Inside the Rams; Leadership and Culture

  • To unlock all of features of Rams On Demand please take a brief moment to register. Registering is not only quick and easy, it also allows you access to additional features such as live chat, private messaging, and a host of other apps exclusive to Rams On Demand.

CGI_Ram

Hamburger Connoisseur
Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2010
Messages
39,127
Name
Burger man
The Rams were in a losing rut before emerging in 2017 as one of the consistently better teams.

For 4 seasons we’ve been pretty damn good, with a 5th season queued up. It’s been a great stretch of Rams football!

Thank You Rams!

So, what happened to bring on this winning period?

Or... have we been building this for a while?

Kevin Demoff, 42 COO 2009
Les Snead, 50, General Manager 2012
Stan Kroenke 73, Sole Owner 2015
Sean McVay, 35, Head Coach 2017

Some of these guys have been around for years.

Kevin has always worked a good salary cap. He’s one of the best... and he’s been doing it for a decade plus.

Les has been GM for 8-9 years. Hard to remember that. Partly overlapping the “bad years” by 4-5.

Kroenke has been with the team since the 90’s, before full time ownership in 2015.

McVay, on the surface, looks like the difference maker, or was he just the final piece?

Lots to think about....

Demoff hired Snead and by association McVay. So, team building starts there. One could argue Demoff started the first and most crucial step.

Snead is on a bit of a roll... making “better picks” and “finding late round gems”... is that because the direction he’s looking is now different under McVay?

With Brad Holmes leaving for the Lions, he spoke about the “Ram’s use of analytics to really hone in on the players that you can predict will fit your roster”. (LINK) Has Snead changed something internally to his processes since 2012?

It also appears somewhere along the way, after 2016, we shifted to a more “stretch and manipulate the salary cap” model. Was that Kroenke’s influence and his leadership style desiring something similar to the Patriot Way, i.e. making “things all about winning”? Or was it simply a result of a more talented roster and we were tested differently to hold it together?

Wade Phillips speaks of a John Wooden-like culture that McVay brought with him. No doubt that has changed the team locker room. (LINK)

But was it as simple as finding and adding McVay? The on field strategy and brilliance?

Yet, how do we explain improved player acquisition strategy and drafting success of recent years? That sure seems “different/better” too.

And wrapping things up... Look at the ages of those guys running the day to day operations... 42, 50, 35. They have a lot of career runway ahead of them... Can we keep these guys and their egos together?

Everything is working right now. If we understand the reasons why.... THAT is our secret sauce.

What do you think?
 

FrantikRam

Hall of Fame
Joined
Oct 16, 2013
Messages
3,354
They definitely deserve credit for recognizing Fisher had to go, hiring McVay and keeping Snead. Don't forget - Fisher picked Snead. So it wasn't a given that Snead would be kept on board.

But as far as the drafting goes - the scouts deserve some credit, but most goes to McVay for me. The vision he has for the players he wants drafted are why, IMO, Snead is suddenly having more "success" drafting.

I think there are a handful of players that would be successful anywhere, but most depend on the situation/coach they end up with.
 

PARAM

Starter
Joined
Aug 3, 2013
Messages
906
The addition of analytics is interesting. I have heard nothing to support my opinion but I don't see Fisher being an analytics guy. McVay? Oh for sure. But beyond that, you can use analytics to select a player but the coach determines his development. He's apt to develop differently for different coaches. Snead is proving he can do his job.....get the type of players the coach desires. He did it for Fisher and he's doing it for McVay.

Look at the offensive and defensive guys drafted by Snead/Fisher. The no-brainers like Brockers, Donald, Gurley and Goff are obvious. But GRob was an epic fail. Austin was a toy. Ogletree was decent. Janoris Jenkins (2nd), Havenstein (2nd) and Joyner (2nd) were the cream of a sparse crop below the 1st round. Higbee (4th) didn't develop until McVay arrived. Outside of that there was very little development below the first round.

But look at the offensive and defensive guys drafted under Snead/McVay. First off, they are all below the first round. Kupp (3rd), JJ (3rd) Reynolds (4th), Rapp (2nd), Hendo (3rd) Gaines (4th), Edwards (5th), Akers (2nd), Jefferson (2nd), Fuller (6th). It's evident McVay has done more with less while Fisher did less with more.

McVay isn't the final piece but the right piece. Of course, he's got to accomplish something more than just perennial playoffs and a SB loss. But that's a helluva lot more than the previous 3 regimes.
 

snackdaddy

Hall of Fame
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
4,705
Name
Charlie
There were some pieces from the Fisher years McVay could work with. Fisher's archaic system was not going to work in today's NFL. McVay brought energy and whole new style of offense with him. What impresses me about McVay is the way the offense regressed but still found a way to win games and make the playoffs.

