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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Linehan gives peek at playbook

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Sunday, Apr. 02 2006

    When he wasn't hiring a staff, pursuing free agents or hitting the road for the
    scouting combine, the NFL owners meetings, and various pro days, coach Scott
    Linehan has been putting together his offensive playbook.

    Rams players will get their first taste of Linehan's offense when they assemble
    for a pre-draft minicamp April 21-23. They will discover many similarities in
    approach from the Mike Martz system of the past seven seasons. But there will
    be many different twists and points of emphasis.

    At the NFC coaches breakfast last week in Orlando, Fla., Linehan offered a
    fascinating glimpse at that playbook, and his offensive philosophy in general.
    Rams football under Linehan will include:

    A no-huddle offense for at least parts of most games.

    An audible system for Marc Bulger and the Rams quarterbacks.

    Fewer seven-step drops on pass plays.

    Fewer four-receiver sets.

    An expanded role for the tight end in the passing game.

    A simplified playbook and game plan.

    Martz was known for his encyclopedic playbook in St. Louis, and complex game
    plans that could change dramatically from week to week.

    "I'm not smart enough to do that," Linehan said. "I've got to keep mine a
    little more simple."

    In fact, Linehan has told his assistant coaches that if the Rams reach the
    Super Bowl, he wants the game plan for that contest to look very similar to the
    one the team will use on opening day.

    "The more you shoot free throws in basketball, the better you get at it,"
    Linehan said. "And the more you run the same play (in football), the better
    you're going to get at it. It's going to become more efficient. You're going to
    know where to go. You're going to know the problems with it.

    "That's the only way I've ever known how to approach it. I think players get
    better by running the same things over and over - and that's not being critical
    about how they did it (in St. Louis under Martz).

    "You cannot deny the success of St. Louis in their glory days offensively. It
    was probably one of the most unbelievable things I think any of us have ever
    watched as far as an offense. ... But I'm more inclined to say that we're going
    to be able to score points and be as productive a different way. Maybe a few
    more runs in there. Maybe a few more quick passes. Not as much of the hold the
    ball, hold the ball, throw it."

    While limiting the number of plays in any one game plan, Linehan will try to
    disguise them with different formations, alignments and personnel groupings.

    "Talking about Steven (Jackson) and the running game, we're only going to have
    three basic runs that we run different ways - hopefully over and over again,"
    Linehan said.

    So the last thing Linehan wants to do with the Rams' offense is to try to
    reinvent the wheel on a weekly basis. Some observers - and privately, some Rams
    players - felt that became a Martz shortcoming in his later years in St. Louis.

    "Well, in Mike's defense, he's brilliant - probably a genius - as far as
    offense," Linehan said. "You can't deny his ability to dissect a defense with
    some of those things he did offensively. I think what happens, though, is you
    get caught up in doing things and changing, and being innovative and all that.
    And sometimes that can be too much for some players."

    Make no mistake, Linehan's first Rams playbook has "borrowed" liberally from
    Martz's version. Many of the concepts, and play types, are very similar. A lot
    of terminology will remain the same. And to some degree, the approach will be
    the same.

    For example, Linehan is a firm believer in a quick tempo on offense - as was
    Martz.

    "You'll see us break the huddle fairly quick," Linehan said. "I like the
    maximum time at the line; minimum time in the huddle."

    But Linehan takes tempo a step further, because unlike Martz, the no-huddle is
    a regular feature of Linehan's offense.

    "You'll see us do a lot of no-huddle," Linehan said.

    As offensive coordinator in Minnesota for three seasons, Linehan said the
    Vikings used the no-huddle approach for about two series per game as a change
    of pace. Last season in Miami, he used the no-huddle even more over the last
    half of the year.

    "We won our last six games at Miami, and we opened up probably our last seven
    games in no-huddle and did quite a bit of it," Linehan said. "We're not
    strictly a no-huddle team. We're not going to be Indy. ... But there's going to
    be a time and place for it, and I would think every week it's going to be part
    of what we're doing."

    Linehan also plans to give Bulger a tool that wasn't available under Martz -
    the ability to audible, or change plays, at the line of scrimmage. Under Martz,
    Bulger and Rams quarterbacks had only a very limited ability to do this under a
    system known as "check-with-me's."

    Under his audible system, Linehan will give Bulger more ability to manage the
    game based on what he sees at the line of scrimmage.

    "He's going to have automatic things he can go to," Linehan said. "If all of a
    sudden we're playing a team, and they run a 'Bear' defense, the quarterback's
    got to know that this (pass-blocking) protection has too many holes in it
    against the 'Bear' defense. He's going to have to know how to get us out of a
    bad situation.

    "He's going to have much more to do with our run game. That'll be a big change
    as far as (changing) runs, or runs to pass, or passes to run."

