(Football StL) -- My, oh my, have times changed over at Rams Park, haven’t they?
For years it was a pretty much forgone conclusion that whomever the Rams selected in the draft, or whatever decisions were made throughout the course of a year, it had to be wrong. How else can you think after watching a franchise go a league worst 15-65 over a five year stretch? By definition their decisions aren’t the right ones.
So automatically deciding the next decision is wrong, too, can’t be met with any real counterargument.
Yeah. Those days are over. Head coach Jeff Fisher and GM Les Snead have got this organization on such a positive trajectory that we’re almost at the point where we are with the Cardinals. Seriously. When Cards GM John Mozeliak makes a decision on something you have to think at that moment it’s the right call. History says it’s true. And he’s earned that respect. Fisher and Snead are well on that path.
No, they haven’t won two titles in a six-year span like Mozeliak’s Cardinals. No, they haven’t even cracked the postseason yet. But you get the sense this thing is not just going in the right direction, it’s in the express aisle.
I’m not huge on listening to third party publications - the so-called “experts” who evaluate each draft pick like it’s possible to determine their future right there and then - but when literally every single objective observer is raving about what you’re doing, you know you’re doing something right.
WR Tavon Austin from West Virginia may just be 5’8” but he’s unquestionably the most explosive player in this draft. There was no one else like him. And he offered something this Rams offense doesn’t have. Playmaking ability. So, Jeff Fisher and Les Snead had to get creative and manipulate the board to get what they wanted - no, needed - while not sacrificing the rest of their draft. Considering giving up their second round pick was the only way to move up from 16 to 8, they felt it was necessary to move back from 22 to 30 to gain back the second day pick they lost in the Austin trade.
And guess what? They still got the guy they wanted all along in Georgia LB Alec Ogletree. How’s that for playing things perfectly?
I’m not sure former GM Billy Devaney or head coach Steve Spagnuolo could have been smart enough to do anything resembling what the Snead/Fisher combo just pulled off? Heck, would they have even had an extra first round pick in the first place by virtue of dealing out of that second overall pick last year? That previous regime was about as much of a train wreck as you’re going to find. From talent recruiting to overall leadership, it was borderline embarrassing.
Jeff Fisher and Les Snead aren’t just an upgrade. They’re stratospheres ahead of their predecessors in those worlds. It’s like the equivalent of a middle school teenager trying to swim with professionals.
You can’t get too excited just yet, given the fact championships aren’t won on paper. Fisher still has to get all these guys out on the field and make it happen in real life. Yet there’s a reason for hope and optimism that hasn’t been felt here in ages. My goodness, it feels like decades since Rams fans have been able to trust their team’s leaders like this.
It’s a good feeling, no?