I, my friends, have had an epiphany about the Rams.br />
For them to act on it goes against every fiber of my being, and I would detest being involved with it. But if the Rams want to win games (not Super Bowls, that’s a pipe dream), then the move to make is a trade for Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.
Sure, it’s not a great public relations move, but the Rams were 1-15 and played before 33,000 empty seats at the Edward Jones Dome. It’s not like having a convicted dog killer/dog fighter/gambler on the squad is going to drive away many more people than averaging one home win a year for three years does.
And from a football standpoint, it makes all the sense in the world.
When Vick was in Atlanta, the Falcons brought in high-priced import receivers like Peerless Price, Dez White and Ashley Lelie. All regressed with Vick as their quarterback. They drafted Michael Jenkins and Roddy White with first round picks, and those guys never progressed until Vick was gone. Vick can’t get wideouts the ball consistently.
The Rams receivers can’t catch the ball consistently, either. They mesh ideally with Vick’s skills. Get him a big, slow tight end with good hands, like he had in Atlanta with Alge Crumpler, keep the receivers you have and pray, and there’s your passing game.
The Falcons’ best days with Vick were when they had a running game. He rushed for more than 700 yards three times, and paired with Warrick Dunn for big running seasons. In 2004, 2005 and 2006…running a West Coast offense…the Falcons led the league in rushing, with Vick and Dunn leading the way. Using that formula in ’02 they went to the playoffs, and in ’04 they went to the NFC Championship game. Pair Vick with Steven Jackson and a backup running back, and you’ve got something.
OK, so we’ve limited our needs on offense. Trade a fifth-rounder for Vick, no new wide receivers are necessary. (Pick your best five from Donnie Avery, Keenan Burton, Laurent Robinson, Brandon Gibson, Danny Amendola, Jordan Kent, Brooks Foster, Ruvell Martin, Sean Walker and Cord Parks) Pick up another tackle in free agency (your starting line is Smith-Bell-Brown-Greco and your new RT) and get a running back and a tight end in the draft. Don’t draft a QB, and keep Kyle Boller and Keith Null as your backup quarterbacks…and here’s why.
The Rams QB coach is Dick Curl. He may very well be Mike Martz-esque in developing quarterbacks, but he just hasn’t had enough time to do it in the NFL. His NFL career started on Herman Edwards’ staff with the Jets, coaching tight ends in 2003. While he has coached quarterbacks at places like Boston College, Rutgers, Virginia and Trenton State, his NFL quarterback coaching experience before this year included two years under Edwards in Kansas City, where he had Damon Huard, Brodie Croyle and Tyler Thigpen. It’s probably not fair to present Curl with a high draft pick at this stage (he’ll be 70 in May) and expect him to polish that guy into being the next Donovan McNabb.
(In fairness, the Rams staff also includes offensive coordinator Pat Shurmer, who was the quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia for seven years and helped along A.J. Feeley, resurrected Jeff Garcia’s career, began the development of Kevin Kolb and kept McNabb going. He likely works with QB’s too).
Steve Spagnuolo is all about running the ball and playing defense. Use that first pick on Ndomukong Suh. Get the RB and tight end later. Use the rest of the picks on defense. And you’re set. Vick, Jackson, the tight ends and occasionally, with luck, the wide receivers on offense, a dominant defense, the same special teams you had this year, and you’re on your way to 10-6.