Les Snead didn’t have a season-ending press conference, but the general manager of the St. Louis-turned-Los Angeles Rams shed some light on what he thought about his team’s season during a radio interview at the Senior Bowl.
Speaking with Alex Marvez and Mark Dominik on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Snead gave a revealing answer about his team’s quarterback situation when he was asked about Sean Mannion, the team’s third-round pick last spring.
“He didn’t play a lot, but he did go into a game and I believe it was at Cincinnati late in the game and just like he did in the preseason he showed life, he got the ball out quick, he’s got a live arm,” Snead said of Mannion. “For someone who is lacking in the mobility department, he gets the ball out quick, he knows where to go with it. So that’s the things you like in a QB — (he’s) tall, can see and (he’s) got the arm.
“We’re definitely expecting him to come in next year along with Case (Keenum) and Nick (Foles) and anybody else that we may add — whether they are at the Senior Bowl or on another team’s roster right now — and let them compete. … If I learned one thing last year, we should have let the quarterbacks have a competition from the start and the best man win instead of just passing the torch to Nick.”
The Rams and Philadelphia Eagles pulled off the big quarterback swap last offseason, with the Rams sending former No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford to the Eagles in exchange for Foles, who was a Pro Bowler following the 2013 season, along with exchanging draft picks.
While both quarterbacks had their moments, the trade didn’t really work out for either team. Foles eventually got benched and Bradford and the Eagles’ up-and-down season led to coach Chip Kelly getting fired.
The Rams need more from their quarterbacks going forward.
Keenum, Foles and Mannion combined for 2,911 yards, 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 2015, numbers that were a significant drop off from what Austin Davis and Shaun Hill combined for in 2014 after Bradford suffered a season-ending knee injury — 3,658 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
The Rams hoped Foles would be the right guy to lead them.
“He obviously had a lot of success at Philly and it was proven so we brought him in,” Snead told Marvez and Dominik. “As you go through things with a new quarterback and he’s learning a new system there’s going to be some growing pains whether it’s in OTAs or training camp.
“You saw that a little bit but, hey, we open up and beat Seattle and went to Arizona and won. He did some good things for us. We just ran into a slump there in the middle of the year.”
The Rams haven’t had a winning season or made the playoffs in a decade and now they are moving to Los Angeles with some of the same questions surrounding the team on the field.
They should have a strong defense again next season, though they have a few key free agents to re-sign, and they have a foundational piece at running back with Todd Gurley coming off a 1,000-yard and Pro Bowl season as a rookie.
But they still have uncertainty at the quarterback situation and it feels like they won’t be able to snap their dubious winless-seasons streak without finding the right answer at that position.