Any Hope in St. Louis?

by Tommy Lawlor

In the last 3 years the Rams have finished 3-13, 2-14, and 1-15.  How bad are things?  In that span the team hasn’t finished in the Top 20 on offense or defense in points or yards.  They can’t move the ball or score.  They can’t stop people from moving the ball or scoring.  Ouch.

Coach Steve Spagnuolo was only at the helm for this year’s 1-win season.   I think Steve is a talented coach, but he’s in charge of a team with some major issues.   Simply put, the team lacks talent.  The 2006 and 2007 draft classes are almost disastrously bad.

2006

1 15 Tye Hill CB Clemson
2 46 Joe Klopfenstein TE Colorado
3 68 Claude Wroten DT Louisiana State
3 77 Jon Alston LB Stanford
3 93 Dominique Byrd TE USC
4 113 Victor Adeyanju DE Indiana
5 144 Marques Hagans WR Virginia
7 221 Tim McGarigle LB Northwestern
7 242 Mark Setterstrom G Minnesota
7 243 Tony Palmer G Missouri

2007

1 13 Adam Carriker NT Nebraska
2 52 Brian Leonard RB Rutgers
3 84 Jonathan Wade CB Tennessee
5 139 Dustin Fry C Clemson
5 154 Clifton Ryan DT Michigan State
6 190 Ken Shackleford T Georgia
7 248 Keith Jackson DT Arkansas
7 249 Derek Stanley WR Wis.-Whitewater

Those draft classes didn’t look bad on paper, but they didn’t work out at all.  I find it hard to believe that the players are completely at fault.  I have to think that there was something systematically wrong with the Rams.  The organization has been dysfunctional in some recent years.

I hope things are starting to change.  The last couple of classes produced solid young players in Donnie Avery, Chris Long, and James Laurinaitis.  The problem is that you still aren’t getting difference makers.

I give Spagnuolo credit for keeping the team focused.  I watched several times during the year and while the team absolutely lacked talent I never saw any lack of effort.  If you can keep millionaire players motivated in the middle of a disastrous season I think that shows the coach has the potential to turn the team around.

St. Louis needs a QB and they need difference makers on defense.  There is no QB worth the #1 overall pick.  As good a player as Ndamukong Suh is I think the Rams would be better off trading back a few spots.  That would allow them to take Bradford and then work on both lines with picks in the 2nd round (assuming they got a 2nd in the trade).

The other possibility is taking Suh #1 overall and then going for Colt McCoy in the 2nd round, assuming he falls that far.  The Rams could always deal up for him if needed.  That would give them a potentially dominant DT and a franchise QB.

The real key is finding a QB you believe in and going for that guy, whether Bradford, McCoy, Jimmy Clausen or someone like Dan LeFevour.  Heck, they could trade for Donovan McNabb or could go after a veteran free agent like Chad Pennington or Kerry Collins.  I don’t think keeping Marc Bulger around any longer makes sense.  He has really struggled the last few years.  I think a change of scenery is the only hope for turning his career around.

This is a crucial offseason for the Rams.  They must add a key player or two to get this franchise headed in the right direction.  The Lions went 0-16, but had Calvin Johnson in place and then added Matt Stafford and Louis Delmas in the draft.  DeAndre Levy may turn out to be the MLB of the future.  Veteran Julian Peterson did some good things for them.  St. Louis needs an offseason like that where they add multiple players who look like key starters or impact players.  Good luck to Coach Spags and GM Billy Devaney.

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2 Responses to Any Hope in St. Louis?

  1. Mr_Boomy says:

    Do you really think Andy Reid will trade Donovan?

  2. Yes, I do. Kolb seems ready to take over. McNabb is still good enough to be worth quality picks or a key player. You can improve the overall talent base of the team. There is risk involved to be sure.