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  1. #1
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    Linehan, top assistants maintain a brave front

    Linehan, top assistants maintain a brave front
    By Jeff Gordon

    Rams coach Scott Linehan is maintaining a brave front in the face of catastrophe. So are defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and offensive coordinator Greg Olson.

    “Everybody in the league has got injuries, you can see it, they pile up, but just the way they happen and the time frame, it’s kind of mind-boggling sometimes,” Haslett said.

    “Things can turn fast for us once we get players back on the field,” Linehan said.

    “Going into this season, when you looked at it on paper, we thought we were going to have a darn good, explosive team this year,” Olson said. “It seems like one thing after another in terms of injuries and rhythm and some of those things, the timing. We started out slow and once the injuries started to pile up, it just became difficult (to get) that rhythm again.

    “I still believe in this team and I believe in Scott and I believe we can get this thing turned around and it’s just a matter of time.”

    Linehan realizes he must turn this season around, despite all the injuries. Failure is not an option.

    “I was hired to do a job, make adjustments and find a solution to every problem,” he said. “That is what I will continue to do. The hand we’ve been dealt right now is to continue to battle with a winless record and keep finding groups we can put out there . . . that will make the corrections we need to make. Hopefully we will be able to do that.

    “Nothing says you can’t start a winning streak seven games into the season. I’ve been on a team that started off 6-0 and didn’t finish very good. I’d like to be on a team that started 0-6 and finished great.

    “We have to get that first win. Beating Seattle would be a great shot in the arm for us.”

    Here are some other highlights:


    On why this team suffered an injury epidemic: “I think it’s just unlucky, to be honest with you . . . each one has been somewhat different. We’ve had our fair share, but certainly nothing we can focus on.

    “Nothing we can do about the guys who are going to be back or when they are going to be back. We have to try to win a football game.”

    On going back to Marc Bulger at quarterback: “Our intention is to start him this week. He should be close to about 100 percent to where he was before he hurt his ribs. I talked to him in the middle of last week. He was feeling much better and looked much better in practice. He started doing some scout team stuff.”

    On the odds of running back Steven Jackson returning this week: “We’re going to kind of push him along and make a determination later this week . . . there is an outside chance, very outside.”

    On why he called time out so the Rams could have one more futile offensive drive – and expose Gus Frerotte to another big hit: “I guess pride, trying to hang in there. It was probably pretty unrealistic we were going win there. I think you can find a lot more things to be critical of me about than that.”

    On using Brandon Williams to return kicks instead of Marques Hagans: “I knew Marques was going to play a lot of receiver. I didn’t anticipate as much. He hadn’t done the return in a real game before and Brandon had. We liked Brandon, what he did coming out of college and what he did at San Fran as a returner.” Shocked Shocked Shocked

    On alternating Milford Brown and Brandon Gorin at right tackle: “Each week we evaluate it as we go. Brown, it isn’t a natural position for him to play, tackle, but he’s been playing there three games. He is starting to show there is some improvement there. We played Gorin some. Right now, unless anything changes, Brown will be our right tackle.”

    On Todd Johnson’s fill-in work at safety: “I thought Todd played very well. It was a real gutty performance by a player that was sore all with a sprained neck. Moving into that position, I thought Todd played outstanding. Todd is one of the guys that will be one of the catalysts for us finding winning ways.”


    On his unit’s play Sunday: “The guys played hard, they were into it. I thought we had great communication on the sideline about plays, probably the best its been since I’ve been here. We didn’t do enough to win the game, but we did some things well there.

    “I thought the whole line was outstanding. Cliff (Ryan) played really well, Adam (Carriker) played probably his best game, so did Leonard (Little). James (Hall) had probably his best game. (La’Roi Glover) probably played his best game. We did a good job rotating those linemen, keeping them fresh . . . I thought our rookies outplayed there’s.”

    On Ryan: “He’s just not a nose (tackle) that just eats up space like some do. He gets off blocks and makes plays in the backfield.”

    On Claude Wroten’s return: “Claude was rusty. We played him more on third down more than we did anything. As a rush guy, he has to get a feel and more time on the grass. I think Claude will be much better this week.

    On Tye Hill’s celebrating a pass defense with the game out of hand: “Here’s a guy that’s into it. He made an outstanding play, so he jumped up in the air . . . He probably didn’t even know the score, he’s out there playing. I know it probably wasn’t appropriate at the time because of the score, but I like the enthusiasm the whole game. That just show the kid was into a game.”


    On losing his play-calling duties: “Scott felt we needed to make a change. Obviously I support those decisions. Hopefully we’ll get better from here. I’ll support any decision he makes.

    “Not winning is difficult. It’s hard on coaches, it’s hard on players.”

