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Ground getting shakier for Rams' current regime

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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Posted Oct. 27, 2011 @ 3:06 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

In a season gone terribly bad, is it safe to say that head coach Steve Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney now officially are on the hot seat?

"I wouldn't say 'officially,' with the owner (Stan Kroenke) having gone totally underground, but it's pretty obvious," one longtime team insider told PFW. "I mean, they're (near the bottom) in all the major categories on both offense and defense.

"It's looking pretty bleak."

The way we hear it, short of a dramatic turnaround in the next month or so, the current regime could be in big trouble.

"They really need to make some hay in these next four or five games," the insider said.

But with QB Sam Bradford's high ankle sprain heading a list of worrisome injuries, the short-term outlook is far from promising.

Is it possible the inordinate amount of injuries the Rams have suffered this season could result in a reprieve for the Spagnuolo-Devaney duo?

"Well, the timing (of those injuries) really has been bad," the insider said. "I still think that, if Steven Jackson doesn't get hurt on the first play of the game, they would have beaten the Eagles (in Week One). And then even against Green Bay, the offense finally finds its identity in gaining over 400 yards, but Bradford hurts his ankle and (A.J.) Feeley is forced to start for the first time in four years.

"But, as we all know, Green Bay lost 15 guys (on injured reserve) last year and still made it to the Super Bowl. And this team has just been so bad. They've been spared some heat because of the Cardinals being in the World Series. But once the Series ends, things could really get ugly.

"If this team finishes 2-14, 3-13  — which is really starting to look like a strong possibility — you can forget about Spags sticking around."

Daily team observers maintain that, despite the Rams' significant decline, Spagnuolo's troops continue to put forth maximum effort.

"I don't know about the entire 53-man roster, but the effort's been there," one observer told PFW. "But I do have to say that for the first time, after the Dallas game, the locker room looked really shell-shocked.

"It was at that point you really had to start wondering if the hole this team has dug is too deep."

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