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Les Snead: Quarterback isn’t the only important position

Case Keenum, Courtney Upshaw AP

The Rams are off to Los Angeles to resume their quest for their first playoff berth since the 2004 season and there’s no shortage of people who believe they need to upgrade at quarterback if they are going to make that happen.

This week, though, Rams coach Jeff Fisher said that the team’s plan at quarterback is to bring back Case Keenum as a starter with Nick Foles getting a chance to compete for the job he had to open the 2016 season. While this is a time of year when teams say a lot of things that wind up playing out differently, General Manager Les Snead’s comments back up the suggestion that the Rams could roll that way.

Snead called re-signing free agent cornerbacks Trumaine Johnson and Janoris Jenkins, safety Rodney McLeod and linebacker Mark Barron the team’s top priority in free agency. He backed up that position by pointing out that only one of the 21 quarterbacks to make 45 starts since the start of the 2012 season has a winning record in games that saw their teams allow 25 points.

“If your team gives up 17 or less than 17 points, all 21 of those guys have winning records,” Snead said, via the Los Angeles Daily News. “It’s not just one variable to win in this league. There’s a lot. The quarterback is important, but there is a lot of other things that are important, too.”

The flip side of that is that quarterbacks who aren’t very good don’t get a chance to start that many games regardless of the quality of their defense, something the Rams should know well after losing six games last season while allowing less than 25 points in a game. Those losses weren’t all on Keenum and Foles and a good defense is certainly vital to success in the NFL, but it’s not hard to see where better quarterbacking would have made a difference for a 7-9 Rams team.

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22 Responses to “Les Snead: Quarterback isn’t the only important position”
  1. bigredgoog says: Feb 26, 2016 10:11 AM

    Keenum showed enough (beating Seattle in Seattle and near perfect rating vs. Tampa) that the Rams should go for an impact player at 15. They spent a 3rd rounder on QB Manion last year and are developing him.

    Two drafts in a row they have gotten the Rookie of the Year. Do it with a wide receiver this year and there is a very good chance for the playoffs.

  2. daramsman says: Feb 26, 2016 10:19 AM

    New City. Same ol sorry ass Rams. SMH.

  3. shackdelrio says: Feb 26, 2016 10:25 AM

    Forever .500 or under

  4. 6ball says: Feb 26, 2016 10:31 AM

    .
    Fisher heard the criticism that he was perennially 8-8. So, he finished 7-9.

    His critics are looking pretty silly today.
    .

  5. motleytrap says: Feb 26, 2016 10:33 AM

    Goes back to a deeply rooted belief by Fisher that he only needs a passing game that does just enough to win.

    Holding teams under 20 points is nice but you have to score more than 20 to win. One of those is more important to the Rams than the other.

  6. aarownhere says: Feb 26, 2016 10:35 AM

    maybe they can get magic to b theyre qb

  7. beavertonsteve says: Feb 26, 2016 10:36 AM

    There will be at least 5 or 6 QBs available that are better than what the Rams have. They’ve got enough cap space to retain most of their UFAs, extend Brockers, and sign a QB.

  8. greatest dynasty ever says: Feb 26, 2016 10:38 AM

    Doing everything they can to sell those PSLs when they come available.

    Come watch YOUR LA Rams, you have a 50/5o shot of seeing them win, but hey, you can watch NFL Redzone at the stadium!!

  9. steelerben says: Feb 26, 2016 10:41 AM

    While it is difficult for a quarterback to win games without a good defense it is every bit as difficult, if not moreso, for a defense to win games without a quarterback. Even on the teams where you think of a great defense carrying the team, the quarterback was at least a quality game manager.

    You might not need an all world guy under center, but you at least need a Trent Dilfer to succeed.

  10. schmitty2 says: Feb 26, 2016 10:44 AM

    Being a Rams fan is flat out painful. They have arguably one of the top defenses in the league but haven’t had a halfway decent QB since Marc Bulger. Why did they even draft Sean Mannion last year if they are considering drafting a Qb this year?

  11. bryonneufeld says: Feb 26, 2016 10:58 AM

    steelerben says:
    Feb 26, 2016 10:41 AM
    While it is difficult for a quarterback to win games without a good defense it is every bit as difficult, if not moreso, for a defense to win games without a quarterback. Even on the teams where you think of a great defense carrying the team, the quarterback was at least a quality game manager.

    You might not need an all world guy under center, but you at least need a Trent Dilfer to succeed.

    =========================================

    The offense needs to put together enough competence to keep the time of possession about even and not turn the ball over. If the offense can do that, it may be enough when you have a top ten all time defense.

    However, if you have a top ten all time quarterback, then the the defense just needs to do enough to keep the time of possession about even and maybe generate one turnover a game.

    So which is harder – getting a top ten all time defense or top ten all time QB? Probably about the same.

