Insider: Fisher cleaning up Rams' mess

ProFootball Weekly
Insider: Rams deserve kudos for coaching up weak O-line

The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

• “If you took the Rams’ roster last year and compared it to the group they have now, you might be surprised just how bad it was. Twenty-four of the 30 players they released are not on rosters right now. That is bad! The coach plays a role in it — no doubt — he has to define what he wants in his players — but a GM has to be able to go find those players. To me, that fell on (former GM) Billy Devaney. Jeff Fisher has cleaned it up fast.”

• “I didn’t expect (Colts GM) Ryan Grigson was going to make as many good moves as he has. Even their waiver claims have been good. I think (VP of football operations) Tommy (Telesco) has been a good infludence on him. Tom’s a pro’s pro. Ryan has more of a bull-in-a-china-shop approach. Tom is a dove. He can steer it and say, 'Let’s run this way instead of bulling through all the crystal.' ”

• “I hope (Oakland GM) Reggie McKenzie does well. He’s a good person. He’s as honest as the day is long.”

• “If any OL coach says he needs more contact to coach better, I call b.s. Offensive linemen can go out in shorts. It all starts with mental prep — knowing who to block — and technique and footwork. It’s so funny though — you get three OL coaches and you can hear three different reasons for why their line is struggling, and usually, only one of them is right.”

• “(Detroit OLT) Jeff Backus is done. If he is playing left tackle all year, the Lions are in trouble. They have to plug Riley Reiff or Jason Fox in there.”

• “Man, Minnesota has a bad roster! Put on the tape — you could run a truck through some of the holes their defense gives up. Matt Kalil has not looked very good early on. I thought he could be a good player coming out (of USC), but I had my concerns. He’s wired a lot differently than his brother — more has been handed to him because of his name and he has not had to work for as much. There’s some entitlement there. … I think the coaching staff already knows their fate after the season.”

• “I give Houston a lot of credit for the way they have built their roster. They have a lot of depth on their team with players that not a lot of teams know about. I like their tight ends a lot.”

• “(Bears rookie DE Shea) McClellin is a high-efffort guy. He has short arms and lacks explosiveness. There is a ceiling for guys like that. He is going to be like the kid in Washington last year (Ryan Kerrigan). He’ll start off playing hot, and as the year goes by, he’ll wear down and go quiet. That’s what happened to Kerrigan last year. All of a sudden his body is not fresh and all that hustle does not get as much. (McClellin) does not have enough in his body. Hustle guys wear down.”

• “I don’t think Roddy White will decline, but I think Julio Jones will catch a lot more balls this year. (Tony Gonzalez’s) production will drop for his age. The Falcons’ offense will be very good if they stay healthy.”

• “When you are missing James Harrison and David DeCastro is on I.R., it does not make your job easy, but the Steelers will always be OK. They are never hurting for long. They have a great blueprint for how to rebuild.”

• “I don’t like where football is going. I don’t know that as many high school kids are playing the game right now. That may not affect the NFL in seven years, but in 15 years, you have a big problem. The commissioner better start looking into it and finding a way to invest more into the development of football programs. It’s a big-picture issue that I don’t think (commissioner) Roger (Goodell) is giving enough attention.”