Have you heard Les Snead’s latest interview? Are LA Rams playing possum?

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams won Super Bowl LVI, dominating the entire NFL in winning nine of their last ten games, including picking off their final four opponents, each of whom was progressively tougher, and the best that the NFL had to offer. It was the apex of LA Rams GM Les Snead and HC Sean McVay’s vision, and the destination of the journey that began with urgency from the moment that tears began to stream down the cheeks of Rams All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald at Lambeau Field at the Divisional Round loss suffered by these Rams.

We have heard it all before. The LA Rams have no picks (they have 10 picks in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft). The LA Rams have no cap space (they are ranked 23rd of 32 NFL teams in that regard). The LA Rams have to blow it all up and start over. (The Rams have 52 players returning for the 2023 NFL season, and more than a dozen players were injured and did not play for a substantial portion of the 2022 NFL season).

The end-of-season press conference from LA Rams general manager Les Snead was very informative. In his presser, he surveyed a number of hot topics, and he did so with his typical eloquence and cerebral style. Les Snead never backs down from a question, even the tough ones, and this presser was no different.

I have come to admire and respect the manner in which Rams GM Les Snead conducts business in the NFL. He always knows more about football than anyone in the room, but he never lords it over. He has that stoic ‘Poker Face,’ that Lady Gaga sings about, the countenance of a riverboat gambler who makes his fortune off reading people’s faces and working the odds in poker to separate other players from their riches.

It’s a time of both reflection and projection. A time afforded to Rams GM Les Snead in a recent interview over how he foresees the Rams’ strategy going forward.

"“We’re probably going to have to, let’s call it, not press the gas as much and pay a little bit of the debt that we’ve accumulated,” – per LA Rams GM Les Snead in an interview with the LA Times"

We’ve anticipated that type of perspective, and have already begun to poll Rams fans for their take on how they would describe their level of optimism for the new season. As of January 21, 2023, more than 64 percent of respondents hold the highest level of optimism for the new season.

So why is the LA Rams GM Les Snead sounding like a middle-of-the-road type of optimistic approach? Could it be that the . . .

LA Rams fan guide: Which ‘RE’ category do you fall into?. light. Hot

LA Rams are playing possum?

The Rams are nowhere near as bad as many have professed. This is not a roster that needs to be blown up. This is not a team that needs to undertake a massive rebuild. Far too many have written the obituary for the LA Rams out of jealousy and anger, and have ignored the fact that almost all of the key players who helped this team win Super Bowl LVI will heal and return for the 2023 NFL season.

The team has nearly a Pro Bowl’s worth of veterans who were out but will be back as healthy as ever in 2023. Players like DL Aaron Donald, WR Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson, and QB Matthew Stafford.

The Rams have many positive trends that have been ignored. RB Cam Akers is lit and can tie rookie RB Todd Gurley’s amazing four-game stretch of 100+ yards rushing in the first game of the 2023 NFL season. Then there is the arrival of field-stretching but also chains-moving wide receiver Tutu Atwell.

OLB Leonard Floyd dominated in the second half of 2022, and DL-turned-OLB Michael Hoecht got to the QB 4.5 times in just seven games as well.

The Rams may have some roster spots to reinforce this offseason, but that does not mean a disappointing season is on the horizon. It may mean just the opposite, as now that the Rams have learned a great deal about this team in terms of which players can be counted upon and which cannot, the team’s chances for success may be significantly higher.

But what of Les Snead’s take? If you have the time, rewatch that same video, but with the presumption that the Rams will be a much better team this year. Whenever I do so, I can read between the lines that Snead believes in this Rams team. Can you hear that smoldering confidence too?

Trending. LA Rams should add ‘pass-rush specialist’ in free agency. light