The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Rams on Monday will interview Vikings player personnel director George Paton for their GM job. Paton has worked under Rick Spielman since 2001, first in the Dolphins’ front office and then with the Vikes. The Rams will also interview Jets VP of college scouting Joey Clinkscales (awesome name) for the same job.
Obviously neither Paton nor Clinkscales is a big-time executive; both men have scouting backgrounds and have never really run anything. This gives us a clue as to what the Rams are looking for in their GM. They don’t want a powerful Bill Polian or Ted Thompson type, they want someone who will work with Jeff Fisher and accept that Fisher is the one really running the show. In other words, the Rams are about to walk into much the same trap the Vikings did when they hired Brad Childress and didn’t put anyone above him. As the Vikings learned, it’s a bad idea to give personnel power to a head coach who is naturally going to think week-to-week and not balance that out with a real GM who takes the long view of things.
Of course there’s a key difference: Fisher has a much stronger track-record than Childress did when the Vikings hired him. Fisher has years of experience as a head coach while Childress had only been a coordinator. So maybe the strong coach/weak-or-no GM thing will work out for the Rams better than it did for the Vikings. All I know is, I’m glad the Vikings finally got the hint and named a GM. Now we know who to crap on if things go wrong.