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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Linehan has chance to repay the Rams for unusual loyalty

    By Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Thursday, Jan. 03 2008

    I hope Scott Linehan realizes how rare it is to receive the kind of support and
    loyalty being shown to him by Rams management.

    Coaches are getting fired all over the NFL. I don't have the time or the column
    space to list all of the dismissals, but guys who have established much better
    credentials than Linehan are being kicked out of the building.

    After one ugly season in which injuries were a major factor, Baltimore fired
    head coach Brian Billick. He won a Super Bowl for the franchise this decade and
    was 13-3 in 2006. Kansas City just swept out four assistants, including Mike
    Solari, who had built one of the top offensive lines in the NFL.

    The Detroit Lions made a scapegoat of offensive coordinator Mike Martz. Never
    mind that the Lions defense allowed 32 points a game during a 1-7 collapse to
    end this season; head coach Rod Marinelli sacked Martz. Why not fire the
    defensive coordinator? It seems that the defensive coordinator is uniquely
    qualified: He's Marinelli's son-in-law.

    In this tableau of change, Linehan survives. He wasn't the next Rich Brooks or
    even Bob Hollway previous St. Louis NFL head coaches who were gone after only
    two dismal seasons on the job.

    Team President John Shaw and general manager Jay Zygmunt are standing by their
    man and taking a beating from an angry fan mob. The popularity of Shaw and
    Zygmunt has never been lower than it is right now.

    Can Linehan pay back that loyalty?

    "I've got to do a much better job," Linehan said Wednesday in a conference
    call. "I'm evaluating myself first. I've got a lot of things I have to do a
    better job of. I've never, ever dodged that responsibility. It goes with the
    territory. I accept it. I understand it has to be a lot better. I'm not going
    to continue to do things the same way. If you do that, I've always believed
    there is a good chance you will get the same result. I've got to make a number
    of adjustments."

    I want to believe Linehan.

    So let's throw it down:

    Does Linehan have the innate ability to lead? You can't fake leadership; it
    comes naturally. But making changes in one's personality can lead to improved
    leadership; Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel has demonstrated that.

    Is Linehan willing to welcome important veterans into the loop, accept some
    of their advice, and show respect? First order of business: schedule lengthy
    dinners with quarterback Marc Bulger, wide receivers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce
    and running back Steven Jackson. Ask them to be brutally honest in their
    criticisms of his work. It is especially imperative for Linehan to improve his
    relationship with Bulger. I don't care how either man tries to spin it; this
    coach-QB partnership has soured.

    Can Linehan bring himself to fire his pals and hire better assistants? And if
    so, what is he waiting for? Let's go. Other teams are starting to usher
    assistants out, so why are the Rams wasting time? I know that Linehan has a
    meaningful meeting coming up with Shaw next week, but this is an example of
    what I'm talking about. I don't understand the delay, the procrastination. Have
    the summit meeting this week, and get busy.

    Is Linehan unselfish enough to step aside so a legitimate personnel expert
    can oversee the draft with real authority? Can Linehan accept a secondary role?
    And by the way, if Shaw is inclined to hand the draft over to team consultant
    Tom Donahoe, it's not a bad decision. Donahoe was largely a failure as the GM
    at Buffalo, but before that, his drafts at Pittsburgh were brilliant. Is
    Donahoe the ideal solution? No. Is he a better draft evaluator than everyone
    else at Rams Park? Yes.

    Linehan is on the clock. Starting now, he'll be graded for 2008. He's promised
    to change and must deliver with actions instead of words. Rams fans won't be
    fooled. And if Linehan wants to win the fans over, the worst thing he can do is
    lie to them.


  2. #2
    txramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: Linehan has chance to repay the Rams for unusual loyalty

    Linehan is on the clock. Starting now, he'll be graded for 2008. He's promised to change and must deliver with actions instead of words. Rams fans won't be fooled. And if Linehan wants to win the fans over, the worst thing he can do is lie to them.

    That's the STL mentality right now in a nutshell. Fair or unfair, injuries or bad luck, slow starts or lack of execution, Linehan is on the clock RIGHT NOW. He has to win. He has to make the playoffs or he's gone after 2008,

  3. #3
    Chris58's Avatar
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    Re: Linehan has chance to repay the Rams for unusual loyalty

    In fairness to Linehan, the fact that he has publicly called himself out is a good sign. It tells me that he is not so prideful and arrogant that he won't do the right thing even if it brings him down a notch in his own eyes.

    I have more concerns with the FO. Except for the Super Bowl and the few years after, Shaw and Ziggy have been dismal failures at managing the franchise. I think their arrogance and hubris is the big picture problem and as long as they are in control the Rams will be hit and miss. The long term solution is a new owner with football instincts.

  4. #4
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    Re: Linehan has chance to repay the Rams for unusual loyalty

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris58 View Post
    In fairness to Linehan, the fact that he has publicly called himself out is a good sign. It tells me that he is not so prideful and arrogant that he won't do the right thing even if it brings him down a notch in his own eyes.

    I have more concerns with the FO. Except for the Super Bowl and the few years after, Shaw and Ziggy have been dismal failures at managing the franchise. I think their arrogance and hubris is the big picture problem and as long as they are in control the Rams will be hit and miss. The long term solution is a new owner with football instincts.
    he has taken a good first step by calling himself out,but now he has to follow through with it,you can talk a good game but then you need to back it up, I am willing to give him that shot because if he does turn this around and become successful then the Rams will be winning and thats a good thing for him and all of us.as stated before he is getting a shot that many other coaches do not,so take advantage of it Linehan.

  5. #5
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    Re: Linehan has chance to repay the Rams for unusual loyalty

    Anyone who thinks the Rams' front office is showing "loyalty" to Linehan by not sacking him is truly deluding themselves. Although the volume of injuries was a major extenuating circumstance, it is not what saved Linehan's bacon. Loyalty has never been a trademark of this organization.

    This team will go through a change in ownership at some point in the offseason, and the front office is not going to go through the pain of searching for a new coaching staff when they know they will not be around much longer and any new owner will want to bring in their own people who will hire their own coaching staff.

    Shaw and Zygmunt will have their hands full in the coming months (or will be unemployed), that is what saved Linehan's job.

    Look for Linehan to be unemployed by the end of next season.... barring, of course, a trip deep into the playoffs.
    Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

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    Re: Linehan has chance to repay the Rams for unusual loyalty

    I wouldnt even say deep into the play offs. As long as we are over a .500 season, itll be improvement from his past 2 attempts.

    Though it may not be the improvement us as fans are looking for, itll be improvement, and the office will give him one more chance. Even if its a wildcard run like we had a few years ago when we beat Seattle then got stomped on by Atlanta.

    We've had the same problem for years, our defense. If Linehan wants to put his trust in his veteran players and his assitants, we could be a team like Green Bay to rise from the ashes and take charge in the NFC. Even the NFL.

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