  12. rams757 says: Feb 26, 2016 11:02 AM

    Defense going downhill because they are trying so hard to have a great offense.
    It’s no reason at least 2 or 3 FAs are not signed yet when Rams have 50mill in cap space… M. Barron , W. Hayes , and T. Johnson should already be signed. But no… We are here. Watching the combine… Doing interviews trying to trick people on what they do at pick 15………..

    La will chew us up. And spit us out… We will steal Vegas from Oakland next.. Vegas Rams 2026..

  13. fordmandalay says: Feb 26, 2016 11:06 AM

    Having a good head coach is pretty important too, but the Rams seem content with perennial loser Jeff Fisher. How has he fooled so many people foe so many years now?

  14. osiris33 (bandwagon since 1976) says: Feb 26, 2016 11:16 AM

    ANNNND… this explains why the Rams haven’t made the playoffs in like, 10 years.

    And how are they going to hold anybody under 20 points when they just cut half their team to clear cap space? FAs aren’t going to sign or re-sign with Rams this year knowing Fisher & Snead will be gone once the team settles in. It’s mass exodus time in LA.

  15. nflgtcfl says: Feb 26, 2016 11:35 AM

    You need to score a single point or more to win. We your have seen offenses with bad QBs come pretty close to not reaching this bar. Unless you plan a lot of 0-0 ties you need to score. Especially in todays NFL. In the 80s 9-6 games were far more common.

    3 and outs leave your defense out too long. They may be able to keep it up for a while, but towards the end of the season and playoffs they will be gassed or injured.

    This was basically the big problem Chip Kelly had. Too many 3 and outs. And what is worse they scorched through downs at breakneck speeds.

    As we saw with the Broncos you can win with mediocre QB play by limiting turnovers. But you still need a certain bar to be reached.

  16. canadianfan33 says: Feb 26, 2016 11:41 AM

    I have been a Rams fan through all of the turmoil of the last 15 years. I honestly believe we shouldn’t draft a QB this year. We need an impact WR. That is what has kept them from competing on offense. With a strong running game and an O-line that is young and allowed the least amount of sacks in the league last year, Keenum can be productive until we at least get a chance to see what Mannion can do. And are Wentz and Lynch really that good that they are worth a first round pick?

  17. schmitty2 says: Feb 26, 2016 11:47 AM

    osiris33 (bandwagon since 1976) says:
    Feb 26, 2016 11:16 AM

    ANNNND… this explains why the Rams haven’t made the playoffs in like, 10 years.

    And how are they going to hold anybody under 20 points when they just cut half their team to clear cap space? FAs aren’t going to sign or re-sign with Rams this year knowing Fisher & Snead will be gone once the team settles in. It’s mass exodus time in LA.

    First of all I know your a Hawks fan so I would love to point out those same Rams beat your team twice last year. Now that that’s out of the way the Rams did NOT cut half their team. They released a 30 year old DE who had 4 sacks over the last 2 seasons with a 14 mil cap hit, a LB although a great leader was showing signs of decline, and a TE who has brick hands and gives half effort at best. Try using logic when making comments next time.

  18. justanotherfan101 says: Feb 26, 2016 12:52 PM

    The Ram’s offense was last in the NFL last year. It doesn’t matter how good your defense is if your offense is that bad. There are some QBs in the 1st and in the 2nd round that could be much better than what they have now.

  19. vikings1234 says: Feb 26, 2016 1:49 PM

    Ram fans. Luv ya but talking about playoffs? Playoffs? You forget your coach is Jeff Fisher. Jeff has only had 6 winning seasons in 21 years of coaching and overall is 169-156 (.518). It will take more than that to make the playoffs in your division. I just don’t see it happening.

  20. jdphx says: Feb 26, 2016 3:08 PM

    D. Brock
    P. Haden
    J. Everett (prob the best of the bunch)

    LA Rams have never had a stud QB…

    Jaworski – post Philly?
    Namath – post Jets?

  21. computojon says: Feb 26, 2016 4:23 PM

    jdphx says:
    Feb 26, 2016 3:08 PM
    D. Brock
    P. Haden
    J. Everett (prob the best of the bunch)

    LA Rams have never had a stud QB…

    **************************************
    Ya ever heard of a guy named Roman Gabriel? How about Bob Waterfield? Norm Van Brocklin?

  22. mdintino1420 says: Feb 26, 2016 5:48 PM

    I would like to see upgrades at WR. Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt are average at best. They don’t scare anybody. If teams feel that Todd Gurley is the only threat, they’ll just put extra men in the box to stop the running game. TE is another area that needs improvement, too. The defense and running game are both strong, if the passing attack can be improved, then we have something here.

    Rams fans need to continue to voice support for a return to the yellow and blue uniforms worn before the year 2000. I don’t like the navy blue and gold as much a the blue and yellow.

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