Around the NFC West: Fired GM's laments

June, 25, 2012
6/25/12
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Billy Devaney has kept a low profile since the St. Louis Rams fired him as general manager following the 2011 season.

That changed Saturday when Devaney, now living in Atlanta, checked in with Doug Farrar and Rob Rang on Sports Radio 950 AM KJR.

Devaney revisited some of the issues that led to the Rams' demise: losing offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, changing the offense with no offseason, suffering too many injuries at cornerback and then facing a tough schedule.

There was no mention of anything the general manager could have done better, but in truth, there were lots of troubles beyond his control.

Devaney did lament the talent at receiver last season even before the Rams lost Danny Amendola to injury, and especially after Amendola was out. He thinks the Rams' new offensive philosophy will be better for quarterback Sam Bradford.

Brian McIntyre of NFL.com transcribed some of Devaney's comments, including this one: "We lose Pat Shurmur to the Cleveland Browns, he's our offensive coordinator. And the decision was made to bring in Josh McDaniels and change the whole offense. And it kind of completely blew up on us. It was the perfect storm, Doug and Rob. When you look at it, we had a ton of injuries, no offseason. It was just one thing after another. I could tell in training camp -- I mean early on, I don't even know if we started playing a preseason game -- things just, especially on offense, things just looked really ... nobody looked comfortable." Noted: Devaney's wording was interesting. "The decision was made" puts distance between Devaney and the Rams' decision to hire McDaniels. Devaney would be more apt to favor a traditional offense, one that emphasizes the ground game. That was the Rams' stated approach previously. It's the Rams' approach now, and Devaney said it would help Bradford.

Kathleen Nelson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at the Rams' situation at tight end.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com explains why he said the San Francisco 49ers' current receiving corps is the deepest and most talented in team history. Maiocco: "I was referring to depth -- a combination of looking at the 11 receivers on the 49ers' 90-man roster from the bottom up, as well as from the top down. Randy Moss, Michael Crabtree, Ted Ginn and A.J. Jenkins were first-round draft picks. Ginn is only 27. His best season came in his second year, 2008 with the Miami Dolphins, when he caught 56 passes for 790 yards. He'll have a difficult time getting on the field for action other than special teams this season. Jenkins' talent is undeniable. And, likewise, it will not be easy for him to work his way onto the field early in his career because of the fierce competition within this position group." Noted: No other team in the NFL has as many first-round receivers on its roster.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee has no problem with Vernon Davis saying he expects to become the greatest tight end in NFL history. Noted: The postseason Davis put together shows he can be that type of player at the position, especially if he continues to refine his route running, improve his feel for the game and improve in other areas that go beyond his obvious physical gifts.

Mike Rosenberg of the San Jose Mercury News says lawsuits could arise after Santa Clara County redirected $30 million in stadium funding to education. Noted: That amount of money isn't enough to scuttle plans to build the stadium. The fact that the county has declared plans to spend the money on education instead of for "little televisions in the back of stadium seats" makes this look like a political play, in my view.

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com checks in with receiver Sidney Rice for an injury update. Rice is rehabbing from surgery on each shoulder, but problems with those joints weren't behind his move to the injured reserve list last season. Rice: "The shoulder wasn’t really the problem, I was battling through that concussion thing. That’s a league policy, and I can’t argue with that. But I could have played through the shoulders the whole season, no doubt."

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune offers thoughts on a few Seahawks-related issues, including expectations for Chris Clemons: "He’s under contract, and I can’t imagine him just throwing away a year by not showing up at all. If he doesn’t get the deal he wants, I’m not sure that would affect him the way it might some other players … because he seems disgruntled pretty much all the time anyway. He plays as if he’s angry all the time, anyway; that might be what puts the edge in his game. This might make him better than ever."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the team has a "reasonable" amount of salary-cap space heading toward training camp, based on figures published by Pro Football Talk. Urban: "Even if the Cards don’t make another move, the cap space will change depending on their final roster. Right now the number is the top 51 cap numbers on the roster; when the regular season starts that will include all 53 on the roster as well as anyone on injured reserve and the practice squad." Noted: Teams will do more subtracting from rosters than adding to them. Having several million in cap spaces provides a measure of flexibility.

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