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About Bill Polian’s Comments and Optimism

Bill Polian is the current general manager of the Indianapolis Colts, having built that team from scratch and continuing to refresh their roster every season.  He was previously the general manager of the Buffalo Bills during their run of 4 Super Bowls in a row.  But, it has recently come to light that Polian has made some very positive comments about the Rams and their roster.  And Polian is not a glad-hander, he is not going to say something just to be nice, which makes his comments even more surprising.  He first ran into Ricky Proehl, former Rams wide receiver and Ricky brought up the current state of the Rams and this is what Polian had to say.

“Ricky, to be honest with you, Billy Devaney and that coach (Steve Spagnuolo), I know it’s hard to believe but I promise you, they are not far away. They’ve got a lot of young, good players.”

The Rams certainly have a lot of young players, and some of them look very positive towards the future with Long, Laurinitis, Jason Smith, Vobora and so on.  But, the fact that Polian said this to Proehl out of the blue, with no reason to sugarcoat anything to Proehl and no history of being the type to make statements such as this, is a very encouraging sign for the Rams.  Additionally, Polian also spoke to Rams general manager Billy Devaney after the Rams 42-6 shellacking at the hands of Polian’s Colts.

“He grabbed me as they were walking off the field,” said Devaney, the Rams’ general manager. “He grabbed my arm and he said, ‘Hey, don’t listen to anybody. You guys are doing it the right way. We looked at you all week long (on tape), and you guys are doing it the right way. Stay your course.’ “

More quotes and reaction after the jump.

Quotes via Jim Thomas article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Let’s extrapolate Polian’s statements a little bit.  First of all he says that the Rams are “doing it the right way” twice.  The “it” he is referring to is building up the Rams from scratch and returning the Rams organization to a functional group.  The Rams so far have jettisoned a lot of overpriced veterans with name value, have signed talented young players with a lot of upside who are very raw, and it has showed in the product on the field.  The Rams even adjusted their roster quite a bit in the middle of the season and have yet to get the consistency they need.  But, Polian believes the Rams are rehabbing their roster in the “right way”.  The Rams have had a bunch of young players get experience this season that will only help them in the future as the players develop on the Rams roster.

The other notable phrase that Polian uses is “Stay your course”.  This could mean only one thing.  The Rams and their front office need not be distracted by the flashy distractions amongst possible personnel.  Polian is suggesting the Rams should not sign Michael Vick, Julius Peppers or trade for Brandon Marshall to make a quick splash.  The Rams so far under Billy Devaney have been building the roster brick by brick and Polian wants them to stick to the plan.

This same sentiment was shared by Rams general manager Billy Devaney as he looked at the Rams roster and their needs going into 2010 and beyond.

“I know this is crazy, but we feel we have a pretty good foundation in certain areas,” Devaney said. “That is no kidding. There are places where we have to upgrade significantly, but they are not nearly as many places as this time last year.”

Admittedly, this is hard to believe for even the most ardent optimists among Rams fans.  Rams fans have seen the Rams go from 3 wins to 2 wins to 1 win in the last 3 years and the Rams have an extremely young roster that is filled with 6th, 7th round picks and undrafted free agents.  Most fans and pundits see the Rams roster as filled with role players and unwanted young players.  But, there is a reason for optimism for all Rams fans now that they have gotten the 1-15 season behind them.

Rams fans have heard from players, coaches and front office personnel that the Rams are on the right track and not far away from being a contending team and getting a second opinion from a general manager as respected as Bill Polian means a lot to Rams fans.  Maybe the Rams aren’t that far off after all??

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One Response to “About Bill Polian’s Comments and Optimism”

  1. Calvin Suddeath says:

    They are not that far off.I feel like Devaney,They just need a few game changers.

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