I was at Rams GM Billy Devaney’s press conference on Tuesday…and what he told the assembled media was…for a struggling franchise…some of the smartest stuff I’ve heard here in 20 years.
It’s easy for a winning franchise to be smart. The Cardinals haven’t had to rebuild much since Bill DeWitt’s group took over in 1996. They had a plan of attack, went about it, and had a ton of success. Since the 2006 World Series win, there doesn’t seem to be much of a plan with the Cards. “We want to develop our own players,” say DeWitt, GM John Mozeliak and minor league chief Jeff Luhnow. “I need an impact bat,” or “Brian Fuentes is our top priority,” or “Barry Bonds would help our club,” says manager Tony LaRussa. There seems to be a disconnect there.
The Blues have a clear cut plan, but team President John Davidson is relying on Larry Pleau, Doug Armstrong and Andy Murray, who have zero Stanley Cups among them, for advice. They seem to be heading in the right direction, but does anyone with the Blues truly know what it takes to win a cup?
That brings us to the Rams. Devaney, with Bobby Beathard, helped build the foundation of a Redskins franchise that won three Super Bowls and appeared in two others. Beathard is helping Devaney in the search. Lawrence McCutcheon played on a Super Bowl team with the Los Angeles Rams, and assisted Charley Armey in building the Greatest Show on Turf Rams that went to two more Super Bowls, winning XXXIV. McCutcheon will help in the search.
Rams fans want Marshall Faulk involved, and he’s involved. They want Dan Dierdorf involved, and he’s involved. Not only does Devaney have winning experience on his side with those guys, but he has guys that have a vested interest in St. Louis and the Rams doing well.
Devaney has only been here for nine months, but he has St. Louis, and the Rams, figured out. Let’s hope his intelligent approach leads to the hiring of a coach that builds a winner in St. Louis.