ST. LOUIS (BaseballStL) -- When Cardinals GM John Mozeliak was hiring a manager a little over a year ago he said it point blank. This was going to be a leadership position. Sure, the x's and o's are important. But the most critical thing was being a leader.
A few months later once football season ended the Oakland Raiders said the same thing about their vacant head coaching position.
That's where sports is nowadays. Players win and players lose. It's the general manager's job to put the most talented people on the field. But talent doesn't win by itself. Talent needs guidance. Talent needs motivation. Talent needs....
All together now. Leadership.
What Jeff Fisher is doing with the Rams is proving this theory even more. You've got a team that, let's face it, isn't among the most talented in football. Top to bottom, 1-53, no one would say the Rams are among the upper echelon as far as sheer talent in the NFL.
But when you're greater than the sum of your parts, and play beyond your means, that's credit to your leaders.
In the past, whether it's been Steve Spagnuolo or Scott Linehan, that hasn't been there. These men haven't had someone to truly get them to believe in themselves and what they're capable of. I'm not a former professional athlete and I don't pretend to have been one but those who have been there and done that say having something like this is key.
When there's two minutes to go in a game and you're down by, say, four point driving with the ball...you're looking for one thing and one thing only. Someone to make a play. That's it. If someone steps up and makes a play, you win. If no one does that, you lose. Quite simple.
Well...why is it that in recent years when put in those close and late situations did someone always seems to fail to do this? Considering the roster isn't terribly different than in years past, that's got to speak to who was in charge. It just has to.
There's no other common denominator than the coaching. Unless you subscribe to the theory that this is all just a huge coincidence and these Rams are simply luckier than previous teams.
Some may think that. I don't. I don't believe in coincidences.
The leadership here has changed. Losing is not acceptable. It's a different culture. And wins are slowly but surely finding their way into Rams Park.