This offseason has been all about one thing for the Saint Louis Rams: Change. And with it, we hope, comes Hope.
We finally rid ourselves of the infighting and backstabbing of yesteryear. We lost the laissez-faire ownership of Ms. Georgia Frontiere. We decapitated the three-headed monster at the top of the organization -- the intellectually corrupt Jay Zygmunt, asleep-at-the-wheel John Shaw, and the human trainwreck known as Scott Linehan.
We established a clear chain of command in the front office, a new leader. One who actively seeks good working relationships throughout the team, and has made his hires accordingly. One who has a (gasp!) positive track record with draft picks. One is more than willing to roll up his sleeves and get to work.
That man is Billy Devaney. And he is our reason for hope.
Now, with that said, we aren't building shrines to him in the corner -- yet. Let this team truly get back on its feet. Let this draft class come in and wow us. Let's get Jason "I'm not Jason Brown" Smith signed for healthy money, and have him and Jason "I'm not Jason Smith" Brown prove their worth on this revamped offensive line. Let's watch as Spagnuolo, the hot head coaching candidate we surely couldn't have hoped for in years past, molds this team to his iron will.
It won't necessarily be a pretty season, especially for all the Greatest Show fans. (I'll bet I can count on one hand the number of completed 40-yard passes we'll see this season.) But that's all right. Because just imagine the alternative. What if:
- Zygmunt got canned, but Shaw remained and rehired Mike Martz
- Devaney walked, and Martz became a Holmgren-esque coach/GM/organizational svengali
- Martz turned the Rams into the Raiders midwest, where "just win baby" is replaced by "shoot, we'll fix that" as the words that make fans cringe
- The Rams try to re-re-resurrect the Greatest Show, with a lead-footed Torry Holt, #2 pick Darrius Hey-Bey (one-upping Al Davis, naturally), one-armed Orlando Pace, and shell-shocked Marc Bulger.
- In order to keep all these offensive veterans around, sacrifices are made on defense, including letting Atogwe go in a draft-day trade, for which we get a future criminal misfit/clubhouse cancer/three-year washout at defensive tackle.
- The Rams become the first team to not only lose every game on the season, but the first team to never have the lead all season.
- The Rams and Raiders both decide to relocate simultaneously to Los Angeles, but all of a sudden the city of angels says "uh, no, never mind. we weren't serious about that whole football stadium thing. we were just yanking your chain, didn't you know?"
- Martz is fired. The new Rams head coach: Scott Linehan. Again. And we enter a Groundhog's Day spiral of insanity.
You think it couldn't happen?