    On the quantity and quality of offensive injuries: “It’s been difficult, obviously, when you lose players of that magnitude. Again, you continue to work and you try to develop a plan each week. We haven’t been as successful as we need to be at it. You’re trying to find solutions and it seems like every week we’re playing with a new 11 out there. That makes it difficult, but we’ll have to continue to preach the things we believe in and continue to work harder and put those players that are on the field in the most successful position they can be in.”

    On Marc Bulger’s return: “He’s one of the best there in the business when you can keep him in the pocket and maintain a good pocket for him. He’s the best there is in terms of accuracy and timing and the rhythm part of the game . . . we’ve got to find a way to keep Marc protected.”

    On the team’s turnover troubles: “That’s probably been, besides the injuries, one of the most disappointing things this season, how the turnover bug bit us. We have to make better decisions, we’ve got to coach it better so they make better decisions at the quarterback position. It hasn’t been just decision-making on our quarterback, we’ve had protection breakdowns. Yesterday was a situation where the quarterback is getting hit as he’s throwing it.”

    On game-planning with inexperienced players: “We’ve got to find guys . . . we’ve talked about this week, at the running back situation, we’ve tried to bring Antonio Pittman along. He may play a bigger role. He’s shown some things in practice. You’re always looking for your playmakers and trying to find a way to get the ball to our playmakers . . . the pieces of that puzzle have changed in terms of who we thought we need to get the ball to. During the course of the game, it may change. It changed last week when Drew Bennett goes out. Somebody else has to pick up the slack and we have to try to adjust.”

    On the play of receiver Marques Hagans: “Marques flashed ability to make plays. Is he a true wide receiver at this point? I wouldn’t say that. He is still learning the game, still learning the position. His first real full-time exposure to playing a full game. There are some things there in terms of route-running ability . . . that he would like to do over, or learn from.”

    On the play of new receiver Brandon Williams: “For a guy that was only there for four or five days had a couple of broken routes, we’d expect him to get better as well.”

    On Torry Holt playing hurt: “It’s the trickle-down effect. When other players get hurt, then Torry feels that he needs to be in there. Going into the season, he wasn’t completely healthy. He was managing it and we had numbers to where he was able to manage it. You start losing players, he feels he needs to take more reps, he felt he like he had to have more reps with Gus when Gus come in to take over the starting quarterback position. It affected him last week. I know his knee was sore after the game. We have to keep an eye on it.”

    On the play of tight end Dominique Byrd: “We’ve had hopes he would come around, that he would get better, than he would start to show some improvement. He needs to get better at this point. He still has to reach his potential. He needs to get there in a hurry for us.”

    On the play of tight end Joe Klopfenstein: “Joe suffers a little bit from a lack of self-confidence right now. We’re trying to build him back up. We still have high hopes for Joe Klopfenstein. He showed up last week in practice. He must continue to get confidence back and be the striker and blocker and receiver that we believe he can be.”

  2. #2
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Linehan, top assistants maintain a brave front

    Quote Originally Posted by Linehan
    “I was hired to do a job, make adjustments and find a solution to every problem,”
    Agreed. Now what do you have in mind for our current problem?
    Quote Originally Posted by Linehan
    “That is what I will continue to do.
    Wait a minute. What do you mean continue? I assume the "That" you're referring to is finding solutions to problems. If so, how exactly are you going to "continue"? Doesn't that imply you are currently finding & have recently found solutions to problems?
    Quote Originally Posted by Linehan...emphasis mine
    The hand we’ve been dealt right now is to continue to battle with a winless record and keep finding groups we can put out there . . . that will make the corrections we need to make. Hopefully we will be able to do that.
    Coach, you've been dealt a horrible hand. Russian roulette teams don't have this many injuries, so I can grant some grace on not walking the walk. But, Coach, please, at least talk the talk. Continue? If it's all the same to you, I'd rather not. A direct 180 would be much preferred to "continue", would it not?

    Coach, I don't pretend to have the answer, but if you don't least pretend to, okay? Continue? That's just giving up, man.

  3. #3
    Ram Dragoon's Avatar
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    Re: Linehan, top assistants maintain a brave front

    How much of what is said in news conferences is just for public consumption and how much is it cover and excuses for NOT GETTING IT DONE? We all can see that "continuing" his present plans isn't working--the scoreboards point that fact out.

    Perhaps Linehan ought to just shutup and DO; stop the news conferences since the Fans are not learning anything. Persoanlly I just think all this blaa-blaaa, is just PR to try and keep what fan support there is for his reign as HC. Its not the words, the the actions on the field that will keep happy and content fans.
    **Wager when or IF the Rams win a game Linehan will tout the victory as a SUPERBOWL triumph-hahahah! All I know is that Linehan is FAST loosing fan support which equals lost ticket sales and lack of success may loose him the teams confidience in his leadership. Loosing the latter is harder to regain since turning it around will bring back the fans to the Dome.

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