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Thread: Coats Blog
Given the structure of the 2008 NFL schedule, which came out Tuesday, the Rams had better charge into the season full bore or they could effectively be done before the first frost. They open on the road Sept. 7 at Philadelphia, then play their first home game the following Sunday against the Super Bowl-champion New York Giants.
Only one of the Rams’ foes in the first half of the schedule had a sub-.500 record last season. That’s the 7-9 Buffalo Bills. Overall, those eight teams compiled an 81-47 record, including New England’s 16-0 regular-season mark. The Rams will take on three defending division champs — the Patriots, Cowboys and Seahawks — and five ‘07 playoff squads.
“It’s not an easy schedule, but no NFL schedule is,” said coach Scott Linehan, who nonetheless must be wondering privately whom he offended in the league office. “We knew who we were going to play, and you’ve got play them sometime. . . . What’s the best time? When you’re playing your best football. So, that’s why we’d like to get ourselves prepared and start off playing well (against) these tough teams.”
The good news is, if the Rams aren’t buried at the midpoint of the season, their second half should be much more accommodating. Those eight opponents include just one team that had a winning record last year (Seattle) and went a combined 44-84 in ‘07. Miami, 1-15 last year, visits the Dome on Nov. 30.
After their 3-13 fiasco in ‘07, the Rams were shut out of prime-time scheduling, the first time that’s happened since the 1999 season. That, of course, was the year the Rams won the Super Bowl.
The release of the regular-season schedule “is always a big day,” Linehan said. “It kind of sets the tone for what you’re looking at. You see where you’re going to play, when you play your division games . . . the whole deal changes. It really affects a lot of people, and usually in a positive way, as far as motivation. Already our coaches are wanting to get the breakdowns for Philly; they want to know who to start working on.”
About two dozen draft prospects were at Rams Park on Tuesday, including the Big Four: LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, Virginia defensive end Chris Long, Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long and Arkansas running back Darren McFadden. All met with coaches and front-office personnel; some were given physicals. No workouts were allowed.
“My biggest value is to see these players interact with each other,” Linehan said. “You get to see a side of them that maybe you don’t get to see on film or (in) a prepared statement at the Combine. . . . You put them in this environment, and it’s a little more low key for them.”
As much contact as the Rams already have had with the top candidates for their No. 2 overall spot in the April 26-27 draft, this final visit can be critically important, Linehan stressed. “It’s like any job interview,” he said. “You have someone that’s coming in and interviewing for a job, no matter what the business is, if they don’t pull that part of it off, it’s going to affect their ability to be employed.”
The team is expected to decide on a training-camp site soon, possibly by the end of the week. A Rams contingent has been touring potential locations and is due to return to town Wednesday. “We’re going to evaluate the sites and then make a decision,” Linehan said. “I’m getting antsy to get that done.”
All for now . . .
Re: Coats BlogAbout two dozen draft prospects were at Rams Park on Tuesday, including the Big Four: LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, Virginia defensive end Chris Long, Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long and Arkansas running back Darren McFadden.
-04-16-2008 #3Mooselini Guest
Re: Coats Blog
Well atleast the team coaches are thinking ahead of time. It's good to hear. I think our big need is a new receiver on the offense. Having a new fast stud will be a need.
We are a team of Offense, but we need to address our defense first. We need Chris Long or Vernon Gholston with the pass rush.
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