Can NFL teams replicate the LA Rams formula? It’s just not that simple
That make or break trade
Stafford was a make-or-break trade for many of the Rams brass. Not in the sense that the team had to win Super Bowl LVI or they would all be fired. But so many were so very passionate about the belief that adding Stafford to the Rams roster was necessary to take this team to the next level. If they were wrong, second-guessing could become indecision. Indecisions would then become missed opportunities. Of course, that never happened.
When the LA Rams welcomed Stafford to the team, we were very optimistic about his performance in the Rams offense. We were bold enough to suggest that he would either tie or break the Rams Franchise All-Time Single Season passing records to many negative comments. But in the end, that is exactly what he did.
He has a cannon of an arm that can arc the football 60 yards in the air to drop right into the arms of his receiver streaking down the field. He has that zip that can get the ball to the player even before any separation takes place. He even has that no-look pass perfected that is likely to be outlawed by the NFL at some point down the road.
Easier said than done
While so many NFL teams look to what the Rams have done and are drawing conclusions to the effect of “We can do that too,” I remain skeptical. The LA Rams did not just roll some dice on anyone. Despite the Riverboat-Gambler facade of GM Les Snead, the guy is a wizard at isolating the team’s specific needs and finding the right fit for those needs more often than not.
But he does not do so with silver bullets. He does not claim to get it right each time. Rather, the entire LA Rams organization embraces a different mindset for their roster-building philosophy. This team measures twice and cuts once. The team understands that the NFL Draft is random, so they load up on later-round picks. And finally, the team sets a budget for positional spending and each player. If that player can find more money elsewhere, the Rams do not raise their bid. More often than not, it is the other teams who overpay. resulting in those teams releasing players early.