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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Blame the man who hired Linehan

    By Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Monday, Sep. 15 2008
    Here was the epitome of football frustration: the confounded Rams fan.
    Anonymous but not unnoticed, he stood there in Section 103 at the end of the
    latest Sunday afternoon Rams catastrophe a 41-13 stomping at the hands of the
    defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants and begged for answers.

    Here was the true voice of the people, a middle-aged fellow with a thick,
    droopy mustache wearing an overstuffed Marc Bulger jersey. He wasn't mad. He
    was confused. He wasn't raging. He was despondent. He wasn't out of control. He
    was out of his mind.

    So the fan simply stared at the players and coaches as they sprinted into the
    darkness of the end zone tunnel and all he could do was unleash this plaintive
    wail that pierced through the jeering cacophony:

    "Why are we SO BAD?"

    Sit down, my man. This is going to take some time.

    Here was the epitome of football frustration: the deflated and defeated Rams
    head coach. Scott Linehan walked into the postgame interview room and
    immediately you could tell that we were about to witness an awkward gold mine
    of material for the next Coors Light television commercial.

    He looked like a coach who's lost it. He sounded like a man who'd finally come
    to grips with the unpleasant fact that too many of his players have quit on
    him.

    "The bottom line is that we can't expect to win games playing the way we are
    playing."

    The words came out like a man spitting out a bitter seed. He was mad. He was
    confused. He was hurt. He was emotionally wounded. He wasn't only despondent,
    for the first time in his coaching tenure, it looked like he finally knew what
    the rest of us have known for more than a year: His dream job had turned into a
    grotesque nightmare.

    "You guys were at the same game I was at: That is how you lose. That is not how
    you win."

    It wasn't quite the ultimate NFL head coach meltdown "Playoffs?!!
    PLAYOFFS!!???" but it was close enough. Linehan's seething words and burning
    frustration were the denouement to the disaster that has become the sorry,
    no-account state of St. Louis Rams football.

    So, now then, back to the original question: Why are the Rams so bad?

    They're bad because a decent man named Scott Linehan probably wasn't ready to
    be a head coach in the NFL, and the people who hired him weren't sharp enough
    to know that. They're bad because they have too many players who have neither
    the talent nor the fortitude to play hard enough to earn their paychecks.

    It's not everyone in that locker room, but there are enough quitters in there
    to have provoked injured Pro Bowler Leonard Little into a postgame,
    chair-throwing rage, while he and wide receiver Dane Looker launched
    profanity-laced tirades about how the 0-2 Rams have become the league
    laughingstock.

    This season is already over, and we're only two games in. And even though the
    most obvious short-term solution is to fire Linehan not to mention some of
    these feckless players what will that really accomplish?

    To borrow from current political vernacular, getting rid of Linehan is like
    putting lipstick on a pig. That's not change. That's not real change.

    You see, I don't blame him. I blame the man who hired him, Jay Zygmunt, the
    team's president of football operations.

    Somehow, the man with the least amount of football expertise in this
    organization has risen to become the most influential man in the franchise.
    When he was engaged in that power struggle with Mike Martz, Ziggy kept telling
    us it was all Mad Mike's fault. Well, Martz is long gone, and look what we're
    left with:

    A man who signs players not because of their talent, but because he gets along
    with their agents; hires coaches not because they are the most qualified, but
    because they'll be his buddy. He's the man who alters draft boards at the last
    minute at his uneducated whim despite the protests of coaches and personnel men
    who evaluate potential draftees based on such unconventional things as actual
    talent.

    So you want to know why the Rams are so bad?

    Look no further than Zygmunt for the answer. Those are his players, his
    coaches. He shaped this franchise into his own gloriously incompetent image,
    and the result is a team in ruin.

    So while the skids are being greased for Linehan, you might want to slap a
    little more gunk on a steep incline in Zygmunt's path as well. In the meantime,
    tell him to go into a quiet corner and stay there, then remind the incredibly
    competent football men who have been hired in pro personnel that they are their
    own men again.

    Tell executive vice president Billy Devaney that he's in complete control of
    the football operations and he doesn't have to play office politics anymore to
    soothe Zygmunt's power-hungry ego, and let's see what happens next.

    Maybe that would be a change we can all believe in.


  2. #2
    Curly Horns's Avatar
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    Re: Blame the man who hired Linehan

    Wow.....finally the truth is coming out.

  3. #3
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    Re: Blame the man who hired Linehan

    The chance of Zygmunt going at the end of the season or sooner is far less than the chance of Linehan going isnt it?

  4. #4
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    Re: Blame the man who hired Linehan

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    Somehow, the man with the least amount of football expertise in this organization has risen to become the most influential man in the franchise.
    If we extrapolate the author's argument, surely we should be blaming those who promoted Zygmunt so far in the first place?

