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Topic: Josh McDaniels Fantasy Impact on the Rams in 2011
 Russ Bliss_108
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Post Date: 01/20/11 12:04
While there has been seven NFL head coaching changes heading into the 2011 season, there was one change that is related to what could prove to have the greatest impact of all to the fantasy football projections heading into 2011 season: Pat Shurmur going from offensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams to being the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Not because of Shurmur's impact on the Browns, but because of the man the Rams hired to replace Shurmur to run their offense: Josh McDaniels.
 
 
McDaniels was run out of Denver as their head coach after 2 seasons where he made suspect personnel moves and failed to get much out of the Broncos defensively. As an offensive minded coach, that can happen and the fact is that some guys are better suited to be coordinators for one side of the ball or the other more than being the head man in charge of both. That could be the case with McDaniels.
 
 
McDaniels was successful running the Broncos offense. He helped make Kyle Orton into a productive fantasy QB, and brought WR Brandon Lloyd back from the brink of absolute obscurity. His offenses in Denver and previously as the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots were prolific in producing a bounty of fantasy production from QB's and WR's alike. Now he is in charge of helping Sam Bradford take the next step up into being highly placed in 2011 fantasy football rankings.
 
 
While I have some concerns about a young QB like Bradford having to learn a new offensive system in only his second year in the NFL, he showed he was fully capable of executing the west coast system Shurmur ran in 2010 and has the makeup to become a star in the league. If he can grasp McDaniels' high-flying passing attack, and execute it, he will be a solid fantasy starter this season.
 
 
McDaniels hiring could also prove to be a boon to the fantasy prospects of the Rams WR's. While this unit needs to shake out a pecking order, the potential for Danario Alexander to achieve high success in 2011 is definitely there. And if one or two of Laurent Robinson, Mark Clayton, Donnie Avery, Danny Amendola, Brandon Gibson, and Mardy Gilyard can quickly grasp the nuances of the new system McDaniels will implement, it could be that any of these WR's becomes worthy of fantasy consideration in 2011 fantasy football drafts. Alexander is the guy most will talk about as he has huge upside; Amendola is a favorite, but is really limited athletically; Clayton was tearing it up before succumbing to injury; Avery missed 15 games because of injury but was the #1 heading into the 2010 season and was known as a potential playmaker; Robinson has a hard time staying healthy but has flashed ability; Gibson seems to be best suited as a possession style WR (ala Jabar Gaffney); and Gilyard's rookie season was a washout, but he still has potential.
 
 
The real question is whether McDaniels will help get RB Steven Jackson back to elite status or not. McDaniels hasn't exactly been committed to a rushing attack in his time as an offensive coordinator and while a reduction in carries for Jackson could decrease his value some, it's hoped that he will catch more passes out of the backfield (something Jackson is very good at) and hopefully be able to find the end zone more often (something that has eluded him the last 4 seasons). Jackson has been a workhorse for the Rams the last 5 seasons and will be 28 when the 2011 season starts. He only has 2-3 more years before the wear and tear of being a featured RB usually catches up to a RB.
 
 
Given the track record McDaniels has with offenses, I think it a good bet that while we hear little about the Rams and their players right now as being fantasy relevant, by the time we get around to August, they could be a team that provides some surprises in 2011 for fantasy purposes.
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 James The Mod_4852
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Post Date: 01/20/11 16:45
I think that Rams should go out and get a stud WR to compliment Ammendola and Clayton. Either through the draft or in free agency.
 
James
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 Throwball Heroes_118522
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Post Date: 01/22/11 06:18
I guess Clayton doesn't fulfill the "stud" requirement, but he and Bradford had a great rapport before Clayton went down with injury this year. Still Bradford ended up with a good rookie year, something I hope he can build on with McDaniels in town.
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"ISIYBITSI" -Russ Bliss
 glen_127691
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Post Date: 02/05/11 11:56
Russ,
As a Denver fan, McDaniel's days as a head coach in Denver will be remembered as the darkest ones. I do agree with your optimism for him being good offensive coordinator with the Rams. Good luck.
So here's the question I have: Why have all the Bill Belichick cloning experiments, for head coaches, be such failures? I think there have been 4 of them. Mangini, Crennel, McDaniels, and Weiss. Is that correct?
In many fields, emerging subject matter experts have studied under a world class expert. This is true in many professions. Usually the best learn from the best. This is not happening here. Do you agree? if so, any idea why?
Glen
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GS
 Russ Bliss_108
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Post Date: 02/05/11 15:07
Maybe none of them know how to operate a camera?
 
Remember, Bill Belichick himself was a dismal failure his first time out as a head coach in Cleveland from 1991-1995 posting just one winning season in that span. It took 5 years after that for another team to give him a shot at being their head coach, and everyone forgets his first year in New England he went 5-11.
 
Everyone also forgets that he took over the Patriots from Pete Carroll, in Carroll's last unsuccessful stint in the NFL.
 
Maybe one of these others just need to wait another 2 years for Carroll to wear out his welcome in Seattle and then get the job there?
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