While this season brought with it a culture-changing quarterback that inoculated the fanbase with despair, there’s no guarantee the Bengals will return to the Super Bowl — not playing in the same conference as Mahomes, Josh Allen , Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson – anytime soon.
In constructing this championship list alongside McVay, Snead heeded a saying voiced by a mentor, Jim Collins, who wrote the management manual “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make The Leap and Others Don’t “. Fire bullets, then cannonballs, Collins wrote.
Under Snead, the Rams are taking a series of proven, smaller forward risks, tying resources into bigger moves, like acquiring defensive back Jalen Ramsey in 2019, Stafford in 2021 and pass rusher Von Miller mid-season.
“Coming to the Super Bowl is one thing, but winning it is addictive,” said Miller, who won with Denver six years ago. “It’s really an addictive feeling.”
The Rams’ philosophy is subject to the misconception that the team is mortgaging its future for an annual competition. Despite not being selected in the first round of the last five drafts, the Rams have selected more players since 2017 than any team except the Minnesota Vikings, according to Stathead. One of Snead’s trusted colleagues, Rams consultant JW Jordan, kept a photo in his office of Malcolm Butler – the undrafted New England cornerback whose goal-line interception ensured a Patriots title against the Seattle Seahawks – to serve as a reminder of how powerful the roster is.
The Rams rely on their scouts to find late-round picks and on their staff to develop them. Players like Cam Akers, Van Jefferson, Jordan Fuller — and, most importantly, Kupp, the third-rounder to become Offensive Player of the Year, who caught the most famous touchdown in Los Angeles Rams history.
The touchdown that proved them right. The touchdown that made them all champions.