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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Linehan vs. Martz

    By Jim Thomas
    Sunday, Oct. 01 2006

    From the day he was hired in January, Rams coach Scott Linehan has diligently
    avoided comparisons to predecessor Mike Martz. On the rare occasions when the
    subject gets broached, Linehan always tries to say the right things.

    "I personally don't know him that well," Linehan said Wednesday. "I've talked
    to him once or twice."

    One of those times was after Linehan was hired by the Rams, when Martz phoned
    Linehan to congratulate him.

    "I thought that was a pretty classy move by him at the time," Linehan said. "He
    recommended some staff people, which is really what you do in that situation.

    "But I don't know him well enough to know much about him, other than what other
    people tell me. I know I've admired him for a lot of years. Arguably, the best
    offensive coach in the last eight years in the league. I would say that. So I
    certainly have been watching the things he's been doing and trying to emulate a
    lot of them."

    Linehan will get to know Martz a lot better Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome.
    The Rams head coach of the present squares off against the Rams head coach of
    the immediate past, starting with the 3:05 p.m. kickoff between St. Louis and

    Martz returns to town as the Lions' offensive coordinator. Those who know Martz
    best, know what to expect:

    He will come out throwing.

    "He's definitely going to come out with his ears pinned back, and doing what we
    know he likes best," wide receiver Torry Holt said. "And that's throw the

    He would love nothing better than to hang 40 points or so on his old team.

    "He'd like to hang 40 on anybody," defensive end Leonard Little said. "That's
    the way he is. If he can hang 40 on you, he's going to hang 40 on you. It
    doesn't matter what the situation is, who the head coach is, or what
    organization it is."

    True. But this isn't just any organization Martz is facing Sunday. It is the
    organization that gave him his first NFL job in 1992 as an unpaid assistant.
    The organization he helped take to unprecedented heights -- and two Super Bowls
    -- as the Greatest Show on Turf, from 1999 through 2001. And the organization
    that fired him after a strife-filled 2005 season.

    So like it or not -- fair or unfair -- comparisons will be unavoidable Sunday
    when Linehan's Rams offense goes up against Martz's Lions offense.

    "My feeling is the game is never about the coaches," Linehan said. "We're
    playing the Lions at home. And once we cross the white lines on Sunday
    afternoon, it's about the players and the plan we have, and executing. It's
    really the Rams versus the Lions. I make it a point to have those things not be
    a distraction."

    One of the fascinating subplots Sunday will be the more direct matchup of Martz
    and Rams defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. Earlier this decade, when Haslett
    was head coach in New Orleans and Martz was leading the Rams, they had some
    titanic clashes. Martz and Haslett traded barbs up and down the Mississippi
    River for several seasons in what was one of the NFL's most heated rivalries.

    "I really don't care about that," Haslett said Monday. "It's just the Rams vs.
    the Lions. Mike's done a good job."

    But in his conference call with Detroit reporters Wednesday, Linehan couldn't
    resist poking a little fun at the Martz-Haslett rivalry.

    "The way I look at it, the two geniuses are going at each other," Linehan said.
    "I'm just going to sit there like (the media) and enjoy the show."

    Linehan will be something more than a neutral observer Sunday. His Rams can go
    to 3-1 with a victory over the Lions. With a road game to follow against
    struggling Green Bay, the Rams could be 4-1 when defending NFC champion Seattle
    comes to St. Louis on Oct. 15.

    "We can all do the math," Linehan said, straying ever so slightly from the
    one-game-at-a-time coach's mentality. "The whole idea is let's maintain some
    momentum. ... It's certainly better than the alternative."

    Little stressed just that point to his teammates last week.

    "I got up and told the defensive guys in the team meeting that this basically
    is the most important game of the year," Little said. "Because last year, we
    started the same way -- 2-1 -- and that fourth game, we lost. We went into a
    tailspin after that."

    And the head coach -- Martz -- got sick, and the rift between Martz and Rams
    management widened and went public. And so on. No one at the Edward Jones Dome
    on Sunday would like to relive that. Especially Martz.

  2. #2
    live4ramin's Avatar
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    Re: Linehan vs. Martz

    Off topic, but related; what of Joe Vitt? Did the guy land on his feet? The guy deserved more than a tin whistle from this franchise and us fans.
    Look away. I'm hideous. __ Cozmo Kramer

  3. #3
    RamsFan4ever's Avatar
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    Re: Linehan vs. Martz

    I think Joe Vitt went to the saints and i think he is assisant coach

  4. #4
    jjigga3000's Avatar
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    Re: Linehan vs. Martz

    yeah he's with the saints

  5. #5
    live4ramin's Avatar
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    Re: Linehan vs. Martz

    Thanks. Maybe he's part of their success.
    Look away. I'm hideous. __ Cozmo Kramer


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