By Joe Torosian
As I stated in RamView, it’s too soon for a deep dive on the game. I am waiting for a suspension, a Covid casualty, or TMZ to do what it always does.
(This is not to say that TMZ is always bad, but their timing is always about them—and we are in the Super Bowl window.)
But the good news is it is not too soon for CCN (Cosmic-Caffeinated-Nerdom), and then some thoughts on the Brians Flores lawsuit hurricane.
The Rams haven’t had a first-round draft pick since 2016 when they made the deal to draft Jared Goff first overall. (Yada-yada-yada)
(Note: As of now, they do have the 5th, 9th, and 110th overall selections of that draft starting for them. Jalen Ramsey, Leonard Floyd, and Tyler Higbee.)
We hear a lot of, “Wait until they have no draft picks and are over the salary cap. Then you’ll see how stupid they’ve been.”
In five seasons without a first-round pick and only so-so quarterback play from Goff, the Rams are making their second Super Bowl appearance, have won three division titles, and have appeared in the playoffs four times (2-0 in NFC title games).
All without number one picks and salary cap battles every season since 2018.
Another cliche is, “The NFL’s a copycat league.” And there’s truth to that. But the question begs if the Rams win the Super Bowl, will they have changed the NFL and the sacrosanct notions about how to build a franchise through the draft?
Who were the Rams’ number one picks in the five seasons before taking Goff in 2016?
2015—Todd Gurley: Success, but short window.
2014—Greg Robinson: Bust
Aaron Donald: Hall of Fame
2013—Tavon Austin: Bust
Alec Ogletree: Marginal
2012—Michael Brockers: Good, not great.
2011—Robert Quinn: Great at times, up and down, very good career
(I hear a voice saying, “Go the distance.”)
Between 2000 & 2010? Trung Canidate, Damione Lewis, Adam Archuleta, Ryan Pickett, Robert Thomas, Jimmy Kennedy, Steven Jackson, Alex Barron, Tye Hill, Adam Carriker, Chris Long, Jason Smith, and Sam Bradford.
With the exceptions of Jackson and Long, this is how to destroy your franchise through the draft. BTW: From 2008 to 2010—Long #2 overall, Jason Smith #2 overall, Bradford #1 overall.
Even if the Rams don’t win next Sunday, intelligent folks in the league have noticed. If the Rams win, intelligent folks in the league will ramp up their search for proven stars (Ramsey-Matt Stafford) and treat their draft picks as cards to be played.
|Year:||Final Score:||Rams QB:||Bengals QB:|
|1972||Rams 15, Bengals 12||Roman Gabriel||Ken Anderson|
|1976||Bengals 20, Rams 12||James Harris||Ken Anderson|
|1978||Bengals 20, Rams 19||Pat Haden||Ken Anderson|
|1981||Bengals 24, Rams 10||Dan Pastorini||Ken Anderson|
|1984||Rams 24, Bengals 14||Jeff Kemp||Ken Anderson|
|1990||Bengals 34, Rams 31||Jim Everett||Boomer Esiason|
|1993||Bengals 15, Rams 3||T.J. Rubley||David Klingler|
|1996||Rams 26, Bengals 16||Steve Walsh||Jeff Blake|
|1999||Rams 38, Bengals 10||Kurt Warner||Jeff Blake|
|2003||Rams 27, Bengals 10||Marc Bulger||John Kitna|
|2007||Bengals 19, Rams 10||Brock Berlin||Carson Palmer|
|2011||Bengals 20, Rams 13||Kellen Clemens||Andy Dalton|
|2015||Bengals 31, Rams 7||Nick Foles||Andy Dalton|
|2019||Rams 24, Bengals 10||Jaren Goff||Andy Dalton|
Note: Bengals lead the head-to-head match-up 8-6. Take a look at the Rams quarterback column. They’ve never started the same quarterback twice against Cincy. Where else are you going to find a stat like that? Only the RamCave can produce such a trivial—but fascinating—item.
Brian Flores Update:
Current count of black NFL General Managers (6): Andrew Berry (Cleve), Kwesi Adofo-Mensah (Minn), Chris Grier (Mia), Ryan Poles (Chi), Martin Mayhew (Was), Brad Holmes (Det).
Black Head Coaches: Mike Tomlin
In 2018 Black GMs (2): Ozzie Newsome (Balt) & Reggie McKenzie (Oak)
In 2018 Black HCs (7): Tomlin (Pitt), Steve Wilks (Ari), Vance Joseph (Den), Marvin Lewis (Cincy), Hue Jackson (Cleve), Anthony Lynn (LAC), Todd Bowles (NYJ).
(I keep hearing the number is eight, but I couldn’t find an eighth name. Perhaps an interim HC?)
Incompetence in ownership? Okay. Lack of everyday awareness and common sense? For sure.
Systemic Racism? I think it’s tough to prove.
Joe T. is the author of “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel” … “Temple City & The Company of The Ages” … “The Dead Bug Tales” … “The Dark Norm” & “FaithViews for Storm Riders”… “Sin Virus”…all available through Amazon.com.
Follow Joe on Twitter @joet13b