Rams General Manager Billy Devaney clarified the Four Pillars philosophy of the franchise today when I asked him if there would come a point at which the Rams would trade some character for talent. Devaney went back to his Redskin days, when Joe Gibbs collected “B level talent” that was loaded with character. Still excellent players, but not elite athletically, but elite competitors that didn’t cause problems.
When the ‘Skins were comfortable with their overall character, they became willing to take a chance on a Dexter Manley…who had cocaine problems and anger issues associated with an inability to read. Manley’s talent allowed the Redskins to win a couple of Super Bowls.
So the answer is yes, the Rams will take a chance on character issues when the time is right. But when I asked Devaney whether the Rams had any interested in the three high-profile controversial players…Michael Vick, Plaxico Burress and Brandon Marshall…Devaney said “no, no and no.”
The team isn’t ready for that yet. Some day, they will be…but they might as well wait until they have a strong locker room that’s ready to win before rolling the dice.