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  1. #1
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    Interim coach can't provide quick fix in NFL

    Interim coach can't provide quick fix in NFL

    by Rick Gosselin
    01:21 PM CDT on Thursday, October 2, 2008


    Only one man in pro football history has ever been able to revive a doomed football team.

    In 1961, with the defending AFL champion Houston mired in a 1-3-1 start, the Oilers fired coach Lou Rymkus and replaced him with Wally Lemm. Houston won its next 10 games to capture the AFL championship, and Lemm was named Coach of the Year.

    There have been 66 interim coaches hired by AFL and NFL teams since Lemm and not a one has been able to turn the team around and win a championship inside of the same season.

    Pencil in Jim Haslett as No. 67 on that list. Off to an 0-4 start, the St. Louis Rams fired Scott Linehan as coach this week and replaced him with Haslett.

    The Rams axed Linehan after a failed bid to shake his team up by benching Pro Bowl quarterback Marc Bulger last week against Buffalo. The Rams were competitive heading into the fourth quarter, holding a 14-13 lead, but the Bills scored the final 18 points to win going away.

    Haslett inherits a team that ranks 30th in offense and 31st in defense. A team that has been outscored 147-43 this season. A team that has lost 17 of its last 20 games. Haslett inherits a mess.

    The goal isn't to transform the Rams into Super Bowl contenders by the end of the season. Haslett's goal must be to make them competitive. Make them respectable. Make them anything but the laughingstock they have become.

    That can be accomplished – with great reward for the interim coach who performs that magic. Here are some examples:

    ■ Don Coryell was hired on an interim basis to take over a 1-3 San Diego team in 1978. He coached them to an 8-4 finish to earn an extension – and took the Chargers to the AFC championship game in 1980.

    ■ Raymond Berry became the interim coach of the New England Patriots in 1984 and produced a 4-4 record. The next season, Berry took the Patriots to the Super Bowl.

    ■ Marty Schottenheimer also was hired on an interim basis by the Cleveland Browns in 1984 and also produced a 4-4 record. Two seasons later, he took the Browns to the AFC title game.

    ■ Marv Levy was hired as a midseason replacement by the Buffalo Bills in 1986 and steered them to a 2-5 finish. Over the next seven seasons, Levy would take the Bills to four Super Bowls.

    ■ Art Shell became the interim coach of the Oakland Raiders in 1989 and rallied them from a 1-3 start to a 7-5 finish. He took the Raiders to the 1990 AFC championship game.

    So there is hope for Haslett – and hope for the Rams. Fortunately for Haslett, he has two weeks to work on his team's mind-set. St. Louis has a bye this week.

    Now, let's take a spin around the league. Heading into October a year ago, there were three winless teams: Miami, New Orleans and St. Louis. Heading into this October there are four winless teams: Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston and St. Louis. A year ago there were four unbeaten teams heading into October: Dallas, Green Bay, Indianapolis and New England. This October there are only three: Buffalo, the New York Giants and Tennessee. What does that teach us? There's not much continuity from one season to the next.

    "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
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Interim coach can't provide quick fix in NFL

    In 1961, with the defending AFL champion Houston mired in a 1-3-1 start, the Oilers fired coach Lou Rymkus and replaced him with Wally Lemm. Houston won its next 10 games to capture the AFL championship, and Lemm was named Coach of the Year.
    Ironically, Lemm spent the next 4 years in St. Louis with the Cardinals mustering a 27-26 record with 2 winning seasons and 2 losing seasons.
    "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

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    RAMarkable is offline Registered User
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    Re: Interim coach can't provide quick fix in NFL

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Ironically, Lemm spent the next 4 years in St. Louis with the Cardinals mustering a 27-26 record with 2 winning seasons and 2 losing seasons.
    So what happened to him, did Bidwell ultimately fire him for the two losing seasons?

    WHAT SAY YE?

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    Re: Interim coach can't provide quick fix in NFL

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMarkable View Post
    So what happened to him, did Bidwell ultimately fire him for the two losing seasons?

    WHAT SAY YE?
    He went back to Houston for a 2nd stint with the Oilers.
    "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

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    Re: Interim coach can't provide quick fix in NFL

    I believe we have enough talent to win our share of games. Haslett's biggest challenge in my mind is making the players believe that. We need that first win to get things moving in the right direction.

    This will certainly be a big challenge for Haslett I hope he can at least help make us competitive for 4 quarters which inturn should translate into wins.


    GO RAMS!!!

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    Re: Interim coach can't provide quick fix in NFL

    Am I expecting or even believing that Haslett could possibly get us to the playoffs, well, in the west, anything's possible. But I'd just be happy for 5-6 win season, really, after this 0-4 start. The thing is, we still have 5 division games, all of which are winable, and we still have the Falcons and Miami to play as well. Hell, even the Pats game could be a possible win at this point, if we actually come back with some fire after the bye.

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    renrawtruk is offline Registered User
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    Re: Interim coach can't provide quick fix in NFL

    Now, let's take a spin around the league. Heading into October a year ago, there were three winless teams: Miami, New Orleans and St. Louis. Heading into this October there are four winless teams: Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston and St. Louis. A year ago there were four unbeaten teams heading into October: Dallas, Green Bay, Indianapolis and New England. This October there are only three: Buffalo, the New York Giants and Tennessee. What does that teach us? There's not much continuity from one season to the next.
    Unfortunately, there is some continuity here. The only constant is Rams.

    We are at the bottom again. Fun Stuff.

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    Re: Interim coach can't provide quick fix in NFL

    I'm not looking for a championship. We were ruled out of that. But I want to see some damn heart on that field. I want to see what this team is really made of when they play motivated. I got a taste of it in the first half last week. I want to see a whole game like that.

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    RamOfDenmark is offline Registered User
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    Re: Interim coach can't provide quick fix in NFL

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    There have been 66 interim coaches hired by AFL and NFL teams since Lemm and not a one has been able to turn the team around and win a championship inside of the same season.
    That's a hell of a criteria though. It would be more fair and more interesting to see how many of those interim coaches were able to turn a losing team into a good winning team (say 10+ wins in the current 16-game season). I think for the Rams we'd all call even 8-8 a very nice turnaround this year with how we've played under Linehan. I doubt anything will change much under Haslett, he has been working on our defense for years and it's gotten (arguably) worse than it was under Marmie, or at best the same, so I'm not sure why anyone would expect much of a positive effect from him now.

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    Re: Interim coach can't provide quick fix in NFL

    I think for the Rams we'd all call even 8-8 a very nice turnaround this year with how we've played under Linehan.
    I'd call that more than a "nice turnaround." To state the obvious that means that we'd have to go 8-4 over the next 12 games which I would call miraculous and would most likely give Haslett a deserved (well deserved) extension.
    Steve

    What you see is what you get, but what you see depends on where you stand.

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