You would be hard pressed to find anyone willing to argue with the claim that St. Louis Rams General Manager Les Snead has done a remarkable time in his still short tenure with the franchise. His rebuilding effort began last offseason with little chance to really get his own people onto his staff, but still the GM had a dynamite effort in the draft. Getting his people in place has always been on the to-do list, and it seems like finally that process will be completed this offseason.
When a new regime takes over, it only seems logical that everyone from the previous staff would be out the door. Unfortunately things aren’t always that easy with the timing of hirings and firings around the league. Even though some changes were made in January prior to the 2013 NFL Draft, there was still some unfinished business to take care of for Snead and company.
Of the new pieces coming into the scouting department, the Rams promoted Taylor Morton from director of college scouting to director of player personnel. Brad Holmes was subsequently promoted to fill that vacancy from his previous post as a national scout. He began with the team as a media relations intern before getting into the personnel side of the business.
Evan Ardoin and Brian Shields are now area scouts for the team after Ardoin was responsible for National Football Scouting duties this past year, providing information for the Combine. Shields had been a personnel analyst on both the college and pro side of things.
Danton Barto, George Foster, and John Zernhelt were each added as area scouts. Their backgrounds are each very different with Barto being a former Arena League coach, Foster having been a former first round pick at offensive tackle by the Denver Broncos back in 2003, and Zernhelt acting as the Tennessee Titans tight ends coach last season.
Putting the finishing touches on things, former Auburn signal caller Barrett Trotter was hired as a football operations/scouting assistant. He attended the team’s minicamp last offseason on a tryout basis. Also Brian Hill was added as a scouting assistant and Ted Monago was tabbed as a national scout after previously being with the Chicago Bears organization.
All of this moves will hopefully add up to continued success for a Rams team that enjoyed quite a turnaround in year one under Snead. The GM said:
“Our player personnel department has done an outstanding job teaming with our coaching and football operations staffs the past two player acquisition periods in 2012 and 2013, including unrestricted free agency, the draft, and with waiver wire claims. These promotions and additions will make us even stronger going forward as we finish our task of building a consistent winner in a rapid and tenacious manner.”
Both “rapid” and “tenacious” seem to aptly describe Snead. His success has been expedited to say the least, and there is no reason to believe that that tenacity will be disappearing any time soon. This team is building something special, and the GM has to hope that these additional moves will only aid him in the organization’s chase for a championship.