What improvement must we see to want him back for 2009?
What improvement must we see to want him back for 2009?
He has to make the playoffs. Bottom line. This team can't settle for being out of the playoffs for 5 straight years.
I agree. The talent on this team should produce a playoff berth, when healthy for the most part. If we can't get there-He needs to be canned.
Yeah, there's no way he'll stick around without a playoff berth -- preferrably by winning the division. Injuries won't save him any more.
Right now, he should just be lucky that John Shaw doesn't listen to the Court of Public Opinion or he'd be on the way to the gallows by now.
Plain and simple, anything less than a playoff berth is unacceptable. Provided the team can remain healthy for the most part, the talent is there. He's been given a team with 8-8 talent for his first season, and will have had 3 offseasons to build this team into a contender. Not to mention the NFC West is probably the weakest division in football.
Not only that for the offensive side of the ball, we have a defense which is getting stronger. Atogwe had (I think) the most interceptions, if not tied with it. We have linebackers who know what they're doing.
With key players added to the roster in the offseason, we are probably going to be the best team in the west. If not the best team, we'll atleast be a competetor in the wild card. We've beaten Seattle in the wildcard before, we can easily make it there (or lead the west) and be a competetor next year.
All we need is for Linehan to BE A COACH and do whats best for this team.
I want to see a minimum of 9 wins which should put us in the playoffs.
.500 - No playoffs will keep him around for this complacent Organization.
The must make the Playoffs thing is only speculation from fans.
Think about it, not many teams make the playoffs at .500, and there will always be opportunities to say he had a tough break in game 11 and that hail mary in game 6 was a freak thing.
If they bring him back at 3-13, they're going to bring him back at 8-8. They will declare victory with an 8-8 Season.
He has to make the playoffs be it 8-8, 7-9, or 10-6. A home playoff game would be fabulous for his job security, but in this day and age of the NFL you have to make the playoffs at least 1 time in a 3 year span. Reason? Every front office says that you can turn around an organization quickly in the NFL. Well, prove it.
I think a 9-7 playoff appearance would do it after all they kept him with a 3-13 record. I think the higher up don't want to be wrong on this hire so if he get above 500 he will prove them right.
A winning season, so 9 wins minimum.
If it's a freakishly bad season on the injury front again, then he has to go because that would simply be too weird to be just bad luck. I'm assuming now it was just one of those crazy once in a lifetime things that happens sometimes.
I'm afraid my fellow NJ'ian Tony Soprano is right, if they bring him back at 3-13 they will certainly bring him back at 8-8 declaring a victory over the past season, but obscuring the fact that we were 8-8 in 2006.
IMO, we should expect a better record than 8-8 and a Division crown, plus at least a playoff victory. If not then we have the pieces in place for a proven winner to come in and take over the HC duties!
A playoff spot. Unless we somehow could go 10-6 and not make the playoffs (like the Browns this year). In that case, I'd evaluate how far he has come as a coach, and how much he has improved the players.
There are a lot of factors in this case.
But if he is below 8-8 again, he's gone. Maybe even before the season is through.
First of all, it's a given that Linehan will be back in 2008. The FO has already stated as such. So, deal with it. He'll be back.
Secondly, the question asked of this thread is "What improvement must we see to want him back for 2009?" Well, "must we see", I assume "we", means the fans. It's pretty apparent that a large population of Ram fans do not want Linehan back, so I think it's also a given that even if he does make the playoffs next year, those fans will not be swayed. IF the Rams make the playoffs, but get blown out in the first round, how satisfied will those fans be then? The outcome of this thread is etched in stone. Those fans that don't like Linehan, never will, and at the first sign of ANY adversity, they'll want his head. Again. So, the answer is; "we'll only be satisifed if we win our division and win the Superbowl."
If the question is "what will it take for the FO to keep Linehan around for another year", the answer will be quite different. They'll probably keep him around if he posts anything better than a 7-9 record, depending of course, the circumstances that arise as the season unfolds.
Personally, I don't believe this team has nearly enough talent to be a top-tied NFL team. Despite the talent we do have at the QB, RB and WR positions, we're a very below-average team. The positions I mentioned as our bright spots, outside of Holt, are still questionable as to how great they really are. IMHO. The WR position is no longer elite. Holt and Bruce are both great route-runners with good hands. But do not have the speed to burn any CB in the league. Bennett is none of the above. His route running is fair, but his hands are questionable, at best. He also has no deep speed. So, at WR, we're not really all that great. Just "slightly better then average'", across the board, I'd say.
Our QB? Well, Bulger took a giant step back this year, I believe. Although brought on by a very, very porous line, and the fact that for most of the season he was fearing for his life, his mechanics have gone away. He threw some really, really bad passes this year, and his footwork was very poor. By his own admission. Also, Marc and his WR corp, since the Martz era, have never been good at improvising on the fly. When Marc gets out of the pocket, the Rams are one of the worst teams I've seen at completing a pass. Once the timing of a pattern is completed, the Rams break down. (see Superbowl XXVI) and they're in trouble. Now, I'll admit that that's true with a lot of NFL teams, but with the Rams, whenever I see our QB break out of the pocket to avoid trouble, it's usually a bad ending to a sad story. Is it Bulger's inability to find the open receiver? ...or is our recievers inability to improvise and get seperation? I don't get that feeling while watching other teams. Just the opposite. They break out of the pocket to buy some time, and there's almost always someone open. In fact, I cringe whenever the Rams flush out the opposing QB, because I see a big play in the making. I don't get that with the Rams, ever. More often then not, I see Bulger take a needless sack, or throw a pick. Why is that? Maybe it's our guys in coverage?
Jackson can be a great back in this league, but he's not there yet. Why? One season in three, has he been healthy. It was the take on him in the draft, by many experts, and I don't think he's disproved them wrong yet. If he's not on the field, he's not doing the Rams any good.
Before I go on too long, what I see in the Rams, is some talent at the skilled positions, but absolutely no strength, and no depth where good teams need it most. IN THE TRENCHES.
You have to realize that Linehan did not inherit a winning team, despite what some of you think, or at least allude to. This team had two non-winning seasons before he took over. ...and they were bad because they were weak on the offensive AND defensive lines, not because of the skilled positions. They were bad because of previous decisions and draft choices. The talent that we did have on the o-line and d-line in our SB win got old and/or were not replaced, or were let go over money. The guys that Martz's staff drafted for replacement were complete busts. John St. Clair, Ryan Picket, Damione Lewis, Jimmy Kennedy, Anthony Hargrove, to name just a few of the linemen busts. I could also mention others, like; Trung Candidate, Adam Archuleta, Tommey Polley, Dejuan Groce, Robert Thomas, Jacoby Shepherd, Brian Young as guys that make you go "huh"?
Like it or not, it's going to take time to recover. Until the Rams are tough in the trenches, this team will go nowhere. ...and the story gets worse. The skilled players that we do have are not getting better, but fading. So the skilled positions will need to be addressed soon. With all that said, Linehan and Haslett have their work cut out for them. But I believe that without the slew of injuries this year, we could still be a 9 or 10 win team. IF, and that's a big IF, the Rams get some guys to help out on the O and D lines, we can be competitive next year, and possibly secure a playoff spot.