7 questions with Rams GM Billy Devaney

Rams GM Billy Devaney

Rams GM Billy Devaney

FLOWERY BRANCH – St. Louis Rams general manager Billy Devaney, who worked for the Falcons from 2006 to 2007, appears to have struck gold with quarterback Sam Bradford, who was taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Bradford has the Rams, who play the Falcons on Sunday,  off to a 4-5 start and are in second place in the NFC West.

Devaney was the senior personnel executive in 2006 and as assistant general manager in 2007 for the Falcons.

Devaney, a former scout, also worked in Washington with Joe Gibbs and the legendary Bobby Beathard. He went with Beathard to San Diego. In all, he’s had a hand in helping to build three Super Bowl teams, two in Washington (1983 and 1988) and one in San Diego (1994).

It was good to catch up with “Billy D” over the phone when he took the time to take 7 questions from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday.

Q: How are things going with the rebuilding of the St. Louis Rams?
A:
“Well, it’s certainly still ongoing, that’s for sure. I think the feeling is that we are moving in the right direction. We’ve got some important pieces in place to build around and a pretty good foundation with young players. We’re getting there.”

Q: How has your quarterback, Sam Bradford, the No. 1 pick in the draft, been playing thus far this season?
A:
“I think for the most part it’s been pretty impressive the way he’s handled everything. There was a lot of pressure coming in with him being the No. 1 pick. Quarterback. Face of the franchise. All of that stuff. He’s handled that like a champion, like we expected him to. The on-field, playing the position, he’s played nine games now and he’s kind of set the bar pretty high. We have to remind ourselves when he does make a mistake or does something goofy that he’s only played nine games.”

t. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (8) drops back to pass during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

t. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (8) drops back to pass during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Q: How’s the defense been coming along?
A:
“The defense has been playing really good as a whole unit. Like anything, you’d expect progress from year one to year two. Last year, we were still installing and players were learning what to do and how to use the proper techniques. Now, they are just playing fast. They are playing good team defense. It’s a credit to the coaches how they are playing.”

Q: What did you take with you from your stop here in Atlanta that’s helping you build the Rams?
A:
“Personally, it’s having that trust with the head coach. Having a good relationship with the head coach. I think Thomas (Dimitroff) and Smitty (Mike Smith) are a great model for teams to follow. When were in the process of hiring a head coach that was one of the things that was going to be really important to me. How was I going to be able to work with the head coach? Do we share the same philosophy about putting the team together. That, as much as anything, drew me to Spags (head coach Steve Spagnuolo) because we do see so many things eye to eye and we do have a good close, working relationship.”

Q: Looks like you have a couple Falcon-Rams in Laurent Robison, Daniel Fells and Renardo Foster?
A:
“They are good guys. I’m glad they are in the building. They are good team guys. There in no ego. They bust their butts everyday and that’s what we’ve been trying to instill here. We started by trying to change the culture last year. These guys like Laurent have been around a winning program. Renardo was there for a little bit and they about the way things are supposed to be done. I think that’s helped our growth. They are all good hard working good kids.”

Q: What do you all have to do to win the NFC West and get into the playoffs?
A:
“I don’t know. We’re still so young and kind of in the formative stages. What we’ve got to focus on is not even thinking about winning any kind of division. Our next goal is to win a game on the road. We’re playing OK at home, but we’ve yet to win on the road this year. Unless and until we learn to do that, we’re not going anywhere. All our focus is that we have a home game with Atlanta this week, then we are on the road for the next three weeks and we have got to find a way to win a couple of those road games.”

Q: How is linebacker James Laurinaitis doing for you all?
A:
“He’s a pro. The best thing is say about him. He is that he’s one of the cornerstones that’s helping us put this thing together. He just eats, sleeps and breathes football. He’s a workaholic. He took over as rookie last year and he became the quarterback of the defense immediately. He’s just got those natural leader traits and he’s a heck of a football player.”

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91 comments Add your comment

Lucky

November 19th, 2010
7:47 am

OK….This Devaney guy has to be good because the Falcons had him, but let him get away. This is what the Flacons do……Let all the good talant get away and keep the busts.

Damage Inc.

November 19th, 2010
7:50 am

2 dam funy lucky

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Mike Jay

November 19th, 2010
7:55 am

Oh yea that Falcons roster is full of bust. They are busting themselves al lthe way to the playoffs and the top of the NFC. Bust bust bust.

Sid

November 19th, 2010
8:21 am

The Falcons need to go in and play a great road game. At this stage of the season we should be hitting on all cylinders and play with the confidence that we can shred a good defense ie Baltimore.
If they can start fast the Falcons win this game handily, otherwise the 3 points goes in the toilet.

Damage Inc.

November 19th, 2010
8:28 am

I have a feeling that we’re going to see Bradford on his back a few times. This is the perfect storm for Abe.

jay

November 19th, 2010
8:29 am

Sid, I think it comes down to Turner. If he slacked off on the donuts this week and hits the whole in the 1st quarter like it’s the 4th quarter we will be alright. If he doesn’t they need to put snelling and put the ball in Ryan’s hands again.