I don't think McVay's a one trick pony. I think he knows how to build a defense too. And he's smart enough to know you need a good quarterback to make the offense work. So they get him a good one and here we are. Going into a 5th year with a team considered to be a legit contender for the Superbowl. Remember before the 2018 season when people said they better win it because with those moves the window would be closed in a couple years? Looks like its still wide open.
 

Angry Ram

Captain RAmerica Original Rammer
Joined
Jul 1, 2010
Messages
13,501
Remember before the 2018 season when people said they better win it because with those moves the window would be closed in a couple years? Looks like its still wide open.
God I hate that cliche. People worrying too damn much about non-football stuff like contracts.
 
  • 2Like
Reactions: Merlin and FrantikRam

Rams43

Hall of Fame
Joined
Jun 20, 2014
Messages
3,147
Great thread topic.

I think that Stan Kroenke deserves a ton of credit for assembling a terrific set of key leaders in Demoff, Snead, and McVay.

The results speak for themselves. And they’re all so young.

Moreover, each has loaded his respective area of responsibility with extremely capable assistants. The annual poaching by other teams is proof of that.

It’s all very impressive. I mean, Damn!
 

CGI_Ram

Hamburger Connoisseur
Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2010
Messages
39,127
Name
Burger man
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
Fisher picked Snead
There were some pieces from the Fisher years McVay could work with.
My bad leaving Fisher out of the OP. Good points made.


The results speak for themselves. And they’re all so young.
Keeping them together feels a thing Stan knows is important. Can he do it?

”Consistent Leadership” is a large component of The Patriot Way roadmap Stan has been said to want to emulate.
 
  • Cheers
Reactions: nighttrain

Merlin

System Waterboy
Rams On Demand Sponsor
Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
20,500
I don't think McVay's a one trick pony. I think he knows how to build a defense too.
Yeah and I wonder how strong his grasp of defense is. I tend to think for example that Morris doesn't have the grasp of the Fangio defense that Staley did. No reason for me to think otherwise. So if he calls it that way he probably has some learning to do.

Where does McVay figure in there. Did he absorb enough to help teach Morris. Or does he trust Morris enough to let him run his own spin. Probably the latter but we shall see.
 

1maGoh

Hall of Fame
Joined
Aug 10, 2013
Messages
2,952
I think the draft model from guys who look the last but can't play to guys who can actually play and want to play when McVay arrived. That has been a big deal and an influence from McVay. To me, that change says that Snead is excellent at getting the coaches what they ask for.

Definitely McVay's influence had been huge, but to be a successful organization you have to have a great leadership team. That whole crew at the top (Demoff, Snead, McVay, Kroenke) are each executing their part at a high level and that's the difference. I don't want to blame everything on Fisher while he was here, but I don't think his style played well with this leadership team.

I probably have a lot more to say, but that's where I'll end it.
 

Merlin

System Waterboy
Rams On Demand Sponsor
Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
20,500
There is a chance that this current approach of using their picks to bring in vet pieces will fall short. I don't think by any means that what we're doing is ideal. To me it's more of an example of them picking their way through a minefield brought on by their own mistakes in paying players early.

Way I see it is you have a young head coach still learning. He's excellent but he's not at his peak yet. And we have a front office who is aligned to get him what he wants. So there is concern there that maybe the team is mortgaging things for this guy. I can't deny that possibility.

But I do believe in him. And I think this front office being behind him is the best way forward. And lastly I think if they can fix center, find some speed in the slot, and keep the defense from dropping off too much they will be a final four team and maybe win it all. Because I do think Stafford is going to be a revelation in this offense.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Riverumbbq

Merlin

System Waterboy
Rams On Demand Sponsor
Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
20,500
But as far as the drafting goes - the scouts deserve some credit, but most goes to McVay for me. The vision he has for the players he wants drafted are why, IMO, Snead is suddenly having more "success" drafting.
I tend to agree with this because it seems like the only time the Rams draft well is when they get a good coach. They drafted like shit before Vermiel and drafted like shit after Vermiel left. Fish was a mixed bag where he did raise the talent level and he also found some elite players, but they missed like crazy too and couldn't field a competitive roster in large part because of that. And beyond that I recall Snead mentioning after this staff came in how exact they were in their definition of what they wanted, which at the time I took as a realization that what Fisher had him doing probably wasn't at the same level.

But I don't want to shit on Snead. He's a critical part of a four season run that has moved the Rams into that perennial contender range that is so hard to get to. It's not easy to do what the Rams have done. No matter how comfortable I get as a fan of a winning organization I know one thing: I will never forget what it feels like to be a perennial loser.
 

