“NFL Accountability-Have to Have It”.
You will have to explain this one to me.
With everything out there in front of them, new home under construction, 70,000-season tickets, 90,000 turning out for games, and with the number 1-pick in the draft, why would the LA Rams take the road they took.
Los Angeles fans waited 21-years for the return of the NFL to their city.
The Rams franchise was beloved, even if prior ownership, Georgia Frontiere and John Shaw were not.
Stan Kroenke arrives with check book in hand, and is prepared to the spend his money to build a mega entertainment complex, including the NFL Stadium in Hollywood Park.
Now half a year removed from their arrival, fans are pouring out of games in the third quarter, booing the product. The team is staggering around trying to figure out who they are, how they should play, what they should run.
They are stoic in their decision not to force feed the top pick in the draft, rookie quarterback Jared Goff.
They let 3-top free agents from their defense, walk out the door as free agents. You don’t think Janoris Jenkins wouldn’t make a difference in the secondary?
They say goodbye to heart and soul guys like Chris Long, the pass rusher, and run stuffer James Laurinatis, salary cap casualties.
They lose a 2nd round draft pick, Tre Mason of Auburn to mental illness. Their 3rd round pick of a year ago, Steadman Bailey, is nearly mortally wounded in a drive-by shooting.
The offensive line can’t stay healthy, cannot stay on the field, and when on field, is pitiful.
They put a feeble, unimaginative product on the field, and then decide to finally put quarterback Jared Goff on the field as a starter, where he is promptly overwhelmed.
They are mocked nationally, booed locally. A source within the front office calls the place “Rams Junior High.” Top running back Todd Gurley says what they are running is “middle school football”, and says some teammates are mailing it in.
The coach-general manager relationship is termed toxic. And they are (4-9).
And now the coach, Jeff Fisher, is gone, in the wake of a (31-44-1) record. It’s been 12-seasons since the Rams were int he playoffs. Fisher, who built a solid reputation running the Houston Oilers, and then the Tennessee Titans, lost his way.
He was fired, and you wonder if the architect of all this, the GM, Les Sneed should be gone too.
Kroenke did not wait around. Tired of what he sees, he needs to see instant improvement, with whomever they bring in to fix this mess.
For some reason, Jeff Fisher lost his ability to lead, his creativity to be different, and the dynamics of things that made him once-upon-a time, a hot young coach.
Two things crossed my mind Monday when this all spilled out.
The Rams are bold, see their move from St. Louis to Los Angeles and the deal to build a stadium.
The other is the Chargers ownership here is timid. Dean Spanos cannot make up his mind on moving or staying, cannot committ to help one city or move to the other. And he lets this Mike McCoy coaching crisis go on and on.
So the Rams begin a search for a new coach. And the Chargers wonder if the next Raiders “home game” will be the one they play here next Sunday at the Q against the Bolts.
And to think, the NFL Network chose the Rams to be featured last summer on Hard Knocks. What has happened in season would have made for better television for sure. .
Accountability, part of the way the Rams do business. Not so much the way the Chargers operate.