Sid

November 19th, 2010
8:35 am

Jay, Turner seems to need a few carries to get going. I think if Coach would give Turner the first few runs to the outside it might get his motor started sooner.

Gamer

November 19th, 2010
8:56 am

In this game, the Falcons need to go back to the fundamentals of physical play at the line of attack. By running the ball hard, blocking hard until the whistle blows, and grinding it out defensively.

IT WILL TAKE A TOUGH MINDSET TO BEAT THE RAMS IN THEIR DOME!!! DON’T SLEEP ON THE RAMS.

PLAY AS A TEAM..AND THE FALCONS WINS…PLAY TO PERFORM IN FRONT OF FRIENDS AND FAMILY THEN THE DEFENSE GET BURN FOR BIG PLAYS.

STAY FOCUS FALCONS..TAKE THE GAME BY FORCE..

SawThat1nce

November 19th, 2010
9:06 am

Atl definitely has the best team.
They should have no trouble in taking a win. The question is by how much. That depends on the game plan and play calls of the OC and DC.

GEAUX FALCONS!!!! OUR TIME!!!!

SeenThisB4

November 19th, 2010
9:14 am

In a National Football League game, the fans are represented by two separate by equally important groups: The field refs that impose penalties on rule breakers and the replay officials that adjudicate questionable calls….These are their stories:

NFL Thursday Night Football
Ravens vs. Falcan’ts
Nov 11, 2010, 4th Qtr 0:28 seconds

Replay official (Mike Carey) to Field Ref Ed Hochuli: Hey Hochuli, that was a push off, why didn’t you call it?!

Hochuli: Wasn’t my call to make!

Carey: C’mon man, that was blatent!

Hochuli: You want to review it?

Carey: You know I can’t review a no call, you guys sure do look like blind idiots on t.v.

Hochuli: I know! But I had my money on the falcan’ts anyway, so it doesn’t really matter to me!

Carey: Yeah, and Goodell wants us to give the calls to Atlanta.

Hochuli: That’s what the league wants, you know that man.

Carey: Ah right man, let’s get out this cess pool of a city.

Hochuli: I’m with ya, but we gotta let the final seconds play out down here.

JSS

November 19th, 2010
9:32 am

@ SeenB4…
Did you just go all “Law & Order” on sports blog?
Outstanding!!!

Ueeediot

November 19th, 2010
9:33 am

Sid, are you suggesting the first few plays should be run plays?

Ueeediot

November 19th, 2010
9:34 am

Too bad Hochuli wasnt the official last Thursday night, huh. But it is great fiction.

Ueeediot

November 19th, 2010
9:38 am

Thursday, Matt Ryan set a record for the most completions without an interception against the Ravens’ defense. ….ever.

Sid

November 19th, 2010
9:40 am

Absolutely………………..

STAY FOCUS FALCONS..TAKE THE GAME BY FORCE..

Sid

November 19th, 2010
9:51 am

Ueeediot

You have probably been on here long enough to read my wish for 1st play play action pass, but I am suggesting Turner’s early carries could go outside, just to get his Burners lit. Obviously, they go inside to establish the run but we all know Turner kind of quits early on those first couple of plays inside. In the Ravens VICTORY Ryan started out in a shotgun formation and threw a completion right out of the gate………….that was excellent, but I still want to see 1st possession 1st play play action pass.

Damage Inc.

November 19th, 2010
9:52 am

Falcon JIm- point taken. I’ll obstain.

Lucky

November 19th, 2010
9:55 am

Some posts R missin……The ones making fun of me;. Good work

Damage Inc.

November 19th, 2010
10:02 am

No- the lambs will lose. But I hear the seahawks have an easy game Sunday.

Art Vandelay

November 19th, 2010
10:15 am

What’s the matter Lucky, not getting as much attention as you wanted when you made your first stupid post?

SawThat1nce

November 19th, 2010
10:18 am

stB4@9:14……..A saints fan crying about a zebra’s call, that he thinks went in another teams favor. ha ha.

One thing that is for sure, if that same play in the Ravens vs Falcons game, had occured in a saints vs Falcons game in 2009, Roddy White most definitely would have been penalized, whether he was guilty or not.

Rama Lama

November 19th, 2010
10:26 am

Falcons waltz into St. Louis with Super Bowl rings on their minds and get a good smack in the chops. Rams 24, Falcons 21.

I can dream, can’t I??

SawThat1nce

November 19th, 2010
10:40 am

rama lama…..yes, everyone should have a dream. but confusing dreams with reality, sometimes leads to disappointment.

Lucky

November 19th, 2010
10:42 am

@ Art. I always tlak football here. Its people like U that herl insults that cauz some posts 2 B removed.

