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  1. #1
    HUbison's Avatar
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    The Great Pumpkin

    The Great Pumpkin
    By Hal Schaeffer | May 22nd, 2008

    Third-year St. Louis Rams coach Scott Linehan has come in for a lot of criticism during his tenure with the team. As an offensive coordinator, he established a legacy of success with both the Minnesota Vikings and the Miami Dolphins. His accomplishments with those teams served as the basis for his hiring as the Rams’ head coach in a close decision over the somewhat erratic Cam Cameron. Linehan brought with him the expectation of a return to offensive success in 2006 and a rise to the top of the NFC West.

    As we know now, such was not to be.

    After an up-and-down season in 2006 marked by a five-game losing streak and a three-game winning streak, expectations remained high among many Rams fans. Linehan had improved the team’s record from 6-10 to 8-8, and the ghost of the, shall I say, enigmatic Mike Martz had been expunged from the atmosphere at the Ed. Things were definitely looking up.

    Then the disaster of the 2007 season struck. Not only did the team descend to second-pick-in-the-entire-draft status, but Linehan turned into a major pumpkin. The question became was this a one-season phenomenon, or was the real Linehan revealed?

    The ancient poet Horace said that adversity reveals a general’s true nature; good fortune conceals it. If so, the Rams are in trouble. Linehan demonstrated a complete inability to cope with repeated defeats in 2008 and, more importantly, to devise ways to overcome them. The team was rudderless, the players were openly angry and critical, and even fellow coaches, particularly Jim Haslett, were sniping at Linehan. Incomprehensible play-calling on offense, vague news conferences laden with jargon and cliches, and a sullen and withdrawn mood made Linehan appear that he had completely lost control of the situation.

    As Jim Mora, Sr. might have put it, “Leadership? Leadership? What leadership?

    But now, according to a columnist who tends to be very kind to Linehan and to the front office, the Coach is changing for the better. As evidence of this, Bernie Miklasz reports that Linehan “willingly ceded authority” over the draft to Devaney (wanna bet?), and that HE “shook up his coaching staff” (wanna bet again?). Bernie actually uses the fact “that Devaney has been a soothing, stabilizing influence on Linehan” to support his argument that the Rams’ coach is now a more effective leader. Really? If that’s the case, let’s cut out the middleman and make Devaney the head coach!

    Much is also being made of the fact that Linehan is more relaxed these days. Unfortunately, that has come from the fact that he has less active involvement with the team now than before, which, on second thought, may not be a bad thing. Devaney is handling all personnel matters (it was he who most likely got rid of social moron Dominique Byrd), Saunders has complete authority over the offense, and Linehan, probably prompted by a survival instinct, doesn’t even go near Haslett’s defense, except to be photographed walking off the practice field with Chris Long. All this for the same salary, BTW.

    Does any of this make Linehan a better leader on Sunday?

    So, what’s a head coach to do?

    Well, Bernie thinks that it’s really great that Scott is trying “to cultivate an improved relationship with the media.” Yawn. He also likes the fact that Linny took an INDIRECT (really aggressive, huh?) swipe at Halsett by offering Gregg Williams the defensive secondary coach’s job. Wow, I’m convinced now. What’s next, Bernie? Is Linehan taking over the cheerleaders? Bloggers over at stlouisramsx.com are already referring to him as the HC (Head Cheerleader).

    Rather than becoming a bold, assertive leader, Scott Linehan is in danger of being the next Mr. Irrelevant.

    In fairness, Bernie hedges his bets by saying that how the Rams perform this season will be the final determinant of Linehan’s effectiveness. Indeed. He has to say that because he hasn’t found anything significant yet to support his thesis that Linehan is changing into a real leader.

    One of the main principles in my field is that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.

    That tells me that Scott Linehan won’t become a Vince Lombardi.

    He’ll continue being the Great Pumpkin.

    And Rams ownership will be serving (Great) Pumpkin pie at the end of the year.

    "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

  2. #2
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: The Great Pumpkin

    Pumpkin soup?

  3. #3
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    Re: The Great Pumpkin

    And this story brought to light something new that was........

  4. #4
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: The Great Pumpkin

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan View Post
    And this story brought to light something new that was........
    Must I spell it out for you, tx?! A Charlie Brown reference and Horace reference in the same Rams article???? That doesn't happen everyday!


    Oh and it....

    1. is May
    2. contains the words "St.Louis" and "Rams"
    3. has not been posted


    We're still in the middle of the desert and a looooong way from the oasis at Concordia. We post info where we can, when we can.
    "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

  5. #5
    txramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: The Great Pumpkin

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Must I spell it out for you, tx?! A Charlie Brown reference and Horace reference in the same Rams article???? That doesn't happen everyday!


    Oh and it....

    1. is May
    2. contains the words "St.Louis" and "Rams"
    3. has not been posted


    We're still in the middle of the desert and a looooong way from the oasis at Concordia. We post info where we can, when we can.

    Easy Trigger.....wasn't necessarily poking fun at you pardner.....it's the IDIOT writer. Had to put it in caps because isn't it the ClanRam mantra that all writers are IDIOTS?

  6. #6
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: The Great Pumpkin

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan View Post
    Easy Trigger.....wasn't necessarily poking fun at you pardner.....it's the IDIOT writer. Had to put it in caps because isn't it the ClanRam mantra that all writers are IDIOTS?
    Oh I'm plenty easy. The combining of Shultz' and Flaccus' alter egos can attest to that. Sometimes my attempts (feeble as they are) at humor veer off course. My bad.

    But I get the question. Nothing new, just trying to keep nectar (rare as it is) crossing the lips.
    "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

  7. #7
    VegasRam's Avatar
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    Re: The Great Pumpkin

    HUB and TX - you guys really should take your show on the road.

    It just keeps getting better and better.

    ...Trigger?
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

  8. #8
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    Re: The Great Pumpkin

    What a remarkably perceptive piece, I count myself more informed for having read it.

  9. #9
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    Re: The Great Pumpkin

    And this story brought to light something new that was........
    You're right...nothing really new here...nor is there much of a point made, on the other hand, any story that reinforces the fact that Bernie is a moron, can't be all bad.
    Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

  10. #10
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    Re: The Great Pumpkin

    Well, if nothing else the head cheerleader remark merits a snicker.

  11. #11
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: The Great Pumpkin

    Quote Originally Posted by VegasRam View Post
    HUB and TX - you guys really should take your show on the road.

    It just keeps getting better and better.

    ...Trigger?
    Martin & Lewis, Laurel & Hardy, Abbot & Costello, Cagney & Lacy............HUb & Tx. Yea, I'd pay to see that act.

    btw, is there any greater signature of the offseason doldrums than a thead in which 88% of the replies are to verify how little the poster learned from the thread?
    "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: The Great Pumpkin

    Get him! GET HIM!

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