Updated at 5:05 p.m. with information from the team press conference
Updated with statement from the Rams. Will be updated further following 4 p.m. news conference
The St. Louis Rams have a new general manager.
The team announced via Twitter today that Les Snead, the former director of player personnel for the Atlanta Falcons, had accepted the job at Rams Park. Snead replaces Billy Devaney, who was fired along with former head coach Steve Spagnuolo in January after the Rams' 2-10 season.
"Personally, it's a dream come true," Snead said. "I used to skip school back when the draft was held on a Monday. to go from let's call it 7th, 8th grade skipping school to watch the draft to be sitting in this chair, to be a steward of this organization, to partner with Kevin [Demoff] and [head coach] Jeff [ Fischer], that's a personal goal."
Snead will "direct all aspects of football operations and, working with Head Coach Jeff Fisher, will have final authority over all personnel decisions related to the signing of free agents, the selection of players in the NFL Draft, trades, terminations, and related decisions," said Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff in a statement.
In a press conference this afternoon, Demoff called his new general manager an "innovator."
"When you sit down and talk top him, you come away saying, this is now your average scout in the NFL," Demoff said. "This is someone who thinks a little bit different, who approaches problem solving in a unique way, and someone who I think will change our personnel environment and our scouting environment."
"The organization has hired to help Coach Fischer win football games," Snead said, adding that he doesn't think the team is that far away from playing winning football. "In 17 years of working in this league, I've seen a lot. I've witnessed, been a part of, and made some good decisions and some not so good decisions. In all of those experiences, you learn from them. And after 17 years, I think you build a foundation where you're ready to start making some right decisions."
And a lot of the decisions will be made collectively. The Rams have the second overall pick in the NFL Entry Draft in April, butFischer says if he Demoff and Snead cannot agree on a player, they'll move onto the next one.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Snead and George Paton, who holds the director of player personnel position in Minnesota, were the two front-runners. Demoff says Snead was the first person he called.