FrantikRam

Hall of Fame
Joined
Oct 16, 2013
Messages
3,354
I tend to agree with this because it seems like the only time the Rams draft well is when they get a good coach. They drafted like shit before Vermiel and drafted like shit after Vermiel left. Fish was a mixed bag where he did raise the talent level and he also found some elite players, but they missed like crazy too and couldn't field a competitive roster in large part because of that. And beyond that I recall Snead mentioning after this staff came in how exact they were in their definition of what they wanted, which at the time I took as a realization that what Fisher had him doing probably wasn't at the same level.

But I don't want to shit on Snead. He's a critical part of a four season run that has moved the Rams into that perennial contender range that is so hard to get to. It's not easy to do what the Rams have done. No matter how comfortable I get as a fan of a winning organization I know one thing: I will never forget what it feels like to be a perennial loser.

I agree that Snead deserves credit - and really, how many players would be a bust with one coach and a good player with another coach? In that case is it really on the GM?

GRob as an example, is probably our worst memory with Snead drafting.


Everyone had him as a top 5-top 10 pick, so whose fault was it? In GRobs case it does feel like he'd have been a bust no matter what - so in that case, was it a bad pick? If every GM in that situation would have made it?
 

CGI_Ram

Hamburger Connoisseur
Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2010
Messages
39,127
Name
Burger man
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13
Yeah and I wonder how strong his grasp of defense is. I tend to think for example that Morris doesn't have the grasp of the Fangio defense that Staley did. No reason for me to think otherwise. So if he calls it that way he probably has some learning to do.

Where does McVay figure in there. Did he absorb enough to help teach Morris. Or does he trust Morris enough to let him run his own spin. Probably the latter but we shall see.
Yeah, good point about grasp of the Fangio defense. Who all stayed over?

Evero, Henderson Shula,... So there are others to help too.
 
  • Cheers
Reactions: Merlin

Merlin

System Waterboy
Rams On Demand Sponsor
Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
20,500
No doubt. I just don't know that any of the positional coaches are capable of helping Morris learn the nuances of the Fangio scheme. If Shula's knowledge was at that level for example he'd probably be our DC. Best option probably would have been Barry but even an experienced guy like him isn't gonna absorb a scheme to a mastery level in one season.

Which when you consider the Packers hiring Barry to install the Fangio defense it seems sort of comical. The dude had one season with Staley as his ILB coach and he's now a guy you think can install and call that approach? Good luck with that lol.

I mean using Staley as an example his hire by McVay looked a bit crazy at first but then we find out he was studying Fangio's defense for years and installing/calling the scheme with his own wrinkles in college. So by the time camp rolled around I think everyone (meaning us the fans) was pretty comfortable. This year's hire of Morris is a bit of a different deal IMO so yeah it will be interesting to see how things come together. Just wonder to what extent McVay is involved in his learning curve hope that gets talked about in future articles.
 

CGI_Ram

Hamburger Connoisseur
Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2010
Messages
39,127
Name
Burger man
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15
No doubt. I just don't know that any of the positional coaches are capable of helping Morris learn the nuances of the Fangio scheme. If Shula's knowledge was at that level for example he'd probably be our DC. Best option probably would have been Barry but even an experienced guy like him isn't gonna absorb a scheme to a mastery level in one season.

Which when you consider the Packers hiring Barry to install the Fangio defense it seems sort of comical. The dude had one season with Staley as his ILB coach and he's now a guy you think can install and call that approach? Good luck with that lol.

I mean using Staley as an example his hire by McVay looked a bit crazy at first but then we find out he was studying Fangio's defense for years and installing/calling the scheme with his own wrinkles in college. So by the time camp rolled around I think everyone (meaning us the fans) was pretty comfortable. This year's hire of Morris is a bit of a different deal IMO so yeah it will be interesting to see how things come together. Just wonder to what extent McVay is involved in his learning curve hope that gets talked about in future articles.
Racking my brain... but I think it was the Morris hire thread, McVay was said to having felt pulled [paraphrasing all this] “to support” the defense this past year.

Hopefully that meant crash course learning it... :D
 
  • Like
Reactions: Merlin

808RAMS

UDFA
Joined
Dec 6, 2020
Messages
32
Name
Spencer
A lot of credit goes to LA Rams Owner Stan Kroenki ever since he bought out Georgia Frontiere and became sole owner of the Rams. His hirings and moving the team back to LA are genius moves.
 

Rams43

Hall of Fame
Joined
Jun 20, 2014
Messages
3,147
Yeah, the Rams have somewhat buried themselves with the Cooks, Gurley, Goff contracts cap wise. But another year or two and that’s behind us with lessons learned, hopefully.

Meanwhile, Snead has us right in the thick of SB conversations, anyway.

Plug a couple of holes on O and 2-3 more on D and we’re in business. Very doable.

I see the Rams as a perennial deep playoff team for several years to come with this FO and coaching team in place.

I also see Snead possibly continuing with his policy of trading away 1sts for elite type players at premium positions. I think he could do this successfully indefinitely.