– Rams general manager Les Snead spoke to the media this afternoon and offered his thoughts on a wide range of subjects, including how to value certain positions and his respect for RB Steven Jackson.
– Here’s Snead’s comments in their entirety:
(On Titus Young)
He was a waiver player and we have been successful this year with at least two waiver claims. Shelley Smith and Joseph Barksdale made starts for us on the offensive line so we are always going to attempt to acquire players in that manner. With the combine, you get 15 minutes to interview. With this particular player you needed more than 15 minutes to interview him. So that’s exactly why we claimed him. We sat down with him, had a lot of good discussions. At that point in time, at the end of nine days, we decided ‘Hey, it’s not the best partnership at this point in time.’ But I can tell you he’s a talented kid with passion and drive, still got a future. But for us it was not going to be the best fit at that particular time.
(On Steven Jackson)
The inbox has a lot of things going on but I can tell you the Steven situation is right there at the top. We have had ongoing discussions with his representation. We are going to keep that between us. This is the first time I got a chance to live with the person. You can be a fan from a far or a scout from a far but when you live with someone, you really get to know them. Go back to our first 49er game when it’s third and 9 and all of a sudden he doesn’t have a helmet on and he’s still getting the first down. Then you go late in the game and you need to score again to take the lead and Patrick Willis comes on a blitz and it’s not his guy but he knows exactly what to do. That’s why I put that picture on my wall of Steven Jackson.
(Confidence in Pead, Richardson, Ganaway)
Those guys, Pead toward the end of the year, Daryl at the beginning and middle proved they can play in the league as well as Steven made some big runs for us. So what you will always do is they will all have a role. Richardson is going to have a role, Pead is going to have a role, they are all going to have a role and we are going to utilize those roles.
(On weighing Jackson’s value off the field in keeping him or not)
When the decision to draft someone comes down to the final yes or no on the player or whether we will take him, I always ask ‘All thing considered,’ not just whether he can run, catch, block but all things considered means something. Yes, that definitely means something and we value that. Yes, all those guys have physical talents and usually the intangibles will be what takes those talents and eventually produces who they are.
(How can players change opinions of them at the combine?)
If we are private investigators, each player has a folder and in that folder you still have some questions to answer. Some of them will be in the physical process, some will be the interview process, some of them will actually be the play speed of a player if he comes and runs a certain time you can say ‘OK, we’ve got that checked off.’ Each player is case by case and you have got to almost have your outline and say ‘This guy is up next and about to do this drill and we need to see him.’’
(On weighing the value of Danny Amendola given his injury history)
Just like intangibles come into play, just like physical skill comes into play, just like production comes into play, your ability to be on the field comes into play. That’s a fact of life. I think everybody knows it and I’d be remiss to not tell you that. So yes, you have to weigh that because you are going to produce more for the team if you are out there.
(On how important durability is for slot receivers since they tend to be smaller)
I don’t think that’s the No. 1 thing you look at. You want to know that your slot receiver is going to go out there and he’s going to help us score points, get first downs and durability is somewhere in there. It’s a tough element to count upon. Obviously you have to make the decision now, it’s hard to predict how the story is going to end. Durability is definitely something you weigh but not No. 1.
In general, I think history can usually predict the future if there is certain patterns. Having one ACL and then coming back and nearly breaking Eric Dickerson’s record is one thing I think you have to think about. History is a predictor but it’s not a definite predictor.
(Thoughts on the WR class and finding play makers)
Obviously we want to get better in scoring offense. That’s the No. 1 priority. Score points, win games. If we have more points on the scoreboard at the end of the game, we win the game. So really, I would say offensive play makers and weapons come in all shapes and sizes. They can be 5 foot 8, they can be 6 foot 5. They can come in and help you block and score points that way. They can also be on the defensive side of the ball because if you keep that team from scoring that helps your offense. So I think you always look for weapons. It doesn’t have to be one position to help your team. Nowadays on offense you are throwing the ball around to a lot of shapes and sizes and things like that.
(On Brian Quick’s development)
He made big gains for us during the year and I expect as of year two that he will ascend further. When we took the player from App State, a smaller school, we knew it was going to be a tougher transition than if you were at a certain program that was larger and had a more traditional offense. You think Vincent Jackson when you draft Brian Quick. If you look at he comes from a small school, he only had maybe 59 yards his rookie year. His career wasn’t over at that moment. We definitely are excited about Brian Quick coming back to our building, going through OTAs, getting to work with Sam and staying in the same offense and getting better.
(On whether his moving around the draft via trade last year is an indication of his style)
Speaking of patterns, when speaking of drafts I don’t know that you’re ever going to be able to figure out a pattern with us. I think it’s going to be, what we need is the best available player and we are going to try to get the player we want whether it’s trading back and acquiring more players or if it’s going up. Throughout my career, I have been a part of one in Atlanta where we decided we are going to give up some things and go get a player. And it looks like it’s worked out well there. But I think it’s figuring out as an organization who in the draft you are targeting.
(On having more flexibility with two first round computers)
When we made the trade to get two No. 1s this year, really we made the trade we were thinking ’12, ’13 and ’14. And if you want to know what keeps me up at night and wakes me up in the middle of the night or wakes me up early with a smile, it’s the fact that in those two years – most people think in those years we have five first rounders and five second rounders – I like to say we have got six first rounders and four second rounders because when we decided to take Janoris we considered him a first round talent. So I like to say in these three years we have got six first rounders, four second rounders, which puts a smile on your face as you build this team. Teams win games, teams win championships and the thing is as you make that team, the more talented individuals you can bring to your team the better chance your team has to win.
(On Chris Givens and Isaiah Pead moving forward)
I’m like a father in this instance. Those two players, Chris really had a nice year, Pead toward the end. As a father figure I always look at it as that was just the freshman year of college and we are going into your sophomore year of college and we expect you to absolutely improve upon what you just did. They are going to have a role. We are excited about them. They are both fast, teams are spreading people out, speed is huge and those two players have it. We are expecting them to be even better their sophomore year.
(On if he thinks one more big offseason puts the Rams in the playoffs)
The reality of the situation is when I started we were picking No. 2 in the draft. This year we are picking 16 so we progressed. We play in a division where one team was NFC champion and the other was in the final four of the NFC in Seattle and San Fran. And we had the best record in the division. So I think those things point to a positive, positive future. And yes, I think the bar has been moved from 2 to 16 and we do want to follow that bar. And with those six first rounders and four second rounders, we want to further that bar going into next year.
(On what he’s learned from last offseason to this offseason)
I have always had a philosophy of work to make the decision work. Since last year, our building, from assistant coaches, head coach, trainer, strength, coach, nutritionist, Artis, all those guys are going to play a role in helping these guys become professionals on and off the field. So this whole thing actually works when you take a player and say this is the curriculum for this individual, let’s put him on it and see how it works. In our case, so far it’s worked.
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