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  1. #1
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    Linehan faces simple choice: either change or lose his job

    By Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Monday, Dec. 24 2007

    Rams fans can shout out, threaten to cancel season tickets, boo John Shaw, or
    vow to never enter the Edward Jones Dome again.

    Scott Linehan will be back as the head coach in 2008.

    This is the reality.

    So let's look ahead and ask an important question: Can Linehan turn things
    around?

    Well, anything is possible. Dick Vermeil proved that, winning a Super Bowl in
    1999 after going 9-23 in his first two seasons.

    I'm not saying Linehan is Vermeil. DV was (and is) a natural-born leader.
    Vermeil was rusty after a long sabbatical but recognized the need to make
    crucial changes before this third season, and he found a winning formula. And
    now Linehan must try to do the same, or he's done.

    If Linehan wants to save himself beyond next season, here are a few things he
    must do to rescue his career:



    CULTIVATE VETERANS It's obvious that Linehan has lost the respect of players on
    the offensive side of the football. He's to blame for much of that by
    frequently dismissing their suggestions and keeping them out of the loop. Rams
    quarterbacks and receivers have tried, during games, to approach Linehan with
    their ideas on attacking a defense. But Linehan's attitude can best be
    described this way: You play, and I'll coach.

    The arrogance is remarkable for a novice who has lost 19 of his last 26 games.
    The best NFL coaches and baseball managers are in synch with their players;
    they want feedback, they want to keep the communication pipeline open, they
    want the veterans to take ownership of the team mission.

    Sunday, in an interview with CBS, New England coach Bill Belichick said he and
    other coaches always listen to suggestions made by Randy Moss. And yet Linehan
    won't listen to Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce? Preposterous.

    I saw Vermeil effectively reach out to players before 1999. I saw Cardinals
    manager Tony La Russa lose the clubhouse late in 2003, then respond by setting
    up a players' committee for 2004, so he could address their concerns. If
    Vermeil and La Russa can do it, it's preposterous for Linehan to continue
    alienating players who will make or break him. Listening to your men isn't a
    sign of weakness; it's a sign of strength.



    STAFF CHANGES Linehan must rectify the embarrassment that is the special teams,
    and he clearly needs some fresh concepts on the offensive side. And this team
    has to examine its strength and conditioning program to see if it's a factor in
    all of these injuries.



    NO MORE "FOSLS" AT RAMS PARK What is a FOSL? That's short for Friends Of Scott
    Linehan. He needs to bring in the best and brightest players and coaches
    instead of constantly turning to those he has known from his previous coaching
    stops at Minnesota, Miami, Louisville, etc. Expand your horizons, Coach.



    WEEDING OUT If the HC wants to restore credibility, he can no longer tolerate
    underachieving, knucklehead players. There was no reason for Linehan to put up
    with Claude Terrell for as long as he did, and there is no justification for
    having Dominique Byrd and Claude Wroten on this roster.



    A NEW PRESEASON APPROACH In the summers of 2006 and '07, Linehan all but sealed
    his offensive starters in protective bubble wrap to avoid injuries in
    exhibition games. So when the real games began, the Rams' offense hadno timing,
    no bounce, and was covered in cobwebs. He must sharpen up his starters in the
    preseason, so the Rams can break from the gate faster in 2008.



    AMP THE ENERGY Players and fans want to believe in their leader. They want to
    see passion, intensity, fire. Linehan's mumbling, droopy look after games and
    in news conferences merely reinforces the opinion that he's a lightweight.
    Linehan has to develop a more commanding presence. He needs to look people in
    the eye and speak with authority instead of putting everyone, including his
    players, to sleep.

    Perhaps Linehan can shock St. Louis, and the NFL, by reinventing himself. But
    if he is unwilling to change, or incapable of demonstrating personal growth,
    then all hope is lost.


  2. #2
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Linehan faces simple choice: either change or lose his job

    Man, it really frightens me when Bernie and I agree on so many points.

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    Re: Linehan faces simple choice: either change or lose his job

    Man, it really frightens me when AvengerRam and I agree on so many points.

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    Re: Linehan faces simple choice: either change or lose his job

    Avenger may think I disagree with most of that, but I actually agree. The only thing I disagreed with Avenger about was the fair opportunity to do all of those things. This year simply wasn't.

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    Re: Linehan faces simple choice: either change or lose his job

    You keep bringing up "fairness," but this is not a "fairness" issue. Linehan has a job to do, and the majority of observers don't approve of the job he is doing.

    You think that the injuries render it unfair to evaluate his performance. The majority of observers disagree.

    This is simply not an issue of "fairness."

  6. #6
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    Re: Linehan faces simple choice: either change or lose his job

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    You think that the injuries render it unfair to evaluate his performance. The majority of observers disagree."
    John Shaw thinks it's unfair, and he's the only observer that matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    This is simply not an issue of "fairness."
    Actually, this is simply no longer an issue. Scott Linehan will be the St. Louis Rams Head Coach in 2008, fair or not. I ceratinly hope he makes the best of his third year and is able to turns things around.