    Completely agree with the article, by the way. Drafting and recruiting players and staff for anything other than their football ability should not be happening under any circumstances.

  5. #5
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    Re: Blame the man who hired Linehan

    They're bad because a decent man named Scott Linehan probably wasn't ready to
    be a head coach in the NFL, and the people who hired him weren't sharp enough
    to know that. They're bad because they have too many players who have neither
    the talent nor the fortitude to play hard enough to earn their paychecks.

    It's not everyone in that locker room, but there are enough quitters in there
    to have provoked injured Pro Bowler Leonard Little into a postgame,
    chair-throwing rage, while he and wide receiver Dane Looker launched
    profanity-laced tirades about how the 0-2 Rams have become the league
    laughingstock.

    This season is already over, and we're only two games in. And even though the
    most obvious short-term solution is to fire Linehan not to mention some of
    these feckless players what will that really accomplish?

    To borrow from current political vernacular, getting rid of Linehan is like
    putting lipstick on a pig. That's not change. That's not real change.

    You see, I don't blame him. I blame the man who hired him, Jay Zygmunt, the
    team's president of football operations.

    I have to wonder do anyone have the leadership ablility to make the correct change.
    Last edited by HUbison; -09-15-2008 at 12:05 PM. Reason: helping with the quote function
    :ramlogo:

  6. #6
    TekeRam's Avatar
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    Re: Blame the man who hired Linehan

    Most of the Clan was in section 103... I'm sure one of us was wearing a Bulger jersey... Could the clan be the voice of the people?!?

    But yeah... Bryan hit the nail on the head. I've disliked Ziggy ever since he started to throw Martz out of town. And yes, we should blame those who put Ziggy into power in the first place, but that only leads up to the woman who was honored yesterday at the dome. Chip needs to become his own man, and if he wants to run the show, he needs to learn that family friends don't equal success. Football people do. Devaney, I look at you to keep this ship going in the right direction. I think this year's draft was a good one, but we need a coach who will play his youngins, as opposed to washed up vets like Hall.

  7. #7
    BIG T is offline Registered User
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    Re: Blame the man who hired Linehan

    FIRE zygmunt, linehan & haslett today and let's move on.........

  8. #8
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    Re: Blame the man who hired Linehan

    Quote Originally Posted by DistantRam View Post
    Drafting and recruiting players and staff for anything other than their football ability should not be happening under any circumstances.

    I would suggest one exception. If the agent is known to be unreasonable in his demands, such that the contract will require more than the player is worth, such an agent can be avoided.

  9. #9
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Blame the man who hired Linehan

    This is easily the best article Burwell has ever written.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  10. #10
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    Re: Blame the man who hired Linehan

    I refuse to give Burwell or Bernie credit for writing columns that clearly could have been written last year. They're late to the party. People who care about this team saw these problems developing a long time ago.

  11. #11
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Blame the man who hired Linehan

    Quote Originally Posted by chiguy View Post
    I refuse to give Burwell or Bernie credit for writing columns that clearly could have been written last year. They're late to the party. People who care about this team saw these problems developing a long time ago.
    Well, I didn't offer comment on timeliness, just that it's the best he's written.

    Truth be told, this article is several years late.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  12. #12
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    Re: Blame the man who hired Linehan

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Well, I didn't offer comment on timeliness, just that it's the best he's written.

    Truth be told, this article is several years late.
    In that case you're forgiven.

  13. #13
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    Re: Blame the man who hired Linehan

    Quote Originally Posted by cowboyhater View Post
    I would suggest one exception. If the agent is known to be unreasonable in his demands, such that the contract will require more than the player is worth, such an agent can be avoided.

    I have to agree here.

  14. #14
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    Re: Blame the man who hired Linehan

    We need a new owner, it's that simple. Drastic changes need to be made not only to the team but to the franchise in general. New Personnel, new Presidents/VPs, whatever. Honestly I'd love to see a new owner and us move back to Los Angeles. That's a real change. And the only way to salvage this team, the season is already shot, next season and the season after that will also be shot unless Zygmunt and Co are out of here. We need football people running the show.


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  15. #15
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    Re: Blame the man who hired Linehan

    Quote Originally Posted by Varg6 View Post
    We need a new owner, it's that simple. Drastic changes need to be made not only to the team but to the franchise in general. New Personnel, new Presidents/VPs, whatever. Honestly I'd love to see a new owner and us move back to Los Angeles. That's a real change. And the only way to salvage this team, the season is already shot, next season and the season after that will also be shot unless Zygmunt and Co are out of here. We need football people running the show.
    What would moving back to LA acomplish? I guess the Cardinals would win a superbowl if they moved back here?

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