As though things weren’t bad enough for the Rams in a rare Thursday Night Football (only on NFL Network! Yippee): They’re geared up in chicken yellow, are going on four days off and are still “powered” by what is now universally acknowledged among fandom as the league’s worst quarterback situation.
On paper, last week’s nearly-blown win over the just-as-sorry Detroit Lions provided a little optimism for a few fans. The 21-14 broke a seemingly interminable six-game losing streak with a Jeff Fisher special, a by-the-numbers win – and by “by the numbers”, LARams.net means the following:
1. Pray for a defensive touchdown
Not exactly sustainable stuff going into a week in which the Rams face a side with arguably a brighter short-term future though not quite as much talent.
Nevertheless, with obstacles in place to tamper the Rams’ fan’s enthusiasm for TNF tonight, an Associated Press report would have us believe that certain Rams players may suffer from sort of a pre-traumatic stress disorder regarding the team’s apparently imminent move to Los Angeles for 2016.
(And isn’t it ironic that, in the last game played by the St. Louis Rams, players will be wearing that insane yellow “Color Rush” gear rather than the blue-and-gold for which the team came to its Warner-led glory? Wacky!)
Entitled “Possible move of Rams to LA has players on high alert” on the Fox Sports website, writer R.B. Fallstrom focuses on a pair of players reportedly heavy with angst over the prospect of playing their last game in St. Louis…
“It’s kind of uncomfortable for everybody,” Laurinaitis said. “I’m not very good at things I can’t control, I’ve struggled with that my whole life, and this is one of those things.”
This is Laurinaitis’ seventh season in St. Louis. Defensive end Chris Long has the longest tenure on the team, finishing his eighth season without a winning record, let alone a sniff at the playoffs.
“I’m appreciative of this place and I’ll play as hard as I can,” Long said. “You never know, you just never know. As we’ve done all year, you have to worry about doing our jobs and handling what we can control.”
Now, Long is currently under contract through 2016 and Laurinaitis is signed through 2017, thanks to extensions granted in ’12. Due to some pretty underwhelming play, one wouldn’t be surprised to see Long jettisoned in the offseason, particularly should the front office undertake the housecleaning that comes with a new head coach – and o yes, the Rams will have a new head coach next season.
In a relocation situation, likely no job (excepting those of Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald) is safe for ’16. Perhaps *this* uncertainty belies the anxiety Long and Laurinaitis are actually feeling, sympathy for St. Louis fans aside.
After all, take a look at Fisher’s quote in the AP piece:
I’d have a hard time [following news of the Rams’ relocation] on a normal week, let alone a short week.
This is a guy who shouldn’t be looking at Los Angeles-area homes anytime soon anyway. As soon as Kroenke seals the deal for a California move, Fisher is toast.
A loss tonight – and all things considered, LARams.net’d bet on it – will speed up that process. But at least Fisher can blame it on his players’ anxiety…
– written by Os Davis