Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Onward to the draft

At great length, the terrible 2011 season has come to an end.  Now we move on to my favorite part of the year:  Draft and free-agency season.  This is the phase of the year where all hapless fans of hapless teams (read Ram-fans) can get a little hope that things just might be a little bit better next year.

Of course, when you have absolute fools like Devany & Zygmunt running the draft, you don't have much hope at all.  At the moment, the Rams' GM post is vacant, and we don't have a clue who may fill that slot.  It would appear that newly minted head-coach Jeff Fisher is functioning as the defacto guy, running this show.  Most noises made by the org lead our clan to believe that the next GM will be a younger and junior executive who will, more or less, be subordinate to Jeff Fisher.

For this reason, most of use are expecting Jeff Fisher to call the shots on the draft.

This viewpoint was seconded by none other than 6-time NFL Executive of the year, Bill Polian.   When asked if he had been contacted by the Rams, Polian gave an unequivocal "No, and I don't think they will contact me."  When asked if he would be willing help the Rams on a consulting basis, he gave an unequivocal "They don't need me, Jeff and his associates will handle the draft just fine."  Implication:  Jeff is going to run the draft.  When asked what he thought the Rams might do with that #2 pick, Polian replied "Knowing Jeff personally, I would say that he would use it draft a dominant defensive player, if such a player could be found."  Implication:  Jeff is going to run the draft.

What is my feeling about this?  I don't know... I am languid and listless.  I am looking forward to the combine and seeing the young men in action.  I hope this will light my fire and enthusiasm again.  Right now, I am pretty dang low about the way this season turned out.

I just don't have a good feeling about where this football team and organization stands today.  When you factor in all this noise about games in London, stadium issues, potential moves to Los Angeles in 2015, I think we are staring down the gun-barrel at some lost years whilst the firm reorganizes and situates under our new owner.

The fact that we have a true football man running the show is a good thing, or at least better than Devaney & Zygmunt, but I am concerned about his propensity to go defense when what we need is offense.

I have said it before and I will say it again.  There is nothing wrong with our defense that cannot be fixed by fixing our wretched offense.  If our goddamn offense could say on the field for more than 3 consecutive downs (via receivers not dropping passes) then they might accumulate more than 20 minutes of possession time per game.  If we could do that, perhaps our defense would not be fighting extreme exhaustion by the middle of the 3rd quarter.

Our defense showed pretty poor stats this past 2011 season, but I am telling you that the numbers lie.  With good health and an offense that can hold the ball and score, our defense will be a top-10 unit in 2012.

Frankly, I am profoundly uncertain of our prospects in this draft.  The one thing that gives me hope is continued murmurings and mutterings of a bidding war for the #2 draft pick, and the rights to select RGIII. When last I took stock of these rumors, there were potentially 5 bitters waiting in the wings.

However, I am skeptical that either the Seahawks or the Chiefs will join in the merry bidding war, as has been suggested.  I am not sure Kansas City is ready to do away with Matt Cassel.  I know we would stick a gun in Seattle's ribs if they came calling.  If I know that, they know it also.  I think this would discourage the phone call.

I also question the notion that Miami will be in the bidding war.  If the Colts do as they are expected to do (release Peyton Manning) then I would expect Miami to be one of his top-destination points.  The Dolphins have the best Left Tackle in football, the dirtiest left guard in the league, a young and budding center, Brandon Marshall, and Reggie Bush.  They also have a weak coaching situation, and an owner who is dying for star power.  In short, it could not be a better destination point for Peyton Manning.

Toss in warm weather and natural turf for a guy with neck problems, and you have bloody heaven.  I think he goes to Miami if the Colts release him.

That would diminish the bidding war to just one or two teams:  The Redskins and the Browns.  What if the Browns are unwilling to give up on Colt McCoy at this point?  Then we have just one bidder, and the Redskins might take their chances.