PHOENIX — It was bound to happen the bright lights and big stage of Los Angeles would hoist the Rams onto a whole new level of attention and scrutiny – misguided as it sometimes might be. But it was telling the collective shrug and chuckle from L.A.’s newest darlings when Phil Simms’ kid tried to throw shade on them for how Sean McVay and Jared Goff are utilizing their allotted pre-snap communication window.
All good, is what their reaction screamed, just part of being one of the hottest teams in the NFL and playing in the entertainment capitol of the world. No sense sweating it. Just laugh it off and roll with it.
It was a stunning display of self awareness and acceptance of the much brighter spotlight the Rams now perform under. That they are acting the part so comfortably of a big-time team playing on a big-time stage might be the biggest surprise of all.
It wasn’t so long ago they were an NFL afterthought playing in St. Louis, piling up one losing season after another while fading further and further off the grid.
Their first year in Los Angeles offered much of the same, with the 4-12 record and hideous football they offered up making Angelenos wince and say: “We waited 22 years for this?”
Now look at them, sporting a splashy 8-3 record going into Sunday’s game against the Cardinals behind a hotshot young quarterback and coach and one of the most explosive offenses in the league.
Talk about overnight success stories.
Thing is, they look and act like a team that’s been here for years. The way they casually react to big wins and immediately shrug off the occasional loss while getting right back to work the next week, you’d never know it’s been 13 years since they’ve won this many games at this point of a season.
With each new win the stakes rise a little higher and a brand new wave of national media types roll through their Thousand Oaks headquarters to get a couple minutes with Jared Goff and Sean McVay and Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald and all the others. Meanwhile, more and more necks are craning across the country trying to get a glimpse of what’s going on in L.A.
And in some cases, stretching way overboard to come up with a new take to explain the Rams dramatic transformation and Goff’s sudden growth spurt into a franchise caliber quarterback.
Which brings us to Chris Simms.
You might remember him as a hotshot quarterback recruit at Texas who never quite lived up to the hype during four pretty mundane years in…