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Linehan plans to put the Rams on the attack
New head coach wants to see aggressive play on offense, defense and special teams
BY STEVE KORTE
ST. LOUIS - Scott Linehan pledged Friday to bring an attacking style to the St. Louis Rams' offense, defense and special teams.
"It feels kind of like kickoff," Linehan said as he stepped up to the podium during the press conference announcing him as the 22nd head coach in Rams history. "I can tell you, I am pretty excited about this opportunity."
Linehan, 42, the former offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings, said he'll call all of the Rams' offensive plays.
"It's like giving up a dog or something," Linehan said. "I can't give that away."
Linehan described his offensive coaching philosophy as "aggressive and attacking."
"It sounds kind of simple, and it is," Linehan said. "We'll establish the running game, but sometimes you set up a great running game with a great passing game. I think it is similar to a lot of the things you've seen here before. You'll see some different wrinkles."
Linehan wants the Rams' defense and special teams to play with the same fearless manner as the offense.
"We want to be aggressive, we want to be dominant, we want to be relentless and to play 60 minutes as a team, not just as an offense," Linehan said.
Linehan was one of seven candidates that Rams President John Shaw and Rams President of Football Operations Jay Zygmunt interviewed for the team's head coaching job.
The three finalists were Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and Linehan.
"After all these interviews, it was clear to us that Coach Linehan should be the next head coach of the St. Louis Rams," Shaw said. "Scott Linehan is considered one of the young, bright offensive minds in the NFL."
Linehan signed a four-year contract with the Rams. He replaces Mike Martz, who was fired on Jan. 2 after six years as the Rams' head coach.
Martz's departure was effectuated by his feud with Zygmunt. Martz's illness -- he missed the final 11 games of the 2005 season because of a bacterial infection of a heart valve -- brought the dysfunctional nature of the Rams' front office into the spotlight.
Linehan vowed to establish a "family environment" at Rams Park.
"We will do things cohesively as a unit, and we will make decisions as a team from Day 1," Linehan said. "That's how things get done, that's how things get done properly."
Under Linehan, the Vikings ranked No. 2, No. 1 and 4 in total offense during a three-year span from 2002-04.
The Dolphins went from 29th to 14th in total offense in one year with Linehan calling the plays. They tied for the NFL lead with 26 plays of 25 or more yards, including seven pass plays of 50 or more yards, last season.
Rams guard Adam Timmerman said it was a good move for the team to hire an offensive coach.
"One of our strengths has been our offense," Timmerman said. "It's good to have an offensive coach who really is going to know how to use those things rather than do a full 180 and try to get a defensive guy."
Timmerman and Rams center Andy McCollum, who are nicknamed the Doughnut Brothers, met with Linehan on Friday morning.
"We wanted to make sure he had doughnuts in here every single day," McCollum said. "He doesn't look like he eats many doughnuts."
McCollum said that he thought the Rams can maintain a high-powered offense based on Linehan's resume.
"If he does things a little different, then we'll do our best to adjust and makes things work because that's what we get paid to do," McCollum said. "You look at what he has done in the past with offenses, there is no reason for us not to believe in what he is going to have us do."
Linehan said he was looking forward to working with Rams quarterback Marc Bulger.
"I have not met Marc," Linehan said. "I've asked a lot of questions about him. As a quarterback, I really think he's one of the elite players in the league. What I like about him is that he kind of emerged from ... I don't want to say nowhere because Marc will think I gave him no credit to begin with, but the guy really came and really proved himself in a short period of time.
"I think he is one of the best quarterbacks in the league in terms of the anticipation of letting the ball go to open areas, and throwing it extremely accurately. I know he's one of those quiet, calm leaders, and I like that in a quarterback."
Re: Linehan plans to put the Rams on the attack
I hope and pray that it comes down as it appeares to be sounds good can't wait to see whats next who the staff will be (come on Bates take the job) This off season is truely fun (wished we where playing but this is the next best thing ) And with "RW" On top of things all I have to to do is just log on ClanRam Between "RW" and "AR" theirs no reason to go anywhere else for info ...
Last edited by OldRamsfan; -01-22-2006 at 02:12 PM.