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Give Billy Devaney A Boss

Inspired by T.Ram’s post over at Turf Show Times, here is my solution to the “Billy Devaney Problem”.

This GM post is Billy Devaney’s first job as a General Manager of an NFL football team, previously working in positions on the draft and free agent acquisition side of the front office.  And taking the risk and giving a person their first GM job is going to inherently have some ups and downs.  Especially when Mr. Devaney has been reporting to three different owners since he has taking the GM role with the Rams.

My solution is as follows: leave Devaney, Spagnuolo and McDaniels in place, but add someone at the top of the pyramid for Devaney to report directly to, a Director of Football Operations or President.  The Rams have Devaney as a General Manager and Kevin Demoff as an Executive Vice President of Football Operations, but no one between them and owner Stan Kroenke.  Stan Kroenke has a lot of other sports teams and buisnesses that all have requirements on his time, so he is more of an “absentee owner” to use Bernie Miklasz’s phrase.

A lot of NFL front offices are organized differently, but it is interesting to note that the Rams have Kevin Demoff as EVP of Football Ops, which is the same title that John Elway has in Denver.  Demoff is a great executive, but he falls more on the contracts and operations side of the spectrum, than on the football side.

The Rams need “a football person”, who is in the building every day and can change the culture at Rams Park from the top down.  The Rams need a proxy for Kroenke that has his full power and acts on his authority.  Devaney has a lot of responsibilty in the organization from drafting to scouting to finding new players, that he cannot have the time to control the entire organization underneath him.  The new Director will have full responsibility for firing and hiring football staff and an input on the retention of all coaches.  Billy Devaney can then concentrate on what he does best, which is focus on the acquisition of player personnel through the draft and free agency.  The Rams should take some of the power away from Demoff, Spagnuolo and McDaniels as well, so they can more focus on their areas of expertise.

Demoff can continue as the EVP of Football Administration (notice the slight chance) and COO with all of the non-football parts of the organization reporting to him from Finance to Marketing.  Devaney stays as GM and both he and Demoff report to the Rams new President/Director of Football Operations.  Lots of other NFL teams have 3-4 people and an actively engaged owner where the Rams have an “absentee owner” and 2 (very capable) people.  It is far overdue time for the Rams to bring in a strong, veteran football presence at the top of their organizational chart.


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