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Thread: Linehan kept Rams aggressive
Linehan kept Rams aggressive
By Jeff Gordon
STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
Rams coach Scott Linehan insists he didn’t coach conservatively with the lead Sunday.
Maybe it seemed that way to the fans -- since the Rams struggled in the second half, again, while barely holding off the hapless Falcons.
But after reviewing the play-calling on both sides of the ball, Linehan assured reporters that the Rams were more aggressive with the lead – and not less so.
“We blitzed more in the second half and threw more with the lead than you would if you normally have a 21-point lead,” Linehan said. “I know I looked at it. I think we have to look at ourselves. I look at myself; I look at what we are doing. I look at our execution of things that we are doing.
“Bottom line is that is really what it is. I can honestly say, other than in the New Orleans game when there was maybe less blitzing in the fourth quarter, there has been probably more ‘dogs’ called and more passes called in this game (in the second half) than the first half. There is an argument to be made that maybe we should have been more conservative because we were less conservative than anything.”
Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said he kept coaching the same way, regardless of the fluctuating score.
“It wasn’t any different the whole game,” Haslett said. “Even when it came down it, they had the ball on the 30-yard line, we actually blitzed like four straight times. Tye (Hill) made a nice play at the end of it. Even when we got the lead by two scores, with 30 seconds to go, we didn’t change much.”
Offensive coordinator Greg Olson echoed that sentiment.
“Second-half scoring is something we talk about,” he said. “We addressed it. We said we’ll stay aggressive and we felt good about the plan. It’s just a matter of executing. We didn’t execute yesterday.”
And Linehan said that was an across-the-board problem. “We certainly have to play much better in the second half,” he said. “We have to score more, we have to stop them more and we have to come up with better special teams play in the second half of games.”
Here are some other highlights from the news conference:
On Marc Bulger’s concussion recovery: “I think he’s a lot better. I thought he was way better by the end of this week. He seemed very much himself this weekend. I’m hopeful and cautious until I get the results of the test tomorrow. Hopefully he’ll be OK.”
On Gus Frerotte’s shoulder injury: “It happened after the first interception he threw. He fell down on it kind of funny. He was able to finish, so hopefully it will be something not serious. It bothered him enough, a couple of hours after the game and then this morning.”
On the play of safety O.J. Atogwe: “At the end of the year, I said he was our most improved player on defense. He’s continued to blossom and become one of the top young safeties in this league. To do that, you have to be able to play the run and he’s been doing a great job of that. We have not given up a 100-yard rusher this season. The last guys standing, him and Corey (Chavous), have to be on their game and be getting guys down. On the flipside, when you’re the back-end player, you’re the centerfielder. Every once in a while, when you get that ball put up in the air, you have to have the range and the ability to go make the play. He’s had a number of really good plays where you really see his range where he’s gotten out of the middle of the field, tracked the ball and made the catch. That’s really encouraging. I think O.J.’s really shown what kind of player he is and what kind of player he’s working on becoming.”
On his desire to keep linebacker Brandon Chillar: “He’s really our only true unrestricted free agent. There are some guys that are on 1-year deals, but he’s a young player whose contract is coming up. We haven’t had any discussions that way, but I would love to have Brandon back. It’s easier said than done; I understand that. He’s really having a real strong season for us. We’ve asked him to do a number of things. Now he’s playing a little bit more on third down. I’m always hopeful to keep guys around. I think that’s the best way to go.”
Re: Linehan kept Rams aggressive
I don't think its necessarily a run vs. pass issue. I think its more about NOT being predictable.
Re: Linehan kept Rams aggressive
The only thing that is predictable is that you will bash Linehan every chance you get!
Linehan is on a roll. He's 3-1 in the last 4 weeks. That's only one worse than the Patriots and, truth be told, the Rams have looked more impressive than the Pats lately.
In Linehan we trust!
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