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Rams name new head of player personnel

ST. LOUIS (June 20, 2006) -- The St. Louis Rams have restructured their front office, eliminating the general manager position and hiring two vice presidents.

Tony Softli was selected vice president for player personnel, the Rams said. Softli, who was formerly director of college scouting for the Carolina Panthers, will lead the player personnel department that will include longtime general manager Charley Armey, whose new title is vice president for pro personnel.

Jay Zygmunt will remain as president of pro football operations.

The moves come after a tumultuous 2005 season that featured infighting between some in upper management and coach Mike Martz, who missed most of the season with a heart ailment. Martz was fired after the season and replaced by Scott Linehan.

Armey, 67, had considered retiring but agreed to stay on in the new position.

Softli, 46, began working in scouting when the Panthers entered the league in 1995 and took over as director of college scouting in 2000. He is credited with helping draft standouts Julius Peppers, Steve Smith and Kris Jenkins.

Lawrence McCutcheon will continue as director of player personnel for college scouting.

The Rams haven't had a director of pro personnel since after the 2000 season, when Mike Ackerley left to work for the Tennessee Titans.

Softli has ties to Linehan. The two worked together on the University of Washington coaching staff. Before that, Softli was a linebacker for the Huskies.

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