by Michael Lombardi
May 21, 02010
QUOTE: “Life — a culmination of the past, an awareness of the present, an indication of a future beyond knowledge, the quality that gives a touch of divinity to matter.” – Charles Lindbergh
Rams putting a plan in place
The challenge that awaits the Rams, and most specifically as it applies to first-rounder Sam Bradford, is when to name him the starter. But much like buying your first home, there is never a right time. It just all comes together. You think you can’t afford the house, but you get approved for a mortgage (not the subprime kind) and life goes on. And that’s exactly what awaits the Rams. There is never a right time; it will just happen. However, before all this gets started, the Rams must first get Bradford under contract in the next eight weeks.
I like that head coach Steve Spagnuolo named A.J. Feeley the starter “for right now,” making no short- or long-term commitment. Once Spagnuolo knows he has Bradford under contract, his tune will change. Essentially, the Rams will not have two different types of offenses for each player, in large part because to have any success on the field they must get their young players to execute, which means keeping their offense very basic — which helps Bradford's development. It won’t take Bradford long to know the offense, but what will take time is getting used to the speed of the game, along with being able to control and call the proper protections. Bradford will give the Rams the best chance to win now and in the future, so once he signs, his path to the starting lineup will be very short.
Next week is another NFL owners meeting, which doesn’t include the head coaches – just owners and lawyers. This means there will not be any objection to moving the overtime rules from the playoffs only into the regular season -- which makes sense. This new rule should be tried and tested in the regular season before being introduced in the postseason. The head coaches -- especially the ones who are overseeing playoff teams -- should now vote for the rules to be moved into the regular season, allowing them to at least learn the practicality of the rules before the playoffs.
The May meetings are usually reserved for the business of football along with the selections of Super Bowl sites, and this meeting will, in fact, have a Super Bowl vote for 2014. New York/New Jersey will be up for vote, and based on the brand new state-of-the-art Giants/Jets stadium sitting off exit 16W of the New Jersey Turnpike, we will have our very first cold-weather Super Bowl in 2014. I’m not sure how that’s going to work, in part because I need to determine the wind element of the new stadium and how it will affect passing games, especially as the gales of winter enter the east.
But I do hope the owners vote to bring the overtime rules to the regular season — which might not come into play next year, but at least we might be able to examine the practicalities of the rules.
Have a great weekend, and come back for the Sunday Post.
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