We haven’t heard much from former GM Billy Devaney since he was let go by the Rams following last season’s debacle, but Billy D made up for that in a big way when he joined Doug Farrar and Rob Rang on Chalk Talk Saturday. Devaney had plenty to say about what happened during last year’s 2-14 season, so let’s get into some of his quotes. I can’t get everything he said in here, but here are some of the highlights.
“I still ask myself that, almost every day,” Devaney said, in response to that question. “The short version is when I was named general manager, we were looking for a head coach. And went through the hiring process, had great candidates, and knew (Steve) Spagnuolo from way back when I worked at the Redskins, he was an intern, so they hired Spags. As soon as Spags gets hired, the team is for sale. Chip and Lucia (Rosenbloom) inherit the team from Georgia Frontiere. Through a whole mess of legalese and tax issues, they tried everything they could to keep the team and they weren’t going to be able to.
“So the team went up for sale. It was an old roster. Really old roster. There were some guaranteed contracts on there that we had to live with. Spags and I could got together with Chip and we said ‘Listen, this is going to be a complete overhaul, let’s just bite the bullet and, rather than do it piece meal, let’s blow the whole damn thing up.'”
“We lose Pat Shurmur to the Cleveland Browns, he’s our offensive coordinator. And the decision was made to bring in Josh McDaniels and change the whole offense. And it kind of completely blew up on us,” Devaney said. “It was the perfect storm. When you look at it, we had a ton of injuries, no offseason. It was just one thing after another. I could tell in training camp — I mean early on, I don’t even know if we started playing a preseason game — things just, especially on offense, things just looked really … nobody looked comfortable.
“And our (2011) schedule was ridiculous. I mean, we were hoping, and this is — we’re trying to be optimistic — we were hoping at the halfway point, we may have had two wins. We thought if we could scratch out two wins, the back end of the schedule, we could win a couple of more games. Well, I don’t know if we won any. We may have won one, but by that time, the roster was decimated. We were working corners out on Tuesday and they were lining up and starting for us on Sunday. … Five or six of those guys, I couldn’t even tell you who they were.