Friday, February 5, 2010
Rams' Devaney denies dissing Rams' past
By Mike Sando
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The Rams haven't won enough recently to let damaging perceptions linger.
It's not Billy Devaney's style, anyway.
Devaney, the Rams' general manager, has shown his pugnacious side a few times, including last season when ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth criticized the team's handling of 2009 first-round choice Jason Smith. Schlereth later clarified his comments.
Devaney sought to right another alleged wrong Friday while making the Super Bowl media rounds. According to Devaney, the Rams have never taken down photos of all-time franchise greats, as Marshall Faulk suggested in comments to Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Every new leadership group tries to establish its own program, but Devaney and coach Steve Spagnuolo would never trample on the team's history so flagrantly, the GM said. Hall of Famer Jack Youngblood has also been critical of the organization lately, questioning the decision to fire long-time trainer Jim Anderson.
"It always matters what great players' opinions are as to what we are doing and how we are doing," Devaney said. " 'Spags 'and I have a ton of respect for what they have accomplished and what they have meant to the Rams. They are always welcome. I have talked to Marshall in the past. I talked to Jack Youngblood when he was visiting this year.
"The one thing I really want to clear up, I don't know how this notion got out of us taking pictures down. Steve came in and the only pictures Steve took down were of current Rams players and they were individual shots. He said, 'I want pictures up, but I want five or six players. I want team pictures up.' That is what we did. There are pictures throughout the building of Marshall Faulk, Kurt Warner, Ricky Proehl and the Hall of Fame Rams, all the great Rams. That is throughout the building."
The Rams might need to smooth over some of these relationships with their alumni. Mostly, they need to win.