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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Another F.O.S.L. at Rams Park

    By Bernie Miklasz
    01/18/2008 3:18 am

    Talk about predictable.

    Steve Loney is the Rams’ new offensive line coach.

    No surprise, of course.

    He’s a FOSL.

    That means “Friend of Scott Linehan.” Linehan likes to hire buddies from his previous coaching stops, whether it be the Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins or in college football at Louisville, Washington or Idaho.

    When in need, rather than hire the best possible assistant, Linehan usually goes for a FOSL.

    Two weeks ago, Linehan hired offensive assistant Art Valero, a FOSL who was leaving the Tampa Bay Bucs.

    And now Loney is the latest FOSL. That makes two new FOSLs for the Rams this offseason.

    Last offseason, when Linehan desired a new special teams coach, he hired Al Roberts, a FOSL who was coaching high school football in Seattle. Under the FOSLs leadership, the Rams special teams struggled as usual, and they were among the worst in the NFL in stopping kickoff returns.

    Some guys collect coins, wine, or maybe sports memorabilia.

    Linny collects FOSLs.

    Loney and Linehan worked on the same coaching staff for the Minnesota Vikings from 2002-2004. And the Vikings were productive during those three seasons, with Linehan coordinating the offense and Loney coaching the O-line. The Vikings were 2nd in yards in 2002, 1st in yards in 2003, and 4th in 2004.

    So to be fair, I have to say that when Linehan and Loney last teamed together, the offense cranked out a lot of yards and got good results. Maybe that will happen in STL, if the Rams can get a healthy O-line in place for 2008.

    But Loney didn’t impress in Arizona as the line coach in 2006. Despite signing free-agent running back Edgerrin James, the Cardinals finished 30th in the NFL in yards rushing that season, and were last in average yards per carry. The offensive line was awful, and Loney was let go when the Cardinals hired a new coach, Ken Whisenhunt. The lowlight in 2006 was Arizona’s loss to the Chicago Bears. The Cardinals blew a 20-point lead, and Loney’s line couldn’t block Bears MLB Brian Urlacher, who made 18 tackles.

    Loney has limitations. When Linehan left Minnesota to become the offensive coordinator in Miami for 2005, Loney was promoted to offensive coordinator. But the Vikings slumped to 25th in the NFL in yards that season. And a month or so into the season, Vikings head coach Mike Tice brought in Jerry Rhome as a consultant. Once Rhome joined the staff, Loney still carried the title of offensive coordinator, and he stilled called the plays, but everything was filtered through Rhome. It was a polite way of reducing Loney’s role in the offense.

    If Rams fans were expecting bold, dramatic changes at Rams Park that inspire hope for 2008 … well, keep waiting.

    For now, Linehan took the usual route. And for his first two coaching hires this offseason, he recruited the first two FOSLs he could find.

    –B


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Another F.O.S.L. at Rams Park

    Another one to add to the list:

    SLOP

    SLAP

    FOSL

  3. #3
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    Re: Another F.O.S.L. at Rams Park

    See! I can come up with acronyms too!

    Woo-hoo!

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    Re: Another F.O.S.L. at Rams Park

    Quote Originally Posted by BernieM View Post
    See! I can come up with acronyms too!

    Woo-hoo!
    I wonder where you came up with the idea of an acronym??

  5. #5
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    Re: Another F.O.S.L. at Rams Park

    So to be fair, I have to say that when Linehan and Loney last teamed together, the offense cranked out a lot of yards and got good results. Maybe that will happen in STL, if the Rams can get a healthy O-line in place for 2008.
    Mike,Nick could happen right, it was all about the healthy of the O-line.

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    Re: Another F.O.S.L. at Rams Park

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    Mike,Nick could happen right, it was all about the healthy of the O-line.
    Of course it was also about Culpepper scrambling out of the pocket for around 500 yards in each of those seasons. Take away those yards and the Minny numbers don't look near as good. And need I mention they had Randy Moss, who when he cares stretches a defense like no other?

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    Chris58's Avatar
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    Re: Another F.O.S.L. at Rams Park

    The thing is, all HC's in the NFL tend to do this. Parcells is doing it now and always has. He has a rep so he gets a pass? No, he is just like all the other coaches who want guys on their staff that are loyal to what they are trying to do. I have my doubts about Linehan but you have to let him do it his way. If not, I guarantee you it won't work. He may still fail, but he may (hopefully) succeed.

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    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Another F.O.S.L. at Rams Park

    C58, you beat me to it! But well said nevertheless.


    Regardless of supporting Coach SL or not, the "FOSL" (familiar opportunity, simple logic) is indeed a common practice in the NFL and, generally speaking, the rest of major professional sports. It only makes sense to want to work with someone you know might meet your expectations. ...'Might'.

    We'll see how this SL2 formula -- i.e., S. Linehan / S. Loney -- pans out. Everybody and their sister knows what happened with the Rams in 2007 so as soon as you join the organization you are automatically under scrutiny.

    Coaches, let's do a good job then! :bash:

  9. #9
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    Re: Another F.O.S.L. at Rams Park

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    Mike,Nick could happen right, it was all about the healthy of the O-line.
    The OL was obviously a huge problem, so getting healthy is going to make a big difference, but Linehan and company are still going to have to do the right things in order to get the offense back on track. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

  10. #10
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    Re: Another F.O.S.L. at Rams Park

    .
    My memory is that Mike Tice was very involved with that O-line in Minnesota and stepped in to make corrections when needed.

    This from an ESPN article"

    "Even with Tice (a former line coach) helping Loney, the Vikings' line is awful so far. By now, we understand just how valuable injured Pro Bowl center Matt Birk was to the Vikings' offense, not just physically but from a leadership and football intelligence standpoint.

    There's also the bigger picture to consider."


    ESPN - Wilf needs outside help to right ship - NFL

  11. #11
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    Re: Another F.O.S.L. at Rams Park

    FOSL fossils?

    Hey, maybe these guys know Linny's "system" and so the learning curve will be greatly reduced?

    (kinda like Frerotte)
    RnD

    GO RAMS!!

  12. #12
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    Re: Another F.O.S.L. at Rams Park

    hey atleast if the season gets blown to hell, all of linny's friends go with him.

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    Re: Another F.O.S.L. at Rams Park

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris58 View Post
    The thing is, all HC's in the NFL tend to do this. Parcells is doing it now and always has. He has a rep so he gets a pass? No, he is just like all the other coaches who want guys on their staff that are loyal to what they are trying to do. I have my doubts about Linehan but you have to let him do it his way. If not, I guarantee you it won't work. He may still fail, but he may (hopefully) succeed.
    Parcells has earned that right by showing that his system works and his assistants prove to be worthy. Linehan has only proven that he can take a team to 11-21 in two years and has just punctuated his losing nature with his desire to surround himself by other incompetent fools.

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    Re: Another F.O.S.L. at Rams Park

    I don't care who coaches the Rams as long as they win. Linehan has not done well in the first two years of his contract. I say, if the decision has been made to let him have a third year, and he IS the head coach, then let him pick his staff. If he fails in '08 we all know he will be gone and so will most ALL his buddies.

    We only have our opinions. Fortunately we have no sway with what ends up happening. I'm glad my day job doesn't hinge on my opinions being right or wrong here, but Linehan's do.

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