Speaking to reporters while visiting Rams camp this week, Vermeil said the limits on how often players can practice in pads and the delayed start to training camp would have affected his ability to develop the role players that propelled the Rams to one of the biggest surprise seasons in recent NFL history.
"I don't like the restrictions they gave to practice time. It's going to be hard to get better. The fortunate thing is everybody is operating within the same rules. You just have to do a better job within them. I think it's going to hurt the quarterbacks, especially the young ones. It's going to hurt the medium player, the average guy. How does he get better and hang on the roster next year? How are young kids coming up going to make it when you don't give them any reps?"
Vermeil would know far better than I, so I'm not going to disagree. However, it should be pointed out that Kurt Warner was only thrust into action after Trent Green got hurt in the third preseason game and that didn't seem to hurt that season's NFL MVP.
If the Rams were unable to win the Super Bowl this year I'd probably say it's because Kurt Warner is in a television studio, Az-Zahir Hakim is running a burger restaurant, and Mike Martz would probably under-utilize Marshall Faulk like he did in that Patriots loss a few years later.
- Dick Vermeil