    The audible system, Linehan said, "will be fairly simplified. But we'll have a
    lot of different tools to use. On first down, if they're playing the run, if
    they're anticipating the run, I want to be able to have a simple way of getting
    to a pass. And vice versa. It's much easier to call plays when your quarterback
    is controlling that element of it."


  2. #2
    RamsFan4ever's Avatar
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    Re: Linehan gives peek at playbook

    We need to get a good TE that can catch.... so we can expand the TE role

  3. #3
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    Re: Linehan gives peek at playbook

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFan4ever
    We need to get a good TE that can catch.... so we can expand the TE role
    Joe Klopfenstein in the 3rd

  4. #4
    RamsFan16 Guest

    Re: Linehan gives peek at playbook

    Vernon Davis in the first or Marcedes Lewis in the 2nd.

  5. #5
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    Re: Linehan gives peek at playbook

    the no huddle and audible thing sounds EXACTLY like Peyton Manning!!! haha, and I heard that Bulger will also have a bigger role when it comes to plays to use so hey, this is gonna be AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOD I LOVE THE RAMS!!!!!!!!!!


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  6. #6
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    Re: Linehan gives peek at playbook

    For example, Linehan is a firm believer in a quick tempo on offense - as was Martz.
    I'm not sure what "quick tempo" refers to, but Martz wasn't exactly lightning quick with getting his plays called, often to the frustration of his QB's. That's something I would like to see change.

  7. #7
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    Re: Linehan gives peek at playbook

    With more emphasis on the 5 yard chuck rule enforcement, the TE can be a very dangerous weapon in the right system. With 3 very dangerous WR's and a RB that can break one at anytime, the TE position on the Rams could be a dagger to opposing defenses.

    That being said, Manu is not the dagger type. Even though I would love to see the Rams take Michael Huff at S in the first roung, if Vernon Davis and Michael Huff are available, the Rams will take Davis and immediately make him a weapon in Linehan's system.

  8. #8
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    Re: Linehan gives peek at playbook

    shoot Manu is more a wet carrot than a dagger LOL

  9. #9
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    Re: Linehan gives peek at playbook

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan
    With more emphasis on the 5 yard chuck rule enforcement, the TE can be a very dangerous weapon in the right system. With 3 very dangerous WR's and a RB that can break one at anytime, the TE position on the Rams could be a dagger to opposing defenses.

    That being said, Manu is not the dagger type. Even though I would love to see the Rams take Michael Huff at S in the first roung, if Vernon Davis and Michael Huff are available, the Rams will take Davis and immediately make him a weapon in Linehan's system.
    This sounds very surprising coming from you Tx. I agree that an athletic TE would pay huge dividends, but at the expense of strengthening the defense, especially with a player like Huff available? I guess it all comes down to greatest potential return on investment.

  10. #10
    txramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: Linehan gives peek at playbook

    Wait a minute, I'm not saying TX would take Davis overr Huff, I'm saying the RAMS will take Davis over Huff.

    there is a difference.

  11. #11
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Linehan gives peek at playbook

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan
    Wait a minute, I'm not saying TX would take Davis overr Huff, I'm saying the RAMS will take Davis over Huff.

    there is a difference.
    Oh, that is different. My bad!

  12. #12
    bigredman Guest

    Re: Linehan gives peek at playbook

    I know all of you are aware of what I've said about Vernon Davis in the past. With that said...Ok....you older guys...do you have your nitro tablets...and you younger guys...don't trash this old man too much...but I have come around. If Vernon Davis is available at 11, or if we could trade up one or two spots to get him...I think we should.

    I have seen the light!!!!

  13. #13
    RamsFan16 Guest

    Re: Linehan gives peek at playbook

    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman
    I know all of you are aware of what I've said about Vernon Davis in the past. With that said...Ok....you older guys...do you have your nitro tablets...and you younger guys...don't trash this old man too much...but I have come around. If Vernon Davis is available at 11, or if we could trade up one or two spots to get him...I think we should.

    I have seen the light!!!!
    I'm 16 and had to pop in some nitrogen pills since you had disagreed with the drafting of him! I agree though do what it takes to get Vernon Davis. He could be a huge star this season!

  14. #14
    theodus69 Guest

    Re: Linehan gives peek at playbook

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan
    Wait a minute, I'm not saying TX would take Davis overr Huff, I'm saying the RAMS will take Davis over Huff.

    there is a difference.
    Hey HUB, Tx is using that 3rd person thingy again!LOL

  15. #15
    theodus69 Guest

    Re: Linehan gives peek at playbook

    Also hope this isn't an offense that is easy to figure out , cause they're to busy running the same play to get it right! Hey maybe it will be Jackson left , jackson right. That will make Jackson happy and we will be watching the Playoffs from home!

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