Common thread ties Rams' new leadership


INDIANAPOLIS -- The St. Louis Rams pointed to Les Snead's wide-ranging experiences in Atlanta when explaining why they hired him as general manager.

"The one thing that stood out to me in time as we talked with Les is, in his time with the Falcons, he's seen everything," chief operating officer Kevin Demoff said at the time.

The Rams are getting the same qualities in even greater abundance from coach Jeff Fisher.

Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz, who worked with Fisher in Tennessee, showed impressive recall in running through his former boss' résumé.

"You go through some of the things he has experienced, taking over on an interim basis in Houston, seeing the team move from Houston to Nashville, playing their home games in Memphis and getting on a plane 16 games a year, then transition to Vanderbilt and having facilities in trailers, just going through the salary-cap purge and all those different things, that experience is something that you just can't get unless you live through it all," Schwartz said from the scouting combine Thursday.

Schwartz then said of Fisher almost exactly what Demoff had said of Snead: "Jeff has seen just about everything there is to see in the NFL."

Fisher and Snead figure to see a few more things in St. Louis. The uncertainties St. Louis faces in rebuilding the roster, all while navigating stadium issues, led the organization to coaching and GM candidates with varied backgrounds.

"He is not a guy that panics," Schwartz said of Fisher. "He is not a guy that changes course without reason. That kind of perspective he has from all the things he has gone through will serve that franchise very well."

The Rams have been vague in describing where Fisher and Snead rank in the decision-making process. The setup is similar to the one Seattle has in place with coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider. Both head coaches wanted and got enough control over personnel to shape the roster. Neither was interested in becoming a GM, however.