There’s no doubt that James Laurinaitis was a fan favorite when the Rams were in St. Louis. In the 2009 NFL Draft, the Rams drafted Laurinaitis in the second round. In his seven seasons with the Rams, Laurinaitis didn’t miss a single game; and as he recalls, he says he only missed two snaps in his entire career. The man formerly known as JL55 registered over 100 tackles in each season as the middleman of the Rams defense. Lauriniatis also became the Rams all-time leader in tackles late last season, surpassing Merlin Olsen.
Himself and Chris Long were the longest tenured original Rams on the team last year. They were both released shortly following the Rams relocation to Los Angeles, with Laurinaitis going to the New Orleans Saints and Long heading to play with the New England Patriots.
Laurinaitis did not get to experience a winning season in St. Louis, as the team went 37-74-1 from 2009-2015 (.330 winning percentage). The best record the Rams had during Lauriniatis’ tenure was 7-8-1 back in 2012. Recently, Laurinaitis was asked about his time with the Rams.
“We were really close every year to getting over the hump, getting over that .500 [record] and kind of breaking our way in a very tough division as the NFC West got better and getting into the playoffs,” Laurinaitis stated. “Going from a place where we were on the cusp saying, gosh we have the talent we have the talent, let’s get over the hump, you’re going to a place now (with New Orleans) when they’ve been 7-9 the last few years and there’s almost like such a disgust around here about that fact.”
Later in the interview, Laurininatis said joining the Saints was “refreshing to be in a place where they’ve won and the expectations are to get back to that.” He also said “Here, where you here 7-9 is not acceptable, it’s just awesome to be around that kind of hunger.”
Laurinaitis has made it loud and clear that 7-9 was okay for the coaches and players with the Rams while they were in St. Louis. I mean Jeff Fisher was and still is the coach for heaven’s sake. The Rams bred mediocrity while in St. Louis, which led to less fans showing up which then led to Stan Kroenke playing the victim card in order to get his team out of the Lou.
Kevin Demoff even said that he was happy the Rams endured a four game losing streak last season, as the team probably could not have moved with such ease if they would’ve had a winning record and/or made the playoffs. Laurinaitis’ comments shouldn’t surprise any of us, but rather confirm what we all already knew.