U beter do the same of you will be on the out side lookin in

Lucky

November 19th, 2010
10:46 am

My earlier point is the Falcon have this ablity 2 loose all thats good and keep al thats not good. It go all theway back to there first year in the NFL

Sid

November 19th, 2010
11:01 am

Rama Lama November 19th, 2010 10:26 am
**************************************
Coach has this team focused on one game at a time, nobody is thinking about the Falcons in the Superbowl but us Falcons fans……………….well and uh er…………Seen.

Fred Macmurray

November 19th, 2010
11:05 am

I like Sam Bradford,, He seems like such a nice young man,,,

PreyDawg

November 19th, 2010
11:06 am

Lucky,

You were right about this organization up until a few years ago. The current coaches/staff make lots of good decisions, keep lots of the right people.

One big problem I had with Reeves was he let his leadership leave, Cornelius Bennett was the one that comes to mind.

Look at this Roster, Peterson-leader, Abraham-leader, DeCoud-emerging as a leader. Then on offense Ryan-Leader, Roddy-leader, Gonzalez- oh yeah, leader.

This staff understands chemistry. We have much to look forward to as fans.

For this reason I will take the points this weekend. Falcons will win in St. Louis. Old Falcons teams would have lost. Not this time.

Fred Macmurray

November 19th, 2010
11:11 am

@ PreyDawg

Your waisting your time bro,, I’m just sayin

FrontRow

November 19th, 2010
11:19 am

@rama lama yeah your dreaming the Rams score more than 20.

Fred Macmurray

November 19th, 2010
11:23 am

Lucky is just misunderstood,,, he seems like a nice young man,,,

Fred Macmurray

November 19th, 2010
11:28 am

I think Seattle is going to give the Saints a hard time this Sunday,, they seem like such nice young men….

PreyDawg

November 19th, 2010
11:33 am

I may know where you are coming from Fred. Let’s wait and see what transpires.

PreyDawg

November 19th, 2010
11:34 am

All I can say is, after 35 years of mostly incompetence, I LOVE this team. They are fun to watch and cheer for. Wish I still had my season Tix.

FrontRow

November 19th, 2010
11:38 am

@Snotty McBoogernose

Kinda like your keyboard

FrontRow

November 19th, 2010
11:45 am

That Fred Macmurray – he seems like a nice young man.

Fred Macmurray

November 19th, 2010
11:48 am

Thanks Front,, I try to be

Fred Macmurray

November 19th, 2010
11:53 am

Fred Macmurray wasnt always a nice young man,, I have changed my ways…

FrontRow

November 19th, 2010
11:56 am

No me – I’m mean and nasty – kinda like the Falcons.

GO D-BLOCK. Plant some Bradford!

Rama Lama

November 19th, 2010
11:57 am

I know, I’m delusional.
This is the NFL, though…funny things happen.
Nobody thought the Rams would win four games all season, but there they are at 4-5.
They’re getting better, just a couple of seasons behind the Falcons in the process.
If the Falcons DO make it to the Super Bowl I’ll be rooting for them.
They have really cleaned up their organization, great job so far by the team and front office.

Fred Macmurray

November 19th, 2010
11:59 am

The Falcons are very Nasty considering their such nice young men…

Sid

November 19th, 2010
12:04 pm

Thanksgving Thu, Nov 25

NE @ DET Ford Field 12:30 PM

NO @ DAL Cowboys Stadium 4:15 PM

As we apporach this holiday season I want to take this opportunity to tell everyone on here (yes, even the 10 faces of Seen) that no matter your persuasion, your character or lack thereof, that I truly hope you and yours have a holiday time filled with love and friendship, passion and purity, romance and dreams. And to those of you that obviously do not have any friends I hope your holidays are not lonely as to what you have become acustomed. As hard as it may seem try and get a life and a little better understanding of the game of football. Go to a shelter, a mission…..volunteer, anything so as that the highlight of your life is to not just spew stupidity.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night………….!!

The higher we soar the smaller we appear to those that cannot fly.

FrontRow

November 19th, 2010
12:09 pm

Nice post rama lama. And good luck to your team…next week.

Fred Macmurray

November 19th, 2010
12:20 pm

If before last season you would have said the Saints would win the superbowl you would have been called delusional. It just goes to show even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. However if think they can repeat. now thats delusional

jo

November 19th, 2010
1:04 pm

Enter your comments here

Joe Tess Fish House

November 19th, 2010
1:05 pm

HAHAHAHAHA……I made Pat Yankshire’s blog!

Joe Tess Fish House (Earth)

What is with Perrier Jerry of the Flacons? He was a first round pick but he hardly plays. Is he another bust?
Pat Yasinskas
(1:02 PM)

Give him a little more time. I think his knee is just nearing 100 percent.

Joe Tess Fish House

November 19th, 2010
1:08 pm

Of course he ansered wrong. Perrier Jerry is a bust!

Fred Macmurray

November 19th, 2010
1:30 pm

Just curious Joe Tess,, in you opinion do the Falcons have anyone on their rooster that is not a bust.

pritdapit

November 19th, 2010
1:41 pm

of course not fred everyone on the falcons is a bust… olo