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    Re: Linehan faces simple choice: either change or lose his job

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    John Shaw thinks it's unfair, and he's the only observer that matters.
    I don't think Shaw is basing his decision on fairness. In fact, I'm not sure Shaw is in the position to make any decision given Frontiere's health situation.

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    Re: Linehan faces simple choice: either change or lose his job

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I don't think Shaw is basing his decision on fairness. In fact, I'm not sure Shaw is in the position to make any decision given Frontiere's health situation.
    Shaw has made it very clear on a number of occasions that he doesn't feel it's fair to judge Linehan given the injury situation this year. You're entitled to your opinion, but I'll take your comments with a grain of salt, after all you are the Grand Poobah of SLOP.

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    Re: Linehan faces simple choice: either change or lose his job

    This I think was one of the best pieces written by Bernie. He is snot on!

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    Re: Linehan faces simple choice: either change or lose his job

    Way on, but will Linehan change? I don't think he will. One of the big reasons is when you have a novice they are not really open for help, because they think they've finally arrived, and getting help would show they don't know everything. It's the idea that they might loose their job. People don't understand that a true leader is a servant. If Linehan can learn this like a Bilacheck we have the players to win.

  11. #11
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    Re: Linehan faces simple choice: either change or lose his job

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I don't think Shaw is basing his decision on fairness. In fact, I'm not sure Shaw is in the position to make any decision given Frontiere's health situation.

    If he's thrown fairness out of the window, why is Linehan coming back? You said yourself, that most observers want his head on a silver platter.

    I think the entire issue is about fairness, if it weren't, according to you, there'd be absolutely no reason to bring him back right? Or are we to assume that Mr. Shaw is just spiting you.

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    Re: Linehan faces simple choice: either change or lose his job

    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    If he's thrown fairness out of the window, why is Linehan coming back? You said yourself, that most observers want his head on a silver platter.

    I think the entire issue is about fairness, if it weren't, according to you, there'd be absolutely no reason to bring him back right? Or are we to assume that Mr. Shaw is just spiting you.
    Since we know very little about Georgia's illness, there are many scenarios to contemplate. If Georgea is battling with a terminal illness, Shaw may as we speak be gearing up to pass the torch. If Georgia passes the Rams on to her offspring, chances are they would sell .. if that occurs Shaw and Ziggy's tenure would almost certainly end. From Shaw's perspective in this scenario it makes more sense to keep Scott on from both a financial point, and the fact that an ownership change would likely nullify any new or existing coaching contracts. A new owner would want his own guys, not Shaw and Ziggy's. Bottom line is we have no clue as to what is really going on behind the scenes.The whole "fairness" argument put forth by Shaw could be a smokescreen for an impending change he does not wish to unveil at this time. This is obviously wild speculation on my part, yet it is within the realm of plausibility. My 2 cents anyway ...

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    Re: Linehan faces simple choice: either change or lose his job

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    Since we know very little about Georgia's illness, there are many scenarios to contemplate. If Georgea is battling with a terminal illness, Shaw may as we speak be gearing up to pass the torch. If Georgia passes the Rams on to her offspring, chances are they would sell .. if that occurs Shaw and Ziggy's tenure would almost certainly end. From Shaw's perspective in this scenario it makes more sense to keep Scott on from both a financial point, and the fact that an ownership change would likely nullify any new or existing coaching contracts. A new owner would want his own guys, not Shaw and Ziggy's. Bottom line is we have no clue as to what is really going on behind the scenes.The whole "fairness" argument put forth by Shaw could be a smokescreen for an impending change he does not wish to unveil at this time. This is obviously wild speculation on my part, yet it is within the realm of plausibility. My 2 cents anyway ...
    altho not gone into the depths of thinking about it that you have i have been thinking along the same lines of nothing will be done till georgia meets her maker,whoever that may be....

  14. #14
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Linehan faces simple choice: either change or lose his job

    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    If he's thrown fairness out of the window, why is Linehan coming back? You said yourself, that most observers want his head on a silver platter.

    I think the entire issue is about fairness, if it weren't, according to you, there'd be absolutely no reason to bring him back right? Or are we to assume that Mr. Shaw is just spiting you.
    Do you just respond without reading? I already said that I think Shaw is basing his (non)decision on the fact that, with Frontiere out of commission, he is somewhat powerless to make any changes.

  15. #15
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    Re: Linehan faces simple choice: either change or lose his job

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Do you just respond without reading? I already said that I think Shaw is basing his (non)decision on the fact that, with Frontiere out of commission, he is somewhat powerless to make any changes.

    Depends on who's writing. Some people are so predictable, that I guess I am guilty of that from time to time. Anyways....

    I still contend that if they wanted this man gone, no circumstance would stop that process. Not even Georgia being in the hospital.

    Has she been there all season? I don't think so.

    Where was she during our 8 game losing streak? I'm sure at some point during that time, Scott's name and the job he was doing had to come up.

    Maybe she gave Shaw strict orders not to fire him because it would not be fair because of all the injuries. Who knows, but in my estimation, that's a much more likely scenario than the one you pose.

    Either way he's coming back, and that is the fair thing to do no matter what's going on behind the scenes.

    PS. What would they care about a new coaches contractual situation if the team is sold. Everybody is likely gone anyway if that were to occur.

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