When Rams owner Stan Kroenke decided to make sweeping changes after the 2011 season, he reaffirmed his commitment to a core operating principle: Build the team through the draft.

Coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead were in synch with the owner’s philosophy as they moved into the power seats at Rams Park.

It’s important to remember that now, at a time when the Rams’ NFC West rivals are busy adding veteran skill-position pieces to strengthen their rosters for 2013.

NFC champion San Francisco acquired wide receiver Anquan Boldin, 33, from Baltimore. Seattle traded a No. 1 draft choice to Minnesota for Percy Harvin, the flashy wideout and kick returner. And both teams are busy making other maneuvers in the continuation of their duel for division supremacy.

The Rams, meanwhile, are sticking with their long-range plan.

The plan isn’t free of pain. The plan requires patience. The plan requires strong faith in the belief that Fisher, Snead and chief operating officer Kevin Demoff know what they’re doing.

For the Rams, the good news was a surprising 7-8-1 record in 2012. No one tried to organize a parade, but the team exceeded expectations in the first year of a massive rebuild.