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Coach should quit for sake of owners
By Bernie Miklasz
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
After another Sunday afternoon of humiliation, this in the form of a 41-13 smackdown delivered by the visiting New York Giants, Rams coach Scott Linehan was nearly trembling with rage as he addressed the media.
The dude could barely get the words out, and he bit them off as he angrily spit them out. Linehan was headed to a full meltdown, but VP Rick Smith quickly intervened and ended the session.
About an hour after the game, Rams owners Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez opened the doors to a ballroom-sized space at America's Center and welcomed hundreds of friends who gathered to celebrate the life of their late mother and Rams owner, Georga Frontiere.
This 28-point blowout didn't exactly fit desire for an upbeat, happy mood.
Georgia deserved better, and everybody in the place knew that.
Including Rams coaches who dutifully attended the party.
Rosenbloom, ever the gentleman, offered kind words to Linehan — undoubtedly the only kind words that Linny would hear on this wet, lost, miserable day.
"I know that our team has a lot of heart, soul and passion just waiting to be unleashed," Rosenbloom said, declaring that Linehan was just the man to do it. "I believe in Coach Linehan."
It was a gracious gesture by Rosenbloom, but it also illustrates the preposterous state of this franchise.
Why should Rosenbloom feel the obligation to undermine his own credibility and popularity by pumping the coach up?
And for that matter, why should Rosenbloom — only two games into his run as the team chairman — be burdened with the duty of firing the coach?
Linehan won't survive, because there is nothing to suggest the Rams are capable of turning it around under his lead.
Linehan should do the right thing and resign.
Same with general manager Jay Zygmunt.
Zygmunt, a longtime friend of the Rosenbloom-Rodriguez family, has put the new owners in a terrible spot. Chip and Lucia appreciate everything he did for their mother, and I'm guessing that they'd be sickened by the idea of firing Zygmunt.
But something must give. This entire organization's credibility is on the line. Zygmunt is tied for first with Linehan as the No. 1 target of fans and media. We've all run out of patience with this chronic ineptitude, and there's no need to apologize for that.
Linehan and Zygmunt are good people, and if they could figure a way to solve the problems, they would.
But they can't.
Even after all of the spending — on free agents, new offensive coordinator Al Saunders, new coaches — the team has actually gotten worse in 2008.
Linehan's Rams have lost 15 of their last 18 games, including the last six consecutively by an average of 23 points a game. The Rams aren't competent, and they aren't competitive.
The Rams don't know how to find enough good players, and it has been this way for many years, and that's on Zygmunt.
The players they have don't want to play for Linehan, and that's on him.
The Rams are broken and require new leadership.
The Rams' defense is atrocious, so coordinator Jim Haslett doesn't deserve to be promoted to head coach, even on an interim basis. Saunders' offense is slow out of the gate. He needs to worry about finding the end zone, so forget about him taking over as coach.
If you want an interim, plead with Dick Vermeil to come back and get you through the rest of the season.
Or offer a lot of money to turnaround specialist Marty Schottenheimer. I don't think Bill Cowher wants this job, but as colleague Bryan Burwell wrote, if the Rams think they have a chance, they should explore it now.
Rams VP of personnel Billy Devaney is new to his post, so I'm not blaming him. And Rams President John Shaw already has withdrawn from Rams Park and soon will retire, and that's why I haven't mentioned him.
Zygmunt and Linehan are closely aligned.
They are the central figures at Rams Park.
As the coach said Sunday, "The buck stops here."
Well, if the coach is going to say that, he should mean it.
Rosenbloom and Rodriguez did not create this mess. They sure inherited a big one, though. That's why the people who have been running this franchise into the swamp need to man up and do the new owners a courtesy by handing in their resignations.
It is the right thing, and the honorable thing, to do.
Re: Coach should quit for sake of owners
Good article by Bernie!
Thanks for posting it, Wraith.
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