Rebuilding the Rams

Brad JamesCorrespondent IDecember 26, 2008

If these times (as depicted in my picture) are to return to the Gateway to the West, it's obvious that the Rams need some wholesale changes.

With that said, I think that Rams management, including such key figures as Chip Rosenbloom, Lucia Rodriguez, and Stan Kroenke (who also owns the Denver Nuggets, among other things), did a really classy thing at

When one visits the Rams' official Web site, a message from these three individuals chronicles their admission of failure and their plans to do better.

As I learned from one of my favorite Christmas gifts, a book by Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino entitled Success Is A Choice, one of the key steps to eradicating failure is to correct what went wrong.

Well, when one considers the Rams' numerous setbacks this season the ultimate question is: Where to begin?

First of all, let's accentuate the positives, because along with our analogy of Coach Pitino's book, that was one of the major tenants.

First of all, wins against the Redskins and Cowboys may prove instrumental in keeping Washington and Dallas out of the playoffs. The Redskins are already out of playoff contention and the Cowboys easily could be, especially if they choke against the Eagles.

Perhaps the Rams could screw up the postseason aspirations of the Falcons if they win at Atlanta Sunday and if other scenarios that can damage the Falcons occur.

However, let's not kid ourselves. The Rams have serious question marks at numerous positions.

Still, two of the answers are Torry Holt and Steven Jackson. I believe both can still play at a high level, although I believe a change is needed at quarterback. Whether the signal-caller should be Matthew Stafford or a potential free agent like Matt Cassel, it's obvious that St. Louis must improve at quarterback.

One major step in the right direction that has already taken place is the advent of Billy Devaney as general manager. Devaney has proven to be an impeccable NFL executive as he played a major role in bringing Mike Smith to Atlanta.

Of course, Falcons fans are grateful to him for that. Perhaps he can bring comparable success to the Rams. 

Furthermore, the defense has some nice pieces in Chris Long and O.J. Atogwe, so the potential exists for vast strides to be made.

Of transcendent importance, though, is the NFL draft in April.

If St. Louis makes judicious decisions and does what's best for the franchise, even if it bruises egos and hurts feelings along the way, then all will be well.

We have already seen mini-miracles occur in the parity-driven NFL as the Miami Dolphins are on the verge of a potential division title and the NFC West isn't necessarily the toughest division in the league.

Therefore, in these bleak times, Rams fans should hope for the best and trust their front office to make the right calls. If they do, we can easily see St. Louis return to prominence.

Much like other flagship franchises in the NFL, such as the Dolphins and Redskins, even this Broncos fan admits that the NFL's much better when the Rams matter.