the fact that the Rams' next 4 opponents _ Carolina, New Orleans, Miami, and the New York Jets _ are a combined 11-18, and none of the 4 currently has a winning record. But New Orleans and Miami are improving, Carolina came out of its bye week with a strong win against Arizona, and even the Jets have won their last two. The Rams' defense, which has looked very quick this season, should be almost fully healthy. We'll see. You know as well as I it's hard to imagine the Fisher Rams playing with the kind of week-to-week consistency to win 4 in a row.
Circa third preseason game of 2014, in Cleveland?
And that's to be expected. It takes 2 or 3 years to fully get the feel for a team. It'll come with time.
If you don't make a change in the midst of a 3-game losing streak, on the heels of a 4-interception game by your quarterback, with the extra time of a bye week to prepare. . . .when would you?
Can't speak for LA, but I don't think so.
It's a noble concept. But this is a very exclusive club. There are only 32 of these in the world, there's not one on every corner with golden arches selling quarter pounders. The NFL isn't going to just turn these money machines over to the masses.
I'm sure the LA/southern California writers felt the same way about the St. Louis media in 1995, Of course, the Rams did start 5-1 that year. You can't manufacture perspective _ it takes a little time. Just a couple of thoughts on Fisher-Goff. Fisher really likes Keenum _ his energy, his intangibles, his leadership. Also, trading up to the No. 1 overall spot for Goff didn't seem like a Fisher move to me. (Nor did having his team on Hard Knocks.) The trade-up seemed like a hey we're in LA now we need to make a splash move. If you were going to trade up for a QB, I think the year to do it was 2015 with Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. Maybe time will show otherwise, but I never saw Goff or Wentz as franchise QBs. One last thing: the longer Goff sits on the bench, the more you have to wonder if the Rams aren't sold on him, no matter what they say publicly.
Since NBA and NHL seasons overlap, would there be enough fans and dollars to go around to support 2 "winter sports" teams in this market. I'm not sure on that one.
Thanks for noticing. That was in our 7 For Sunday package. There was a time late last year when it was the Raiders as the worst team of the last decade. But they've zoomed past the Browns and Rams.
Malibu Stan has a lot of faith in Jeff Fisher. That should be fairly obvious by now.
Already checking out that draft order, are we? Yes, right now the Rams' pick at 3-4 would come before the Titans' pick at 4-4. I think it'll be neck and neck on which pick comes first. Tennessee looks improved this season but 5 of their last 8 games are on the road _ they haven't taken their bye yet. And their 3 home games are against Green Bay, Denver, and Houston.
Sorry for the intermission. Had to take a call. It's hard to say it's just one thing that prevents coaches from advancing in the playoffs. Some coaches get a little too conservative in the postseason. Some have problems with clock management. But without downplaying the importance of good coaching, usually it's the team with the best players _ particularly the best QB _ that wins in the Super Bowl.
That's a fascinating question. Would you rather have more money? Or more success? I think we know where Stan Kroenke stands on the issue. I think most owners would rather have the Lombardi Trophies _ after all, isn't that why you want to own a pro sports franchise, to win championships? It's a given that you're going to make money and show a profit in the NFL because of the TV dollars, even if you never win a single game. There is no such thing as an NFL team that's losing money. So why not win some games, lots of games, on your way to the bank?.
As Leigh Steinberg told me in September, the Rams are in LA because Kroenke wanted to be there and because the league wanted the Rams there. Simple as that.
Hey, there's only one Kurt Warner. And I think it will be Kurt Warner, Pro Football Hall of Famer, come February.